How to set the valves to vacuum the pool.

Related Links:

Most of the time, you can depend on your automatic pool cleaner to keep the pool fairly clean, but sometimes you need to pull out a vacuum head and hose to get every last bit of dirt out of the pool.

Every pool is different and these articles are designed as a general guide. As always, if you are not sure of what you are doing, get a pool professional involved who can answer any questions you have and give you professional onsite advice.

We offer on-site pool school for a very reasonable price.


When you want to vacuum your swimming pool, start with the valves in the normal pool position. You can see that diagram here.

  1. Sink the hose and plug it into skimmer
  2. Connect the vacuum head to the pole and then connect the swivel cuff on your vacuum hose to the vacuum head.
  3. Drop the vacuum head into the pool and “sink” the hose. (Sinking the hose involves getting all of the air out of the hose so you can connect it to your skimmer without losing prime.)
  4. Push the other end of the vacuum hose into the suction port at the bottom of the skimmer nearest to the pump. Now you are ready to adjust the valves.
  5. Adjust the valves for vacuumingIf you try to vacuum the pool without making any adjustment to the valves, you will have a very difficult time. This is because water (just like people) takes the path of least resistance and your vacuum hose is the path of greatest resistance.You have to make adjustments to the valve settings on the intake side as shown in the top diagram. The diagram to the right is a close up view of the intake valves.
  6. Leave the valve to the closest skimmer fully open
    This is the valve that you are vacuuming from, so you want to leave it fully open so there is no restriction in flow.
  7. Close the pool drain valve
  8. Partially close the other skimmer valve
    If you totally close the other skimmer valve, then you will probably starve the pump for water, so you need to shut it down until you can hear the pump giving some resistance. This will be your clue to leave it there and not shut it down any further.

With this, you should be ready for vacuuming. When you are through vacuuming, be sure to reset the valves to the normal pool operation position.

NEED HELP? Having problems with your valves or plumbing? Contact Pool Stop today! Give us a call at 972-772-4545 to ask questions or set up an appointment OR hit the “Request Service Quote” button and fill out a service request form so we can schedule your service call. Our team of experienced, licensed professionals is available to help you with expert advice, repairs, and installation.

Request Service Quote