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Can You Use Glass in a Sand Filter?

The pool pump pushes the dirty pool water through a pool filter. The solid particles are trapped by the filter media. Clean water is returned to the pool. The principle of keeping your pool clear of debris is quite simple really. Sand & Diatomaceous Earth (DE) are typically used as filter media. But how about Replacing Sand With Glass In Pool Filter?

Replacing Sand With Glass In Pool Filter is possible, even better! This is why: 

Glass offers following advantages over sand:

  1. Requires less backwashing
  2. Can trap smaller particles
  3. Is more effective in filtration
  4. Has a longer life span

Sand on the other hand is easily available and somewhat cheaper.

Replacing Sand With Glass In Pool Filter

What Is Glass Media for Pool Filter?

Glass Filter Media is crushed, recycled glass. With a great push on sustainability, there has been an increased focus on


Homeowners have been encouraged to sort out their waste. Glass bottles and jars can therefore be segregated, crushed and recycled. It would be quite easy to melt the glass and make new bottles.

Except the companies which use glass bottles want them to be clear or some other uniform color. Recycled glass can not meet this requirement and industrial demand is low.

Crushed glass, however, can also be used as a filter media by pool owners. 

Sand filter media is not your run of the mill, beach or river sand. You can not use play sand or sandbox sand in your pool filter. The particle size is too big for effective filtering of pool dirt & contaminants.

Silica sand of a finer particle size is used as a sand filter media for pool filters.

Glass vs Sand Filter Media (What is More Effective?)

Sand particles are jagged in shape. When sand is packed in a pool filter it creates irregular pores. Dirt & debris gets physically lodged in them. 

Sand particles are dense and tend to clump together.The top layer traps most of the dirt. The lower layers are less effective.

Sand filter media also tends to form channels.Water and dirt pass through them without any filtration. 

Sand filter media is able to trap dirt particles as small as 20 microns.

Glass filter media carries a slight negative charge. The dirt particles get attracted to the glass filter media and stick to it. 

Glass filter media is less dense and does not clump or form channels. So the entire body of the filter media gets used in the filtration process.

Glass filter media is able to filter out dirt particles as small as 10 microns.

How Do You Backwash a Glass Media Filter?

The process of backwashing a glass media filter is the same as backwashing a sand media filter. However, the results are not the same. 

Compared to sand, backwashing glass media filters takes 20-25% less time. This is because of two reasons.

  1. Lower Density: Glass filter media has a lower density than sand. It takes less water and less time to backwash the lower weight of the media.
  2. Static Charge: The dirt particles are not physically lodged between the jagged edges. Instead they are loosely attached to the glass particles. They are easier to dislodge.

It takes less water to backwash a glass media pool filter because it takes less time. In other words less water and less of the pool chemicals goes to waste.

As mentioned before, the entire body of the glass media is used to trap dirt, unlike sand where the top layer does most of the trapping. So, you need to backwash a glass filter less often than a sand filter.

Backwashing a sand filter is required to keep your pool filters clean and working efficiently.

You reduce the wastage of pool chemicals and pool water by Replacing Sand With Glass In Pool Filter.

How Long Does Glass Media Last in a Pool Filter?

Constant flow of water causes the sand particles to grind against each other. In time they lose their jagged edges and become rounded. Their ability to trap dirt diminishes with age.

Glass particles on the other hand use the negative charge, rather than jagged edges to trap dirt.

Sand media needs to be replaced every 5-7 years but glass media can last for 10 years or more. 

Is Glass Media More Expensive?

Good quality, natural silica sand media for pool filters costs less than $25 for a 50 pound bag. Zeolite sand is about 20% more expensive.

Glass filter media costs around $45 for a 40 pound bag. So the initial cost of glass media is more than twice that of sand media.

However, as glass filter media could last more than twice as long, the cost difference is not that significant.

Keep in mind that glass media will save you loads of money by reducing the loss of backwashing water & pool chemicals along with it.

Recommended Pool Sand Filters

Best Sand Media

Aqua Quartz pool filter sand does not stain and ensures easy maintenance at a lower cost by filtering out dust, algae, suntan lotion, oil, leaves and insects. This ecologically safe sand does not solidify and will help prevent clogging and channeling. It is inert, odorless, chemical free, 100% natural sand.

You can order from Amazon using the link below:

FairmountSantrol AquaQuartz-50 Pool Filter 20-Grade Silica Sand 50 Pounds, White

Best Glass Media

HARSCO METALS & MINERALS Filter Glass is made from 100% recycled materials. The glass filter media cuts down on backwash time as well as loss of pool water and chemicals. Improves water clarity by 25% over sand. 

Filters down to 5 microns, unlike sand only 30 microns. Use 20% less media (by weight) than with sand. Environmentally sound and last 3 times longer than sand.

You can order from Amazon using the link below:


Best Sand Filter

The Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter for in-ground swimming pools will provide you with hassle-free, effective filtration. The weather-proof tank is constructed of a tough, color-fast polymeric material.

Even water distribution over every square inch of sand is ensured by an integral top diffuser, self-cleaning under drain and 360 degree slotted laterals. Advanced full-flow technology reduces energy costs by achieving excellent filtration, so you can run your filter less.

Thorough backwashing allows for crystal-clear water. Filter is complete with tank, 7-way multi-port valve, sight glass and pressure gauge. 7-way Valve Positions: Filter, Waste, Winter, Closed, Backwash, Recirculation, Rinse.

You can order from Amazon using the link below:

Hayward Pro Series Pool Sand Filter

Thank you very much for reading the post. I do hope you found it informative and helpful.

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