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Thread: Vacuuming to Waste

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    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Virginia Beach, VA
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    Vacuuming to Waste

    When vacuuming to waste, I normally close the opposite skimmer to increase suction through the skimmer I'm using to vacuum. Should I also close the valve that shuts off the drain that's at the very bottom of the pool? I'd think that would increase suction even more, but I don't want to put too much back pressure on the pump and end up burning it out.

    Thanks!
    Andrew - Virginia Beach, VA
    22,000 gallons; 16x32 rectangle; 3.5Ft-8Ft Depth; Pentair Whisper Flow 2 speed Pump 1.5/.5HP; Pentair FNSP60 DE Filter; Aqua Rite SWG. Polaris 180 cleaner.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Vacuuming to Waste

    Closing valves is fine as long as there is enough flow to keep the pump strainer basket full. When you start getting air in the basket, you have restricted the flow too much.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Vacuuming to Waste

    Thanks for your reply! Do you happen to know how I can determine which valves close which drains?
    Andrew - Virginia Beach, VA
    22,000 gallons; 16x32 rectangle; 3.5Ft-8Ft Depth; Pentair Whisper Flow 2 speed Pump 1.5/.5HP; Pentair FNSP60 DE Filter; Aqua Rite SWG. Polaris 180 cleaner.

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    Re: Vacuuming to Waste

    One other question - is vacuuming on high on my 2 speed 1.5/.5 HP pump okay? I'm sure it would generate a lot more suction, but then I lose a lot more water a lot more quickly.
    Andrew - Virginia Beach, VA
    22,000 gallons; 16x32 rectangle; 3.5Ft-8Ft Depth; Pentair Whisper Flow 2 speed Pump 1.5/.5HP; Pentair FNSP60 DE Filter; Aqua Rite SWG. Polaris 180 cleaner.

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
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    Re: Vacuuming to Waste

    You'll have to watch the skimmers to see which valve operates what.

    Another issue you might have is too much suction to move the vacuum head easily. I'd usually vacuum on high speed, but you might not be able to do so with all flow dedicated to the vac line. If you're getting enough suction on low speed to vacuum effectively then I'd use low speed with all suction dedicated to the vac-attached skimmer.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Vacuuming to Waste

    Generally, the skimmers have two pipes coming into one valve.. the main drain will have its own valve and pipe.

    When vacuuming, I close of the main drain and one of the skimmers which seems to work great.
    2003 Coleman MAAX Collection Model 706 - 400gal

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    Re: Vacuuming to Waste

    Ok, guess it's time for me to reiterate my advice on vacuuming a pool with 2 or more suctions 8)

    Get the vacuum set up with all suction lines open, then start closing valves to the lines you aren't vacuuming through until the pressure gauge drops 1/2 - 1 psi. This gives you good suction while not making the vachead stick to the floor! If you have gravel or other large debris on the floor, vacuum the rest of the pool and then turn off all other ports that you aren't vacuuming through and lift the vachead and lower it onto the rock (you may need to rapidly work the vachead back and forth to liberate the rock - you need to dislodge it from the bottom to allow the suction to pull it into the suction port on the vacuum - then, if the rock is too large to enter the hose, pull the vachead up to ~ 4" below the pool surface and remove the stuck rock with your hand) [I caught s**t for one time telling a customer, who had told me "I tried vacuuming up the rocks, but the won't get them, so don't even TRY the vacuum, you'll have to go in and pick them off the floor by hand!", "Lady, maybe you can't, but I know how to use a pool vacuum and I can" - needless to say, the rocks were out of the pool in 3 minutes & I didn't even get wet up to my elbow ]

    Technique and knowing how, and when, to adjust the amount of suction are the keys to properly vacuuming a pool 8)
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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