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Thread: Is it ok to increase suction so cleaner will climb walls?

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    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Is it ok to increase suction so cleaner will climb walls?

    I have a Pool Shark automatic cleaner which is fine and I have also borrowed a friend's Hayward Pool Vac Ultra. Both will climb the walls of my plunge pool all the way to the top but only if I increase the suction above the recommended maximum according to the Pool Shark's supplied flow gauge. I have only done this briefly as I wasn't sure if I was straining my equipment. I normally have the regulator on the skimmer plate set such that suction at the end of the hose is at the recommended maximum setting according to the flow gauge but at that setting it will only climb the bottom of the walls up one or two feet at best.

    The Pool Shark manual says, "You have too much vacuum if the PoolShark sucks air when it climbs up to the water line." This is not happening in my case. I’m wondering if the included flow gauge is conservative, trying to avoid this situation which I don’t have.

    Is there any harm in increasing the suction via the hose provided the cleaner does not suck in air at the top? Will the increased suction put undue strain on my pump etc?

    Thanks,
    Max.
    My Pool
    3500 gallons, pebble, built into deck (pump below), sand filter, SWG Zodiac LM3, solar heater Zane ZX3000, swim year round with stationary trainer

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
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    Re: Is it ok to increase suction so cleaner will climb walls?

    Max,

    As long as your pump is staying fully primed and the cleaner is not pulling air or moving so fast that it is stirring up debris before it can get to it you should be ok. However, I personally don't find vacuuming the walls very helpful as long as they are brushed regularly. You'll just be taking away from time it could spend cleaning the floor.

    The difference on your equipment between a cleaner that is only going a foot up the wall vs. one that climbs all the way up is not as big as the difference between having your cleaner running vs. not having it in. The less you have to run it the better.

    Tim

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    Re: Is it ok to increase suction so cleaner will climb walls?

    Thanks Tim. I get your point about the walls not really needing it. I have such a small pool that the cleaner sucks up most of the debris very quickly at the normal suction setting - even an hour a day would be enough. I'm currently running the pump 8 hours a day and I figured it could spend some time on the walls... but I'm interested in this statement:

    The difference on your equipment between a cleaner that is only going a foot up the wall vs. one that climbs all the way up is not as big as the difference between having your cleaner running vs. not having it in. The less you have to run it the better.
    Are you saying that suction cleaners in general cause some strain on equipment because it is having to suck through a hose which is harder than sucking through the skimmer box? When I disconnect the cleaner, I generally leave the skimmer plate sitting there (with a paving brick on top) so it is sucking through a 2 inch hole. Should I remove the skimmer plate for the same reason? I should mention I have a pool cover floating in the water so I don't need to get debris on the surface to the skimmer box - I find it easier to scoop up what I can when I take the cover off and let the cleaner get whatever has fallen into the pool.

    Thanks,
    Max.
    My Pool
    3500 gallons, pebble, built into deck (pump below), sand filter, SWG Zodiac LM3, solar heater Zane ZX3000, swim year round with stationary trainer

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Is it ok to increase suction so cleaner will climb walls?

    Anything you put in line on top of the skimmer will add head to the system. That goes for your skimmer plate, the cleaner hose, and the cleaner itself. It would be 'easiest' on your pump if you normally ran it with nothing but the skimmer basket in.

    But this is not to say that any of these things are prematurely aging your pump. There's a range of vacuum pressure your pump can deal with, so as I said the #1 thing to do is make sure your pump is staying fully primed. As long as you're operating within the capabilities of your pump then the only downside is decreased water flow which means less circulation and longer run times. In principal it's like trying to drink a coke through a big McDonald's straw vs. one of those skinny little coffee stirrer straws. You can drink it, but it'll take you a lot longer.

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    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Brisbane, Australia
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    Re: Is it ok to increase suction so cleaner will climb walls?

    Thanks Tim - that makes sense. The pump seems to handle it fine. It is a very small pool so even at a reduced flow rate there is plenty of water turnover in 8 hours. It certainly looks very clear.

    In the end, I decided to just run the cleaner at the normal setting as it was suggested to me that the faster the cleaner runs, the faster it will wear out. It's doing a good job at normal suction anyway.

    Thanks,
    Max.
    My Pool
    3500 gallons, pebble, built into deck (pump below), sand filter, SWG Zodiac LM3, solar heater Zane ZX3000, swim year round with stationary trainer

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