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An automated pool cleaner is like a vacuum cleaner that is used to clean swimming pools by collecting debris and sediment from the swimming pool, primarily without human intervention. These automatic cleaners come in a variety of shapes and sizes including robot pool cleaners, suction cleaners, and pressure cleaners. These types of pool cleaners are distinguished by various factors such as the power and drive mechanisms.
Robotic pool cleaners are different from the suction and pressure models in that they are mostly independent from your pool’s equipment. Robot cleaners use energy from your home and remove many of the dependencies on the existing equipment such as the filtration system. They work well in cleaning grime and debris throughout the pool as they can easily maneuver sides and steps.
The small and large debris that contaminate your pool can be removed with the help of Robot cleaners. It is done using its filter to get rid of the different sizes of the debris in the pool. With the help of the suction system that the robot cleaner has, it can draw water inside its body and then pushes out clean and clear water on its other end of the suction.
Various designs, such as 4-wheel drive models are particularly adept at moving around all shapes of pools to ensure they get every square inch clean. This is helpful in eliminating the need to manually brush the sides of the pool to remove grime. Like with most products, some models are better at cleaning different areas of the pool including the floor, steps, or even all the way up to the waterline.
The length of the power cord primarily determines how big of a pool the robot will clean. Robots normally come with cords reaching 50+ feet to ensure they can cover large areas of your pool. The location of the outlet greatly influences how adaptable the cleaner will be. Those that have multiple outlets may find that they need to use different outlets to clean different parts of the pool.
You may need to clean the pool more frequently using the robot cleaner due to its small size and design. They are very good at picking up debris and dirt, but many find that the best results are found by running the robot on a frequent schedule. Due to their autonomous nature and schedulers on many models, this is a simple process that is mostly hands off. Maintaining your robot is of paramount importance in ensuring you get the most out of your machine (see How Long Do Robotic Pool Cleaners Last for more).
If you’re interested in learning more about robot pool cleaners, take a look at our comparison of some of the best robot pool cleaners for in-ground pools.
Suction cleaners do an excellent job of keeping the pool clean by using the suction of the circulation pump to suck the debris from the floor hence enhance its efficiency. These are commonly less expensive since they do not require additional equipment, thus increasing your electrical usage efficiency. The parts of suction cleaners are also not costly and are easy to repair.
Unfortunately, the simplicity of these models also comes with a cost. Suction cleaners use the pool’s equipment, thus draining the pool’s resources as it works. The pool’s main drain filter uses the same source as the pool cleaner. The simultaneous load can impact the cleaning capacity of the built-in pool functions. While this isn’t a huge concern, it is something of which pool owners should be aware.
Pressure cleaners work by propelling existing water through the cleaner to move it around the pool as it cleans. The filtration bag (often straight up like a shark fin) collects the debris as the pressure cleaner moves around the pool. This works well as it doesn’t use the pool’s resources. Unfortunately, pressure side cleaners often require a dedicated booster pump installed. If your pool comes with a booster pump, it’s an easy decision on which to use. If not, you’ll want to look into a robot or suction model.
Typically, pressure side cleaners are cheaper than robot models as they are less advanced and are made of less expensive parts. If you need to add a booster pump, the price will increase dramatically. Pressure side cleaners also perform poorly on walls as they are more targeted at picking up large debris with the large opening. A pressure side vacuum is best used in areas where large leaves or other debris are common annoyances.
Picking the right kind of pool cleaner often boils down to what your current situation is. If you are looking for something more advanced with Bluetooth, App integration, climbs walls well, and is mostly hands-off, a robot cleaner is probably for you. The technical innovation and convenience does cost a little more than a standard suction or pressure side cleaner.
A suction cleaner works well if your pool has a strong filtration system that can withstand sharing resources. These models are often the cheapest of the bunch and will require a little more work on your part to get that beautiful pool.
Pressure side cleaners are a great option as a middle ground between robot and suction pool cleaners. A pressure pool cleaner is relatively inexpensive, but if your pool isn’t equipped to handle one, be prepared to pay extra to add a booster pump. These models work very well if you have problems with leaves, acorns, or other large debris.