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RHCP

Sand Filter Compaction

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I am doing an assignment (for a pool operators course), and have come across a question that i am unsure about.

"How would you know if filter sand was compacted or rounded? What would be the consequences in either instance?"

I'm fine with the 'rounded' part, but am confused with the 'compacted' part.

Is it asking about temporary compaction ie normal compaction of sand resulting from normal use as indicated by an increase in pressure of the filter - which is fixed by backwashing?

OR

After a long time, the sand has become 'permanently' compacted, and needs replacing or excessive backwashing?

Is permanent compaction possible? If so, what are it's signs? And does vigorous backwashing fix it, or must it be replaced?

Thanks, RHCP.

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I have seen permanent compaction in a sand filter caused by low grade silica sand. It was unable to filter properly so organics worked there way down into the bottom of the filter and over time with lack of proper maintenance over 5 years the organics built up and basically bonded the sand together the areas not bonded had a trough like opening to the laterals. It was discovered only because the heater was shutting off & on and banging. Had to use a little metal garden shovel to remove the sand.

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