My daughter and I have been spending every bit of our free time this summer in the pool, and she's had a cousin come over often to swim with her. Sometimes the kids aren't so mindful of tracking trash (dirt, bits of leaves) into the pool, so I have spent an awful lot of time using a net in the pool as well. The trouble with a net is, it won't pick up any of the sand that settles on the bottom because it goes right through the little holes. While shopping at Walmart one day, I came across the Skooba-Vac, and thought that would be the solution to keeping the pool's water really clean.
Recommend this product?
The Skooba-Vac Vacuum Kit made by Kokido costs $40, and is a vacuum kit for above-ground swimming pools. It works with my pools inline filtration system, and is meant to be used like a vacuum cleaner along the bottom of the pool, sucking up all the trash and sand that settles after everyone is out of the pool.
What You Get in the Box
Directions for Assembly and Use
16 feet of flexible hose
Skooba-Vac with reusable vacuum bag
4 metal poles (that assemble easily into one long pole)
Vacuum head with 2 attachments
3 different adapters to fit hose to most pools
Putting the unit together is really easy. I slid the poles together, and then slid the pole onto the Skooba Vac. I then snapped on a head attachment and attached the plastic hose to the back of the Vac. The vacuum bag is already inside the Skooba, but to get to it just takes a flip of a lever. I then took it out to my pool and submerged the entire thing, hose and all, in the water as directed. Then, I found the adapter that fit my pools filtration hole (the one that sucks and not blows), attached it to the other end of the hose and slid that into the filtration hole. After that, it was ready to use.
The filter pump of my pool is what operates the Skooba-Vac. The box states that this Vac is meant to be used with pools that are 8 to 15 feet in diameter. Mine is 15 feet. It also says that it will work with filter pumps that can pump 530 gallons per hour. (That is the minimum, it is supposed to work better with pumps over that). The one I'm using this year is, I believe, 1500 gph.
Well, I get it attached and start to skim the bottom of the pool with it. I spent a good hour trying to suck up sand and small pieces of leaves, but I didn't really get any results. I took the Skooba-Vac out of the water and opened it up to see the vacuum bag, and there was indeed some trash inside there, but very little. My pump works great and according to the manufacturer, should be more than adequate to work the Skooba-Vac. It just wasn't working like I thought it should. I retested all the attachments, to make sure everything was airtight, and looked at the instructions again (which are easy enough for a small child to follow), and then gave it another go. Still, it only picked up a very small amount (even with the other head attachment).
I started to think maybe if I shortened the hose, it would work better, at least turning the 16 feet into 10. But, I didn't want it to be so short that I couldn't use it in the entire pool. Of course, I could have taken it back, but I just figured I could fix it. So, I instead decided that I would get a thinner hose, and add an adapter so that it will fit on the Skooba-Vac as well as the filtration hole's adapter. I took a trip to Lowe's and bought piping little thicker than a garden hose, and now it sucks like a pro.
Of course, having to do all of that really affects my rating of this product, and changes whether I would have recommended it or not. For me, now that I have it rigged a certain way, it works. But, I shouldn't have had to do that, and I believe that the majority of people would not bother and would return it. So, to save people the headache, I plan to rate this product low. According to the box, my pool's size, and the type of pump I use falls under the sizes that this product works with. I can imagine if someone has a pump that does push through only 530 gallons, they would be sorely disappointed.
When it comes to cleaning out the vacuum baggie, I open up the head of the Skooba-Vac, and pull it out. All of the debris is wet because the Skooba-Vac becomes filled with water, so it sticks inside there.I rake it out with my hands, and give it a couple of taps or use a hose pipe to wash it out. It's made of a netted material as well, and doesn't hold sand very well. Though, the sand does go inside the Skooba-Vac and will sit inside the see-through cap (that covers the vacuum bag). I wash that out with a hose pipe since water doesn't hurt the product.
Would I recommend the product? Even though I've fixed it where it works for me, no, I would not recommend it. I cannot, for the life of me, see why it does not work with my setup since, by all accounts, it should. For the money, it just isn't worth the very small amount it sucks up using the rigging that came with the product. I could have spent 5 minutes with a net and gotten the same amount up out of my pool. I leave this product with 2 stars.