Why is There Sand in Your Pool and How to Get The Sand Out

It’s a warm summer day, and you want to go swimming in your pool. You are amazed to find that a lot of sand has landed in the pool overnight. Why is there sand in your pool, and how to get the sand out of your pool from the bottom?

The sand in the pool is brought in by bathers or ends up in the pool due to a sand storm. But it can also be that the pipes in the pool filter are ripped. As a result, the sand is washed to the pool floor.

I will explain to you how to remove the sand from the pool and prevent the pool from becoming cloudy in the future.

How does the sand get into your pool?

Sand has no place in your pool. But how does it happen that sand repeatedly ends up in your pool and the pool water becomes cloudy?

The sand can get into your pool in several ways.

One explanation would be that the sand was brought into your pool due to regular bathing activity. This happens when bathers do not take a shower before entering your pool or when they forget to take a footbath in front of your pool.

You can quickly get rid of the problem by making it a rule to wash your feet in a footbath before entering the swimming pool.

The footbath is an inexpensive way to prevent sand in your pool, but the shower is a better option.

In addition to the sand, the shower in your garden also flushes other organic substances from the body that could cause your pool to foam.

Another cause – which, however, rarely occurs – is the sand storm.

Is your pool near dry fields?

In strong winds, it comes to sand rain, and if there is no pool cover, a lot of sand ends up in your pool.

The sand makes your pool cloudy, and blue tiles or a blue foil create a light green cast.

Many pool owners believe that they have a problem with algae in their pool and overlook the sand.

But you cannot rule out a defective sand filter system at your pool through which the sand ends up on the floor.

Problems with the sand filter system

Inside the sand filter system are pipes and absorbers made of plastic that can crack or break over time.

Usually, only the filtered water flows through the pipes back into your pool, and the sand stays in the filter. But if the pool filter is defective, many sand particles get into your pool.

In this case, you have the problem of sand in your pool and a defective sand filter system that needs to be repaired.

In the following chapter, you will find practical solutions for a defective sand filter system.

Sand gets into the pool through broken pipes

You may never find out why the pipe in the sand filter system cracked.

Perhaps the heavy filter system was improperly moved, and the load of the sand tore the standpipe.

Or the sand filter system is old and has become brittle over time.

It rarely happens that the return nozzle is traveling, but if the damage is detected, the return nozzle must be replaced.

To do this, proceed as when changing the filter’s sand and replace the damaged parts.

Sand in the pool due to cracked absorbers

It does not have to be the case that the sand ends up in your pool through broken or loosened pipes.

Perhaps the sand in your pool is too fine (mineral dust 0.1-10 µm) and cannot be held back by your sand filter system. Source.

However, if one or more return nozzles (absorbers) are cracked – which is often the cause of sand in your pool – then the broken return nozzle must be replaced.

First, remove the filter sand and then look for the problem area on the filter arm.

You can then buy the parts individually and replace them accordingly.

Sand in the pool after backwashing

You may find sand in your pool after backwashing the sand filter system.

But why is that?

Most likely, the inlet pipe or other line in the sand filter system has broken, and the sand is carried away with the water.

This usually happens when the components are too tightly installed when assembling the sand filter system.

There is nothing left to do but replace the components.

Tip: I recommend always having suitable spare parts for the filters in stock.

Channels in the filter sand wash the sand into your pool

If you can’t find any cracks or breaks in the pipes in the sand filter system, then the problem may be due to the channeling.

Channeling is the channel formation in the filter sand. The water flows back into your pool unfiltered, and the sand is carried away with the air.

The possible cause can be air ingress through defective cover seals.

You can fix the problem quickly by flushing the filter system.

What if you don’t have a sand filter system?

You don’t use a sand filter system and still find sand in your pool? The bathers and a sandy rain can also be excluded?

Then why there’s sand in your pool?

Maybe you don’t have a problem with sand in your pool, and it’s yellow algae – mustard algae are often mistaken for sand.

Take the pool brush and briefly scrub the affected area. If clouds form around the brush, you can assume a problem with the mustard algae.

In this case, you should read through my guide against mustard algae in your pool.

It takes a little practice to rule out the algae of your pool water and pinpoint sand as the main cause.

If you are unsure and can rule out all of the causes mentioned above, I recommend performing a small chlorine shock.

