How to Vacuum a Pool with a Sand Filter

How to Vacuum a Pool with a Sand Filter

Whether you’re a pool enthusiast or a new pool owner, the importance of maintaining a clean, hygienic pool environment cannot be overemphasized. The crystal-clear, sparkling water we all love doesn’t happen by chance – it’s a result of consistent, efficient cleaning and maintenance. One common and effective way to achieve this is to vacuum your pool using a sand filter. But how exactly does one do that?

The process of vacuuming a pool with a sand filter might seem daunting at first, especially if you’re a novice in pool care. However, with a bit of guidance, it’s a task that’s well within your reach. This step-by-step guide will introduce you to the process and empower you to take pool cleanliness into your own hands.

While vacuuming a pool with a sand filter takes a bit of time (typically around 3-4 hours, depending on the size of your pool), it’s a process that’s entirely suitable for beginners. Plus, the feeling of accomplishment you’ll experience when you see your pool transformed from grimy to gleaming is well worth the effort!

To set you up for success, we’ll provide you with a list of necessary supplies. This includes a pool vacuum, pool skimmers, and pool hoses. As you follow the process, you’ll understand how these tools work together to give your pool the deep clean it deserves.

We’re about to dive into a comprehensive guide on how to vacuum a pool with a sand filter. So, get ready to roll up your sleeves, grab your pool skimmers, and let’s get that pool looking its absolute best!

Pre-vacuuming Process

One of the first steps to achieving a clean and well-maintained pool is the pre-vacuuming process. This stage primarily focuses on preparing the pool for the vacuuming stage, which involves using a sand filter. It involves two main activities: the removal of large debris and brushing of the pool.

Remove large debris

Firstly, you might wonder why the removal of large debris such as leaves and stones from the bottom of your pool is essential. Well, this procedure is necessary because large debris can hamper the effectiveness of the vacuum Pool process. It can block the vacuum, slow down the process, or even damage your pool vacuum.

So, how do you remove these larger pieces of debris? You can use a tool as simple as a pool net. This handy tool can efficiently scoop up items from the bottom of your pool, leaving it cleaner and more conducive for the next step. If you don’t have a pool net, don’t worry. A clean garden rake can serve as a perfect substitute. With this, you ensure that the vacuum Pool with a sand filter process becomes smoother and more efficient.

Brush the Pool

Once you’ve removed the significant debris, the next step in the pre-vacuuming process is to brush the sides of the pool. It may seem like an unnecessary step, but brushing the pool sides helps to dislodge dirt and grime stuck on the sides of the pool, allowing it to fall to the bottom. This makes it easier to vacuum later.

Brushing not only helps in the efficient use of your pool vacuum but also ensures the longevity of your pool. It prevents the accumulation of stubborn dirt or algae on the sides of the pool, which can cause damage over time.

However, brushing alone isn’t enough. It’s crucial to give the pool time to settle after this activity. Why so, you may ask? This settling period, which should ideally last an hour, allows the fine dirt that’s been brushed off the sides to settle at the bottom of the pool. This makes the vacuum Pool with a sand filter process more efficient as it ensures all dirt is in a position to be easily vacuumed.

Assembling the Vacuum

Getting ready to vacuum your pool with a sand filter? Let’s dive into the process of assembling the vacuum. This step might sound complicated, but it’s quite straightforward once you know what you’re doing. It all boils down to three main parts: putting the pieces together, ensuring no air is in the hose, and finally, connecting the vacuum.


To begin with, secure the vacuum head to the pool pole. This will help you reach every corner of your pool when you start the vacuuming process. With the vacuum head and pool pole connected, your next task is to attach the hose to the fitting on top of the vacuum head. Lower this assembly into the pool, and you’re ready for the next step.

Depending on your pool model, you might have a Doughboy pool, in which case you can skip this step. But if you don’t, attach a skim-vac to the other end of the hose. Then, gently push the pole, vacuum, and hose into the pool. This is an essential part of the process as it releases any trapped air in the hose, making the vacuum Pool with a sand filter process more effective.

Removing air from the hose

A common pitfall when assembling the pool vacuum is not adequately removing air from the hose. An air-filled hose can lead to a loss of suction power, affecting the overall efficiency of your pool vacuuming session.

To remove air from the hose, feed it straight down into the pool until it fills up with water. Hold the free end of the vacuum hose in front of the water inlet. Keep the hose in this position until no more air bubbles are seen surfacing, signifying that all the air has been displaced by water.

Connecting the vacuum

With the air expelled from the hose, you’re almost ready to start vacuuming your pool with a sand filter. The final step in assembling the vacuum is to connect it to your pool’s skimmer inlet. This can be done either directly or using a skimmer vacuum plate.

