Advice for Vacuum attached to Skimmer (IGP)

cody21

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 27, 2012
262
Lafayette, Ca / USA
Let me preface this to say that our main Drain in the bottom of the pool does NOT function - our olny source for water displacement is the Skimmer. As a result, it's tough to get any small debris off the floor of the pool to distribute enough in the water to filter out. So I'm looking to add the option of a manual vacuum to the mix.

Our skimmer basket & hole it fits into is round - probably something like 8" diameter (I haven't yet measured it, but will). Are there attachements that are meant to just "plug in" to the skimmer hole that I then attach a hose & vacuum part to? AAny recommendations/advice? Our pump is 1/2 HP (yea, older).

Thanks in advance.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,069
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
First thing: look in the skimmer. At the very bottom, are there two holes or one? And is there anything in there but a basket? The reason I ask is because my drain is plumbed up to my skimmer. There's supposed to be a diverter in there that adjusts flow from the skimmer and the drain. Mine was missing. I bought one for about ten bucks at Leslies. A little bit of trial and error and I found a good balance spot.

Now, about the vacuum. there are things called vacuum plates that sit above the skimmer basket and let you hook a vacuum hose to it. If you have two holes in the bottom of the skimmer and no diverter, it won't work. It's easier to suck the water through the pipes than through the hose, and no suction gets to the vacuum head.

I was unhappy with the plate, so I went browsing at the hardware store and bought a bathroom sink tailpiece and a PVC threaded adaptor that's a good fit, and I plug my vacuum directly into the suction line in the skimmer.
 

cody21

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 27, 2012
262
Lafayette, Ca / USA
There is just 1 hole at the bottom (so no divertor, right?) ... The very bottom hole where the basket sits into is about 2.75" in diameter. The very TOP of the basket is about 5" ...
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,069
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
cody21 said:
There is just 1 hole at the bottom (so no divertor, right?) ... The very bottom hole where the basket sits into is about 2.75" in diameter. The very TOP of the basket is about 5" ...
No diverter needed, you are correct. So a vacuum plate should work fine. I've seen them at Lowes for under 8 bucks.

You do have a main drain in the pool, correct? It could have been plugged, but I'd look around the equipment pad and see if there aren't any extra pipes that you don't know where they go.

I'm very happy I got mine working - there's no cold water stratification, and it cuts down on vacuuming. If there are just a few leaves or whatever, I can brush them towards the drain and they get sucked away.
 

cody21

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 27, 2012
262
Lafayette, Ca / USA
The main drain is plugged - doesn't work ... The previous owner plugged it after some sort of leak somewhere in the drain pipe ... So all there is is the skimmer; hence why I want to somehow install a manual vacuum to get that "fine" dirt from the bottom of the pool ... so 1 main drain that doesn't function, and 1 skimmer which is the work horse.
 

cody21

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 27, 2012
262
Lafayette, Ca / USA
[quote="Richard320]No diverter needed, you are correct. So a vacuum plate should work fine. I've seen them at Lowes for under 8 bucks. [/quote]

So I just go to Lowe's and ask for a "vacuum plate" ? A specific size or will I have to cut it to proper size? Then what else do I need? I assume a Hose that is the proper size to fit to the Vacuum plate, right? Then just a matter of whichever vacuum head I want to suck the debris out ... And 1 last question: Is there any concern with "priming" the hose/head when attaching it ? I don't want just air getting into the Pump, right? thanks so much.
 

elwood58

LifeTime Supporter
cody21 said:
[quote="Richard320]No diverter needed, you are correct. So a vacuum plate should work fine. I've seen them at Lowes for under 8 bucks.
So I just go to Lowe's and ask for a "vacuum plate" ? A specific size or will I have to cut it to proper size? Then what else do I need? I assume a Hose that is the proper size to fit to the Vacuum plate, right? Then just a matter of whichever vacuum head I want to suck the debris out ... And 1 last question: Is there any concern with "priming" the hose/head when attaching it ? I don't want just air getting into the Pump, right? thanks so much.[/quote][/quote]

Make sure and fill the hose with water before plugging it into the skimmer.
 

jrichv

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 24, 2012
24
cody21 said:
[quote="Richard320]No diverter needed, you are correct. So a vacuum plate should work fine. I've seen them at Lowes for under 8 bucks.
So I just go to Lowe's and ask for a "vacuum plate" ? A specific size or will I have to cut it to proper size? Then what else do I need? I assume a Hose that is the proper size to fit to the Vacuum plate, right? Then just a matter of whichever vacuum head I want to suck the debris out ... And 1 last question: Is there any concern with "priming" the hose/head when attaching it ? I don't want just air getting into the Pump, right? thanks so much.[/quote][/quote]

I was just in my local Lowe's on lunch, picking up some Muriatic Acid. It was in the outdoor garden section, right next to all the other pool chemicals, attachments, hoses, fittings, etc. Thinking about your post earlier and the vacuum plate, I looked - and there they sat, a whole box of them, for just under $8 apiece.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,069
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
cody21 said:
[quote="Richard320]No diverter needed, you are correct. So a vacuum plate should work fine. I've seen them at Lowes for under 8 bucks.
So I just go to Lowe's and ask for a "vacuum plate" ? A specific size or will I have to cut it to proper size? Then what else do I need? I assume a Hose that is the proper size to fit to the Vacuum plate, right? Then just a matter of whichever vacuum head I want to suck the debris out ... And 1 last question: Is there any concern with "priming" the hose/head when attaching it ? I don't want just air getting into the Pump, right? thanks so much.[/quote][/quote][/quote]They're out in the garden section with all the pool supplies. I only saw the one size. If it's too big, you'll have to trim it somehow. You can buy a vacuum head and hose there, too. If the pool is plaster finsih, get a head with wheels. If it's vinyl, it will have brushes on it. I connect hose and head to the pole, set it in the pool, then push the hose down vertically so it fills with water, then keep the open end submerged while I push it through the skimmer opening and hook it up.