How to remove sand from the pool

After the cause of the sand in your pool has been identified and any defective filter parts have been replaced, you can get to work removing the sand from your pool.

But how do you remove the sand from the pool floor as quickly as possible?

If a defective sand filter system caused the sand entry, then most of the grains of sand will possibly be in one place in your pool.

You can then remove the sand with a pool vacuum.

  1. Connect the pool vacuum cleaner to the sand filter system.
  2. Set the multivalve to the “Drain” position.
  3. Vacuum the sand quickly with the pool vacuum to avoid excessive water loss.
  4. After the sand has been removed from the pool, the filter must be back washed.
  5. Finally, rinse again – done.

When using the pool vacuum, the filter system must be set to emptying.

If only the filter setting – filtering – is used, the fine sand ends up in your pool again.

If too much water has been used, the pool must be refilled so that the skimmer does not suck in air.

If there are stubborn sand deposits in your pool, the surface must first be scrubbed with a pool brush before you can vacuum the floor with the pool vacuum.

But you can also try to loosen the clay with the pool vacuum with a scrubbing movement.

The pool vacuum and brush are your best chance when you need to remove sand from the floor.

Unfortunately, forums and various blogs recommend the wrong way how to get the sand out of your pool, which unnecessarily costs time and money.

Avoid the following methods of removing sand in your pool:

  • Filter sand from the pool: DO NOT let the filter system run through, hoping that the sand will be removed from the pool. Most of the sand lies on the bottom, and the sand that is too fine goes through the filter without any problems.
  • Chlorine shock against sand: The chlorine shock does nothing with sand in the pool. You’re just wasting money and getting pissed off by the sellers.

This video shows how to get the sand out of the pool with a cut-to-size linen cloth.

The gentleman does not seem to have any problems, but I fear that the pressure in the sand filter system could rise sharply through this method – this is a safety risk.

Remove sand without a sand filter and vacuum cleaner

A hydraulic pool vacuum is part of every basic pool equipment to suck up deposits from the pool floor.

However, a sand filter system is necessary for operating a pool vacuum.

Pool owners who do not have a sand filter system can use a battery-powered pool vacuum as an alternative.

The cordless pool vacuum cleaner is ideal for everyone who wants to vacuum a small pool, hot tub, or paddling pool.

Powerful cordless vacuum cleaners are also suitable for cleaning large pools. You can read the exact differences in my blog.

If you want to remove the sand from your pool without a pool vacuum, I recommend the following article – Cleaning your pool without a vacuum. 

But I recommend you buy a battery-powered pool vacuum and save time cleaning your pool.

Prevent sand in your pool

The sand in your pool can cloud the water and encourage algae growth.

However, there are simple steps you can take to prevent too much sand from ending up in your pool.

Install a garden shower.

Install a garden shower and make it a rule that every swimmer has to take a shower before they can go into your pool.

The shower prevents sand and other organic debris from being carried into your pool by bathers.

An environmentally friendly solar shower is particularly recommended here.

The footbath in front of your pool.

If you don’t have space for a solar shower in your garden, at least put a footbath in front of your pool.

The pool footbath is inexpensive and allows bathers to wash the sand off their feet.

Also, place the footbath in front of your hot tub or a paddling pool, so you don’t have to remove the sand from your pool constantly.

Maintain the sand filter system.

As I explained in the article, the sand can end up in your pool through a defective sand filter system.

That is why you should check the pipelines inside the sand filter system for cracks and replace them if necessary when wintering your pool or when changing the sand.

When assembling the sand filter system, make sure that the parts are not tightened too much, as this will cause cracks.

Protect the pool from sand with a cover.

The pool cover is ideal for protecting against sand storms.

But other organic substances such as leaves and pollen – which end up in your pool due to the wind – are effectively captured with the help of the cover.

Especially when you are away for a long time, the cover helps protect your pool.

Do you have any other questions about sand in the pool?

Don’t hesitate to contact me at @contactswimfool on Twitter or Facebook. I am happy to help you.

With this in mind, I wish you a lot of fun in the pool.

Photo of author
Hi. I'm Max Berg. I've been in the pool industry since 2015 and have always felt drawn to water. I'm the author behind swimfool.com, where I share my years of experience in pool maintenance and give helpful tips on keeping a swimming pool or hot tub clean. My tips reduce the costs of water treatment and protect the environment.

Keep Reading