If you have a pool, the chances are that the only thing you can think about is all the days you’ll spend relaxing by it. However, as the days go by, you realize that there’s more to owning a pool then just relaxing by it.
You realize that your pool needs to be cleaned frequently, otherwise you risk swimming in dirty and contaminated water and not to mention all the bacteria that can grow if the pool is left unattended for long.
Lucky for you, there are so many pool cleaners in the market, but you need to know what to look for first.
What Is a Pool Vacuum
A swimming pool vacuum is a device that’s used to clean up debris that accumulates in the pool. It’s usually attached to the filtration system and water pump.
Debris is sucked through the vacuum head to the hose and finally to the filtration system. This way the bottom, as well as sides of the pool, are cleaned instead of just the pool water itself.
The vacuum has a fiberglass handle which you can push around like a regular vacuum. These vacuums can be found as either annual or automatic, also known as the automatic pool cleaners.
Benefits of Using a Pool Vacuum
Keeps the Pool Water Clear
The whole point of getting a pool vacuum is to keep dirt and refuse away from your pool. With this product, water is pulled through the filters, while dirt and refuse remain on the filter before they can make their way to the pool again.
Prevents Algae and Bacteria Growth
When dirt and pollutants build up, they can lead to a number of problems in the long run. For one, algae can end up growing across the water surface, making it impossible and unsafe to swim in that water.
If you don’t have an algae infestation in the pool, neglect can also lead to bacteria and mildew growth that’ll often leave unpleasant odors that make it impossible to take a swim.
Improves Chemical Circulation
There are certain chemicals that are used in swimming pools that need to circulate in the water to keep the pool clean. However, pollutants make it impossible for this to happen and the only way to make it possible is using a pool vacuum.
Through vacuuming, the chemicals are able to circulate efficiently and that way reach every corner of the pool.
Stains and Dirt Pool Vacuum is Good and Bad For
A pool vacuum is efficient in removing small twigs, dead leaves, bugs as well as dust and other debris. It’ll also help prevent algae, bacteria and mildew growth which can appear if the pool is left unattended for long.
This device also helps chemicals circulate within the water, making your pool clean at all times. This is, of course, dependent on whether you’re using a manual or automatic vacuum.
Some manual vacuums tend to push the debris back into the pool instead of removing it. Automatic pool cleaners, on the other hand, do a very good job of removing all debris and helping the water circulate.
What a vacuum for pool can’t do is remove large debris like large twigs and pieces of clothing as these can end up affecting the functioning of the unit.
Types of Pool Vacuums
Manual Pool Cleaners
Manual pool cleaners normally have a head that’s attached to a telepole using a hose that’s connected to a skimmer box. With this kind of vacuum, it means that you’ll be doing all the work of moving it across the floor of the pool just like you would with a regular vacuum cleaner when cleaning your carpet.
If you have the energy and the patience, then you will not have any problems using a manual pool vacuum as all you need is to connect the filtration system to the hose and start the cleaning.
This, however, takes more time and not to mention that it can be tiring if you have a large pool.
Automatic Pool Cleaners
Automatic pool cleaners are the complete opposite, meaning that you never have to worry about doing the work of cleaning as the vacuum does it for you.
An automated pool cleaner is designed to collect debris from the pool with very little intervention from you through an automatic drive mechanism such that it can move on its own across the pool picking up dirt and other debris.
These cleaner,s contrary to popular belief, are very safe to use. You can either get one that connects to a filtration system or an electronic one that you have to connect to a power supply.
Pressure Pool Cleaners
A pressure pool cleaner tends to make use of pressure generated by the returning water from a booster pump. The water is pushed into the cleaner and then around the pool.
This kind of vacuum normally has a bag where the debris collects to be emptied after cleaning. The cleaner doesn’t require an electric outlet to function and works by creating a vacuum effect that allows debris to be sucked into the cleaner.
There are some pressure cleaners that require a booster pump and others that don’t which is why you should pay attention to the one you’re buying and determine if your pool is able to support a booster pump.
Pressure vacuum cleaners are considered better because they not only don’t require supervision when cleaning but are also efficient and able to lift even larger debris that other non-robotic pool cleaners can’t.
You need to be very careful when buying a pressure pool cleaner as some pools don’t have the right plumbing to support it.
Suction Pool Cleaners
Suction pool cleaners have a filtration pump to remove dust and debris which is then deposited in a pump basket. The cleaner is powered by pressure and works just like a regular vacuum cleaner.
Water is drawn by the pump system and is passed through the filter before it’s deposited back to the pool using a series of pipes. Rather than having small holes that refresh the water, the vacuum is powered by the power that’s directed to one source.
