Have you found yourself walking all over gritty sand every time you take a dip in your pool? This is an issue that many pool-owners have to deal with at some point.
The first thing you should do is figure out how the sand got into your pool in the first place so you can prevent it from happening in the future. Of course, the next step is to get the sand out of your pool.
Read on to learn how to do this and reclaim your pool from the sand.
Reasons for Sand in the Pool
Before you do any actual sand removal, the best course of action to take is to first figure out why there is a noticeable amount of sand at the bottom of your pool, if it is even sand at all. This will help you avoid dealing with the same issue later on.
There are a few very common reasons for sand being in your pool. We will take a look at these reasons before delving into a couple of methods for removing the sand, one using a pool vacuum and the other only using a pool brush and dustpan or your filter.
1 – It Is Not Sand
It is very possible that what you suspect to be sand is actually a common algae found in pools called mustard algae. It is yellow in appearance, which can cause some people to be under the impression that it is sand.
To figure out whether it is algae or sand you are seeing on the bottom and sides of your pool, all you must do is move the particles around and watch what they do. Use your pool brush to sweep them around. If the particles become a dust cloud in the water, it is almost certainly yellow algae.
If this is the case, don’t panic. It is something many pool-owners must deal with at some point, and it is pretty simple to get rid of.
You will need to thoroughly clean both the pool and anything that was inside of it, such as toys or floatation devices. Unfortunately, the algae can survive outside of the water, so this step is important if you want to avoid more of it showing up in the future.
Vacuum out the algae, if this is an option, and shock treat your pool to get rid of it for the long-term, and let your filter run 24/7 until the algae has all disappeared. Also, make sure to check the pH balance of your water regularly so you can maintain a clean pool and prevent more algae from growing.
2 – Carried by Wind
It is possible that the sand you have found in your pool was carried from many miles away by the wind. If you are not seeing too much of it, this might very well be the case.
The only action you can really take here is to cover your pool when you aren’t swimming in it. Other than this, you will just need to let your pool’s filter do its job and eventually remove the particles.
3 – Sand Filter Damaged
In many cases, the reason for sand in a pool is due to a damaged component in your filter, such as a crack in the standpipe or laterals. Take a look at your filter to see if there is any noticeable damage.
If you do find a crack, hole, or any other visible issues in your filter, you can either get the damage repaired or opt for a brand-new filter. If you decide to go the repair route, you may need to get an expert to fix the filter if you do not have the proper knowledge.
Regardless of whether you repair your existing filter or buy a different one, you should clean the sand out of your pool prior to putting it to use so you don’t fill it up with a bunch of sand right after you install it. This would be unnecessary wear and tear on your new filter.
4 – Cheap Sand Filter
It is possible that your existing filter is in need of an upgrade. Some less expensive models do not work as well as other types, and they can allow some sand particles to escape back into the water.
If you know that your current filter is an inexpensive variety, think about purchasing a different kind that is costlier but made better. This can most certainly save you money in the long run.
5 – Wrong Sand in Filter
It may come to a surprise to some people that there is actually sand inside your filter already which works to trap the particles in your pool water.
If you use the wrong kind of sand in your filter, such as any old sand that isn’t specifically designed for a pool filter, it can cause it to inadequately remove unwanted sand and other debris. If this is the case, you will need to clean out your filter and add the correct type of sand to it.
6 – Too Much Sand in Filter
This point goes along with the one above. If you are using too much sand in your filter, it can also lead to improper filtration, thus leaving your pool water with sand particles left in it.
Thus, it is important to make sure you are using the right amount of sand in your filter to avoid walking all over sand while you are enjoying a dip in your pool.
How to Remove Sand
Now that you have a better idea of the reasons for sand being in your pool, you should be prepared to tackle the issue and remove the sand, hopefully for the long-term.
The first part of this section will go over removing the sand with a pool vacuum. It is, of course, recommended that you use a vacuum so that you can pick up more of the sand particles, but for those who do not have a vacuum, this is not an option.
