How To Vacuum Above Ground Pool In 6 Steps


Debris at the bottom of the above ground pool can lead to the growth of algae. Swimming in slimy, green waters is neither fun nor healthy. Helping you get rid of debris, dirt, and dust, vacuuming is an extremely important activity when it comes to maintaining a clean pool.

If you are new to above ground pools, chances are, you do not know how to vacuum the ground pool. The entire process of vacuuming the pool manually may appear complicated. However, with the right tools and steps to follow, you should be able to vacuum above the ground pool quickly and easily. 

How to Vacuum Above Ground Pool – Step-by-Step Guide

1. Invest in the Right Tools 

With the right pool cleaning gear, vacuuming the above ground pool should be a cinch. Below, we have outlined the gear that you will need to vacuum your above ground pool successfully:

  • Skimmer or pool leaf rake 
  • Vacuum head 
  • Vacuum hose 
  • Skimmer disk (this is optional)
  • Extension pole 

2. Remove Bugs, Leaves, and Other Surface Debris 

The first thing you will need to do is get rid of any unwelcome material available on your swimming pool’s surface. To do this, you will need to use a pool skimmer or a leaf rake. 

Be sure to check the skimmer basket and if needed, clean it. Turn on the pool pump and ensure that water is running through the filter. 

3. Assemble Your Manual Vacuum System 

You probably purchased the parts of your vacuum system separately. Before you can use them, you will have to bring them together. 

Attach the vacuum hose’s swivel end to the vacuum head. Next, attach the head to the extension pole. Lower your assembly into the pool. Extend the pole until the head of the vacuum system reaches the bottom. 

Lock the extension pole into position and then lean it against the side of your swimming pool. Ensure that the pole is within easy reach of the pool’s water-return outlet. 

4. Fill the Vacuum Hose with Water (Priming the Vacuum System)

To fill your vacuum hose with water, hold its free end in front of the water return outlet. Keep one of your hands on the extension pole to keep it from floating to the surface as the air gets expelled from the vacuum hose. Keep priming the vacuum hose until it is 100% full of water and zero bubbles rise from the vacuum head. 

Note: The common mistake made by most people who are learning how to vacuum above ground pool is allowing the head to float. Keeping your stronger hand on the pole should help you avoid this issue. 

5. Attach the Skimmer Disk 

Keep the vacuum hose end submerged while pulling it away from the water return outlet and attach the skimmer disk. You will need to slip the skimmer disk into the skimmer on top of the suction port to start the vacuum. 

It is worth noting that different vacuums feature varying plugging requirements. For example, you may need to plug the vacuum hose directly into the suction port. 

If you are using a skimmer (or a vacuum system) that requires you to pull the hose end out of the water to fit it or its skimmer disk into the suction port, your aim should be to do so as quickly as you possibly can. If you wait too long, you may end up letting too much air back in your vacuum hose – this will make the vacuuming process less effective. 

6. Vacuum the Pool’s Bottom 

If you are learning how to vacuum above ground pool for the first time, you will be happy to know that this is the last step. For this step, you will need to stand in a position that allows you to see the pool bottom. 

Move the vacuum head back and forth over the bottom of your pool. Overlap the previous paths slightly with every new pass of the vacuum head. Ensure that the head stays underwater at all times. If the head pulls out of the water, it will lose its prime. Keep vacuuming until you manage to clean out all the sand, debris, dirt, etc.  

Note: If you have too much debris in the pool, you will probably kick up a cloud irrespective of how careful you are. If your swimming pool water becomes cloudy during a vacuum, be sure to give it a couple of hours to resettle. Next, come back and vacuum the pool again, repeating as needed. 

Tips to Help You Vacuum Above Ground Pool More Effectively 

To get good results when using the vacuum system to clean and maintain the above ground pool, you should consider using the tips we have outlined below: 

  • Brush down the sides of the above ground pool the night before vacuuming. This will help you loosen the debris. 
  • On the vacuuming day, wake up early and vacuum the pool before anyone puts on their swimming cap and gets in the pool. 
  • Adjust the water returns to keep the water mass moving in a circular pattern continuously. This will help concentrate the debris on the center of the pool bottom. It is much easier to vacuum the center of the swimming pool bottom. 



Q: Do You Remove the Skimmer Basket When Vacuuming the Pool?


The answer to this question depends on whether you will be using a vacuum plate. If you intend to use the vacuum plate, you won’t need to remove the skimmer basket. However, if you are not using the vacuum plate, you will need to remove the skimmer basket, and using your hand, block the water-filled hose end. 

Q: How Do I Vacuum My Intex Pool?


Vacuuming an Intex pool is easy as following the steps below. 

  1. Assemble your vacuum system – we have already explained how to assemble the vacuum system in this article. 
  2. Prime the vacuum – to prime the system, you will need to remove all the air. Air spaces make the vacuum lose suction. 
  3. Attach the pump – this will help you initiate the vacuuming. 
  4. Vacuum the pool – simply move the vacuum head around the bottom of the Intex swimming pool until it is clean. 

Q: Can You Vacuum Algae Out of a Pool?


Yes, it is possible to vacuum algae out of the swimming pool. To get rid of the algae, you will need to vacuum the swimming pool surface as thoroughly as you possibly can. Be sure to pay special attention to areas featuring extra algae.

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While vacuuming the pool involves some extra work, its benefits are worth the effort. With regular vacuuming, you will spend significantly less time dealing with algae, the pool water will stay balanced, and the pool chemicals will be more efficient. In addition to this, your pool will look more appealing. 

In this article, we have shown you how to vacuum above the ground pool. The key to getting good results quickly is to vacuum the pool slowly. If you do it too quickly, you won’t be able to clean the pool completely since the dirt and debris will mix with the pool water. 

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!