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Thread: I hate my vac head

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    I hate my vac head

    I have a SwimLine "Vinyl Liner Vacuum Head" that looks like this:

    I hate it. I am ready to throw it in the trash.

    I can't push down on it (from the outside of the pool with a telescoping pole) hard enough to get good bristle contact when moving forward. When moving backwards it flips itself up and tries to rise (no, I'm not going fast). I have tried with a vac hose that floats and one that doesn't. I have added 5 lbs of lead shot to the top of it (in a plastic bag of course ). No matter what I do, I can't get it to "stick" to the bottom and vacuum well while also getting continuous bristle contact. I don't think its a low suction issue either. I'm pulling about 60 gallons/minute through the vac head.

    I've looked at the IG style with rollers, but I'm not sure they are good to use in a vinyl AG. I'd really like a weighted vac head (even if its 20 lbs) with wheels, and bristles. I don't want to just suck stuff off the bottom, I want to brush the bottom while I'm vacuuming. I want it to be solidly planted on the bottom and be able to stay there even with the hose pulling on it. I would also prefer that the bristles be long enough to get into the small crevices and variations that exist on the bottom of a AG pool with a sand base. Any suggestions?

    What about these: (images are clickable)



    Do these style heads have brushes under them?

    (Just kidding on the last one - I'm not spending $1,032.48 on a manual vac head! )

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    Re: I hate my vac head

    Quote Originally Posted by TomU
    I have added 5 lbs of lead shot to the top of it (in a plastic bag of course ).


    If that plastic bag should break, then your troubles will really start.
    Hotrod30

    20 X 40 foot vinyl Borates and Salt Pool
    Rolachem Chlorine Feeder
    Hayward 27 inch sand filter with 80 lbs of pea gravel
    Jacuzzi Splash Pak SP55 DE filter in parallel
    Pentair VF3050 pump

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    Re: I hate my vac head

    It's actually triple bagged, and taped.

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    Re: I hate my vac head

    I've collected vac heads & nets of the years, right now in got the 22" rainbow weight vac head. It's five years old, the only problem using it to vac algae, you have to run over the same area twice. I best vac head for the money and it's weight is the blue devil vinyl vac head (liners only). I can get a whole season of use without me breaking it.

    If you buy one ,make sure it says blue devil on the box, because the knockoffs versins don't clean well as the real deal.
    35000 in ground vinyl liner with cartridge filter
    Birmingham,AL

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    Re: I hate my vac head

    The only real "Blue Devils" I seem to be able to find are in the UK. Valteraa appears to be the manufacturer/importer for them. I will have to call them and see who distributes their products in the US.

    I've dug for the Rainbow vac head, and from what I can tell Pentair acquired them sometime back. The closest I've come is this page.

    After digging for awhile, and seeing the similarities, I'm starting to think everyone is simply importing the same thing from China!

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    Re: I hate my vac head

    I went to a supplier just the other day to buy the blue devil unit, all they had was the knowoff version of it. Not happy with it at all. I asked the store manager if he could call around. I'm on the hunt.

    I can one thing that's not made overseas is skimlite poles.
    35000 in ground vinyl liner with cartridge filter
    Birmingham,AL

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    Re: I hate my vac head

    Any update on this topic? Is anyone finding these blue devil vacuum heads in the US, or able to order them from the web? I have the same head that the OP has and it is a piece of junk. If it gets anything at all, it is just a 2-3 inch wide swath, and it only stays put for about a foot. Surely there is a better way to go. Any help would be appreciated!
    I found what looks like the blue devil here: http://www.poolsaz.com/Blue-Devil-13-De ... b5501c.htm
    What is the reason for not using the type with wheels for a vinyl AG pool, especially if it is one of the smaller, flexible ones?
    28 ft round Doughboy Sand Dollar II AGP, Aug 2008: 4 ft shallow, 6ft deep end: 24K gal approx Hayward Power-Flo Matrix
    1&1/2-HP 2-SPD Pump, Hayward 27-Inch Sand Filter with a little DE -(2) 4ftx20ft Solar Bear AGP Panels w/ Goldline auto-controller, 50ppm Borates And some day, maybe this year, a DECK!!!

