How to Vacuum Above Ground Pool

Vacuuming an above ground pool is a standard maintenance procedure intended to remove the gunk on the bed of the pool along with microscopic algae spores waiting to blossom into life. Even though vacuuming a swimming pool is a tedious chore, the process is not as challenging as balancing the water chemistry. And since swimming in slimy, green water is neither fun nor healthy, learning how to vacuum above ground pool is vital.

Regular vacuuming of the pool is a practical way to eliminate contaminants from the water and provide a secure swimming environment. There are several different ways of vacuuming an above ground pool. In this article, however, we walk you through an exclusive guide on how to vacuum an above ground pool with a sand filter.

What You Will Need

  • A vacuum head with rollers or brushes
  • A long telescoping pole (or fiberglass pole)
  • A vacuum hoe pipe
  • A skimmer or pool rake
  • Step 1: Remove large leaves and other debris from the surface

Before you start using your pool vacuum, first remove as much debris as possible from the pool surface. More often than not, large leaves and debris block the vacuum head or hose pipe if not removed right up front. Using a pool rake, skimmer or scoop net, remove any debris you can see on the pool’s surface, such as leaves, twigs, bugs, hair, insects, etc.

It is imperative to get rid of as much junk as possible prior to vacuuming the pool; otherwise it will be more difficult to manually vacuum the swimming pool. There are several high-tech gadgets that can quickly and sufficiently handle this task, but they tend to be pricey. So, even though a leaf rake or skimmer will take a little bit more effort, you will achieve pretty much the same results and save some money in the end.

  • Step 2: Assemble the vacuum head, vacuum hose, and extension pole

The next step is all about attaching the vacuum head to the telescoping extension pole and hose. This should be done after cleaning an above ground swimming pool of any large leaves and debris lurking on the surface. If you know that you have removed the float-up debris, proceed and hook up the swivel end of the vacuum hose to the vacuum head.

Then, connect the vacuum head to the extension pole or fiberglass pole. Lock the pole tightly into position to avoid sliding and possibly coming off during the vacuuming process. Move on to the next step.

  • Step 3: Immerse the vacuum assembly into the water

Lower the vacuum assembly (comprising the vacuum head, hose, and extension pole) into the water until the vacuum head reaches the bottom of the above ground swimming pool. Lock the extension pole into the right position and lean it against the side of the pool. Ensure that the water-return outlet can easily reach the pole before locking it into position.

Also, make sure the vacuum assembly is unable to float back to the surface when air is expelled from the hose. In that case, the vacuum head should be touching the bottom of the pool while the pole should be under a tight lock. Moreover, confirm whether or not the pole is within easy reach of the water-return outlet.

  • Step 4: Fill the vacuum hose with water

To fill the hose with water, hold its free end in front of the pool’s water-return outlet. Then, holding the pole firmly with one hand to prevent the vacuum assembly from floating back to the surface when the air is expelled from the hose, flood the hose with water. Do the filling continuously until no more air bubbles are emanating from the vacuum head dipped into the pool.

By submerging the hose and allowing it to fill with water, the trapped air is removed. This process is known as priming the hose, and is aimed at removing the trapped air that could otherwise draw into the pump and block the air passage. Make sure to prime the hose until more air bubbles are visible on the vacuum head below.

  • Step 5: Attach the hose pipe to the skimmer

With the hose end still submerged in the water, gently pull it away from the pool’s water-return outlet and attach the hose to the skimmer or any other dedicated suction port. A standard pool vacuum makes use of the suction force present in the skimmer lines. A skimmer is a great alternative for pools with no dedicated suction port.

Most skimmers require that the basket is removed before the hose can be attached. Locate the hose port at the bottom of the skimmer, and connect the skimmer disc to the skimmer above the suction port to initiate the vacuum. If the vacuum hose end must be pulled out of the water to fit the skimmer disc, make sure to do it quickly so that too much air cannot get back into the hose.

  • Step 6: Vacuum your above ground pool

Take a strategic position where you can clearly view the bottom of the pool. Using the telescoping pole, guide the vacuum head slowly in back and forth motions across the bottom and sides of the pool. For effective vacuuming of the entire floor of the above ground pool, try to slightly overlap the previous path with every new pass of the head.

Make sure the vacuum head is always submerged in the water or the prime will be lost. Continue vacuuming until the entire pool floor is entirely clean. Thoroughness and patience play a crucial role when it comes to vacuuming the pool bottom surface. If you vacuum hastily, the sediments at the bed of the pool will be disturbed, creating a cloud of debris in the water that cannot be picked up by the vacuum.

  • Step 7: Dismantle the vacuum equipment 

After vacuuming your above ground pool, detach the vacuum hose from the skimmer or suction port and disassemble the vacuum equipment. Then, turn off the pump and switch the filter valve to the backwash position. Inside the filter system is the sand whose role involves blocking the debris, dirt, and oil.

The backwash reverses the water flow in order for the dirty water to be expelled through a waste line and into the drain. Leave the backwash and pump turned on for at least 2 minutes or until the water runs clear in the sight glass. Then, switch off the pump and rinse the filter by turning the filter valve to the rinse position for one minute. Finally, empty the filter skimmer basket, clean out the hair receptacle, turn on the pump and reset the filter valve to filter.

Final Words:

Pools are priceless recreation properties that call for proper cleaning and maintenance to afford a clean and healthy environment. Regular vacuuming eliminates contaminants that sink to the bottom as well as those that remain suspended on the surface hence keeping the pool as fresh as possible. Our useful procedures on how to vacuum an above ground pool will help you maintain the hygiene of your above ground swimming pool easily and effectively, without having to incur the hefty costs of professional pool cleaners.

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