How To Vacuum A Pool With A Sand Filter

Standard maintenance practice for an inground pool is vacuuming. Skimmers only pick up dirt and debris that is floating or suspended in the water. Skimming will not remove contaminants that sink to the pool’s bottom or stick to the sides.

These particulates are frequently brushed off the bottom and sides, stirring them up so that they can be progressively removed by circulation through the skimmers. However, there are occasions when only vacuuming will totally clear the pool, especially if you need results quickly.

Depending on the number of particulates in the water, a pool vacuum can be utilized with two valve settings on the sand filter.

The Process

The vacuuming pressure produced in the skimmer lines is used by a typical pool vacuum. The circulation pump’s vacuum pulls water into the skimmer lines and back to the pump under negative pressure.

The water is then pumped under pressure through the sand filter and returned to the pool via the return lines. After filling the vacuum hose with water, it is shoved into the skimmer entrance.

The vacuum head is rolled over the bottom and walls of the pool, sucking up dirt and other particulates as the skimmer draws water through the vacuum tool.

Vacuumed dirt and debris are delivered to the pump via the skimmer inlet and then on to the sand filter. Based on the setting on the multiport valve at the filter, there are two options for the unclean vacuum water at this point.

Multiport settings

Filter, Recirculate, Rinse, Waste, Backwash, and Closed are the six settings of a standard multiport filter valve. Whenever you are vacuuming with a sand filter, the settings you use are determined by the amount of debris or other contaminants in the pool.

Routine particle levels in a home pool with a regular bather load may typically be vacuumed by turning the multiport valve to the Filter setting. The vacuumed water is directed through the filter and subsequently returned to the pool via the return lines.

Particulate matter taken up by the vacuum is removed by the filter’s bed of sand filtration medium. Because vacuuming can deposit a considerable amount of dirt and other contaminants in the sand filter media, it is common procedure to follow the advice of the filter manufacturer and conduct a regular backwash on the filter after vacuuming.

How to vacuum the pool with a sand filter

The instructions are as follows if your pool has a sand filter.

  1. Clear away any large leaves or debris. Use a scoop net to collect any exceptionally large trash or debris that could otherwise clog the vacuum head or water hose before you begin vacuuming.
  2. Connect the telescopic pole and hose pipe to the vacuum head.
  3. Pour water into the hose pipe. Allow the hose to get submerged in water. The goal is to remove any trapped air that might otherwise be sucked into the pump and cause an air block. To quickly fill the hose with water, hold it adjacent to the return outlet.
  4. Connect the Skimmer or Dedicated Suction Port to the Hose Pipe. Attach the hose to the pool‘s specialized suction port if it has one. If your pool does not have one, vacuum it using the skimmer. To connect the hose to most skimmers, the basket must be removed. The hose port is located at the skimmer’s base.
  5. Clean the pool. Move the vacuum head carefully and deliberately across the sides and bottom of the pool using the telescopic pole.
  6. Remove the Hose Pipe first from Skimmer or the Dedicated Suction Port. You can disassemble the vacuum apparatus after disconnecting it.
  7. Deactivate the pump.
  8. Backwash. Set the filter valve to Backwash setting. The sand in a sand filter system acts as a filter for debris, grime, and oil. The backwash redirects the flow of water and expels the unclean water into the ground or a drain via a waste line. Backwash the filter for 2 minutes, or till water in the sight glass (found on the filter) becomes clear.
  9. Deactivate the pump.
  10. Rinse Set the filter valve to the Rinse setting. Start the pump and run the rinse cycle for 1 minute.
  11. Deactivate the pump.
  12. Remove the Filter. Close the skimmer valve, then empty and clean the filter skimmer basket and hair collector. Open up the skimmer valve once you’re done.
  13. Return the Filter Valve to the Filter position and start the Pump.

When you shouldn’t filter

It is not always a good idea to run vacuuming pool water through a sand filter. Overloading the filter with waste can clog the filter media if the pool water contains living algae or if dirt or dust has invaded a covered, unused pool and developed a thick layer on the bottom.

Furthermore, algae that has been “shocked” and destroyed by a strong chlorine dose will flow right through the sand filter media and back into the pool. If flocculent chemical treatments have been performed to clear the swimming pool, vacuum water ought not be channeled through the sand filter.

Vacuum to waste

When vacuuming into a sand filter is not suggested, set the multiport valve to Waste. In this mode, the filter is skipped, and sucked water is routed directly down the drain to the sewage. When vacuuming to Waste, the pool’s water level drops quickly since vacuumed water is not reintroduced to the pool.

Water must be added after vacuuming to restore the right level. As a result, the addition of fresh water needs to be evaluated and corrected for the pool’s chlorine and pH balance.

