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Thread: Vacuum Head hard to move along pool bottom (other styles?)

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Vacuum Head hard to move along pool bottom (other styles?)

    I have this vac head



    It doesn't have wheels on the bottom, I can't push it forward when it is stuck to the bottom of the pool, only pull it towards me. So i have to stick it way out there and let it sink down to the bottom and then pull it back and then repeat. I can't just push it pull it push it pull it etc.

    Any other styles out there work a little easier? I mean this thing sucks up everything i just can't push it around, only pull.
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    Re: Vacuum Head hard to move along pool bottom (other styles

    Your brushes may be worn out. They tend to stick badly when they are. Otherwise, you'll need to reduce the flow through the vac by opening the drain or using a skimmer diverter.

    I buy new brushes for mine on eBay.
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    Re: Vacuum Head hard to move along pool bottom (other styles

    Hi John, the vac head is brand new, I've used it three times, it was provided by the pool builder. I'll look at the brushes tonight. That said i think it must just have too much suction.

    Here is my process for vacuuming. Attach hose to skimmer lid, attach other end of hose to vac head with pole on, stick head on deep end. Place skimmer lid into skimmer. To my limited knowledge i don't have a way to increase/decrease flow to anything (skimmer/return/bottom drain). I only have one skimmer.

    I will search for skimmer diverters.
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    Re: Vacuum Head hard to move along pool bottom (other styles

    Okay i think i understand a skimmer diverter. My main drain is plumbed separately to the pad from my one skimmer. I think the only way i could reduce suction to the skimmer is to put in an additional valve that could be partially closed (if that is correct what is the best-easiest to turn-last for years valve to use for this application). I will study my plumbing tonight to confirm this but i'm pretty sure this is the way it is.
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    Re: Vacuum Head hard to move along pool bottom (other styles

    If your drain is plumbed separately, I'd expect you already have a valve in the skimmmer and drain lines, but if you don't the best are the Jandys or their knock-offs. I notice from your sig that you have a 2HP pump. That is probably the source of the problem. A 1HP pump would easily handle your pool.
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    Re: Vacuum Head hard to move along pool bottom (other styles

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    If your drain is plumbed separately, I'd expect you already have a valve in the skimmmer and drain lines, but if you don't the best are the Jandys or their knock-offs. I notice from your sig that you have a 2HP pump. That is probably the source of the problem. A 1HP pump would easily handle your pool.
    I only have one multi-selection valve i forget the technical name....and yes the sig is correct, my builder was/is one of those "i've been doing this for 30 years and i've always done it like this" type of people who wasn't afraid to admit they are slow to adopt the latest and greatest. That was his response when i asked about 2 speed pumps.....

    So short of buying a new pump, and assuming i have no current way to restrict flow from skimmer to pump i could put a valve in line between skimmer pipe and pump and manually reduce flow from skimmer when i want to vacuum manually?
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    Re: Vacuum Head hard to move along pool bottom (other styles

    Quote Originally Posted by harleysilo
    So short of buying a new pump, and assuming i have no current way to restrict flow from skimmer to pump i could put a valve in line between skimmer pipe and pump and manually reduce flow from skimmer when i want to vacuum manually?
    If you have a 3-way, you might be able to turn it toward the drain to get what you need.

    Long term, I'd look into putting a smaller impeller on your existing pump. It will reduce power use and reduce the flow without hurting your wallet too badly.
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    Re: Vacuum Head hard to move along pool bottom (other styles

    Okay so brushes on head look brand new as I would expect as its new.

    You are right I have two shutoff valves, one for skimmer one for main drain.

    I have a 6 way valve right before filter.

    I will research pump impeller reduction.

    Would a different vac head with wheels work with current pump setup do you think?

    Will I harm anything closing partially the skimmer shut off valve?
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    Re: Vacuum Head hard to move along pool bottom (other styles

    Quote Originally Posted by harleysilo
    Okay so brushes on head look brand new as I would expect as its new.

    You are right I have two shutoff valves, one for skimmer one for main drain.

    I have a 6 way valve right before filter.

    I will research pump impeller reduction.

    Would a different vac head with wheels work with current pump setup do you think?

    Will I harm anything closing partially the skimmer shut off valve?
    Wheeled vac heads are for plaster pools.

    It won't hurt to close the skimmer a little.
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    Re: Vacuum Head hard to move along pool bottom (other styles

    Okay here are some pics of my equipment







    And reading another thread today got me wondering if the alternative to partially closing the skimmer valve is a device like this...

    http://www.amazon.com/Hayward-Large-Ski ... B004QY8VI4

    Thoughts?
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    Re: Vacuum Head hard to move along pool bottom (other styles

    That or a vacuum regulator would work. The neat thing about the Hayward skimmer plate is that it still allows the skimmer to work a little with the vacuum hooked up.
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    Re: Vacuum Head hard to move along pool bottom (other styles

    Based on your photos, you can control how much or how little suction goes through your skimmer by opening and closing the two blue handled ball valves coming off the front of the pump. The valve on the left ( as you are facing the pump) says Skimmer, the one on the right says MD (Main Drain) on it. So if you are going to vac, typically you want to maximize suction to the skimmer and would close the Main Drain valve. If you think you are getting too much, you can open that valve. Are you closing the Main Drain when you vac already? In my experience with larger pumps like 2HP, closing the MD causes the pump to cavitate, and you get poor flow. Usually its a good idea to open the Main Drain half way. If you are already vaccing with both valves open, and you feel you are getting too much suction, you may have other issues. Sometimes when there is water under the liner, it will form a seal with the vac head, and be very hard to move. Do you know if there is a high water table where you are?

