How do you vacuum to waste with an Intex pump?


Well-known member
Jun 4, 2010
18'x48" Intex metal frame pool with 1500 gph pump. After a heavy rain, I need to drain about an inch from my pool. The pool also needs vacuuming, so I thought it would be a good idea to vacuum to waste to address both issues. How would I do that with an Intex pump? Will any of these ideas work?

1. Remove the return line and vacuum as usual. This seems like the most obvious, but will the extra pressure generated by doing this damage the pump?

2. If I disconnect the line coming out of the pool at the pump, will the pressure of the water flowing out of the pool be enough to to power the vacuum? My guess is no, but I thought I would ask.

3. I have an old 800 gph pump that I could hook the vacuum hose to and pump it out that way. This option is the most trouble, but it is doable.


Well-known member
May 25, 2007
What about splitting your return from the pump to the pool into two valved lines, one to the pool and one to waste?


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2007
Waaay NW MN
Rangeball said:
What about splitting your return from the pump to the pool into two valved lines, one to the pool and one to waste?
I agree, with the limited options the Intex pumps provide you have to get creative


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
Usually all you need to do to vacuum to waste with an Intex system is to remove the cover from the filter and remove the filter cartridge. Keep in mind that you will lose water fairly quickly this way. The water will come spilling out of the filter, which can be a little messy, but it works.


Well-known member
Jun 14, 2007
New Jersey
If that top circle is 16'wide, you will dump that top inch in roughly six minutes. Actually, it is probably less, as 1500 gph is spec for pump/filter combo, and there is less head going straight to waste so higher gph. I had to do this when they resurfaced a dirt road nearby (I had the same pool). I just pulled the return hose off of the pool wall and shut the valve. It worked fine but I was half empty by the time I got all that crud off the bottom. It was so fine that it went straight through the crappy Intex cartridge so I had to go to waste.

I doubt there is any damage to the pump from this as long as you never suck air. This is how I always drained the thing, too.

Edit: Sorry, I reread original post--I thought you had a ring type. So more like seven minutes with 18' circle.


Well-known member
Aug 28, 2009
I made a little connector so I could output the intex return to a 1" pvc pipe. You could do the same thing with a garden hose probably, but you'd have to make sure the pressure wasn't too much for it to handle. This is how I used to drain the pool at the end of the season too.
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