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How to Bypass a Swimming Pool Filter System to Clean Out a Pool

By Christopher John

All you need are the right cleaning tools from a local pool supply store in order to clean a pool. You can accomplish this without using the pool's filter system. The key is consistency and diligence in cleaning the pool, to avoid the need for a massive cleanup job all at once. Even simple acts like reaching by hand into the pool to remove leaves and other debris before it reaches the pool pump and filter, protect your pool's health and appearance.

Sweep the deck area surrounding the pool, using a broom, in order to prevent any debris or objects from falling into the pool as you clean. Swipe any leaves, insects, and other floating debris that you can reach from the pool by hand. Attach a telescoping pole to a leaf rake. Grip the extending pole in both hands as you walk the perimeter of the pool, raking the debris near the edges into the leaf rake. Reach and remove floating debris from the middle area of the pool with the leaf rake, cleaning the entire pool surface.

Empty the debris from the leaf rake into a large garbage bag at regular intervals, to avoid dropping the debris back into the pool. Don't dispose of the leaves and debris in your yard or garden, because wind might blow the debris back into your pool, and the small amount of chemicals that are in the wet debris might harm your plants. Using the leaf rake may be a duty you need to do more regularly, even weekly, if your pool tends to collect leaves and debris more often.

Scrub the tile surfaces of the pool firmly, including the tiled pool wall, using a tile brush. A tile brush will clean the tile without harming the grout. Use the brush in conjunction with a tile cleaner. Scrub hard-to-remove stains using a pumice stone. Allow the debris that is removed from the tile to settle onto the bottom of the pool. Brush the plaster walls of your concrete pool with an algae brush. Start at the shallow end of the pool, brushing from top to bottom and working your way towards the deep end.

Remove leaves and other debris from the strainer basket. At least once a week, clean out any items that might clog the flow of water. Connect a garden hose and the telescoping pole to a leaf vacuum, which utilizes its own filter, and lower the unit into the pool. Turn on the water to the garden hose. Grip the telescoping pole and guide the vacuum around the pool bottom. Start at the edges and make your way inwards towards the pool's interior floor as you walk around the pool. Vacuum any pool steps and also vacuum the corners. The debris will be sucked up into the vacuum bag.

Lift the vacuum from the pool, gripping the telescoping pole. Turn off the water hose. Dump the collected debris from the vacuum bag into a plastic garbage bag.


Things You Will Need

  • Leaf skimmer
  • Telescoping pole
  • Tile brush
  • Pumice stone
  • Algae brush
  • Pool vacuum

About the Author


Christopher John has been a freelance journalist since 2003. He has written for regional newspapers such as "The Metro Forum" and the "West Tennessee Examiner." John has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Memphis State University.