With over 40 years of experience, we are here to share our Pool, Hot Tub & Hearth advice.

Vacuuming Your Pool

Q. How often do I need to vacuum my pool?
A. Vacuuming should be done as often as you think. Normally, once a week is sufficient. Generally speaking, the more a pool is used the LESS vacuuming it needs. It’s pretty simple. Some pool owners enjoy vacuuming on a nice sunny summer morning. Many of our customers use a good automatic pool vacuum to do this work for them. Even so, a good manual vacuuming once a month is good.

Q. How do I vacuum an in-ground or above-ground swimming pool?A. Follow these steps:

  1. If your pool is equipped, be sure that the valve on the suction line coming into the pump is selected for the port (either skimmer or lower suction fitting) you will be using to vacuum.
  2. Attach the vacuum hose to the vacuum head (the piece with the brushes or wheels on it). The better quality vacuum hoses come with a swivel end to prevent tangling of the hose.  Be sure that this is the end that is attached to the vacuum head; if not the system will draw air & not work properly.
  3. Make sure the hose is secure and the vacuum head is firmly attached to the pole.
  4. Place the vacuum head, hose & pole into the deep end of the pool (make sure one end of the pole is sticking out of the water!)
  5. Take the UN-attached end of the vacuum hose & hold it in front of one of the water return fittings.  This will fill the hose with water & prevent binding of the pump with air.  You know you’ve got enough water in the hose when the vacuum head bubbles up to the top.
  6. Put your hand over the end of the hose to keep the water IN.
  7. Place the skimmer basket adapter on top of the skimmer basket.  Always use a basket to prevent the ossible suction of a large object from getting stuck in the skimmer or in the underground line.
  8. If vacuuming through a lower suction without a basket, use a leaf trap.
  9. After you have placed the hose on the adapter fitting you will probably notice a sudden drop in filter activity.  This is normal.  The filter system is just re-adjusting itself to the change in suction.  Let it operate for about 30 to 90 seconds.  It should automatically bleed any air out of its system and return to normal operation.  You’ll hear the sound becoming “normal” again.
  10. Vacuum away!


No Suction – The hose has come off of the basket, the filter has lost its prime (not sucking water) or the hose has a leak (make sure you’ve got the proper end of the hose on the vac head).  If you have more than one suction line, be sure you’re drawing from the proper one.

Dirty Water Returning To The Pool – If you have a sand filter, DO NOT BACKWASH THE FILTER BEFORE VACUUMING.  Backwashing stirs up the sand & prevents good trapping of dirt for several HOURS.  In cartridge or DE filters, this rarely happens.

I Vacuum For A Few Minutes Then It Doesn’t Work Anymore – How dirty is the pool?  If it’s REALLY dirty, you may be better off vacuuming to direct waste (for sand filters) or otherwise vacuuming directly out of the pool by by-passing the filter.