Diving into the sparkling blue water, swimming through the soothing water and having a couple of drinks- a perfect relaxation time from everyone’s dream on a hot summer sunny day. Saying so, let’s admit it keeping your swimming pool neat and clean is not an easy task. It demands time, the right equipment, and a lot of physical energy and effort. “How to Manually Vacuum Inground Pool: The Professional Way” is going to show you a complete procedure of vacuuming your swimming pool by hand in six easy steps.
Why Do You Need to Vacuum Your Inground Pool Manually
Before moving on to all the technical parts of how to manually vacuum an inground pool, let us answer the question that might be bugging you right now.
Why do you need to clean your swimming pool manually?
You may have the market’s best robotic pool cleaner at home. It works like a pro and saves a lot of time and energy for you. We know that. Even we love automatic pool cleaners too. They are effective and efficient.
Still, you need to clean your pool by your hand from time to time. Why?
The large floating debris is the main obstacle here. You can’t rely on the automatic pool cleaners to remove all the floating and drawn leaves from the last thunderstorm. You need to get in the field, in this case, poolside with your manual vacuum to turn the pool of leaves into your sparkling blue water swimming pool.
So, no more excuses. Let the manual pool cleaning process begin!!
Note: As pool filtration systems vary from model to model, we tried to incorporate all the details of the manual pool vacuum process here. If you find any details irrelevant to your pool, just skip to the next step.
What Will You Need to Vacuum Inground Pool Manually?
Your best pal in the pool cleaning journey. As the name implies, you can adjust the length of the pole according to your requirement. Poles of different sizes ranging from 8 feet to 20 feet are available in the market.
We recommend selecting one considering the size of the pool. Usually, an 8 feet telescopic pole that can be extended up to 16 feet would cover all the walls, corners and bottoms regardless of the size of the pool.
The second in command of pool cleaning troop is a vacuum head. Here you need to be careful about choosing the right vacuum head for your pool.
If you have a vinyl liner pool you must go for a vinyl vacuum head. Usually, it comes in a triangular shape allowing it to clean all the corners of the pool. The vacuum head contains bristles in a triangular shape surrounding a suction hole in the middle.
For a gunite or fiberglass swimming pool, you will need a vacuum head with wheels and better suction power. Usually, a gunite or fiberglass swimming pool vacuum head comes in a rectangular shape.
Note: Do not use a gunite or fiberglass swimming pool vacuum head on a vinyl swimming pool. It may damage the vinyl lining of your pool.
The third essential equipment you will need is a vacuum hose. It’s swiveling 1.5″ cuff at both ends allows you to connect the vacuum head with the skimmer inlet.
25 feet to 50 feet hosepipes are available in the market. The size of your pool will determine the length of the hose you will require.
This is optional. It allows you to attach the hose on top of the skimmer basket.
If you are using the right vacuum head you may not need to use a pool brush. It is used to remove sticky dirt or algae from the side of the pools. Like a vacuum head, you need to be careful to choose the right pool brush for your pool.
- For fiberglass, vinyl or painted concrete swimming pool use only nylon bristles brush.
- Brushes with stainless steel bristles are used for gunite swimming pool.
- For an unpainted concrete swimming pool brush with both stainless steel and nylon bristles are best.
How to Manually Vacuum Inground Pool
1. Get Your Pool Filter in Right Setting
To make your work a little easier get your pool filter in the right setting. According to the size and style of your pool, it may offer one or more settings.
a. Two-Position Valve Filters
Usually, in a smaller pool, the filter system contains two-position valves filters. Generally known as “push-pull” valves, it has only one setting- “Filter”, which will clean all the vacuumed water and recirculate into the pool. They don’t provide the “Waste” option.
b. Multiport Valve Filters
On the other hand, if you have multiport valves in your filter, you will have several; mostly six or seven; settings of filtering including two vacuuming options. One is the standard “Filter” setting and another one is the “Waste” setting.
Which setting you should put on work depends on the amount of dirt and debris sitting on the bottom of your pool.
If you are performing a routine cleaning or there is not much dirt or dust in the pool, the “Filter” setting on both two-position valves filter and multiport filter valves is sufficient. Vacuuming at standard “Filter” setting works pretty much similar way the two-position valves filter works.
Note: After vacuuming backwash the pool filter and remove all the sucked debris from the filter.
However, if you have a high amount of debris and dirt in the pool, you will need to go for vacuuming to waste. Besides, if you have severe algae outbreak or used chemical flocculants to clear the water, both can contaminate the filter media if you don’t use vacuuming to waste.
By draining the vacuumed water direct to the sewer bypassing the filter, vacuuming to waste prevents the filter from being overloaded with debris and contaminated from algae and chemicals.
Note: While vacuuming to waste the pool water level will drop rapidly as the pool pump does not recirculate the vacuumed water into the pool. To prevent air from getting into the skimmer inlet ensure continuous water supply using a garden hose with an attached hose filter.
