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Thread: Pool Vacuum -- how to use?

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    Pool Vacuum -- how to use?

    I am still quite the newbie so excuse the dumb questions.

    I think I need to vacuum the bottom of the pool, some leaves stuck to the bottom drain and stuff the Polaris has not gotten up after this big rain.

    So, I have a long hose thing, and a flat vacuum looking thing, and what else is needed? I assume I use the pole to push it around. Where does the hose go to? Did someone say the bottom of the 1st skimmer basket?

    Just checking before I try it.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Pool Vacuum -- how to use?

    Yep, you've got it. You'll see a hole @ the bottom of the skimmer.

    Before plugging it into the skimmer you will need prime the hose to get air out of it. You will want to hold the entire hose under water to do this.

    Some skimmers use vac plates that go over the basket as an adapter to use the vac instead of plugging into the pipe at the bottom. However you should be able to just plug into the bottom port.

    If the process doesn't work you probably still have air in the line.

    - Josh
    Josh Ulfers - TFP Supporting Vendor - josh@saltpoolguys.com - 888-725-8766
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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Vacuum -- how to use?

    To get all of the air out of your hose, either:

    A: Put the vacuum head on the end of the pole with the hose connected. Grab the hose at the vac head, and then put the head in the water and all the way down to the floor, allowing the hose to feed through your hand. You should be left with a straight line from your hand to the vac head, and then a coil of hose floating on the surface. Start feeding the rest of the hose into the water hand over hand, straight down.

    B: Put the vac head end in the water, bring the skimmer end to the nearest return and then hold it over the return. You'll see bubbles coming from the vac. Once they stop, the hose is full. Keep that end under water or cap it with the palm of your hand to keep it full.

    If you decide to vacuum directly through the hole in the bottom of the skimmer without a skim vac plate, keep in mind that everything you pull up is going into your plumbing and ending up in your pump basket, so don't vacuum heavy debris (leaves, nuts, etc.) this way and check your pump basket after your finish.

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    Re: Pool Vacuum -- how to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by spishex
    To get all of the air out of your hose, either:

    If you decide to vacuum directly through the hole in the bottom of the skimmer without a skim vac plate, keep in mind that everything you pull up is going into your plumbing and ending up in your pump basket, so don't vacuum heavy debris (leaves, nuts, etc.) this way and check your pump basket after your finish.
    Huh? But leaves and nuts and twigs are what I need to get out of the bottom of the pool! I'm finding it really hard to get those things up with the net that has the little hard scooper edge on it.

    Can I attach a pole to the Polaris and make it go get those things? Is there a bag that can attach to the vacuum head that will let me use it for that stuff? My pond had a little vac attachment with a bag, but I dont' think I can attach a pole to it and it is pretty small.

    Or am I misunderstanding something here? Is there any way to let the skimmer basket catch this stuff as I vac it up?
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Pool Vacuum -- how to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshU
    Yep, you've got it. You'll see a hole @ the bottom of the skimmer.

    Some skimmers use vac plates that go over the basket as an adapter to use the vac instead of plugging into the pipe at the bottom. However you should be able to just plug into the bottom port.

    - Josh
    Ok, tell me more about this vac plate... maybe there is one around here somewhere and I just don't know. Given the amount of leaves that can fall around here it'd be crazy to send that straight to the pump, so this vac plate probably was left here somewhere. Any place that I can see a picture of what I am looking for?

    Anona
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  6. Back To Top    #6
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    Re: Pool Vacuum -- how to use?

    You have a few options:

    You can get a leaf catcher and use it inline with the vacuum. It's like an inline skimmer basket. They are usually used with suction side cleaners but can be used with a vacuum. The stuff will collect in the inline basket.
    http://www.baracuda.com/leaf_catcher.htm
    https://www.totallyhayward.com/products ... ductID=115
    http://www.automatic-pool-cleaners.com/ ... gn=9476129

    You can use a vacuum plate on your skimmer basket. There are vacuum plates made for just about every skimmer out there, you just need to find the make and model of yours and order it. The stuff will collect in the skimmer basket.
    http://www.optimusparts.com/htmlparts/s ... p-list.htm


