Best Automatic Pool Cleaners

Keeping your pool clean for the entire season is a challenge, but one that can be easily addressed with the purchase of a pool cleaner. Having one will save you a lot of water, time, and money. Plus, having a pool cleaner helps reduce the amount of chemicals you pour into your pool on a regular basis.

Our guide will lay out various types of pool cleaners, their benefits of owning a pool cleaner, considerations when you shop for a pool cleaner, and discuss tips on maintaining your pool cleaner.

Pool Cleaning Types

There are three different types of pool cleaners split up into the following categories: robotic, suction, and pressure. Every type has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, however, they all a fairly good job of getting your pool clean.

Let’s take a look at each type and how they’ll save you the hassle of needing to manually clean your pool.

Robot Pool Cleaners

If you need to have a low-maintenance option, then the best option for you is a robotic pool cleaner. These units are run through the use of electric motors and contain their own filters and pumps. That means these types of cleaners are self-driven and self-contained.

Many robot cleaners will drive up your steps, walls, and waterlines, cleaning as they go. A typical robot pool cleaner also has a feature that allows them to shut off automatically when it’s done cleaning.

Pros of Robot Pool Cleaners

  • Cleans corners, stairs, walls, and waterlines
  • Quick and easy to set up and use
  • Minimal effort to operate; works without supervision
  • Removes dirt, debris, and other contaminants with a built-in filtration system
  • Cuts down on the amount of chemicals in your pool
  • Continuously circulates water for a fresher, cleaner pool

Cons of Robot Pool Cleaners

  • Difficulty removing larger debris
  • More expensive than other options
  • Pump and filter have to regularly be cleaned out

Suction Side Pool Cleaners

Suction side pool cleaners are most often your best bet from an economical perspective. They’re available for both above ground and in-ground pools. Like your robot pool cleaners, suction side units move around the surface of your pool, cleaning and scrubbing as it travels.

The key difference is that where your robot pool cleaner is driven by its motor, your suction side cleaners are propelled through the use of suction.

As opposed to using its own filtration system, suction side options move the water through the system your pool uses. This is where dirt and debris are filtered and removed. When you have a suction side pool cleaner, you’ll have to set it up and remove it any time it performs a cleaning cycle.

Pros of Suction Side Pool Cleaners

  • Easy to maintain and use
  • Less expensive than robotic pool cleaners
  • Uses suction from the pool so it’s not using electricity
  • No motor requiring frequent repairs

Cons of Suction Side Pool Cleaners

  • Pool’s filter and pump basket must be regularly cleaned out and emptied
  • Needs to be set up and removed every time you want it to run

Pressure Side Pool Cleaners

Pressure side pool cleans use your pool’s booster pump line or water port to get your pool looking good. Options that use your booster pump line are available in automatic models, which you can set to start and stop automatically. Usually, these types of pool cleaners have their own bags which gather dirt from your pool.

If you’re familiar with pressure side cleaners, then you know they propel themselves through your pool by using water pumped back into your pool. Water comes into the cleaner, is distributed throughout the thrust jet, venture, and sweeper tail. It’s the thrust jet that directs and moves the pool cleaner, similar to what a propeller does for a boat.

Small debris and dirt are brushed off the walls of your pool using the sweeper tail. This feature also helps circulate water through your filter and back into your pool. At the bottom of the cleaner is the venturi, which is used to gather large debris, like leaves, into its bag.

Pros of Pressure Side Pool Cleaners

  • Rarely suffers clogs
  • Long-lasting units
  • Thoroughly cleans pool surfaces
  • Includes own filter bags

Cons of Pressure Side Pool Cleaners

  • May require plumbing
  • More expensive than suction side options
  • Challenging to maintain and set up

Benefits of Owning a Pool Cleaner

If you own a pool, then you know there’s no way to get around cleaning it on a regular basis. That’s why it’s handy to have a pool cleaner to take care of it for you. Cleaning your pool is messy, time-consuming, and exhausting.

The purpose of owning a pool is to have fun and relax, but how are you going to do that if you spend all your free time cleaning it. Of course, there are other reasons to own a pool cleaner as well. Here are some that might not have crossed your mind:

Save on Water

Owning a pool cleaner could wind up saving you a lot of water. Dirt, debris, and algae disrupt the chemistry of your pool, which means you either have to drain off some of the water and fill it with fresh water or add additional chemicals.

If you’re at all worried about how much exposure your children and family get to chemicals, then the safest thing to do is drain off the water. There are also times when this is simply the only recourse you have, like when adding additional chemicals makes matters worse.

Depending on the size of your pool, draining a couple of inches of water from your pool could result in the loss of many gallons through the course of the year.

However, when you use a pool vacuum, it’s continuously cleaning and removing debris which impacts the chemistry of the water. As a result, you’ll have less of a risk associated with the water’s balance, which means you don’t have to mess with draining it at all.

Additionally, your pool cleaner will aid in cutting down on the number of times you need to backwash the filters. This method of running water back through your pool’s filter to flush out debris and dirt is significantly changed when you have a pool cleaner.

That’s because your pool cleaner will help remove a lot of those contaminants. That means you won’t need to backwash near as often, which in turn helps you save on water.

Save Time and Money

Owning a pool vacuum also helps save you both time and money.

