How To Manually Vacuum A Pool

How To Manually Vacuum A Pool

Hey poolers. This is Rob with INYOPOOLS. Today, we’re going to show you how to manually vacuum a pool. The three things you’ll need are

The pool we are working on today is concrete, so we will be using a vacuum head meant for gunite pools. Make sure you pick the right head for your surface type to avoid damaging your liner or surface finish. 

For example, the vinyl version uses a triangular shape and uses the shape of the head and contouring to disperse the suction power over a wider area. The widening of the suction area prevents the liner from being pulled or torn by the force of the suction. If you were to use a gunite vacuum head, which does not disperse the suction force, you will damage your liner, or torn by these wheels.


click here to view pool cleaning accessories ( brush, vacuum hoses and heads)


The process of vacuuming each surface type is pretty much the same, as is preparing the hose and head.

  1. Attach the vac head to the pole. The head should clip into place using these fasteners
  2. Take the swivel end of your hose and attach to the vacuum head hose adapter
  3. Take the vac head and stick it into the pool
  4. Remove the skimmer lid

Now, before plugging the hose into the skimmer, we will need to flush the hose of any air to ensure the pool pump stays primed. A couple of ways to flush air from your vacuum hose:

  • Submerge the complete length of hose, flooding it. Once air bubbles stop escaping from the hose the job is done.
  • Place the unattached end of the hose (non-swivel side) over a running return jet to purge the air. 

A vacuum hose can be connected to your pool pump by one of two ways; either by a dedicated suction line, the most common way, through your skimmer line. The dedicated suction line is a port located on your pool’s sidewall and can be identified by the safety spring cap cover. Connect the vac hose, by flipping the cap and plugging in the hose adapter.

If connecting your hose to a skimmer line, you may insert it directly into the suction line at the bottom of the skimmer housing, or you may use a vacuum plate adapter. If your skimmer has two lines at the base of the house (One Suction, One Equalizer line) make sure to connect your hose to the line pulling the water.

Vacuuming technique

Vacuuming your pool floor is just like vacuuming the carpet in your house, you want short stead overlapping strokes.  We like to harp on the steady part of the vacuum motion because pool owners tend to do the long jerky motion that tends to agitate the water pushing the debris to other places int he pools instead of collecting it.

Staying with the overlapping pattern for the length of the pool, or any circulation dead spots where debris collects.

The above method of vacuuming is more for general maintenance. But if you have heavy leaf debris, as you would experience while opening your pool we suggest using a special vac head called a Leaf Eater.

Used for heavier debris loads, You don’t connect it to your skimmer system. You actually connect a garden hose to it. The garden hose sprays water down and creates a venturi and pushes everything into that leaf bag. The use of a venturi rather than a suction line prevents clogging your skimmer and pump baskets.

After Vacuuming

Unplug the hose, slide it back out of the skimmer, pull everything out of the pool. I prefer to pull the hose out by one end, preventing a watery mess on the deck. Disassemble your vacuum head, hose, and pole, and store for the next time.

For Heavy Leaf Debris

Couple of other things to keep in mind. If you do have a few leaves and you want to use your vacuum you could use a vac plate like this. Basically, you’d have the basket in place, then put the vac plate on top. Then you’d plug your hose right into that vac plate and the least would get stuck in that basket instead of going into your lines and possibly clogging up the lines or your impeller. 

Another option would be to get a leaf canister then put the vac plate on top. Then you’d plug your holes right into that vac plate and the least would get stuck in that basket instead of going into your lines and possibly clogging up the lines or your impeller. 

Another option would be to get a leaf canister which is like a clear tube with a basket inside and usually because of the short piece of hose then you just connect you vac horse to the opposite leaf canister and it traps your leaves in there. 

Troubleshooting Weak Suction

If you’re not getting enough suction, I suggest shutting off your main drain suction to increase the pull through your vacuum line. If you have a variable speed pump as I do, you may need to set it to a higher RPM to get proper suction. For example, I need to set my pump to 70 percent its capacity to ensure proper flow, whereas my normal filter setting is half that If you have a two-speed pump, you can just run it on the high speed. 

If you have any questions on how to manually vacuum your pool, leave a comment down below or visit us over at Thanks.


click here to find your pool chemicals

One thought on “How To Manually Vacuum A Pool

  1. Is there a vacuum system which will discharge out of the pool, not into my cartridge filter?

    Or do I just remove the cartridges and the drain plug, turn off the returns to the pool, and let er rip?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.