How do you use a suction side manual vaccum head?

tenderfoot

Bronze Supporter
Aug 10, 2017
56
North/TX
#1
Hi,

Complete newbie here... I bought a suction side manual vaccum head (this one: http://goo.gl/CxJR5t) to use while I wait until the 30 days are over for me to use my robot... I guess you hook up that manual vacuum head to a pool flexible hose and drive it using the cleaning pole.

However, where does the other end of the hose hookup to? I am assuming it goes into a skimmer? If so, can you please describe the process for preparing the hose so that it won't flood the pump with air? Everytime I try to do this I end up causing the pump to draw all that air that is in the flexible hose...

Thanks!
 

benm2010

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2017
143
Fort Worth, Texas
#2
You are correct on all of your assumptions. You need to fill the hose with water before placing it in the skimmer. The easiest way to purge the air from the hose is to connect the vacuum head and place it in the water, turn the pump on and hold the end of the hose that you put into the skimmer over a return. This will purge the air into your pool and not the pump.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,375
Central California
#3
You are correct on all of your assumptions. You need to fill the hose with water before placing it in the skimmer. The easiest way to purge the air from the hose is to connect the vacuum head and place it in the water, turn the pump on and hold the end of the hose that you put into the skimmer over a return. This will purge the air into your pool and not the pump.
I've heard of this method, from many, so it must work. I do it another way, which I think is easier, and safer. With the hose, head and pole out of water, connect everything up (but not to the skimmer port yet). Put the head in first and push it down to the bottom. This will fill part of the hose with water. Then just feed the rest of the hose into the water, sort of hand-over-hand, pushing each grab down right at the point it's entering the water. Just as the last of it goes under, you'll see the water come up the hose and fill it completely. You do all this right in front of the skimmer. Then just pass the end of the hose through skimmer opening, still under water, until you can grab it with the other hand you've got in the hole above the basket. (You've already taken the basket out at this point.) Then just shove the end of the hose into the skimmer port. EZPZ. You can do all that BEFORE you turn on the pump, which is the safer way to do this. It's OK to connect the hose to the port while the pump is running, if you're careful, but it's not 100% safe. If you've got that pump ramped up high for vacuuming, there's a lot of suction force at that port. Why take the chance?
 

Vickery

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
#5
I have used both methods, depending upon the hose both can work. I do recommend getting a skimmer plate with a fitting for the hose that sits on top of the skimmer basket. This allows the basket to catch the larger debris before it gets to the pump...or clogs up the piping. Clogged pipes are an aggravation on an above ground pool but can become a catastrophe on an inground.
 

tenderfoot

Bronze Supporter
Aug 10, 2017
56
North/TX
#6
@Vickery: Thanks, that's really good advice!

I did try both methods above, and the one that worked best (not perfect) was the one feeding the vacuum head and hose slowly into the water and then using the return jet to fill the hose end until bubbles stopped coming out of the vacuum head. However, it was not perfect. I still got some bubbles into the system, though it was significantly less than I was introducing before!

Now with Vickery's advice, I won't have to open the main pump basket to clean all those leaves that were vacuumed. Thanks all!