    All that being said, I hate using those vac heads. They tend to be difficult to move. As mentioned vac heads with wheels are intended for plaster/concrete pools, but I have used them on liners for years. WARNING: If you use it on the liner, you CAN do damage if you don't know what you are doing, and you aren't careful. They can pull up the liner and actually suck a hole in it if you aren't careful. The problem is usually where the bottom bends downward at the top of the slope. They can also leave wheel marks on the liner, and if your Vermiculite base is soft underneath (It shouldn't be, but I've seen it a few times) it will leave tracks in it.

    One trick that I use to improve the performance of these brush heads is to cut out some of the bristles. If you cut away 2 sections of bristles on each side of the triangle it will reduce the suction between the vac head and the floor and allow for more flow from around the head. It also makes it way easier to suck up larger things like leaves. Rather than having to lift the head to suck up a leaf, you can just push the head towards it and it will find its way into the gap. If cutting away 2 sections isn't enough, cut another. If you cut away too much you will have trouble getting enough suction, so start small and cut away more until it feels good. Start with the sections closest to the middle and work from the middle out towards the edges.
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    Re: Vacuum Head hard to move along pool bottom (other styles

    I picked up a new vac-head at Walmart a couple weeks ago. It's an HTH brand and has rollers and brushes. It claims it is suitable for plaster and vinyl. I can't comment on it's ability on plaster but it works in my vinyl pool. The rollers are plastic balls. The brushes extend just past the rollers. My pool bottom has a lot of deep divots so this head is not as effective as my old head. The rollers keep the brushes from dipping in the divots but it sounds like it could be just the ticket for you.

    Here it is on Amazon.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/ima...&s=lawn-garden

    If you want, I can take a pic of the underside so you can get an idea if it'll work. I think it's just what you need.
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    Re: Vacuum Head hard to move along pool bottom (other styles

    If I'm not mistaken traditional roller heads claim to be good for all kinds of pools, but they are really best suited for plaster/concrete pools. If there is hard plastic against your liner, it could result in damage. I've seen plastic rollers leave track marks on liners. I suspect it was more a liner problem than an equipment problem, but none the less, it is possible to damage your liner if there is plastic rubbing against it.
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    Re: Vacuum Head hard to move along pool bottom (other styles

    I've been vacuuming with both valves open. Suction is just too strong i think. I don't think it's a "water behind the liner"issue, i live on a hill and don't have a high water table.

    I'm going to try just closing the skimmer valve a little and see if that helps. I like the idea about trimming away some of the front brushes.

    Regarding the wheels, I have a polaris 280 doesn't that pretty much have about the same potential for damaging my liner as a vacuum head with wheels?

    Thanks for all the suggestions.
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    Re: Vacuum Head hard to move along pool bottom (other styles

    When I trim the bristles I usually cut away the center on all three sides. But start with the front. If it works, great. If not try cutting the sides, and go from there.

    As for the polaris, I never thought about it, but I guess the potential is there too. I think there tends to be a little bit more force applied to a vac head though. Like I said, I've used the roller head for years, and had very few problems. Where I did have problems I would attribute it to other issues like a soft trowel underneath the liner, or a discolored liner surface that rubs off when the wheels pass over, leaving tracks behind. I just want to caution you on the use of the roller head because in some odd situations, it will leave a mark, or even tear a liner. I have seen where a roller vac head grabbed the liner, and held on to it as it was rolled along. The end result is a small half-moon shaped wrinkle wherever the vac head finally let go. So you have to weigh the benefits and risks. Personally, I use the roller head whenever possible because it moves faster and gives me better control. There are a select handful of pools that I know have issues like a floating liner, or a soft trowel, where I will always use a brush head instead.

    I have on very rare occasions seen triangular brush heads do damage. There are a few pools I've seen (out of almost 1000 pools) that have a triangular depression from where they pulled themselves into the bottom so hard it left a dent. This usually happens when you are vaccing out a lot of leaves, like when a pool is first opened. The leaves block off the bristles on all sides and create a perfect seal with the bottom. This is very rare that it will leave a mark, but none the less possible. I just wanted to throw this in so you see the risks of each type of head, and hopefully can find which one will work best for you.
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    Re: Vacuum Head hard to move along pool bottom (other styles

    All right everyone, I trimmed some bristles on the front, and turned the shut off valve a little bit and all of the sudden I could vacuum perfectly! I think i'm going to do as advised and trim some on all sides of the brush and see if it will work with the valve wide open.

    The big plus on the trim job was (as written above) it now sucks up the bigger stuff without having to twist the brush to the side.

    THANKS!
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    Re: Vacuum Head hard to move along pool bottom (other styles

    I am completely new at the ig pool thing but I have exactly the same vacuum head. The pool builder's guys told me to shut off the suction to the main drain and then turn the handle that controls suction to the two skimmers a little bit. Not all the way on or off. He told me the suction would be too much if I didn't do that. He didn't speak English very well so there was lots of sign language and guessing going on but that was the jist of it. It works reasonably well. Thank goodness we don't really have to vacuum often because we have no trees and things that get in the pool. I remember having a vacuum head that was similar for my agp years ago that worked much easier but maybe this one is just very new and the bristles have to get a little softer.
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    Re: Vacuum Head hard to move along pool bottom (other styles

    Ikae4, It sounds like you got some bad advice. You should close the valve to the Main Drain(s). This will give you better suction for vacuuming. If you are getting too much suction, which you shouldn't be, it would be better to open the Main Drain valve slightly rather than close down the Skimmer/Vacuum valve. By closing down the skimmer, you would be putting unnecessary resistance on your pump, and over time, you will burn it out. I've vacuumed thousands of pools, and this is the right way. You may want to attempt to cut away some of the bristles from the vac head if you feel you are getting too much suction. It also creates an opening for things to move through instead of just getting caught on the brushes.
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