Some manual vacuum questions


Bronze Supporter
Jul 12, 2013
Long Island, NY
I watched some conflicting videos about manual vacuuming so I figured I'd come to the experts. I have a hayward wide mouth skimmer and the elbow shaped vacuum plate. My questions are

1) Do you leave your skimmer basket in the skimmer or remove it and just push the hose down into the skimmer suction

2) Do you put your vacuum hose through the skimmer door or over the top rail of the pool into the skimmer

3) If you put it through the skimmer do you remove the weir plate

4) If using a skimmer vac plate, after the hose is filled with water do you turn the pump off, place the vac plate over the pump and then turn the pump back on? Or just leave the pump on the entire time

Thanks all.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
How I do it:
1) I don't use a skimmer plate because my main drain is plumbed to the bottom of the skimmer with no way to plug it. I tried using a plate and got no suction. It was easier to pull from the drain than through the hose. If I could I would, because it would keep the debris in the skimmer basket and out of the underground plumbing.
2) I don't shove the hose directly into the opening. Someone else posted a long time ago because the collar pulled off their hose and was stuck in the underground line, restricting flow. I don't recall how he removed it. Not something I want to find out. I measured the hole and went browsing the PVC aisle at Lowes and found a slip-threaded coupler than would slip in but not go all the way down. It sits in the skimmer hole and the hose friction-fits inside it.
3) I just shove the filled hose through the skimmer opening and over the weir. There's no flow inside the skimmer with the vacuum connected so it doesn't matter. I do it with the pump running.