Unless you have an automatic vacuum device, you're going to have to manually vacuum your pool regularly. There are benefits to having a cartridge filter when it comes to vacuuming a pool. When the vacuuming is done and all of the dirt, leaves and debris are trapped in the cartridge, the cartridge is one of the easiest filters to clean. Just open it up and hose off the filter -- your cartridge will be as clean as it was before vacuuming.
Check the pool water level. For the vacuum attachment to work efficiently with your cartridge filter, the water level in the pool must reach mid level of the skimmer faceplate. If the water level is too low, it will affect the vacuum's suction ability.
Attach the vacuum hose adapter over the skimmer basket. Make sure the skimmer basket is free of debris before inserting the adapter.
Connect the hose to the adapter and the other end of the hose to the vacuum attachment. Attaching the vacuum is easy, but the tricky part is removing the air from the hose. Air in the hose will eventually enter the cartridge filter. Since cartridge filters operate in a vacuum environment, air will prevent the filter from vacuuming properly.
Dip the hose under water in an attempt to remove as much air as possible.
Turn on the filter and check the water level in the pump basket. If too much air got into the system, you may have to shut off the filter, open the air valve to allow the trapped air to escape, then turn on the filter and shut the air valve after the trapped air has escaped.
Vacuum the pool. When you first start vacuuming the pool, check the water return flow. If the water return flow is strong, then your cartridge filter is working properly and you can continue vacuuming the pool. If the return flow is weak, there may be air still trapped in the filter. Release the air and continue vacuuming.
Clean the cartridge after vacuuming the pool. If the pool was exceptionally dirty, you might have to open the cartridge filter housing, hose off the cartridge and replace it.