Help me understand vacuuming options

cipher

Active member
Jun 11, 2010
41
Oakville, Canada
I'm about to vacuum my pool for the first time ever and wanted to make sure I understand the options I currently have available and the differences between them. Based on my reading and videos I've seen, it looks like I have the following options...

1) Remove skimmer basket and connect vacuum hose directly to skimmer intake line

2) Add skimmer vac plate on top of the skimmer basket and connect vacuum hose directly to the plate

3) Connect vacuum hose directly to in-wall intake

Can someone tell me what the difference is between each of these options and under what conditions I would use each option?

Thank you
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,475
SW Indiana
Using the vacuum plate protects your plumbing from clogs if you vacuum up leaves or something large.

Using the wall fitting allows your skimmer to keep working while you vacuum, but that's not really a big deal. Either way if you hook up without the skimer plate you should use a leaf trap.
 

cipher

Active member
Jun 11, 2010
41
Oakville, Canada
Thanks, John. So it sounds like options 1 and 3 are the same except that the latter option allows me to also skim while vacuuming. Whereas, option 2 allows me to quickly capture leaves etc in the skimmer basket before they head into the plumping and the trap before my pump.

Finally, when you say leaf trap do you mean the trap that's attached to my pump?
 

waste

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
Welcome to TFP, eh!!

A question you failed to ask, and was, thereby unanswered is - how to adjust the suction side valves to ensure proper vacuum suction.

Fortunately I can answer the unasked :lol:

Hook up your vacuum to whichever port or skimmer you want. Then go to the filter pad and close the valve to one (or more) of the other suction lines until you see a 1/2 - 1 psi drop on the pressure gauge - perfect suction without the vac head sticking to the floor! :party:

Also, if you didn't already know - fill the vac hose with water before attaching it :wink:

Have some fun in the pool between vacuumings!
 

cipher

Active member
Jun 11, 2010
41
Oakville, Canada
waste said:
Welcome to TFP, eh!!

A question you failed to ask, and was, thereby unanswered is - how to adjust the suction side valves to ensure proper vacuum suction.

Fortunately I can answer the unasked :lol:

Hook up your vacuum to whichever port or skimmer you want. Then go to the filter pad and close the valve to one (or more) of the other suction lines until you see a 1/2 - 1 psi drop on the pressure gauge - perfect suction without the vac head sticking to the floor! :party:

Also, if you didn't already know - fill the vac hose with water before attaching it :wink:

Have some fun in the pool between vacuumings!
Thanks, Waste! This forum is fantastic and is helping me get up to speed on the existing pool that came with our house.

Just to be clear, when you say 'filter pad' do you mean the filter valves connected to my pump that are controlling the incoming water? I have 3 incoming lines (Skimmer, Floor Drain & In-wall Vacuum) with corresponding valves for each. Also, are you recommending to completely turn off one of the suction lines or just start turning it until the pressure drops 1/2-1 psi?

These might seem silly, but since I have no previous exposure to these filter valves maybe someone can also answer these related questions:

1) Can I turn the valves on/off while the pump is running? I know that the Multiport Main valve on my sand filter valve can only be switched when the pump is off so I'm wondering if the same rule applies to the valves controlling the incoming water?

2) Does it matter which direction I turn the valves (ie left or right)?

3) Do the valves only offer two states of water flow (ie on-off) or do they offer a variable range of water flow as I turn the valve futhur?

Thanks again
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,475
SW Indiana
cipher said:
Just to be clear, when you say 'filter pad' do you mean the filter valves connected to my pump that are controlling the incoming water? I have 3 incoming lines (Skimmer, Floor Drain & In-wall Vacuum) with corresponding valves for each. Also, are you recommending to completely turn off one of the suction lines or just start turning it until the pressure drops 1/2-1 psi?
Yes, the control valves. Just adjust until you get the pressure drop you need.


cipher said:
1) Can I turn the valves on/off while the pump is running?
Yes. Adjust them as needed. The MP valve is much more complicated and actually opens all ports when it's being moved, plus the gasket is subject to dislocation by flowing water.

cipher said:
2) Does it matter which direction I turn the valves (ie left or right)? 3) Do the valves only offer two states of water flow (ie on-off) or do they offer a variable range of water flow as I turn the valve futhur?
Normally they'll go one way on, and the other way off, and they are variable.
 

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