One of the basic maintenance routines for an inground pool is vacuuming it because the skimmers are only able to remove the dirt and other garbage pieces floating in the water. It cannot remove the ones that sink to the floor of the pool or are sticking to the sides. Vacuuming a pool using a sand filter is required for a fast and thorough cleansing of the pool whenever necessary.
Working of a Sand filter Vacuum:
As the skimmer lines use a vacuum to circulate water, the sand filter uses the skimmer’s vacuum pump for its working. Firstly, the water is pulled into the pump, and then it is pushed into the sand filter and then back to the pool using the return lines.
The Multiport filter valve
Usually, a multiport filter has six settings in it: Filter, Waste, Backwash, Closed, Rinse and Recirculate. You can switch between these settings while using a sand filter, depending upon the amount of dirt or the type of foreign particles in the pool. Filter setting is used for routine cleanup of the pool, with the usual amount of people using the pool. The backwash setting runs the filter in reverse, sending the dirt accumulated in the filter to waste. Rinse sends the water flowing first in the normal direction then sends it to waste, clearing any remaining dirt from the filter. Waste setting sends the pool water to the waste outlet without passing it through the filter. Recirculate setting bypasses the filter and just recirculates the pool water through the pump. A closed setting is used when you are servicing the pump. One thing to keep in mind while operating the multiport filter is to always rotate it clockwise.
Vacuuming a Pool With a Sand Filter
Here is the step-by-step procedure for vacuuming an inground pool using the sand filter.
Preparing the equipment
Get the vacuuming equipment together which are a vacuuming head, a pool vacuum hose, a skim vac plate that fits your skimmer size, and a vacuum hole. A vacuum hole is a telescoping pole with an approximate length of 12 to 16 ft. A vacuum hose is typically 25 to 30 ft long, with swiveling cuffs on each side, which attach to the vacuum hose and the skim vac plate, respectively.
Preparing the filter
For this, we will backwash and rinse the filter. We backwash the filter because the filter should be clean first. First power off the pump. Extend the backwash hose if any. Turn the multiport handle towards backwash. Now turn the filter on and keep an eye on the side glass, that tells the water-dirt level. When the water in the side glass is clear, it means the filter is clean. Now rinse the filter. For this, first power off the filter, and turn the handle towards rinse and turn the filter back on. You should rinse the filter for about one minute.
Preparing the equipment for vacuuming
Firstly, we should turn the pump off and move the handle towards the filter using clockwise motion and turn the pump back on. Choose the skimmer you are going to attach the sand filter to. It is preferable to choose the one closer to the sand filter because it gives better suction. Turn off the other skimmer completely and the main drain partially.
If the suction is not enough, we will completely close this skimmer. Now comes the time of connecting the vacuum hose to the pump which has both swiveling ends. If one of the two end cuffs swivels and the other one does not, then we need to connect the swiveling end to the vacuum head and the other to the skin backplate. Hook up the vacuum hole to the vacuum head. It helps to move the vacuum around the pool. After this, put the entire vacuum hose in the pool. We need to fill the vacuum hose with water. We will do so by holding the skin backplate over the return jet. This will remove the air from the vacuum hose as the water starts filling in it. At first, the air bubbles will come out of the vacuum hose. When the bubbles stop, the vacuum head falls to the bottom of the pool. When it gets filled with water, hold the water in the vacuum hose by hand and take it to the skimmer. Put it on the skimmer and as the skimmer pump is running, the pressure will hold it down. It is because the skin backplate usually fits in the skimmer. Now, wait for the remaining air to get sucked out of the vacuum hose, as you can see through the pump. It sometimes takes up to a minute or so to take all the air out of the vacuum hose, then the suction will work properly.
Vacuuming the pool
As the equipment is ready, you can start vacuuming the pool. The tip for it is to do it slowly so that you do not stir any dirt or debris up. You should vacuum the pool using back and forth motion, moving from the deep end towards the shallow end. If the vacuum head gets stuck somewhere in the pool like its edges, you should turn the pump off to release the vacuum as the pressure subsides. If something bigger like leaves gets stuck in the Strainer basket, it can reduce the vacuum force. So, it is advised to keep cleaning the strainer basket during vacuuming.
After you are done vacuuming, power off the filter, take the skin vac plate out of the skimmer inlet, and clean the skimmer basket. Take the vacuum head out of the pool, remove the vacuum hole, and drain the vacuum head of any water left in it. Now turn the power back on and return all the valve handles to where they were. Usually after using the sand filter on filter mode, backwashing the filter is required.
It is advised to clean your pool once a week. And as no doubt maintaining a clean and healthy pool takes a lot of work. But with some tricks and assistance, you can become a pro in it.