Thus, the second part will detail removing it all with simply a pool brush and dustpan or your filter. This is more time-consuming but will still get the job done.
With a Vacuum
If you are going to be using a pool vacuum to get rid of the sand in your pool, the first step you need to take is to add extra water to the pool. This is optional, however, as you can just refill the pool after you have finished removing the sand.
If you do decide to add water beforehand, it is important to do it before the sweeping step, which will be described next, because the water will move around while you are adding more, which could disperse the neat little piles of sand you sweep.
This is why the second step is to use a pool brush to sweep the sand from the walls and on the floor into a single pile or multiple piles so you can easily suck them up with the vacuum. You should also make sure you get into the corners of your pool since sand can hide out there.
Your pool brush should have soft bristles made from a flexible material, such as rubber, so as to avoid scratching or tearing your pool’s lining.
Once you have gotten all of the sand particles into piles, you can use your vacuum. You will need to switch the vacuum’s setting to waste. This is important to do because it prevents water from going back through the filter, keeping it from getting inundated by sand particles.
Make sure you move slowly with your vacuum so you don’t move your piles of sand around.
After you have finished sucking up all of the piles of sand, you can fill your pool up more if it is necessary to do so, and then check your pool water’s pH balance, and treat it with chlorine as needed.
Without a Vacuum
If you do not own a pool vacuum, don’t fear as you can still clean the sand out of your pool as long as you have a pool brush.
On a side note, it should be mentioned that with a simple online search, you can figure out how to make a variety of different homemade pool vacuums using random objects that you probably already have sitting around in your house, garage, or shed.
Thus, you could always consider trying to make your own vacuum as this will probably pick up more sand particles than using just a brush and dustpan, and it is faster than using only a brush and filter.
When it comes to removing sand out of a pool without a vacuum, patience is key. One positive thing about removing sand without a vacuum is that you should not need to add more water.
As mentioned above, it is important that you use a brush that has flexible bristles that are easier on the pool’s lining. It would not be fun to have to deal with a torn lining later on as this can lead to a plethora of major issues.
If your pool has a filter, you can make it do a lot of the work for you. In this case, you can brush the sand particles from the sides, corners, and floor to move it around the water.
You can also use a hose to get the water moving around with the sand. This will help the filter pull it in and remove the sand particles from the water.
Of course, your filter needs to be functioning properly for this method to be successful. You should also clean out your filter prior to using this trick so it is ready to do some hard work.
Keep in mind that this can take some time, and you will probably need to remove sand from your filter multiple times before it is all removed. However, it takes less effort on your part than the method that does not involve using your filter.
If you do not have a filter in your pool, you will need to remove the sand the hard way. This involves brushing the sand particles into piles and then diving down into the water to sweep them into a dustpan.
The key to carrying out this method effectively is to move slowly. This will help you avoid moving the water around and pushing sand away from your piles or dustpan.
There will probably still be some sand left behind since you are relying on a dustpan to hold the particles as you resurface, so you should definitely think about buying a filter for your pool or fixing a damaged one. A filter will continuously remove sand and other debris from your pool, also capturing any particles you missed.
If you take some simple precautions, such as covering your pool when it is not in use, you should not have to worry about removing sand, as well as other debris, all that often. The same is true for using a filter that is designed well and is in good, working order. This makes all the difference in how often you need to remove sand and other debris from your pool.
You should also make it a habit to clean out your filter so it is functioning at optimum capacity and filtering out all of the sand that might make its way into your pool water.
It is also important for you to remove sand as soon as you notice it, as well as figure out the cause if there is a lot of it. The longer you let the issue continue, the more effort it will take to fix the problem and remove the sand.
If there is too much sand, you might even consider draining the pool so you can remove it all. This is more effort than most people would like to put forth, which is why regular filter maintenance and cleaning is vital. Your future self will surely thank you for being responsible now.