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Thread: Manual Pool Vacuum Advice

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    Manual Pool Vacuum Advice

    I have a pool where you are suppose to attach the manual pool vacuum through the skimmer suction port.

    However wouldn't that mean all of the debris, especially large ones like leaves and such get sucked into the plumbing and into the sand filter?

    Are there special vacuums or attachments that I can use so that I can catch large amounts of bigger debris so that it doesn't get into the plumbing and clog up the pipes and filter?

    Thanks for any advice!
    20K In-ground Pebbletec Pool with Spa and Waterfall; Pentair CCP520 Cartridge Filter; Paramount PCC2000 Infloor Cleaning System; Jandy Aqualink RS8 Automation

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Pool Vacuum Advice

    You should either have an adapter that fits over the skimmer basket, or add a leaf canister in the hose line to catch the debris.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Pool Vacuum Advice

    If your skimmer is not tied to the main drain -- only one port in the bottom -- you can set a vacuum plate over the skimmer basket and connect the hose there.

    If you plug straight into the suction port, you can put a leaf canister inline.

    Pictures of both are in Pool School - Visual Encyclopedia of Pool Equipment
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Manual Pool Vacuum Advice

    Thanks for the quick answers!

    As for my skimmer, here is what I see. There is a plastic skimmer cover. When I lift it, I see the skimmer basket. If I lift the basket, I see two ports below. That's it. I do not see any kind of adapter that fits over the skimmer basket. Is this a separate part that I can buy? Or is it that it is only applicable to certain types of skimmers?

    Also can you explain the two ports? One of the ports is clearly the suction port that I assume goes direct to the sand filter. So assuming the other port is connected to the "main drain", what does that mean exactly? IOW, what is the difference between "suction" vs "main drain" port?

    Also what is better, an inline leaf canister or an adapter that goes over the skimmer basket (assuming it is applicable?)

    Thanks for any further clarifications!
    20K In-ground Pebbletec Pool with Spa and Waterfall; Pentair CCP520 Cartridge Filter; Paramount PCC2000 Infloor Cleaning System; Jandy Aqualink RS8 Automation

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    Re: Manual Pool Vacuum Advice

    I use the skimmer plate Richard mentioned which fits on top of the skimmer basket. That catches leaves in the basket. If there is just dirt and sand to be vacuumed, I keep my skimmer sock in. Either way, pay attention to the suction on the vacuum. The plate was pretty cheap.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Pool Vacuum Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by polyharmonic View Post
    Thanks for the quick answers!

    As for my skimmer, here is what I see. There is a plastic skimmer cover. When I lift it, I see the skimmer basket. If I lift the basket, I see two ports below. That's it. I do not see any kind of adapter that fits over the skimmer basket. Is this a separate part that I can buy? Or is it that it is only applicable to certain types of skimmers?

    Also can you explain the two ports? One of the ports is clearly the suction port that I assume goes direct to the sand filter. So assuming the other port is connected to the "main drain", what does that mean exactly? IOW, what is the difference between "suction" vs "main drain" port?

    Also what is better, an inline leaf canister or an adapter that goes over the skimmer basket (assuming it is applicable?)

    Thanks for any further clarifications!
    If you have the second port that goes to the main drain...
    1) The main drain is not working unless you put in a diverter valve
    2) You can't use a vacuum plate because it's easier for the pump to draw water from the main drain than through the vacuum and hose

    Which means: you'll need a leaf canister if you get a lot of leaves in your pool. I don't, so I rely on the pump basket to catch the big stuff.

    Before you rush out and start spending money, double check things. Do you have a main drain? Is there a separate valve for it in the plumbing? Is there a mystery port inline and below the skimmer on the pool wall? Some builders install a second inlet to the skimmer using the second port so if the skimmer basket clogs, water will get drawn in from below to avoid running the pump dry.

    If you do have a main drain and it isn't on its own line with a valve, and there are no unexplained holes in the wall of the pool, then you need to buy a diverter if you ever want the main drain to pull water. Go look at the pictures I linked. Two styles of diverter and two styles of vacuum plates are shown under "Skimmer." I wasted a few bucks on a vacuum plate at Lowes before I realized I had a line going to the main drain that made it useless. They're readily available. I bought my diverter at the pool store. The one I have is pretty much universal. All you need to do is measure the skimmer well to be sure it will fit all the way at the bottom and cover both holes. Or study your skimmer and see if you can identify the manufacturer and model by part numbers and see if they make a diverter. Or maybe you already have one somewhere in the shed that you didn't recognize as being for the pool.

    This is how the flying saucer diverter works
    divertervalve.gif
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Pool Vacuum Advice

    Nice little GIF there
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: Manual Pool Vacuum Advice

    Interesting. I guess I am more confused than ever. I am a very new owner (took over from previous owner) so pardon my complete ignorance.

    What do you mean by "main drain is not working unless you put in a diverter valve"? Do you mean that literally no water is being pull through the main drain that is at the bottom of the pool???

    As for your other questions, I can only say that I do not know but perhaps you can answer them for me for looking at my pool schematic?

    pool_schematic.jpg
    20K In-ground Pebbletec Pool with Spa and Waterfall; Pentair CCP520 Cartridge Filter; Paramount PCC2000 Infloor Cleaning System; Jandy Aqualink RS8 Automation

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Pool Vacuum Advice

    You'll need to scan that diagram at a higher resolution. I can't read the labels.

    It doesn't look like the main drain is tied to the skimmer, but something has to be if both holes in the bottom are open. If the water is clear enough to see through, go look at the wall directly below the skimmer and see if there's a mystery hole in the pool wall. It might have a plastic grate over it. That's the bypass in case the skimmer basket clogs.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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