How to Make a DIY Pool Vacuum in Just a Few Steps

diy Pool Vacuum

ihsanyildizli / Getty Images

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 1 - 4 hrs
  • Total Time: 1 - 4 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $50

All pools get dirty and have to be cleaned. There are devices called pool cleaners that simply the process. Essentially they are robots that clean your pool based on a schedule you set, but robot pool vacuums can be costly usually require plumbing work and separate pumps to operate properly.

A more affordable option is to vacuum the pool yourself. Help yourself in this process by making a DIY pool vacuum with objects that you can easily pick up at any hardware store.

How Does a Pool Vacuum Work?

A pool vacuum is a vacuum for a pool that uses suction power and filters to clean your pool’s surfaces and water. This vacuum must work under water and be able to handle various leaves and twigs of different sizes. A good pool vacuum has adequate suction to gather debris and filter it out before returning clean water to the pool.

The easiest and simplest way to replicate this is to use the suction already provided from your pump and build off of your skimmer mouth.


While working with power and hand tools, make sure that you are wearing the proper gloves and safety goggles to avoid injury.


What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Screwdriver
  • Knife


  • Hose clamps
  • Pool hose
  • Funnel/Vacuum head
  • Hose adapter
  • Duct tape
  • Broomstick


How to Make a DIY Pool Vacuum

To avoid starting the project then having to stop in the middle when you have an attachment that isn’t tight enough, you will work section by section on the DIY pool vacuum to test the snugness of different components before you actually put it together. Think of it like trying on bunch of shirts, pants, and shoes at a store — you are there to try them on for fit. Once the fit is correct, then you start attaching pieces.

  1. Place Funnel on Skimmer Mouth

    Your work will start at the skimmer mouth, since ensuring strong suction is most important for success. Take the funnel (which should be roughly the size of the skimmer basket) and place it upside down on top of the skimmer basket. This will be your adapter to go from the skimmer suction to your pool vacuum.

  2. Securely Connect House to Funnel

    After the funnel is in place, take the hose and put it over the narrow end of the funnel, which should be facing up. Check how tight the fit is — you may have to add something to make the fit tighter, such as a hose adapter that can slip into the funnel and hose end. Sometimes it requires trying a few different options to figure out how to get the tightest fit between your funnel and hose.


    If the fit is close to tight, you can wrap the connection with duct tape, but it might not last that long in water.

  3. Repeat With Other End of Hose

    Once you have one end of the hose connected snugly to the funnel, take the other end of the hose and attach it to the head of the vacuum. Again, making sure the fit is snug with either a hose adapter or duct tape. 

  4. Determine How to Add the Broomstick

    The broomstick will be attached to the vacuum head to use as a pole to direct the vacuum. Tape is often the best way to attach the two, but you should also decide where to attach them.

  5. Reassemble and Secure Everything

    Once you’ve made sure everything will work together, secure the pieces. Start at the skimmer mouth with the funnel attached. Connect one end of the hose to the funnel with the chosen adapter and tape the connection to secure it. Then, move to the other end of the hose and an adapter or tape to secure the vacuum head to the hose. Once the vacuum head is secure, tape the broomstick to the vacuum head and hose. The hose should be attached to the broomstick about halfway up the stick to help the head connection not move and break.

  6. Prime the Vacuum

    With everything assembled and secured, it is now time to test
    your creation. You must prime the hose to ensure a proper connection to the pump and a strong suction from the pump.

    The easiest way to prime your vacuum hose is to start at the vacuum head end, pushing the hose under the water to allow the hose to fill up with water and working your way from one end to the other.

    If done correctly, by the time you reach the funnel end you will see a slight rush of water come out of the funnel. When you see this rush, flip the funnel upside down over the skimmer basket while the pump is running.

    If you get air in your pump, you will have to disconnect your hose and wait until the pump re-primes itself to create suction again.


    While you are priming the vacuum and submerging the hose, be sure that the vacuum head is not flat on the liner otherwise it could rip or stretch the liner.

  7. Test Vacuum for Suction

    Once your pump has normalized carefully pick up the vacuum head without lifting it out of the water and see if there is suction. If you feel suction, your DIY pool vacuum is a success.

When to Call a Professional

If you are uncomfortable working with a mechanical item around water, or the vacuum is not working or keeps getting stuck on the liner, it is best to call a pool professional to get an opinion on what you can do to improve your vacuum or if you need to try a different method to keep your pool clean.