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How Do I Vacuum My Pool?

How Do I Clean My Pool?

In previous articles, we've talked about the importance of the skimmers for keeping the surfaces of your pools and spas clean, but what about the stuff that sinks to the bottom of the pool? In this article we are going to discuss everything you need to know about cleaning the floor of your pool or spa. 


Types of Vacuum systems

There are a few different vacuuming systems out there, and each one does the job of vacuuming a little differently with varying degrees of greatness. Those options are as follows:

  • The Wand
  • Automatic Pool Cleaners
  • Vacuum Head And Hose

Let's explore a few of the options for you!


The Wand

The Wand type vacuum system (As seen here) works by pumping the handle at the back of the device repeatedly. This method creates mixed to poor results at best and is really only suggested as a means for cleaning very small debris out of backyard spas. These wands are very common amongst homeowners who have a spa in their backyard. 


  • Very, very affordable
  • Doesn't require a suction line
  • Energy Efficient (uses no electricity to work)
  • Simple in design
  • Did we say affordable already?


  • Very messy
  • Extremely cumbersome 
  • Ineffective In Many Cases
  • Generally Aggravating 

While these wands can provide marginal results in some settings, we at Pool Training Academy really don't suggest that you try to vacuum a commercial facility's pool or spa with a wand as it is too tedious and generally does not provide the degree of cleanliness that a public or semi-public aquatic facility requires. 


Automatic Pool Cleaners

Automatic pool cleaners (as seen here) are essentially automatic vacuum systems. These little "bots" are generally hooked into one of the skimmers of the pool and spend their days chugging around the pool, scouring every surface in an attempt to keep your pool free of debris. These units are designed to be used primarily in backyard pools. 


  • Cleaning around the clock
  • Energy Efficient (uses no electricity to work)
  • Set it and forget it


  • Generally very expensive (You get what you pay for)
  • Prone to getting "stuck" in places
  • Many complaints of uneven cleans within pools
  • Extremely limited use allowed in a commercial capacity

While these automatic pool cleaning systems can provide you with a clean pool it is important to note the cons that come along with the system. If you are looking for something to clean your backyard pool with ease, then look no further, these bots will do the job pretty well (really well depending on how much you are willing to spend on one). 

But, if you are a commercial operator, the automatic system will prove to be cumbersome. Since we are not allowed to perform vacuum-cleaning maintenance in our commercial pools due to suction entrapment potential, if an operator were to use an automatic cleaner, he or she would have to install the cleaning system every night after the pool closed and remove the system every morning before the pool opened. Many commercial pool facilities simply do not have the staffing for this kind of cleaning device. For this reason, Pool Training Academy does not highly recommend these for commercial facilities. 


Vacuum Head And Hose

Another, and the most popular way commercially, to vacuum your pool is with a traditional Vacuum head and hose. For step by step instructions on how to use this method of cleaning for your pools, please watch the following video:


  • Provides the most effective clean for a pool or spa
  • Easy to execute
  • Energy Efficient (uses no electricity to work)
  • Considered the standard cleaning method for commercial facilities 


  • Not automated 
  • More space for storage of equipment required

As you can see, the pros far outweigh the cons for the traditional vacuum head and hose method. This method can be used effectively in both backyard and commercial applications. Pool Training Academy highly recommends vacuuming using the vacuum head and hose method for both commercial and residential settings. 


Should I Vacuum Through My Skimmer? 

In the commercial world of pools and spas, some facilities are built with a stand-alone vacuum line. This line is designed as the means for cleaning the pool with the traditional vacuum head and hose system or the automatic system. But in our professional opinion we suggest you approach this outlet with caution. If this line is left open, suction related incidents in your pool and spa elevate. We understand that pool operators get busy and sometimes forget to shut this line off, so because of this, we encourage all operators to vacuum through the skimmer if possible, simply to avoid any unnecessary risk. 


Do's and Don't's Of Vacuuming

It is good to remember the following do's and don't's  when cleaning your pool to make sure your pool stays as clean and healthy as possible while preventing any harm to your circulation system. 


  • Vacuum only when the pool is closed (commercial facilities)
  • Cut off all other skimmers than the one you are vacuuming through (Don't forget to turn them all back on after you are done though!)
  • Leave your vacuum head submerged at all times during vacuuming
  • Vacuum up only smaller loose debris
  • Use a leaf trap when high quantities of leaves are present
  • Backwash after a vacuum if the filter requires it


  • Vacuum with people in the pool 
  • Vacuum up rocks
  • Vacuum up feces
  • Vacuum up anything that could harm your pump or motor
  • Let your hose get kinked, mangled, or punctured
  • Allow your children or anyone else to play with the vacuum head while it is in operation
  • Forget to close your vacuum line when finished vacuuming


How Do I Learn More About Cleaning My Pool?

Vacuuming your pool is only one part of creating a perfect swimming environment, for you and your guests. To learn more about cleaning and maintaining a healthy and safe swimming environment check back to our site weekly as we are always posting new tips, tricks, and news. You can also sign up for a Certified Pool Operator (CPO®) Class. This unique class is hosted by award-winning instructors that will expertly teach you how to perfectly operate your pools and spas in a fun, engaging, and educational setting. We host CPO® classes in cities across the US. Cities like Denver, Park City, Missoula, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Kansas City and more! Please click here to sign up for a class near you! 


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