Pool Vacuum From a Basic Water Pump

Introduction: Pool Vacuum From a Basic Water Pump

How to make a pool vacuum from a pond water pump

Pool vacuums are essential equipment for pool maintenance, but effective vacuums are typically expensive and cheaper pool vacuums are typically useless. This Instructable will show how to take a basic pond water pump and convert it into a working, effective pool vacuum on a budget of less than $50.

WARNING: This Instructable involves the use of an electrified water pump inserted into water. Take all precautions to ensure the pump is in good working order and has intact water seals on the electrical components to prevent electrocution!


  • A pond water pump. I used a Sunterra pump that I purchased years ago at Menards, I believe it was $30 new at the time, you can often find these at garage sales on Craigslist/Ebay or their international equivalent.
  • A hose to connect the pump to the filter. Mine was a small section of pool pump hose material that I had on hand.
  • A small canister (any size). The key is that the filter material will be taped inside, so make it large enough to add material and to tape it in.
  • Filter material. I cut up a used, clean pool filter and re-used the pleated material.
  • Long Pole.
  • A shallow container or container lid to act as the vacuum head. I used an old lid from a large red-vines container.


  • Hot Glue Gun or Silicone Sealant
  • A knife
  • Duct Tape

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Step 1: Prepare the Pump

Take the pump filter and filter housing off of the pump to expose the water intake hole. I had to take down the intake housing because on mine it is removable and twists to unlock. Duct tape works well for this task.

I also attached the fountain attachment to the water outlet and cut a hole to accept my hose material.

Step 2: Prepare the Vacuum Head

Create the vacuum head by taking a wide container lid or a wide, shallow container and cutting it to accept the pump intake valve.

Also, cut “V” notches along the lid to reduce the vacuum seal that is created when the pump is on. We want water and debris to suck into the vacuum but we don’t want the vacuum impossible to remove from the pool floor!

Use hot glue to seal it in place on the vacuum pump water intake. Silicone sealant will work too.

Step 3: Connect the Hose to the Water Outlet.

Connect the hose to the pump water outlet. In my case I had a fountain attachment that I cut a hole to accept the pool hose. I did tape over the fountain holes with duct tape.

Step 4: Pool Filter Housing

Create a pool filter housing. Take the small container and drill or cut holes in one side, then take your filter material and tape that in place over the holes. The holes allow for the filtered water to return back to the pool. The more holes = the better the water flow and lower the water pressure exerted on the pool filter.

Attach the pool filter housing to the other end of the hose. Seal up any leaks you find along the way.

Step 5: Add the Pole and Clean the Pool!

Attach the assembled pool vacuum to a long pole. I used duct tape for a solid assembly.

The pool vacuum is now ready to use.

Final Thoughts: I put this together in just over 30 minutes, using materials that I already had on hand. I was blown away with how effective the results were though! The materials can be modified to eliminate the hose if your filter housing is compact enough. I wanted the filter to be some distance from the area that I was vacuuming though to reduce water currents in the area I'm trying to clean. The way I designed this the pool filter will float above the vacuum, which accomplishes my aim.

If you liked my Instructable, please vote on me for the Water Challenge. Thank you!!!

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    2 Discussions


    1 year ago

    What a great solution to your problem! And you resolved it with materials you already had. Great job!


    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you! It was fun, easy to build, required few skills or tools, and has left my pool a lot cleaner. For those interested, I did see basic pond pumps at Harbor Freight starting at only $18 US.