There’s nothing like taking a dip in your own backyard pool during the hot summer months. Aside from this, it’s excellent for entertaining and family bonding. Nonetheless, your pool needs regular TLC and cleaning if you want to keep it healthy and long-lasting.
Hiring the service of a professional pool cleaner can ensure your summer haven doesn’t turn into a nasty green swamp or a home for mosquitoes. However, hiring an expert twice a week can hurt your budget. Likewise, manual cleaning is laborious and will eat up plenty of your time.
Thankfully, you can achieve a spotless and sanitized pool without shelling out a lot on your budget with the help of an automatic pool cleaner. These pool cleaning tools come in robotic, suction-side, and pressure-side types. So you are sure to find something suitable for your pool cleaning needs. Watch this video on Leslie’s Pool Care channel to see them in action.
Keep in mind that each type works differently. Hence, it’s a good idea to understand how they work, as well as know the pros and cons of owning one. This will ensure that you’ll get a model that fits both your budget and pool requirements.
Understanding Pool Circulation
Pool circulation is a vital factor to understand before deciding on which automatic cleaner is appropriate for your pool. The reason for this is because there’s a slight difference as to how each of these devices interacts with the filtration and circulation systems of your pool.
Furthermore, one of the things that maintain the cleanliness of your pool water is to ensure it keeps on moving. It doesn’t matter how much chlorine you apply, swimming in stagnant water is gross, and no one will enjoy it. So it’s a must for your inground or above-ground swimming pool, to have a system to move its water around, as well as filter and make it swimmable.
So how does it work?
The process begins as your pool’s skimmer sucks water out. The water goes into the multiple jets of your inground pool or the single jet of your above-ground, where it is drawn back in.
As your pool pump draws the water in the skimmer, it will go into a set of pipes and in your pool’s filtration system. As the water passes through the filter, it will capture all unwanted filth, particles, and residue. And then, the pump will drive fresh and clean water into another set of pipes and back in your swimming pool through its return jet.
For the best results, it is highly advisable to run the pump of your pool 24 hours daily. However, doing so will burn. a hole in your pockets real quick. Runningit for at least 12 hours every day is the next best thing you can do. This will be able to provide you with at least one cycle of turning all the water in your pool.
Suction-side is the portion where the filter system of your pool sucks water out. On the other hand, the pressure-side is where the water is sent back to your pool.
So with that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the different types of automatic pool cleaners.
Robotic Pool Cleaners
Robotic pool cleaners are completely independent. The cleaners don’t need the help of your pool’s pump, filter, and circulation system. They have an onboard motor that helps them move around your pool while vacuuming it. On top of that, they have a built-in filter bag that you can remove and empty when full.
Moreover, these superior cleaners typically come with artificial intelligence technology. This means that your robot can map out its own cleaning path. Likewise, they are equipped with cutting-edge features in terms of mobility.
Convenience and cleaning efficiency are two of the reasons why robot pool cleaners are popular among pool owners. You don’t need to go through a lot of installation process to make your unit work. These devices are plug and play, meaning you only need to plug your robot in an outlet, program it, place it in the water, and it’ll do its task.
However, the main drawback of these automatic cleaners is its price tag. They can be quite expensive and heavier than other cleaners as well. Also, they tend to clog easily. But all of these aside, robotic cleaners from established brands like Zodiac Pool Systems LLC are extremely reliable and can last for many years.
Advantages Of Using A Robotic Pool Cleaner
- Energy-efficient. Contrary to popular belief, robotic pool cleaners do not consume a lot of energy to run efficiently. In fact, your robot consumes as much energy as your regular light bulb.
- Cost-effective. The initial cost of investing in one may be higher, but it’ll save you money in the long run. Aside from consuming less energy, it runs autonomously and will not require any system of your pool to operate. And since they’re so effective at cleaning, it eliminates the need to hire an expert pool cleaner.
