Pools are great for recreation for the whole family
during the warmer months and can be used for
exercise as well. If you already own a pool
you know that having a sparkling clean pool
does not come automatically and takes a lot of
work and maintenance.
Above-Ground Pool Vacuum Comparison
|Head Size (in)||7.50||10.00||15.00||5.00||14.00||20.00||18.00||12.00||15.00||15.00|
|Auto Shut Off (hours)||NA||2||2||NA||2||Programmable||3||2||NA||NA|
Above-Ground Pool Vacuum Buying Guide
Pool Vacuum Features
The features listed below are the things you should look for when you are sorting through the different kinds of pool vacuums. These features will help you choose the best pool vacuum you can find for your budget.
- Material of the Pool – Some pool vacuums cannot be used on certain types of materials. Make sure that you know what you pool bottom and sides are made of so you choose the right cleaner.
- Size of your pool – You want to make sure that the pool vacuum you choose is the right size for the pool you are cleaning without taking a long time or a lot of energy. Ensure that the unit you choose has sufficient hoses and poles that are long enough to take care of the entire pool. If you pool is extraordinarily small, a manual pool vacuum will be the best and easiest to use. Larger pools are cleaned much easier with automatic pool vacuums.
- Pump Size – Above ground pool vacuums usually work with the pool’s filtration system. If the pump is not strong enough to power the cleaner it won’t work well at all and you can cause damage to the pump.
- Shape of the Pool – Make sure that the pool vacuum you choose can handle different shapes without getting stuck in the corners or by a ladder or step.
- What kind of dirt are you removing? - If there is barely anything in your pool each day when you come out to clean it you can handle getting a small cleaner that doesn’t need to have a lot of power. If you get a lot of leaves in your pool and other large debris you will want to be sure that you choose a pool vacuum that can handle this larger debris without getting clogged.
Types of Pool Cleaners
There are several different styles and brands of above-ground pool cleaners available on the market. Even though pool filtration systems are designed to catch some debris; leaves, dirt, and sand that settles on the bottom can’t be cleaned with the filtration system and requires more manual removal.
Depending on the pool vacuum, it may be automatic or manual. We’ve listed the different types of pool vacuum below with a little bit of information about each one.
- Manual - The manual cleaners can include such tools as scrub brushes, vacuums, and skimmers that can be attached to an aluminum pole that has a telescoping feature for extended reaches.
- Automatic - The automatic pool vacuums need to be hooked up and placed in the pool and then they can operate on their own for specific durations. If the unit is designed with a suction-type cleaner, it will connect to the pool’s filtration system intake and use the power from the pool’s pump to operate.
Manual Pool Cleaners
There are many different kinds of manual pool cleaners. These include:
- Pool Vacuums – the manual pool vacuum is less expensive than its automatic counterpart and has a hose that is hooked up to the pool’s intake pipe and then to the filter. The vacuum head in on wheels for easy maneuvering and features a pole that telescopes for extended reaching. The operator manually moves the vacuum around the bottom and sides of the pool to get rid of any debris. A manual vacuum doesn’t have any parts that are mechanical and is very economical. The main problem with this type of pool vacuum is the time it takes to manually clean the pool.
- Pool Skimmer - A skimmer is a device on a long pole that can be used to remove debris from the surface of the water. A pool skimmer is good to have around whether your pool vacuum is manual or automatic.Using a skimmer daily can save the filter and prolong its life.
- Pool Brush - This is another pool cleaning tool that attaches to a manual pole. The stiff brush at the end works well to remove tough debris from steps and sides. Brushes also come in handy to loosen dirt, algae, and evergreen needles from the sides of the pool so they can be vacuumed up.
Automatic Pool Cleaners
There are many kinds of automatic pool cleaners available depending on your preferences, needs, and budgets. These include:
- Suction Pool Cleaner – The suction-side pool cleaner has a long plastic hose that connects the filter system to the cleaning unit. The hose will normally plug into an intake that is located below the skimmer’s basket alongside the long part of the pool. Some skimmer baskets have leaf catchers that help reduce the amount of debris that the vacuum takes in. Once the suction-cleaner is hooked up properly it will moves in random patterns across the sides and bottom of the pool. Brushes located on the bottom of the scrubber loosen dirt and debris and the suction of the vacuum sucks up the debris. This unit moves slowly so as not to miss any debris or dirt. Suction-side cleaners are popular with pool owners because they are easy to use and they are inexpensive as well when compared to the other styles. One of the drawbacks to a suction style cleaner is the increase in power that it will cause.
- Pressure-Side Pool Cleaner – A pressure-side pool cleaner is made up of a plastic hose that is attached to an outtake pipe from the filter system of the pool. These units have filter bags that collect all the debris and dirt as it winds its way around. Pressure-side pool cleaners use the pressure that is created by the pool’s pump or it can be moved around by a booster pump that propels itself around. They are mounted on wheels for easy mobility but they aren’t designed to scrub the pool’s surfaces the way manual and contact cleaners can. Using a pressure-side cleaner does not add stress to your pool’s filter. They are a good choice for pools that tend to have a lot of larger debris. A pressure-side pool cleaner falls in the middle category when it comes to cost. One of the drawbacks to this type of pool cleaner is that it can’t be used to clean the sides of the pool. Another drawback is the electricity that pressure-side cleaners can take to run. This is reduced a little bit because of the speed in which it works.
- Robotic Pool Cleaner – A robotic pool cleaner has a built-in motor that has a processor, drive, and pump. Water is pulled in from the pump and is fed through the bottom of the cleaner and sent through filter bags before it is expelled out the top. The pump of this unit creates a suction that moves the cleaner around the bottom of the pool. These robot cleaners have sensor bars that will redirect the cleaner when they contact the pool steps or the walls. You can program a robotic pool cleaner to match the size pool you have for maximum efficiency. They are designed to finish the cleaning cycle in a specific time period that can be pre-set and then it will automatically shut off. Automatic pool cleaners use electrical power to run so you have to have an outlet handy. The filter bags have to be replaced once the cleaning is done. This type of cleaner is the most energy -efficient of all the different types we have listed. They are also the most effective and can pick up even small particles from the waterline, steps, walls, and floor of the pool. Depending on the model, features may include remote controls, 4 wheel drive and other helpful features. If you pool is too small, a robotic cleaner may be unsuitable. Do not leave the robotic unit in the pool in between cleanings for safety reasons. Robotic pool cleaners are the most expensive of all due to the nature of their design but most pool owners feel they are worth the extra money, especially if you have a large pool.
All of the top rated above ground pool vacuums that we have reviewed and listed above are good at providing you with a good, clean pool. Take a few minutes to think about what your specific needs are when it comes to keeping your pool clean and then look for a model that specifically fits these needs.
The knowledge we have provided for you will help ensure that you choose the kind of pool cleaner that you can use easily and count on to keep your pool sparkling and debris-free. All of the features we have listed will ensure that you get a high quality, efficient pool cleaner that is effective, easy to use, economical, and well worth the money you want to spend on it.