How to Vacuum a Pool (With 3 Simple Methods)

How To Vacuum A Pool


Pool vacuuming significantly simplifies the task of cleaning your pool’s floor, walls, steps, and ladders. By keeping the water clean, this process helps to balance the pool chemicals while keeping algae and other microorganisms in check.

That said, in this article, we will look at the procedures for vacuuming your pool using different methods, plus what you will need to carry out this cleaning process. Let’s get started.

Things You Will Need

1. Vacuum Head

This is the point of contact between the vacuuming system and the pool. Some have brushes for scrubbing walls and steps, others have wheels for easy movement but the best have both.

Regardless, most have universally fitting pole handles and vacuum suction ports for connecting to the telescopic pole and vacuum hose respectively. We recommend getting a weighted head so that it sinks to the bottom without requiring any effort to keep it glued to the floor.

2. Vacuum Hose

A vacuum hose provides the connection between the suction (inlet skimmer) and the vacuum head. The longer it is, the longer its reach is. You should get a length that can reach all corners of your pool.

3. Telescopic Pole

This is what you hold when pushing and directing the vacuum head through the pool’s floor and walls. Just ensure it is longer than the deepest part of your pool.

4. Vacuum Plate

The vacuum plate is the connection piece between the hose and the skimmer inlet. With this, you don’t have to connect directly to the pump, which would require you to turn it on and off while making the connection. This connects to the skimmer basket for easier use.

5. Garden Hose

A regular garden hose will do. However, the longer it is and the wider its internal diameter is, the better it is for the vacuuming job.

How to Setup the Vacuum

Assemble the Vacuum Head

Insert the telescopic pole to the vacuum’s head handle until it snaps in place. Next, fit in one end of the hose.

Connect the Other Hose End

Link up the other hose end to the skimmer using the vacuum plate

How to Vacuum a Pool

Vacuum a Pool



1. Prime the System

With all the components joined together, begin by clearing air out of the system. Push the vacuum head to the pool’s bottom using the telescopic pole then submerge the hose and the attached vacuum plate underwater.

You can use the return line to fill water in the hose, which should take 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on the hose’s length. You will know it is full once air bubbles stop coming out of the head end.

2. Attach to the Skimmer Inlet

The suction force is provided by the pump, which connects to the hose via the skimmer inlet. Remove the skimmer’s lid then place the vacuum plate directly above the skimmer basket.

You will notice that the pump will lose prime but it will regain suction after a short time because the hose is already primed in the pool.

3. Vacuum the Pool

Hold the telescopic pole then move the vacuum head to all sections of the pool floor to clear out all the dirt and debris. The head’s brushes loosen all dirt for easy suction and the water is taken through the skimmer for filtration before being returned as clean water.

With a Garden Hose

This process incorporates the use of siphoning power to clear out small particles from your pool’s floor. That said, it is ideal for small above-ground pools and tubs because the hose only clears a small area at a time and requires a raised water level for siphoning to occur.

1. Prime the Hose

Begin by dipping the hose in the pool, which should fill it with water. Leave one end in the water then take the other end and place it on the ground so that the water starts to flow outside.

2. Vacuum the Pool

Direct the hose end in the pool to the debris-filled sections on the pool floor to be sucked out.

With a Sand Filter

Sand filters are very effective filtration systems and if you have one installed on your pool’s circulation system, you can use it to vacuum clean the pool. It is a bit more effective as compared to the skimmer basket because it traps smaller particles.

1. Connect the Hose and Head to the Filter

Just like when using the skimmer inlet, you need to attach one end of the vacuum hose to the vacuum head, and the other to the sand filter. Make sure the hose is primed first before attaching it to the filter.

2. Select Your Preferred Filter Valve Setting

Most sand filters have six settings, which are filter, waste, backwash, rinse, recirculate, and closed.

If your pool is very dirty, set the filter’s multiport valve to “waste”. That said, this setting might cause a significant drop in the water level so you might need to pour in more water using a garden hose.

However, if the pool is not too dirty, set the valve to “filter”, which vacuums at a milder pace but takes a longer time.

3. Vacuum the Pool

Sand filters have their own pumps. Power on its pump, then use the telescopic pole to direct the vacuum head on the pool floor. Make sure to cover the whole area while pressing down the head to scrub and pick up small, stuck particles.

4. Backwash the Filter

These filters require to be back washed after use, especially if the pool was too dirty. There are backwashing and rinsing steps that you need to follow while the multiport valve is set to “backwash” and “rinse” respectively.

Read More: How to Backwash a Sand Filter

Other Vacuuming Options

As you might have noticed, the above options are a bit manual. You can opt for automatic cleaners, which don’t require your time and energy to maintain a clean pool. There are three main types of automatic pool cleaners. These are:

1. Robotic Cleaners

These are the best automatic vacuum pool cleaners because they have intelligence that helps them map the pool’s floor for more effective cleaning. This makes them ideal for large or very dirty pools. However, they are the most expensive of the three.

2. Suction-Side Cleaners

Suction-side cleaners are attached to the intake side of your pool’s filter, which creates the suction power required to run them. They are not as powerful as robotic cleaners but work well on pools with only dirt and debris.

It is worth mentioning that most of these cleaners don’t have their own filters. They simply direct the vacuum head automatically on the pool’s floor then direct the water to the skimmer basket or any other installed filter to trap debris.

3. Pressure-Side Cleaners

These operate using the opposite principle of suction-side cleaners. They require pressurized water to run and therefore, are connected to the return lines from the pump. They also have their own filters to trap debris.


In conclusion, there are several options that you can use to vacuum clean your pool but you should use the one that is most effective for your pool size and contamination level. That said, we recommend the automatic pool cleaners even though they are a bit more expensive.