How to Use a Swimming Pool Vacuum

Maintaining a sparkling and inviting swimming pool requires regular cleaning and upkeep. Using a pool vacuum is an essential tool in keeping the water clear of debris and algae. Whether you’re a new pool owner or looking to improve your cleaning routine, learning how to use a swimming pool vacuum effectively will streamline the maintenance process. Not to mention, ensure a pristine swimming environment. In this guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of how to use a pool vacuum to keep your pool clean for endless enjoyment.

Selecting the Right Type of Pool Vacuum

Before using a pool vacuum, it’s important to choose the appropriate type based on your pool’s size, shape, and filtration system. There are three main types of pool vacuums: manual, automatic, and robotic.

Manual vacuums require you to manually maneuver the vacuum head and hose to clean the pool. Automatic and robotic vacuums are self-propelled and operate independently. Select a pool vacuum that best suits your pool’s needs and your maintenance preferences.

Home Depot (n.d.) explains  A manual pool vacuum is ideal for focusing on areas that are especially dirty, while an automatic pool vacuum skims the entire pool for an overall clean.

With that being said, it is beneficial to have both types of vacuums.

how to use a pool vacuum
Manual pool vacuum. Photo by Richard Cacioppo.

Preparing the Pool Vacuum Equipment

Ensure that your pool vacuum equipment is in good condition and assembled properly before use. The basic components of a pool vacuum setup include the vacuum head, telescopic pole, vacuum hose, and skimmer or vacuum port adapter.

Attach the vacuum head to the telescopic pole and connect the vacuum hose to the suction port on your pool’s filtration system, whether it’s the skimmer or a dedicated vacuum port.

Giovanisci (2022) says if you’re dealing with algae or cloudy water, change your filter valve settings to the waste setting if you have a multiport valve or push/pull valve. This will bypass your filter and send the dirty water out through the waste port. If you have a cartridge filter, just remove the drain plug and attach a backwash hose. Your pool water level will drop while you vacuum. Use a garden hose to add fresh water while you’re vacuuming (para. 6). 

Priming the Vacuum Hose

To prime the vacuum hose and remove any air pockets, sink the vacuum head into the pool while holding onto the free end of the hose. Slowly feed the hose into the water, allowing the bubbles to escape and the hose to fill with water.

Once the hose is fully submerged, connect it to the suction port, ensuring a tight and secure fit to maintain suction power during cleaning.

Vacuuming the Pool

With the vacuum hose connected and primed, begin vacuuming the pool by moving the vacuum head across the pool floor in a steady and overlapping pattern. Pay attention to corners, steps, and other areas where debris tends to accumulate.

Work methodically to cover the entire pool surface, adjusting the speed and direction as needed to ensure thorough cleaning.

use a pool vacuum
Cleaning bottom of swimming pool with underwater vacuum cleaner.

Emptying the Skimmer Basket and Backwashing the Filter

Periodically check and empty the skimmer basket to prevent clogging and maintain optimal suction power. Additionally, monitor the filter pressure gauge and backwash the filter as needed to remove trapped debris and maintain efficient filtration.

Regular maintenance of the skimmer and filter will prolong the life of your equipment and enhance the clarity of your pool water.

clean pool
Empty pool skimmer basket on a regular basis.

Rinsing and Storing the Pool Vacuum Equipment

After completing the vacuuming process, rinse the vacuum head, hose, and telescopic pole with clean water to remove any dirt or debris. Allow the equipment to dry thoroughly before storing it in a proper location, away from direct sunlight and harsh elements.

Proper storage of your pool vacuum equipment will ensure longevity and readiness for future cleaning sessions.

Call a Professional

In addition to using a pool vacuum, hiring a professional pool maintenance company is a wise investment for every pool owner. While a pool vacuum is essential for regular cleaning, professional pool maintenance companies offer expertise, experience, and specialized equipment that will take your pool maintenance to the next level.

Professionals have in-depth knowledge of water chemistry, filtration systems, and pool equipment. This enables them to identify and address potential issues before they become major problems.

With the support of a professional pool maintenance company, you maximize the lifespan of your pool. As well as, ensure optimal water quality and safety. Lastly, you’ll spend more time enjoying your pool rather than worrying about its upkeep.

Check out our pool maintenance service page for details. We can’t wait to talk to you.


Mastering the art of using a swimming pool vacuum is an essential skill for any pool owner. By following the step-by-step guide outlined above, you will confidently clean your pool.

Incorporate regular vacuuming into your pool maintenance routine.  The result will be a refreshing oasis for family and friends.


Giovanisci, Matt. (2022, May 5). How to vacuum your pool super quick. Swim University.

Home Depot. (n.d.). How to vacuum a pool. Home Depot.


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