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How Do Pool Vacuums Work?

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By Alisha DFWPublished 3 months ago 3 min read
Pool Vacuum

Owning a pool is a luxurious delight, offering a refreshing escape on scorching summer days. Beyond aesthetics, maintaining a safe and pristine pool requires diligence, with the trusty pool vacuum at the heart of the process.

Understanding Pool Vacuums:

Pool vacuums, akin to underwater choreographers, operate on a simple principle: instead of drawing in air, they gracefully draw in water. Connected to the pool's filter system, these aquatic workhorses, whether manual, automatic, or robotic, play a vital role in collecting debris, ensuring crystal-clear water for a worry-free swim.

Why Vacuuming is Essential:

While the pool's filter system efficiently cleans circulating water, it falls short when it comes to the debris settling at the pool's bottom. Leaves, sand, and fine particles can compromise water chemistry and promote algae growth if left unattended. Regular vacuuming is the extra step needed to remove hidden debris, preserving both aesthetics and water quality.

Types of Pool Vacuums:

Manual Vacuums: Cost-effective, requiring physical effort. Manual vacuums involve attaching a vacuum head to a pole, connecting a pool vacuum hose to the skimmer or dedicated inlet, and manually maneuvering the vacuum around the pool to collect debris. The debris is then captured by the pool's filtration system.

Automatic Vacuums: Streamlined, connected to the pool's filter system. Automatic pool vacuums come in two main types: suction-side and pressure-side. Suction-side pool vacuums connect to the skimmer and move randomly around the pool, relying on the pool's filter system. Pressure-side pool vacuums attach to a pool jet and have their own filters. They navigate the pool, collecting debris and using the pressure from the water to propel themselves.

Robotic Vacuums: Fully automated, independent operation. Robotic pool vacuums are the epitome of convenience. They operate independently of the pool's filter system, requiring only an electrical outlet. Once placed in the pool, they use sensors to navigate and clean all areas, including walls and the waterline. Robotic vacuums have their own built-in filters, reducing the load on the pool's filtration system.

Vacuuming Frequency:

The frequency of pool vacuuming hinges on factors like pool usage and surroundings. A weekly vacuuming session is a good baseline, but adjust as needed based on debris accumulation for optimal results.

Best Practices for Effective Vacuuming:

Brush Before Vacuuming: Gently brushing walls, steps, and ladders before vacuuming dislodges dirt, allowing for more effective cleaning.

Correct Pump Setting: Choose "Filter" for general cleaning; use "Waste" for heavily soiled bottoms, replenishing water as needed. The "Filter" setting directs water through the pool's filter system, removing debris. The "Waste" setting bypasses the filter, sending water directly to the waste pipe. This is ideal for heavily soiled bottoms, but it can quickly lower the water level, so monitoring and refilling may be necessary during the process.

Filter Maintenance: Ensure the pool filter is clean or backwashed regularly to prevent debris recirculation. A clogged or dirty filter can compromise the effectiveness of the vacuuming process, leading to cloudy water.

Choosing the Right Pool Vacuum:

Selecting between manual, automatic, or robotic vacuums depends on preferences and budget. Manual vacuums offer cost-effectiveness with hands-on effort, automatic vacuums strike a balance, while robotic vacuums provide a hands-free, cutting-edge option.

Leaving the Vacuum in the Pool:

The permissibility of leaving a vacuum in the pool depends on its type. Manual and some automatic vacuums are not designed for continuous submersion. Robotic vacuums, however, can often be left in the pool when not in use, following manufacturer recommendations.

Pool Care Resources:

For those venturing into pool ownership, resources like Swim University’s Pool Care Handbook and Video Course offer invaluable insights, covering basics to advanced troubleshooting for efficient pool maintenance.


Mastering the art of pool vacuuming is essential for a sparkling, inviting pool. Whether you prefer hands-on manual cleaning, the convenience of automatic vacuums, or the advanced technology of robotic cleaners, regular maintenance ensures your pool remains a source of endless enjoyment. Happy swimming!

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About the Creator

Alisha DFW

Owning a pool is a wonderful luxury, especially on those scorching summer days when the sun invites you to take a refreshing dip.

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