This method of cleaning is cheap, but you’ll constantly experience problems with suction and not to mention it can get clogged by debris easily. Suction pool cleaners work for those who have small pools and would rather skip cleaning them manually.
Pool Vacuum vs Other Cleaning Tools for Pools
Pool Vacuum vs Telescopic Poles
Telescope poles are cleaning tools for pools and are used for vacuuming, brushing as well as skimming. They come in a variety of lengths and quality differs from one pole to another.
High-quality ones are made of fiberglass, although a majority of them are made of aluminum. The poles have holes at the end where you can attach any accessory for pool cleaning, from vacuum to brush.
Pool Vacuum vs Skim Net
A skim net is something that anyone who has a pool is most likely to own. The net is usually flat, attached to a telescopic pole and used daily to remove debris floating on the water.
While a pool vacuum will move along the floor of the pool, sucking debris and keeping the chemicals balanced, a skim net will only remove surface debris.
Pool Vacuum vs Pool Brushes
Pool bushes are some of the most overlooked cleaning tools for pools. After some time, algae may grow along the edges and floor of the pool.
When this happens, use a pool brush to scrub the pool at least once a week. This will remove dirt and debris that a pool vacuum may not be able to clean.
Scrubbing the walls and the floor at least once a week ensures that you never have slimy walls. Pool brushes of different stainless steel types work on concrete and plaster pools.
Then, there are plastic brushes that work for any kind of pool, while there are also brushes that are designed to clean the corners of the pool as well as the steps.
Pool Vacuum vs Pumice Stones
Pumice stones are used to remove stains that are localized in one area of concrete pools.
Pumice is usually a porous lava stone that you rub on the stain to remove it. They can either be attached to a telescopic pole or you can buy one that has a handle.
Pool Vacuum vs Leaf Traps
A leaf trap is normally a canister that you place at the end of a vacuum hose before a skimmer. The canister has a large basket inside that’s designed to trap dead leaves and other debris before the trash gets to the pump.
A leaf trap works for acorns, leaves, palm tree debris and pebbles.
Pool Vacuum on Different Surfaces
One of the concerns that most people who buy pool vacuums have is whether they can be used to vacuum other surfaces.
Whether it’s the first time, you’re considering to buy a vacuum cleaner or have been using one for years, finding premium vacuums for hardwood floors can be overwhelming.
This is especially true if you’re looking for a vacuum cleaner that’s versatile so that you can use it to clean different surfaces such as the pool and your laminate floor. A pool vacuum in some way can be used to clean laminate flooring as long as it has the right suction that will not ruin your laminate.
If you have laminate floors, one of the ways you can avoid your floor coming into contact with water is through regular vacuuming and your vacuum for a pool can do the right job in cleaning your floor or your outdoor rubber mats.
Tiles are the easiest to clean, but the challenge comes when cleaning the grouts which tend to attract dust, grease and other debris leading to dingy looking floors. Vacuuming is one way of taking care of your tiles and removing dust and debris before mopping them.
A pool vacuum or a portable car vacuum can be used to easily clean tile floors, especially the manual vacuums for pools, though the suction power may not be enough to get the dirt within the grouts.
Carpets look beautiful but are the hardest to maintain mainly because they are more susceptible not only to dirt and stains but also to damage as well.
One way you can keep your carpets looking clean is through weekly vacuuming or sweeping with a premium floor sweeper to remove dirt and debris that may be embedded within the fibers.
Carpet fibers can get ruined easily and as such, you need to be very careful about the kind of vacuum cleaner that you’re using. A vacuum for a pool may not be the best at cleaning your carpet.
How to Choose the Best Pool Vacuum
Here are several things that you need to consider in a vacuum for pools to choose the one that fits your needs.
Type of Pool/Needs
The first thing you need to consider are your needs in terms of what you will be cleaning. Since you have no control over what gets into your pool, you need to find a vacuum that has enough power to remove even the biggest of debris.
A robotic cleaner would work in such a case, but if you’re looking for a cleaner that can filter out even the small particles, then you need a suction-based cleaner. The size of the pool also matters as this will determine the power and time it’ll take you to clean it and, in the end, the kind of a vacuum you should buy.
The hose length matters in that it needs to be long enough to reach the farthest end of the pool when cleaning.
If you’re a homeowner, the chances are that you try as much as possible to reduce the pool maintenance costs. While the size of the pool will determine the vacuum power consumption, different devices consume power differently.
For instance, when you’re using a robotic cleaner, you’re likely to use more power and suction cleaners use less power, which means longer cleaning time.
The portability is important to consider especially in manual pool cleaners since you’re the one who’ll be pushing it around. You want the unit to be portable so that you can clean the entire pool without any problems.