    You can get a 'leaf eater'. This is a water powered vacuum that attaches to your pole and to a garden hose. It has a very large collection bag and is the best way to remove a lot of leaves and twigs from the bottom of the pool. If you go this route put a tennis ball in the bag to keep it floating. It will hold more that way. Also, be sure to get one with wheels and not brushes or, if it comes with both, take the brushes out. Teh brushes are for vinyl pool and the wheels for other pool surfaces. This will hold a LOT more debris than either of the above two methods.
    The Jandy Leaf-Master is one of the better made units like this on the market but one of the more expensive.
    http://www.jandy-downloads.com/pdfs/sel ... lSheet.pdf

    You can use a 'leaf rake'. This is a pouch like net that attaches to your pole. You simply use it to scoop up the stuff from the bottom to get it out of the pool. It is not the same as the flat skimmer nets that most people are familiar with. If you go this route I would recommend getting a good one like a Pentair (Rainbow/Lifeguard) #117 Pro Leaf Rake with a squeegee front end or a Pentair (Rainbow Lifeguard) #122 Leaf Rake which is the same Leaf Rake without the squeegee front end.
    http://www.pentairpool.com/products/products3.php?id=67
    http://www.firethepoolman.com/cartgenie ... sp?pid=933
    http://www.winterpoolcover.com/pool-cover-leaks.htm

    IMHO, the last two options are your best bet if you need to remove a lot of large debris from your pool.

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Vacuum -- how to use?

    Just to concur with waterbear, if you have a lot of large stuff go with a leaf eater since you're already not a fan of the leaf rake. Keep the rake for skimming.

    The skim vac plate is great for being able to handle a few leaves, but during this time of year it will quickly clog.

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    Re: Pool Vacuum -- how to use?

    OK, trying to digest all that data....

    I have a leaf rake and find it difficult. So, I think the vacuum plate is the thing to look for. I am thinking that it fits on top of the skimmer basket, so trash is caught there. Seems like it'd be tricky to get the air out of the line as it would be out of the water over the top of the skimmer.

    But how is the weir closed? Seems unless the weir is locked, you'd be taking water off the surface easier than through the hose. Maybe I just don't understand.

    Meanwhile, the Polaris has done a decent job of gathering the debris from the Big Rain. Still some left down there, not too much. Maybe I just need to get a collar on the Polaris, attach a pole, and make it go where I want it to go.

    I think my Polaris need counseling, it seems to be suicidal, always trying to go into the skimmer or up on the beach where it just gets stuck or throwing it's tail into the rocks and hanging itself. No wonder it's wheels are worn.

    Anona
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Vacuum -- how to use?

    Don't force the Polaris against it's will too much, especially if it's a 380 (think you said yours was a 280?).

    The vac plate is made specifically for the style of skimmer it's used in (match it to your skimmer basket part number). It seals around your skimmer basket, often with a gasket, and should divert most or all water flow to the hose and stop flow over the weir.

    Some times the hose cuff will pull air when standing out of the water on top of the vac plate. If your hose has a swiveling cuff on one end, make sure that end is on the vacuum head. You can also buy replacement cuffs that will allow you to cut off a leaking one and put on a new one, freshly silicone-sealed.

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    Re: Pool Vacuum -- how to use?

    Ah ha! The Leaf Eater is nearly like the pond vac I have. I was going to leave it behind but the buyers of the house don't even like the pond and want to take it out.... so no sense leaving the vac behind. It has a handle that attaches to the pool pole with the little V-shaped clip and the hose attaches and it has a bag a bit smaller than the Polaris bag.

    I think this will work well. Never did find a skimmer plate.

    Next, any good advice for how to wash a cart when it is cold outside? Wear a slicker and sweats? We were so busy with prepping to move that we missed the warm day and by next weekend we have the actual move and so I am fearing that it might be two weeks until we have a chance to do this unless we attack it tomorrow. It is cold now and will likely be colder in two weeks.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Pool Vacuum -- how to use?

    Just thinking out loud here, but I wonder if it'd be possible to hook a garden hose to one of your returns to use the leaf vac. Then you wouldn't have to add more(cold) water to the pool everytime you vacuum.

    If it were me, I'd wear a long Rain/trench coat like thing to stay dry. You could also bring the cart into the house and wash it in the bathtub if you have a sprayer hose.

    HTH,
    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
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    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Vacuum -- how to use?