2. Assemble the Manual Vacuum
a. First, attach the vacuum head to the open end of the telescopic pole
b. Then, attach one swiveling head of the hose pipe to the vacuum head.
3. Prime the Vacuum
Now you have to prime the vacuum, which means filling up the vacuum system with water purging all the air from the system. Air pockets make your vacuum lose suction power, so make sure there is no air pocket left in the system. You can do it in two different ways:
a. Put vacuum head at the bottom of the pool using the pole. Gradually leave the hose pipe vertically in the pool, so the water can move up through the pipe.
If the coil gets twisted you can twist it back to get it straight. The water will come out from the other end of the pipe filling up the whole pipe. Hold the hose head under the water.
Note: Hold the pole with the other hand otherwise it will go away.
b. Hold the other hose pipe head against the returns jet nozzles. Water will run through the vacuum system pushing the air to come out from the vacuum head.
You will see bubbles rising from the vacuum head. As the bubbles stop, the vacuum system is filled with water.
Note: Keep the hose pipe submerged until the next step. Make sure that the vacuum head is the only inlet open to the pool pump. If the pool contains dedicated multiple intake valves to multiple skimmers, close them during vacuuming. Otherwise, particles and debris can be sucked by the pool pump destroying all your effort.
4. Connect the Vacuum to the Pump
Now you need to connect your vacuum to the pool pump by plugging the hose head to a skimmer inlet. In this setting, the suction force from the pump is averted through the skimmer inlet and hose to the vacuum head placed at the bottom of the pool. If the pool has more multiple skimmers, to get the maximum suction force plug the vacuum hose into the nearest skimmer to the pool pump.
a. If you are not using a vacuum plate, get the skimmer basket out of the skimmer first.
b. If you are using a vacuum plate, attach the vacuum plate to the submerged open end of the hose.
c. Whether you are using a vacuum plate or not, put your hand over the open end of the hose pipe creating a good firm seal. It will prevent the air to get into the pipe and losing suction force.
d. Bring the blocked hose head to the skimmer.
e. Insert it in the skimmer and attach it with the suction hole at the bottom of the skimmer. In general, a skimmer has two holes. Use your finger to feel the suction pressure and identify the suction hole.
5. Manually Vacuum the Pool
a. Start from the shallow end of the pool and gradually move towards the deeper end.
b. Move the vacuum head across the bottom of the pool in back and forth rows, just like mowing your lawn.
c. Make long, slow and sweeping strokes overlapping slightly to make sure that no debris is left in the swept area.
d. If there is a lot of debris sitting at the bottom of the pool, a vacuum head stroke will stir up the debris reducing the visibility. Give it some time to settle down first, then start again.
e. Do not rush. We are trying to learn how to vacuum the inground pool manually, not how to vacuum the inground pool fast.
f. Rushing will stir up the debris more frequently, reducing visibility and taking hours to resettle. It will make your work harder.
g. If the vacuum head gets stuck to the pool, turn off the pump for some moments, release the vacuum force and set it free.
h. In some cases, large debris may overload the pump strainer basket reducing the vacuum force. Clean the strainer time to time to restore the vacuum force.
i. Keep monitoring the filter pressure gauge while vacuuming at the standard “Filter” setting in a multiport valve filter system. If the pressure surpasses the manufacturer’s specification, stop vacuuming. Backwash the filter following the instructed the procedure according to the filter model and type.
If you are still confused about the process here is a great video tutorial for you!
5. Restore Pool Cleaning Equipment and Pool Water
a. Detach the vacuum head and hose pipe from the telescoping pole.
b. Drain all the remaining water from the hose pipe.
c. Attach the pool brush to the pole to brush any debris or algae off from the side of the pool
d. Clean your pump strainer basket from any debris.
e. If you have used the standard “Filter” setting on a multiport system give your filter a backwash.
f. On the other hand, if you have vacuumed to waste make sure you reset the valve back to the “Filter” setting. Do not stop pouring fresh water until the water level is restored.
g. Re-open the closed valves dedicated to the rest of the multiple skimmers for proper circulation of pool water.
h. After the pool water level has been restored, test the water and adjust the pH and balance of chlorine of the water.
i. Clean all your pool cleaning equipment with fresh water. Let them try before storing it.
j. Don’t forget to coil up the hose pipes.
Here you are, all ready to clean your pool by yourself. Though it’s a tedious job to do, just imagine the outcome of you all these efforts- a sparkling blue water swimming pool. We hope it’s inspiring enough to get you in the pool cleaning work.
Yet if you find this task tedious and overwhelming you can choose any automatic pool cleaner from our “Best Pool Cleaners: Top 10 Products Reviews & Buying Guide” to get free from this job. We assure you will find your best pool cleaning assistant here.
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