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Zeobrite: The Non-Toxic, Environmentally Safe Alternative to Traditional Silica Sand Media

Categories: Filters
A human hair is roughly 50 to 70 microns. A Diatomaceous Earth Filter provides the finest level of filtration with the ability to filter down to 4 microns. Sand Filters fall at the bottom of the list in terms of filtration. A Sand Filter with #20 silica sand media will filter down to 20 microns. Your objective as a pool owner is to have clean, clear water. If you have a sand filter that can be difficult. Thankfully, we have a solution in a product that can used in a Sand Filter that will filter water down to 4 microns, rivalling that of a D.E. Filter.
Zeobrite Sand Filter Media boasts many features that ordinary silica sand cannot compete with. Primarily the ability to filter water down to 4 microns. Another great property is Zeobrite's structure with small openings that trap dirt and chloramines. Chloramines are ammonia from sweat that combine with chlorine. The result is that foul locker room smell that can cause red, itchy eyes and irritated skin.
I personally like Zeobrite's light weight. It is half the weight and twice the volume of silica sand. When I install this product into 30” and 36” Sand Filters, the durable 50lb bag, with handle, makes it so much easier to handle than a 100lb bag of sand.
Because Zeobrite weighs less, it backwashes easier than sand, which saves water and chemicals. It is also non-toxic, so you can dispose of it in your garden. Hydroponic gardening and even NASA use this product successfully as a media for plants. Silica sand has the potential to be carcinogenic, you would need to be exposed to it for a long period of time, but it is not something you would just dump on the ground and leave.
The last selling point I'll mention about Zeobrite is that it can be recharged. The makers of Zeobrite suggest adding salt to the filter and soaking overnight with a cleaning agent. I like to use TSP because it breaks down oils. This treatment releases all the chloramines trapped in the media and rejuvenates it back to its original state.
As with virtually everything, you will see poor, as well as great reviews for this product. I account for many of the poor reviews to user error.There are procedures that you must follow for success and the instructions on the bag are explicit. Backwashing the filter after you install Zeobrite is mandatory. The filter will lose flow quickly the first day or two. This is because it is filtering out all that junk that simple sand let flow by. Minding your pressure gauge on the filter will tell you when to backwash again and you may need to do this a couple of times until the water has been filtered down to the 4 micron state. At least once per season you should remove the top off your filter and scour the media. I like to use a high pressure nozzle on a wand with a garden hose and force it down to the bottom. The inside walls of the filter will have a crusty formation that you will want to break up. I manually clean my filters after a soaking overnight with salt and TSP followed by a long backwash.
Tips for success with Sand Filters:
  • Adding the Waterco Pre-Filter will capture the large organic matter that congests filters regardless of media before it ever gets to the filter. This pre-filter will extend cycles on all types of filters, saving water, chemicals and your time. 
  • Sand Filters require long backwash times to loosen and remove dirt and oils. For small bodies of water like spas or above ground pools, backwashing a couple of inches of water is not enough. Fill the vessel up to the top of the skimmer before you backwash and use a pool hose or PVC pipe configuration that extends down a foot or two below the skimmer, will allow you to get the volume of water you need.
  • Soak your media overnight. You do not need to disassemble your filter to give it a soak in a cleaning solution and, or salt. Simply turn your multi-port valve to backwash and add your solution into the skimmer, turn your pump off quickly and turn the multi-port valve to closed. Let this sit overnight. The next day, turn your multi-port valve to backwash and start your pump. Be sure to give your filter a good long flush before you put the filter back in service. 
  • If you are cleaning up a green pool due to algae, it is imperative that you manually clean the Sand Filter, just as you would a D.E or Cartridge Filter, once you have the water cleared. Failure to clean the sand will result in a plugged filter and possibly having the algae re-bloom. 
  • When vacuuming up algae or a lot of crud from the floor of your pool it is best to use the waste setting on your multi-port valve.This will bypass the filter media and divert water directly out to waste.
  • Upon closing your pool for the season, soak the sand in a cleaning agent and salt as described above. Remove the top or multi-port valve the next day and perform a manual cleaning, assemble the top of the filter, followed by a long backwash as you drop the water level. Remove the drain cap from the bottom of the filter and let the media drain. The results should be a clean filter waiting for you in the spring. 
Zeobrite is superb for indoor pools and spas, and excels when used on commercial applications such as hotels, condos and apartment complexes. Using this product in conjunction with a Salt System, U.V. or Ozone System is a winning combination that even a D.E Filter cannot match. Want to know more about Zeobrite? Give us a call! We have staff available seven days a week, many of us have decades of hands on experience.  
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