Among the many pool accessories and supplies one can own, a vacuum is one of the most important. Cleaning a pool by hand can be effective, but it isn’t nearly as efficient as cleaning it via automation.
Even if you have a high-quality pool brush for scrubbing and a telescoping pole for full-length access, you’ll find the cleaning process much more enjoyable with a trusty vacuum at your side.
The Big Benefits of Automatic Pool Vacuums
Automated pool vacuums are more efficient, and they tend to clean pool surfaces to a much higher degree.
These devices are designed, top to bottom, to keep your pool water’s balance in mind. Every automatic cleaner for pools features algae-controlling mechanics, utilizing automated functions to detect which sections of your pool require extra attention.
Finding the Best Automatic Vacuum for Pools
If you’ve decided to turn to automated pool cleaning, you have several great options to choose from. Even if you’re including an automatic cleaner for pools to complement your pool scrubber and skimmer, each choice is adaptive enough to keep your pool fresh, clean and accessible year-round.
Robotic Pool Vacuums
Robotic pool cleaners are powerful machines boasting high-powered features packed within slim designs. Usable in any pool, this type of vacuum operates independently of a pool’s circulation system — as well as its filter.
These vacuums run on electricity, which means they’re ready to go as soon as you plug them in. Because these units run on low voltages, they’re submersible — making them perfectly designed for underwater cleaning. Robotic pool vacuums are often attached to long power cords, which are cords plugged into a location’s ground-fault circuit interrupter outlet, specifically, and will turn off if they detect any electrical imbalances.
Even though they aren’t attached to your pool’s circulation system, they’re incredibly good at picking up many types of debris — no matter the size. The vacuum simply roves around your pool’s floor and walls — utilizing small brushes to break dirt, grime, algae and other materials free from the surfaces it traverses.
Some robotic pool vacuums even partially breach the pool’s surface — scrubbing the waterline. This type of automatic cleaner for pools even packs durable filter bags, or built-in cartridges, to collect any debris scrubbed free.
This type of pool vacuum is incredibly accessible, price-wise. While basic robotic vacuums certainly get the job done, some models include enhanced mechanics and unique features, such as programmable cleaning cycle interfaces, remote control access and a rapid water release system.
Suction Side Pool Vacuums
This type of automatic vacuum for pools is a great option if you already use a pool skimmer. Also usable with a suction line, the suction side pool vacuum attaches to your main cleaning device. It roves around your pool’s surfaces, directly sucking up any debris it encounters.
While most suction side pool cleaners are designed to collect medium-sized debris, some models can perform acute cleanup actions — sucking up small debris normally not accessible to pool skimmers. Once collected, debris is sent through your pool’s filtration system directly.
Even though this might seem like a lengthy removal process, the suction side pool vacuum has ample suction power. Some are designed with wheels, and others feature durable — yet flexible — rubber disks that skim a pool’s surfaces for tough-to-remove materials, such as algae.
Because suction side cleaners are so versatile, movement-wise, they can “climb” your pool’s walls with little delay. They tend to be affordable, and they’re also cheap to operate and maintain. Still, it’s important to remember that your pool’s filtration system still operates alongside the suction side pool vacuum. You’ll need to keep the filter clean at all times — and you may find that extra cleaning sessions, here and there, are needed.
Pressure Side Pool Vacuums
Pressure side pool vacuums are incredibly common, often noted as the “jet-run floor cleaner” of pool vacuums. They are, indeed, connected to a pool’s return jet — using high-pressure water to scoot around a pool’s depths.
This type of automatic cleaner for pools maneuvers on wheels, collecting debris with a sweep hose — storing the material in a filter bag. Pressure side pool vacuums are incredibly useful for collecting average-size debris, and they’re even capable of collecting large debris normally not reachable by other vacuums.
Pressure side pool vacuums push water through a connected hose, forcing it out through jets attached on their bottom sides. These jets deliver highly concentrated water streams that propel the vacuums forward — loosening algae, grime, dirt and stuck debris as they go.
Even though these vacuums aren’t the best option for eliminating small debris, they can still loosen fine particles attached to a pool’s floor and walls — as their jet-powered water streams are quite powerful. Some pressure side pool vacuums operate without a filter bag, too. They simply “kick up” debris stuck to your pool’s surfaces — then rely on your pool’s filtration system, or even a hand skimmer, for collection.
Pressure side pool vacuums, much like the above-mentioned robotic and suction side pool vacuums, are price-flexible. Basic models often operate on rubber wheels designed for maximum surface grip. More expensive models, meanwhile, may have wheels of higher quality — as well as premium filter bags.
Selecting the Right Automatic Vacuum for Pools
While robotic, suction side and pressure side pool vacuums are all excellent options, each type of automatic vacuum for pools offers features that might better suit your pool’s specific needs.
A robotic pool vacuum, for instance, might be a better option if you tend to encounter algae collections along your pool’s surface tile. It’s also a good option if you’d like to avoid using your pool’s filtration system entirely.
A suction side pool vacuum, meanwhile, might be the best choice if you’d need a device capable of dislodging materials stuck to your pool’s walls. As for the pressure side pool vacuums — they are probably a good choice if you prefer collecting debris by hand for a little more control, though they’re also capable collectors themselves.
Regardless of your choice, robotic, suction side and pressure side pool vacuums are incredibly useful to keep around. Not only are they worthwhile in terms of automated cleaning, but they can also be better cleaners than handheld devices. If you’re looking for a great addition to your pool supply tools — a pool vacuum should be at the top of your list.