Most pool owners find that automatic pool cleaners are a handy tool for easy pool maintenance. With these energy efficient machines, you can reduce your time spent on brushing, vacuuming and skimming, and have more time enjoying your pool for just a fraction of the cost of a full pool service.
Robotic: Robotic pool cleaners are completely self-contained, with their own filter and pump. These cleaners operate independently from the pool’s filter system. The power source comes from a wall outlet with a power cord that attaches to a transformer to create a much safer, low voltage power supply. There are two motors within the robotic cleaners, one to power the drive pump, which moves the cleaner around the pool and the other to power the filter, which sucks the particles into the unit. Most use advanced technology to memorize a pool’s shape and clean in a specific pattern to improve cleaning efficiency.
Pressure: Pressure cleaners use water pressure to move the vacuum around the pool. Some of these cleaners require a booster pump to increase water pressure such as the Polaris 380, and some work off the pressure from a return jet (i.e. Polaris 360). Debris gets sucked into the waste bag by use of the Venturi effect. The Venturi effect is a physics principle that creates a vacuum by funneling the water through the inner pipes. Additionally, the water flowing out of these pressure cleaners help to circulate clean water around the pool making them a great option for larger pools. Cleaners with booster pumps operate independently from the pool filter and use a bag to fill up with debris which saves the filter a lot of strain from clogging with extra debris.
Suction: Suction cleaners use either the pool’s skimmer or a designated vacuum line on the wall of the pool. These are random pattern cleaners and most models will clean the walls as well as the floor. Suction cleaners are usually pretty reasonable in price and easy to install.
Battery: The battery operated pool vacuums require the least amount of assembly, eliminating the need for hoses, booster pumps, electrical cords, and suction or pressure lines. These are usually the least expensive option for cleaners but require manual operation by hand. They run on a fully rechargeable battery that will power the vacuum for approximately one hour, cleaning 40 to 50 gallons of water per minute. Battery vacuums operate completely independently from your pool’s filtration system, saving your filter lots of wear and tear over time.
AUTOMATIC POOL CLEANER FAQs
How do I know which automatic cleaner is right for my pool?
With over 150 different automatic cleaners on the market, it can seem a bit overwhelming trying to decide which will work best for your pool. You need to first ask yourself a few questions:
1.Do I have an above ground or in-ground pool?
If you’re cleaning an above ground pool, under 21’ round, you might want to look into:
If cleaning a larger above ground pool or an in-ground pool, you might like using a Polaris 380 or an Aquabot. The pressure powered Polaris runs off a separate booster pump and hooks up to a designated side wall jet, which can be set-up and ready to use in under a minute. If your in-ground pool is not equipped with this additional pressure line, then the Polaris 380 is not compatible. The Polaris 360 runs off of the pool filter’s return pressure. When the filter is clean and backwashed, the Polaris 360 will have great suction and even climb up the steps. Once the filter starts getting dirty, the Polaris 360 will lose pressure and eventually stop vacuuming until the filter is backwashed again. The benefit of using a Polaris is that it has an extremely simple, yet effective design, making repairs easy and inexpensive. Set-up is quick and easy, and emptying the debris collection bag takes roughly 30 seconds.
Alternatively, the Aquabot is a robotic cleaner that uses an electrical cord and a transformer as a power source. The Aquabots are very effective and popular cleaners. However the transformer is not waterproof and can be severely damaged if left outside for an extended period of time. Most Aquabots have brushes that will scrub and remove algae all over the pool. The Aquabot contains 2 motors, the drive motor and the pump motor. The Aquabot can be much more costly to fix than the Polaris. These cleaners typically clean the pool in 2 to 3 hours.
2. Is the pool a gunite or a vinyl liner?
Regardless of the pool’s surface, any pool cleaner can be used. There are just a few factors to consider first. The automatic cleaners that have wheels such as the Aquabot T-Jet or the Polaris are more durable on hard, abrasive surfaces such as gunite. The cleaners that have brushes used for scrubbing, such as the Aquabot Rapids 1500 or the Aquabot Rapids 2000, work well on concrete surfaces, however, if used in gunite pools, the brushes typically need to be replaced annually.
Automatic cleaners are great maintenance machines but should not be used for heavy debris removal. Large amounts of debris can quickly clog these cleaners and possibly cause damage to them as well. With the large variety of automatic cleaners on the market, there is a suitable cleaner for any and every type of pool, giving you more free time to enjoy your summer.