Troubleshooting a Pool Leaf Vacuum


A pool leaf vacuum can make an easier job of removing leaves and debris from the bottom of the pool. During the fall when trees drop their leaves, or any time the wind blows, the pool floor can be several inches deep in debris. Using a regular pool vacuum will quickly clog the pump, but the pool leaf vacuum traps leaves in its own filter bag. If your leaf vacuum doesn't pick up the debris efficiently, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot and correct the problem.

Water Flow and the Venturi Jets

A pool leaf vacuum works off water pressure from a garden hose. The water flows through the venturi jets located in a ring at the center of the vacuum assembly. The water is forced up through the center hole into the filter bag attached to the top of the vacuum. This creates suction at the bottom of the vacuum, pulling leaves and debris up through the vacuum and into the bag. Make sure the hose faucet is turned on all the way. The stronger the flow, the greater the suction. Check for kinks in the garden hose. Bring the leaf vacuum to the surface of the pool, turning it upside down to check the venturi holes. There should be a uniform stream coming out of each venturi hole. If any of the holes are plugged, the flow is decreased. Use a piece of wire or a straightened paper clip to probe the holes and remove any solid debris that might be obstructing them.

Leaf Vacuum Wheels

Most pool leaf vacuums have three swivel wheels on the base. The standard wheels are plastic. Make sure the wheels roll smoothly on their axles and that they are free to swivel completely around. Check for wear. Worn wheels won't roll properly, making it difficult to guide the leaf vacuum across the pool bottom. You can buy replacement plastic wheel assemblies, or you can upgrade to polyurethane wheels with ball bearings that last longer and roll smoother.

Filter Bag

As the pool leaf vacuum fills with debris, it begins to lose suction due to the restriction of water flow through the bag. When the bag is about half full, empty it to restore full flow through the bag. If you are picking up large leaves, it may take only a few leaves to reduce the flow. To empty the bag, bring the leaf vacuum to the top of the pool, and turn it upside down at the surface. Lay the telescopic pole down on the deck so the vacuum head is near the edge of the pool. Turn off the hose, pull the leaf vacuum up onto the deck and remove the bag to empty it into a trash can. Reattach the bag, drop the vacuum back into the pool, turn on the hose and continue vacuuming.

About this Author

David Barnes has been a freelance writer for more than 30 years. He holds degrees in English and accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant, He has 10 years' experience as an English teacher and more than 20 years' experience as a swimming pool service contractor.

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