How Do You Vacuum A Pool: On Backwash Or On Waste

Vacuuming Your Pool

Some people are wondering if you can vacuum a pool on a backwash is not an irrational question. If you are new when it comes to pool maintenance, sometimes it can be complicated and hard.

Learning how to vacuum your pool efficiently properly is probably the most important thing to learn at first. a

Do you vacuum a pool on backwash or waste? Yes, you can. But it’ll be nonsense because the water would be pumped back through the filter. It’ll screen much dirt before passing out through the backwash hose. The dirt ends up back in the pool once your pump is back on the filter setting.

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In this article, you will find everything you need to know about vacuuming your swimming pool and why you should not vacuum during backwash.

Why Shouldn’t You Vacuum On Backwash

When the multiport valve is in the backwash setting, the water flows from the pump. It will go into the bottom of the sand filter rather than going to the top as it usually does.

Then the water will pass through the sand or filter medium to the top and out of the waste pipe. As a result, it takes any dirt that has been trapped in the top layers of sand and expels it, therefore cleaning the sand.

If you plan to vacuum a pool on the backwash, all of the dirt you pick up from the pool will mainly get lodged in the bottom part.

It will stay there, and when you put the multiport valve back to filter, most of the first that had been trapped would be pumped back into the pool.

While doing so, all the water would go to the waste pipe, and it will drastically drop the water level at a very alarming rate. Just as it would when you deliberately vacuum it to waste when the pool becomes dirty.

Settings To Use To Vacuum A Pool

If you want to learn more about vacuuming your pool, you should be familiar with the different settings. There are only two settings to use when you want to vacuum a pool. To pick the right one, you should depend on how dirty the pool gets.

Filter Settings

The filter setting is the most common and generic. It is probably the most used setting for vacuums. You will use this setting for your routine cleaning when the pool is not so dirty.

Once this setting is applied, you will see the dirt is trapped in the sand or whatever filter medium you have.

It will clean the water and return it to the pool via return jets. You might need to backwash the filter often for a short time to clean the dirt before returning it to the filter settings.

Waste Settings

The waste settings are generally used if the pool is filthy. It will be perhaps the time when you do the first clean of the year after a long winter.

Or it might be the time after bad weather where there’s a lot of debris ended up in your pool. This setting will help you get rid of those and make sure your clean is clean and debris-free.

Backwash A Pool While Vacuuming

There are times when you are in the process of vacuuming your pool on the filter setting, and the suction begins to reduce.

It is due to the sand in your filter becoming clogged, reducing the amount of water that passes through the sand. It will increase the back pressure, and you can tell that this is the problem because the pressure gauge is higher than usual.

To restore the suction, turn off the pump and then move the multiport valve to the backwash setting.

After that, you can rerun the pump for a couple of minutes to remove the sand blocking the sand. Then you can resume vacuuming once you have the multiport valve back to the filter setting.

How To Vacuum Your Pool Properly

When it comes to vacuuming your pool, you can follow the tips and techniques below to make sure you are doing it correctly:

  1. If you have sand as a filter medium and trying to vacuum to waste, set the filter settings to waste options. It is recommended that you set the filter settings to waste whenever you have algae. This setting will vacuum the algae up and send it out through a backwash line. Just remember to vacuum as quickly as possible because the water will be exiting your pool quickly.

  2. On the other hand, you can leave the settings on the filter and turn on the pump to begin vacuuming. This setting will save the water, so you do not have to worry about losing it.

  3. Vacuum the pool the same way you vacuum your living room, pick up all the debris and algae as you go.

  4. After you finish vacuuming your pool, make sure to turn off your pump, take out all of your vacuuming tools, and put them in the storage.

  5. If you vacuum on a waste setting, you will need to turn your filter to the rinse setting. Turn on the pump, let it run for at least 30 seconds, and then turn it off. Do not forget to set the filter back to the filter setting after you are done with this.


Remember that it is essential to vacuum your pool from time to time manually. It is a crucial step in making sure you prevent any algae buildup.

Vacuuming your pool should always be part of your maintenance, either it can be daily or weekly. Learning to vacuum your pool is not hard as long as you know how to work on your equipment and how your pool operates.

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