When beginning to cleaning your above ground pool or in ground pool, roll your vacuum hose straight along the length of the pool. Attach one of the cuffed ends onto your vacuum head which is attached to your telescopic pole. Extend the pole and place the head (with the hose attached) into the water so that it rests on the floor of the pool. Point the head across the pool so that it doesn’t roll down the slope towards the deep end and prop the pole up against the pool’s edge.
From the point where the hose surfaces, begin pushing the hose straight down into the water, hand over hand, until you reach the other end. This is filling the hose up with water so there is no air in it which may cause difficulties for the pump when you attach the hose to the skimmer. Another method of “priming the hose” is to hold the cuffed end firmly over a return fitting to force the air out of the end attached to the vacuum head.
Once the hose is primed, remove the skimmer lid and the basket and stick the hose end into the hole at the bottom of the skimmer. If it sucks it in tightly, great. If not, you may need attach a a vac plate to achieve a tight fit. Now, the suction that was at the hole is now at the vacuum head. Do not lift the head out of the water with the hose attached, or you will fill the hose with air, losing prime, and possibly drawing air into the pump.
Roll the vacuum head on the floor, over the debris, and VOILA!, you’re vacuuming. The suction will gradually decrease as the pump basket fills with vacuumed debris. When the pressure gauge drops and/or suction is sufficiently decreased, stop the pump and empty the basket. If pressure rises significantly, stop the pump and backwash the filter. Continue in this manner until the pool is clean.
The easiest way, however, is to get an automatic pool cleaner to do the cleaning for you!
“How and When do I Backwash my Sand Filter“
When the pressure gauge on your sand filter is reading 8 – 10 lbs above the clean, starting pressure (after backwashing), it is time to backwash your sand filter. This process involves turning a valve so that the water will flow through the filter backwards, flushing out the dirt – Hence the name “back-washing.” Sand filters can have either a push-pull valve (also known as a slide valve) or a multiport valve. The multiport valve has multi-ports on the valve, usually 6 positions. Always shut off the filter pump before turning the filter valve.
- FILTER: Keep it here all the time, except when backwashing, rinsing or wasting
- RINSE: Use this setting for 15 seconds after backwashing to rinse the sand filter tank
- RECIRCULATE: Use this if your filter’s broken; at least you’re circulating the water
- BACKWASH: Use this setting to reverse the flow in the filter and send water out of the waste line. Make sure valves are open and your backwash hose is rolled out
- CLOSED: Put here to close off flow from the pool, usually to work on the equipment. Do not operate pump with valve in the closed position
- WASTE/DRAIN: Another filter bypass setting, but this setting sends the water out of the waste pipe (hose), instead of returning it to the pool. This setting is used to lower pool water level or to vacuum to waste.
So, to backwash a sand filter with a multiport valve;
- Shut off the pump motor
- Press down on valve handle, rotate valve from FILTER to BACKWASH position
- Roll out any backwash hose or open any waste line valves
- Open air bleeder assembly on top of sand filter, and turn pump on.
- Watch pressure gauge for backpressure and hose for kinks. Be prepared to shut off pump quickly if the pressure gauge spikes or if the hose kinks up.
- Let the pump run for 2 – 3 minutes on BACKWASH or until water runs clear
- Shut off pump motor and move multiport valve handle to RINSE position Run on rinse for 15 seconds.
- Shut off pump motor and move multiport valve handle to FILTER position
- Turn pump back on and note lower pressure. Roll up backwash hose