Changing filter laterals

Has anyone ever had to change the laterals on a Cristal/Hydro Sud filter?
We’ve emptied it of sand but cannot reach the laterals. The standpipe does not move.
The guy helping me (with 20+ years experience of pool installations) is totally stumped, as was a friend who is second generation in pool installations.
A call to Hydro resulted in a brief - reach in and turn it.
These are large filters (we are having to do this twice!) and it is physically impossible to reach the laterals by reaching in with an arm.
It might by possible if a wrench was also used but that risks damage.

Although they look as though they split in two, they do not. It is a single unit. We had thought about dismantling them and taking them outside and trying in daylight but apart from having to dismantle most of the pipework it appears the doorframe will also have to come off.

So any ideas would be welcome. The filters were installed by the previous owner around 2006/7.

These are Astral manufactured filters. Not one I have personally worked on. Inside the filter, the pipes should be secured to the fittings with either a nut or possibly a screw driven in to the side of the pipe. Releasing the lower pipe is the only way to reach the laterals.
Good luck and please take a photo of the inside of the filter.

Might be wrong but that looks a bit like one of the Hayward filters that has a clamp around the middle. If that is a metal hinged clamp then releasing that will lift the top half off and give you better access. I’ve not seen it on a sand filter before though.

The Hayward S series are bolted together, the Hayward cartridge filters have a clamp so you can access the cartridges.
That’s an Astral.

It’s a one piece moulded plastic - that’s a non removable fake clamp!

Hi George, great pictures but can’t quite see the lower pipe connection through the side of the tank. Later ones have a bulkhead type connection.

Thought it probably was but couldn’t tell from the photo.

Poor lighting is making photography difficult but I’m working on another pic.

However it seems the internal pipes are glued to the filter body ,which makes it almost impossible to unscrew the laterals at the bottom, unless you have an orangutan handy.

All the options I’ve been given so far involve taking the filter out, which involves removing the door frame - and even then the space seems marginal. I suspect the previous owner put them in through the roof.

John - do these cover what you wanted to see ?

Some of the pool guys I have worked with have the brains of an orangutan :joy: I know that’s not fair to orangutans but you get the idea!

Glued in to the filter body! Glad I have never worked on one of those filters, Dislike a fair bit of Astral’s stuff.
Ok here’s my thought, rather than carrying outside and removing half the plant room to do it. Cut through the lower pipe, do the service and join back together with a rubber Fernco type connector. Fernco are very chemical resistant to both chlorine and acids.

I zoomed in your pictures as much as possible, couldn’t see a damaged lateral? If they are in good order leave them, It was the old hard plastic ones that used to age badly, I believe these are polypropylene, they have a lot of give so last a long time.

You say you have 2 of these, how large is your pool?

1 Like

15 x 6 m pool.

The other filter had the sand replaced last year (couldn’t get the laterals out but visually they looked ok).

However it has now started to emit sand

The other one had been switched off while we replaced the motor. So we’d planned to replace the sand and use it until we’d sorted the other.

But of course access to the laterals is the common issue.

The system was installed by the previous owners around 2006/8

The assumption is that the sand problem with the other filter is due to laterals

George Topp.

Hi George, ok well you really do have to get the laterals and hub out to inspect them, I called in on a customer where the hub had split.
I think it’s time to cut the horizontal run of pipe and flexi couple it back together if there is no other way of getting to it.

Unfortunately this saga is fast becoming a farce/headache.

The lack of access - no-one can get their arms in far enough into the filters to achieve anything.

And bizarrely we have discovered the fall back of dismantling the pipework and taking the filters out (to look at them in better light etc) is very much off the books.
An empty filter is so heavy it is a minimum of a two man job.
We thought that removing the door frame would be enough to get them out. But no - an accurate measurement now shows that the filters are 8 mms wider than the doorway (with the door frame taken out).

We can only assume when the pool plant was assembled the filters either went in through the roof or the stonework for the doorway went in afterwards.

Why? What idiot builds like this?

I should say we bought from Brits - but they used a mixture of English and French labour. So who mucked this up ? We even found an empty sand bag inside one of the filters!

I have often seen this situation, not just on pools. No one could cut the lower pipe along its horizontal run, that would have allowed removal of laterals and inspection of the hub?
People/customers may wonder why I recommend certain products, here is one example. Feeling your pain George, cut the pipes and join with Fernco or similar.

How did you get on George?

1 Like

I’m actually back in Scotland - for an aunt’s 96th (one of the wren officers responsible for mapping ships on D Day!) - and nothing was done before I left.
I’m the first to admit I am not DIY/technically minded so won’t tackle anything like this.
The guy looking after the pool is worried about damaging the internals and being left with two damaged filters so when I left he said he was off to consult industry friends and pick brains to see if they’d ideas

All the internals are replaceable at small cost should you damage something.

But how easy is it to source the parts for this specific one? An initial enquiry to our nearest pool supplier (an hour away) was met with dubiety