Alternatively, if your pool has a dedicated vacuuming inlet, you can connect the hose to it. Once you’ve made this connection, place the vacuum plate on top of the suction outlet.

Setting up the Filter System

Now that your pool vacuum is assembled, the next stage in the vacuum Pool with a sand filter process is setting up the filter system. The filter system, which incorporates the use of a sand filter, is essential in the vacuuming process, helping to remove impurities and keep your pool water crystal clear.

In the heart of your pool’s filter system lies the multiport valve. This versatile mechanism has various settings, each designed to perform a specific function. As you prepare to vacuum your pool with a sand filter, it’s crucial to move the multiport valve to the filter setting. This prepares the system to filter out the debris that your pool vacuum will suck up.

With the multiport valve correctly set, it’s time to fire up the pool pump. The pump circulates the pool water, forcing it through the sand filter, where impurities are trapped, and clean water is returned to the pool.

Ensure that any trapped air is removed from the system as the pump starts. This step ensures a smooth and efficient operation, minimizing the chances of potential damage to your pump. This task is critical for a successful vacuum Pool with a sand filter operation.

The suction side valves control the flow of water from the pool to the pump. They may need to be adjusted to increase suction to the vacuum, enhancing the effectiveness of your pool vacuuming session.

However, it’s worth noting that these valves should be returned to their original positions when you’ve finished vacuuming. This prevents unnecessary stress on the pump when it’s operating normally, contributing to the longevity of your pump and overall pool system.

Vacuuming Process for Pool with a Sand Filter

Vacuuming Process

Once your pool vacuum is assembled and your filter system is ready, the moment has arrived to delve into the main event: vacuuming your pool using a sand filter. This crucial process is like a ballet performance in your pool – a calculated, methodical dance to rid your pool of unwanted debris.

There are two main options when you vacuum your pool with a sand filter: vacuuming to waste or vacuuming to filter.

If you’re dealing with an algae outbreak, it’s wise to set your sand filter to the “waste” setting. This enables you to capture the algae, whisking it away via the backwash line and avoiding the contamination of the filter sand. One note of caution here: this method results in water leaving your pool rapidly, so you might need to replenish the water level with a garden hose as you vacuum, or top up with fresh water afterward.

If your filter system doesn’t have the “waste” setting, or if there’s no need to remove large amounts of debris, keep your filter setting on “filter”. This way, the pump will begin circulating and filtering the water as you vacuum, and you won’t lose any water from your pool.

Think of vacuuming your pool like you would vacuuming your living room – take it slow, be thorough, and ensure you cover every area. When vacuuming, it’s best to move along the bottom of the pool slowly to prevent disturbing the settled dirt. By moving slowly, the vacuum will effectively suck up all particles and debris, which will then be filtered by the sand filter.

During the vacuuming process, it’s important to monitor the vacuum to ensure it maintains contact with the pool’s bottom. Ensuring the vacuum head touches the bottom of the pool will lead to a more thorough cleaning and more effective vacuum Pool with a sand filter operation.

If your pool has a significant amount of dirt, be prepared to backwash the filter during the vacuuming process. Backwashing essentially cleans out the sand filter, maintaining its working capacity and ensuring that it can effectively filter out the remaining debris from your pool.

Post-vacuuming Process

After successfully vacuuming your pool with a sand filter, it’s time to wind down the process and prepare your pool for normal operation. This post-vacuuming stage is as vital as the vacuuming itself, ensuring that your pool and its equipment remain in optimal condition.

Shutting Down the System

First things first – turn off the pool pump. This might seem straightforward, but it’s an essential first step in safely transitioning your pool back to its usual state after vacuuming. With the pump off, disconnect the vacuum hose from the skimmer or suction port, taking care not to damage any connections.

Cleaning the Pump Strainer Basket

Now that your pool is clean, it’s time to show the same courtesy to your equipment. The pump strainer basket, which has been working hard to trap larger debris, might be full of leaves and other elements. It’s essential to empty this out to keep your pump operating at peak performance. Remember, a clean pump is a happy pump!

Backwashing the Filter

If there was a significant amount of dirt in your pool, backwashing the filter could be necessary after the vacuuming session. This process ensures the filter remains effective, allowing your sand filter to work at its best for future vacuum Pool with sand filter operations.

Re-setting the Filter

If you opted for vacuuming to waste, set the filter to the “rinse” setting and turn on the pump for about 30 seconds. Following this rinse, turn the pump off and reset the filter back to “filter”. This resets your filter system, preparing it for standard operation.

For those with a cartridge filter, consider giving the cartridges a good rinse with a garden hose before placing them back into the filter. This helps maintain their efficiency and extends their lifespan.

With all the cleaning and resetting done, it’s time to switch the pool pump back on, resuming your pool’s normal operation. The fresh, sparkling water is now ready for you and your family to enjoy.

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