Why do i need Filter media maintenance?
Due to the amount of media inside filters, inspecting them inside isn’t possible without moving the media first. This is why we always urge customers to make sure internals are replaced along with the media when carrying out media changes.
What is a Filter?
One of the most important components of a pool and spa is the filter.
It is the main way of cleaning the water as it removes impurities and makes the water suitable for swimming.
Filters are generally made of fiberglass or steel, they vary in size and build depending on the dimensions of the pool or spa.
Inside the filter at the bottom will be a set of ‘under drains’ which are designed to draw the water coming into the top of the filter from the pool through the sand or glass the filtered water will then be directed back to the pool.
What’s the lifespan of a filter?
Fiberglass filters if maintained well can last between 10 to 40 years depending on how well they are maintained, exceeding pressures in the filter will only decrease its lifespan and cause structural damage.
Steel filters can last over 30 years again depending on how well they are maintained, steel filters have a lining inside that needs to be replaced every 10 years however if left for longer the structure of the filter is compromised and damages to the steel may occur.
Why do I have sand or glass media in the pool or spa?
That devastating feeling when you go to check the pool and find filter media spread all over the pool floor is not something anybody wants to see.
Normally the most popular reason for this to happen will be either the underdrains inside the bottom of the filter or the diffuser inside the top of the filter has broken causing the media to return to the pool.
This can be easily rectified however there will normally be downtime on the pool until the pool floor has been cleared of the media and the filter has been repaired.
It is important to make sure all return covers are removed in the pool once the filter has been repaired to blow out any trapped media otherwise you’ll find over the course of time you will still have trapped media passing through into the pool.
Also just as important to check the heat exchanger, dosing unit flow cell, UV, and circulation pumps to make sure the media hasn’t blocked this equipment as this will cause a lot of problems and time consumed if not checked thoroughly.
What is filter media?
The most common form of media used is dried silica sand and silica gravel. Sand has played its part in the filtration system and proven for many years to be one of the most effective types of media for trapping impurities to help keep the water clear and healthy. The gravel is put into the filter first in order to protect the under-drains at the bottom of the filter the sand is then placed on top.
Glass has become increasingly popular as the customers choice in the last few years especially in the commercial market.
Although glass runs perfectly well as filter media it can be more expensive to buy.
Why do I need media in the filter?
The ‘media’ sand or glass is used to help trap impurities in the pool water.
Without media in the filter or not enough media in the filter will cause the water to go cloudy and be full of contaminants that may harm bathers health.
How often do I need to change the filter media?
This is a question that comes up regularly and many companies offer different timeframes.
In general terms, filter media should be changed 3 to 7 years depending on filter size, bather loads, and maintenance schedules.
In the commercial market, it can be quite expensive to replace the media however for a residential customer not so much, this is due to the labour work involved.
Commercial filters are generally much larger than residential filters and can hold tonnes of sand whereas residential filters only hold 5-10 bags of sand again depending on size.
Every plant room is a different size and has different bather loads, this is what is needed to take into consideration when it comes to when you think the filters need the media replaced.
Things to look out for to see if the filter media needs changing will be to find out when the media was last changed, checking filter pressures to see if they have raised higher than normal after backwashing if the pool getting cooler and issues regarding clarity of the pool water starting to go cloudy.
It’s important to remember the longer the media is left without changing the more chemicals will be used so a good balance of maintenance is crucial to keeping running costs under control as much as possible.