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To enjoy the time in the garden pool to the maximum, it should be cleaned regularly. A practical helper, with which the work is much faster from the hand, is the pool vacuum cleaner.

However, this must be connected beforehand, and there are a few things to consider ensuring that the vacuum works optimally.

Important components for connecting the pool vacuum cleaner

Although every vacuum cleaner frees the pool from debris such as insects, leaves, the smallest stones and other impurities, the respective models differ in their features and functionality. Therefore, you should always consult the instruction manual provided by the manufacturer. This will contain possible additional instructions on what to consider when installing your individual pool vacuum cleaner.

Nevertheless, there are some components that are important in principle for the connection of a pool vacuum cleaner. Since this is a general overview, some deviating aids apply: for instance, a fully automatic pool vacuum (robotic pool cleaner) is connected as well as operated without the use of the filter system.

Pool vacuum cleaner

Both manual and automatic pool vacuums are connected to the pool’s filtration system with a hose to develop the necessary suction power, respectively the drive to move independently. The latter does not apply to a manual pool vacuum, as it is used to clean the pool floor of debris by hand.

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Pool filter system

In principle, a distinction is made between a cartridge filter system and a sand filter system, which can be used to clean the pool water. In this case, the pool filter is connected to the suction or inflow glands of the filter system through two hoses. After the pool vacuum is put into operation, it passes contaminants to the filter by means of a hose.


This component is the connecting piece between the pool’s basin and the respective filtration system. A pool skimmer vacuums the surface of the pool water. Before the water is finally passed on to the pool filter for cleaning, larger debris, such as leaves, get caught there in a screen.

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Garden hose

A garden hose is only used if your pool does not have a filtration system. Furthermore, it can also be used in cases where there is no skimmer.

Instructions: step by step connecting the pool vacuum cleaner with skimmer

In the following sections, we will explain in detail how to connect a pool vacuum cleaner if a skimmer is part of your pool system. Aside from individual specifics for each model, the steps are identical for manual and automatic pool vacuums.

Step 1: Get the pool vacuum ready for use.

First and foremost, you need to properly assemble your pool vacuum. For a manual vacuum, you need to connect the (brush) head to a telescopic pole. For the most part, the automatic pool vacuum does not require any further assembly, but you should always consult the device’s instruction manual.

Step 2: Putting the filter system into operation

In this case, too, it is advisable to refer to the instructions supplied with the accessories: The filter pump should be set up following them.

Then, with the help of the two hoses, make a connection between the water inlet and outlet on the pool. Before you can support the pool vacuum cleaner with the suction power of the filter system, it is recommended that you have already started it up 10 to 15 minutes beforehand.

Step 3: Insert the adapter for skimmer

As the next step, you need to install the suction plate into the skimmer, because it acts as a kind of adapter. It ensures the functional connection of the suction hose. Other names for the plate include vacuum disc or skim vac.

Step 4: Connect the hose to the pool vacuum cleaner

Often, the vacuum cleaner comes with a compatible suction hose. Otherwise, however, it is also available separately. To connect it, a clamp often serves as a connector between the pool vacuum and the hose.

Step 5: Lower the pool vacuum into the pool

The vacuum cleaner can now be gently lowered into the water of the pool, especially in the case of automatic pool vacuums, this should be done slowly. Manual vacuums in many cases require a little pressure to be applied to the telescopic rod to lower the head to the bottom.

Step 6: Allow air to escape from the hose.

The suction hose, after the pool vacuum is already in the water, is also placed in it from the end. Immersing the hose vertically ensures that the air collected in it will escape. The hose must be completely filled with water before the vacuum cleaner can be put into operation.

Step 7: Connect pool vacuum hose to skimmer

Once the suction hose contains only pool water, it can be connected to the bottom suction plate of the skimmer.

Step 8: Start vacuuming

Now you can start with the actual cleaning of the pool: When doing so, it is essential that you always keep the pool vacuum underwater, otherwise air will get into the suction hose.

A manual pool vacuum requires guidance by a human at the edge of the pool, whereas an automatic vacuum moves independently. Due to the fact that it is driven by the negative pressure of the filter system, it should have a correspondingly strong power.

Instruction: Connect pool vacuum cleaner without skimmer

There are filter systems that operate without a skimmer. If this is not interposed, an adapter is used on the intake gland of the pool to establish contact between the pool vacuum cleaner and the filter system. You should pay attention to the compatibility of the connections of the adapter and the suction hose connection, respectively.

The subsequent steps are as follows without the skimmer:

  1. Install the vacuum pool cleaner
  2. Start up the filtration system.
  3. Attach the appropriate adapter to the inside of the pool at the level of the suction gland.
  4. Connect the suction hose to the pool vacuum.
  5. Lower the pool vacuum into the pool filled with water.
  6. Allow the air to escape from the hose.
  7. Connect the vacuum pool cleaner to the adapter.
  8. Now you can start cleaning the pool.

Use pool vacuum cleaner without filter system

Apart from fully automatic pool robots, some manual pool vacuums can also be used to clean the pool without the use of a filter system. The venturi principle used, in combination with the suction of a garden hose, also ensures comprehensive liberation of dirt particles. These collect in a filter bag attached to the pool vacuum cleaner.


In the vast majority of cases, a filter system is required to connect a pool vacuum cleaner: Exceptions to this are, for example, pool robots or some manual vacuums that work according to the Venturi principle. The latter are often used for smaller pools.

The connection of a manual or automatic pool vacuum cleaner to the filter system can be quickly learned with or without a skimmer in a few defined steps. Only the individual instructions of the manufacturer may vary.

Larry has been a true water rat since childhood. Pure pleasure turned into a passion. That's why he is the first point of contact for friends and acquaintances when it comes to pool-related problems. He is an integral part of the PoolHandbook editorial team.