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Pool Filter Sand Grades

When it comes to maintaining a clean and clear swimming pool, the type of filter media you use plays a crucial role. While traditional sand has been a popular choice for pool filtration, advancements in technology have introduced various grades and types of filter media, including glass media. In this blog, we’ll explore the different grades of pool filter sand, their benefits, and how to choose the right one for your pool.

What is Pool Filter Sand?

Pool filter sand is a specially graded sand that is used in sand filters to trap dirt, debris, and other contaminants from the pool water. The sand acts as a natural filter, allowing clean water to pass through while capturing particles that can cloud the water.

Common Grades of Pool Filter Sand

#20 Silica Sand (Standard Pool Filter Sand)

○ Particle Size: 0.45-0.55MM

○ Description: This is the most commonly used grade of pool filter sand. It is effective at trapping particles as small as 20 microns, making it suitable for most residential pools.

○ Benefits: Affordable and widely available, #20 silica sand provides reliable filtration and is easy to maintain.

#16 Silica Sand

○ Grain Size: Typically 1.0-2.0 mm in diameter.

○ Applications: Used in larger, high-flow commercial filters or where higher flow rates are required.

○ Characteristics: Allows for higher water flow but may not filter as finely as #20 sand.

#30 Silica Sand

○ Grain Size: Typically 0.3-0.4 mm in diameter.

○ Applications: Sometimes used for finer filtration in certain pool systems.

○ Characteristics: Traps smaller particles than #20 sand but may require more frequent backwashing.

Zeolite Sand

○ Particle Size: Varies, typically around 0.5-1.0MM

○ Description: Zeolite is a natural mineral that offers superior filtration compared to traditional silica sand. It can trap particles as small as 5 microns.

○ Benefits: Enhanced filtration efficiency, reduced chemical usage, and improved water clarity. Zeolite also has the ability to remove ammonia, which can help reduce chloramine formation.

Glass Media

○ Particle Size: Available in various grades, including fine (0.5-1.0MM) and coarse (1.0-3.0MM)

○ Description: Made from 100% recycled glass, glass media is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional sand. It offers superior filtration performance and a longer lifespan.

○ Benefits: Captures finer particles, reduces backwashing frequency, improves energy efficiency, and is environmentally friendly.

Filter Balls

○ Particle Size: N/A (not sand, but an alternative media)

○ Description: Filter balls are made from polyester or other synthetic materials and are designed to replace traditional sand in pool filters.

○ Benefits: Lightweight, easy to handle, and highly efficient at trapping fine particles. They also require less frequent backwashing and can improve water flow.

How to Choose the Right Pool Filter Sand

● Consider Your Pool Size and Usage

For residential pools with moderate usage, #20 silica sand or fine glass media (0.5-1.0MM) are excellent choices. For commercial pools or pools with heavy usage, consider using zeolite sand or coarse glass media (1.0-3.0MM) for enhanced filtration.

● Evaluate Filtration Efficiency

If you want the best possible water clarity, opt for media that can trap smaller particles. Glass media and zeolite sand are superior in this regard compared to traditional silica sand.

● Assess Maintenance Requirements

Glass media and filter balls typically require less frequent backwashing and maintenance compared to traditional sand. This can save you time and reduce water waste.

● Environmental Impact

If sustainability is important to you, consider using glass media made from recycled materials. It offers excellent filtration performance while being eco-friendly.


Choosing the right pool filter sand is essential for maintaining a clean and healthy swimming pool. By understanding the different grades of pool filter sand and their benefits, you can make an informed decision that suits your pool’s needs. Whether you opt for traditional silica sand, zeolite, or glass media, each type has its unique advantages. For the best results, consider your pool’s size, usage, and maintenance preferences.

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Ready to upgrade your pool filtration system? Contact TENROADS today to learn more about our range of pool filter media and find the perfect solution for your pool. Enjoy crystal-clear water and a hassle-free swimming experience with our high-quality filtration products.

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