We all love the pool season and look forward to it. You and your kids bring out the pool noodle, goggles, the bathing suits and get ready to enjoy the best summertime activity. Not just for fun but swimming is said to be one of the best ways to stay fit. But all this is not going to happen if you don’t maintain your pool throughout the season. Skimming twice a day might be enough to keep the pool free of leaves and other debris. But a weekly thorough cleaning is mandatory to not only ensure the pool is clean but safe too.
Pool maintenance and safety
Maintaining a clean pool is critical to your health. While daily manual skimming can get rid of large debris you need to ensure the pool walls, surfaces and the water is cleaned regularly. With every swim, the walls, water, and the deck are exposed to chemicals, oils, and other invisible impurities. Though strenuous pool cleaning might not be how you plan to spend summer afternoons, keeping a few tips in mind will ensure your pool is safe. An automatic pool cleaner can save you a lot of time and effort. We have machines to do our dishes, wash our clothes and clean our homes then why waste precious summer time cleaning the pool and not enjoying it. If you have had enough of hard work with the manual cleaners you should start evaluating the automatic cleaners. They clean the pool effectively.
Top Pressure Side Pool Cleaners List
This is a pressure-side cleaner for in-ground pools only and comes with a 3-wheel, all-wheel drive. It moves around with the pressure of the clean water coming through the pump. The cleaner works well with all surfaces including concrete, vinyl, and fiberglass. The hose that comes with the product is about 31 feet long. The sweep scrubber cleans the surfaces effectively. It has a back valve that helps to navigate the corners and drains easily.
- No booster pump required
- The hose does not get tangled
- You can control and set the RPMs by adjusting the restrictor discs
- Works only on in-ground pools
- Cleaning the bag might seem a hassle and it typically needs to be replaced once a year
A popular pressure-side cleaner with a 3-wheel, all-wheel drive this one from Polaris will cost you a little less than their 380 model. The 31-feet is long enough for most pools. It requires an additional booster pump and has 3 nozzles compared to 4 in a 380. It is a great device if you are looking for something that cleans fast. It can clean your pool in under 3 hours only. It has a special filter and a wider inlet that helps you clean all kinds of debris and stops them from reaching your filter.
- Has a fast operation of under 3 hours
- Back valves help navigate corners
- Is lightweight and thus cleans the walls, stairs and the floor
- Requires an additional booster pump
- Is not belt driven and thus has more moving parts. Which might result in higher maintenance cost over the years
- Being lightweight the hose might get tangled
This is one of Hayward’s most popular models and is made for in-ground pools only. With Haywards patented Aqua Drive Technology it claims to make the cleaning process more effective with efficient coverage. The low friction wheels help protect the pool surface. It comes with an extra-large bag that helps in collecting everything from acorns, leaves, toys to sand too.
- Lightweight and a quieter operation
- Low friction wheels protect your pool surface
- External booster pump drives up the cost
- Water pressure adjustment needed. Gets stuck on the stairs with too little pressure and keeps climbing out of the pool at higher pressures.
A lightweight and efficient automatic cleaner the Kreepy Krauly LL505PMG is easy to install. Sweep hose covers the areas that cleaner might not be able to reach. The highlight of the product are its 4 wheels that have enough traction, provide better stability and movement. It also comes with a large capacity bag that helps clean out larger debris too.
- The 4-wheels help give better movement. With the front wheel drive providing easy traction on inclined surfaces.
- The large capacity bag requires less frequent cleaning
- Installation is relatively easier
- Booster pump needs to be bought separately taking the costs up
- Its foam scrubbers tend to get worn out easily and require replacement
A pressure cleaner that will suit every budget the XtremepowerUS is a lightweight pressure side pool cleaner. The lightweight and affordability along with efficient cleaning is a big plus but once it breaks down it is gone for good. You might need to replace the device after each season. It has thus been called by a lot of users as a disposable cleaner much like disposable razors.
- A lightweight design
- Effective cleaning
- Easy maintenance
- Lacks durability
- The material of the hose is too stiff
- Not effective in cleaning large debris
- Requires booster pump of 1hp
A mean machine the Pentair Kreepy Krauly Racer was the most expensive pressure pool cleaner we reviewed. The device is built for performance and boasts of several features not found in other cleansers. It has 4-wheels and has both forward and reverse motion. Its tires are extra wide making it easy for the device to roll over drains, get ample traction on tricky areas and stay upright under water. It’s LED lights are an interesting feature which will make cleaning the pool at night possible. Though we found it more of a fun feature only.
- An easy to grip handle that makes lifting or using the machine easier
- A quick and powerful operation that can clean in about 1-2 hours
- 4-jets help in cleaning for effectively
- Requires booster pump
- We found the hose to be rigid
- Has rotating scrubbing brushes that might damage vinyl or fiberglass, best for concrete surfaces only
We found Pentair’s Kreepy Krauly Great White to be a great fit for both affordability and reliability. You can connect the hose line and vacuum to either your pool skimmer or a dedicated suction port. You can adjust the suction power manually with the vacuum regulator. It has a bristle drive that moves with oscillating motion and scrubs the surface clean. The vacuum suction picks out the debris on the pool floor. It works well on all types of surfaces. This design works well in helping the cleaner navigate drains and walls but we felt it did not clean out crevices effectively.
