5-Step Hayward Pool Filter Repairs

DE pool filter cutaway Making your own pool filter repairs is the subject of today’s post.

I’ve outlined the 12 most common repairs that you may need to do at some point to your Hayward filter or to any pool filter.

Simple hand tools is all that’s required to maintain and repair a Hayward pool filter, along with a few Hayward filter parts.

You also need to know some process about repairing pool filters ~ I hope these 5-step summaries are helpful.

Hayward Sand Filter Repairs

add-new-filter-sand-smSand Change: Replace your filter sand every 5-7 years or sooner if your filter is undersized or if it has cleaned up a few algae blooms. Jackie wrote an entire “How To Change Pool Filter Sand” post about how to change pool filter sand, but here’s a 5-step summary.

  1. Drain the tank by removing the drain cap.
  2. Remove the top mounted valve or dome.
  3. Scoop out, or use a wet/dry vac to remove sand.
  4. Pour in new #20 silica sand, labeled pool filter sand.
  5. Replace valve or dome securely, start up filter on Rinse.

hayward-folding-lateral-umbrella-assemblyLateral Replacement: Replace your laterals every 10 years. When one cracks, replace the entire set of  laterals. If sand begins to pour into your pool, the usual cause is one or more broken laterals – here’s how to fix it, in 5-steps.

  1. Drain tank and remove sand, as described above.
  2. Fold up the laterals vertically, or unscrew threaded laterals from hub.
  3. Snap in or screw in your new sand filter laterals.
  4. Cap the standpipe, and pour the sand back in, or use new sand.
  5. Replace valve or dome securely, start up filter on Rinse.

Hayward Multiport Valve Repairs

multiport-valve repairsValve Change: If your multiport valve begins to leak or the handle loses tension, you could repair it with a new key assembly or a new spider gasket, or you could just replace the entire valve – in just 5-steps.

  1. Cut pipes with hacksaw, leaving enough pipe to reconnect.
  2. Unclamp valve from tank, wiggle and pull up to remove.
  3. Lube o-ring and push new valve on standpipe, clamp tightly.
  4. Wrap threads 4x with Teflon; screw hand tight, plus 1-1/4 turn.
  5. Rejoin pipes with coupling or union; using PVC primer and glue.

white-spider-gasketSpider Gasket Change: Losing water out of the backwash line? Remove the top of the multiport valve and inspect the spider web style gasket. If it’s twisted, broken or worn, here’s how to replace it – 5-step style.

  1. Remove 6 screws around valve lid and pull out key assembly.
  2. Use small flathead screwdriver to remove all of the old gasket.
  3. Place small dabs of super glue or silicone in the grooves.
  4. Press in new gasket, wipe off any excess silicone.
  5. Reassemble by replacing key assembly in the proper orientation.

multiport-valve-leaksCracked Valve Body: If there is a small crack around where the pipes screw into the valve ports or where the pressure gauge screws in, these were over tightened or had too many layers of Teflon tape (use 3-4 layers over clean threads).

  1. Obtain SuperGlue ® or a liquid 2-part epoxy, like Plast-Aid ®.
  2. Cut pipe on cracked port, or remove gauge and clean threads.
  3. Thread pipe or gauge into hole to expand crack to it’s widest.
  4. Squirt expanded crack full of Super Glue or liquid epoxy.
  5. Quickly remove pipe or gauge; allow glue or epoxy to set up.

Hayward Cartridge Filter Repairs

MTA-PVCLeaking Pipe Connections: If your filter is leaking where the pipes come in and out, inspect for cracks around where the pipes screw in. If noticed, fill with epoxy as described above. If leaking around the pipes, replace them in 5-steps.

  1. Cut leaking PVC pipe(s), leaving 2 inches of clear pipe to reconnect.
  2. Unthread the pipe(s) from the filter in/out port.
  3. Wrap new Male Threaded Adapter with 4 layers of Teflon tape.
  4. Screw new MTA fittings into filter body, hand tight, plus 1-1/4 turns.
  5.  Rejoin with pipe, a coupling or union, and PVC primer and glue.

hayward-clamp-band-filterLeaking Filter Clamp: For your safety’s sake, when you start up the filter, if the belly band holding the tank halves together or holding the multiport valve is leaking, shut off the pump immediately and take these 5 steps.

