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When the sun contributes to an excellent mood in summer, jumping into a visually appealing and hygienically clean garden pool usually completes the happiness of all involved. In addition to numerous measures of chemical water care, regular physical cleaning of the pool should also take place to achieve a satisfactory result.

Apart from the use of a landing net as well as other tools so that coarse debris can be removed, a sand filter system is a very efficient way of cleaning the water of the pool.

Although, depending on the chosen model, there may be differences in the installation and commissioning of a sand filter system, there are some factors that should be considered in most cases. In the following sections, after a general explanation regarding the operation of such a filtration system, a detailed connection diagram is presented.

The operation of a sand filter system

With regard to its mode of operation, a sand filter system differs significantly, for example, from a so-called cartridge filter system, whose filter medium made of paper lamellae or similar materials removes contamination due to its respective surface.

Furthermore, no chemicals are used here, the system directs the water to be cleaned through a layer of sand, which removes dirt particles through its mechanical properties.

In addition, biological filtration takes place, as there is also an oxygen-free zone in a sand filter system, where the corresponding bacteria contribute to the cleaning of contaminants. Afterwards, the respective pool water is led back into the swimming pool.

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Sand filter system connection diagram: Step by step guide

In order for a sand filter system to function optimally and remove any dirt from the water of the corresponding pool, it is essential to connect it properly and put it into operation. Although some models have some peculiarities in this regard, the main steps in connecting a sand filter system are quite similar.

In the following sections, the individual steps that are necessary for the installation of such a system will be explained in more detail in the appropriate order.

Step 1: Make preparations

Before the individual sand filter system can be properly installed, it is necessary to ensure that the appropriate accessories are available, as well as the connections.

With regard to connection options, it can be said that due to the large number of available connection options for sand filter systems, either a four-way or a six-way valve is used, whereby this, together with the pump and the filter vessel, is often already installed when a complete set is purchased.

Most conventional connections in terms of sand filter systems come in a 1 ½ inch size. In terms of the accessories needed, there are some components that are usually included in the kit and are therefore mandatory for successful commissioning.

These include the filter vessel with vent, a circulation pump with pre-filter, a drain plug as well as a pressure gauge, the appropriate valve, which is often a six-way valve, a mounting plate and sometimes a filter unit mounted on a pallet ready to plug in.

Step 2: Selecting the installation site

The second step is to consciously choose the location of the sand filter system, as it should not be wet or in a poorly ventilated area. Furthermore, it must be ensured that the selected location does not reach temperatures warmer than 40 degrees Celsius, as otherwise the functionality of the sand filter system could be impaired.

In the event that the pump of the respective system does not independently draw in the corresponding water of the pool, it must also be installed below the water level, since only in this way an automatic flow of the pool water is guaranteed.

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Step 3: Connect the hoses

After defining a suitable location for the appropriate filter system, the first step, if they have not already been delivered connected, should be to install the connections of the pump as well as the filter vessel, with any threads adequately sealed with sealing tape.

At the beginning, it is necessary to attach the hose coming from the direction of the pool with its end in the adequate place of the so-called skimmer, which is also called a surface extractor. After attaching the appropriate return hose to the outlet valve of the filter, this step is completed by tightening all the existing hose clamps without damaging other materials.

Step 4: Filling the sand filter system with sand

When filling the filter system, make sure that a high-quality sand is used, which is why many manufacturers explicitly recommend quartz sand. In order to fill in the amount of sand specified in the individual operating instructions, it is necessary to loosen the lid of the sand filter, and before the actual process to cover open pipes and check the proper screw connection of the fine filters.

After that, you should brush off the excess quartz sand, recheck the position of all the components and close the lid to complete this step.

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Step 5: Connect sand filter system to power

With the help of a so-called residual current switch, the sand filter system is now connected to the local or domestic power supply, so that a successful cleaning is given during commissioning.

In most cases, it is strongly advised to have this step performed by a professional, which should be an electrician, as the risks of possible damage due to a serious electrical accident should be avoided.

Step 6: Fill the pre-filter with water

Another operation that should be performed before a first start-up is filling the pre-filter with the water of the pool, although, depending on the individual situation, this can be done even before the connection to the mains on site.

This step is necessary so that the sand filter system does not run dry as soon as it is switched on, as this would not only have a bad effect on the materials used, but also on the result of the cleaning.

Step 7: Set the backwash mode

Due to the fact that the newly filled sand can be contaminated with residues of dirt or dust that should not get into the water of the pool, a backwash during which it is cleaned is highly recommended.

It is essential to give the process a few minutes to achieve a satisfactory result.

