Pool vacuum broke. Alternatives?
May 22, 2012 10:44 AM   Subscribe

Long story short but there was a dishonest home seller & realtor and the house we purchased has a pool with leaking skimmer line. No suction for vacuuming. We have a temporary garden hose vacuum for the big stuff. Any idea how I can get the little stuff until this is repaired?

Long story short but there was a dishonest home seller & realtor and the house we purchased has a pool with a leaking skimmer line. No suction for vacuuming. We have a temporary garden hose vacuum for the big stuff.

We went on vacation for a few days and returned to cloudy water. We have all the right chemicals in but we need to vacuum out the particles left behind by the clarifier. They go right through the mesh bag on the little vacuum.

Someone mentioned that I could vacuum directly off of the pump but I have no idea if that is an easy project. I can't find out any information out about how to do that.

What other options do I have to vacuum the pool adequately until the repair is complete?

(And no, we are not footing the bill for the repair. Our realtor is stepping up and taking care of her peer's dishonesty.)
posted by bodgy to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total)
If you can post a picture of your pool equipment it might help. There are usually valves that let you direct the suction, so you could probably cut the skimmer line off.
posted by TungstenChef at 10:52 AM on May 22, 2012

Vacuuming straight to the pump - may refer to attaching an above ground line (like pool vac hose) directly to the suction side of the pool pump.....your vac hose is probably not long enough to do this, and/or will have tiny holes in it that will mean you won't get enough suction to lay it out of the water to do this. You could lay temp piping from the pump to the deck, and into the pool, then connect vac hose to that. (effectively bypassing skimmer)

Depending on the pool, it is possible that there is a dedicated suction line, which could be used, if you can isolate the leaking skimmer line.

A final alternative would be to disconnect the pump (or borrow a different pool pump), set that up near the pool edge with vacuum hooked to it directly , and vac the clarified waste directly to a backwash line....(drain)

Really, best option is just to get the suction side line repaired asap. In my experience as a service tech, The most typical fault will be broken fittings underground, usually at the base of the skimmer. The pool techs should also be able to do a leak locate fairly close to the problem, to avoid digging up the entire line.

lots of Frankenstein ways....best, like I say is just to get it repaired properly.
posted by dripped at 11:49 AM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Can you afford one of those pool cleaning robot thingys? Like a roomba for the pool? If you can't, start saving! They are awesome and make keeping the pool clean a million billion times better. I can't tell you how much I hated vaccuuming the pool. It won't make the water clear (filter and chemicals do that) but OMG not manually cleaning the pool makes the pool soooo much better.
posted by Blake at 12:28 PM on May 22, 2012

The clarifier makes the particles big enough to get trapped by your filter. If your water is circulating through the filter but the particles aren't getting trapped, you can get a more powerful clarifier which will make bigger particles. The next step up from that would be a flocculant, which will make the particles big enough to fall to the floor of the pool where you can vacuum them. I've never used Floc in my pool and from what I understand it can be a bit of a Pyrrhic victory if you don't vacuum well enough. Do you have a nearby pool shop? I've found the staff at any Leslie's I've been in very helpful and happy to talk me through whatever I'm working on
posted by IanMorr at 1:19 PM on May 22, 2012

I can't offer any temporary fixes or DIY stuff, but as a home owner, I suggest that you get your own bids for the repairs AND bids for the temporary maintenance until repairs are made.

Bids are free but informative, the agent won't be able to claim that he or she is spending thousands of dollars and you should be able to transfer the cost of the temp maintenance which will probably be a couple of hundred dollars or slightly less.
posted by snsranch at 4:23 PM on May 22, 2012

Here is a picture of the pumps. I have someone who can help me reroute it so I can suction off of the front of the pump or off any of this stuff.


@snsranch - I obtained the quote from the pool place myself. The realtor will pay them directly.
posted by bodgy at 7:01 AM on May 23, 2012

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