Vacuuming your pool regularly is important to keeping it clean and your water well-balanced.
There are quite a few great pool robots to consider that can help automate this process. But, pool cleaners can get expensive. And in some cases, they might not do the job perfectly (or fast enough).
I know I’ve been in a pinch and had people on their way over to my house with a pool full of dirt. Talk about anxiety!
For these cases, vacuuming your pool manually is the best method.
To make sure that you vacuum your pool properly, it’s important to know what setting you should vacuum your pool on. This guide will help you understand what setting to use and when.
If you’re regularly staying on top of cleaning your pool, and there’s only a little bit of debris at the bottom of your pool, you can vacuum on “Filter”.
This is the most common setting that you will use with your pool for everyday maintenance. And you can use it for vacuuming too.
Essentially, when you vacuum to filter, you suck dirt up from the bottom of the pool and pass it into your skimmer basket. The skimmer basket should filter out most of the debris. Anything else will pass through your pump basket before going into your actual filter.
Bonus Tip: After you are done vacuuming on filter, turn off the system. Make sure to clean out your skimmer and pump baskets. Then, switch your multi-port valve setting to “Backwash” and turn the system back on. It’s always a good idea to backwash after vacuuming because it helps clean your filter. I also like to “rinse” the filter after a backwash to make sure all the dirt and debris is flushed out.
For Bigger Jobs
When your pool is a hot mess, running your pool vacuum on filter isn’t the best idea.
For example, when seasonal pool owners open a pool, they’ll likely find it littered with bugs, leaves, and other large pieces of debris. This is definitely not the time to vacuum on filter!
In cases like this, you want to use the “Waste” setting.
The waste setting bypasses your filter completely. This is important because you don’t want to clog your filter with all that junk.
Anything that you vacuum up will go straight out the waste line. Keep in mind that when you do this, you will actually be dumping water from your pool. So, keep an eye on your water level as you’re vacuuming. If you see it drop significantly, switch the system off and add a hose in. As a general rule of thumb, you want your water level to be halfway above your skimmer. This keeps the pump from sucking air and damaging itself.
Bonus Tip: Like when you vacuum on filter, keep an eye on your skimmer and pump baskets. If these get full, you will lose pressure in your vacuum. When they get full, you’ll want to turn the system off and clean them out. Then, start again.