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A Guide for Choosing the Right Pool Cleaner

A Guide for Choosing the Right Pool Cleaner

The choice of the right pool cleaner is determined by the size of your pool and the type of debris that usually lands up in it, among other factors. If that has left you confused as to which pool cleaner to opt for, then this Gardenerdy article would aptly serve as a guide for you.
Mukulika Mukherjee
What's on Offer?
You can choose from manual and automatic pool cleaners, depending on several factors. Automatic pool cleaners include robotic cleaners that are considered to be the most efficient of all cleaners.

A swimming pool is one of the most desirable additions to your backyard or garden, and given a chance, you'd hardly find folks who would not want to have one. However, to keep your swimming pool as crystal clear as ever, you'd need regular cleaning and the right equipment and supplies. While there's not much choice when it comes to selecting the supplies, choosing the right pool cleaner can make or break the job.

It goes without saying that you should be careful and do your homework well before you go ahead and buy one. For starters, there are manual and automatic pool cleaners up for grabs, and what you choose depends on how much time you can spend in cleaning the pool, and how much you're willing to shell out.

Points to Consider
Before you choose a pool cleaner, you must take the following points into consideration, since these can influence the choice of cleaning method and equipment.

1. Size of the pool
The first factor that you should probably consider is the pool size. If you have a small pool, you can easily manage with manual pool cleaners, for it won't take you much time to clean the entire pool yourself. However, if you have a medium-sized to large pool, then you should consider an automatic pool cleaner.

2. Efficiency of the Cleaner
The efficiency of a pool cleaner is defined as the time it takes to do its job. Manual cleaners are fairly efficient when it comes to small pools, but using them to clean a large pool can be a time-consuming affair. Robotic pool cleaners are the most efficient.

3. Consumption of Energy
Among the three types of automatic pool cleaners, robotic pool cleaners are the most energy-efficient. Pressure side pool cleaners use a separate booster pump, which causes the energy consumption to shoot up.

4. Dependency on the Filtration System
While suction side pool cleaners depend on the pool filtration system, pressure side pool cleaners come with a separate filter bag, which means no stress on the filtration system of your pool. Robotic pool cleaners come with an inbuilt filtration system.

5. Ease of Use
Among the three types of automatic pool cleaners, the robotic pool cleaner is the easiest to use, as it hardly requires you do anything. All you need to do is lower the unit into your pool and switch it on, and allow it to work its magic, as it gradually scrapes out dirt and grime from the walls and floor of your pool.

Here, we shall learn a little about the different types of pool cleaners and their pros and cons so that you get an idea about how each one of them functions, and which one is the most suitable for your needs, depending on what you want it to do. The two major categories of pool cleaners are further divided into different types, each functioning differently from the rest.

Manual Pool Cleaners
As the name suggests, manual pool cleaners do nothing on their own, and require human effort to carry out the cleaning process. Manual pool cleaners can be of different types―pool skimmers, pool brushes, and pool vacuums.

1. Pool Skimmers
A pool skimmer is nothing but a rigid pole with a net attached to one of its ends. It is used to skim the surface of the pool to clear any debris that is floating on the surface. Note that a skimmer alone is not sufficient to keep the pool clean, and has to be used in conjunction with other cleaning equipment, manual or automatic. However, you might be required to use one at frequent intervals to prevent leaves and other debris from reaching the pool floor.

2. Pool Brushes
A pool brush is designed to remove stubborn dirt from the floor of the pool, the deck, or the steps. If you see anything stuck to the floor of the pool, you can use the brush to scrape it off, and then use a manual vacuum or automatic cleaner to remove the loose debris from the floor of the pool.

3. Pool Vacuums
A manual pool vacuum is a simple device that consists of a long pole with a vacuum attached to one end. It is connected to the inlet of the pool filter through a hose, which has to be held underwater for a few minutes till it fills up with water. This prevents air being sucked into the pool filter. Once the unit is lowered into the water, it begins its job by sucking in debris from the pool floor and transferring it to the pool filter system. However, its major drawback is that it takes a lot of time to clean large pools.

Manual Cleaners : Pros
  • Reasonably less expensive
  • Ideal for small pools
  • Higher efficiency (for they are operated by a human)
Manual Cleaners : Cons
  • Less convenient
  • Requires more of your time
  • Not meant for medium-sized to large pools

Automatic Pool Cleaners
Unlike manual pool cleaners that require human effort, automatic pool cleaners make your job easier, and do most of the work on their own. There are different types of automatic cleaners―Suction side pool cleaners, pressure side pool cleaners, and robotic pool cleaners. Let us learn about them one by one.