- Saves water. Robot cleaners eliminate dirt independently from your pool’s circulation pump, preventing the main filter from clogging often. This means that you don’t need to backwash as much.
- Low maintenance. After a cleaning cycle, you only need to remove your device’s canister filter, empty it, and return it to its compartment.
- Eco-friendly. The automatic pool cleaner is safe for our environment since it doesn’t produce toxic chemicals or harmful gases.
What To Look For In A Robot Pool Cleaner
- Weight. Weight matters more than size in terms of these cleaners. Of course, your large pool will benefit from a bigger robot, but you also need to ensure that you can carry it. So opt for a lightweight unit to make it easier for you to lift in and out of your pool.
- Brushes. This is one of the most vital parts of a robotic cleaner. Look for a machine with rubber brushes that rotate or hard-bristle ones. These are excellent at removing the toughest dirt and debris.
- Power cord/cable. Although some newer models are cordless, most robot pool cleaners have power cords. Since they’ll move about your pool and climb walls and stairs, their cord can get tangled easily. The solution for this is to get a machine with a swivel cord.
- Wheels. A 4-wheel drive with wider tires is the better choice to ensure the robot won’t have trouble navigating the slippery surfaces of your pool.
- Smart features. Look for a cleaner with programmable and smart features that takes advantage of artificial intelligence. A robot with a programmable timer is handy since you’ll be able to set it up to clean any time you want even when you’re not at home.
Check out this guide for beginners by Luke Reed: the best robotic pool cleaners of 2020 to further help you find the right robot for your needs.
Our Pick Of The Best Robotic Pool Cleaner: Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner
The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus is a superb robotic pool cleaner at a fraction of the price of the top models. Its operation is one of the simplest and works well on all types of pools for up to 50 ft long.
Aside from these, its tangle-free cable means that the robot can move around your pool freely with ease. Plus, Its filters won’t give you a hard time. Removing, emptying, rinsing, and reloading it is pretty manageable.
Suction Side Pool Cleaners
Suction pool cleaners are very inexpensive. Their operation is quiet and simple. Therefore, they’re a superb option if you have a smaller pool that requires minimal to average washing. What’s more, the pool cleaning equipment is the easiest to operate. Simply plug it into the intake side of the pump system of your pool, and it’s ready to do its job.
This automatic pool vacuum runs with the help of the pressure from the intake of your pool. It maneuvers across your pool sucking in water and getting rid of debris like hair, bugs, and leaves. All of these will be deposited in the filter system. To clean it, just remove your pool’s filter container and dump all the dirt in your dustbin. You can get more information here about suction-side pool cleaners.
However, the biggest downside of this pool vacuum is that its performance relies on the power of your pool pump. This means that if your pump is weak, then it will not perform as well as expected.
Advantages Of Using An Automatic Suction Cleaner
- Affordable. It’s one of the most affordable methods of cleaning your summer mecca, next to manual.
- Effective cleaning. The pool vacuum does an effective job of keeping the surface of your pool free from unnecessary gunk. Just make sure to get yourself a good unit.
- Easy to operate. These gadgets come with a very simple design with easy operation. You don’t need to program it. Likewise, it will not require you to exert too much physical effort throughout the process.
- Energy-efficiency. A suction cleaner runs by using the pressure produced by the filtration system of your pool. So it won’t consume any extra power, unlike the robotic type.
What To Consider When Shopping For Suction Side Pool Cleaners
- Type of pool you have. Suction cleaners are great at taking care of pools with uneven surfaces or weird shapes.
- Size of your pool. There is a maximum amount of space that all types of pool cleaners can clean. The majority of suction pool cleaners come in various models cater to your requirements. Nonetheless, buying the most powerful or biggest model does not mean that it’s the most cost-effective unit for you, regardless of the size of your pool.
- Requirements to run. Every suction vacuum has its own needs in terms of your pump’s horsepower. The minimum flow requirement for most moels is 25 GPM. However, some units at least 1 horsepower to work.
