Pool Care Pool Maintenance

How to Vacuum Your Pool Manually?

One of the crucial parts of maintaining a swimming pool is keeping it clean and the best part is that there are many ways you can do this, even vacuuming it manually. For most people, this has never been an option since it can be tedious and energy draining. However, situations do arise, and you’re left with the option to vacuum pool manually. What happens then? Do you know how to do it?

The best way is to put together the resources, including getting yourself ready for the long task and day ahead. It would be best to get your vacuum cleaner head, pool brush, and vacuum hose ready before you can get to work. Vacuuming your pool can be challenging depending on its size, but it can be a fun activity to engage in if you do it right.

And you know what, this post contains everything you need to know to make the whole process as simple as possible.

Why Vacuum Pool Manually?

What type of pool cleaner do you use to clean your pool? If you have a manual type, then your options are limited.

Some people are forced to vacuum their swimming pool manually because of the pool cleaner they use; others enjoy cleaning theirs hand-on, while some are left with no choice when their automatic cleaning system fails.

So, vacuuming a swimming pool manually isn’t an option for everyone, but it’s a necessary skill to have.

If You Use a Manual Pool Cleaning System

One of the various options pool owners have when buying a pool cleaner is a manual vacuum, which is more affordable than automatic models. If you’re working with a limited budget, a manual vacuum might be your option.

It can allow you to clean your swimming pool the way you like, and you get to confirm it’s all working right. In such a case, your only option is to vacuum the pool manually.

If Your Automatic Pool Cleaner Fails

If you installed an automatic pool cleaner, something happens, and it fails; you can only allow your swimming pool to go few days without a cleaner. After that, you need a way to clean your swimming pool as you wait for the cleaner to be repaired or when you replace it.

And what other way can you go for other than vacuuming your pool manually? It’s an affordable move that you can quickly and gladly replace with the repaired or replaced automatic cleaner.

Engaging in as a Fun Activity

And comes the funny part. Did you know some pool owners do manual pool vacuuming as fun and something to exercise with? Yes, I love doing once or twice. It can be fun, but you have to get your whole body and mind to it.

You might be surprised how the sunlight and some time off your usual routine can help you feel relaxed. Don’t engage in it as a job but as a fun activity.

What Do You Need When Vacuuming Your Pool Manually

Before you can jump right into the manual pool vacuuming, there is a list of items you have to gather to make sure you’re prepared for the work ahead.

Good attitude: before you can start this task, your attitude has to be alright. You have to get your mind ready, especially if you’re not a handy person.

Pool vacuum head: this is the central part of the pool cleaner that removes the dirt and debris from the swimming pool.

Telescopic pole: it attaches to the pool vacuum head to give you an extra hand to reach those tough-to-reach spots and corners.

Vacuum hose: you need a sizeable hose to connect to the vacuum cleaner’s head to channel the dirt and debris out. It needs to be long enough to reach every corner of your swimming pool.

Vacuum plate: This is the adapter that connects the vacuum hose to the basket strainer. It plugs directly into an inlet under the basket strainer to help bypass the filter entirely. But, you only need it if you use a two-position valve filter.

Pool brush: when vacuuming your swimming pool, it’d be best to scrub the surfaces, and that requires you to use a scrubbing brush that attaches to a telescopic pole.

The good news is that the pool filter will offer the extra hand, but you’ll need to know the type of installed model.

How Do You Vacuum Pool Manually (Step-By-Step)

Now you know everything you need to have to get yourself ready for the task ahead, vacuuming your swimming pool manually. Now comes the best part, how to do it. I will break the whole process into four easy-to-follow steps.

Step 1: Assemble the Pool Vacuum

Before you start the assembly, you’ll need to make sure your pool pump and filter are operational as they facilitate the whole manual pool vacuuming.

If these two components are in operation, you can start the assembly by attaching the vacuum head to the telescopic pole and make sure it’s tight.

Pick one end of the vacuum hose and connect it to the hose connector on the pool vacuum head. If your vacuum hose is slippery, it would be best to use a hose clamp to keep it in place.

Next, pick the vacuum head by the telescopic pole and place it inside the pool water. Allow it to sink until the vac head is resting on your pool floor.

Place the telescopic pole on one of the edges to prevent it from falling in the water.

Pick the open end of your vacuum hose and point it to one of your pool’s return jets. That allows the water to fill the hose while also driving all the air in out.

Wait and see bubbles escaping from the vacuum head until they stop, as it’s a sign the air is escaping from the vacuum hose.

Before you can move to the next step, ensure the vacuum inlet is the only return line open to your pool. If there is another, it could allow particles to pass through and undo your cleaning.

By this point, the vacuum hose should be filled with water and no air, and you should move to the next step comfortably.

A manual pool vacuum requires a reliable suction, and the only place to get it is in the pool skimmer. You can connect the vacuum hose directly to the skimmer or use a vacuum plate, the optional item I mentioned in the list of things you need for this task.

If you decide to use a vacuum plate, connect it at the open end of the vacuum hose, the end connected to the return jet. Block this end with your hand and place it inside the skimmer making sure you give it a good seal, or your vacuuming won’t get enough suction.

