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A sand filter system contributes a lot to hygienic bathing fun and clear water.

However, in order for it to do its job properly and for the filter system to function properly, the pressure of the sand filter system must be set correctly.

In this article, we will explain how to determine the optimal pressure of your sand filter system and what you can do immediately if the pressure of your sand filter system is suddenly too high or too low.

Optimal pressure for sand filter systems: Why is it important?

In general, you should always pay attention to the pressure of your sand filter system.

If the pressure is not set correctly, the filter can no longer function properly. Other accessories may also be damaged. 

The optimal pressure of the sand filter system depends on several factors, such as the filter medium, the amount of dirt in the pool and bathing water, and the contents of the pool.

On the sand filter system there is a pressure gauge, which indicates how high or low the pressure is. It is important for the water quality that as soon as the pressure value rises strongly above the normal value, the sand filter system should be backwashed immediately.

For example, if your sand filter system has a normal pressure of 0.6 bar when the water is clean, you should backwash the pump as soon as it reaches a higher pressure, such as 1 bar.

In fact, there is no general normal value.

If you want to determine the normal value of your sand filter system, you can look at the pressure gauge during the first installation of the sand filter to see what pressure it indicates. The filter medium should be clean, and all other devices should run without any problems.

Sand filter system pressure too low: causes & solutions

1. Sand filter is dirty

The pressure in the sand filter may be too low because of the contamination of the sand filter system.

If it is not backwashed regularly, dirt will accumulate and the sand filter will become clogged. Consequently, the pump does not build up pressure.

For this reason, clean the sand filter system regularly to ensure ideal filtration.

To do this, use our step-by-step instructions on how to backwash the sand filter system:

  1. turn off the pump and set the valve to backwash.
  2. open the cap
  3. switch on the pump and let it run until the water becomes visible
  4. switch off the pump again and set the valve to backwash
  5. turn on the pump again and let it rinse for a few seconds
  6. switch the pump off and set the valve to filtering
  7. close the cap

2. The skimmer is clogged

If the skimmer is clogged, not much water can be sucked in, resulting in low pressure. 

Therefore, check if the skimmer is clean. Sometimes leaves or grass get into the skimmer and can clog it.

Also check if there is enough water coming into the skimmer. The less water coming into the skimmer, the more air will be sucked in, causing the pump to not build pressure in the pool filter. 

Pump impeller is clogged

A clogged impeller can likewise cause the pump to have too little pressure. 

Pollen and other debris can settle in the channels that were not kept out by the pre-filter. After some time, the contaminants accumulate.

If you want to clean the impeller of your pump, you should read the manual of your pump to find out how to proceed. 

Valve is defective

Sometimes it happens that the multi-way valve of the sand filter system is broken. Check if all positions of the filter are working properly. If this is not the case, the pump may have too low pressure due to the defective valve.

If the valve is defective, you can contact a professional who will help you repair it.

Sand filter system pressure too high: causes & solutions

1. The hoses are not connected properly

Too much air in the filter system can be responsible for high pressure. 

If the hoses are not connected properly or are leaking, air will be sucked in, increasing the pressure.

Therefore, check to make sure your connected sand filtration system is connected properly and is tight. If not, correct it and follow the instruction manual of your sand filter system to the best of your ability.

2. Too high pressure due to a flow problem

Higher than normal pressure indicates a flow problem.

The filter may be heavily contaminated. For this reason, perform a backwash or remove the filter cartridge for cleaning to remove coarse debris. In addition, the filter should be cleaned regularly in general. 

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about sand filter systems answered

How do you vent a sand filter system?

If there is too much air in your pump, you should vent the pump.
Close all taps that are connected in front of the sand filter system and turn off the pump. Open the air valve and let the air escape. Fill the pump with water if it does not fill up by itself.
Then close the pump and close the air valve again when water comes out of the filter housing. Now start the pump and open a tap at the same time. Wait a few minutes until the pump starts running again.
If the pump still does not run, you can repeat the steps again.

At what pressure should I backwash the sand filter system?

In general, there is no standard value for the required pressure, because the pressure depends on several factors, which we described at the beginning. Therefore, it is not possible to determine a general pressure value at which the system must be backwashed. 
It is best to backwash your sand filter system when the pressure value is 10 psi (pounds per square) higher than your normal value. This is approximately 0.6 bar more than your normal value.

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.