Three Types of Pool Cleaners

Inground and above ground swimming pool owners have 3 types of pool cleaners to choose from. Learn a little about each and your choice will be easy.

Pressure pool cleaners are connected to the swimming pool filter return line. They operate similar to a leaf bag and garden hose setup.

The water flows from the return to the cleaner, through a filter bag, into the pool. The suction created by the water pulls debris into the bag.

The Good-Lower relative cost, swimmers may share the water with a pressure vacuum. The tail on the Polaris stirs up the dirt sitting on the bottom.

The Bad-MUST use a booster pump, most likely a 3/4hp motor that gobbles electric power.Lacking a booster pump, a pressure cleaner will not work well. In addition,The filter pump MUST be running as well. There are many small parts to potentially replace as well as many required adjustments.

The Ugly-Operating without a booster pump may cause your pool heater not to work due to backpressure that will reduce the required flow of water through the heater. The entire pool filtration system will work harder to compensate for the added backpressure.


Suction cleaners are connected to a pools skimmer or dedicated suction line. Operates just like your pool vacuum without the pole. Debris is sucked into the skimmer basket, then the water is cleaned in the pool filter.

The Good-Low relative cost, Few moving parts.

The Bad-Skimmers, or a single skimmer, "skim" surface dirt before it settles to the bottom. Do you want your skimmer to clean the BOTTOM? Pool filter pump must be running.

The Ugly-The skimmer basket must be checked often to avoid overfilling and reducing the efficiency of BOTH cleaning systems.


Gotta love these self contained filtration systems that operate independent of the swimming pool's filter system.

an internal motor drives the 'bot around the pool bottom and most of them will climb the stairs and walls.

A powerful pump pulls water and debris through holes located in the bottom, into a filter bag. The water exits the top. The suction created by the pump allows the pool cleaner to stick to the wall while climbing.

The filter bags of many units will filter particles as small as 2 microns. Take my word for it, that is very small. Algae can not escape.

The cord plugs into a transformer that costs just pennies a day to operate. Some machines will clean faster than others and that accounts for the wide price differences. The most inexpensive machines will clean the pool while filtering 4000 gallons of water per hour.

The Ugly- Cleaning out the bag can be messy, however I have discovered the solution. You must not swim while a cleaner is operating.

Most robotic pool cleaners are made by either Maytronics or Aquaproducts

BACK to HOME from Pool Cleaners