Head and Attachments
In terms of attachments, choose a device that has additional ones so that you can clean the pool steps as well as the corners. The head also needs to be versatile enough to attach to things like telescopic poles.
This is an important thing to consider, as it will determine how effective your cleaning is. There are some cleaners that tend to release dirt and debris back into the water.
The kind of filters the cleaner has will determine just how effective it is to filter out even the smallest of particles. The filtration rate also matters and you should go with a unit that has a filtration rate of about 70 to 75 gallons per minute.
The weight of the unit determines the stability as well as control of the vacuum. Most automatic above ground devices weigh about 10 to 15 pounds.
At the end of it all, however, you need to get a vacuum that has the right weight and can serve you for years.
When all is said and done, your budget will determine the kind of vacuum that you’ll get. One thing you should pay attention to is the type of pool and the kind of debris that you’ll be cleaning and get a cleaner that fits into that.
Also, ensure that you get a product that’s made of quality material and that will last you for years even if it means spending a few more dollars.
Does More Spending Mean More Quality
When it comes to pool vacuums, to some extent, more spending does mean more quality depending on the brand. What matters most is the type of pool and the kind of debris that you’ll be cleaning.
As such, rather than looking at the prices of the vacuum cleaners, consider buying one that’ll work for your pool and the debris although you can still find cheap vacuum cleaners that’ll work for you.
How to Use a Pool Vacuum
Step 1 – Attach the vacuum head to the telescopic pole
To use the pool vacuum, start by attaching the head to the telescopic pole so that you’re able to move the cleaner along the bottom of the pool.
Step 2 – Lower the pole to the pool
Using one hand, lower the head of the vacuum into place together with the hose making sure that only one end of the hose is outside the water.
Step 3 – Locate the filter
The filter skimmer is usually where water enters the pool.
Plug the hose end into the nozzle which will send water through the hose to create suction such that the vacuum head lies flat on the outdoor artificial grass.
Step 4 – Switch to intake mode
Switch to intake mode so that water is sucked in and then move the vacuum along the floor of the pool so that dirt is sucked in.
How to Clean and Vacuum Your Pool
- Telescoping pole: This is for skimming vacuuming and brushing.
- Vacuum head: The vacuum head is attached to the telescoping pole.
- Vacuum hose: Connect the vacuum hose to the vacuum head so that you can remove dirt on the walls and floor as well.
Pool vacuuming should be done on a regular basis. If the pool is neglected, dirt may accumulate and not to mention bacteria and mildew.
Step 1 – Priming the Vacuum
Start by removing all air from the vacuum system so that suction is not affected when you’re cleaning.
Step 2 – Connect the vacuum to the pump
Attach the vacuum system to the skimmer inlet, but start by removing the strainer basket. After that just plug the vacuum hose to the suction port at the bottom of the filter skimmer.
Step 3 – Start vacuuming
Move the vacuum head back and forth along the floor of the pool, sucking in dirt and debris until it’s clean.
How to Wash and Maintain Your Pool Vacuum
Step 1 – Drain water in the vacuum hose
After you’re done cleaning ensure that you drain all the water remaining in the vacuum hose.
Step 2 – Clear debris
Clear all debris that’s left in the strainer basket and give it thorough backwashing.
Step 3 – Rinse all equipment
Rinse all equipment after use and allow to dry before storage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are robotic pool cleaners better than manual ones?
Robot pool cleaners are better than manual ones in that you don’t have to use any effort when cleaning as the cleaner will do it for you.
How often should you drain your pool?
How often you drain your pool will depend on how frequently it’s used, how frequently you clean it and the environment.
How to use a pool vacuum without a skimmer?
Just plug in the inlet to the suction opening, release the screw at the filter housing and then start the pump after removing the hose plugs and wait for the water to flow out of the filter.
When it comes to maintaining your pool, it takes more than just removing floating leaves and debris. Once every week, ensure that you thoroughly clean your pool with a vacuum to remove debris that may have sunk, small twigs and dead leaves and to ensure that bacterial growth doesn’t occur.
Photos from: vvoennyy / depositphotos.com, galitskaya / depositphotos.com, svershinsky / depositphotos.com, Bignai / depositphotos.com and nilswey / depositphotos.com.
- What Is a Pool Vacuum
- Benefits of Using a Pool Vacuum
- Stains and Dirt Pool Vacuum is Good and Bad For
- Types of Pool Vacuums
- Pool Vacuum vs Other Cleaning Tools for Pools
- Pool Vacuum on Different Surfaces
- How to Choose the Best Pool Vacuum
- Does More Spending Mean More Quality
- How to Use a Pool Vacuum
- How to Clean and Vacuum Your Pool
- How to Wash and Maintain Your Pool Vacuum
- Frequently Asked Questions