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Thread: Help me understand vacuuming options

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    Help me understand vacuuming options

    I'm about to vacuum my pool for the first time ever and wanted to make sure I understand the options I currently have available and the differences between them. Based on my reading and videos I've seen, it looks like I have the following options...

    1) Remove skimmer basket and connect vacuum hose directly to skimmer intake line

    2) Add skimmer vac plate on top of the skimmer basket and connect vacuum hose directly to the plate

    3) Connect vacuum hose directly to in-wall intake

    Can someone tell me what the difference is between each of these options and under what conditions I would use each option?

    Thank you
    20,000 Gallons Inground Vinyl Pool, 1 skimmer, 1 floor drain, 4 return jets, 1 vacuum intake
    Hayward Vari-Flo XL sand filter (SM2506T), Hayward EZ Flow Pump (SP-3107X10), Emerson Pump Motor (EB228), Hayward Comfortzone NG Heater, Hayward Chlorinator (CL220)

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Help me understand vacuuming options

    Using the vacuum plate protects your plumbing from clogs if you vacuum up leaves or something large.

    Using the wall fitting allows your skimmer to keep working while you vacuum, but that's not really a big deal. Either way if you hook up without the skimer plate you should use a leaf trap.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Help me understand vacuuming options

    Thanks, John. So it sounds like options 1 and 3 are the same except that the latter option allows me to also skim while vacuuming. Whereas, option 2 allows me to quickly capture leaves etc in the skimmer basket before they head into the plumping and the trap before my pump.

    Finally, when you say leaf trap do you mean the trap that's attached to my pump?
    20,000 Gallons Inground Vinyl Pool, 1 skimmer, 1 floor drain, 4 return jets, 1 vacuum intake
    Hayward Vari-Flo XL sand filter (SM2506T), Hayward EZ Flow Pump (SP-3107X10), Emerson Pump Motor (EB228), Hayward Comfortzone NG Heater, Hayward Chlorinator (CL220)

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Help me understand vacuuming options

    A leaf trap attaches to your vacuum hose and catches leaves before they go to your pump. There's a picture of one here.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: Help me understand vacuuming options

    Quote Originally Posted by Melt In The Sun
    A leaf trap attaches to your vacuum hose and catches leaves before they go to your pump. There's a picture of one here.
    MITS, thanks for the info and the link to that great post!
    20,000 Gallons Inground Vinyl Pool, 1 skimmer, 1 floor drain, 4 return jets, 1 vacuum intake
    Hayward Vari-Flo XL sand filter (SM2506T), Hayward EZ Flow Pump (SP-3107X10), Emerson Pump Motor (EB228), Hayward Comfortzone NG Heater, Hayward Chlorinator (CL220)

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    Re: Help me understand vacuuming options

    Welcome to TFP, eh!!

    A question you failed to ask, and was, thereby unanswered is - how to adjust the suction side valves to ensure proper vacuum suction.

    Fortunately I can answer the unasked

    Hook up your vacuum to whichever port or skimmer you want. Then go to the filter pad and close the valve to one (or more) of the other suction lines until you see a 1/2 - 1 psi drop on the pressure gauge - perfect suction without the vac head sticking to the floor!

    Also, if you didn't already know - fill the vac hose with water before attaching it

    Have some fun in the pool between vacuumings!
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: Help me understand vacuuming options

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    Welcome to TFP, eh!!

    A question you failed to ask, and was, thereby unanswered is - how to adjust the suction side valves to ensure proper vacuum suction.

    Fortunately I can answer the unasked

    Hook up your vacuum to whichever port or skimmer you want. Then go to the filter pad and close the valve to one (or more) of the other suction lines until you see a 1/2 - 1 psi drop on the pressure gauge - perfect suction without the vac head sticking to the floor!

    Also, if you didn't already know - fill the vac hose with water before attaching it

    Have some fun in the pool between vacuumings!
    Thanks, Waste! This forum is fantastic and is helping me get up to speed on the existing pool that came with our house.

    Just to be clear, when you say 'filter pad' do you mean the filter valves connected to my pump that are controlling the incoming water? I have 3 incoming lines (Skimmer, Floor Drain & In-wall Vacuum) with corresponding valves for each. Also, are you recommending to completely turn off one of the suction lines or just start turning it until the pressure drops 1/2-1 psi?

    These might seem silly, but since I have no previous exposure to these filter valves maybe someone can also answer these related questions:

    1) Can I turn the valves on/off while the pump is running? I know that the Multiport Main valve on my sand filter valve can only be switched when the pump is off so I'm wondering if the same rule applies to the valves controlling the incoming water?

    2) Does it matter which direction I turn the valves (ie left or right)?

    3) Do the valves only offer two states of water flow (ie on-off) or do they offer a variable range of water flow as I turn the valve futhur?

    Thanks again
    20,000 Gallons Inground Vinyl Pool, 1 skimmer, 1 floor drain, 4 return jets, 1 vacuum intake
    Hayward Vari-Flo XL sand filter (SM2506T), Hayward EZ Flow Pump (SP-3107X10), Emerson Pump Motor (EB228), Hayward Comfortzone NG Heater, Hayward Chlorinator (CL220)

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Help me understand vacuuming options

    Quote Originally Posted by cipher
    Just to be clear, when you say 'filter pad' do you mean the filter valves connected to my pump that are controlling the incoming water? I have 3 incoming lines (Skimmer, Floor Drain & In-wall Vacuum) with corresponding valves for each. Also, are you recommending to completely turn off one of the suction lines or just start turning it until the pressure drops 1/2-1 psi?
    Yes, the control valves. Just adjust until you get the pressure drop you need.


    Quote Originally Posted by cipher
    1) Can I turn the valves on/off while the pump is running?
    Yes. Adjust them as needed. The MP valve is much more complicated and actually opens all ports when it's being moved, plus the gasket is subject to dislocation by flowing water.

    Quote Originally Posted by cipher
    2) Does it matter which direction I turn the valves (ie left or right)? 3) Do the valves only offer two states of water flow (ie on-off) or do they offer a variable range of water flow as I turn the valve futhur?
    Normally they'll go one way on, and the other way off, and they are variable.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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