Automatic Pool Cleaners are enjoying wide-spread acceptance among pool owners; however, with so many brands models, version, it may be a bewildering task to choose the one that is right for you.. We will provide you in information that you can use to help you choose the best cleaner for your application.
When considering buying an pool cleaner you must consider the size of your pool, pool usage, operating costs, and environmental factors, among others. If you are considering a cleaner that hooks up to your filtering system, then you must also consider your filter/pump capacity.
Every autotatic cleaner will help you mix the cooler water near the bottom of your pool with the warmer surface water. By the same token, it will also help you distribute chemical more efficiently. This will result in savings by reducing evaporation, and chemical usage. The most important characteristic of every automatic pool cleaner is that they will save you many hours of tedious manual pool vacuuming, while achieving better results, allowing you to spend your time enjoying your pool, rather than cleaning it.
Automatic Pool cleaners can be divided into two basic types. Those that connects to your existing filtering system, and those that are totally independent (Robotic). The cleaners that hoop up to your existing filtering system must be connected to either the high pressure side (Pressure side cleaners), or the low pressure side of your filtering system (Suction side cleaners).
Your poolís filtering system re-circulates the water in your pool. The water is sucked from your pool through the low pressure (suction side) to be filtered, heated, and otherwise processed, and then it is returned back to the pool through the pressure side ports.
Suction Side Automatic Pool CleanersThe low pressure side cleaners (Suction Side) must be attached to the suction side of your poolís filtering system. Most of these cleaners are connected to the skimmer port in your pool. Some pools may have a separate suction port to where the cleaner is connected. This type of filter only works while the pump is working; they donít need electricity, they take all the power they need from the water suction created by the poolís filter pump. These cleaners move around the pool in a random pattern. Like a vacuum cleaner, this type of automatic cleaner scrubs and sucks the debris from the bottom of your pool as it moves around. Everything that is picked up by this cleaner is trapped in the pump strainer basket, or in the poolís filter. It is therefore very important to maintain the pump basket and filter clean to maximize the flow of water, and therefore the efficiency of your cleaner, and filtering system. Note that the basket and filter will probably have to be cleaned more often that you are used to.
If a suction side pool cleaner is not working properly, start by checking that the cleaner, pump basket, and the filter are clean and free from any debris that may be obstructing the free flow of water. Also check all hoses for obstruction, cracks, kinks, or holes. In pools that are located in places where they collect many leaves, it may be necessary to install an in-line leaf trap to keep the leaves from overwhelming your filter system, and/or your patience. Strong water currents, like those created by the return nozzles, can deflect the direction of the cleaner, making that area of the pool inaccessible to the cleaner.
When you install a suction side automatic pool cleaner you will have to clean your pump basket, and filter more often than you did before, failure to do it will result in diminished cleaner performance, and filtering capacity, which will result in higher operating costs, because the pump will have to be operated for longer periods of time.
Their main advantage is that suction side cleaners tend to be more affordable than pressure side cleaner.
Pressure side automatic pool cleanersPressure side cleaners are attached to your poolís high pressure side through one of the poolís return ports, or through a dedicated cleaner line, and an additional booster pump. These cleaners have their own filter bag which will collect the debris, and they are therefore less taxing on your filtering system. It is very important that you keep this bag clean; otherwise you will compromise the cleanerís performance. These automatic cleaners get the power they need from the high pressure in the water returning to the pool. These cleaners more around the pool in a random pattern.
Pressure side automatic cleaners are usually more complex than the suction side cleaners, some of them require a booster pump to work correctly. They tend to be better that the suction side cleaners, but they are also usually also more expensive than the suction side cleaners.
Robotic Automatic Pool CleanersRobotic cleaners are totally self contained. Unlike the other pool cleaners previously discussed, these cleaners have their own electrical power supply, and are therefore totally independent from any other pool subsystem. Although the robotic cleaners derive their power form the electric gird, there is no chance that the robotic cleaner will electrocute the pool bathers because the electric grid is completely insulated from the cleaner by a transformer, which is located far from the pool environment. These cleaners operate on voltage that is very low to electrocute anyone, even if the cleaner integrity is compromised. These automatic cleaners contain their own locomotion system, and their own pump and filter, which can filter our algae and debris.
Because these cleaners are not hooked up to the poolís filtering system, they donít affect, and are not dependent, on the poolís filtering capacity. Also they can operate while the poolís pump is not working.
Some robotic cleaners are controlled by an on board computer that can learn the shape and size of the pool, and optimized the cleaning pattern based on that information. Some have an additional remote control that allows the user to guide the cleaner to a specific spot in the pool from anywhere within reach of the remote control. Some of them can clean the poolís walls.
Although the robotic cleaners are electrically operated, the operating cost is very small. Robotic pool cleansers are the most complete pool cleaners, their main disadvantage is their initial cost, which is probably the highest of all of them.
ConclusionMake sure that you know the limitations of the automatic cleaner that you are considering.
- The pressure they need to be able to operate correctly.
- Some only work on pools with a flat bottom, or there is a limit on the slope they can handle.
- All have limitations on the maximum size of the pool they can handle.