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Thread: Vacuum Plate is not performing well

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    Vacuum Plate is not performing well

    I bought a vacuum plate that seems to fit over the top of my basket Ok - but I get almost no suction out of the top of the hole on the plate ( and out of my vacuum head). Shouldn't this be strong suction , as if the vac. hose is going directly into the hole under the basket? If I put my hand over the bottom hole I feel a strong suction and it flows well out of the returns...and if I bypass the vacuum plate it vacuums up normally...Am I just totally missing something here?
    thanks

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Vacuum Plate is not performing well

    Yes, the suction should be just as strong, if the plate is seated correctly over the basket. it should be a tight seal and when the pump is on you should not be easily able to move the vac plate - the suction should be holding it in place. If you can move it it's not sealing properly.
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    Re: Vacuum Plate is not performing well

    Is the water level in your pool high enough to be half way up the skimmer? Using a vacuum plate, you really need to have water in the skimmer. Sometimes if there is a bit of an air leak and no water, the vacuum wil not work well. Does the pump cavetate when you put the vacuum plate on?
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Vacuum Plate is not performing well

    Make sure you are putting the non-swivelling end of the hose on the plate.

    Does your skimmer have two open holes in the bottom?
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Vacuum Plate is not performing well

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Make sure you are putting the non-swivelling end of the hose on the plate.

    Does your skimmer have two open holes in the bottom?
    My first thought was two holes, too. That's what I have. Poolside goes to the main drain, outer goes to the pump. Given the choice between sucking through 12 feet of 2" pipe or 25 feet of 1ΒΌ" hose, pipe wins.

    I solved it by tossing the vacuum plate and devising an adaptor that fits snug in the port and hooks to the vacuum hose. I lose the leaf-straining abilities of the skimmer basket, but it sure does have some suction!
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: Vacuum Plate is not performing well

    Yes - I have 2 holes but one is plugged - so is the one in the main drain that goes to it.
    I do not get a cavitation moment when putting the plate on. I only have 5 psi right now - I checked the impeller ( by reaching my hand down and under). Not sure why it is that low - could that be the cause?

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    Re: Vacuum Plate is not performing well

    Here's a pic:


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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Vacuum Plate is not performing well

    It sounds like water is getting around the vacuum plate if you have good suction through the skimmer without it. If you have a floor drain or a second skimmer try shutting off those lines so all the suction is going to the skimmer with the vacuum plate. If that doesn't work, You can try Richard's idea, which is similar to what I use. In my case I use a Zodiac in line leaf canister to keep all the mess out of my pump basket. I take the above ground valve cuff off of the regulator valve for my Ranger pool cleaner and use the cuff as a connector to attach my vacuum hose to the suction hole in the skimmer. You can see the parts I am talking about on this page. I take the cuff (17) off the regulator valve (13).

    P.S. I just saw the picture you posted. I can't tell where the water level is in the picture, but it looks like that vacuum plate would sit on top like the skimmer cover. The plate should fit down inside the skimmer below the water line. Take the skimmer basket with you to the pool store and try to exchange the vacuum plate for a smaller one.
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    Re: Vacuum Plate is not performing well

    That vacuum plate is too large. It needs to be able to fit IN the skimmer, directly over basket. Right now, you're sucking nothing.

    Scott
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    Re: Vacuum Plate is not performing well

    How can I tell which one to buy? - I believe that the inside diameter of my basket is 7 inches..

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Vacuum Plate is not performing well

    Down inside the skimmer is a lip. Below the lip is where your basket fits in the skimmer. Measure the diameter of the lip. That should tell you the size vacuum plate you need. The vacuum plate should rest on top of the lip and under the water. If all else fails, take the skimmer basket out, place it open side down on a piece of paper and trace around it. Take the paper and the basket to the pool store. The vacuum plate may be slightly larger (1/4"-1/2") than the top of the basket.
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