- Easy to install
- Fewer pieces and a sturdy design
- Took us about 6 hours to clean a medium size pool
- Does not clean steps
- Ineffective on pools that have a lot of debris
This one is going to be not just a cleaner but a great pool toy/accessory especially if you have kids. A pressure-side cleaner it is designed for above ground pools about 5 feet deep. It operates with the pressure of the clean water returning to your pool and does not require a booster pump. Polaris’ patented jet sweep technology ensures that it works by removing debris by blowing water against the wall and then the jets blow the loosened debris into the filter bag. It works best with vinyl surfaces.
- By far the easiest to install
- A really quiet operation
- Effectively cleans the pool in about 3 hours
- Might not clean tough to reach creases
- Tends to run around in circles occasionally
A good option if you are looking for something that’s affordable and effective. As it does not require a booster pump it will go on saving you money. The cleaner from Zodiac is built for in-ground pools and uses clean water coming from the pool’s pump. It comes with a 32-in hose which works well with all medium sized pools. Works great on all kinds of debris and in the process helps protect your pool’s pump and filter.
- Affordable and effective
- Does not need a booster pump
- Can clean a medium sized pool in just under 3 hours
- Work well only on Vinyl and Fiberglass surfaces only
- Tends to trip over pool steps
- Some users complain of lack of durability
Here are a few other points you can keep in mind when buying an automatic pool cleaner.
Types of automatic pool cleaners
Like the name suggests these are connected to the pressure side of your pool’s pumping system. The clean water coming in through your pool’s pump propels them around. As the cleaner moves around the pool, the pressure forces the debris and dirt into the attached bag. Most pressure-side cleaners come with a tail sweep that helps clean the narrow areas. These cleaners are more powerful than the suction-side cleaners and are very effective in cleaning large debris. Most of them come with a big filter bag that takes away the stress from your pool’s filter system. Based on your pool and associated cleaning needs you can also get a separate booster pump. We have reviewed some of the most popular pressure-side cleaners in this article to help you pick one that best suits your needs and budget.
Suction-side pool cleaners
These cleaners are attached to the suction side of your pool pump and are propelled around the pool by the suction force. They are not as powerful as the pressure-side cleaners or the robotic cleaners. But these cleaners do offer the advantage of being affordable and requiring less frequent maintenance, on account of the fewer number of moving parts. With suction-side pool cleaners, your pool’s filter system gets stressed as a larger volume of debris is pushed into it in a short time. Some users do feel that they are better at scrubbing the floor surfaces compared to pressure-pool cleaners.
These are the most advanced of the three. It requires the least bit of intervention and can be plugged in and start the cleaning process. All you need to do is just connect it to the power source and lower it into the pool and let is work its magic. The cleaner pumps the water through the floor and the resulting suction force propels the cleaner around. An advantage they have over the other types of automatic cleaners is that they can be programmed and can be used over a chosen portion of the pool only. A pressure-side cleaner might need rescuing around the stairs and other inclines, the robotic cleaners are the best to clean walls. With all its advanced features and intelligence, these are the most expensive too.
- Type and size of your pool
The size of your pool will play an important role in your pick of the automatic cleaner. You need to ensure that the length of the hose is long enough to cover your pool and the cleaner can reach every corner of the pool. In case your favorite cleaner comes with a hose that is not long enough you can buy an extra hose and assemble it right when installing the cleaner. The shape and design of the pool along with the size as some cleaners can’t navigate to corners as easily. Another thing to consider if your pool is in-ground or above-ground as cleaners are designed differently for both. Also, check if the cleaner you like is right for the surface of your pool. Some cleaners work on all kinds of surfaces while others work well with specific surfaces types only.
- Your budget and overall cost
While you look for and buy a cleaner that fits your budget; you also need to take into account the cost of maintenance and running. The choice should as much depend on all associated costs involved. We have listed above some cleaners that require a booster pump and also the ones that do not. A booster pump will not only be an extra cost upfront it might cost you a lot in the long run. With booster pumps, you might even need some help in installation from an expert. A good idea is to make a checklist and then see how many boxes get ticked by the cleaner of your choice. This will ensure that any additional accessory you have your eye on will get accounted for in your budget. You can make your final choice based on which cleaner will work well with the existing pump and filter system.
- Speed and efficiency
Pressure-side automatic cleaners that do not require a booster pump have low initial cost as well as low running cost. But they might take longer than the booster-pump cleaners to do the same job. With a booster-pump cleaner, you get a more powerful operation with your pool getting cleaned in under 2-3 hours. Most pressure-side pool cleaners are effective in cleaning large debris like leaves and acorns. You might also select a cleaner based on its cleaning cycle. You can choose between one that does a thorough job with a longer cleaning cycle or one that quickly and efficiently cleans your pool with a shorter cycle.
We have listed the pool cleaners that are easy to install. You can check the product manuals that can be found easily on the manufacturer’s sites. If needed you can also consider getting a professional to initially set it up for you.
While you make up your mind on which pressure-side pool cleaner you like and will be right for you. Also, keep in mind a few things to ensure your pool cleaner stays in top shape.
- Clean the bag regularly. Take it out and dry it under the sun, once dried get rid of all the debris. For a clogged up bag, clean it with a hose to get rid of the clogged debris and hard to clean dirt.
- To avoid the hose from tangling, detach it from the cleaner and stretch it out in the sun for a day. But if the hose appears to have become too brittle it is best to replace it.
- In some cases, you might need to get the cleaner professionally serviced.
It is imperative to your health and safety to keep your pool clean. Do not wait for too long between each cleaning follow a once a week cleaning.
Enjoy a clean, sparkling pool and have a happy summer!