Having the best pool cleaner is an essential part of keeping your swimming pool safe to use. Although pool filtration systems are enough to remove most of the everyday debris, you will need to skim the pool’s surface once leaves, dirt and sand fall into it. To prevent scum buildup, you will have to brush the steps, walls and tile line of the pool. You also need to monitor the pool’s pH, cyanuric acid and chlorine levels as well as its total alkalinity to ensure the water is clean and safe to swim in.
If you don’t keep your swimming pool clean, there is a big risk that the water will become a medium for harmful bacteria, making the pool unsafe to use. The water will also become cloudy and lose its clarity when it becomes filled with contaminants, making the pool look unattractive.
A dirty pool can also become physically damaged. The buildup of scum can not only corrode the pool’s lining but also overwhelm the filters, which can burn out the motors, resulting in damage that costs hundreds or even thousands of dollars to fix. Thus, a good pool cleaner can protect your investment in the swimming pool so that you can continue to enjoy it for years to come.
Pool cleaners can reduce the work involved in regular cleaning and maintenance. There is a wide variety of them available and in this article we will offer pool cleaner reviews to help you choose the one that best meets your needs.
Which Type of Pool Cleaner Do You Need?
- 1 Which Type of Pool Cleaner Do You Need?
- 2 Top 5 Best Pool Cleaner For Above Ground Pool Reviews
- 2.1 Hayward 500 Aqua Bug AboveGround Automatic Pool Cleaner
- 2.2 Zodiac Ranger Suction Side Automatic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner
- 2.3 Xtremepower US In / Above Ground Automatic Swimming Pool Cleaner Vacuum Suction Climb Wall 32’ Hose
- 2.4 Aquabot APRVJR PoolRover Junior Robotic AboveGround Pool Cleaner
- 2.5 Polaris Vac-Sweep 65 6-130-00 Pressure Side Automatic Pool Cleaner for Above Ground Vinyl Pools
- 3 Best Inground Pool Cleaner Reviews
- 3.1 BARACUDA G3 W03000 Advanced Suction Side Automatic Pool Cleaner
- 3.2 Hayward PHS21CST Aquanaut 200 Suction Drive 2-Wheel Pool Cleaner with 33 Feet Hose Kit.
- 3.3 Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner
- 3.4 Dolphin 99996356 Triton Robotic Pool Cleaner with Caddy Swivel Cable.
- 3.5 Hayward RC9950GR TigerShark Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner
- 3.6 Dolphin Premier
- 3.7 Aqua Products ABJR Aquabot Junior In-Ground Robotic Pool Cleaner
- 4 Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Pool Cleaner
- 5 How Does an Automatic Swimming Pool Cleaner work?
- 6 Conclusion
There is a variety of automatic pool cleaners available that will clean your pool independently once you install them in the pool. They are divided into three categories: suction-side and pressure-side cleaners operate using power from the pool’s systems while robotic cleaners operate using their own power.
Suction-Side Pool Cleaners
This type of cleaner is essentially a vacuum that is powered by the main pool pump. It consists of a hose and a cleaning unit with a filter bag. The hose is connected to the skimmer of the pool pump directly or to a dedicated suction line. Once the cleaner unit is operating, it moves in a random pattern across the sides and bottom of the pool. It sucks up debris and collects it in the filter bag.
Suction-side cleaners are best used in pools that are screened in and the debris is mainly sand or dirt with just a few leaves. In addition, if the filter suffers from low flow rate, the pool cleaner may not work as effectively. You may have to contact the manufacturer if your filter’s horsepower is 3/4-hp or less to determine if the system meets the required flow rate.
Pressure-Side Pool Cleaners
This cleaner also consists of a hose and filter unit. The hose is connected to the filter system either through the side intake that is attached to the pump filter or through the skimmer. The cleaner is propelled by the pressure of the water being pumped back into the pool. The unit’s hose sucks in debris and dirt, with large pieces being captured by the pump basket or skimmer basket, while the filter captures finer debris. The tail acts as an agitator to stir up small debris from the floor so that it can be vacuumed.
If you choose this type of cleaner, you may need to consult with the manufacturer to see if your pool’s pump can handle the additional load; otherwise, a booster pump may need to be added. However, this will require that you install a separate hose connection.
