Pool Cleaners

Pool Cleaners: Different Types of Pool Cleaners

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A pristine, sparkling swimming pool is a source of enjoyment and relaxation, but maintaining its cleanliness can be a challenging and time-consuming task. Thankfully, pool cleaners have revolutionized pool maintenance, making it easier than ever to keep your pool water crystal clear. In this article, we’ll explore the world of pool cleaners, including their types, functionality, and the benefits they offer for pool owners.

Types of Pool Cleaners

There are several types of pool cleaners available, each with its own advantages and ideal use cases:

  1. Suction-Side Pool Cleaners:
    • Suction-side cleaners are attached to the suction line of your pool’s circulation system.
    • They operate by using the pool’s pump to create suction, which draws in debris and dirt.
    • These cleaners are suitable for small to medium-sized pools and are cost-effective.
  2. Pressure-Side Pool Cleaners:
    • Pressure-side cleaners use the pressure from a dedicated booster pump or the main pool pump to move around the pool.
    • They collect debris in a separate bag or filter, preventing clogs in the pool’s filtration system.
    • These cleaners are suitable for larger pools with more substantial debris.
  3. Robotic Pool Cleaners:
    • Robotic cleaners are self-contained, electrically powered units that operate independently of the pool’s filtration system.
    • They use brushes and suction to scrub and clean the pool’s surfaces, walls, and floor.
    • Robotic cleaners are highly efficient and suitable for all pool sizes. They are known for their advanced features and cleaning capabilities.
  4. Manual Pool Cleaners:
    • Manual pool cleaners, like pool brushes and skimmers, require physical effort to clean the pool.
    • While they may not be as convenient as automatic cleaners, they are budget-friendly and suitable for spot cleaning or maintenance between automated cleanings.

Functionality of Pool Cleaners

Pool cleaners are designed to perform various cleaning tasks to ensure your pool remains inviting and safe:

  1. Surface Cleaning: Pool cleaners remove leaves, debris, and algae from the water’s surface to maintain water clarity.
  2. Wall and Tile Cleaning: Many pool cleaners are equipped with brushes that scrub pool walls and tiles, preventing the buildup of dirt and algae.
  3. Floor Cleaning: Pool cleaners are designed to navigate the pool’s floor, collecting dirt and debris while ensuring even distribution of pool chemicals.
  4. Circulation and Filtration: Automatic pool cleaners help improve water circulation, which contributes to even distribution of chemicals and maintains water balance. They also reduce the strain on the pool’s filtration system by removing debris before it reaches the filter.

Benefits of Using Pool Cleaners

  1. Efficiency: Pool cleaners, especially robotic ones, are highly efficient and can clean your pool quickly and thoroughly. They reach tight corners and pool walls that may be challenging to clean manually.
  2. Time-Saving: Automatic pool cleaners allow pool owners to enjoy their pools more without spending excessive time on manual cleaning. Simply set the cleaner, and it will do the work for you.
  3. Water Quality: Regular use of pool cleaners helps maintain balanced water chemistry by preventing the buildup of debris and algae. This results in cleaner, safer, and more inviting pool water.
  4. Longer Equipment Life: Pool cleaners reduce the strain on your pool’s filtration system, leading to longer-lasting equipment.
  5. Energy Efficiency: Many modern pool cleaners are designed to be energy-efficient, which can save you money on electricity costs over time.

Robotic vs Pressure vs Suction Pool Cleaners

When it comes to pool maintenance, choosing the right pool cleaner is crucial for keeping your pool clean and inviting. There are three primary types of pool cleaners available: robotic, pressure-side, and suction-side. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so let’s compare them to help you make an informed decision:

1. Robotic Pool Cleaners:


  • Efficiency: Robotic pool cleaners are known for their high efficiency and thorough cleaning performance. They are equipped with powerful motors that provide strong suction and scrubbing action.
  • Independence: Robotic cleaners are self-contained and do not rely on your pool’s filtration system. This reduces the strain on the pool’s equipment and prevents clogging of the filter.
  • Versatility: They can clean all parts of your pool, including the floor, walls, and waterline. Some models even come with advanced features like remote control, smartphone app integration, and programmable cleaning schedules.
  • Energy Efficiency: Modern robotic cleaners are designed to be energy-efficient, often using less power than traditional pool cleaners.
  • Improved Water Circulation: Robotic cleaners enhance water circulation, helping to distribute pool chemicals more evenly and maintain water balance.


  • Initial Cost: Robotic pool cleaners typically have a higher upfront cost compared to other types of cleaners. However, their efficiency and features often justify the investment.
  • Maintenance: They require occasional cleaning of their filters or canisters, which may involve manual handling of debris.
  • Storage: You need a suitable storage space for the cleaner when it’s not in use.