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    Re: I hate my vac head

    In terms of adding weight, Tungsten is about twice as dense as Lead, and factoring the buoyancy of water the advantage will be even greater. Plus it's non-toxic. Also, your bag of shot also probably contains air unless you flooded it before sealing.

    A cheaper alternative to Tungsten, but still non-toxic is Bismuth. About the same density as Lead One advantage is it has a low melting point so you can melt and cast custom shapes fairly easily.. By forming solid pieces you avoid trapped air that you get when wrapping shot with plastic. Bismuth shot is available at sporting goods stores and gun shops.
    Location - Vallejo, CA
    Above-ground Intex 15'x42" with standard pump & cartridge filter
    solar cover

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    Re: I hate my vac head

    I'm a fan of the hayward super vac because of the visibility when you vacuum, the size and shape of the head (helps create suction to the floor), and the fact that the parts are easily attainable and replaceable. Even though most of these have bristles to keep them off the floor, don't rely on them for brushing the pool. A standard brush blows any vacuum head's brushing ability 'out of the water'.

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    Re: I hate my vac head

    FWIW, I use a cheap HTH vac head from Wal-mart for our pool. It has bristle on the bottom, but they are attached in 8 pieces about 3" long. They just snap in and out so if I don't want to stir up the water with the bristles I just take the front 3 sets off. It creates decent suction with our 1 HP pump and 25' of hose. I believe we payed about $18.00 at Wal-mart last summer.

    HTH,
    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

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    Re: I hate my vac head

    I had not tried taking the bristles out launboy- I will give that a try.
    I am still looking at another head as well- my pool is just too big to sit there and fool around with a 3 inch wide swath- takes all day to vacuum that way.
    28 ft round Doughboy Sand Dollar II AGP, Aug 2008: 4 ft shallow, 6ft deep end: 24K gal approx Hayward Power-Flo Matrix
    1&1/2-HP 2-SPD Pump, Hayward 27-Inch Sand Filter with a little DE -(2) 4ftx20ft Solar Bear AGP Panels w/ Goldline auto-controller, 50ppm Borates And some day, maybe this year, a DECK!!!

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    Re: I hate my vac head

    Our vac looks a lot like this one, except it's white.


    I get suction on our over the whole 12". I do have to go slow but it picks up everything from Algae to maple leaves.

    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

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    Re: I hate my vac head

    Quote Originally Posted by amjohn
    Any update on this topic? Is anyone finding these blue devil vacuum heads in the US, or able to order them from the web?
    Sorry for the delay in answering. It seems like I don't think about the pool much when I'm waking up to frost on the car! To answer your question, I was able to get a genuine Blue Devil vac head from Valtera. They are the manufacturer (or maybe the exclusive importer) for them. I see the link above is no longer working. The current link is here. I contacted one of there national sales manager about trying to buy one and she was unable to locate either on online dealer or a local dealer where I could buy one. She offered to send one to me directly. After using it a couple of times I can agree that it is light years better than the other one I had. It holds itself to the bottom much better and I find I can vacuum both pushing and pulling. With the other vac head, any time I pulled toward myself the head would rise off the bottom and sort of "plane" on the water. Yes, I was vacuuming slowly. I still move farily slow, but the results are greatly improved. FWIW.

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    Re: I hate my vac head

    Thanks for posting the Blue Devil web site, now i can continue using their vac heads.
    35000 in ground vinyl liner with cartridge filter
    Birmingham,AL

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    Re: I hate my vac head

    As a pool pro, for brush heads, I only use the Rainbow weighed triangle vacuum head. Using a service vacuum( A powerful external vacuum pump) I found that other vacuum heads purchased at a big box store would suck to the liner. This head worked the best. Used them for over 10 years now!

    Luke Pools
    caretaker of over 500,000 gallons of water weekly

    www.youtube.com/lukepoolservice

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