Cleanliness is the most vital aspect of pool ownership, and not just in terms of chemicals and pH balance. Pools are magnets for dirt and debris, and while your filter and pump systems are constantly circulating water and collecting sediment to clear the water, dirt and debris will still gather on your pool floor and walls.
Pool cleaners are used to remove the messes that constantly show up in your pool, making them an integral part of your overall cleaning system. By choosing the right type of pool cleaner for your budget and needs, you can ensure an effective and efficient way to keep your pool clean and clear each day throughout the swimming season.
Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered! Read on to learn about the various types of pool cleaners available, along with some advice on which type may be best for you.
Types of Pool Cleaners
The vast majority of pool cleaners can be classified into four distinct types, each with their own characteristics and methods of operation.
Suction Side Pool Cleaners
These automatic pool cleaners connect to the suction line in your pool and use the suction power from your filter pump in order to move around the pool. When in motion, suction side pool cleaners gather up dirt and debris, which is then sent to your pool’s filtering system.
Pros: Operation is simple, and they have a low amount of moving parts and maintenance. Many side suction pool cleaners are relatively inexpensive.
Cons: This pool cleaner is essentially an extension of your pool’s filtering system, and thus creates an increased load on the system itself — potentially shortening its lifespan while increasing overall energy costs.
Pressure Side Pool Cleaners
Pressure side pool cleaners are another automatic type that work in the opposite way of side suction models. Rather than connect to the suction line, these cleaners attach to the pressure side instead, and use the outflowing water pressure to move along your pool. Any dirt and sediment vacuumed up goes into a fine mesh bag that you empty later.
Pros: Pressure side pool cleaners are easy to maintain and operate, and typically have a low price point. They also reduce the load on your filtration system by capturing dirt and debris on their own.
Cons: The filter pump must be engaged for them to run, and many filter pumps will require a booster to provide the necessary pressure to propel the cleaner, which is an added cost.
Robotic Pool Cleaners
Robotic pool cleaners are the definitive automatic pool cleaner. These operate independently from your pool’s filter and pump system and come equipped with smart technology that allows them to effectively clean a pool on their own, which often includes scrubbing and cleaning everything from the floors to the waterline.
Robotic cleaners collect and store dirt and sediment within the unit and can be either corded or battery-powered. Many models come with smartphone apps that let you program cleaning schedules, along with expanded cleaning capabilities that include a sprayer to loosen and remove dirt.
Pros: Most robotic cleaners are very energy-efficient and require the least amount of oversight and operation from the user. They also tend to have the best cleaning abilities, and usually clean the entirety of the pool’s surfaces.
Cons: The only real drawback with robotic cleaners is the higher cost.
Manual Pool Cleaners
Manual cleaners are the oldest type of pool cleaner and require the most work from the user. These attach to the suction line of your pump system, with the cleaning device attached to the end of a long pole so you can reach the bottom of the pool. The cleaner is then guided by hand along the bottom of the pool, vacuuming up dirt and debris into the filtering system.
Pros: Manual cleaners are the most inexpensive type of pool cleaner and are generally effective if you put the effort in.
Cons: Inconvenience. Cleaning ability is reliant upon the user and still places added stress on the filter and pump system.
Which Type Should I Get?
If your pool stays mostly clean due to its location and surrounding landscape, side suction and pressure side models will often perform adequately, especially if your pool has a consistent shape throughout. However, if your pump system is somewhat weak, a side suction cleaner would be best in most cases.
If you are willing to accommodate the higher upfront cost, and wish to have the most convenient pool cleaner, a robotic model is ideal — even more so if your pool has an irregular shape that may pose difficulties for other cleaners. Most robotic cleaners can “learn” the shape of your pool and create an optimal cleaning program for each cycle.
If you’re looking to save money, and don’t mind doing the work on your own, a manual pool cleaner should suffice.
We at Blue Haven stress the importance of keeping your pool clean! If you’re in need of pool cleaning supplies, or require any work on your pool, please send us a message, give us a call at 405-844-7500, or drop by and see us at our Edmond location.