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Thread: Vac AGP w/o skimmer plate—why doesn't that work?

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Vac AGP w/o skimmer plate—why doesn't that work?

    My friend has an inground pool. When she vacuums, she removes the skimmer basket and inserts the hose directly into the hole. I find that very convenient, no fussing with seating the plate on the skimmer and putting the hose in and getting a good seal and all that.

    So I tried it just now on my AGP.

    The pump was very unhappy, immediately.

    The hose was filled with water, as always. The moment I pushed the hose end into the hole the pump pot emptied and the pressure dropped to zero. I turned the pump off (we installed a switch on the deck within easy reach of the skimmer), removed the hose, put the basket back in, turned the pump back on and let the pot fill, and vacuumed as usual.

    So why didn't this work? Does it have to do with my pump being below the water level and hers is above?
    AnnaK

    12,500 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Vac AGP w/o skimmer plate—why doesn't that work?

    It shouldn't matter to the pump whether you use the skimmer plate or plug the hose directly into the skimmer hole. The difference is probably that the skimmer plate allows a little leakage by and the hose directly into the hole doesn't. With the hose in the hole, the suction head is so great that it creates an air leak that normally doesn't exist, or is so small it's not noticable.

    It's better to leave the skimmer basket in place and use the plate because the larger stuff gets caught by the skimmer basket and doesn't get to the pump basket. So the chances of plugging up the suction plumbing is less.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Vac AGP w/o skimmer plate—why doesn't that work?

    A couple of weeks ago I sucked up the lens out of a set of swim goggles. It might have made it to the pump basket, but I was sure glad the skimmer basket was in there to stop it from trying. It actally lodged in the fitting on the skimmer end of the hose.

    It's not a huge deal on an AG pool, but an underground clog ranks right up there with an underground leak in IG pool owners fears.
    TFP Moderator
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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Vac AGP w/o skimmer plate—why doesn't that work?

    Thanks for your input.

    John, good catch! That could have been a nasty clog. I normally have the basket in but since all I was vacuuming today was silt, I thought I'd try this other method.
    AnnaK

    12,500 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Vac AGP w/o skimmer plate—why doesn't that work?

    I have never used a vacuum plate on my above ground pool when I vacuum. It came with a baracuda ranger pool cleaner, but when I want to vacuum manually I use my ranger hoses and the rubber collar from the rangers suction control valve to connect the hose to the skimmer. It fits tight with no leaks. I also use a leaf canister to catch any large debris before it gets to the pump. When I hook things up, the collar goes in first, then 1 hose section, then the leaf canister. The leaf canister weighs it down so the hose stays underwater and I can turn on the pump. I connect the rest of the hose sections to the vacuum, fill them with water and connect the hose to the leaf canister. Vacuum as usual.
    TFP Moderator
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