  1. Remove clamp band and top filter half completely.
  2. Remove belly band o-ring, and wipe clean with paper towel.
  3. Replace tank o-ring and apply a thin layer of pool lube.
  4. Replace lid and tighten up clamp band as tight as it will go.
  5. If it still leaks, loosen clamp band, reposition it, and retighten.

Cracked Filter Tank: If your filter tank has a pinhole leak or a full blown crack, the only repair to make it to replace the filter tank.

For sand filters or older stainless steel tanks, it’s not cheaper to buy an entire new filter, but depending on the age, filter tanks or tank halves can cost 50-80% of the cost of a new filter.

Hayward DE Filter Repairs

de-filter-grids-DE Filter Grid Replacement: Every 10 years or so, DE filter grid fabric starts to break down and develop holes or rips. When one goes, the others will soon follow. Brett wrote a how to replace your DE filter grids in 6 easy steps post with great pictures on how to change out DE filter grids, but here’s the 5-step executive summary.

  1. Remove wing nuts on top of manifold  to disassemble completely.
  2. Place the manifold upside down on two bricks facing upwards.
  3. Start with the partial grid, and push all of the grids into the manifold.
  4. Place the bottom spreader on top and work it between the grids.
  5. Replace the thru bolts and tighten wing nuts, pulling assembly tight.

DE Manifold Replacement: Another cause of DE powder spilling into the pool is a cracked top manifold, or missing air screen or sock. Follow instructions above for changing DE grids to replace the manifold.

hayward-perflex-nest-assyDE Finger Replacement: If you have a Perflex® DE Filter, you don’t have filter grids, you have Flex Tubes, aka ‘fingers’. Like filter grids, these deteriorate over time. You can replace just a few if needed or buy the entire filter nest assembly.

  1. Remove the nuts and bolts around the top and bump handle pins.
  2. Remove filter lid, then lift out the entire nest assembly.
  3. Slide off the tube sheet top, and pull up the damaged flex tubes.
  4. Push the new fingers in place snugly, replace tube sheet top.
  5. With nest assembly in place, secure the filter top and bump handle.

exclamation pointA word of caution: Filter systems are under pressure and can explode or rupture if clamp bands are not properly installed, or if valves after the filter are closed or pipes plugged while the pump is running. Open air bleeder and all return lines before restarting the pump!

A call to action: Make your own filter repairs with our factory fresh, original Hayward pool filter parts, shipped fast from our 9 parts distribution centers around the country. Besides Hayward parts, we carry filter parts for 20 other brands, old and new!

Give us a call or send an email if you need more information on making your own pool filter repairs, or identifying the correct filter part.

Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor



5-Step Hayward Pool Filter Repairs — 48 Comments

  1. Our current Hayward filter S180T has a crack in the side and I was hoping to make it through this season before replacing. Of course there is nothing that will repair it so I’m getting ready to order a new one. We just installed a new Hayward pump this year and we went from a 1.5 HP to a 2 HP, same model as the 1.5. Is that ok to use with the S180T or do you think that could have caused the crack by getting the 2HP? The S180T is 10 years old. I want to make sure I order the right filter if I need to have something different. Our pool is a kidney shaped in ground fiberglass pool.

    • Hi Karen, Good question, because the S180T has a design flow rate of only 35 gpm. The 2 hp pump is likely pushing more water than that, probably over 50 gpm – you can estimate the pump flow rate, by looking at the pump “Flow Curves” on the pump spec pages, for your particular make/model and hp.
      For a 2 hp Hayward pump, I would suggest the S220T (22″ tank, 250 lbs sand) or the S244T (24″ tank, 300 lbs). You’ll pay more for the larger filters, but will enjoy long filter cycles, long sand life and improved water clarity.

  2. The water is not staying in the filter bucket. It is pouring through the lid. I am not seeing anything different about the lid, but I do realize it is MUCH easier to take on and off.

    • Hi Drew, make sure the lid oring is in place, on some lids they fall off, it may be laying in the dirt. Secondly, some pool oring lube could help. When water does not fill the pump pot, it is either an air leak (pump drawing air in) or it is a clogged impeller, or very clogged filter, or closed return side valves. The most common air leak is around the pump lid, must be tight – and around the threaded fitting that screws into the pump, from shrunken threads which become loose.