For starters, you don’t have to pay someone to come clean the pool every time it gets dirty. If you did it yourself, you’d wind up wasting precious time you could be using to enjoy your pool or doing something else.

With a pool cleaner, you’ll still have to do some work. You need to add and mix in chemicals, plus shock your pool.

Plus, if you put your cleaner to use on a regular basis, it will help reduce the headaches that come with owning a pool, such as the buildup of bacteria and algae. As a result, you’ll spend less on chemicals and chlorine as well.

Save on Chemical Usage

While we’re on the topics of chemicals, using a pool vacuum can help you cut down on the amount of chemicals you regularly add to your pool.

Let’s break it down.

Algae is known to flourish and grow in areas where water is stagnant. This especially true where not enough oxygen and chlorine are present. Your pool cleaner prevents this by circulating the water on a regular basis while scrubbing and cleaning algae and other contaminants.

As a result, the chlorine is able to do its job, as opposed to getting eaten by algae. This also means that you don’t have to mess with chemicals like algaecide to fight off those pesky contaminants.

This makes things much easier when it comes to keeping the chemicals in your pool balanced. You won’t have to add in more substances, which helps save you money while keeping your pool safer for your loved ones.

Why It’s Important to Keep Your Pool Clean

Most people like to keep their pool clean because it looks great and feels good when you go for a swim. However, many owners don’t realize that there are other reasons it’s important to keep your pool clean.

To begin with, if your pool’s chemistry becomes unbalanced, it can cause rapid growth of algae, bacteria, and other fungi. This leads to your pool looking dirty and nasty, plus it contains germs which can be harmful to swimmers.

While safety is one of the primary reasons to keep your pool clean, keep the chemicals in your pool properly balanced also helps to extend the life of your pool liners and other equipment. For example, having a low pH level can lead to corrosion of the equipment in your pool.

Not only that, but you’re adding to the wear and tear that occurs on your pool’s filters and pumps by allowing these contaminants to remain in your pool. Damage to the liner can cause harm to the underlying surface, which results in a weakening of your entire pool.

What to Look for in a Pool Cleaner

Now you know what types of pool cleaners are available, how they’ll perform, and why it’s important to keep your pool clean. But what should you look for when you’re ready to head out and purchase your own pool cleaner?

The first thing to keep in mind is that not all brands are of the same quality. Some are better at certain functions, some have excellent customer support, and some have superior durability.

Let’s take a look at other items you should consider when buying a pool cleaner.

Cost

If you need to stick to a budget, you’ll want to take the price of the pool cleaner into account as you look for one. The most expensive pool cleaners are usually the robotic ones, however, they are also very efficient and need little interaction on your part.

Length of the Hose

Be sure your pool cleaner has a long enough hose to reach every area of your pool. You want it to be able to access both ends so you know it won’t have trouble getting into tough places at the bottom of your pool.

If you find one you like and it doesn’t have a hose that will work for your pool, check with the manufacturer. They may make one that’s long enough that you can purchase separately. You might have to spend a little extra, but you’ll have the pool cleaner you want

Wall Climbing Capability

Some options on the markets will focus solely on the bottom of your pool. That means your walls and waterline aren’t getting the attention they need. As a result, you’ll have to take the time to brush your pool to ensure that debris and algae are properly removed.

If you don’t want the hassle of cleaning the walls, find a pool cleaner that has the ability to climb the walls and clean them. Look through specs and product reviews to determine how well a pool cleaner cleans.

Is it Durable?

Some pool cleaner manufacturers build their units to last over the course of the long haul. One good indicator of how durable they are is the length of the warranty the manufacturer provides. If it has a long warranty, then the company believes the product will last longer.

Reviews will give you a solid idea of how long you can expect a pool cleaner to last. Many users will complain if the unit is not as durable as they expected it to be.

Maintaining Your Pool Cleaner

Speaking of durability, if you want to ensure that your pool cleaner lasts as long as possible, be sure to take good care of it. These units may not need much maintenance, but you want to store and use them appropriately.

They don’t need much cleaning, however, if they have a self-contained debris bag or filter, then you’ll want to make sure they are rinsed and cleaned regularly. Empty out the debris bag every time it gets full so you’re not burning up the motor or sacrificing suction. The filters you can rinse with a hose every few weeks, or if they look particularly dirty.

If you purchase a robot pool cleaner, it can essentially live in your pool. However, if you go with a pressure or suction side cleaner, then you’ll need to remember to remove it after every cleaning. Rinse it off with your hose after every few cleanings to wash off chemicals, then keep it in a dry place to protect it.

Drain out the hoses on your pool cleaner, coil them up, and keep them with the main unit. It might be a good idea to hang these up on the wall to ensure that they stay dry and clean.

Final Thoughts

Finding and maintaining the right pool cleaner for your pool might seem like a daunting task, but it will help keep your pool clean and sanitary. Plus, it makes cleaning your pool a much easier job.

An automated pool cleaner is a great way to get this done. It moves throughout your pool quickly, cleaning the floors, walls, and waterlines of your pool as it goes. This means you don’t have to mess with it and can focus on other, more important things.

Why spend your entire weekend brushing and cleaning your pool, or paying someone else to do it when you don’t have to? There are plenty of options on the market when it comes to finding the right pool cleaner. You’re almost certain to find one that works best for you and your pool cleaning needs.