Your family’s swimming pool is an integral part of everyone’s summertime enjoyment and entertainment. As the primary person responsible for the pool’s maintenance, you spend a lot of time keeping it clean and safe. And this should include thoroughly vacuuming it. In doing so, you’ll be controlling algae and helping keep the chemicals balanced in the water. Thus, keeping your pool inviting and clean. 

Robotic pool cleaners are designed for daily maintenance, but they aren’t adequate for thorough cleaning. A pool vacuum removes heavy debris that a robotic cleaner won’t and will prevent maintenance problems.

In this article, we will discuss exactly how to vacuum your pool properly and as efficiently as possible, no matter if you have an in-ground or above-ground pool. Then you can spend more time enjoying the pool yourself!


Preparation for Vacuuming

No matter what type of pool you have, first remove any floating debris as well as debris on the bottom of the pool. Use a telescoping extension pole and a skimmer net. 

Make sure the pool pump and filter are running, too. Check for good starting pressure. Backwash a D.E. or sand filter if the pressure is high. Cartridges in a cartridge filter should be cleaned first, too. Take the drain plug out and then attach a backwash hose. 

Keep in mind that the water level in the pool will drop as you vacuum. Simply add fresh water later with a garden hose to replace it.


How to Vacuum an In-Ground Pool

There are differences between vacuums for in-ground and above-ground pools. Vacuums for each are chosen based on the depth, size, and shape of the pool you have. Here are the steps for vacuuming in-ground pools:

  1. Put the vacuum head into the water and make sure it is touching the bottom of the pool.
  2. Lock the pole into place so the head keeps touching the bottom.
  3. Hold the free end of the vacuum hose in front of the water return outlet so it fills with water. Watch the head of the vacuum for bubbles; when there are no more bubbles, pull the hose from the outlet. Keep the hose submerged.
  4. Put the end of the hose into the vacuum plate or skimmer basket and then put the plate into the pool wall skimmer on top of the suction vent.
  5. Slowly move the vacuum along the floor of the pool until it is clean. You can begin in the shallow end or work in a grid pattern for larger pools.


How to Vacuum an Above-Ground Pool


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Compared to an in-ground pool, an above-ground pool may have more to clean because of its walls. Make sure to always set the filter system to ‘waste’ or be sure to backwash after vacuuming. Here are the steps for vacuuming an above-ground pool:

  1. Lower the vacuum into the water until the head touches the bottom of the pool.
  2. Hold the locked vacuum pole down with one hand, keeping the head in contact with the bottom. This process is manageable by leaning the pole along the side of the pool.
  3. The free end of the vacuum hose is then held in front of the water return so it fills with water. Once all the bubbles have stopped coming from the vacuum head, pull it away from the outlet. The hose should remain submerged.
  4. Put the open end of the hose into the vacuum plate or skimmer basket. Place the plate into the wall skimmer on top of the suction vent. This begins the vacuuming process.
  5. Move the vacuum head slowly in straight lines along the bottom of the pool.


Pro Tips For Vacuuming Your Pool

Whether you have an in-ground or above-ground pool, here are some tips that apply to both: 

– If your vacuum loses suction, just follow the prep steps again to restore it.

– Don’t rush! You will reduce your visibility by going too fast. It will take more time for the debris to settle down again.  Move the vacuum head in long, slow, sweeping strokes.

– If the water gets cloudy as you work, stop for two hours or so for everything to settle again.  

– If the vacuum head gets stuck, turn off the pump to break the vacuum force and it will come free. 

– Make sure to monitor your pool filter’s pressure gauge as you vacuum. Stop and backwash the filter if the pressure rises above the recommended levels.

– Always test your water after you vacuum your pool. Make sure the chemicals are balanced.

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– No need to buy another telescopic pole. Most swimming pool vacuum heads are designed to fit any pole.

– If your pool has a vinyl pool liner, make sure to use a vacuum with a soft brush to prevent damage to the liner.


Pool Vacuuming: A Big Task With Big Rewards

Vacuuming your swimming pool is a time-intensive yet necessary task that helps keep your pool clean and inviting for your family and friends. It takes planning and preparation but the benefits are worth the effort. By following the steps and tips in this article, your pool will be an inviting oasis. The chemical balance also will work more efficiently and you will keep algae away as long as possible. 

For more detailed instructions on how to keep your pool sparkling clean, Pool School Videos can help! Created by Mike Steele, our videos cover all aspects of pool maintenance and show you exactly how to keep your pool clean and healthy year-round, while using less chemicals to do it. Mike has over 30 years as a pool professional and wants to share all that wisdom with you!

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Once you buy the videos, they’re yours and can be watched as many times as you need.

With your purchase, you will also become a member of the Pool School Video private Facebook group, with access to advice like you won’t find anywhere else. Post your question and we will respond within 24 hours with a personalized answer to help solve your problem. The information you’ll get from Pool School Videos is accurate, easy to follow, and will help you properly maintain your pool in less time while saving money doing it.

Get started with Pool School Videos today!