Sand in Pool Laterals Not Broken

If you find sand in pool laterals not broken, you feel very frustrated & concerned, especially during hot summer days. Owning a swimming pool brings choice & relaxation, but it also requires some maintenance to ensure clean & crystal-clear water. 

Therefore, in this article, I will help you explain some of the causes behind this kind of problem along with some effective solutions to address this issue. Later, you will also learn about the maintenance tips that can keep your pool water pristine. But before I tell you all of this, let’s first find out the causes of sand in pool laterals not broken.

Sand in Pool Laterals Not Broken: Causes

3 Causes of Sand in Pool Laterals Not Broken 

Insufficient Backwashing

After doing hours & hours of research, I find inadequate backwashing is major & common cause of sand in laterals but needs fixing. You should know that backwashing is an essential part of pool & filter maintenance that involves reversing the water float through the filter, which helps dislodge the trapped debris & flushing it out of the system. 

Therefore, if you are not performing backwashing regularly or if you are doing the process incorrectly, it will further accumulate debris and sand in the laterals. Therefore, if you want to ensure proper backwashing, I recommend following the recommended backwashing frequency for your specific pool type & filter type. 

Normally, it would help if you backwash when the pressure gauge on the filter reaches a certain level indicating the need for cleaning. Please refer to your pool equipment user manual or consult a professional to determine the appropriate backwashing schedule. 

You should also note that many different types of filters in the market come with different backwashing techniques. Therefore, consulting with their professional will help you determine the best approach to clean & backwash the filter. For example, if you have sand filters, it will require a longer backwashing duration compared to other filter types. 

Therefore, referring to the manufacturer’s guidelines will further ensure you’re following the correct backwashing procedure to resolve this issue of sand in the pool lateral not being broken.

Damaged or Clogged Laterals

Another obvious cause of sand in the pool lateral tends to be the broken lateral. It is important to know that even a clogged or damaged lateral can contribute to this issue, which will further require professional assistance. 

Over time, debris, oil, & other particles can accumulate on the lateral surface, reducing its efficiency & causing sand to bypass the filtration process. Therefore, you should look for a few signs to determine whether your laterals are clogged or damaged. 

If you notice a sudden decrease in water flow or pressure, there can be an issue with the laterals. A broken or clogged lateral will also result in cloudy water despite proper chemical balance or sand in the pool. 

In this case, I suggest you either replace the affected lateral yourself or hire a professional to do it for you. However, if the laterals are only clogged, you can clean them effectively. Cleaning the clogged lateral is easy to do manually using a hose or any other specialized cleaning tool you’ve. 

But if your laterals are severely damaged or difficult to access, you might have to replace them entirely. Therefore, you should always consult a professional pool service to assess further the extent of the damage & appropriate course of action.

Incorrect Sand Size

Another thing that you need to consider is the size of the sand particle you used in the pool filter, which further contributes to the presence of sand in the pool. If you are using the correct sand size, it will further lead to sufficient filtration. 

It will also let the sand bypass the lateral. Therefore, make sure to choose the right sand size for your specific pool filter with the help of the user manual. Different pool filter tends to have different sand requirement. 

According to Trouble Free Pool, if you have a sand filter, you must provide #20 silica sand with a particle size between 0.45 & 0.55 mm. If you are using sand with larger or smaller particles, it may lead to further issues like channeling uneven flow as well as sand skipping the pool. 

Therefore, consult your pool filter user manual or the manufacturer to determine the recommended sand size. Using the correct sand size will further ensure optimal filtration while reducing the chances of sand finding its way into your pool. Below I mention some recommended sand sizes for different types of pool filters.

Pool Filter TypeRecommended Sand Size
Sand Filter#20 Silica Sand
Cartridge FilterNot Applicable
DE FilterNot Applicable

Solutions for Sand In Pool Laterals Not Broken

Solutions for Dealing with Sand in Pool Laterals

Backwashing & Rinsing Procedures

Suppose you think the problem is due to inadequate backwashing. In that case, below, I’m mentioning an essential step-by-step guide for maintaining a clean pool & preventing sand from entering the laterals. 

If you provide regular backwashing & rinsing will help dislodge trapped debris, including sand, from the filters & laterals, ensuring optimal performance. Proper backwashing & rinsing is essential to make sure you follow all the step to perform an effective process

  • Firstly, it is required to turn off the pool pump so you can stop the water pump. 
  • After turning off the pool pump, you must set the filter valve to the backwash position. However, the valve can be difficult to position, so be cautious. 
  • Once the valve is in the backwash position, you can turn on the pump & let it run for the recommended duration. I usually let the pump run for about 2-3 minutes or until the water in the sight glass becomes clear. 
  • Once you notice the water in the sight glass becoming clear, please turn off the pump at them again and set the filter valve to the rinse position. 
  • You can turn on the pump after setting the valve to the rising position. You need to turn on the pump again & let it run for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. 
  • After letting the pump run for the second time, you can turn off the pump & set the filter back to its filter position. 
  • Lastly, turn on the pump & your filter system must resume normal operation.

Laterals Cleaning Methods

On the other hand, if you think that the lateral is clogged & needs a quick cleaning session, I’m mentioning two different techniques; it is important that you periodically clean the laterals to remove any accumulated debris or oil.

