Owning a pool or hot tub is like having your own personal oasis of relaxation and fun in your backyard. However, pool cleaning and pool maintenance are necessary to keep the water free of debris and prevent algae growth. We explain how a swimming pool vacuum works and how to vacuum a pool in a few simple steps to keep the pool water sparkling clean.
The simplest way to describe a pool vac is to compare it to your indoor house vacuum. Just like your carpeting needs regular vacuuming to keep the floors free of dirt, so does the swimming pool.
While it seems pretty straightforward, there is a little more to it than that. Unlike the vacuum sitting in the cleaning closet of your house, a pool vacuum has many parts, including a vacuum hose, telescopic pole, vacuum head, skimmer, and filter system.
Each section plays a vital role in keeping the floor of the pool clean, and it’s important to know how they work and the right way to assemble them.
- How to Set up and Use a Swimming Pool Vacuum
- How does a Pool Vacuum Work?
- How to Hook up a Pool Vacuum
- How to Vacuum a Pool that is Above Ground
- How to use a Pool Vacuum in an Inground Pool
- Troubleshooting Common Pool Vacuum Problems
- What to do after Using the Pool Vacuum
- How to Clean a Pool without a Vacuum
- Cleaning the Pump Filter Cartridge after Vacuuming
- How to Backwash the Pool Filter
- Ways to Maintain Your Pool
How to Set up and Use a Swimming Pool Vacuum
An automatic pool cleaner is a handy gadget that takes the work out of cleaning your pool, but these units are expensive, and the next best thing is a vacuum.
Here is everything you need to know about the pool vacuum, from setting it up to removing dirt from the pool’s bottom.
How does a Pool Vacuum Work?
How does a pool vacuum work? Before you learn how to vacuum an above ground pool or an inground pool, it’s a great idea to know exactly how these units work to understand how to operate them properly for getting rid of green algae in the pool and other debris.
Pool Vacuum Mechanics
A pool vacuum relies on the suction side of the pump equipment to work. Located on the upper wall of your pool is the skimmer and intake suction hole.
When you turn the pump on, water is sucked through this area and sent through a filter, where it then returns to the pool via the outlet hole.
Attaching the open end of the vacuum hose to the suction hole enables the vacuum head to suck the dirt up from the bottom of the pool, sending it up the hose and then through the intake hole.
How to Hook up a Pool Vacuum
How does a pool vacuum work, and how do you attach all the parts? Unlike your carpet vacuum cleaner that’s ready to go, there are several steps to take when preparing to vacuum your pool. Here is how to hook up pool vacuum and prepare it for cleaning.
To hook up a pool vacuum, screw the telescoping pole on the vacuum head and attach the vacuum hose.
Extend the pole so it’s long enough to reach the bottom of the pool, and submerge the vacuum head to the pool floor. Position the other end of the hose at the return jet hole to fill the hose with water.
Remove the skimmer basket from the intake hole and set it to the side. Without taking the hose out of the water, move it from the return hole to the intake hole or vacuum plate and place it into the opening.
How to Vacuum a Pool that is Above Ground
While vacuuming an in ground swimming pool is similar to cleaning an Intex easy set-up or inflatable above ground pool, there are some differences. Here is the best way to vacuum a pool that is above ground.
Screw the telescopic pole onto the vacuum head and extend it long enough to comfortably reach the bottom of the pool. Start at one end and vacuum the pool floor slowly using a sweeping motion.
Overlap each section as you clean and move the vacuum head gently across the floor to avoid stirring up dirt. If you do stir up debris, stop vacuuming and let the water settle for a couple of hours before you resume.
How to use a Pool Vacuum in an Inground Pool
Inground swimming pools are an investment, and they require special care and cleaning to maintain the structure and keep the water clean. Learn how to vacuum an inground pool using the right techniques.
If you have an inground swimming pool, here is how to use a pool vacuum. Start at the shallow end of the pool and make your way to the deep end to allow the telescopic pole to extend as you vacuum the pool bottom.
Vacuum the floor with slow sweeping strokes to prevent stirring up debris and overlap strokes to avoid missing sections.
Continue vacuuming the floor as you make your way to the deep end of the pool, and keep your eye on the filter pressure gauge as you clean. If the pressure begins to rise, it’s time to perform a backwash.