Can I vacuum sand in the bottom of my pool?

You can vacuum debris and/or sand from the bottom of a pool just like you ordinarily would.

However, you should figure out why you have sand in the first place. If you live in a sandy area where sand is frequently blown in, or if you just returned from the beach with the kids and you jumped right into the pool, this is your remedy, and there is no need to be worried.

However, if there is no obvious source for the sand in your pool, it is possible that the sand filter is faulty. The standpipe (the pipe that goes through it) or the laterals (which operate as a sieve at the base of the filter) are most likely broken and must be replaced.

Do you leave skimmer basket in when you vacuum a pool?

This is determined by whether you will attach the vacuum line to the skimmer’s bottom hole, a vacuum plate, or a dedicated vacuum port.

If you are connected to a hole at the bottom, you must disconnect the skimmer basket whenever vacuuming, or you will not be able to access it.

Because the vacuum plate mounts above the skimmer basket, the basket can really be left in place. This has the advantage of trapping any large particles swept up by the vacuum in the skimmer basket instead of the pool pump strainer basket.

If you use a designated vacuum port on the pool’s side, the skimmer basket may remain in place.

Why does my pool get cloudy when I vacuum it?

The two most common explanations for cloudiness when vacuuming a pool are:

  1. You’re trying to vacuum really quickly, so instead of sucking up the dirt, it’s being disturbed and suspended in the water. Slow down for a while. I’d guess I ran the vacuum head all the way along the pool’s bottom at a rate of about one second for every foot.
  2. You may not have enough suction, causing the vacuum to not collect all of the debris.

To improve suction, try this:

  • Close all of the pump’s valves except for the skimmer you’re using.
  • If you have more than one skimmer but just one valve, insert a tennis ball into the opening of the unused skimmer to stop the flow. This will boost the flow in the skimmer you’re running.
  • Backwash the filter if it is unclean, as this may be decreasing the flow through it.

How to use a DE filter to vacuum the pool

The processes are as follows if your pool has a diatomaceous earth (DE) filter.

  • Complete Steps 1-7 above.
  • Backwash However, the most efficient approach to backwash a DE filter is as follows:
    • Set the filter valve to the Backwash position. Backwash for 2 minutes after turning on the pump.
    • Switch off the pump. Set the filter valve to the Filter position.
    • For 30 seconds, turn on the pump and filter.
    • Switch off the pump. Set the filter valve to the Backwash position.
    • Backwash for 90 seconds after turning on the pump.
    • Switch off the pump. Set the filter valve to the Filter position.
    • Turn on the pump and wait 20 seconds for it to filter.
    • Switch off the pump. Set the filter valve to the Backwash position.
    • Backwash for 60 seconds after turning on the pump.
    • Switch off the pump. Set the filter valve to the Filter position.
    • Start the pump.
  • Refill DE Powder. Typically, this is accomplished through the use of skimmers. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

How to use a cartridge filter to vacuum a pool

The instructions are as follows if your pool has a cartridge filter.

  • Complete Steps 1-7 above.
  • Rinse the Cartridge. Switch off the pump, detach the cartridge out of its housing, and rinse/hose it down. After cleaning, replace the cartridge and re-start the pump.

How to vacuum a swimming pool without using a filter

If your pool filtration system incorporates a multiport valve, you can vacuum the pool while bypassing the filter and directing the sucked water directly to the drain.

When the pool has a high amount of filth, and especially when the water has an algae problem, this is both desired and advisable. Live algae goes readily through the filter medium and returns to the pool. The same is true for dead algae after a shock treatment.

Filter, Rinse, Backwash, Closed, Circulate, and Waste are the six different settings on a typical multiport system.

  • Perform Steps 1-5 above.
  • Off the pump.
  • Set the Multiport valve to the Waste setting.
  • Start the pump.
  • Put off the other skimmer valves. Turn off the valves to everyone except the one into which the vacuum hose is plugged in if you have more than one skimmer.
  • Turn off the main drain valve. As a result, it is only halfway open.
  • Clean the pool. Move the vacuum head carefully and slowly across the pool’s sides and bottom.
  • Put off the pump.
  • Unplug the hose pipe from the skimmer or dedicated suction port. You can disassemble the vacuum apparatus after disconnecting it.
  • Remove the pump basket from the machine. Close the skimmer valve to which your hose was connected, then empty the pump basket. When you’re done, reopen all of the skimmer valves and the main drain.
  • Return the filter valve to the Filter position and turn on the pump.

Because vacuuming to waste washes water directly out of the pool, you may have to refill the pool water when you’re done. In this instance, the pH and chlorine balance must be tested and corrected.

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