If the pool is not dirty, simply brush the walls and bottom, skipping the vacuuming completely. If the pool or spa is dirty, however, you have two ways to clean it:

1. Vacuum to the filter, or

2. Vacuum with the LEAF EATER.


Vacuum to Filter

When vacuuming to filter, dirt collected from the pool or spa is sent to the filter of the circulation system.  To vacuum using this method, complete the following:

1.  Run the circulation system correctly, and make sure that all suction is concentrated at the skimmer port.

Use your skimmer diverter for this process if dealing with a single port skimmer.  If the system includes valves for diversion of suction between the main drain and the skimmer, close the main drain valve completely and turn the open skimmer valve.  If there are two skimmers in the pool, close off one by covering the skimmer suction port with a tennis ball to increase the suction in the other one. On large pools, you might have to vacuum each half separately.

2.  Attach your vacuum head to the telepole, and attach the vacuum hose to the vacuum head.  Slowly feed the hose straight down into the pool; water will fill the hose and displace the air.  When you have fed all the hose into the pool, there is water at the other end.  To avoid draining the water from the hose, keep it at water level.

3.  Open your pool skimmer lid and take out the debris basket and diverter valve.  Slide the hose through the skimmer opening and into the skimmer.  Attach the hose to the diverter (with two-port skimmers, insert the hose cuff into the skimmer's suction port). The hose and vacuum head now have suction.

The suction port might be in the side of the pool below the skimmer in older pools.  In this case, you might need to put a tennis ball over the skimmer suction port to increase the suction at the wall port.

Make sure the hose does not contain a significant amount of air, or else when the air reaches the pump, you will lose prime.  If this occurs, remove the vacuum hose, reprime the pump, and try again.  

4.  To vacuum a pool or spa, work your way around the bottom and sides of the pool.  If the pool is dirty, vacuum slowly to pick up all the dirt.  Moving the vacuum head too quickly will stir up the dirt rather than suck it into the vacuum.

If the suction is too strong, it may suction the vacuum head to the pool surface.  If this occurs, you need to adjust the skimmer diverter or valves to reduce the flow. You might also need to lower the wheels on the vacuum head to raise the vacuum head itself.

If the suction is weak, you might want to lower the vacuum head or you might need to move the head more slowly around the pool to vacuum it thoroughly.

If the pool contains both fine dirt and leaves, the leaves will clog the strainer basket.  You can use a leaf canister, which is an inline strainer that collects the leaves and allows fine dirt to pass on to the filter.

If the spa operates on the same circulation system as the swimming pool, simply lift the vacuum out of the pool and immediately place it into the spa.  Do this quickly because while the vacuum is out of the water, air enters the hose, causing it temporarily to lose suction.  There should be enough water in the line for it to reprime itself.

5.  When you are finished, remove the vacuum head from the water.  The suction will rapidly pull the water from the hose.  It is advisable to pull the vacuum head from the pool and the suction end of the hose from the skimmer simultaneously.  Then, remove the hose from the water, and drain it on the deck.

6.  After removing the equipment from the pool, check the pump strainer basket and filter for any debris. Clean if needed.  Replace the skimmer basket.   


Vacuum to Leaf Eater

It’s a good idea to use a Leaf Eater instead of the vacuum if the pool is littered with leaves or heavy debris.  This will allow the fine dirt to settle and vacuum to the filter.

1.  Attach a garden hose to a water supply and then to the Leaf Eater.

2.  Clip the Leaf Eater onto the telepole.

3.  Place the Leaf Eater in the pool.  Turn on the water supply and vacuum, covering the pool floor and walls. Because the Leaf Eater is large, you can move it quickly and vacuum the pool; however, take care not to stir up the debris either by hitting it with the hose or by moving the Leaf Eater too fast.

4.  Empty the bag periodically.  Lift and remove the Leaf Eater slowly by turning it slightly to one side.  Pulling it straight up will force the debris back into the pool.  Do not turn the water supply off before removing the Leaf Eater from the pool.  The loss of vacuum action can dump the collected debris back into the pool.

5.  When the Leaf Eater is on the deck, turn off the water supply and clean out the collection bag.


Related Articles:

Troubleshooting Pool Cleaners (Polaris 280 and 380)

Return To DYI Pool Care Main