Troubleshooting Common Pool Vacuum Problems
As much as we’d love a perfect world where everything goes as planned, this is not always the case. Here are some common issues in a swimming pool and ways to rectify them, whether you have an inground or an above ground pool.
Pool Vacuum Problems
The most common problem with pool vacuums is bad suction. If your vacuum was working fine and suddenly seems to stop sucking dirt from the pool floor, this is possibly caused by a filthy pump filter.
Check the pressure and perform a backwash if necessary or remove the filter cartridge and clean it or replace it.
Another issue with pool vacuums is a leaky hose. If the hose has a crack or hole in it or is not fully seated on the intake port, it doesn’t suck dirt from the pool bottom adequately.
If the hose is in good condition and the filter is clean, ensure there is enough water in the pool to cover all the skimmers and return jets.
Check the pump for air bubbles by looking through the plate. If you spot any and eliminate all other causes, the o-ring might be the culprit and needs replacing.
What to do after Using the Pool Vacuum
You use the vacuum to clean and maintain the pool, but what about the vacuum itself? Here is what to do after vacuuming the pool and how to disassemble the vacuum and clean it for proper storage.
Once you finish vacuuming the pool, remove the telescoping pole from the vacuum head and drain all the water out of the hose.
Screw the pole on a cleaning brush and scrub the dirt from the pool sides with the filter pump running. Inspect the water level and top it off with a garden hose if necessary. Finish by cleaning the pump filter or performing a backwash.
How to Clean a Pool without a Vacuum
What do you do if you know how to use a pool vacuum but yours is broken or don’t have one? Fortunately, there is a way to clean dirt from the bottom of the pool without a vacuum.
Attach a pool brush to a telescoping pole and begin cleaning the pool floor. Start at one side of the pool and scrub the pool bottom from one side to the other to agitate and lift debris up into the water.
Continue doing this from one side of the pool to the other, and then remove the pool brush. Turn on the pool pump to clean the dirt from the water and keep an eye on the filter since it requires cleaning during the process if the water is filthy.
Cleaning the Pump Filter Cartridge after Vacuuming
After you finish vacuuming your pool, you need to clean a pool filter cartridge. The pump sucks dirt from the pool water, and large bits of debris often clog the filter, causing the system not to operate properly.
Turn off the pool pump and then remove air from the unit by slowly opening the valve located on the filter top. Take off the clamp holding the filter in place, and slide out the filter.
Attach a nozzle sprayer to the garden hose and spray water between the filter pleats by moving from the top of the filter downward to flush out debris. Continue cleaning in this manner as you make your way around the entire filter.
After the filter is clean, return it to the pump, replace the top, and clamp it in place. Turn the system back on with the relief valve still open. Close the valve once a steady stream of water appears.
How to Backwash the Pool Filter
Inground pools often have a backwash pump setting on the pool filter. This system reverses the water flow to flush out contaminants from the filter without cleaning it manually.
Begin by turning off the pool pump, turning the filter valve to the backwash position, and locking it in place. Turn the pump on and backwash the filter for two minutes or until the sight glass is clear.
Turn the pump off again and switch the valve to the rinse setting. Turn the pump back on and run it for about a minute until the sight glass runs clear again. Finally, turn the valve to the filter setting position and turn the pump back on once more.
Ways to Maintain Your Pool
The best thing you can do to keep your pool clean is to set up a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule. Monitoring and daily cleaning go a long way to keeping your swimming pool ready for use at all times.
Setting up a pool maintenance routine is a great way to ensure that you’re swimming in clean and fresh water each day. Use a leaf skimmer daily to clean the water surface and remove bits of debris and floating leaves, and vacuum the pool once a week.
Test the water for the proper pH, alkalinity, chlorine, calcium hardness, and cyanuric acid and keep them in the recommended level ranges. Clean the pump DE, cartridge, or sand filter when the pressure gauge increases above normal or every six months.
There are so many parts to a swimming pool that it is often confusing, from the pool filter and pump to the skimmer and vacuum. Once you understand each component and how they operate, keeping your pool clean is easier than you think.
We hope that you enjoyed reading how to vacuum a pool the easy way to keep your swimming pool clean, and we’d love it if you’d share our pool vacuuming tips with your social circle on Pinterest and Facebook.