There are three main types of automatic pool cleaners, the robotic cleaner, suction cleaner, and the pressure pool cleaner. There’s also a manual cleaner that you can use if you prefer a more hands-on approach.
In this blog, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of each and help you decide which type of pool cleaner is best for you and your pool. Also, feel free to call or come into Poolwerx to discuss which cleaner would be the best option for you.
The automatic robotic cleaner is fully independent, meaning it does not require any hoses or connection to the pool filtration system. All you need to do is plug it into a GFCI protected outlet near the pool and put the robot into the water.
Pros: This automatic cleaner is very easy to use and it can be programmed to do the type of cleaning job you want it to do. These are self-contained, non-equipment dependent units that have their own motors to provide power to the wheels or tracks that move around in the pool.
It cleans the pool floor automatically by picking up dirt and leaves. There is also a brush on the bottom that scrubs the pool in order to get a deeper clean and free the pool from caked on dirt. A filtration bag, in the robot, collects all the debris and should be emptied after each use. This option is great for pools with no skimmer basket. Plus, the robotic cleaner has its own motor inside which is very energy efficient. Pool owners see the difference in their energy bills after switching to this type of pool cleaner.
The drawback for these types of cleaners has always been that they are a “use and remove” type of cleaner. You put the unit into the pool, push a button to start a cleaning cycle, and take it out and clean the filter or bag when the cycle is completed. You would then leave it out of the pool until the next time you wanted to run it.
Our flagship robotic pool cleaner, the Polaris Alpha iQ+, provides strategic cleaning for a brilliantly clean pool you can clearly see. The ALPHA™ iQ+ calculates the most efficient amount of time to eliminate debris while collecting data to make automatic adjustments as it cleans. Information is then sent to your iAquaLink® app, where you have full access and greater capabilities including, monitoring cleaning status, checking the water temperature and even spot cleaning targeted areas of your pool.
The automatic suction cleaner is also a great option for most types of pools. It has a suction hose that floats at the top of the surface as the cleaner moves around the pool floor picking up leaves and dirt. It is easy to use once you understand how it operates. The hose gets connected to the skimmer or dedicated cleaner suction line while the cleaner goes into the water and sinks to the pool floor. This allows the cleaner to suck dirt and leaves from the bottom of the pool, through the unit and its hose, and then through the skimmer or pool’s suction plumbing and pump basket, where it ultimately ends up in the pool filter. The leaves, twigs, and larger debris would typically be strained out by an inline leaf catcher to prevent clogs in the suction plumbing. Debris that goes through the inline strainer would be collected by the pump basket.
After it’s done cleaning, it’s important to empty out the skimmer and pump baskets, where all the leaves and debris that were collected are stored. This is a very simple task that ensures your suction cleaner is always performing at its best.
The drawback to this type of pool cleaner is that it is completely reliant on the amount of suction supplied. As the baskets or filter clog up, the efficiency of the pool cleaner is reduced. Any leak or break in the unit, hose, plumbing or pool equipment will also reduce its effectiveness. They are a viable option if you understand and can live with their limitations. They are not the best option if you have a lot of trees or if your pool gets a significant amount of debris in it.
The automatic pressure cleaner is the best option for pools that collect large debris like twigs, acorns, pebbles, bugs, and leaves. The pressure cleaner represents the vast majority of automatic pool cleaners sold and used in the United States. It works best for pools that are under trees or in very windy areas. To use this type of cleaner your pool needs to have a pressure line, and depending on the type you buy, it might also require a separate booster pump.
The attached bag needs to be emptied regularly for this cleaner to work properly. The sweep hose that is attached to the cleaner is great for pushing debris out of hard to reach areas like steps and corners.
If you are looking for the most economical option, then the handheld pool cleaner might be right for you. This cleaner works similar to vacuuming your home. You’ll have to submerge the vacuum head inside the pool to filter the water and suck the debris on the bottom of the pool to clean it. It can be time-consuming and tiring depending on how big your pool is, and sinking a vacuum hose can be difficult. But if saving money is more important than saving time, then the handheld cleaner is the best option for you.