  3. Hi
    My Hayward extreme filter wont close fully. I have put lubricant on the threads but it seems like the o ring is possibly sticking out a small amount. It wont tighten fully and the water leaks out. IS there anything I can try or do i need to buy a new o ring?

    • Hi Sarah, up under the lid, check the large plastic nuts that secure the air bleeder and gauge, they may be loose, taking up space. if the o-ring appears loose, not just sticking out, but if it does not fit tight, that would cause a problem, replace with Hayward part number CCX1000G – also just cleaning and lubing the o-ring may be the trick.

  4. Hi. I am trying to replace a Hayward sp0714c key assembly. Do I need to drain any water? I use regular flexible hoses for my connections. Or can I simply remove screws replace key assembly and reassemble?

    • Hi Danny, yes just remove the screws and pull out the old key, pop-in the new key and resecure the screws. Real easy. No need to drain water, but if your pool is aboveground, and the system sits below water level, you’ll have to close the isolation valves, or plug the skimmer and return lines, to keep your socks dry…

  5. I have a Hayward pool filter with the top that screws down by turning the handle on top clock-wise. I have had trouble screwing it down tight lately, and now can’t do it all. Any advice?

    • Hi Terry, first thing I’d check is the o-ring under the lid, and the smaller o-ring on top of the lid, to be sure they are seating properly, so the lid will sit down to it’s full depth. Lube may be needed to help the lid seat correctly, or o-ring(s) may need replacement. Secondly, make sure that the other end of the steel rod, is tightened fully into the base of the filter, so that it is not sticking up too far through the lid, which would make tightening difficult. Thirdly, could be an issue with the treads on the rod or on the handle or lid lock.

  6. I have a Hayward cartridge filter, it is only one year old and I feel like it is not working to capacity. We got the pool last July and this year it is not cleaning the pool and we put new cartridges in but there is floating debris.

    • Hi Terry, the floating debris makes me think your skimmer is not working to capacity, perhaps the skimmer weir is missing, or an old skimmer pipe has collapsed, or other valves like the main drain need to be closed, to deliver more suction to the skimmer? As for the filter, if the water looks good usually, with few bouts of cloudy water or algae, blue and clear, then the filter could be said to be operating effectively (given a proper amount of daily run time). Some pools just don’t skim the surface as much as they need to, the supply does not meet the demand. In such cases, for such pools, if the skimming cannot be further optimized, then you supplement with a nice Leaf Rake, dragging the surface once per day, or as needed. Good exercise for you, too!

  7. Dave
    the case on top of thee filter that my pressure gauge screws into is cracked. What is that called and how do I replace it.

    • Hi Karen, normally filter lids have a air relief assembly, aka air bleeder which is a combination air release and pressure gauge adapter. They are unique to each filter, or each brand, and they attach in different ways, some have a locknut inside the tank, or some just screw into a threaded tank. some are very small, others quite large. Go to our filter parts department, and find your filter make/model, and look at the schematic, and you can find the part number, and see prices, and buy what you need — http://www.intheswim.com/c/filter-parts

  8. Hi, we have a 24 foot above ground pool. We had the liner replaced and purchased a new filter. The filter is Hayward Pro Series S210T93S 21-Inch Top-Mount Above Ground Pool Sand Filter System with 1.5-HP Matrix Pum. We now have and at the bottom of our pool. What would you recommend? Thank you in advance for your assistance!

    • Hi, a small amount of sand coming into the pool after a sand change, or a new filter is not unusual, especially right after start-up or backwashing. If it is continuous however, one of the laterals may be cracked or was not tightened into the hub, or possibly a cracked standpipe both would require emptying the tank to inspect… good luck!

  9. Pressure gage was leaking and not moving past zero replaced it today now there is water that has filled the gage and is spraying out of the face of it.

  10. I have a Hayward Pro Series 20 gallon 3.14 surface (filter on the left in pictures above). Never had an issue but its leaking alot this year when we opened and starting running the pump. The leak is coming from the bottom under the black stand. Checked all plumbing, cap is good on the drain, tiny drip from pressure gauge but that’s normal for us. Can we repair this ourselves or do we need to get a new filter?

