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Thread: Hello! I'm new, and a rookie!

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    Hello! I'm new, and a rookie!

    Hello! I recently moved into a new home with a 23k gallon vinyl in ground pool. I am eager to maintain it myself but do have a pool service on hand if needed. I'm still wrapping my head around the chemistry but for now everything is cool. The pool was very well maintained by the previous owner (or the people she paid a fortune to for maintenance).

    My main issue right now is a small amount of debris at the deep end. We were left with a Polaris cleaner. One person told me it needed a 600$ "new head", another told us it just doesn't work.

    Honestly, once it's warm enough for me to get some time IN the pool, I think I can physically remove it myself. It's twigs and leaves. But for now, it's really irritating my husband that it's there.

    I really don't want to spend 600 bucks on ANYTHING right now, frankly, as it's just not a huge amount of debris. What are some other options...manual vac? I guess I'm wondering what a good option is for using every once in awhile that won't break the bank. Thanks! This forum has been so helpful!

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! I'm new, and a rookie!

    Welcome!

    You should already have a pole for the skimmer, so all you need is a manual vacuum and a hose and some way to connect the hose to your skimmer. Sometimes the hose will fit nicely into the inlet, sometimes a skimmer vacuum plate will work, or you might need to wander the plumbing aisle and find some PVC pieces that will adapt the hole in the skimmer to the vacuum hose. You can see pictures of all the neat stuff in the visual encyclopedia. (The skimmer plate is down with the skimmer not with the vacuums)

    I bought mine at Lowes. If you don't get a lot of debris in your pool every day, a manual vacuum may be all you ever need.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! I'm new, and a rookie!

    Perhaps a little elbow grease and a leaf rake?
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    Re: Hello! I'm new, and a rookie!

    Ok, upon searching through her old pool room, I actually found a manual vac with hose, and a skimmer plate. Now, what do I do with it? Speak slowly, this is all very new to me.

    I'm SO glad I came here before going to the pool store! Lord, they would have taken all my money!

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    Re: Hello! I'm new, and a rookie!

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolsideinLA View Post
    Ok, upon searching through her old pool room, I actually found a manual vac with hose, and a skimmer plate. Now, what do I do with it? Speak slowly, this is all very new to me.

    I'm SO glad I came here before going to the pool store! Lord, they would have taken all my money!
    Best second post of all time! Remember this when we start talking chemistry!

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    Re: Hello! I'm new, and a rookie!

    Welcome to TFP

    Here are "slow" instructions for a basic vacuum with a skimmer plate as I know them

    If you haven't figured it out.......connect vacuum head to your pole and connect vacuum hose to the top of the vacuum head.

    If you have a main drain, you want to close that valve at the pump if you can (increases suction to the skimmer)

    Make sure pump is running
    Put vacuum head on poll into water
    Now you need to get the air out of that hose. Hold the end of the hose that you have (the part that the skimmer plate attaches to ) up to a return eye to force water through it (I do this before attaching skimmer plate) until bubbles stop coming from the vacuum head
    Get the hose into the skimmer with the skimmer plate making a seal so that hose is sucking only water and not air
    Vacuum away.

    Make sure there are some bristles on that vacuum head (if it old) so it doesn't get stuck to your vinyl.


    Edit....it isn't a stupid question. I had no idea what to do with our equipment once our builder was done. He gave instructions to my husband who "supposedly" had taken notes. Almost 3years in and my husband still doesn't know what to do to hook up the vacuum head. He will brush the pool upon being asked and he is the official skimmer basket guy (due to frogs and creepy things) but he hasn't a clue about any other maintenance.....no electrical troubleshooting (me) no pump pressure issues.......no chemistry.....nothing.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! I'm new, and a rookie!

    My technique is to connect hose, vacuum, and pole together. Extend pole and set it in the pool. Slowly feed the hose in, keeping the section going down vertical so all the air escapes. When it's full of water, I shove it through the skimmer opening, keeping it submerged the whole time. Then I connect it and away we go. Otherwise, you got good directions above. Expect the pump to sound different and the pressure might drop some. As long as it all goes back to normal when you disconnect the vacuum, you're good.

    Sneak up on the mess. Let the vacuum head suck stuff in ahead of itself. If you move too fast, you stir things up.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    AimeeH's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! I'm new, and a rookie!

    Thanks Richard

    I happen to have a 1 1/2 inch pvc return close to my skimmer that the hose end fits right in. Your way makes total sense.

    The point the OP needs to understand is to get that hose and skimmer plate connected to skimmer without getting air in the system.

    Seems simple enough to those of us who know that.......I DID NOT understand this as a total newbie in 2011.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
    http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html

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    smforte's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! I'm new, and a rookie!

    Quote Originally Posted by AimeeH View Post
    . Almost 3years in and my husband still doesn't know what to do to hook up the vacuum head. He will brush the pool upon being asked and he is the official skimmer basket guy (due to frogs and creepy things) but he hasn't a clue about any other maintenance.....no electrical troubleshooting (me) no pump pressure issues.......no chemistry.....nothing.
    And I thought I was the only one. Mine doesn't even know how to empty the basket....
    Montgomery, AL
    27000 16 x 36 IG, Vinyl, Grecian, Hayward Sand filter, 1 HP Pentair whisperflo motor, Aqua Genie filter not by choice, no extra jets, Dolphin s300i robotic cleaner,Taylor K 2006 test kit, speed-stir which I couldn't live without!

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