Alternative to Auto Skimmer/Vacuum System Control Plate

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Elle
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Alternative to Auto Skimmer/Vacuum System Control Plate

Postby Elle » Tue 20 Nov, 2007 13:19

I am a three-month old newbie to maintaining a roughly 14,000 gallon, in-ground swimming pool. I have a Pentair "Vac-Mate," described in its literature as a "multi-function vacuum/skimmer attachment." The Vac-Mate no longer seems to work. Do I really need to use this contraption? If not, what are some other plans for keeping the surface skimmed and the pool walls and bottom clean? E.g. can I just hook up the vacuum for a few hours or as needed each day, then disconnect and just run the pump through a skimmer basket for a few hours or as needed?

The symptoms of the failing Vac-Mate are (1) that the vacuum cleaner (a Hayward Ultra Vac) barely moves; (2) I feel very little suction in the line when I hold my hand against its end; and (3) when I connect the vacuum cleaner directly to the suction line (in the bottom of the well that holds the skimmer basket) of the pump, the vacuum cleaner once again zips around and picks up dirt accumulated on the pool bottom.

The Vac-Mate is about 1.5 years old but did see some serious chemicals (from chemical shocking) this past summer. I replaced the gasket that goes around the basket and seems to seal the basket against (1) the plate with all the control fixtures on it; and (2) the well. This did not fix the problem.

A vacuum gage shows no to little vacuum at the Vac-Mate.

For your reference, while troubleshooting (and due to a lack of experience), I replaced (1) the pump impeller (the old one actually has cracks in its plastic and seemed questionable, at least in my newbyness, so now I sort of have a spare); (2) the filter diverter valve (it was leaking but no longer does); (3) the vacuum cleaner hose (the pool timer failed while I was away for a few weeks and so we added many chemicals which took a toll on the hose; I found one leaking section in the old hose and suspected minute leaks--again, my newbyness may have been at work); and (4) several vacuum cleaner parts (feet, wings, turbine bearings, all of which were worn per their wear indicators yada).

I'd sure appreciate anyone sharing their experience with their advice. I am out some $225 and a lot of time. I am dismayed it may have been simply a failed Vac-Mate. I do figure the parts I list above that I replaced were pretty well worn and so I will have less headaches in the near future as a result. Plus I got some good experience for the next time something goes wrong. It's been an adventure.


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mr_clean
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Postby mr_clean » Tue 20 Nov, 2007 14:53

what does your filter gauge read?
When pressure gets to high you need to clean/backwash depending on what type filter.
Elle
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Postby Elle » Tue 20 Nov, 2007 20:06

mr_clean wrote:what does your filter gauge read?
When pressure gets to high you need to clean/backwash depending on what type filter.


With the Vac-Mate installed, the filter gage reads around 0 psi; sometimes it oscillates as high as 5 psi. With the Vac-Mate uninstalled (that is, vacuum cleaner hose connected directly to the intake pipe to the pump), it reads about 13 psi.

I have backwashed regularly. The filter sand is by my estimate about seven years old. I am changing the filter sand in a few weeks.
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mr_clean
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Postby mr_clean » Wed 21 Nov, 2007 10:29

With the Vac-Mate installed, the filter gage reads around 0 psi; sometimes it oscillates as high as 5 psi. With the Vac-Mate uninstalled (that is, vacuum cleaner hose connected directly to the intake pipe to the pump), it reads about 13 psi.

I have backwashed regularly. The filter sand is by my estimate about seven years old. I am changing the filter sand in a few weeks.


If you have backwashed & have bad suction with vac-mate hookedup but good suction without then buy new one or get rid of & buy hayward leaf trap that goes inbetween hoses.

Hayward leaf trap
Elle
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Postby Elle » Wed 21 Nov, 2007 11:23

mr_clean wrote:
If you have backwashed & have bad suction with vac-mate hookedup but good suction without then buy new one or get rid of & buy hayward leaf trap that goes inbetween hoses.

