How to Remove Sand From the Pool Bottom – Tips That Work

Michael Keenan


Pool Troubleshooting

Noticing sand at the bottom of your pool can be really annoying! But don’t worry, this article will tell you how to properly remove it. From dust carried in by the wind to problems with your pool’s sand filter, I’ll cover all the causes and methods for getting rid of sand from your pool.

You can easily remove larger debris, insects, and leaves by using a skimmer; however, the fine matter usually settles at the bottom of the pool, forming a sediment layer. No one likes a sandy bottom!

With 30 years of experience, I’m here to help you save time and money when it comes to keeping your pool clean!

how to remove sand from pool bottom

Quick Answer:

The causes of sand in the pool can range from wind carrying it for long distances to a damaged sand filter. To get rid of the sand, use a combination of a pump and filter or specialist equipment and automatic cleaners.

Clean all pool equipment too to prevent algae growth. With the right knowledge and tools, you’ll have your swimming spot back in no time! Read on for more tips!

Reasons for Sand in Your Pool

You may wonder how sand got into your pool when you don’t live close to a beach. Well, the wind can carry dust and sand for long distances and deposits them into your pool.

However, this may not be the sole reason for sand in your pool and we’ll discuss the various reasons why you may find sand in your pool.

A Problem with the Sand Filter

Usually, pools are equipped with sand filters that help to remove sand, dust, and other debris, keeping the water clean. However, if the sand filter stops working or develops a crack, then all the sand will get deposited back into the pool.

The problem could be with the standpipe or the laterals.

The standpipe is located in the center of the sand filter and is usually made of strong and rigid plastic. If the standpipe developed a crack, then you’ll find sand in the pool.

The standpipe is connected to 8-10 laterals at the bottom which essentially have perforations and act like sieves, allowing water to get into the pool after passing via the sand filter while preventing any sand from getting through.

However, if any lateral develops a crack, sand will pass through it and get into the pool. So, you must check the sand filter and repair or replace it in case it is damaged.

And, if the standpipe or laterals are damaged, then make replace them before repairing your sand filter. If you’re unable to fix the sand filter on your own, then you may have to get a professional to do it for you.

sand with shells

Is It Yellow Pool Algae?

If you notice sand in your pool, then look closely. Try brushing the sand and if it forms a thick cloud, then what you thought was sand may not be sand at all and is probably yellow pool algae or mustard algae.

To eliminate yellow pool algae, you need to give your pool a thorough deep cleaning. You will also have to clean all the pool equipment, bathing suits, pool toys, etc.

If algae is your problem check out my guide on removing algae from your pool. Yellow pool algae can be treated just like any other type of algae.

Read Next – What’s the Perfect Pool Temperature?

How to Remove Sand from the Pool Bottom?

While getting the sand out of the pool is not very difficult, it is a time-consuming job that takes some effort.

Run the Pump and Filter

You can remove particles and fine debris from the pool water by making use of a combination of a pump and filter. Typically, the pool pump is run for around 8 to 10 hours a day, which helps to circulate the water through the filter.

The filter is usually filled with diatomaceous earth, zeolite, or sand, which helps to remove the fine particles and also chlorine odors from the water. However, a pump and filter may not be able to remove the sand and debris from the bottom of the pool.

Backwashing the Filter to Remove Sand

The pool filter helps to remove debris from the water and if it becomes clogged, then it will not be able to remove fine particles and debris effectively. Ensure that the basket is emptied and rinsed out regularly.

Then, turn on the pump to backwash the filter which helps to flush the debris out, sending it into the waste pipe.

After this, switch the filter to the rinse mode for a few minutes and then close it. You must also clean and rinse the leaf trap located near the pump and then replace it. Once this is done, you can turn the filter onto the filter setting again.

Sweep and Vacuum to Remove the Sand

The first step to cleaning your pool is to brush the sides of the pool with a stiff brush. This helps to remove algae and other debris, which gets loosened and falls onto the pool floor.

Make sure to sweep slowly so that you don’t agitate the water, causing the sand and other debris to spread out again. Once all the debris is collected, you can easily remove the sediment from the pool floor using a vacuum.

However, you won’t be able to use the vacuum directly. You must turn the multi-port valve to the ‘waste’ setting to prevent the water and sand from entering the filter and getting stuck to it. You don’t want the filter and pipes clogged!

When vacuuming the pool, you’re likely to remove plenty of pool water.

So, before you begin vacuuming, you must overfill the pool, and, depending on the amount of sand in the pool, you may have to add more water to the pool after you complete the cleaning process.

vaccum pool to remove sand from bottom

Automatic Pool Cleaners

These help to make the process of removing sand and other fine debris from the pool much easier. There are different types of automatic pool cleaners available. Some work like vacuum cleaners and work by removing the sand and debris and depositing it into the pool filter.

Other pool cleaners are self-contained and filter the freshwater into the pool again. Most modern automatic pool cleaners are robotic, self-contained models; however, they require a power source. Some models can also be controlled using a remote control.

The Bottom Line

Even if you live far away from a beach, there are still ways that fine debris can make its way into your pool water. Sand filters usually help keep these particles out but when they stop working or develop cracks, then all the sand will be deposited back into your pool.

Fortunately, there are several easy methods for removing it so that you can get back to enjoying your swimming time without getting sandy feet!

This article provided a few good tips on how to effectively remove sand from the bottom of the pool. You can use a combination pump and filter system, backwashing the filter regularly.

The best method is usually to sweep and vacuum – sweeping slowly so as not to agitate the water too much.

So, as we have discussed, there are many reasons why sand can get into your pool. However, the important thing is that you must remove the sand as quickly as possible so that you can enjoy your swim in the pool without getting sand on your feet or your pool looking muddy and dirty.


How do you clean a pool filter that is clogged with sand?

To clean a clogged pool filter that contains sand, you should backwash it to remove the debris and then rinse it with clean water.

How often should you backwash a sand filter for a pool?

You should backwash your sand filter at least once every two weeks to keep it functioning properly.

What type of equipment is needed to remove sand from the bottom of a pool?

To remove sand from the bottom of a pool, you will need some kind of vacuum or skimmer equipped with an appropriate attachment for collecting the sand.

Is there an effective way to remove debris from the floor of an above-ground swimming pool?

An effective way to remove debris from the floor of an above-ground swimming pool is by using a handheld vacuum or skimmer net with an extendable pole so that you can reach all areas of the pool floor easily and efficiently.

Thanks for reading and good luck with that sandy bottom!

michael keenan author

Author - Michael Keenan

I'm Michael Keenan the owner and creator of the Outdoor Care Guide. I'm a trained horticulturist with over 30 years of experience in pool care, plant care, and landscape care! Seemed like a good idea to share - I think I can make your life easier and save you some time and money!