2. Pressure-Side Pool Cleaners:


  • Effective Cleaning: Pressure-side cleaners use the water pressure from your pool’s circulation system to move around and collect debris in a separate filter bag. They are efficient at picking up larger debris like leaves and twigs.
  • Independence: They don’t rely on the pool’s pump and filter for suction, reducing the load on your filtration system.
  • Durable: Pressure-side cleaners are known for their durability and can handle heavy use.


  • Installation: They require a dedicated pressure line and sometimes a booster pump, which adds to the initial installation cost.
  • Maintenance: You’ll need to regularly empty and clean the filter bag.
  • Limited Wall Cleaning: While they can clean the pool floor and walls, they may not clean pool steps and corners as effectively as robotic cleaners.
  • Energy Consumption: If you need a booster pump, it will increase your electricity usage.

3. Suction-Side Pool Cleaners:


  • Affordability: Suction-side cleaners are often more budget-friendly compared to robotic or pressure-side cleaners.
  • Ease of Installation: They are easy to install and connect to your pool’s skimmer or dedicated suction line.
  • Low Maintenance: Suction-side cleaners typically have fewer moving parts and require minimal maintenance.


  • Dependence on Filtration System: Suction-side cleaners rely on the pool’s pump and filter for suction power. This can put additional stress on your filtration system and may lead to clogs in the filter.
  • Less Efficient: They may not be as efficient as robotic cleaners when it comes to fine debris or thorough wall cleaning.
  • Reduced Water Circulation: Suction-side cleaners can reduce water circulation and may not distribute pool chemicals evenly.
  • May Require Additional Parts: Depending on your pool setup, you may need additional hoses or parts to ensure proper operation.


What is a pool cleaner?

A pool cleaner is a device or system designed to remove debris, dirt, and contaminants from swimming pools. Pool cleaners come in various types, including robotic, pressure-side, and suction-side cleaners.

Why do I need a pool cleaner?

Pool cleaners are essential for maintaining clean and safe pool water. They help remove leaves, debris, algae, and other particles that can make your pool water cloudy, unattractive, and potentially unsanitary.

What are the different types of pool cleaners?

There are three primary types of pool cleaners:

Robotic Pool Cleaners: These are self-contained, electrically powered units that operate independently of the pool’s filtration system.

Pressure-Side Pool Cleaners: These cleaners use water pressure to move around the pool and collect debris in a separate filter bag or container.

Suction-Side Pool Cleaners: Suction-side cleaners rely on the pool’s pump and filter system to create suction and move around the pool, collecting debris in the pool’s filter.

Which type of pool cleaner is best for my pool?

The choice of pool cleaner depends on your pool’s size, shape, and the type of debris it typically collects. Robotic cleaners are versatile and suitable for most pools. Pressure-side cleaners are ideal for larger pools with substantial debris, while suction-side cleaners are budget-friendly and suitable for smaller pools.

How often should I run my pool cleaner?

The frequency of running your pool cleaner depends on factors such as the pool’s usage, location, and the level of debris. Many pool owners run their cleaners daily or on a regular schedule to maintain water clarity.

Do pool cleaners save energy and water?

Yes, pool cleaners can help save energy and water. Robotic cleaners, in particular, are designed to be energy-efficient and do not rely on the pool’s pump and filter, reducing overall energy consumption.

Can pool cleaners clean the pool walls and steps?

Yes, many pool cleaners are designed to clean not only the pool floor but also the walls and waterline. However, the effectiveness may vary depending on the cleaner type and model.

Do I need to clean or maintain my pool cleaner?

Yes, pool cleaners require regular maintenance. For robotic cleaners, this may involve cleaning the filter canister or bag. For pressure-side and suction-side cleaners, you’ll need to check and clean the filter, hoses, and other components as needed.

How long do pool cleaners last?

The lifespan of a pool cleaner varies depending on the type, brand, and usage. Robotic cleaners are known for their durability and can last several years with proper care.

Can I leave my pool cleaner in the pool all the time?

While some pool cleaners are designed to be left in the pool, it’s a good practice to remove them when not in use to prolong their lifespan and prevent possible entanglement with swimmers.

What should I do if my pool cleaner gets stuck or stops working?

If your pool cleaner gets stuck or stops working, check for obstructions, tangled hoses, or damaged parts. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or seek assistance from a pool professional if needed.

Are pool cleaners safe for swimming?

Pool cleaners are designed to operate safely in swimming pools. However, it’s essential to follow safety guidelines and keep an eye on the cleaner while swimming to ensure there are no entanglement risks.

Can I use a pool cleaner in an above-ground pool?

Yes, pool cleaners are available for both in-ground and above-ground pools. Be sure to choose a cleaner that is suitable for your pool type.


Owning a swimming pool comes with the responsibility of keeping it clean and inviting. Pool cleaners are indispensable tools that simplify this task and ensure your pool remains a source of enjoyment rather than a chore. Whether you opt for a suction-side, pressure-side, robotic, or manual pool cleaner, investing in proper pool maintenance will extend the life of your pool and enhance your overall swimming experience.

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