Vacuums, gaskets, and sand oh my...


Well-known member
Jul 3, 2010
I would like to get a vacuum for my pool. ( I have a vacuum, but I'm referring to the self cleaning kind ) I've seen the little ones that look like lady bugs. I'd love to get a good big one, but what I'm really needing is a cheap one, lol. Hopefully next season we'll have more in the budget but it will depend on where I'm at in school. Are these worth the money? I'd like to stay under the three hundred dollar range, so if there are any suggested hungry little critters, I'd love to get more information on them as well.

How often you recommend replacing the sand? The guy at the pool store said at least once a year, but I've read some places/sites say every ten years.. and of course a more logical every three to four years.

And finally I need to replace the spider gasket in my filter. It is a jacuzzi tidewater, but I've had the most difficult time finding parts/information for it. Are they pretty universal? I figured I'd wait and do it at the end of the season when I do the total check over. This spring I replaced sand and repaired some bad laterals, so I just as well get her all fixed up and ready for next year. Any suggestions on finding the right one?

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
SouthWest Alabama
I can't comment on the vacuum. I have a Zoom auto vac but I actually enjoy vacuuming the pool so I use the manual vac almost 100% of the time.

The sand only needs changing when there is a noticable difference in filtering. Typically it'll last longer than 5 to 7 years and it's not uncommon for it to last 10 years.

Im looked on the web the other day for one and several places have them. You have to search for the number on the filter (i.e. 190L) PoolCenter carries the parts for them.


Well-known member
Jul 3, 2010
Ehh... the tag on the filter is so sun faded I can't read a thing on it... maybe I should contact the company? ( duh ) Sometimes I amaze myself... :p


Well-known member
Jun 8, 2009
Rockland County, NY
The reviews from friends and neighbors regarding the vacuum bots is mixed. A number of years ago I purchased one for around $1000. It worked fine for the first two seasons, but then started to act erratically (no longer covered the entire pool). I eventually gave up on it and went back to manual vacuuming and haven't looked back since.
Actually, the hassle of getting the bot into and out of the pool particularly when folks want to use the pool, was more trouble than it was worth. By being consistent with using your leaf rake for the larger bits of debris and sweeping the smaller particles toward your drains, you can reduce the number of times you will have to vacuum. Also, sweeping is one of the most important water maintenance procedures you can perform and often overlooked by many pool owners. Yes, it will require some physical effort, but you'll be rewarded with a nicer looking pool. I sweep my pool a minimum of three times a week, and right after I add my liquid chlorine. If you are going to use this "rake and sweep" method to reduce the number of vacuums you need to perform, get a sturdy pole, not the hollow thin aluminum ones typically sold at pool stores. If your pool has a deep end, getting one that extends to sixteen feet will make the job easier. The home improvement stores all stock them. I may be nuts, but I really enjoy this part of my pool maintenance routine...and besides, it's a good workout. :-D