1. Suction Side Pool Cleaners
The cleaning unit of a suction side pool cleaner is connected to the suction line of the pool filtration system, through a plastic hose pipe. As for the method of operation, these cleaners use suction force to remove dirt and debris from the pool floor and allows it to pass through the pool filtration system.

Now, once the unit is connected to the suction line, usually on the longer side of the pool, the unit begins to move rapidly along the floor of the pool as well as its sides. As it moves along, the brushes attached to the cleaner scrape out dirt and debris, which gets transported to the pool filter unit. You're free to adjust the speed of the moving unit depending on how much accumulated dirt and grime needs to be removed.
Pros :
  • Does not require additional accessories
  • Highly economical
  • Least expensive automatic cleaner
  • The brush attachment helps scrapes off algae and stubborn stuff attached to the floor and walls of the pool.
Cons :
  • Requires more frequent filter cleaning
  • Consume more electricity
  • More taxing on your pool pump and filter system
Best Suction Side Pool Cleaners :
  • Kreepy Krauly Classic Automatic In-ground Pool Cleaner
  • Stingray Automatic Pool Cleaner
  • Hayward DV5000 Automatic Pool Cleaner
  • Hayward Navigator Pro In-ground Suction Pool Cleaner

2. Pressure-Side Pool Cleaners
These are another type of automatic pool cleaners that are driven by the pressure from a booster pump (which is installed for this purpose) or the pool pump. As the cleaner moves on the floor of the pool, the pressure forces the dirt and debris into a bag that is attached to it. Unlike the suction side pool cleaner that is connected to the suction line of the pool filtration system, this cleaner is connected to the filter outtake, and the water that enters the cleaner unit moves through three different channels, each directed to a different part of the cleaner unit―the tail that scrapes debris off the floor of the pool, the thrusters that help the unit move around, and the venturi that sweeps off bigger particles of debris. Pressure-side pool cleaners are mounted on wheels for ease of movement.
  • The separate filter bag means no taxing the pool filter system
  • Ideal for pools that have higher amount of debris
  • A dedicated booster pump increases speed and efficiency
  • Separate booster pump adds to the cost
  • Less efficient in scraping dirt off the surface
  • Not designed to clean the walls of the pool
Best Pressure Side Pool Cleaners :
  • Pentair Kreepy Krauly Legend LL505G Pressure Pool Cleaner
  • Zodiac F5 Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner
  • Kreepy Krauly Letro Legend Pressure Pool Cleaner
Pressure-side pool cleaners are more expensive than suction-side cleaners, but less expensive than robotic cleaners.

3. Robotic Pool Cleaners
With a self-contained filtration system, robotic pool cleaners are the most efficient, which makes them highly popular with pool owners. It consists of a processor or control unit, in addition to a drive and a pump. The easiest to use among all designs of pool cleaners available in the market, robotic pool cleaners require you do nothing except connecting the processor to a power outlet, lowering the unit into the pool and switching it on! Next, just watch the intelligent machine work its magic on your pool, as it propels itself across the walls and floor of the pool, collecting and removing all kinds of debris.

The function of the pump is to pull water through the bottom, and pumping it out through the top, thus creating a suction force that helps in propelling the cleaner. The best thing about robotic cleaners is that they can be easily programmed to follow a distinct path around the pool floor, which helps it move only to the areas that need cleaning, instead of wasting time and energy moving across the entire length and breadth of the pool. These little robots can change directions automatically on bumping against walls and other solid barriers.

  • Highly efficient in detection and removal of even the finest particle of debris
  • Most energy-efficient pool cleaner
  • Some models come with remote control features
  • Most expensive
  • Cannot be placed within the pool for long hours
Best Robotic Pool Cleaners:
  • SmartPool Robo-Kleen Above-ground Pool Cleaner
  • Dolphin Deluxe 3 Robotic Pool Cleaner
  • Baracuda S3 Robotic In-ground Pool Cleaner

That was all about the different types of pool cleaners and their pros and cons. So, which one have you decided to go for? Before you make a decision, make sure you speak with a few of your friends who own a pool, and ask them for their inputs. You can also go through online reviews of a few top brands to know the experiences of users.