Manual Cleaning Techniques

In the manual cleaning technique for lateral, you first need to gently remove the lateral from its filter tank & then rinse them thoroughly with a hose. Also, pay attention closely to any clogged or dirty areas.

You can also use a soft brush or cloth to rub away any stubborn dirt or residue if found. After cleaning the laterals, you can reinstall them back into the filter tank & ensure a secure fit.

Chemical Cleaning Solutions

If you want to be quick with the cleaning schedule of filter laterals, consider using specialized lateral cleaning solutions, which are widely available at local pool supply stores. However, make sure that you follow the manufacturing recommendation for dilution and application. 

Typically, you will need to add the cleaning solution to a bucket of water & then pour over the laterals to allow the solution to work for recommended duration, usually around 30 minutes. After waiting for 30 minutes, you can rinse the lateral thoroughly with clean water & then reinstall back into the filter tank and secure a proper seal.

Replacement of Damaged Laterals

If the laterals are severely damaged or need replacement, you might have to hire a professional to do it for you. A broken lateral will need a replacement as cleaning won’t work. Therefore, I will advise you to identify and assess the damage to determine whether a replacement is required. 

If you inspect the lateral & spot any visible cracks, holes, or significant wear is a sign that replacement is required. On the other hand, if you notice any sign of damage, you must replace the affected laterals promptly. 

You should know that DIY replacements are tough for most pool owners. However, if you have some experience with fixing technical things, DIY replacement might be possible, but follow the manufacturer’s instructions & ensure proper fit. 

However, the damage is very extensive or complex. In that case, it is best to consult or seek assistance from a professional pool service provider to ensure the installation of the new laterals properly. Below I’m mentioning some signs of damaged laterals and the action required.

Signs of Damaged LateralsAction Required
Visible cracks, holes, or significant wearReplace the laterals
Decreased water flow or pressureInspect & clean
Cloudy water despite proper chemical balanceInspect & clean
Sand In Pool Laterals Not Broken

5 Preventive Maintenance Tips for Pool Laterals

Suppose you want to avoid the issue of sand in laterals not broken & maintain optimal filtration. In that case, I suggest you follow all the preventive maintenance tips mentioned below in your pool care routine.

Regular Backwashing Schedule

The first thing you need to do is establish a regular backwashing schedule based on the manufacturer’s guidelines or your pool-specific needs. This will help you prevent debris build-up in the filter or lateral and reduce the chances of sand entering the pool.

Also Read: Can You Backwash a Pool Too Much?

Monitoring Water Quality

Not only is it important that you backwash the laterals but also regularly test your pool water for chemical balance and clarity. If you maintain proper water chemistry, you will effectively prevent issues like algae growth and the need for excessive backwashing, which may further lead to sand in the laterals.

Inspecting & Cleaning Laterals

Periodically, it would help if you inspected the laterals for signs of damage or log-in. If required, you must clean them manually using a lateral cleaning solution to remove accumulated debris, oil, or other contaminants. Never mind using a brush if you spot any debris that is hard to remove.

Proper Sand Replacement

Occasionally, you will also have to replace the pool filter sand. Therefore, make sure you are using the recommended sand size for your specific filter type, or you can take the help of the user manual you got with the filter that must emphasize the recommended size for sand. Proper sand replacement bills further contribute to efficient filtration and minimize the chances of sand entering the pool. Worried about expenses? Here’s the average Cost to Replace Sand in Pool Filter

Professional Pool Service & Maintenance

If you find the issue very complex & hard to resolve or if the issue persists, you should consider hiring a professional pool provider for proper inspection & assessment. They not only have the expertise but also the experience to identify & address any issue with the pool. They will also provide valuable advice on optimal pool care tailored to your specific pool design & its requirements.


How Often Should I Backwash My Pool?

As a general guideline, you should backwash your pool when the pressure gauge on the filter reaches 8 to 10 pounds per square inch above the clean pressure. Also, it would help if you considered factors like pool size, filter type, & bather load. Never mind consulting your filter user manual or pool professional for specific recommendations.

How Can I Determine If My Pool Laterals Are Damaged?

If pool laterals are damaged, you will notice some visible signs of cracks, holes, significant wear, decreased water flow or pressure, cloudy water despite proper chemical balance and sand appearing in the pool. All these signs mean you need to change the poor laterals.

Is Chemical Cleaning Safe For Pool Laterals?

If you use a chemical cleaning solution specially designed for pool laterals, it is generally safe to use when following manufacturer instructions. Ensure you are using recommended dilution & applicable methods to ensure effective cleaning without causing damage to the pool lateral.


I’ve given my best to give you proper in-depth knowledge of causes & solutions of the issue ‘sand in pool lateral not broken.’ Since finding sand in the pool can be frustrating, I have given all the causes & right solutions you need to understand & implement to prevent this issue. 

If you want to ensure that your pool filtration system operates efficiently, make sure to maintain a regular backwashing schedule, inspect & cleaning the laterals using the correct sand size & seek professional assistance when required to keep sand out of the pool & provide a new swimming experience for years to come. 

If you find this article helpful & easy to read, consider sharing it. Your share will help many people learn about the issue of Sand In Pool Laterals Not Broken. Do check my other helpful guide on pool care & maintenance. See you in the next post, till then, take care & goodbye.