Can You Use Play Sand In A Pool Filter?

It might be tempting to assume that, play sand can be used in a pool filter because the pool filter sand option is by far, one of the most expensive sand options.

You might think they look the same due to their similarities and common components but unfortunately, the play sand is still known as play sand, therefore, there exists a big pause, when it comes to using play sand in the pool filters. In this article, we shall be uncovering these ideas and we shall know if you can use play sand in a pool filter or not.

Can You Use Play Sand In A Pool Filter

The sand that is found in a pool filter is known as pool sand. And even though, they both come from the ‘sand’ family, the pool and play sand are distinct in feature, and in use. Therefore, the play sand cannot be used in place of the pool sand.

That means you cannot use the play sand in a pool filter. This is because the play sand contains a lot more different materials as opposed to the pool sand which measures about .45 millimeters in size. That also implies that the play sand is larger than the pool sand. While the pool sand is finer and smaller than the play sand.

Hence, it is not advisable to use play sand in your pool filter because the larger-sized particles of the play sand mean that the debris in your pool water will simply pass through the filter instead of getting trapped in the pool filter, they return back to the pool.

So, playing sand in your pool filter will never achieve the aim of effective cleaning of your pool. That means your pool will turn cloudy and algae growth will become inevitable.


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Why can’t you use play sand in your pool filter?

We know that in terms of money, energy, and time, you may want to commit to buying play sand but here is why you shouldn’t use play sand for your pool filter.

1. The Size

You need to consider the size of the play sand in this aspect. The most obvious size of play sand is that it is as big as the size of grains.

That means it is completely useless if you decide to use it for your pool filter. The size is the discouraging feature of the play sand. That is why it is not recommendable for you to use in your pool filter.

In comparison, the pool sand has smaller particles and the small size allows them to trap as much debris as it can that enters through the filter. But play sand is about 2 millimeters. That is why they are much useful in building sandcastles but aren’t adequate enough for effective pool cleaning.


2. Material Composition

When you check the material composition of play sand, you will understand that most play sands are made of quartz. In other words, they are also known as silica.

However, the play sand is made up of other minerals, not just silica. So there exists, a combination of silica, and other minerals. but pool sand, on the other hand, is made up of silica entirely.

And silica is known to be quite effective in removing any form of impurities whatsoever from the pool water. It is also known to be quite effective in maintaining the pH of the pool. Thus, making it a better option than playing sand.


3. The Color

The play sand is typically brown in color. It has this usual brown, a sandy color, unlike the pool sand. The pool sand, on the other hand, tends to have white, pink, or even green on several occasions.

That is why play sand is much easier to play in due to its color and some particles present in the sand. On the other hand, you cannot play in pool sand as a result of its minuteness and absence of feldspar particles.


Why Should You Change Pool Sand?

The reason why your pool isn’t cloudy is major because the fine pool sand in your pool filter is trapping all the debris and dirt from your pool water. That also means that the debris and dirt remain in the pool filter for a long time until the dirt is collected.

This, in turn, empowers the pool sand to keep trapping more dirt and debris. However, there is a limit. And when the pool sand crosses this limit, you will notice that the flow rate of water through the filter gradually decreases, also, you will notice that the pool water is still not clean even after turning on the pool filter.

That means the filter is no longer able to perform its job as it should. Indirectly, it means that you need to change your pool sand.

Another way to detect when you should change your pool sand is to check if your pool has been in existence for five years or even more than five years. If your pool has stayed for up to 15 years without changing the pool sand, then it’s high time to get it changed!

Pool sand can be expensive but it is important to buy the right one. If you’ve just gotten a new pool filter, then you need to fill it with fresh pool sand not play sand. Do not transfer the old pool sand from your old filter into the new one.


How Does Pool Sand Work?

When the pool water is pushed through the filter, the water passes through the sand and then becomes instantly attached to the fine silica. So, the pool sand collects dirt from the water thereby, filtering the water from every form of impurities.



Can you put too much sand in a pool filter?

Your filter shouldn’t be too filled or overfilled with pool sand. They work best when they are 1/3 full. Filling your filter with sand can reduce the flow rate of pool water through the filter and make it ineffective. However, check the company’s instructions for further recommendations.

Can you use beach sand in a pool filter?

Beach sand and play sand are still the same. Beach sand also comprises several other contaminants and different minerals that are much more likely to travel out of the filter and into the pool.


Final Thoughts

Finally, what about silica? Can you use silica instead of pool sand? Silica is quite safe to use in pool filters. That is because no one can inhale it while using the pool so there’s no danger involved.

However, it is specifically wrong to use any kind of sand that is not the recommended pool sand in your filter. Asides from not keeping your pool clean as it should, you might be endangering your pool filter in the process.

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