How to hook up a sand filter pump to an above ground swimming pool

Written by sean kanaly
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How to hook up a sand filter pump to an above ground swimming pool
Sand filters create clean, clear conditions in an above-ground pool. (boy in a swimming pool image by Wimbledon from

Before you can enjoy a cool, clean swimming pool on a hot summer day, the pool's filter pump needs to be hooked up properly. If you have an above-ground pool, it probably uses a sand filter pump. While sand filter pumps are available in many brands, all are relatively similar in the way they hook up to a swimming pool. Connecting one to your pool is a fairly quick and simple process.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Pool hoses
  • Hose clamps
  • Phillips or flat head screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Connect the pool skimmer to the sand filter pump. To do this, connect one end of a pool hose to the bottom of your pool's skimmer, and connect the hose's other end to the pool's pump. Note that this connection is not made to the filter but to the pump attached to the filter. The hose should be threaded at each end for easy installation.

  2. 2

    Connect the pump to a sand filter using the smaller pump hose. This connects at the top of the pump and at the top of the filter where the filter valves are located. Because this hose is not threaded, it needs to be secured with hose clamps once you have the hose attached to the respective tubes. Tighten the hose clamps using a Phillips or flat head screwdriver, depending on the type of clamp.

  3. 3

    Attach the sand filter to the swimming pool return using the other threaded pool hose. The swimming pool return is a pre-attached fitting located near the top of the swimming pool wall. The hose for this part of the hook up should be threaded for simple installation. If your pool hose is not threaded, secure it using hose clamps as you did for the hose connecting the pump and filter.

  4. 4

    Start the pump. This will begin pool water filtering. Set the filter valve to "Rinse" in order to fill the filter with water. According to the "Sand Dollar Filter Owner's Manual," the filter needs to be backwashed for about two minutes to remove "any impurities of fine sand particles." Once you see water running freely from the waste line, turn the filter valve to "Backwash" and turn on the filter. Switch the pool valve to "Filter" after backwashing for about two minutes.

Tips and warnings

  • Place your filter in a level, secure location.
  • Ensure all fittings are secure, but do not overtighten.
  • Fill your pool with a little extra water to account for filling the filter and pump.
  • Always turn off the power to the pump before you switch valve positions.
  • Ensure the power supply is properly grounded to avoid the risk of electric shock.

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