An automatic pool cleaner has become essential for any pool owner

They have been available for more than 30 years, but like most things, there are many different types.

Suction cleaners

When choosing a pool cleaner, you need to take a few things into consideration, including your budget.

Automatic suction pool cleaners are the most popular type of cleaner because they are budget-friendly, have low maintenance, and don’t need their own power supply like a robotic cleaner, thus keeping your household bills down.

Having been available for more than 30 years, these automatic pool cleaners work by plugging the unit’s hose into the vac plate in the skimmer box. The suction and speed can be adjusted using a valve between the unit and the vac plate. Suction cleaners have the ability to climb pool walls, except in above ground pools where the unit should never climbs the walls, which allows for a cleaner finish.

There are two types of suction cleaners:

  • Non-mechanical, normally with a large rubber disk which functions with a rubber hammer or diaphragm. The cleaner’s direction is guided by the pool hose, so if your hose is always bunched at the deep end of the pool, the cleaner won’t travel to the shallow end.
  • Mechanical/geared, with wheels or tracks. These cleaners do not rely on the hose for direction, and instead have internal gears that manoeuvre the cleaner around the pool, resulting in a more thorough clean of the pool’s surface.

Both types have propulsion and random motions to suck all debris, perfect for households with a large leaf problem.

As the unit is plugged directly into the vac plate, there is no or very little surface skimming action which may be a nuisance if you have a big leaf problem. 

Suction cleaners are also available with inbuilt programs that are able to get themselves out of tight corners, and some able to be programmed to cover the pool surface in a prescribed manner. 

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Pressure Cleaners

Pressure cleaners come in two types. One has small hoses to sweep leaves and other debris to the main drain. The other uses a similar hose attachment but with a leaf bag attached to the cleaner itself. There are also pressure cleaners which have small hoses that sweep debris to push leaves and debris to the main drain where they are sucked into the skimmer. 

Latest cleaner

The latest cleaners have a cartridge filter built-in and their own inbuilt pump. They run on a power cord coming from the cleaner itself plugging into an outside powerpoint.

These newest cleaners are increasing their popularity due to the ease of powering through any electrical source.

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