How To Manually Vacuum Your Pool

The manual pool vacuum is an essential cleaning accessory and sufficient for cleaning small and medium-sized pools.

Given its low cost and ease of use, it is also a significant part of routine maintenance, especially in the event of a failure of your automatic pool cleaner, if you have one.

Why use a manual pool vacuum?

In general, a pool vacuum cleaner, whether manual or automatic, is an essential tool for removing dirt and debris that settles in the corners and the bottom of the pool.

Where the brush takes off the dirt, the manual vacuum cleaner will also suck them up through the filtration system or directly to waste. It protects against the deterioration of swimming conditions, water clarity, and helps keep a swimming pool clean, healthy, and pleasant.

The advantages of vacuuming a pool manually

Brushing the walls and floor of the pool prevents the formation of algae.
Brushing also targets areas in the pool where dirt tends to settle.

When should you manually vacuum the pool?

During the season, when too much dirt from the use of the pool or deposits have formed in the pool because of wind and bad weather. This involves removing the dirt and deposits from the pool to help the filtration system.

After a period when regular maintenance of the pool and water treatment could not be carried out. For example, after a return to service of the filtration system at the end of winter, or after returning from vacation, or because the weather has forced you to do so (green water with algae blooms, large volumes of debris to be removed from the water).

Note that if the debris to be removed is a lot (leaves for example), it is preferable to first use the net beforehand so as not to unnecessarily clog the baskets of the skimmers and the prefilter of the filtration pump.

How to connect a manual pool vacuum?

Connect the head of the brush with the telescopic sleeve and put the connection hose in the pool. It will be necessary to get the air out of the hose, starting by connecting it to the head of the brush. If air is sucked in, the pump won’t prime.

Immerse the hose and the brush in the pool water, holding the brush handle and the other end of the hose. Remove the air in the connection pipe by placing it in front of an outlet water jet or by immersing it vertically in the pool so that the air escapes from the pipe.

Now bring the pipe filled with water to the inlet connection point, you can put your hand on the top of the pipe so that the water does not escape if that part of the pipe is out of the water.

If the pool is fitted with a brush socket, then fit the other end of the hose into the brush socket.

If the manual vacuum cleaner must be connected to the skimmer, then fit the other end of the hose onto the skimmer. In this case, and depending on the model, it could be connected either directly to the pipe under the skimmer basket or if you have a disc that fits on top of the skimmer basket called a skim vac. The suction fitting will be on the top of the disc.

Should the pool pump be on or off when fitting the vacuum brush?

If the pump is stopped and you are alone, the connection hose can disconnect itself from the brush or the skimmer and partially re-fill with air.

In this case, it may be better to have two people (one holding the hose, and one which starts the pump) or, if you are alone, to correctly position the multi-way valve and the T and D valves. Turn on the pool pump before connecting the brush.

The multi-way valve must be in the filter position if there is not much dirt to vacuum. If the bottom of the pool is very dirty, it may be preferable to put the multi-way valve on the backwash (drain) position so as not to clog the filter.

If the brush is connected to the skimmer, open the valve of the corresponding skimmer and close the bottom drain valve. This will give more suction power to the brush.

How to use a manual pool vacuum?

Not many people like to vacuum a pool. Therefore we vacuum to fast which is a mistake.

Do not hurry and be gentle when handling the brush.
Gently vacuum all areas to be cleaned. By going too fast, dust and deposits will move up and resuspend in the water. The water will become cloudy and you will not see the bottom of the pool nor where you are vacuuming. Then you will have to wait for the dirt to settle down again.

The head of the vacuum cleaner must be effective on all surfaces and please respect the pool coating: walls, bottom, corners of the pool. If the coating is a liner, use a brush head that does not pierce the coating at the corners and edges. If the coating is a shell or concrete, a brush head with rollers is recommended so as not to scratch the coating.

Here again, the fact of going slowly makes it possible to avoid scratching, piercing or making impact points when the head of the vacuum cleaner bangs on the covering.

Once the vacuuming is finished, it is, of course, necessary to dismantle the brush and the hose.

Switching the pump off necessary to be able to empty the basket of the pump pre-filter and return the multi-way valve to the “Filter” position if it was on “Drain”.

Empty and clean the skimmer and pump pre-filter baskets. Return the T-valves to their original position and, if necessary, restart the pool pump.

To conclude

As the name suggests, a manual pool vacuum involves cleaning work that is done manually. We must remember to not vacuum to fast due to the risk of sucking air and putting most of the dirt back into the water.

It is possible to take turns vacuuming, doing it as a team, or make it in the form of a game.

That said, there is nothing more effective than vacuuming the dirt from a pool than with a manual vacuum cleaner. You can do without a robot but you can never do without a manual vacuum brush. And even if its easier to call a company for the cleaning and maintenance of your pool, you should always have one on hand.

How To Vacuum An Above Ground Pool

If you are the new owner of an above-ground pool or have just taken over the cleaning duties, sooner or later you will need to operate the vacuum cleaner.

The manual suction system consists of a sweeper’s head with brushes and rollers, and a roll of ribbed plastic pool hose, and a long pole made of either metal or fiberglass.

While vacuuming a pool can be tedious, it’s a breeze once the technique is mastered. So, if you’re tempted to neglect your maintenance schedule, remember that debris at the bottom of a pool can cause algae growth, and swimming in green, slimy water is not fun at all.

Firstly remove leaves, insects, and other debris from the surface of the pool using a deep or regular net scoop. Check the skimmer basket and the pump basket for debris and clean them if necessary.

Turn on the pool pump and make sure that water flows easily through the filter.

Attach the swivel end of the pool hose to the suction head. Attach the head to the extension and lower the assembly into the pool, extending the adjustable pole until the suction head reaches the bottom of the pool. Lock the adjustable pole and press it against the edge of the pool.

Hold the free end of the suction hose in front of the water return jet to completely fill the water hose with water. Keep one hand on the pole to prevent the vacuum head from floating to the surface when air is pushed out of the vacuum head.

Continue to prime the hose until it is full of water and no more bubbles escape from the vacuum head.

Keep the end of the hose submerged while removing it from the return water jet then attach it to the inlet fitting of the skimmer. Some vacuums require plugging the end of the hose directly into the suction port.

If you need to remove the end of the water hose to insert it into the suction hole, do so as quickly as possible to avoid leaving too much air in the hose.

Stand in a position so you can see the bottom of the pool clearly. Slowly move the vacuum head over the bottom of the pool, slightly overlapping the previous path with each new vacuum head pass.

Keep the vacuum head underwater at all times, otherwise, the vacuum cleaner will lose its effectiveness due to air being drawn into the system. Continue to vacuum until the bottom is completely clean.

A Word Of Advice

Brush the edges of the pool the night before vacuuming to remove debris, then vacuum the pool in the morning before anyone uses it. Adjust your water returns jets so that the body of water moves continuously in a circular pattern.

This allows the debris to be concentrated in the center of the bottom of the pool, where it is easier to vacuum. When you have finished vacuuming use the pressure gauge on the filter to determine if a “back-wash” is necessary.