Here’s How To Vacuum Your Pool Manually In 3 Easy Steps

In today’s post I’m going to show you how to get rid of your algae FAST by vacuuming your pool manually …

… In three EASY steps.

By the end of this post, you will know:

Remember: staying on top of maintaining your pool will keep it gunk-free for your swimmers for years to come.

Let’s dive in!

Tools you need for the job

First things first—let’s take a look at everything you’ll need to do the job right:

1. Pool vacuum head

Hayward SP1068 Pool Vacuum Cleaner Head
  • "See-thru" design for fast and easy cleaning
  • Long-wearing brushes quickly loosen tough algae spots

Pool vacuum heads are made to universally snap on to the end of pool-cleaning poles, so you can use practically any you’d like.

It is best, however, to make sure to purchase one that’s weighted so that it stays on the surface without floating around.

 You’ll also want to take the surface of your pool into consideration as certain types of heads are made specifically to be safe for vinyl and others are not.

2. Telescoping pole

Unger Professional Connect & Clean 7 - 20 Foot Telescoping Extension Multi-Purpose Pole, Window Cleaning, Dusting
  • Extend your reach 7.5 to 20 feet with this 3-stage telescoping extension pole
  • Great for hard-to-reach surfaces, like high outdoor windows, without the need of a ladder

These universal poles also connect to pool skimmers, nets and hooks, so you probably already have one.

You just need to make sure yours will reach the bottom of the deepest area of your pool!

3. Vacuum hose

Poolmaster 33430 Heavy Duty In-Ground Pool Vacuum Hose With Swivel Cuff, Made in the USA, 1-1/2-Inch by 30-Feet
  • Pool vacuum hose for use with standard swimming pool vacuum and telescopic pole for manual in ground pool vacuuming; not made for automatic or robotic pool cleaners
  • Extra long pool hose vacuum features swivel cuff for kink-free maneuverability; UV and chemical resistant; extruded flexible EVA and poly-welded EVA cuffs for durability

Vacuum hoses are also universally made to attach to all systems.

You just want to make sure you purchase one long enough to reach every area of your pool.

4. Skim vac (or vacuum plate)

Hayward SP1106 Skim Vac In-Ground Pool Skimmer , White
  • Large skimmer vacuum plate with 1-1/2-inch straight adapter
  • Fits Hayward swimming pool skimmer SP1082, 1084, 1085, 1075 models

A skim vac (or vacuum plate) allows you to use the skimmer basket instead of the pump strainer basket, eliminating the need to turn the pool pump on and off.

How to vacuum your pool manually


Now you should have all your equipment laid out and ready to go, so it’s time to get down to business, starting in the shallow end of the pool.

Step 1. Prime your vacuum

The first thing you’ll need to do is to prime your vacuum by purging all the air from your vacuuming system.

Air pockets can make your unit lose suction, so removing it ahead of time will help keep the system going longer.To do this, you will simply snap the vacuum head onto the telescoping pole and lower it into the bottom of the pool floor.

Then just push the other end of the hose against a jet and allow it to push all the air out of the hose.

You’ll see air bubbles floating up from the vacuum head, letting you know air is flowing through the hose.

When there are no more bubbles, the hose is air-free and you’re ready to start.

Step 2. Connect to the pump

Your vacuum system works by attaching it to a skimmer inlet powered by the suction of the pool circulation pump.

Before you connect the open end of the hose to the inlet, you will need to remove the strainer basket.

Then simply plug your open vacuum hose in to the suction port at the bottom of the skimmer.

Step 3. Vacuum your pool

Now you’ll just move the vacuum head back and forth along the surface of the pool until it’s clean.

If you lose suction, you will need to repeat steps 1 and 2.

If you’re still having trouble, check out this troubleshooting guide for some quick tips.

How to vacuum your pool with a garden hose

Another method for vacuuming the pool is to use a vacuum system that attaches to your garden hose.

This method is a good inexpensive alternative for smaller pools or hot tubs.For this method, you will just need to follow these simple steps:

  • 1Connect the telescoping pole to the vacuum head.
  • 2Connect the end of the hose to the other end of your pole. (The other end of your hose should be connected to its spigot).
  • 3Attach the vacuum bag to the proper opening on the vacuum.
  • 4Turn off your pool’s filtration system.
  • 5Turn on the water and submerge the vacuum into the pool.
  • 6Slowly and steadily move your vacuum back and forth along the surface to vacuum the pool and remove dirt and debris.

If your vacuum loses suction during this process, pull the vacuum out and empty the collection bag.

If that doesn’t work, try turning off the water source and then turning it back on again before lowering it back into the pool water.

Important note: Be sure not to rush through this job and stir up the debris at the bottom of the pool. When this happens, your vacuum will not be able to clean it up—it will float around for a while and later settle at the bottom again. Take your time to thoroughly and slowly cover the entire surface of the pool.

7 Finally, turn the filtration system back on to remove any residual floating debris.

How to clean your pool with a sand filter

If you choose to use a sand filter as your vacuum filtration method, you’ll just need to choose the proper setting.

ReadHow to choose the best pool filter

Usually this type of filter system will have six settings: rinse, recirculate, backwash, waste, filter or closed.The filter setting is the most common setting used to vacuum a pool. It will handle minimal debris with no visible algae.

But if your pool water is a little dirtier than normal, choose the waste setting.Once you’ve vacuumed your pool, it’s important to follow your manufacturer’s instruction for cleaning and backwashing the filter to keep it running properly.

It’s important to note that this type of filter system is not suitable for cleaning pools with a lot of debris or algae, and that your water level is going to drop, so be sure to add water back in.

Other methods of cleaning these pools are preferred and a more extensive algae cleaning may be necessary.

Why it’s worth investing in an automatic cleaner

You might be thinking that a good filtration system is all you need, and believe me, it’s important!

It will minimize algae and help you maintain normal PH levels, making your maintenance a little less time-consuming.

But even the best filters can’t do all the work.

To keep your pool sparkling-clean and clear, you’ll need to use an extra cleaning method at least once a week.After a few weeks of manually scrubbing and vacuuming your pool, you’ll probably agree that an automatic pool cleaner is a worthy investment to free up your time and energy.

Types of automatic cleaners

There are a few different types to choose from, and what works for you will be dependent on your particular situation and preference.1. A robotic cleaner does not require attachment to your pool’s pump. It’s probably the quickest and most effective type of unit, but can get a little pricey.

Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Vacuum Cleaner up to 50 FT - Wall Climbing Scrubber Brush
  • WALL-SCRUBBING POWER: Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus climbs walls efficiently, ensuring thorough cleaning on any pool surface, no matter the shape or surface type.
  • ACTIVE SCRUBBING: Elevate your pool maintenance with the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus - active scrubbing brush eliminates manual effort, guaranteeing a pristine pool. Gentle on surfaces, tough on debris.

I recommend a robotic cleaner for large pools or pools with hard-to-reach areas as most can be operated by remote control.

2. A suction-side cleaner attaches to your pool filter to create suction. It’s the most inexpensive option and I recommend it for pools with only dirt and debris problems.3. A pressure-side cleaner attaches to the return hose on your pool filter for suction and has its own collection bag.

The downside to these is that you have to replace the bags often, but they do reduce wear and tear on your pool’s filter by collecting their own debris.

Bottom line

There’s no doubt about it—maintaining a clean and healthy pool takes some work, but with a few tips and tricks of the trade, you’ll be a pro in no time!

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