A lovely swimming pool is not a dream anymore; it is an achievable purchase for all owners of private homes. But before buying a swimming pool, or if you have just done this, you need to understand the additional expenses required for proper maintenance.
On the market, the choice is unlimited, from scoops with telescopic hands to robotic cleaners that perform almost the whole cycle of the pool’s cleaning process. However, almost all cleaners and manual tools are required to collect debris of all sizes for cleaning walls and floors; some can circulate water, but they cannot work as a full-size filtration system.
Additionally, regularly (at least at the beginning of swimming season), additional chemical treatment is required to eliminate the creation of organics or algae.
Types of cleaners
Before discussing the proper cleaner choice, it is better to describe their types. There are three main types:
- manual pool cleaners,
- automatic cleaners (suction-side or pressure-side),
- and robotic cleaners.
It is evident that manual cleaners are the cheapest and most accessible; they require the constant presence of a workforce to guide the cleaner around the pool. A hose should connect the cleaner to the skimmer pump to suck the water.
The average size pool requires about an hour of cleaning with such a cleaner, meaning you will push the cleaner’s pole back and forward while the skimmer’s filter collects the debris and uses the electricity. Because of such efforts from the owner, the popularity of manual cleaners is decreasing, and the next generation of cleaners – automatic are used more often.
Suction-side pool cleaners are also connected to the skimmer pump by hose, but they are moving by themselves according to the program and can clean walls almost up to the waterline and floor. The same as for manual cleaners, the pool’s filter should be washed out of collected garbage after each use.
The main difference between pressure-side cleaners is that they use water from the pressure side of the pump that provides the power to move around the pool and suck all debris. In addition to this, this type of automatic cleaner has a separate filter bag on the cleaner, which should be cleaned after each use as well. This option also gives the additional bonus of reducing debris load on your filtration system.
Robotic cleaners are the freshest solution for pool maintenance. As automatic cleaners, they work per program, but they are fully autonomous and require only electricity. They also have their own bag for garbage and the pool’s water circulation system.
The whole cleaning circle for an average pool is several hours. During their work, the pool’s filtration system can be turned off, and in some cases, for small pools, a robotic cleaner is enough to maintain all cleaning procedures with everyday use. For sure, after each use, the robotic cleaner should be cleaned.
As robotic or automatic cleaners are the most suitable for easy maintenance of the outdoor and indoor pools, let’s look closely at how to choose them correctly.
The size or volume of the pool is the most critical parameter for choosing a cleaner, as each cleaner is designed for cleaning a specific size of the pool. The size directly impacts the required capacity of the cleaner.
The bigger the pool is, the more power (battery or electricity) is required to clean it. The suction power is defined by the type of drive and the number of vacuum jets.
Additionally, a cleaner should perform all required procedures in a reasonable amount of time, so it should be efficient enough. The indoor pool should be cleaned at least once per week, outdoor – 2-3 times, in some cases every day (the number depends on availability of filtration system).
The size of the pool also includes the type of the pool’s surface. For example, not all cleaners can clean a pool with stairs and curly walls, and not all can climb vertically. So, it is essential to check the cleaner beforehand based on the specific geometrical parameters of your pool.
The length of all cables, poles, and hoses also should be enough to clean the whole surface of the pool. The hose needs to have a length from the skimmer to the furthest point of the pool plus half of the meter or 5 feet (no more than 1,5 m); such length prevents hoses twist.
Do not forget to add height and depth for above-ground pools when you calculate the hose length. There are hoses with adjustable length on the market, such hose sections can be connected together. Such a solution is good as only a section could be changed in case of repair. The hose’s diameter impacts suction function; the smaller – the more suction power will be.
As an example, please see below the analysis of the pool’s size for Polaris 280 vs. 380 pool cleaners:
|Polaris 280||Polaris 380|
|Type of pool||In-door (do not work for above-ground)||In-door (do not work for above-ground)|
|Type of drive||Shaft||Belt|
|Number of jets||2 jets||3 jets|
|Length of hoses||The same||The same|
|Size of pools||Mid-size||All sizes|
As you can see, the type of cleaner should be chosen after checking recommendations; Polaris 280, for example, will not work for above-ground pools of big size.
The key topic in pool maintenance is choosing a pool cleaner correctly and based on which parameters. Below are listed other important ones after the size of the pool.