    After seeing all the **** that comes out of my cart when I clean it, there's no way in heck I'd clean that thing in the bathtub inside. Besides, it'd be hard to hose it off inside - no garden hose or hose bib inside my house.

    You're on the right track, whatever will keep you warm and somewhat waterproof, particularly your hands.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
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    "Fear the Schnauz!"

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Vacuum -- how to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by launboy
    Just thinking out loud here, but I wonder if it'd be possible to hook a garden hose to one of your returns to use the leaf vac. Then you wouldn't have to add more(cold) water to the pool everytime you vacuum.
    I've made a 1-1/2" to 1/2" reducer for a few customers that wanted to do this very thing. It usually just depends on how many returns you have as to whether or not it works, but when it does it's great.

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Vacuum -- how to use?

    As for cleaning the cartridge during the winter, water is your enemy. If you can open the air relief and drain the housing an hour or two before you take it out and clean it you'll avoid a lot of the fuss.

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Pool Vacuum -- how to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by launboy
    Just thinking out loud here, but I wonder if it'd be possible to hook a garden hose to one of your returns to use the leaf vac. Then you wouldn't have to add more(cold) water to the pool everytime you vacuum.....Adam
    I don't even try to warm the pool now, slipping into the hot tub is enough -- and I'll admit that the other night when everyone else was soaking I could only think about what it'd be like to get out and skipped the party.

    But, as I am still sort of battling the high CYA, adding water to the pool will not be a bad thing -- once I get the overflow unclogged. I need to add that hose bladded thingie to the shopping list. It has been really hard to get all these things done right now. I am packing a few boxes every day, driving up to the new house and unloading what I can, trying to leave room for when the actual furniture arrives as they need room to place things and room to walk though with furniture. At the same time trying to get the inspection items done at the old house, tend the pool and all the tons of leaves that it collects, and keep the family fed and in clean clothes and pay the bills on time.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Pool Vacuum -- how to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by spishex
    As for cleaning the cartridge during the winter, water is your enemy. If you can open the air relief and drain the housing an hour or two before you take it out and clean it you'll avoid a lot of the fuss.
    That sort of makes me wonder about the wisdom of investing in an entire set of carts so that I can dry the first set and then clean it with compressed air... is that a reasonable idea? I have a big trash can that can store 4 carts.

    And I have already discovered the need for gloves, just touching those chlorine tabs is killing my hands. Yes, I am still keeping them on-line, just at a minimum setting, even though the CYA is rising again. Or, maybe it never fell from 100 to 50 and I just was getting a test of more rainwater than pool water at that spot.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  17. Back To Top    #17
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    Re: Pool Vacuum -- how to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by anonapersona

    That sort of makes me wonder about the wisdom of investing in an entire set of carts so that I can dry the first set and then clean it with compressed air... is that a reasonable idea? I have a big trash can that can store 4 carts.

    And I have already discovered the need for gloves, just touching those chlorine tabs is killing my hands. Yes, I am still keeping them on-line, just at a minimum setting, even though the CYA is rising again. Or, maybe it never fell from 100 to 50 and I just was getting a test of more rainwater than pool water at that spot.
    Compressed air is NOT a good idea. You can makes holes in the carts. Anyway, you do need to soak the carts once or twice a year in a degreaser. Read this post:
    viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4465

    If you CYA is high you need to STOP the trichlor tabs. Otherwise you are fighting a losing battle! Once you get the CYA down LOW you can use them again but only if you realize when you need to STOP using them.

    Trichloir will cause your CYA to rise, PERIOD!

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Pool Vacuum -- how to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    If you CYA is high you need to STOP the trichlor tabs. Otherwise you are fighting a losing battle! Once you get the CYA down LOW you can use them again but only if you realize when you need to STOP using them.

    Trichloir will cause your CYA to rise, PERIOD!
    I know, I know, it is just scary to worry about the pool when I am not there yet. Hard to start managing it a different way when I don't really even know how it was done in the past. So, I was trying to reduce the tab usage and get to know how much chlorine it uses at this time of year, with cooler weather and so many leaves falling every day.

    I added liquid shock today, late in the day, as I was leaving. I will test FC tomorrow and turn the automatic chlorinator off and start using the liquid shock or bleach exclusively for the chlorine needed.

    Anona
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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