How to Use a Pool Vacuum

A pool vacuum is a useful accessory that enables a pump to help clean the pool. The vacuum consists of a head, a pole and a flexible corrugated tube. Here are the steps to using a pool vacuum.

Step 1 – Vacuum Head

The vacuum head needs to be connected to the hose and the vacuum pole.

Step 2 – Tube

The vacuum tube is usually plugged in by the skimmer, or there might be a vacuum plate specially installed.

Step 3 – Purge the Tube

Remove the skimmer basket and push the free end of the tube so that you can see it above the deck. Place the hole in the vacuum head over a pool return outlet so that water is forced into the tube. When you see water coming out of the end of the tube by the skimmer you have purged all the air from the tube. Leave the vacuum head in the water. This is a very important exercise because air in the tube is much more elastic than water and could cause the pump to work too hard trying to empty the air from the tube.

Step 4 – Connect Tube to Skimmer

Plug the tube into the return hole at the back of the skimmer. If you have a vacuum plate you will use that instead. You should see that water will be flowing through the tube because the vacuum head will still be under water.

Step 5 – Switch to Waste if Available

If your filter system has a multiport fitted with a position to send the pump output to waste you should set that before you do anything else. Remember to switch off the pump before you change the setting and switch it back on when it is changed. If your pump does not have this setting your filter system will receive the water being pulled through the vacuum tube.

Step 6 – Use the Vacuum

If your pump is set to waste vacuum as quickly as possible because the water being drawn up by the pool vacuum is not being replaced. If you do not have a waste setting there is no time restraint.

Step 7 – Slow and Easy

Use the pole to move the manual pool vacuum head across the bottom and the walls of the pool. Any dust and dirt should be drawn into the tube and then through the filters, or out to waste.


When you have the pool cleaned you should switch the pump back to filter if you had the facility to switch to waste (remembering to switch it off first). Disconnect the vacuum tube and drain as much water out of the tube as you can to make it lighter and easier to handle. If you used a vacuum plate there will be a small basket behind the plate that might need emptying of any larger pieces of dirt drawn from the pool.

If the pool had been particularly dirty you might need to check your pool filters.