Hayward Team May 22, 2023

As an above-ground pool owner, regular vacuuming is crucial during the swimming season to prevent debris build-up and unhealthy algae growth. To maintain a pristine pool, you have three options: use a manual vacuum for the most cost-effective approach that demands time and energy, opt for a time-saving robotic pool cleaner, or enlist the expertise of a pool pro. Explore these methods to find the perfect balance of efficiency and cost-effectiveness for your pool maintenance routine.

Tip: Covering your pool between uses will go a long way toward minimizing pool debris.

Before you even think about firing up that pool vacuum, there are a few important things you need to do first. These steps are crucial to get your pool in the perfect condition for vacuuming, ensuring you get that satisfyingly clean result you’re after.

Before Vacuuming your Above-Ground Pool

Before Vacuuming your Above-Ground Pool
Brush the Pool Walls
Begin the process by brushing the walls of your pool to remove dirt, algae, and debris, paying special attention to the water line. For best results, do this the night before you vacuum the pool. Allow the resulting debris to drop to the bottom of the pool where it can be vacuumed later.

Inspect the Pool and Equipment
While you’re at it, take some time to inspect your above-ground pool and its equipment. Walk around your pool and inspect it for any potential problems, such as cracks, damage, or obstructions. This simple step could help to identify potential issues that could become more serious and expensive to repair later on.

Remove Trash and Debris
Take a garbage can with you and remove trash and other debris that tends to collect around the exterior of the pool walls.

Remove Toys
Remove any toys, floats, or other items from the pool. If they are damaged, repair them or throw them away. If they’re a bit dirty, give them a spray or light brushing up to keep them fresh. Set them out in the sun to dry off and then store them for future use.

Skim the Water
It’s a good idea to quickly skim the top of the water to remove floating surface debris. While you’re at it, check the skimmer for any debris lodged there and remove it. Now you’re ready to vacuum your above-ground pool.

The 5 Steps to Vacuuming Your Above-Ground Pool

1. Get your pool ready
Check to see that your pool pump and filter are operating and the settings are appropriate. If there is a lot of debris in the pool, adjust the filter settings to pump water out of the pool. If your filter doesn’t have a waste option, you’ll need to pay special attention to the filter during and after vacuuming the pool.

2. Get your pool cleaner ready
Get your pool cleaner ready for action by inspecting it. A cleaner that’s in good condition will do a better job of cleaning your pool. In addition, maintaining your cleaner will increase its life and save you money in the long run. If you’re using a robotic or suction cleaner, inspect it for any potential issues, paying special attention to the condition of the power cord, wheels, and cleaning surfaces.

- Manual Vacuum: Assemble the various parts of the vacuum, including the head, hose, and possibly a skimmer vacuum plate. Attach a telescopic pole to the vacuum head.

- Robotic & Suction Pool Cleaner: Bring your cleaner over to the pool.

3. Put your pool cleaner in the pool

- Manual Vacuum: Place the assembled vacuum elements in the pool and ensure the vacuum head is on the pool floor. Fill the hose completely with water. Connect the open end of the water filled hose to the return jet in the pool. If you’re using a skimmer vacuum plate, attach it to the end of the water filled hose. Cover the end of the water filled hose and put the plate in your skimmer, ensuring a good seal to maintain suction.

- Robotic & Suction Pool Cleaner: Set your cleaner in the pool and connect it to the pool’s filtration system as described above for manual cleaners. For robotic cleaners, set the robot in the pool and turn it on.

4. Vacuum your pool floor

- Manual Vacuum: Standing outside the pool, hold the telescopic pole and use long smooth strokes to vacuum the pool floor. For complete coverage, overlap the strokes a bit. Move the vacuum head slowly so that the debris remains on the pool floor and does not get kicked up. The head should be kept underwater to maintain prime. Keep an eye on the filter pressure gauge and turn off the vacuum for a few minutes if the pressure is 10 pounds over the normal running pressure. Then backwash the filter and resume vacuuming until the job is done.

- Robotic & Suction Pool Cleaner: Allow the cleaner to run through its cleaning cycle.

Once you’re done vacuuming, clean the pump strainer basket of any debris. Backwash the filter as needed. If you used the waste setting on the filter, switch it back to filter and add water to the pool to restore the water level to normal.

5. Take Care of your equipment

- Manual Vacuum: Disassemble your manual vacuum and drain the water. Rinse it and allow it to dry out before storing it for future use.

- Robotic & Suction Pool Cleaners: Rinse and dry your pool cleaner. Store it safely so it’s ready to go the next time you need it.

Lastly, test and adjust your water chemistry. Now enjoy your clean pool!

As you can see, manually vacuuming your pool can be a labor intensive process. Robotic and suction pool cleaners are a great time-saving, effortless alternative.

If you prefer to leave the task to the experts, pool professionals can take care of your pool and keep it in optimal condition. Locate your nearest Hayward Dealer through our website’s Dealer Locator by entering your zip code.