If you’re lucky enough to own a pool, you probably already know that keeping it clean is a constant concern. Regular maintenance will stave off larger issues and keep your pool swim-ready throughout the season. Pool companies recommend weekly cleaning, but if you notice that the pool water is cloudy or there is residue on the floor, it’s time to vacuum clean.
To get started, turn on the pool pump. The pump will ensure the water circulates properly through the filter. If your pool filter has a waste setting, usually available on multi-port filtration systems, turn your filter to this setting. This allows water to bypass the pool’s filter. Then use a pool skimmer to remove any leaves or dirt on the surface of the water. Once you’ve dumped out the contents of the skimmer basket, you’re ready to vacuum.Advertisement
Pool vacuums, like regular household vacuums, sell at a range of price points and capabilities. Most are weighted for easy use.
The less expensive of the two options, manual vacuums, run on batteries. Some are even rechargeable. The attachments, such as the hose and pole, are often sold separately. Be sure to factor this into your budget when buying one. But this a la carte setup allows you the flexibility to buy the attachments you need for your pool surface.Advertisement
Automatic pool vacuums require minimal effort on your part. You can put them in the pool, walk away and wait while they work. These vacuums cover large areas quickly and work well for in-ground pools.
There are three types of automatic pool vacuums:
Above-ground pools tend to be smaller than in-ground pools. They have regular shapes, so manually vacuuming them is manageable. Since in-ground pools come in all shapes and sizes, automatic vacuums are a great solution. But if you'd rather use a manual vacuum, make sure to choose a pole that's long enough to reach the entire pool.
Once you’ve assembled your vacuum per the manufacturer’s instructions, it’s time to prepare to clean.
Remove the air from the vacuum hose by lowering the vacuum into the water until the head touches the pool floor. Hold the free end of the vacuum hose against a pool jet until all the bubbles escape.
Make sure to keep the hose fully submerged, push the vacuum hose into the vacuum plate and secure the plate over your skimmer inlet.
Methodically push the vacuum head in straight lines along the bottom of your pool, starting in the shallow end. Vacuum in long, slow strokes that slightly overlap. Going too fast will kick up debris, and you will have to vacuum again in a couple of hours. If the pump strainer starts to overflow, remove debris and continue. If you start to lose suction, detach the hose from the vacuum plate and hold it on the jet again until all the air bubbles are gone.
Once you are finished, empty the skimmer basket. If your pool has a multiport system, Paradise Pools and Spas, Inc. recommends backwashing the filter by turning off the pump, switching the filter to rinse function, and turning the pump on for about 30 seconds. Turn the pump back off and reset your filter back to the filter function.
If you have a pool with a sand filter, the vacuuming process is basically the same. First, adjust the valve settings on the filter to the amount of debris in your pool, then set up the system and vacuum as above. The pump will vacuum dirt and debris, then pass it through the sand filter. Once you’ve finished vacuuming, be sure to backwash your sand filter.
When you’ve finished vacuuming, switch the vacuum head to the cleaning brush and scrub away any algae and dirt from the sides of the pool.
Bryony Gilbey is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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