The type of the pool (inground/aboveground; stationary/inflatable, concrete/vinyl)
Obviously, indoor pools require less cleaning than outdoor. Additionally, most of the cleaners are specified at least per pool model – above ground or inground. Above-ground cleaners require less power and are more accessible in maintenance.
Inground cleaners are correspondingly more expensive. For sure, there are universal cleaners for both of these types. Only soft brushes should be chosen for the fiberglass pool; for other surfaces rubber brusher is fine.
The size and amount of debris
Debris could be of different sizes, from leaves to dirt or sand. It is also important to estimate its quantity; a simple cleaner could not suck a lot of leaves. As small cleaners can quickly suck sand and dirt for more complicated tasks, a more powerful machine is required.
Available filtration system or any other systems
If you already have the plumbing and filtration systems, you should choose a cleaner matching them and search for proper hoses and connections. All hoses should have enough length to reach all the swimming pool corners.
Availability of electricity and water supply
Before buying the cleaner and even the pool, an owner should check the stability of the power supply used for the filtration system and cleaners and availability and amount of freshwater to understand how often the pool should be cleaned and the water should be changed in it.
Without the availability of such resources for sure, there are more expensive solutions such as batteries and diesel generators, and water tanks brought by cars. A pool cleaner can save gallons of water as they clean it, and the change is not required so often.
Price of a cleaner maintenance/ availability of a warranty
As with any dynamic machine, changing the moving details from time to time is required. Spare details could be costly, so it is important to take these expenses into account. A good warranty helps to reduce the costs of maintenance.
Each owner should estimate the price of the cleaner and all required parts for its work and maintenance before buying a cleaner. It is unfortunate to buy a cleaner and cannot organize its excellent work.
Some owners also consider the cleaner’s appearance, style, color, and other details. On the market, almost all wishes like that can be fulfilled.
Is a suction or pressure pool cleaner better?
This is a question that many pool owners face when they are trying to decide which type of cleaner to purchase. There are pros and cons to both types of cleaners, so it really depends on what your specific needs are.
Suction cleaners are usually less expensive than pressure cleaners and are easy to install and maintain. They work by attaching to your pool’s skimmer and use the suction from the pump to move around the pool, picking up debris as they go.
Pressure cleaners are a bit more expensive than suction cleaners, but they are also more powerful and can do a better job of cleaning your pool. They attach to your pool’s filter system and use the pressure of the pump to drive them around the pool, picking up debris as they go.
So, which type of cleaner is better? It really depends on your needs and budget. If you are looking for a powerful cleaner that can do a great job of cleaning your pool, then a pressure cleaner is probably the way to go. If you are on a budget and are looking for an easy-to-use cleaner that will still do a good job, then a suction cleaner is probably the way to go.
What is the difference between a pressure pool cleaner and a robotic pool cleaner?
A pressure pool cleaner uses the pressure of the water from your pool’s filtration system to move around the pool and clean it. A robotic pool cleaner is a self-contained unit that doesn’t need any help from the pool’s filtration system to move around and clean the pool.
Pressure pool cleaners are usually less expensive than robotic pool cleaners, but they can be a little more difficult to use. robotic pool cleaners are often easier to use and do a better job of cleaning the pool, but they can be more expensive.
Which is the suction side of a pool pump?
It is the side that draws in water from the pool. The suction side of a pool pump is usually located at the bottom of the pool.
What is the pressure side of a pool pump?
The pressure side of a pool pump is the side of the pump that pumps water out of the pool. The pressure side is under more pressure than the suction side, so it needs to be stronger. The pressure side usually has a higher flow rate than the suction side.
Water cleanness is the most critical issue for all owners of swimming pools. Diseases such as diarrhea and gastroenteritis are usual risks if the poll is not correctly maintained. The maintenance includes mechanic and chemical treatment availability of the filtration system.
Filtration system or recirculation system is the first step of cleaning procedure (collection debris), the cleaner is the second step for mechanical treatment of pool’s surfaces (cleaning them from dirt, sand, and small debris), chemical treatment is the third step which should be performed at least once per season (delete all organics, algae, bacteria).
Mechanical treatment is performed by different pool cleaners – manual, automatic, or robotic. Chemical treatment can be chlorine, bromine, ozone, or UV. The periodicity of chemical treatment depends on the quality of the pool cleaner. So, it is essential to choose it correctly.
The most crucial parameter is the pool’s size or volume, which defines the required suction power of the pool. To minimize risks of any diseases, a shower before and after is good advice for all swimmers.