I Keep Finding Sand On the Bottom of My Pool. Why? OR There Seems to be a White Powdery Substance on the Floor and Steps of my Pool. Where is it Coming From?

Sand or D.E. on Pool Floor


If you have Dead Algae (Green or Yellow Powder) "STUCK" on Pool Surfaces. (Click HERE!)

For Cloudy, Murky, or Algae Filled "Water", (Click HERE!)

  Deal with those problems first then we can deal with the sand or D.E. on the pool surface.


        Keep in mind that having "dirt" alone on a pool surface, or even sand,( If there is sand around the pool), especially after a storm, is not unusual.


D.E. Filters


White powder on the pool surfaces, sometimes mixed with dirt, (With a D.E. Filter) is usually indicative of:

            1.) A problem with the D.E. Filter, such as Broken Grids

            2.) A Missing Stand Pipe O-Ring

            3.) A Damaged Stand Pipe O-Ring

            4.) A Cracked Manifold

            5.) A Damaged Internal Air Bleeder Assembly or Screen And / OR
            6.) A Missing Back Wash Valve O-Ring

Note 1: All of these reasons for D.E. in the pool require that the pool filter be "Completely" disassembled and that all of the grids, and other parts of the filter, be thoroughly cleaned and inspected. This is more difficult than it sounds. I regularly get phone calls from customers that "tried" this, but failed. Even if you can locate all of the damaged grids and parts yourself (From experience most customers can't.) The cost for me to put the filter back together again (Because even I struggle some times), "for you", provided you didn't break anything trying to reassemble it yourself, and you did find every problem the first time, is EXACTLY the same as the cost to pay for me to do all of the labor to clean the filter and do the inspection myself. Plus, if you miss one tiny hole in a grid, one nick in a stand pipe O-ring, ... after you completely reassemble everything and add the D.E. back to the filter, you are going to see D.E. coming back into your pool, and you will get to gain more experience, as you restart the complete disassembly, grid cleaning, and inspection process, then replace the part(s) you missed, reassemble everything, ... and "hope" you didn't miss anything that time as well. If not, you will get even more experience.


 In most cases, if you have D.E. coming back into your pool (On your floor, steps or love seat) replacement parts will be required, and some of these problems are really tough for the home owner to diagnose.

Note 2: If you have a D.E. Filter, and more than one Grid is damaged, I ALWAYS recommend that ALL filter grids be replaced. If just one grid is damaged, it 'MIGHT' be a defect in that grid. BUT, if 2 or more damaged, this indicates that ALL the grids are weak and will probably fail over the next few months. Since 1/3 of the cost is the labor to disassemble, clean and inspect the grids, not replacing all of the grids if 2 or more are damaged is a quick way to almost guarantee that you will double your costs.


            This said, I let the customer decide if they want to take that risk. I mark my name and the date, in permanent marker, on the grids I do replace. Then, "WHEN" I am called back, and I pull apart and clean the filter again, and find out that another 1-2 of the grids have failed, and they pay me, "Again" for the labor, and "again" for the grids, they usually see fit to replace the remaining grids. Learn from the mistakes of others. You 'Might' want to risk it if only one grid is bad, it's your gamble, and your money. My advise, Don't risk it if more than 1 grid is damaged.

            Another possibility as to the problem, if there is only D.E. around the skimmer and the Main Drain, is that the situation is related to a suction leak somewhere in the system. This leak causes the water to drain from the filter, carrying the D.E. from the filter with it as it seeps back into the pool. Any leak, either on the pressure side, or the suction side, 'CAN' cause this. To solve this problem, first fix all the leaks you can find. Next, if the problem remains, have a pool professional pressurize your system and inspect for leaks that way. If all else fails, pay to have them install a high quality 'Check Valve' in line between the Filter and the Pump.


            For most normal home owners, locating and solving problems of this nature are best left to a pool professional.

 Sand Filters:


       Sand in the bottom of your pool is a sign that you have broken laterals in the bottom of your sand filter. All the sand needs to be removed, the damaged tubes (Replaced), and new pea gravel & sand put into the filter. Normally, this is not a home owner repair. The equipment needed to effectively remove 1000 plus pounds of wet sand, the ease of which the other "non-broken" laterals can be broken, the problem of getting the exact type/grade of sand needed (If you get the wrong sand you can ruin all of the laterals, require all of them to be replaced, and, of course, you will need to do another sand change.) , ... usually precludes a home owner attempting such repairs.
        Yes, if you have to do this yourself, BE ABSOLUTELY SURE:
1.) That you get all of the sand out of the filter.
2.) That you don't damage any existing laterals.
3.) That you inspect EVERY lateral and pipe for cracks, openings, ...
4.) That you use pea gravel up to the height of the laterals.
5.) That you use the EXACT grade of sand your filter requires.
6.) That the total weight of sand and pea gravel equals what your filter requires.
7.) That you wear shoulder length rubber gloves, or that you have a real good tolerance to having arms, chest, ... covered in fiberglass.


  Again, unless you are the handy man of handy men, if you haven't done one before, ... and done so successfully, I would be reluctant to recommend doing one now.