Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Converting from Inground Pop Ups to Automatic Cleaner

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Converting from Inground Pop Ups to Automatic Cleaner

    We recently just got a new house with a 30k gallon pool with a diving board and deep end. For the most part we finally got the pool clear, but the inground pop up cleaning system isn't very effective. We are still having to manually vacuum alot of dirt. All the pop ups are all working after having to spend a bunch of money replacing them but they just don't do a very good job of moving the leafs and dirt. The pool is Pebble Tech and I have heard that the inground systems don't work very well on Pebble Tech.
    [attachment=0:32bogsiz]Ryan BINSR Update 001.jpg[/attachment:32bogsiz]

    So I'm looking at switching to an automatic pool cleaner like Barracuda, Hayward or something along those lines. What's the best way to go about this? I assume that the automatic pool cleaner would get hung up on the pop ups so I would have to disable them. My pool currently has 4 outlets around the pool, could i simply re plum it so that all the water only goes to those 4 outlets? Because right now there's no way to turn off the pop ups.

    Also, I would have to run my vacuum hose into the skimmer, so there's no way I could use the skimmer then right? Currently my pool gets alot of leafs in it from the trees so the skimmer has proven to be valuable and I would like to use it if at all possible.

    Thanks for the help!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Houston, Texas

    Re: Converting from Inground Pop Ups to Automatic Cleaner

    Hi, Welcome to TFP! Just so I have the facts straight, you have returns on the sides of the pool in addition to the pop ups in the floor? Are the pop ups on whenever the pump is on? If so then yes, in order to use an automatic cleaner you would need to re-plumb the pop up so you could turn them off when you want them off. There should be a shut off valve for the pop ups since most people don't want them on when the pool is in use. And yes, you would not be able to use the skimmer when the automatic cleaner is hooked up.

    Instead of an automatic cleaner you could use a robotic cleaner. They do not run off the pool's circulation system so the skimmer would be operational while the robot is running.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
    Love TFP? Become a
    TFP Supporter!

  3. Back To Top    #3
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Converting from Inground Pop Ups to Automatic Cleaner

    Yes, you could re-plumb so that all the water goes to the four returns and none goes to the popups. You could also get a pool cleaner that is powered by a return, so that you have three returns and a pool cleaner line, and get to keep you skimmer.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Dallas TX

    Re: Converting from Inground Pop Ups to Automatic Cleaner

    My pool has a very similar setup: 33k, pop-ups, 4 return jets, two skimmers.

    I've played with various vacuums and such, the following 2 solutions have worked depending what kind of debris gets in the pool:

    Large debris (acorns, twigs, etc): Pressure-side pool cleaner, hooked into one of the return jets. I'm using a "POOLVERGNUEGEN" pressure-side cleaner, no booster pump is necessary. This keeps both skimmers free to do their job. Have to empty the vac bag once a week or so. Trouble-free.

    Small debris (dust and such): suction-side 'Kreepy-Crawly'-type (mine is a Dirt Devil) cleaner. The cleaner does an outstanding job essentially impact-cleaning the pool, and gets all the 'fines'. But it gets jammed on larger debris like acorns and such. This will take up one of the skimmers, AND the pool pump must run at high enough speed/vacuum to operate it effectively. To make up for the loss of one skimmer, plug in a Pool Devil skimmer into a return jet (, works very well and cheap too.

    On both setups, I leave the floor jets on, they are already there and working, and they do help to stir up the water. I've not had an issue with the vacuums getting hung up. The POOLVERGNUEGEN just rolls over them. The suction-side cleaner might get hung up for a few seconds max, then the pop-up sinks, and it takes off.

    I really like the suction-side cleaner for how nice a job getting the small debris picked up, so clean it's almost unnecessary to sweep. All that gunk goes into the filter but that's what it's there for. I've had to mostly use the pressure-side solution though, since we have a lot of trees dropping large debris in the water.

    I've reserached robots, and while they have fans, I've not jumped on board for a few reasons:
    1) expensive
    2) manual (you have to throw it in, take it out, clean, every time)
    3) mess with cords or batteries
    4) on battery systems, the batteries will die in a few years

    Best of luck, enjoy the pool
    33k Gunite, CompuPool CPSC48 SWG, Sta-Rite System 3 DE, 2.25hp dual-speed, POOLVERGNUEGEN Pressure-side

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts