How to Vacuum a Pool Manually in 3 Easy Steps
As a pool owner, you’ve probably already discovered the necessity of sticking to a cleaning schedule to keep out debris and algae from your pool.
Staying on top of the task of maintaining your pool will not only keep it gunk-free for your swimmers, but could also add years to the structure of it.
Not only is algae and other bacteria a huge summer fun-killer and highly unhealthy, it also speeds the erosion of paint and other surface materials on your pool.
For cleaning the pool, a robotic pool cleaner is the way to go in my opinion, but in case you haven’t decided it’s worth the investment yet, you will need to pull out the hoses once a week and give it a good ole' scrub-down with a manual system.
Also, even if you own an automatic cleaner but haven’t kept it going like you should, you might have started to notice an overgrowth of algae that needs your attention.
Either way, we’ve got the know-how you need to restore your pool to its former glory.
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
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.
- "See-thru" design for fast and easy cleaning
- Long-wearing brushes quickly loosen tough algae spots
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
These universal poles also connect to pool skimmers, nets and hooks, so you probably already have one.
- 3-stage pole extends from 90 inches to 20 feet to give you high access cleaning without a ladder
- Lightweight, anodized aluminum provides strength
You just need to make sure yours will reach the bottom of the deepest area of your pool!
3. Vacuum Hose
Vacuum hoses are also universally made to attach to all systems.
- For use with all pool vacuums
- Swivel cuff for kink-free maneuverability
You just want to make sure you purchase one long enough to reach every area of your pool.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Usually this type of filter 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 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 is not suitable for cleaning pools with a lot of debris or algae.
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 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.
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.
I recommend a robotic cleaner for large pools or pools with hard-to-reach areas as most can be operated by remote control.
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.
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.
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!