Robotic Pool Cleaners
These cleaners have their own internal motor, control unit with processor and pump; thus, their operation is independent of the pool’s filtration system. The cleaner can also learn the shape and size of your pool, allowing it to clean more efficiently than other types. The cleaner may be powered from an outlet or run on rechargeable batteries.
The robots are programmed to move across the pool in a predetermined cycle, and then automatically shut off. Some models also include a remote so that you can control its movements during the cleaning process. The cleaner sucks in water as it moves and filters it of dirt and debris, and then pumps it out again from the top. The debris is trapped in filter bags for later disposal.
Top 5 Best Pool Cleaner For Above Ground Pool Reviews
Hayward 500 Aqua Bug AboveGround Automatic Pool Cleaner
The attractive bug-shaped Hayward 500 is one of the best above ground pool cleaner models on the market, and will spare you the hassle of manually cleaning your pool. It can be installed in less than ten minutes with no tools and no additional parts to buy, since everything you need is included, even the hose. The Aqua Bug is energy-efficient since it runs off your existing filtration system with no need for energy-consuming booster pumps. It also runs quietly due to its patented turbine/gearing system.
The Hayward 500 Aqua Bug features programmed SmartDrive steering to ensure that your pool is thoroughly cleaned in the least time possible. Water is pulled from the bottom while it moves to improve water circulation and ensures that your pool remains cleaner. Its head comes with a bumper ring that minimizes friction when it bumps into walls, ensuring that it moves away smoothly and resumes its programmed cleaning routine with minimal disruption.
This pool cleaner is a “like” for its ease of use as well as the minimal maintenance involved; you don’t even need to clean out any filter bags.
Zodiac Ranger Suction Side Automatic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner
The Zodiac above-ground pool cleaner works well even with pools whose bottoms are not perfectly flat. It is designed to be easy to use, with only a single moving part that also ensures quiet operation while it is cleaning the pool. The Zodiac is also shipped pre-assembled so that all you have to do is install it right out of the box, with no tools required, and it even comes with 32 inches of hose.
The Zodiac cleans pools with dished-out bottoms with a depth of up to 72 inches. It features a specially designed deflector wheel that is intended to ensure that every corner of your pool is cleaned, and does not get caught in ladders, corners and steps. The diaphragm is the only moving part, which eliminates wheels, gears and flappers to simplify operation and make it easier to maintain the unit; however, you will have to backwash or clean your pool filter immediately after cleaning. To ensure that the cleaner operates at peak performance, the automatic flow control valve self-regulates water flow.
The Zodiac is a “like” for generally working very well to handle even tougher cleaning jobs such as pools that have been neglected.
Xtremepower US In / Above Ground Automatic Swimming Pool Cleaner Vacuum Suction Climb Wall 32’ Hose
This basic pool cleaner is one of the best swimming pool vacuum models and provides you with good value for money. It effectively cleans your pool while being one of the more affordable units on the market. It is easy to install and will automatically clean the walls and floor of your pool of all sorts of debris, including leaves, dirt, sand, pebbles and even bugs. You need no additional tools for installation and it takes just a few minutes; it also comes with 32-ft of hose.
The XtremepowerUS features single moving part design to ensure quiet and efficient operation while minimizing maintenance time and repair costs. The body comes pre-assembled; all you have to do is connect the hose and the disc and it is ready for installation. However, it requires at least a 1600 gal/h or a ¾-hp pump to work properly.
This automatic pool cleaner is a “like” for pool owners on a budget who want a unit that will give them a good return on their investment, but a “dislike” for those who want more features.
Aquabot APRVJR PoolRover Junior Robotic AboveGround Pool Cleaner
This robotic pool cleaner saves you the trouble of having to deal with units that need heavy hoses. The autonomous Aquabot Pool Rover is powered by a 24-volt motor, and thus, does not need to be connected to your pool’s filtration system, reducing your electricity costs. In addition, its effective filtering capacity also saves you money by reducing the amount of chemicals you need to keep your water safe to swim in.
The Pool Rover is designed to clean your pool in the shortest time possible, and the job can generally be completed in less than an hour. It also has a programmable guidance system that allows the unit to clean pools of any shape, as well as extra-wide wheels that prevent it from getting stuck in corners and ladders as well as rolling over any footprints. For safety, the unit also has a two-hour shutoff timer.
