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A Complete Guide on How to use a Pool Cleaner

May 05,2023 | AQUAFYSH

A clean swimming pool is crucial for safety, health, and cost savings. Dirty pools can cause illnesses, promote algae growth, and damage pool equipment. By regularly cleaning your pool, you can prevent harmful bacteria, algae, and grime buildup. This ensures that the water is safe and healthy for swimming, extends the life of pool equipment, and saves you money on repairs.

A pool cleaner is a device used to clean a swimming pool. There are three main types: robotic, suction, and pressure. Robotic cleaners are independent, while suction use the pool's pump and pressure use the independent booster pump. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice depends on factors like pool size and debris type.

Using a pool cleaner offers many benefits. It keeps the water clean and safe, reduces the need for manual cleaning, prolongs pool equipment lifespan, and saves on energy and chemicals. In short, a pool cleaner can improve the pool experience, save time and money, and make pool maintenance easier.

 There are many types of pool cleaners and each type works differently and has its own pros and cons.

1. Manual Cleaning Tools

As the most traditional and economical way of manual cleaning, pool cleaning tools are also frequently used among pool owners. They typically include telescoping poles, leaf skimmers or nets, pool brushes, and vacuum heads.

Pros: Manual pool cleaning tools have several benefits. They are affordable, easy to use, dependable, low-maintenance, and eco-friendly.

Cons: manual pool cleaning tools can be time-consuming, physically demanding, inconsistent, and may have limited effectiveness in removing all types of debris.

A. Pool Brush


  • Removes stubborn debris
  • Prevent algae growth


  • Limited reach for a large pool

B. Pool skimmers


  • Removes surface debris
  • Improves water circulation


  • Need to be replaced
  • Requires regular maintenance

C. Vacuum head


  • Versatile
  • Improves water quality


  • Requires additional equipment
  • Limited reach


Best for small to medium-sized pools that have a simple shape and are not too deep. It is also a good option for above-ground pools, spas, and hot tubs.


2. Suction Pool Cleaner

Suction pool cleaners operate like a whole-house central vacuum system. The unit is connected to the pool's filtration system's water intake with a flexible hose, usually at a fitting found at the skimmer basket.

Once the pool circulation pump is turned on, the vacuum utilizes the pool pump's suction power to move the vacuum head around the pool, collecting debris as it goes. While this type of cleaner is effective, it requires that the pool pump is running during operation, which means they use more electricity than other types of pool cleaners. 

Pros: Suction pool cleaners are affordable and easy to install, and they can clean the entire pool, including the walls and floor.

Cons: However, they rely on the pool's pump and filter, which can increase wear and tear on the equipment. They may also require more frequent cleaning and maintenance.

Popular brands: Hayward, Zodiac, Pentair, and Baracuda

A. Zodiac G3 Suction Pool Cleaner

photo: amazon.com



  • Maintains excellent suction even with a lower horsepower pump
  • Move around tight corners
  • Easy installation


  • Not good for large debris


B. Hayward W3PHS41CST Suction Pool Cleaner

photo: amazon.com



  • 4 wheels allow it to maneuver and climb walls more easily
  • Works with a variety of pool surfaces
  • Compatible with large pools


  • struggle to climb walls if not properly weighted


C. Zodiac MX8 Suction Pool Cleaner

photo: amazon.com



  • X-Drive Navigation, can clean floor, walls, and waterline
  • Works with a variety of pool surfaces
  • Doesn’t require high flow rate


  • Expensive

These pressure pool cleaners are best for flat-bottomed in-ground or above-ground pools with gentle slopes. They are good at cleaning small to medium-sized debris like dirt and sand but may not be effective at cleaning larger debris or steps.


3. Pressure Pool Cleaner

Pressure-side pool cleaners operate similarly to suction-side vacuums, using the pool's filtration pump to provide power. However, unlike suction-side cleaners, pressure-side cleaners are equipped with their own filter bag. This means that they do not place any added load on the pool's filter, making them more efficient.

If you add a booster pump, this type of cleaner can become even more powerful. This makes pressure-side cleaners a good option for pools that collect a lot of leaves and other large debris that can overtax the pool's circulating filtration system.

Pros: Pressure cleaners are effective at removing large debris, such as leaves and twigs, and they do not rely on the pool's pump or filter. They have their own time-clock, and can turn themselves on and off automatically, saving energy and wear and tear from operating longer than needed.

Cons: They can be expensive to purchase and install, and they require a separate booster pump to operate.

Popular brands: Polaris, Hayward, Pentair, Zodiac


A. Polaris 280 Pressure Pool Cleaner

photo: amazon.com



  • The booster pump is optional
  • Excellent balance of quality and price


  • It may have trouble with stairs
  • High-maintenance


B.Pentair LL505G Kreepy Krauly Pressure Pool Cleaner

photo: amazon.com



  • Two back-facing jets give it incredible speed
  • Good at picking up larger debris
  • Excellent wall climbing ability


  • Expensive


C. Hayward W3TVP500C Pressure Pool Cleaner

photo: amazon.com



  • Easy to install
  • Extra-large debris bag and suction outlet
  • Advanced sweep hoses technology


  • Get stuck in deep ends


These pressure pool cleaners are suitable for any swimming pools with separate booster pumps. Best for in-ground swimming pools with a dedicated pressure line. They are good at cleaning large debris and uneven surfaces.

