While automatic cleaners are fantastic tools, they can recycle debris and algae back into the water as it tries to vacuum your pool. If you need to vacuum your pool manually, follow the guide below.
What you need:
1. A vacuum head, or vac head.
2. A telescopic pole to attach to the vac head
3. A vacuum hose long enough to reach every area of your pool
4. A skim vac or vacuum plate (if needed)
5. A scrub brush to attach to the pole
Let’s say you have a lot of leaves and other debris in the pool after a thunderstorm, or you used flocculant to clear up water-clouding particles. The storm debris and particle-laden flocculant will sink to the bottom of the pool where they’ll sit until you vacuum them up.
To clear a large amount of debris like this from your pool, you’ll want to adjust your pool filter to compensate before you begin vacuuming. Depending on the size and style of your pool, the filter system will have two or more settings for controlling filtration.
These may offer several options, with special settings just for vacuuming, including one called “Waste.” This setting pumps water out of the pool while bypassing the filter and keeps you from clogging your filter with debris, flocculant, and dead/dying/annoyingly persistent algae.
Two-Position Valve Filters
Often called “push-pull” valve filters, these are more common on smaller pools. They won’t have a “waste” option. Instead, with this system’s only setting—”Filter”—all the water you vacuum will be pulled into—and cleaned by—your pool’s filter. The cleaned water is then sent back into your pool.
1. Ensure the pump and filter are running.
2. Attach the vacuum head to the open end of the telescopic pole.
3. Attach one end of the hose to the vac head. If the hose is slippery, use a hose clamp to keep it in place.
4. Place the vac head, telescopic pole, and hose in the pool, making sure the vac head rests on the pool floor.
5. Place the other end of the vacuum hose against a return jet in the pool. This will push water through the hose and drive all the air out.
6. Triple-check to make sure the vacuum inlet is the only line open to the pump.
7. Attach the vacuum plate to the end of the hose you’d previously placed against the return jet, block the opening with your hand, and bring it over to the skimmer. Be sure to create a good seal or suction will be lost.
If you’re not using a vacuum plate, remove the basket inside the skimmer, and, using your hand, block the end of the water-filled hose. Then place the hose into the skimmer, making sure it’s firmly inserted into the suction hole at the bottom of the skimmer.
Finally, you're ready to vacuum your pool. Be prepared, this is no easy task and may take multiple hours depending on your pool size. Start at the shallow end and slowly move toward the deep end of the pool. Use long, slow, sweeping strokes to clean. Make sure your strokes overlap slightly to avoid leaving any debris behind. If you'd like a professional to vacuum your pool, try connecting with one on our Dealer Locator.