Hooking up vacuum correctly?


Silver Supporter
Feb 6, 2018
Chesapeake, VA
I just wanted to confirm that I'm vacuuming correctly from what I learned in pool school from the builder.

I put my 2 speed pump in High Speed.
I completely submerge the vacuum and hose insuring it is 100% filled.
Then shut off my 2 drains and reach in 1 of my 2 skimmers to move that plastic piece over to stop flow.
I connect the vacuum hose to my other skimmer and start vacuuming.

My main question is: I was told that whenever my pump is in HIGH speed during normal operation, I should ensure the pump basket filter shouldn't have any big bubbles in it. When I vacuum per the above procedure, the pump filter basket is only about 50% - 70% filled. Is this expected when vacuuming (almost makes sense being that you're only pulling flow from 1 of 4 suction lines)? Am I doing something wrong? Hope I'm not damaging the pump. Thanks!


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
Bedford, TX

When I used to vacuum, I found that I could not suck enough water through the hose to satisfy what the pump needed... To make it work, I had to adjust the valve so that the hose had about 80% of the suction and the skimmer about 20%..

I had a valve at the equipment pad, but believe that you can do the same thing with the 'plastic part' in the skimmer. Try only closing it about 80 to 90 percent and see what happens...

I no longer vacuum because I have a robot cleaner... :p


Jim R.


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
Tucson, AZ
When I vacuum, I have a 3-way valve that splits the incoming water from the skimmer/MD and the vacuum wall port. I never completely pull from the wall port as the pipe plus vacuum is just not capable of supporting the flow needed and a decent pumping speed. I probably split the flow like Jim says - 80% wall port, 20% skimmer/MD. That keeps the pump happy.