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How To Vacuum Your Swimming Pool

Here’s the question of the swimming pool season: How and how often do I need to vacuum my pool?

The answer: Vacuuming should be done as often as you think. Normally, once a week is sufficient. Generally speaking, the more a pool is used the less vacuuming it needs. It’s pretty simple. Many pool owners enjoy vacuuming on a nice sunny summer morning . Many of our customers use a good automatic pool cleaner to do this work for them. Even so, a good manual vacuum is good to do once each month.

The “HOW TO” is essentially the same for both In ground and Above ground Pools:

1. If your pool is equipped, be sure that the valve on the suction line coming into the pump is selected for the port (either skimmer or lower suction fitting) you will be using to vacuum.

2. Attach the vacuum hose to the vacuum head (the piece with the brushes or wheels on it). The better quality vac hoses come with a swivel end to prevent tangling of the hose. Be sure that this is the end that is attached to the vac head; if not the system will draw air & not work properly.

3. Make sure the hose is secure (even use a hose clamp if needed) and that the vacuum head is firmly attached to the pole.

4. Place the vacuum head, hose & pole into the deep end of the pool (make sure one end of the pole is sticking out of the water!)

5. Take the UN-attached end of the vac hose & hold it in front of one of the water return fittings. This will fill the hose with water and prevent binding of the pump with air from the hose. You know you’ve got enough water in the hose when the vacuum head bubbles up to the surface of the pool water.

6. Put your hand over the end of the hose to keep the water IN.

7. Place the skimmer basket adapter (looks like a disc with a nozzle on top) on top of the skimmer basket. Always use a basket to prevent the possible suction of a large object from getting stuck in the skimmer or in the underground line.

8. If vacuuming through a lower suction or dedicated vacuum line without a basket (instead of through the skimmer), use a leaf trap to prevent clogging of the plumbing lines or hoses.

9. After you have placed the hose on the adapter fitting you will probably notice a sudden drop in filter activity. This is normal. The filter system is just readjusting itself to the change in suction. Let it operate for about 30 to 90 seconds. It should automatically bleed any air out of its system and return to normal operation. You’ll hear the sound becoming “normal” again.

10. Vacuum away! Remember to brush & vacuum the sides of the pool as well as the bottom. Dirt, biofilm build-up, and algae will settle there as well. And don’t forget behind any ladders.

For other swimming pool cleaning tips, please see our other ezine articles on the 5 Keys to Pool Care.


No suction – Either the hose has come off of the basket, the filter has lost its prime (not sucking water) or the hose a leak (make sure you’ve got the proper end of the hose on the vac head). If you have more than one suction line, be sure you’re drawing from the proper one.

Dirty water returning to the pool – If you have a sand filter, DO NOT BACKWASH THE FILTER BEFORE VACUUMING. Backwashing stirs up the sand & prevents good trapping of dirt for several HOURS. In cartridge or DE filters, this rarely happens.

Suction is lost after a couple of minutes –  How dirty is the pool? If it’s REALLY dirty, you may be better off vacuuming to direct waste (sand filter) or otherwise vacuuming directly out of the pool by-passing the filter.

Call Sac Valley Pool Service Toll-Free 866-983-7665 for all your Pool Cleaning needs.

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