Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: New Pool owner: Vacuuming the pool. Is it hooked up right?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    21

    New Pool owner: Vacuuming the pool. Is it hooked up right?

    Let me start by saying that I just bought a house and it came with an Above ground pool. I have never had to take care of one, but me being the person that I am, took it as a quest to turn it from green to clean. (The lady at the pool store knows me by name now.)

    So, it came time to vacuum the pool. I primed the hose, placed the plate over the skimmer and turned the pump on. In normal operation, the pump strainer basket would be full of water at all times, but when I vacuumed, the level of water in the strainer lowered dramatically, and all you can see is a little bit of water trickling in from the inlet side. There is no return pressure at all on the return jet of the pool.

    I know that you should not run the pump dry, so I immediately turned everything off.

    I have a Hayward 1hp power flo matrix with 16" sand filter. I checked that there were no blockages, the hose is free of clogs, etc. The filter runs great in normal filter mode so no leaks in the plumbing.

    I bought a new vacuum disk plate that has a larger diameter hole, thinking that this new pump was having trouble drawing all that water through the smaller disc hole. Still the same thing. I am thinking of buying the vacuum disk plate that has the 90 degree elbow so I don't have to feed the tube OVER the side of the pool wall to hook it up. Maybe it is having trouble drawing the water up and over the edge?

    Help me out with this one please! Thanks!
    18ft Round x 4ft deep AGP. Approx 7800 gallon.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    AnnaK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,132

    Re: New Pool owner: Vacuuming the pool. Is it hooked up right?

    I've learned that if I just have the vacuum plate on the skimmer basket my pump goes into agonies of despair. I agree, it can't pull enough water through the opening in the plate.

    The plate I use now has a 90 elbow to which I attach the vacuum hose. I fill the hose, its other end already attached to the vacuum head and pole, with water by holding it in front of the return and then slide the plate through the skimmer opening and let it get sucked to the basket. With just a little practice my aim has gotten good enough to where I get a perfect seal the first time.

    Breaking the suction when I'm done vacuuming requires that I shut the pump off. The one time I tried removing the plate while the pump was running I broke it. not doing that again.

    Another thing I've learned is, if I have a skimmer sock in the basket while vacuuming, the seal isn't entirely tight and I get bubbles in the pump trainer basket as well as coming out of the return. Whether I'll leave a sock in the basket now depends on what I'm vacuuming. If it's a lot of tree flowers and small solid debris, I do. If it's that fine brownish/yellow dust which comes from drowned pollens, I don't. I hardly ever get leaves or bugs on the bottom and when I do have some, I scoop them out with the leaf rake, first.
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 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.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    21

    Re: New Pool owner: Vacuuming the pool. Is it hooked up right?

    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaK
    I've learned that if I just have the vacuum plate on the skimmer basket my pump goes into agonies of despair. I agree, it can't pull enough water through the opening in the plate.

    The plate I use now has a 90 elbow to which I attach the vacuum hose. I fill the hose, its other end already attached to the vacuum head and pole, with water by holding it in front of the return and then slide the plate through the skimmer opening and let it get sucked to the basket. With just a little practice my aim has gotten good enough to where I get a perfect seal the first time.

    Breaking the suction when I'm done vacuuming requires that I shut the pump off. The one time I tried removing the plate while the pump was running I broke it. not doing that again.

    Another thing I've learned is, if I have a skimmer sock in the basket while vacuuming, the seal isn't entirely tight and I get bubbles in the pump trainer basket as well as coming out of the return. Whether I'll leave a sock in the basket now depends on what I'm vacuuming. If it's a lot of tree flowers and small solid debris, I do. If it's that fine brownish/yellow dust which comes from drowned pollens, I don't. I hardly ever get leaves or bugs on the bottom and when I do have some, I scoop them out with the leaf rake, first.
    Interesting test with just having the plate on and nothing else (making sure it is completely under water of course ). I will have to try that and see if this is the problem. So you do recommend the 90 elbow (with as big a diameter opening as possible) ? I think my problems definitely stem from too small opening + over the wall hookup.

    Thanks for the reply.

    EDIT: Also, should I be vacuuming to waste instead of through filter?
    18ft Round x 4ft deep AGP. Approx 7800 gallon.

  4. Back To Top    #4
    AnnaK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,132

    Re: New Pool owner: Vacuuming the pool. Is it hooked up right?

    The diameter of the elbow depends on the size of your vacuum hose since the hose end slips over the end on the elbow.

    I've only once vacuumed to waste when I had an inordinate amount of small tree flowers from my birch grove on the bottom after a wind storm. Normally, I vacuum on filter. Sometimes with, sometimes without a skimmer sock. The time my turquoise necklace broke spilling turquoise beads on a turquoise bottomed pool I vacuumed with the skimmer sock

    If you're going to run the pump with the vacuum plate on the skimmer basket BE SURE you either can reach the pump to shut it off, or have someone there to do it. It will work very hard. On my setup the suction is so strong through the hole that it sets up a vortex and sucks the skimmer dry, which is not a Good Thing.
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 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.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    21

    Re: New Pool owner: Vacuuming the pool. Is it hooked up right?

    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaK
    The diameter of the elbow depends on the size of your vacuum hose since the hose end slips over the end on the elbow.

