Automatic Pool Cleaners
Automatic pool cleaners are one of the most labor-saving, desired, and expensive accessories for your pool. Why is it that some pool cleaners cost $99.00 and some cost $3000.00 or more? And how do you decide which one is correct for your pool?
In the end, you are paying for cleaning horsepower. The bigger and faster the pool cleaner, the more it will cost. While smaller pools will do fine with smaller, and less expensive, cleaners, larger pools will overwhelm them. That being said, a “better” cleaner will last longer in either pool, and buying a better quality unit in a smaller pool may just be money well spent!
There are three recognized types of pool cleaners listed below, with approximate costs for each type:
Suction side cleaners – [$99 – $500] These are driven by your primary pool (circulation) pump, and they move around your pool and suck dirt from the floor (and occasionally the walls). The biggest advantage to them is their cost, and the biggest disadvantage can be insuring your pool pump has the power needed to drive them. With a suction cleaner,the dirt they pick up is deposited in to your pool filter. while they are sometimes a little slow, yet relatively dependable, these cleaners do best in small to medium size swimming pools.
Pressure side cleaners – [$500 – $1000] These are self-propelled cleaners, and they clean your pool using an additional booster pump to supply energy to the cleaner. Because you have the combination of a cleaner and a pump, these are quite a bit more expensive than suction cleaners, but what you get in return is a faster, more powerful cleaner. One disadvantage to these cleaners is that they can be somewhat temperamental, due to more moving parts. They possess quite a bit of cleaning power, and usually do a great job on medium to larger sized swimming pools. They require a bit more attention than the suction side cleaners, as they contain their own filtering device and must be cleaned after each use.
Robots – [$650 – $1800] These are self contained cleaners and need no outside source of energy (meaning a pump at the equipment location). They contain their own electric pump(s), and are plugged into a nearby electrical outlet and then dropped into your pool. They are generally the fastest pool cleaners, and are designed for larger residential pools. The biggest disadvantage to these cleaners is the price, as they are by far the costliest. But, if you have a large pool, these cleaners should be considered as there is nothing that will do the job as well as a robot. Some robots offer an optional remote, which many consider well worth the additional cost.
We’ve tried to provide a brief overview of the various cleaners here, and this article contains a lot of generalizations. Most often, new pool owners just want to know “Which cleaner is best for my pool”? The best answer is for the pool owner to understand how the price of the unit relates to their particular cleaning power, and then decide how much cleaning power is necessary for their pool.