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Thread: Newbie Question about vacuums

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    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Orange County, CA
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    Newbie Question about vacuums

    Since I decided to maintain my new pool by myself, I obviously need a vacuum of some sort. I have an IG plaster pool, so was thinking of getting a concrete vacuum head. Before I do that, however, what size do I need? There is a hole in my skimmer where the water gets sucked in. I measured it at around 1-1/2 inch diameter. Does that mean I use a 1-1/2 inch hose and vacuum? or.... do i need the 1-1/4 hose and vacuum that will fit INSIDE a 1-1/2 hole in the simmer?

    Sorry if this is a silly question. Since I'm ordering online, I didn't want to mess up the dimensions.

    Also, is a wider concrete vacuum head necessarily better? I was thinking of a 13" or 14" wide version.
    16,250 Gallons, IG Plaster; Pentair Clean & Clear CC100 Cartridge Filter with WhisperFlo Pump;
    Pool install 1980's; TF-100 Test Kit; Stage 2 California drought restrictions

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    phenol red's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Question about vacuums

    Most people use a vacuum plate that fits on top of the skimmer basket. The vacuum hose plugs into this - it can just stay on the end of the vacuum. Your water level has to be high enough that it covers the vacuum plate while it's in use.

    Amazon.com: Hayward SP1106 Large Skim Vac Plate with Straight Adaptor Replacement for Hayward Dyna-Skim In-Ground Skimmer: Patio, Lawn Garden
    30k gal in-ground, vinyl liner, Hayward 300 ft2 cartridge filter, 1 hp pump, Hayward 250k btu natural gas heater

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    Re: Newbie Question about vacuums

    thanks phenol red! Growing up, we had a vacuum hose that plugged in DIRECTLY to the hole in the skimmer. That is what I was thinking I had to do again.
    16,250 Gallons, IG Plaster; Pentair Clean & Clear CC100 Cartridge Filter with WhisperFlo Pump;
    Pool install 1980's; TF-100 Test Kit; Stage 2 California drought restrictions

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    phenol red's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Question about vacuums

    This thread has some discussion about tips for using a vacuum plate: Dumb question about using a vacuum plate

    I do it a little differently, it's much more simple and should work fine for IG pools:
    • Attach one end of the hose to the vacuum plate, the other end to the vacuum head itself. If the connectors on the ends of the hose are different, attach the end that rotates into the vacuum head. If one end doesn't fit securely, try the other end.
    • Remove the skimmer lid and drape the end of the hose with the vacuum plate over the edge into the skimmer so the opening is directed downwards into the skimmer, but NOT underwater or against the skimmer basket.
    • With the vacuum head attached to a pole, hold the opening of the vacuum head against a return jet so the hose fills with water. Eventually you will hear water rushing from the open end with the vacuum plate into the skimmer.
    • Keeping the vacuum head underwater, move it away from the return jet and immediately press the vacuum plate against the skimmer basket. This should start suction with minimal air trapped in the skimmer basket. It's important that your water level is high enough that the vacuum plate is entirely underwater or you will lose suction.
    • If the pump cavitates (the sound changes while it's sucking air and it loses its prime stopping the suction), you should be able to interrupt the suction at the vacuum plate to allow air bubbles to escape and reconnect. You may need to try again, maybe this time keeping both ends underwater while the air is being expelled from the hose.
    30k gal in-ground, vinyl liner, Hayward 300 ft2 cartridge filter, 1 hp pump, Hayward 250k btu natural gas heater

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