    I've only once vacuumed to waste when I had an inordinate amount of small tree flowers from my birch grove on the bottom after a wind storm. Normally, I vacuum on filter. Sometimes with, sometimes without a skimmer sock. The time my turquoise necklace broke spilling turquoise beads on a turquoise bottomed pool I vacuumed with the skimmer sock

    If you're going to run the pump with the vacuum plate on the skimmer basket BE SURE you either can reach the pump to shut it off, or have someone there to do it. It will work very hard. On my setup the suction is so strong through the hole that it sets up a vortex and sucks the skimmer dry, which is not a Good Thing.
    Thank you. Just to confirm: you have had this issue in the past (strainer basket water level very low when vacuuming) and you resolved it by using a better vacuum disc? I can't tell exactly from your initial post if you did and resolved the problem this way or if you are just recognizing my problem.
    18ft Round x 4ft deep AGP. Approx 7800 gallon.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    AnnaK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,132

    Re: New Pool owner: Vacuuming the pool. Is it hooked up right?

    I recognized a portion of your situation and responded to it.

    You had written:
    So, it came time to vacuum the pool. I primed the hose, placed the plate over the skimmer and turned the pump on. In normal operation, the pump strainer basket would be full of water at all times, but when I vacuumed, the level of water in the strainer lowered dramatically, and all you can see is a little bit of water trickling in from the inlet side. There is no return pressure at all on the return jet of the pool.

    I interpreted that, rightly or wrongly, as "plate with hole is over skimmer basket, pump is turned on, water gets sucked out of the strainer basket and leaves it nearly dry."

    My experience was that the plate was on the skimmer basket but the vacuum hose was not yet attached to the elbow. The suction produced was too high, a vortex was created, and the pump began sucking air - the strainer basket nearly emptied. There was not enough water coming in through the hole in the vacuum plate to keep the pump primed.

    This has NOT happened when I had the vacuum hose attached to the elbow joint on the vacuum plate - only when it was just the plate on the skimmer basket. I do get some air in the strainer pot at the pump when I have a less than perfect seal such as when I have a skimmer sock in the skimmer basket.
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 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.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    21

    Re: New Pool owner: Vacuuming the pool. Is it hooked up right?

    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaK
    I recognized a portion of your situation and responded to it.

    You had written:
    So, it came time to vacuum the pool. I primed the hose, placed the plate over the skimmer and turned the pump on. In normal operation, the pump strainer basket would be full of water at all times, but when I vacuumed, the level of water in the strainer lowered dramatically, and all you can see is a little bit of water trickling in from the inlet side. There is no return pressure at all on the return jet of the pool.

    I interpreted that, rightly or wrongly, as "plate with hole is over skimmer basket, pump is turned on, water gets sucked out of the strainer basket and leaves it nearly dry."

    My experience was that the plate was on the skimmer basket but the vacuum hose was not yet attached to the elbow. The suction produced was too high, a vortex was created, and the pump began sucking air - the strainer basket nearly emptied. There was not enough water coming in through the hole in the vacuum plate to keep the pump primed.

    This has NOT happened when I had the vacuum hose attached to the elbow joint on the vacuum plate - only when it was just the plate on the skimmer basket. I do get some air in the strainer pot at the pump when I have a less than perfect seal such as when I have a skimmer sock in the skimmer basket.
    I apologize, my mistake. The plate is attached to the hose this whole time. I have never just had the plate on without the hose. I lose the water level in my strainer when everything is hooked up and (I believe) properly primed. Sorry to confuse you.

    I wonder what my issue is then since, the only time you've experienced the problem, is when the vortex was formed and air got in.
    18ft Round x 4ft deep AGP. Approx 7800 gallon.

  8. Back To Top    #8
    AnnaK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,132

    Re: New Pool owner: Vacuuming the pool. Is it hooked up right?

    Confusion happens easily in Internet communications.

    We need one of the pump experts to get into this thread, I think. mas985 is a Special Contributor and knows just about all there is to know about pumps. Perhaps you can send him a PM and ask if he would look in on this thread?
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 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.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Burlington, North Carolina
    Posts
    27

    Re: New Pool owner: Vacuuming the pool. Is it hooked up right?

    would a hole in the hose cause this problem?

    I had something similar happen last year and it turned out that it was a small defect in my vacuum hose. It had a hole in it near the end. Now if I put the "hole end" of the hose near the bottom of the pool instead of the skimmer, it does not suck air and I have no issues. Sounds like you might have a hole in your hose, especially if you dont have the 90 degree turn on your plate that goes into the skimmer.
    18x33 agp. 1 1/2 hp pump with sand filter.
    AKA pool noob.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,887

    Re: New Pool owner: Vacuuming the pool. Is it hooked up right?

    You can check you hose for leaks by taking it out of the pool and letting it dry, filling it with water while holding the two ends level with each other pointing up, and then watch to see if water comes out anywhere. Even a very small water leak can let a significant amount of air in. The same thing can happen with the vacuum plate if it is above water, though it is much more difficult to test for that.
    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

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    21

    Re: New Pool owner: Vacuuming the pool. Is it hooked up right?

    There HAS to be air getting in somewhere. I just PMed someone who was experiencing the same thing I am. Turned out the hose connection between his skimmer and pump had a VERY small leak. Not enough to cause a problem during normal filtering, but a big problem when vacuuming. (I guess there is more pressure on everything during vacuuming?) I am going to check everything when I get home.
    18ft Round x 4ft deep AGP. Approx 7800 gallon.

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    21

    Re: New Pool owner: Vacuuming the pool. Is it hooked up right?

    Yeah, it is definitely the connection between the plate and the hose. I could hear suction there. So I did the "pour test" and the water level in the strainer stayed put while I was pouring the water over that section. Once I stopped, it went down. DOH!! Now I need a new vacuum hose?
    18ft Round x 4ft deep AGP. Approx 7800 gallon.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •