Filling Your Sand Filter
Position the sand filter in its permanent location next to the pool's filter hose connectors in the pool's wall. Fit the ends of the hoses over these connectors and to the other parts of the pool-operating equipment. Tighten each hose bracket with a screwdriver to prevent water from leaking out of these connections.
Open the sand filter top to load the sand.
Follow the instructions for loading the sand media into your particular sand filter. Some models come with a protective cap to fit over the air vent on the diffuser inside the tank to prevent loose sand from entering it as you pour the sand in. Put this cap over the air vent, and pour the sand in.
Pour in the amount of sand specified for your pool. Some filters use two 50-pound bags of pool sand, while others use less or more. According to PoolGear Plus, the amount of sand needed for a sand filter is calculated by multiplying the sand filter's diameter in inches by 10. The resulting number represents how many pounds of sand your sand filter needs.
Prepping the Sand
Place the sand filter top onto the sand filter and close it.
Fill the pool so the water line inside the pool is above the pool water intake valve and skimmer located in the pool wall. Water enters the pool's filtration system through the skimmer, and once it passes through the pool's filtration system -- which includes the sand filter -- it re-enters the pool through the intake valve.
Set the sand filter to its "open" position so that it fills up with water.
Set the sand filter to "backwash," and then turn the sand filter system on so that the powdery sand residue is loosened from the sand media.
Set the sand filter to "rinse" for one to two minutes before setting it to filter the pool water.
Check the pressure gauge on your sand filter regularly. When the pressure is higher than the recommended range for your sand filter, it is time to give it a cleaning.
Turn the sand filter system off (unless your model shifts from one mode to another without having to turn off the power) and set it to "backwash."
Turn it on and let it run in this setting for one to three minutes, or for as long as your sand filter manual recommends.
Turn the sand filter system off again and set it to "rinse." Turn it back on, and let it run in rinse mode for one to two minutes.
Turn the sand filter system off again, and set it to "filter." The pressure should now be within the normal range.
Replacing the Sand
Turn off the sand filter system and plug the intake and output hose lines so that water doesn't flow into the sand filter.
Take the top off and inspect the sand; if it has a lot of debris that will not backwash out and the pressure gauge remains too high, then it's time to replace the sand.
Cover the water channel in the filter to prevent sand from falling in.
Scoop out the sand with a hand-held scooper. Lay the sand filter on its side to scoop out the sand or vacuum the sand out with a garden hose attachment that vacuums pool filter sand.
Winterizing the Sand Filter
Follow your sand filter system's instructions for how to store it for the winter.
Turn the sand filter system off and set the filter to "backwash." Turn it back on and let it run for two or more minutes.
Turn the sand filter system off again and set the filter to "rinse." Turn it back on and let it run for one or more minutes.
Drain the pool water to below the hose intakes, set the filter to "close" and remove the drain cap so that the excess water drains out of the sand filter.