Swimming Pool Vacuum Cleaners Guide
If you have a pool, you know the importance of pool vacuum cleaners. Maintaining a pool can require a lot of work, and vacuum cleaners are essential. There are so many different types and brands, how do you know what to buy? It helps to understand the different types of pool vacuums available.
Much will depend on the type of pool you own, specifically whether you have an above-ground pool or in-ground pool, as well as your budget and needs. Different types of pools might require different maintenance, and there are a variety of types of pool cleaners to choose. For instance, a self-powered crawler is ideal for those who don't want to put in any extra time cleaning, and simply want a clean pool available whenever they want to dive in. These can usually just be placed in the pool, turned on, and within a few hours, or by morning if left overnight, the swimming pool will be clean and free of debris.
The 3 general types are Automatic pool vacuums which will work directly off the suction of your existing pool pump through a vacuum hose.
1. Then come the pressure operated automatic swimming pool vacuum cleaners which will connect to the return or pressure side of your equipment plumbing, either connecting directly or through their own pump and plumbing line.
2. Lastly are the robotic self contained cleaners, with a tread for 'crawling, and are powered by their own extension cord or a rechargeable battery. Robotic systems will usually have their own filtering system and run either by a computer controlled program or a remote control.
3. Popular above-ground pool cleaners, such as the Barracuda and Polarise, will automatically remove debris, leaves and twigs, bugs, and the like. They are simple to operate, and are generally pretty low-cost to maintain.
Many of these same manufacturers make models for in-ground pools as well, some of which can connect to and operate off your existing filtration system.
Keep in mind that some of these devices require you to "mop" your pool, essentially guiding it along the surface and along the bottom, however these require the most work. Robotic, or self-guided devices will do that for you, sometimes using suction to "crawl" along the pool surfaces.
Obviously, a robotic or self-guided pool vacuum will be more expensive, but the cost is often more than offset by the freedom and peace of mind - allowing you to spend more time swimming or bathing, than working up a sweat making your pool ready for fun.
Whatever swimming pool vacuum cleaner you opt for, don't forget why you bought a swimming pool in the first place. Many swimming pool owners make a poor choice, opting initially to save some money without realizing how tiresome it can get to have to put in some hard work and sweat every time they want to enjoy their pool. Too many pool owners end up not taking advantage of their investment because the pool isn't clean, and the thought of having to do a cleaning before taking a dive takes all the fun and spontaneity out of using their pool far too often!
Whether you own an above-ground or in-ground pool, you quickly appreciate the benefits of swimming pool vacuum cleaners over the old skimmer nets on poles.
As a pool owner, you can choose from several different types of swimming pool vacuum cleaners. The choice of which to purchase is up to each individual pool owner, however the size and type of pool you own, and your available budget will make certain kinds more practical and desireable than others.
For smaller in-ground pools or above-ground models, a basic suction-type vacuum cleaner has many advantages. Not only are they cheaper than the fully-automated robotic types of units, but they can do the job just as good, acting essentially as a "moving drain" to clear leaves, bugs, twigs, and the like. Since they work under water, these types of cleaners operate very efficiently, requiring relatively little energy to pass the water through the filter.
For larger above-ground, or most in-ground swimming pools, a more advanced vacuum might be warranted. Not only do many of these perform the basic suction cleaning of the lower-end models, but many of them also "scrub" the pool surfaces along the walls and floor bottom. One thing to keep in mind however is that if your pool is overhung by trees, you may find that the amount of leaves and debris will clog these units often, reducing their effectiveness and forcing you to frequently clean them out by hand. Needless to say, this defeats some of the purpose of the vacuum when you have to intervene manually.
These more advanced robotic units can usually be turned on when the pool is not in use, such as overnight, and they will do their work during these "off hours".
Again depending on your budget and the size of your pool, the more basic automatic models can simply be plugged into an electrical outlet; they have their own pumps and hoses. More advanced - and of course more expensive - units will connect to the pools existing pump, in essence using the plumbing system that's already in place. The main benefits are that they become permanently set up for use, negating the need to pull out a machine, go through the trouble of connecting everything, than disconnecting it afterwards, storing it, etc., until the next use when you have to go through all of that all over again.
Best pool vacuum cleaners are almost as varied as pools themselves, and choosing the right type and model will be a combination of personal preference, practicality, and budget. It's my personal feeling that this is one of those purchases where you're better off spending a little bit more, rather than skimping, since whatever time and effort you save means more, and more frequent use and enjoyment of your pool. And isn't that the whole reason you bought one in the first place?