How to Manually Vacuum a Pool

How to Manually Vacuum a Pool

Vacuuming provides one of the easiest and most effective ways of removing dirt and debris from the bottom of your pool.

Although an automatic pool vacuum makes the job easier, it is more expensive and gives you little control over the process, and so sometimes a manual one is your best bet.

However, to get the best outcomes when vacuuming your pool manually, you need to know how to do the job correctly. Luckily, the process is not that complicated as you will only need a few materials and some free time over the weekend.

What You Need


Step 1: Gather the Materials

The first step should be to gather the materials you will need to vacuum the pool. Here, the most crucial tool you need is the vacuum head, which is what picks up the debris.

When choosing a vacuum head, you have to make sure it is well-built for long service life. Also, it should provide a powerful suction, be wide enough to cover a large area with every pass, and include convenient features like wheels for easy mobility.

The Sepetrel Pool Vacuum Head is an excellent example of a top-quality vacuum head that will do a fantastic job manually vacuuming your pool.

Other things like the telescoping handle and vacuum hose should also be well built and long enough to make vacuuming the pool easy.

Step 2: Setup the Vacuum

The next step is to set up the vacuum to get it ready for cleaning the pool. Here you will first need to attach the vacuum head to your telescoping pole. Remember to make sure the pole is secure enough so that the head does not come off as you move it on the pool’s floor.

Make sure the pole you have can reach the bottom of the deepest point of the pool. Also, the pole should be the right size for the vacuum head, but the good news is that most are universal and can fit almost any vacuum head.

Once the pole is in place, the next step is attaching your hose. The hose connects to the top of the vacuum head. You also need to make sure it is tight enough to get the suction power that will pick up the debris, and you can ensure this by using a hose clamp.

Step 3: Place the Vacuum Head in the Pool

You should now place the vacuum head at the bottom of the pool and make sure it is close to your skimmer.

Also, ensure the vacuum head stays flat at the bottom of the pool, which should not be an issue if the model you have is weighted. You may need to add some extra weight when using lightweight vacuum heads to ensure they remain flat at the bottom.

Step 4: Prime the Vacuum

Before you connect the other end of the hose to your skimmer to start vacuuming the pool, you will need to do some priming.

Priming the vacuum allows you to remove all the air from the system to ensure there are no air pockets as they can lead to suction power loss.

You can prime your vacuum by pushing the other end of the vacuum hose against the return jets and allowing them to force all the air out of the hose.

You should see some air bubbles floating towards the surface of the water, which indicates that the air is flowing out of the hose. Once all bubbles disappear, this is a good indication that the vacuum is primed and ready for the job.

Step 5: Connect the Vacuum to the Skimmer

Although the vacuuming process is manual, you still need to create suction for your vacuum head by connecting it to the skimmer. Here, you have to attach the open end of the hose to the skimmer inlet and use the pool’s pump to create suction.

How you go about this step depends on whether you are using a vacuum plate or not. If you have a vacuum plate, you have to attach it to the end of the hose and block the end before connecting it to the skimmer inlet.

If you do not have a vacuum plate, remove the basket inside the skimmer and block the hose end before connecting it to the skimmer inlet. Here it is crucial to ensure you insert the hose into the suction hole, which is at the bottom part of your skimmer.

Step 6: Pick the Right Filter Setting

It is also vital to pick the right filter valve setting before you can start vacuuming your pool. However, sometimes you can leave it at the default “Filter” setting if you are not dealing with a lot of debris.

For heavy debris vacuuming, it is better to use the “Waste” setting on your filter. With this setting, the water will go out of the pool instead of passing through the filter.

However, if you vacuum with the waste filter valve setting, you will have to refill the pool afterward and balance the pool chemistry again.

Step 7: Vacuum the Pool

You can give the vacuum a small test run to check whether everything is connected well and there is enough suction before you start the actual job.

When it comes to the actual vacuuming, you should start at the pool’s shallow end and move gradually to the deep end.

Make sure you move the vacuum head in long, slow, and sweeping strokes. Additionally, it would help if you overlapped the strokes to avoid missing sections or debris.

Rushing the job only kicks up the debris and reduces your visibility significantly, making the job harder and longer for you.

It is important to note that vacuuming your pool by hand takes quite some work and time, and so you should prepare well for the task.

How Often Should You Vacuum a Pool?

The frequency of vacuuming your swimming pool largely depends on the usage. Regular vacuuming is necessary for pools under heavy use since there will be a more significant accumulation of dirt and debris.

However, if you use your pool moderately during the swimming season, it will be a good idea to vacuum it at least once every week.

There are also some particular instances when you might need to vacuum the pool even if you already did your routine vacuuming for the week. They include after heavy rain and storms as there will be a high accumulation of dirt and debris in the swimming pool.

Bottom Line

While many pool owners prefer automatic pool vacuuming methods such as robotic and suction-side cleaners, manual vacuuming is still a great option. Manual vacuuming is cheaper and gives you a more hands-on approach to cleaning your pool.

For the best outcomes when vacuuming your pool manually, you will first need to gather the necessary equipment. Once you have everything, make sure you set them up correctly and follow the simple steps above to remove debris from your pool.

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