Pressure pool cleaner and suction pool cleaner have the same maintenance methods. Regularly empty the debris bag or filter and check for debris buildup in the hoses and nozzles. Inspect the wheels for damage or wear, tighten loose connections and replace any damaged hoses. Clean the cleaner's body and brushes with a soft brush or cloth and store it in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight when not in use.


4. Robotic Pool Cleaner

Robotic pool cleaners are becoming increasingly popular due to their energy efficiency and effectiveness in cleaning. Unlike other types of pool cleaners, robotic pool cleaners are self-contained units that come equipped with a built-in filter and motor. This means they do not rely on your pool's filtration system, which can result in significant energy savings.

Additionally, robotic pool cleaners are designed to provide effective cleaning for all types of pool surfaces, including walls, floors, and waterlines. They are capable of grabbing the smallest particles, such as dirt, debris, and even bacteria, leaving your pool sparkling clean.

 Pros: Robotic cleaners are highly efficient and effective, and they do not rely on the pool's pump or filter, which reduces wear and tear on the equipment.

Cons: They can be expensive to purchase and maintain.

Popular brands: Dolphin, Polaris, Hayward, and Aquafysh


A. Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Vacuum Cleaner

photo: amazon.com



  • Tangle-free cable
  • Built-in weekly timer
  • Dual filters
  • Efficient cleaning capacity


  • Power supply isn’t waterproof

B. Polaris P825 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner

photo: amazon.com


  • Artificial intelligence ensures efficient navigation
  • Premium caddy
  • Patented cyclonic vacuum technology


  • Too expensive for it’s features
  • No fine mesh filter to trap the finest particles


C. Dolphin Nautilus CC Supreme Robotic Pool Cleaner

photo: amazon.com



  • Wi-Fi control, easy use
  • Massive Top-loading filter
  • Powerful scrubbing brushes


  • Heavy
  • Doesn’t come with caddy

Best for all types of in-ground or above-ground swimming pools and can clean all kinds of debris, including large leaves and debris. They are also capable of cleaning the walls and steps of the pool.

To maintain your robotic pool cleaner, clean the filter and brushes after every use, and check the impeller and power cord regularly. Rinse the cleaner with water after use and store it properly. Follow the manufacturer's maintenance schedule.


 5. Handheld Pool Vacuum

A handheld pool vacuum is a compact, portable vacuum designed for smaller pools, spas, and hot tubs. These vacuums are often cordless and battery-powered, making them easy to maneuver and operate.

Handheld pool vacuums are great for spot cleaning and reaching tight corners and areas that larger pool cleaners may not be able to access. They are also useful for cleaning small debris, such as leaves and dirt.

Some handheld pool vacuums come with rechargeable batteries and reusable filter bags, while others may require disposable filter bags or cartridges. Prices for handheld pool vacuums can range from around $50 to $200 or more, depending on the features and capabilities of the unit.

Pros: Handheld pool vacuums are lightweight, easy to use, and affordable. They can be used for spot cleaning and cleaning small pools, spas, and hot tubs. They are battery-powered and portable.

Cons: Handheld pool vacuums have some downsides: they are only good for small jobs, need frequent recharging, may not be as powerful as other types, and require manual operation.

Popular brands: Water Tech, Intex, Kokido, and Pool Blaster.


A. Poolmaster 28300 Big Sucker Swimming Pool Leaf Vacuum

photo: amazon.com



  • Budget-friendly
  • Works with any standard garden hose
  • Powerful suction


  • Pieces missing in shipment


B. Intex 28620EP Handheld Rechargeable Spa Pool Vacuum

photo: amazon.com



  • Automatic shut-off feature
  • Easily maneuvered
  • Powerful suction


  • Main brush attachment is small


C. POOL BLASTER Max Cordless Pool Vacuum

photo: amazon.com



  • Powerful suction ability for more debris
  • Cordless cleaning
  • Multi-layer filter


  • Quite noisy
  • Doesn’t handle micro particles well

Best for small to medium-sized pools, as well as for cleaning tight or hard-to-reach spaces in larger pools. They are also great for cleaning above-ground pools, spas, and hot tubs.

To maintain your handheld pool vacuum, rinse it after each use, clean the filter regularly, store it in a cool and dry place, follow the manufacturer's charging instructions, and inspect it for wear or damage.


Choosing a pool cleaner

Pool size and type:

The size and type of your pool will determine what type of pool cleaner is best suited for your needs. For example, if you have a large pool, you may need a cleaner with a more powerful motor and larger capacity for debris.

Type of debris:

Consider the type of debris that accumulates in your pool, such as leaves, dirt, or small debris particles. This will determine the type of cleaner you need, such as a suction, pressure, or robotic pool cleaner.


Pool cleaners come in a wide range of prices, so it's important to consider your budget when choosing one. While robotic pool cleaners may be the most efficient, they are also the most expensive. Suction pool cleaners are the most affordable but may not be as effective on larger debris.

Maintenance requirements:

Consider the maintenance requirements of the pool cleaner, such as the need for frequent filter cleaning or replacement parts.


In conclusion

Using a suitable pool cleaner is important for keeping your pool clean, safe, and hygienic. You can buy and use appropriate pool cleaners according to your cleaning needs.