- Brand. Opting for a well-known brand doesn’t always mean you’re buying the most reliable cleaner. However, big brands do come with some attractive perks. Aside from the availability of replacement parts, they often provide excellent customer service.
Our Pick Of The Best Suction-Side Cleaner: Hayward W3PHS21CST AquaNaut Pool Vacuum
The AquaNaut suction pool cleaner from Hayward Industries, Inc offers a complete pool cleaning experience. It features that brand’s patented V-Flex technology, which maximizes the power of almost any flow. Likewise, it’s powerful enough to suck up larger debris.
Pressure-Side Pool Cleaners
You need to attach a pressure-side pool cleaner to your pool’s return port to function. This type of automatic pool cleaner can be powered by a filter pump or booster pump.
Most pressure pool cleaners utilize a booster pump. It provides the device the power it needs by driving more water in it to move around your pool while vacuuming grit and filth.
Moreover, it doesn’t need the help of your filter system and can remove leaves, acorns, and other large objects because of its wide intake mouth. And even if your pool’s filter or pump basket is clogged or filthy, it will be able to perform at its best.
This type of automatic pool cleaner typically works better in comparison to suction-side. However, it’s not without some downsides. On top of that list is the fact it’s more expensive than suction-side. Additionally, they’re not the most eco-friendly option.
Advantages Of Using An Automatic Pressure-Side Cleaner
- Saves you time. Aside from an efficient cleaning performance, pressure pool cleaners enable you to have more time in your hands to relax and enjoy your pool.
- Cleaning schedule. You can set up a high-quality pressure-side to clean automatically on your preferred time once or twice a week. This means that your pool will be clean and ready to use at any time.
- Powerful cleaning. Pressure cleaners can take care of all debris sizes. It will collect everything in and store it in its filter bag, which you can easily dispose of.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Pressure-Side Cleaner
- Pool size. Make sure the pressure cleaner you’ll choose can reach all the corners of your pool.
- Pool type. Check and ensure that the model you choose is suitable for the type of swimming pool you have. Some pressure-side cleaners are made specifically for inground, while some for above-ground.
- Hose length. It’s vital that the cleaner has a long enough hose capable of reaching every surface, as well as crannies of your pool.
- How efficient and quickly it cleans. Pay careful attention to how fast and efficient the cleaner is at keeping the cleanliness of your pool. You want a unit capable of scaling stairs and walls, as well as smart enough to avoid becoming caught up in your pool’s dead ends.
- Ease of installation. You can install most models in less than one hour. The booster pump is the trickiest part of the installation process. So if you find it too difficult, consider hiring a professional to set it up.
Our Pick Of The Best Pressure-Side Cleaner: Pentair LL505PMG Kreepy Krauly Platinum Pressure-Side Inground Automatic Pool Cleaner
The LL505PMG Kreepy Krauly from Pentair PLC is probably the most powerful pressure-side cleaners you can get your hands on. If the dirt load of your in-ground pool is unimaginable, this beast is your best bet.
Thanks to its dual thrust jets, you’ll get excellent performance in terms of suction and speed. And within one to three hours, your entire pool is all set and clean. What’s more, this 4-wheel drive cleaning machine produces the utmost traction on surfaces, even inclined ones.
Another notable thing about the Pentair LL505PMG Kreepy Krauly is how lightweight it is in comparison to other pressure cleaners. Plus, it comes with a large debris container for collecting all sorts of particles, eliminating the need to empty it out often.
Your pool also gets plenty of perks. Utilizing a robotic or pressure-side cleaner can reduce filter wear. Additionally, automatic pool cleaners can lighten your skimmer’s load. So that’s fewer crud to remove.
There’s no denying that an automatic pool cleaner can make your life more comfortable. You’ll be able to enjoy swimming in your pool instead of cleaning it. And the most important thing here is that you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your refreshing summer refuge is clean and safe to swim in all the time.