How to vacuum?

algaeh8er

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2007
92
NorCal
After reading here and at PoolForum, we purchased a vacuum and hose. We have a cartridge filter system in our pool. The salesman at Leslie's said to be careful with vacuuming because there is a possibility of clogging our pipes if there is too much debris on the bottom of the pool. Also, he warned us about having the vacuum submerged when we start or we could damage the filter system by sucking up air.

With these dire warnings, I have been very hesitant to vacuum the pool, but I know that it needs to be done. Our pool is just on the other side of a junior high school track. Every day during the school year (which ends Friday) hundreds of kids run around the track kicking up all sorts of dust which I am sure is the cause of the brown dust in our pool. At least, that is what I'm going with because the possibility of having to kill mustard algae with the CYA at 70 is too much for me to even fathom right now.

Any advice or tips would be appreciated greatly.
 

The Mermaid Queen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
2,522
Northern KY
I can remember from my childhood that my cousin used to drop the vac and all the hose into the pool and work the air bubble out the end of the hose before attaching it... they had a sand filter, but I imagine sucking a giant bubble would be bad for your pump, if nothing else!

If my flaky 15-year-old (at the time) cousin could do it, so can you!!
 

algaeh8er

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2007
92
NorCal
That is a good idea. If your flaky 15 yo cousin can do it, I bet my 16 yo stepson can do it too. :wink:

Would you be concerned about the amount of debris on the bottom of the pool? I thought the Polaris was taking care of it, because it stopped picking up a ton of leaves, but when I brushed blind last night and this morning in the deep end I picked up a lot of leaves. I have no idea how much is down there right now. I really don't want to make a big, expensive mistake.
 

Rangeball

Well-known member
May 25, 2007
785
I plug my hose onto the vac head which is attached to the pole, lay it in the water in the shallow end, then take the other end of the hose and stick it in the return outlet. Forces water through the hose and out the vac, eliminating the air. I then keep the free end of the hose submerged, walk to the skimmer and plug it into the skimmer line. Works like a charm :) Oh, the get extra suction I also close the main drain.

I suck up the occaisional leaf, etc, but if there's a big pile, I use the leaf net on the end of my pole to remove as many as possible. Sticks and other stuff, I dive and recover manually :)
 

lovingHDTV

LifeTime Supporter
May 25, 2007
529
Round Rock, TX
Yes sticks are bad, they get stuck in the bends in return pipe, then other things that would normally pass through get stuck and you have now plugged your return line.

You can buy leaf catchers for vaccuums that catch these things, but I just use my leaf rake.
 

algaeh8er

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2007
92
NorCal
Thank you for your helpful suggestions. I really can't bring myself to dive into the pool, but I will use a leaf bagger and pick up as much as I can before I start.
 

mrspock

Member
Jun 12, 2007
15
You need to get leaves out of your pool. I used leaf rake and pretend I am searching for treasture. In my pool, I had probably about 5 galloons (or so it seem) of leaves. I could not see the deep end of pool. Once it started barely being able to see bottom, vaccum that Crud out to waste.

Leaves will eat your chlorine. When you get them out, the chlorine will do it's job.
 

mrspock

Member
Jun 12, 2007
15
Vacuming

The way I vacuum:

Turn pump off. Clean skimmer basket. Clean pump basket. I keep first section of hose attached to vacuum, so drop vacuum in at shallow end. I 'thread' other sections of hoses in water. Then I connect hoses to adapter and wait about 5 minutes to make sure no air in line. It will also bleed out all air trapped and cause suction to be more powerful. If you have air in line, your return will stop.

My pressure gauge runs normal at 20. I have Hayward Navigator, seems real picky about pressure. If more than 22, it runs couple of minutes and stops.

It does not work good for getting lots of leaves out. In fact, it quits working after a handful of leaves gets in the skimmer basket.
 

NWMNMom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2007
1,582
Waaay NW MN
We added a leaf canister inline between the cleaner and the skimmer. Really saves on all the stop/start stuff - you can see when the canister is full and empty, go again. $35 for canister.
 

Sunny John

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 2, 2007
32
Philadelphia
+1 on using the return lines to blow air out of the vac hose and fill with water.
Re: dirt/debris hurting the pump/filter - that can be a judgement call. If I have a lot of dirt to vac, I vac to waste (your valve should have a setting for that) while at the same time, adding water. I usually need to do this only once a season, at startup. Otherwise, I'd be backwashing every couple of minutes.
 

Buggsw

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 22, 2007
927
Arizona
I agree that you should use a leaf rake to get as much as possible out first. Then, if your return line is not handy, drop the vacuum head end of the pole into the pool as well as the hose, then take your water hose and fill up the hose with water, then plug into your vac port or skimmer.
 

algaeh8er

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2007
92
NorCal
We purchased a leaf cannister and vacuumed again this morning. No problems whatsoever. Picked up a lot of sand but there is a lot more to get.

I may vacuum again this evening when everything has had a chance to settle.