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Thread: Need help with vacuuming

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2014
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    PRNJ/PA
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    Need help with vacuuming

    First off... please forgive me for being a noob. I'm sorry if this is in the wrong place, or anything of the sort...

    We moved into our house late last August and finally got the pool running. Hooray! The thing was filled with mud practically and we had to drain it and refill, but it works.

    Anyway, we can't get the vacuum to work well. My pool is a 25-30,000 gallon kidney shaped pool with two skimmers, two returns, and two drains in the bottom. One drain is in the deep end and one is in the shallow end.

    We are using a generic cheap manually operated vacuum. No robot or anything. The procedure we use is to turn off one skimmer/drain via a ball valve by the pump, then hook the vacuum to the live skimmer. When we attempt to clean the pool there is very little suction from the vacuum and it is basically worthless. I believe the issue is the filter/pump is several feet below the top of the pool, so naturally the bottom drain is receiving more suction from the pump than the skimmer. The pump is roughly 4' below the edge of the water, it is the way the PO had it set up.

    What are my options? My dad asked the local pool supply store if we could simply hook the vacuum directly to the pump but the guy there gave some vague answer saying it won't work. I'm very skeptical of the pool store in general as they are always trying to make a sale. I needed a gasket for my Amerlite (or something like that, but that is another thread), and the girl there tried to scare my dad into buying a $150ish light for $400 because we were "going to get electrocuted".

    Another option I've read of is a booster pump or something like that. Some stand alone pump that works solely for the vacuum.

    Thanks for all of the advice in advance. Please forgive me for my lack of pool knowledge and any mistakes I may have typed. I REALLY need to go to sleep.


    TL;DR: My vacuum has no suction.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Re: Need help with vacuuming

    Welcome to TFP!

    Do you have a valve to control water from the main drain? Normally you would also turn off (or at least partly off) the main drain when vacuuming.

    This doesn't have anything to do with the equipment being below water level. The pump will naturally draw more water from the source with less resistance to flow. The vacuum hose makes for a lot of resistance, so the main drain gets most of the flow.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Houston, TX
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    Re: Need help with vacuuming

    Welcome to TFP!

    You should be able to isolate the skimmer so all the suction goes to the one you are vacuuming from. There should be a valve that selects skimmers or drain.

    Once you have skimmers selected you can pop a plug in the other skimmer, that should give you pressure.

    Pop a couple of pictures up of your equipment pad and we should be able to help.
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
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  4. Back To Top    #4

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    May 2014
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    Re: Need help with vacuuming

    I have two lines coming from the ground which meet then feed into my pump, and each of those lines have a valve on it. As far as I know, those lines are for each side and I can't isolate the skimmers. When I say side I mean skimmer and drain.

    I just closed one of the valves to check. Sure enough, one skimmer has no suction and the other has a lot. I'll upload a pic when I can, my internet is slooooooow.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Need help with vacuuming

    I also have two lines coming out from the ground that meet and feed into the pump. One side is fed from the 2 skimmer lines and the other side is from the main drain. What I normally do when I vacuum is to plug one hole on one of the skimmer. I sometimes close the valve for the main drain line feeding into the pump if I want more suction. It usually takes about a minute or two for the suction to really show on the hose. To help it along I place the other end of the hose close to the return line to get the water moving along faster.

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