Although the Aquabot Pool Rover has gotten, on average, mixed robotic pool cleaner reviews, it still rates as a “like” due to the convenience it provides to responsible pool owners.
Polaris Vac-Sweep 65 6-130-00 Pressure Side Automatic Pool Cleaner for Above Ground Vinyl Pools
This Polaris Vac-Sweep effectively cleans pools with uneven floors up to five feet in depth. It comes with 24 feet of float hose and a 1.5-ft threaded return line, allowing you to install the unit in just a few minutes, and runs off the existing filter system.
The Polaris Vac-Sweep features a proprietary design that shoots powerful jets of water to loosen encrusted debris in inaccessible areas such as corners to ensure a thorough cleaning. It also comes with a removable filter bag that is large enough to trap leaves and bigger pieces of debris such as pebbles, before they reach your filtration system. This helps prolong the life of the system since it does not have to deal with hard debris that can damage it.
Although the Polaris Vac-Sweep also has a relatively low average customer rating on Amazon, it still qualifies as a “like” because it is easy to use and maintain.
Best Inground Pool Cleaner Reviews
BARACUDA G3 W03000 Advanced Suction Side Automatic Pool Cleaner
The Baracuda G3 is one of the best inground pool cleaner models, with a simple but effective design that efficiently cleans your pool, and it works well even with lower horsepower pumps. It is powerful enough to handle tougher and larger debris such as pebbles, twigs and leaves.
The Baracuda G3 has only one moving part, the Diaphragm, which ensures that it performs more efficiently while requiring less flow. It also features a Wheel Deflector to help it navigate tight spaces as well as scuff-resistant hoses to ensure that the sides of your pool are not scuffed while the unit is working. The G3’s performance is further enhanced by the 36-Fin Disc that ensures that the cleaner more closely adheres to the pool’s floor and does not get entangled in fittings, lights and other features.
The G3 is rated a “like” for its simplicity and ease of use, which have helped to make it one of the more popular automatic pool cleaners on the market.
Hayward PHS21CST Aquanaut 200 Suction Drive 2-Wheel Pool Cleaner with 33 Feet Hose Kit.
The Hayward Aquanaut 200 works with pool pumps of various speeds to provide consistent performance. It is also designed for ease of installation and use, so that you can start cleaning your pool in just a few minutes.
The Aquanaut 200 features V-Flex technology that ensures it can handle virtually any type of debris without becoming clogged, while still operating at maximum power no matter what the flow. You can choose from a variety of pre-programmed cleaning sequences to ensure that the pool is thoroughly cleaned, and it even climbs the walls. The compact cleaner body also features a unique adjustable roller skirt that is designed to work with uneven pool surfaces to maintain a consistent suction power.
The Aquanaut 200 is easily a “like” for its durability and reliability, as well as its ease of use. It is designed to keep your pool clean for years.
Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner
The Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 is an effective pool cleaner that will clean your pool in the shortest time possible (three hours or less). It is powered by double jets to increase its vacuum power and is easily installed by connecting it to a dedicated pressure line. With a compact design that ensures the unit’s durability, it is one of the best automatic pool vacuum cleaners available on the market.
The kit includes a single chamber filter bag and 31 feet of feed hose. The filter bag is large enough to accommodate even larger pieces of debris such as acorns and pebbles, capturing them before they reach your filter or pump basket. However, it requires a booster pump that must be bought separately to operate.
Since the Vac-Sweep 280 requires the added expense of a separate booster pump, it ranks as a “dislike”. However, if you already have a booster pump or are willing to bear the extra cost, this is one of the better pool cleaners on the market.
Dolphin 99996356 Triton Robotic Pool Cleaner with Caddy Swivel Cable.
The Dolphin Triton is one of the best robotic inground pool cleaner models that can clean larger pools of up to 50 feet long. It cleans your pool in just three hours and is designed to start cleaning straight out of the box with no installation needed. All you have to do is plug it in (60 feet of cable is included). Since it is does not have to be connected to any of the pool’s systems to run, it is energy-efficient and affordable to operate.