    • Hi Tracey, if the tank has a crack in it, then you’d need a new filter. However, it’s very hard to check under the filter, unless you empty the sand and turn it over gently. If it is not running down the side of the filter tank, nor dribbling out of the drain plug, it must be an issue with the tank… (new filter).

  11. I have sand or dirt collecting on bottom of pool; I can stir it up and the pool runs constantly. where is this dirt/sand coming from.

    • Hi Ruby, it could be blowing in on the wind, or carried in on the feet of swimmers. If your filter is getting old, it could be filter sand (if you have a sand filter), or it could be DE powder (if…), or it could be that your filter is not trapping the dirt it once did, and needs a filter media replacement.

  12. I am replacing the spider gasket on the directional head. Should the smooth side of the gasket go up or down

    • Ah the age old question! Flat side goes down, rounded side goes up. Use some caulk or glue (just a bit) in the grooves to hold the new gasket in place.

  13. I have a hole in my rubber pool filter near the crease. water shoots out. When I had a metal one I just used J&B. Bought some flexible sealant product to apply. Have you seen this type of issue before?

  14. Hi Dave, I removed my drain plug in the fall when closing/winterizing. When I tried to replace it this spring, it would not tighten and is leaking pretty bad. It is a Hayward filter. Do I need to take the sand out and tighten it from the inside? Is there a nut on the inside?

    • Hi Bill, if you removed the entire drain assembly, and not just the drain cap (or plug), it can be a little process to seal it back up, (while standing on yer head). Most Hayward sand filters do not have an internal separate assembly, except for S200 S240 models. Most tanks have a molded male threaded nipple with a drain cap, and o-ring or gasket. The gasket is very important, if it has gone missing. You can visit our filter parts pages, and enter your Hayward make/model to see a schematic image of the filter, which would show any locknuts or drain assembly parts.

  15. We have spent almost 2 weeks trying to figure out this pool filter problem. We did everything with new sand and all backwash, rinse and so on and sand is still shooting into the pool. I’m ready to blow a hole in the side of the pool. We took everything apart and see No broken laterals but the stem pipe has a small crack in it would that make for sand to go into the pool? And if so How do we change it can we use just a pvc pipe? We get to the end and something else happens. The pool is 15×30 so its decent size but I have to get the pool open and cant get the pump going. The pump is a Hayward S1667. The laterals had sand in them and were dirty. (We are pool newbies. The pool came with the house) Any help you give would be great!!! Please for the sake of 2 little girls asking everyday….Do you think we will be able to swim tomorrow? Thank You, Determined Mom & Dad

    • Hi, a crack in the standpipe could leak sand into the pool yes. I’m not sure of the diameter on the standpipe, but I have repaired some in the past with regular PVC pipe, and a coupling – or you could replace the standpipe and lateral assembly SX164DA – ugh too expensive, I think you can make a repair with pvc glue and a coupling or something…

    • Hi, debris gets stuck inside of sand laterals or de grids, when you vacuum on backwash, so short cycling is not surprising. I would try using a Filter Cleaner chemical, and then backwashing for a long time, maybe 15 minutes. If that doesn’t work, you may need to do a tear down to clean out or replace the grids or laterals.

  16. Haywood filter runs with high pressure – even with the pump off gauge is reading 22.

    When in backwash mode – water discharge is not running as strong as previous.

    Replaced the sand and still same issue.

    Any ideas what could be causing this and what I should do to correct.

    • Hi Jim, broken pressure gauge – if it still reads 22 when pump is off. Flick the lens with your fingernail, and look closely, the dial face may be bent, and touching the needle.

      1. you did use “pool filter sand”, and not something else, right?
      2. Not enough sand added, most tanks are filled 2/3 full, but check manuf data for correct fill, in lbs.
      3. Heavy oils, or heavy minerals, clogging the sand bed. inspect sand with your hands, but if new sand, and water has been clear…
      4. clogged laterals, the slotted pipes in the bottom of the tank, minerals, oil or debris could be clogging the tiny slits
      5. clogged return line, pipe, valve, or too small of an eyeball on return fittings, but that would not explain low backwash pressure…
      6. Problems with the multiport valve, internal flow issues

      Any restriction after the pump impeller will raise the filter pressure. If you have heaters, chlorinators, salt cells, sensors, valves or check valves after the filter, these all could be clogged or potentially be causing the ‘back-pressure’. Be sure all wall returns are open and all return valves open.

