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Automatic Swimming Pool Cleaners

Updated on February 3, 2010

Typical Manual Cleaning Kit

Pool Cleaning Options

When it comes to cleaning your in ground or above ground swimming pool, you have several options. Some people look at this as a daunting task, while others enjoy brushing and vacuuming their pool and find it relaxing. Either way, it needs to be done, so I want to talk about your options.

When you have your pool built, your contractor should have supplied you with a manual cleaning kit which includes a pole, hose, brush, leaf net, and vacuum. You plug the hose either into a seperately plumbed vacuum line or the skimmer and you are in business. Depending upon your plumbing situation, you may have to turn some valves to get a good enough suction to get debris off the bottom of the pool.

Your other option, and a seemingly more popular option, is to invest in a robotic or automatic pool vacuum. There are several manufacturers to choose from with models ranging from $150 to over $1000.

Pressure, Suction, or Robot?

Once you've decided to buy an automatic pool cleaner, you have to decide what type would work best for your pool. Your three main choices are pressure, suction or robot.

The suction cleaner is probably the most well known and used by pool owners. It hooks up to the suction side of your pools plumbing, be it a vacuum port line or the skimmer, and moves along the bottom and sometimes walls of yor pool "sucking up" debris as it moves over it. The debris is filtered by whatever type of filtration system you have hook-ed up for your pool equipment.

It would be important to decide prior to building your pool -if possible- what type of cleaner you may want. The reason being is that if you choose a pressure cleaner, many of them require their own booster pump to be incorporated into the plumbing lines, and to look aesthetically pleasing the line should be run under the pools decking. A pressure cleaner works basically the way it sounds. Rather than hooking up to a suction unit, it hooks up to a return. The water that is being pushed through the cleaner is redirected three ways: 1 to the sweeper tail that kicks debris up into the water which helps it to be filtered out through the main filtration system; 1 to the venturi; and 1 to the thrust jet.

A Robotic Cleaner is a dual motor, self contained, electirical cleaner which is plugged into an electrical outlet. The advantage is that it is self-contained with its own filter, and because they are not attached to the suction or pressure side of the pools circulation system, they create no resistance.

It is important to remember that any one of these automatic pool vacuums are not a cure all. You still will have to chemically balance your pool water; skim the top of the pools surface for any floating debris like leaves, pine needles, and even bugs, lizards, and frogs; and brush the waterline tile. I also recommend giving the walls a good brushing at least once a month.

You should check and clean you skimmer basket and pump basket weekly, and keep a close eye on your pressure gauge on your filter. If your filter gets too dirty you will need to backwash it if you have a D.E. filter or clean or replaceyour cartridge filters. If your pressure builds up too high, you are running the risk of springing plumbing leaks.

Pool Cleaner -Time Lapsed

Some well known and used suction pool cleaners are the Kreepy Krauly, the Hayward Navigator & Pool Vac Ultra, the Aquabug, and the Baracuda G3 & G4. They range in price from approximately $150-$400 and come with warranties ranging from 1 year to 5 years for the Kreepy Krauly & Polaris ATV.

Pressure cleaners, while a bit more expensive tend to come with longer warranty periods. Polaris makes several different models of pressure cleaners, as well as Letro. You could spend as low as $200 oir as high as $1000 depending upon what make and model you choose.

The AquaBots and TigerShark are by far the most popular robotic cleaners on the market. Price wise they range from around $600 - $1800 for one of these.


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    • profile image

      madonnacummins 6 years ago

      I agree with this article a good sweeper and a good filtration system makes the upkeep of a pool, any size a whole lot easier.

    • profile image

      MarilynNChism 7 years ago

      very helpful article

    • profile image

      Pool Aquabot 7 years ago

      The old saying is, you get what you pay for. Automatic pool cleaners or pool vac, durable warrantee, history of product and number one, reviews. Pool Aquabot have all pedigrees.

    • RachelOrd profile image

      Rachel Ord 7 years ago from Palm Coast

      Great link Reuben, thank you for sharing! It's nice to be able to compare and contrast the different cleaners before making a decision to purchase.

    • profile image

      Reuben 7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing such detail information on pool cleaners. Found this site that contains active discussions on robotic pool cleaners among existing and new owners.

    • RachelOrd profile image

      Rachel Ord 7 years ago from Palm Coast

      I'm so happy to hear all of the wonderful feedback on the different pool cleaners! Thanks for reading!

    • profile image

      Karen Reader 7 years ago

      I agree with you guys, the Kreepy Krauly is great. Do you guys take off your pool covers when you are cleaning your pool?

    • profile image

      backyardcity 7 years ago

      The Kreepy Kauly is a great one, Amy. The Aquabot is also good, Casey. This article is great. There are so many options out there. It is nice to have some feedback about which cleaners work.

    • profile image

      Kenny  7 years ago has some great accessories for this as well. Free shipping too along with all the instructions you need.

    • profile image

      Casey Ollson 8 years ago

      We recently installed an Aquabot and glad we did. I'm not spending hours each week cleaning out our pool and for the first time I am not dreading the upcoming swimming season.

    • profile image

      Amy Appleton 8 years ago

      Which one is your favorite guys. Have you used these? I'm liking the Kreepy Krauly one so far.

    • profile image

      Neil 8 years ago

      o you want to clean your pool Faster than ever. Try to use a pool cleaner to clean your pool faster and easier than the old way. Today's Technology is very hi technology and all the work can make easier and faster with the automated.

    • profile image

      adammb 9 years ago

      Cleaning a pool can be a real chore. I have used the Barracuda, and loved it. It was pretty inexpensive, easy to fix when things went wrong. Best of all, it got the job done.

      Keep the info on swimming pools coming!

    • profile image

      booyakamix 9 years ago

      now i just need to get me a swimming pool

    • profile image

      Tommy B 9 years ago

      WOW, did not know about this stuff before today, cleaning my in ground swimming pool has alway been a real pain...