Maintaining a sparkling clean swimming pool is a bit of an art and a science. You’re learning about the importance of a proper chemical balance and setting up a schedule to monitor pH levels. You also know how to check and clean your pool filter. But what’s the best way to handle the dirt and debris that inevitably finds its way to the pool floor?
The answer is to vacuum your pool. Vacuuming your pool on a regular basis not only helps your pool look clean but also helps cut down on algae and allows pool chemicals to work more efficiently. In this article, we’ll answer some typical questions pool owners have about vacuuming.
What are the different types of pool vacuums?
You have two main choices when it comes to pool vacuums – manual or automatic. The kind you use depends on your pool, its location, and your budget. Some pool owners find that it is helpful to have both types of vacuums to keep their pool looking its best.
Manual pool vacuum
Manually vacuuming your pool is similar to vacuuming your carpet. You move the vacuum around the pool, sucking up debris as you go. The difference, of course, is that you are using a long telescopic arm, and you are moving the apparatus through water.
The manual vacuum head is attached to a pole with a hose that connects to the special fitting in the skimmer box or in the side of your pool. Here are the supplies you need:
vacuum head (or vac head)
skim vac or vacuum plate (if necessary)
scrub brush to attach to the pole
If you’re giving your pool a routine cleaning, you may not need to change your pool’s filter setting. However, if there is a lot of debris in your pool – such as after a thunderstorm – you may need to adjust the setting. After assembling the vacuum and making sure the pump and the filter are running, here are your next steps:
Place the assembly in the pool with the vac head sitting on the pool floor.
Make sure the vacuum inlet is the only line that is open to the pump.
Place the vacuum in the pool, then slowly feed the hose in after it, letting it fill up with water until you come the end of the hose and the water bubbles out, showing you that all air is out of the hose.
Beginning at the shallow end, use slow, sweeping strokes to vacuum the pool. Overlap your strokes slightly to get all the debris.
When you are finished, remove the vac head from the telescoping pole, and drain any water from the vacuum hose. Then, attach your cleaning brush to the pole and scrub away any debris from the sides of your pool.
Clear the pump strainer basket.
Here are a few tips:
If there is a lot of debris, your work will kick up a cloud even if you are slow and careful. You may need to give the debris some time to resettle and then try again.
If the vac head gets stuck, turn off the pump briefly to set it free.
Monitor the filter’s pressure gauge as you go. If the pressure rises above the recommended levels, stop vacuuming and backwash your filter.
Automatic pool vacuum
There are a variety of robotic pool vacuums on the market today. Although they can get pricey, these automatic cleaners have the advantage of helping to keep the pool floor and sides clean without any work on your part.
However, they do need to be checked and cleaned regularly as their filter basket can fill up quickly, and they won’t be able to handle large amounts of debris.
Most robotic vacuums work independently of the pool’s circulation system. While some are battery-operated, most models require you to plug them into an electric outlet, connect a suitably long extension cord and drop them in the water.
Now, here are a few commonly asked questions about pool vacuuming.
How often should I vacuum my swimming pool?
The answer depends on a combination of factors, including how much you are using your pool, the weather, and the location of your pool. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to vacuum once a week and whenever you notice large amounts of dirt, leaves, or other debris on the pool floor.
How long does it take to clean my pool manually?
We won’t lie; the process can take an hour or more, depending on the size of your pool and how dirty it is. However, we recommend that you take your time with the process since rushing only stirs up the debris, making it harder to remove.
Do I need to manually vacuum my pool if I use a robotic cleaner?
Yes, you might. Robotic vacuums are designed for light maintenance, not for removing heavy debris.
Will vacuuming remove algae?
Routine vacuuming will not necessarily remove algae, but it will help prevent the formation and growth of algae in your pool.
Here’s a final tip. After you’ve vacuumed, be sure to check your pool’s alkalinity, pH, and chlorine and make adjustments as necessary.
If you have any questions about vacuuming or other aspects of pool maintenance, please let us know. We’re always happy to help.