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10 Reasons Why Your Pool Vacuum Gets Stuck on the Drain

Reasons Why Your Pool Vacuum Gets Stuck On The Drain

Have you ever wondered why your pool vacuum gets stuck on the drain and what causes it? Having a pool vacuum stuck on the drain can be a major inconvenience.

It seems like it happens more often than it should, and of course, it always happens when you are just about to swim in the pool.


Pool vacuum hoses get stuck on the drain often, so it’s easy to blame the vacuum for being a piece of junk. But it might not be the vacuum you need to point your finger at.

These are a few reasons why most pool vacuums get stuck on the drain:

  • First, there’s a gunk build-up around the main drain.
  • Second, a suction leak keeps the vacuum attached to the drain.
  • Third, the cleaner isn’t working properly and needs to be replaced or repaired.
  • Fourth, the suction strength may be too strong.
  • Fourth, the skimmer filter basket is clogged.

Finally, your pool vacuum may be stuck because something simple can be remedied quickly.

This article will discuss why your pool vacuum gets stuck on the drain. So you can get a good understanding of why your vacuum does this.

Why Your Pool Vacuum Gets Stuck on the Drain

The suction power of a pool vacuum is a must when effectively cleaning debris from your pool. However, even the strongest pool vacuums can get stuck on the drain.

Here are the ten reasons why your pool vacuum gets stuck on the drain:

1. The Vacuum Hose Is Too Long

The Vacuum Hose Is Too Long

Suppose you have an above-ground pool; you may have a longer vacuum hose than most people. This can cause problems because it can get tangled up in other pool equipment parts.

The solution is to try using a shorter hose or repositioning it, so there is less slack in the hose.

2. Not Enough Suction

Not Enough Suction

If you have a shallow pool with minimal suction, this may be one reason your vacuum has difficulty moving across the bottom of the pool.

The suction must be strong enough to lift particles from the bottom of your pool, so they don’t get sucked into the filter system and clog up certain components.

If there isn’t enough suction in your filter system, then there won’t be enough power behind your vacuum head to move across the surface of your pool floor easily.

The best way to fix this problem is by using a booster pump or adding more pressure to your system. This can be done using an air compressor or air tank, but these methods will take some time to work properly.

3. The Skimmer Gate Valve Is Not Fully Closed

The Skimmer Gate Valve Is Not Fully Closed

The pool vacuum has a float attached to the end of the hose, and it will get stuck on the drain. Also, if you look at the rear of the unit, you will see a small back clip on the side of the motor housing.

This clip must be in the down position for it to work properly. If it is up and not covering the hole in the motor housing, water will not flow through the unit properly and get stuck on the drain.

4. The Drain Isn’t Properly Vented

The Drain Isn’t Properly Vented

If there isn’t enough air getting into the system, you may have an issue with suction. The suction will be low, so when you try to pull something out of the pool, it just won’t move.

If there isn’t enough air coming into the system, it won’t be able to pull anything out, either. So always ensure that your pool has plenty of air coming into the system through its skimmers and returns.

5. The Pool’s Water Level Is Low

The Pool’s Water Level Is Low

If your pool vacuum is getting stuck on the drain and won’t move, it could be because the water level in your pool is too low. Unfortunately, this is a common problem, especially when you might use water in the summer.

If this is the case, you may want to consider a pool cover so it doesn’t happen again. It’s also important to ensure enough chlorine in the water to keep it clean and sanitary.

Check the water level first if your pool vacuum gets stuck on the drain. If it is too low. Add more water until you reach an appropriate level.

You should be able to use your automatic chlorinator and add chlorine tablets to increase the amount of chlorine in your water within 24 hours if necessary.

6. An Air Leak in the Vacuum Hose

An Air Leak In The Vacuum Hose

Another common reason your pool cleaner gets stuck on the drain is an air leak in your vacuum hose. If this happens, then it will not be able to suck up as much dirt as it normally would.

When this happens, you will notice that your pool cleaner spends more time trying to clean up debris instead of moving around freely like normal.

Ensure there are no holes or cracks in the vacuum’s hoses. Any hole or tear in either of these parts will allow air to escape and allow your pool cleaner to suck up water effectively.

If you find one of your hoses has an air leak, replace it immediately with a new one from your local hardware store. Use pipe sealant tape to secure each end securely before putting them together again so that this doesn’t happen again.

7. The Pool Vacuum Is Too Old

The Pool Vacuum Is Too Old

If your pool vacuum is over ten years old, it’s probably time for a replacement. The reason for this is that older units use a mechanical filter bag system to collect debris from the water.

The problem with this type of filter is that as debris builds up inside the bag, its effectiveness decreases. Eventually, the unit will stop working altogether.

8. The Vacuum Bag May Be Full

The Vacuum Bag May Be Full

If your pool vacuum has been idle for several hours, check the bag to see if it is full. If it is, you will need to empty it before proceeding.

A full vacuum bag can cause the pool cleaner to stop working. To check, remove the vacuum bag from the cleaner and look for debris, such as leaves or grass clippings. Remove any debris, replace the vacuum bag, and try again.

9. The Drain Cover Has Corroded

The Drain Cover Has Corroded

The other reason that your pool vacuum gets stuck on the drain is that the drain cover is corroded. This can be due to the pool being empty for long periods or simply because you haven’t cleaned it in years.

If this is the case, you only need to replace the drain cover with a new one. You can find these at any local hardware store or online. Make sure that you follow all safety precautions when replacing your drain cover.

10. The Vacuum Head Is Not Low Enough

The Vacuum Head Is Not Low Enough

Sometimes, the vacuum head can get stuck on the bottom of the pool because it’s not low enough. When this happens, it can cause damage to the filter and even break off pieces of debris clogging the filter.

To fix this problem, raise your vacuum head to a level with or slightly below the water’s surface. This will prevent it from getting stuck at all times and allow you to clean your entire pool without any problems.


A stuck swimming pool vacuum is a frustrating experience for any pool owner.

The excellent news is that if you understand exactly why your pool vacuum gets stuck on the drain, you can immediately deal with the problem and continue vacuuming your pool without spending extra time and money.

This article may save you from calling your local vacuum repair shop. It will also help you to prevent your vacuum from getting stuck on the drain. Although every pool vacuum differs, most operate similarly and have a similar setup.

The cause could be simple, like an air leak in the vacuum hose, the drain not being properly vented, or the vacuum bag being full. Hopefully, the information helps explain why pool valves get stuck on the drain.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Keep My Pool Cleaner From Getting Stuck in the Corner?

If your pool cleaner gets stuck in a corner, you can try a few things to help it get out.

  • Make sure the hose is not coiled up. Try moving it around so that it’s uncoiled and straight.
  • Try moving the hose so it’s not near any other objects in the pool. This can be tricky if you have an in-floor cleaning system or something similar, but if you do, try moving the hose to another pool area.

How Do I Know if My Main Pool Is Clogged?

You’ll know if your main pool drain is clogged when you see any of these symptoms:

  • First, the pool is taking longer than usual to fill.
  • Second, the water level in the pool begins to drop, despite your best efforts to keep it full.
  • Third, water pools on your filter’s or skimmer baskets’ surface.
  • Your filter stops working, and you have to clean it out manually.

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