Automatic Pool Cleaners—Robotic, Pressure Side, And Suction Side, Oh My!

It’s possible for a new pool owner or even a long term pool owner to ponder over all of the automatic pool cleaners available. Just to name a few like Kreepy Krawly, Legend, Pentair Sport, Pentair Racer, Wanda the Whale, will make anyone’s head spin.

You have to admit though, you have many options to choose from for in-ground pools. And, this is where we want to help you understand the difference.

There are so many brands, and so many types. It can be quite overwhelming.

Designed For Maintenance—Pool Maintenance Is Key

Now, with the new pool season ready to begin, we really want our pool owners to take charge of their pool this season, and enjoy their pool with ease.

For any automatic pool cleaner, keep in mind that automatic pool cleaners are designed for pool maintenance; automatic pool cleaners are not designed for pools loaded with leaves and algae.

What’s Your Pool Finish?

Keep in mind your pool finish. Do you have a vinyl liner or gunite? Some cleaners may damage certain surfaces while others are designed for all pool types.

What’s Your Budget?

Obviously, every pool owner has a specific budget in mind. Give yourself some leeway, and make it worth your while. Consider the usage every day all summer long, and consider your expectations.

Types Of In-Ground Automatic Pool Cleaners

Robotic Pool Cleaner (Built-In Filter)

These are computer-controlled cleaners that operate independently from your pump and filter system. Robotic cleaners are powered by low-voltage electricity, rather than your pool pump or a booster pump. Since your pump runs less, your energy costs are reduced. Plus, their built-in filter further reduces use of your pool’s primary filtration system lowering energy costs even more, extending the life of both your pump and filter, and increasing the amount of time between filter cleanings. Robotic cleaners are also convenient, you just plug it in, and place it in your pool. It’s that simple. If you want to go even further, some even have remote controls so you can steer the unit from a lounge chair for easy spot cleaning!

Pros: Superior cleaning, energy efficient, eliminates wear on pool equipment
Cons: Higher upfront cost, requires the need to empty filter

Pressure Side (Powerful Cleaning)

Pressure side cleaners attach to the return (pressure side) of your circulation system. This is the side of the plumbing that returns clean, filtered water to your pool. Pressure side pool cleaners use the power of the water pressure to pick up dirt and debris and collect it in an attached bag. Many pools built these days include a dedicated pool cleaner line. When using in conjunction with a separate booster pump, you will get the most powerful pressure side type cleaning.

Pros: Lower cost, easy maintenance, relieves pressure on filter
Cons: Can require extra booster pump, requires pool pump to run

Suction Side (Simple, Yet Highly Effective Cleaning)

Suction side cleaners attach to one of the suction ports in your pool–the plumbing that pulls water out of the pool to be filtered. Usually, this port is the skimmer, or your pool may have a separate vacuum port especially for a pool cleaner. With the hose attached and the filter pump running, suction is created on the underside of the cleaner. The cleaner moves around the pool while vacuuming dirt and debris through the hose and sending it to the pump strainer basket and filter…where it belongs. Dirt and debris are sucked up by the cleaner and then through the hose, past the suction port, through the pipe, and is trapped in the filter pump strainer basket.

Pros: Lower cost, fewer moving parts, easy maintenance
Cons: Increased pressure on filter, requires pool pump to run, and eliminates skimmer functions while cleaner is in use

Choosing The Right Pool Cleaner—That Best Fits Your Pool

Now, with all the basic knowledge of types of automatic pool cleaners, it’s time to choose the right pool cleaner for your pool.

Give us a call or stop by a retail location and learn more about the wide variety of automatic pool cleaners we offer.
We will guide you to choose the best model that best fits your pool this pool season.

So, sit back this pool season, and enjoy your sparkling clean and inviting pool.

Happy Swimming!