What is a Pool Vacuum?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2019
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A pool vacuum is a device that connects to a pole and hose and is intended to clean debris that falls the bottom of the pool. The two types of vacuums for pools are manual and automatic. The pool vacuum is an essential tool for pool maintenance and cleaning.

Most traditional pool vacuum models work by being attached to a long metal pole. Often, the pole can telescope to make vacuuming at the deep end or shallow end a little more convenient. The pole usually connects to the pool vacuum head via a pivoting handle. The other thing connected to the vacuum head is a pool hose, which also goes to a coupling just off the pool, perhaps in the skimmer, where the debris will be deposited.

An automatic pool vacuum works by freely roaming along the bottom of the pool every so often. The cleaner may use the pool's own circulation and suction mechanisms in order to move along the bottom, or it may be controlled by a computer chip. Any cleaner using a computer chip is called a robotic pool vacuum.

While vacuuming a pool does usually not take long, many may find they would prefer to spend that time doing something else. In the summer, it can be especially hot work. Therefore, some may prefer an automatic cleaner. These are considerably more expensive than a traditional pool vacuum.


For those who do choose to go with an automatic cleaner, the robotic cleaner is the most effective type. The pool cleaner can be programmed to operate along the bottom of the pool according to the owner's desires, or has sensors that can automatically determine a route to follow. The robotic cleaner is likely to provide much better coverage than any of the other automatic cleaners.

While the resorts and hotels often vacuum their pools on a daily basis, the home user is usually under no such constraints. Most of the time, a home user will need to vacuum a pool once or twice a week. Although the time spent completing the task is dependent upon the size of the pool, the weekly time commitment is generally one to two hours.

Before using any pool vacuum, it is best to conduct a visual inspection of the pool looking for anything large enough to clog the vacuum or hose. If the hose or vacuum is jammed, it could be difficult to get the objects removed. Also, it is best to wait at least an hour after swimming before vacuuming, as this gives sediments stirred up a chance to resettle.


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