The tri-function Dolphin Triton does not just vacuum and scrub your pool but also filters the water to ensure that it is sanitary. Debris is delivered to a fine porosity cartridge filter system that springs up for easy cleaning. The unit is also self-programming to ensure optimal scanning of the pool for complete cleaning coverage. The kit comes with a caddy for easy storage and transport of the cleaner.
The Dolphin Triton definitely ranks as a “like” for sheer convenience since it operates autonomously once it is placed in the pool.
Hayward RC9950GR TigerShark Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner
The Hayward TigerShark provides you with an energy-efficient way to clean your pool, since it uses less electricity than other pressure-side cleaners, reducing electricity costs by up to 94 percent. It runs on a 24 volt DC motor and requires no installation; simply plug in the unit and place it in the pool to start cleaning.
The TigerShark uses smart technology to ensure that your pool is thoroughly cleaned. Its on-board computer determines the most efficient cleaning pattern after calculating how large your pool is, and cleans on a three-hour cycle. As it vacuums, the cleaner also scrubs and brushes the surfaces of the pool, including hard-to-reach places such as the corners and steps. Debris is captured in a filter cartridge that is removable for easy cleaning.
The Hayward TigerShark rates a “like” despite the high price, since it will make it easy to maintain your pool’s cleanliness and hygiene for years.
This incredibly advanced pool cleaner offers you a wide range of cleaning options with the convenience of no-installation robotic cleaning. It is also very energy-efficient and can reduce energy operating costs by as much as 87 percent. The Dolphin Premier runs on a 24 volt DC motor that uses 90% less electricity than cleaners that run off booster pumps, while providing outstanding cleaning power.
One of the Dolphin Premier’s major features is its variety of cleaning options. You can choose the type of media that works best with a particular cleaning job, with options including micro-filters for removing contaminants such as algae and fine debris, and an oversized debris bag for bigger debris such as twigs and leaves. The power cables swivel 360-degrees to ensure that there is no tangling during the cleaning cycle. The Premiere also has smart technology to ensure the most thorough cleaning coverage, as its Smart-Nav on-board software automatically calculates the optimal cleaning pattern.
The Dolphin Premier ranks as a “like” if you can shoulder the hefty price, since it has the richest feature set to ensure the most convenience.
Aqua Products ABJR Aquabot Junior In-Ground Robotic Pool Cleaner
The Aqua Products Aquabot Junior is a compact robotic pool cleaner that is designed to clean pools of up to 40-feet in size, no matter what their configuration or surface. You can start cleaning with just the touch of a button, and the job will be completed in two to three hours. It not only cleans but also filters the water to purify it of debris and other contaminants to make the pool sanitary and safe to use. It cuts your operating costs by as much as 50% since you use substantially less energy and chemicals.
The Aquabot Junior is a self-contained robotic cleaner that does not have to be connected to your pool’s filter system. It has an in-board filtration system with a capacity of 34-quarts that allows it to accommodate even large pieces of debris and has an hourly filtration rate of 4,500 gallons. It can also climb up to 90-degrees, allowing it to more thoroughly clean the walls of the pool. The filter can also remove contaminants as small as two microns. The kit also comes with a 51-foot thermoplastic rubber power cord.
The Aquabot Junior is an easy “like” despite the relatively hefty price tag simply because of its range of advanced features that make maintaining the pristine quality of your pool easy.
Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Pool Cleaner
When choosing the best pool cleaner, it ultimately comes down to your personal preference. However, there are a number of factors that you should consider to ensure that you are getting the right model for your particular type of swimming pool.
The type of debris in your pool. Suction-side cleaners are more effective in sucking up smaller debris particles such as sand, while pressure-side models are more effective in dealing with larger debris such as leaves.
The size of the pool. Suction and pressure cleaners that use hoses to suck up the debris work best with smaller pools due to the limited length of the hoses. For larger pools, robotic cleaners may be the best choice.
Cost of operation. Robotic pool cleaners cost the least to operate since they don’t require the pool’s pump to be on while they are working. While they are also the most expensive, the lower energy bills may be enough to offset the higher initial cost.
How Does an Automatic Swimming Pool Cleaner work?
In this article, we have tried to provide you with everything you need to know to choose the best pool cleaner for your swimming pool. We hope that the information presented was helpful to you and helped you to make your decision as to what is the best automatic pool cleaner that meets your requirements.