How do automatic pool vacuums work?

Manually keeping your pool clean and clear involves a lot of hard work. If you'd prefer to spend your Saturdays doing something else, automatic pool cleaners can lighten the load. But to pick the best model for you, it helps to know how they work.

How Do You Know Which Model to Choose?

There are two basic types of pool cleaners – suction and robotic pool cleaners. They both have their pros and cons, so read on to learn more about which option will work best for you.

Suction Cleaners

Suction cleaners are the type most of us had in the pool growing up. (Hands up if you ever raced the KreepyKrauly as a child!) Today there are a lot more models and brands on the market, but the basics are similar. 

Suction cleaners are affordable, easy to use, and have few moving parts. You attach the hose to the pool pump. The hose concentrates the suction power of the pump, scooping up leaves and debris. The pump sucks up the debris, depositing it in the pool filter. They'll keep going until the footpad wears out or the hose develops a leak.

The downsides are high electricity use and the random cleaning pattern. Suction models usually settle into a set pattern and miss the same spots over and over again. However, you can move them to counteract this. They may also climb out of the pool from time to time.

Robotic Pool Cleaners

Robotic cleaners have been around since the '80s, but they’ve only recently become affordable enough for most homeowners. These models move with a motor that creates suction, so you don't have to connect it to your pool pump.

The upside is that these cleaners are energy-efficient and effective. The machine has a reservoir with a filter to catch debris. It then releases the filtered water back into the pool. These machines usually use brushes to scrub away algae.

All robotic pool cleaners contain sensors and some processing power. Even the cheaper models can detect the waterline, which prevents them from climbing out of the pool and lets them know whether they're cleaning the walls or the floor. Most models can be controlled by remote or via an app.  

The downside is that you must plug them into an electrical outlet. You’ll also have to retrieve them when they’ve finished cleaning.

Which Option Wins the Final Showdown?

While both types of pool cleaner perform the same function, they perform it very differently. If you need help to narrow down your options, get in touch. We’re happy to assist.

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