The suction allows the vacuum to suck the debris and dirt out through the vacuum head via the vacuum hose directly to the skimmer directed to the filtration system.

If air gets into these connections, the whole system can lose suction. If that happens, you can remove the hose and repeat the steps above to restore it.

Step 2: Determine Your Pool Filter

The next step is determining how or where you will be directing the cleaned dirt and debris. Start by determining the type of filter your swimming pool uses.

Is it a huge unit tanked unit with a pressure gauge or a small filter pump with a simple on/off switch? The type of your pool filter makes a huge difference when you decide to vacuum the pool manually. Which one of the following two do you have?

a. Multiport Filter

If you’re using one of those high-end pool filters that come with multiple ports, then you are in luck. These models, a sand filter or a D.E filter, comes with a ‘waste’ setting.

It allows you to set the cleaning directly to waste, allowing you to avoid the pool filter entirely. It’s a significant advantage since sucking up the debris and dirt can strain the pool filter and potentially jam the pool pump.

When you set the valve to waste, you’ll be bypassing the pump and filter as well. The best part is, you get to shoot the dirt and debris right out of your pool to a convenient spot of your choosing.

The problem is, this process can reduce the water level in your swimming pool. It might cost you refilling it later.

But you’ve two options here; you can refill the pool water to the desired level after all the cleaning. You can also connect a garden hose and keep it running to maintain the water level as you clean to save time. But remember to use a hose filter to clean the water before it gets to your pool.

It would be best to follow the user manual instructions on how to run your filter to ‘waste’ since various models have different ways of doing it.

Remember to check the chemical levels of your pool water after introducing fresh water in as it’s likely to get diluted or even consumed by the new contaminants introduced. If the chemicals are out of their ideal level, then balance them appropriately

b. Two-Position Valve Filter

If you’re using a simpler model with a 2-position valve, I’m afraid you won’t have the ‘waste setting. In such a case, it’s easier to use a vacuum plate or keep cleaning or backwashing the filter to prevent clogging.

A vacuum plate will offer you the necessary connection to connect the vacuum hose to fit seamlessly over the skimmer basket strainer. The hose plugs directly into the strainer basket in ordinary circumstances, allowing you to bypass the filter entirely.

Installing the vacuum plate gives the system the ability to suck all the gunk even when the skimmer filter is installed. It’s a crucial part of the process that filters out the large debris and prevents pump jamming.

Now that your swimming pool filter is ready and the pool vacuum is all set up, it’s time to jump to the next step.

Step 3: Vacuum Your Pool

Now you can start vacuuming your swimming pool slow and steady. Trying to power through the task as quickly as possible won’t do it.

You might end up stirring everything up and dirtying your swimming pool water even more. You will be forced to stop the vacuuming and wait for hours for the dust and particles to settle on the bottom again.

If you decide to vacuum pool manually, be ready to take your time; it can save you from cleaning hassle in the long run.

Start by vacuuming the shallow end slowly. Give it long, regular strokes and overlap at a steady pace. Remember to keep checking the filter pressure gauge.

If the pump pressure starts spiking or drops drastically, you may need to take five and backwash the filter system. But if you’re running the manual vacuum through the ‘waste’ setting, this problem won’t occur.

Step 4: After You Vacuum Pool Manually

At this point, your pool floor will be free of dirt and debris, not forgetting the algae that had grown in there. But don’t call it a day yet; there is one more step – making sure you disconnect the manual system before you leave.

Start by disassembling your vacuum cleaner system, starting with the hose. Remove it from the skimmer and pull the vacuum head out of the pool using the telescopic pole. Detach the vacuum hose and drain the water in it. Remove the telescopic pole from the vacuum head too.

Now with the telescopic pole free, attach it to the pool scrub brush and use it to scrub the pool sides and remove the stubborn dirt, debris, or algae, if any is remaining. When you’re done, empty the skimmer basket.

If you had set the multiport filter to ‘waste,’ remember to switch it back to ‘filter’ mode. While at it, use a garden hose to fill your pump to the correct water level. Remember to use clean, soft water for the refill. You can read more on how to refill a pool.

If you have a 2-position valve filter, empty the pump filter basket by removing the collected debris and leaves. Don’t forget to clean the filter cartridge or backwash it.

No matter which filter you have and whether or not you need to add fresh water to your pool, it’s a perfect idea to finish off the day by testing your pool water and rebalancing the water chemistry.

After the whole process, it’s time to test things out. Check the water chemistry to make sure the pool chemicals are at the ideal range. You have to do it every time you vacuum pool manually. It’s a necessary step to ensure all the cleaning did not wreak havoc on your pool water chemistry.

Vacuum Pool Manually – Do It Right & Enjoy the Results

The whole process of vacuuming your swimming pool manually has to be correct. You don’t want to spend all your energy and precious time only doing it wrong. The steps I’ve provided here can make the whole process seamless for you. But the fact is, it might take a ride on you – after all the cleaning, you might want to relax and recover some used-well energy.

About the author

Sharif Miah

Hi! I'm Sharif, the founder of Globo Pool® and I have been working in the pool & hot tub industry for the last few years. I love to share my experiences with people & hope you are enjoying my information and lessons!

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