Hayward leaf trap


Thank you. The Hayward leaf trap sounds like a viable, and perhaps more reliable in the long run, alternative to the Vac-Mate.
TimDavis1958

Vac-mate Problems

Postby TimDavis1958 » Fri 11 Apr, 2008 09:07

I read the symptoms of the Vac-Mate and that's my problem. The pump provides great suction; however, the Vac-mate doesn't clean both surface and bottom at the same time.

Without going to the leaf catcher what is the fix for the Vac-mate. Buying a new one may mask a defect flaw in the Vac-mate (i.e. it works for about a year then quits.)

The concept of cleaning the surface and skimming the bottom is the optimal solution to an old pool. Can this be done?
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mr_clean
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Postby mr_clean » Fri 11 Apr, 2008 15:17

I read the symptoms of the Vac-Mate and that's my problem. The pump provides great suction; however, the Vac-mate doesn't clean both surface and bottom at the same time.

Without going to the leaf catcher what is the fix for the Vac-mate. Buying a new one may mask a defect flaw in the Vac-mate (i.e. it works for about a year then quits.)

The concept of cleaning the surface and skimming the bottom is the optimal solution to an old pool. Can this be done?


so you have vac-mate in skimmer & automatic cleaner attatched cleaning pool like person above? or just have vac-mate?

If you have auto-cleaner you can take out vac-mate & by kreepy krauly regulator valve which will allow you to use cleaner & skim water at the same time. You will just have to empty pump basket when debris get into it or buy leaf-trap that goes inbetween hoses of cleaner by skimmer to catch debris before entering skimmer & still emprty pump basket but much less as it gets in basket from skimming.

If you do not have cleaner, buy skimmer float that covers skimmer holes & allows you to control suction between skimmer & main drain/bottom skimmer. Then add skimmer basket ontop of it which will catch all debris with none going to pump basket.
Guest

Postby Guest » Sat 31 May, 2008 14:49

mr_clean wrote:
I read the symptoms of the Vac-Mate and that's my problem. The pump provides great suction; however, the Vac-mate doesn't clean both surface and bottom at the same time.

Without going to the leaf catcher what is the fix for the Vac-mate. Buying a new one may mask a defect flaw in the Vac-mate (i.e. it works for about a year then quits.)

The concept of cleaning the surface and skimming the bottom is the optimal solution to an old pool. Can this be done?


so you have vac-mate in skimmer & automatic cleaner attatched cleaning pool like person above? or just have vac-mate?

If you have auto-cleaner you can take out vac-mate & by kreepy krauly regulator valve which will allow you to use cleaner & skim water at the same time. You will just have to empty pump basket when debris get into it or buy leaf-trap that goes inbetween hoses of cleaner by skimmer to catch debris before entering skimmer & still emprty pump basket but much less as it gets in basket from skimming.

If you do not have cleaner, buy skimmer float that covers skimmer holes & allows you to control suction between skimmer & main drain/bottom skimmer. Then add skimmer basket ontop of it which will catch all debris with none going to pump basket.


Hello,

This post has been very helpful to me as it described my problem perfectly!

<y question is, can you still use a Kreepy Krawler regulator valve if you have a Hayward Vaccuum? will it still work the same?

Thanks!
poolinaz
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Postby poolinaz » Sat 31 May, 2008 14:50

Hello,

This post has been very helpful to me as it described my problem perfectly!

My question is, can you still use a Kreepy Krawler regulator valve if you have a Hayward Vaccuum? will it still work the same?

Thanks!
strawberry

Alternative to Auto Skimmer/Vacuum System Control Plate

Postby strawberry » Mon 28 Mar, 2011 12:11

The suction on the hayward pool vac seems almost too much. The vac hardly moves and all the parts wings feet pods etc have all been replaced. How can I lower the suction to it.

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