  17. Sounds crazy but none of my valve functions are doing what they say they should. The filter is actually going to waste and recirculate is backwash and waste is filtering. What the heck is going on!?

    • Hi Margie, 3 things come to mind – 1. If the valve was recently removed or replaced, are the plumbing pipes correct? The pipe from the pump should run to the port labeled PUMP, and the return pipe, going to a heater or back to the pool, should be connected into the RETURN port. Or, #2, was the ‘key assembly’ (handle, lid, rotor) removed from the valve body, and then replaced in an incorrect position? Or 3., was the valve spring and under cover parts replaced, and the lid not installed over the rotor in the same orientation as before? If none of these things, then open up the valve by removing all of the cover screws and lifting up on the handle, and inspect the spider gasket, and rotor (aka footpad or diverter) for damage.

  18. Hi Mr. Merino, The head on my regent 450 will not screw on to the locked position with out using a block of wood and hammer. Any idea’s?

    • Hi there, I’m not familiar with the Regent – but if that’s a filter, sometimes filter lids, especially those with very thick o-rings, need some persuasion to fit. Keeping the o-ring lubed will help, and if it seems distended (stretched), if it doesn’t fit tightly, you can shave off a 1/4″ or so, by cutting cleanly with a razor knife and super-gluing the ends together. Or just replace the o-ring, if needed.

      • I replaced the o-ring (lubed new one with Jacks) last night. All is well.
        Thank You

  19. Our new pool filter leaks around the head only when on filter any suggestions

    • Hi Jolene, that may indicate that the return pipes, after the filter, are restricted or too small for the water flow, perhaps? Check that all wall return plugs are out of the wall, and there are no closed valves on the return side, after the filter. Also check that the filter valve was plumbed correctly, with the pipe from the pump connecting into the PUMP port, and the return pipe connected into the RETURN port. and of course check tightness of all bolts or clamps. Not sure what type of filter you have…

  20. purchased and replaced a new multiport valve. Valve works good on all settings except backwash and rinse. When on those settings it’s like there is no suction- no water comes out the waste line. Although, when placed on the waste setting, water goes through the waste line fine.

    • Hi Chris, not plumbed backwards is it? The pipe ports labeled PUMP and RETURN, are connected to the Pump and the Return line, no? No extra valve on the waste line that you have to open? Did you disassemble the valve at all (remove the lid or key assy) before installation, and maybe reattached it in a different orientation?
      If not those things, I’m stumped! I’ll keep thinking…

  21. threads on the filter drain are worn,cap dosent seal tight,water drips ,tried plumbers tape didnt help much.any way to rethread them

    • Yes, usually Teflon tape is the trick. Make sure the cap is not cracked. If the threads are molded into the tank, well that’s a problem, unless you have a very large and complete tap & die set. If the drain assembly is removable from the tank, you can replace that part. On some filter drains, you may be able to fit a small expansion plug, like a #2 or #4 winterizing plug, to seal it up – but, it could blow out when the filter gets dirty. You could also plug up the hole with a heavy bead of silicone perhaps, although that may also fail, and end up draining the pool…

  22. I bought this sand filter from in the swim. The seam cracked exactly 1 year and 1week after purchase. I ran pool on bypas for part of last season. I hate to buy another Hayward filter if this is their lifespan. Original filter lasted 14 years and only replaced it because parts for head were no longer available. Would like to repair cracked seam.

    • Hi Clifford, there is no way to successfully or safely repair a cracked filter tank, unfortunately. The problem you have experienced is rare, and is usually caused by a dead-head on the return side (accidentally closed valve), or a pump that is too powerful for the filter size. I couldn’t say that it is a reflection on Hayward quality, their reputation for sand filters is quite good. But filters can fail occasionally. Pentair also makes a fine top-mount filter, with the Tagelus series sand filters, or the Sand Dollar, but I wouldn’t say they are better, or worse – both fine filters.

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