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Step 8: Set the backwash function

Once the process of backwashing is finished, it is necessary to turn off the pump, because otherwise a changeover of the multiway valve should not be performed. Afterwards, it is recommended to backwash for a short period of time, if this option is available in the corresponding sand filter system.

Step 9: Set the valve to ‘Filter’

After all the previous steps have been completed, the multiway valve can be set to the “Filter” function with the pump switched off. This describes the actual cleaning process that the sand filter system should perform on a daily basis.

In this case, it is also important to make sure that the pump is not in operation when adjusting the selector lever, otherwise the system may be damaged, among other things.

Step 10: Check everything

To make sure that the first start-up of the installed sand filter system is not marred by unpleasant surprises, the last step is to check all the components of the system, which includes, for example, hoses as well as hose clamps, to make sure they are installed correctly.

In many cases, a faulty installation can already be recognized by the leakage of water, which indicates a leak that must be eliminated before the planned filtration.

FAQ: Frequently asked questions about sand filter system installation answered.

Especially for pool owners who have not yet developed the necessary routine with the installation of a sand filter system, some questions arise in the course of the installation or afterwards.

With regard to more detailed issues, it is often worthwhile to seek expert advice or exchange information with other swimming pool enthusiasts who also own a similar filter system. The answers to the most frequently asked questions, however, are explained in the following sections.

Can the sand filtration system be put into operation immediately after connection?

In principle, a sand filtration system is ready for operation immediately after installation, but it is recommended to take precautions before the first filtration. Due to the fact that dust may have entered the filter medium or the unit itself during installation, and this dust may enter the pool if the unit is put into operation too quickly, it is advisable to backwash the unit beforehand.
Even a few minutes, during which the sand filter system remains in this mode, are sufficient to prevent involuntary contamination of the water of the pool.

What are the other possible uses of sand filtration systems?

The options, or rather the places where a sand filter system can find use, are very numerous in comparison. Both professionally and privately, apart from being used in a pool, these units can be installed in fountains, reservoirs, basins as well as other water containers, for example. In addition, they lead to an optimally cleaned environment in aquariums and ponds, which in many cases is also visually noticeable.

How long does the sand filter system have to run daily?

The running time depends, among other things, on the individual size of the pool, the local weather conditions on site and the bathing behavior of the respective bathing enthusiasts as well as the frequency of use.
These factors, in turn, determine the degree to which the water is contaminated, and even private pools should have at least two circulations and the additional use of chemical agents for water maintenance.
In order not to exceed the maximum daily running time of eight hours, it is necessary to pay attention to the appropriate size of the sand filter system in relation to the dimensions of the pool in question, otherwise it may not be possible to achieve a satisfactory result.

What are the functions of a multiway valve?

In principle, when operating the multi-way valve, one should in any case make sure that the respective pump is not switched on. The most frequently used function is that of filtering, during which you can also connect a pool vacuum cleaner to the sand filter system. Apart from this, backwashing or rinsing ensures that the system works properly.
In addition, a multiway valve has the option of circulation, which is used in a so-called shock chlorination to circulate the water. Unlike the name of the “Drain” function suggests, however, this does not allow the pool to be completely drained, whereas the “Winter” position with an open valve is actually the prerequisite for successful winter storage.
Last but not least, the “Closed” function cuts off the water supply between the pump and the valve.

How to connect the TIP SPF 180 sand filter system?

Despite the fact that all sand filter systems are based on a similar principle, it is essential to take into account the individual characteristics of each model. In the case of a TIP SPF 180 sand filter system, the operating instructions with the relevant information from the manufacturer should be consulted. These can be found not only in written form as an enclosure of the delivery, but also on the Internet.

How to connect a vidaXL sand filter system?

Although the connection of a sand filter system is similar in many situations, there are, of course, several models to choose from, which may differ in terms of the respective details of commissioning. Provided that there are doubts regarding the correct installation in the case of the sand filter system at hand, it is advisable to always refer to the individual instruction manual, which is included in the delivery.


A sand filter system is a sensible investment for pool owners who want to optimize physical as well as chemical pool or water maintenance with the help of an efficient cleaning method.

Although the installation of a sand filtration system requires the completion of a number of generally applicable steps, it is advisable to study the respective operating instructions with the individual specifications of the corresponding manufacturer before installation in order to ensure proper operation. In the event that there are any uncertainties, you can also rely on the exchange of information with other bathing enthusiasts.

Next up: Causes for Sand in the swimming pool

Larry has been a true water rat since childhood. Pure pleasure turned into a passion. That's why he is the first point of contact for friends and acquaintances when it comes to pool-related problems. He is an integral part of the PoolHandbook editorial team.