Guide to Automatic In-ground Pool Cleaners

Maintaining your in-ground pool is an important part of ensuring safe swimming, and is also important for protecting your investment. Pool maintenance can seem like a chore at times and this can take away from the enjoyment you experience. Manual pool cleaning is time consuming and laborious which is why many pool owners invest in an automatic pool cleaner. Automatic pool cleaners have been around for decades and the technological advances in in-ground pool cleaners make them very efficient cleaners. An automatic in-ground pool cleaner helps you spend less time cleaning your pool and more time enjoying it. You’ll notice clearer water that is free of algae and contaminants making swimming safer as well as more pleasurable.

As with most pool products there is an array of quality manufacturers who produce automatic pool cleaners. Hayward manufactures in-ground pool cleaners that are durable, reliable, and at the forefront of pool cleaning technology. Another excellent manufacturer of pool cleaners for in-ground swimming pools is Polaris. They have been active in the pool cleaner market for more than 40 years and offer a full range of in-ground pool cleaners for all pool styles and designs. Likewise, Pentair manufactures a range of reliable, simple, and convenient automatic in-ground pool cleaners at affordable prices. Finally, another recommended company for in-ground swimming pool cleaners is Zodiac. They are a worldwide company dedicated to developing better automatic pool cleaners.

Choosing an Automatic In-ground Pool Cleaner

As in-ground pool cleaners have been a standard accessory for swimming pools for several decades, it should come as no surprise that there is a wide range of choices available to you. All automatic in-ground pool cleaners fall into one of 3 basic categories: suction-side in-ground pool cleaners, pressure-side in-ground pool cleaners, and robotic in-ground pool cleaners.

Suction-side pool cleaners for in-ground pools:

These in-ground pool cleaners connect to your in-ground pool suction ports. Usually you’ll install it using the skimmer port but you may have a dedicated vacuum port for your in-ground pool cleaner. Suction is created on the underside of the in-ground pool cleaner by water being pulled out of the pool by the pump. As it moves around your pool, debris and sediment is vacuumed through the hose and into the filter pump strainer basket. You can adjust cleaning patterns to maximize coverage and cleaning efficiency by manipulating hose length, water volume, and water flow. The pros of suction-side in-ground pool cleaners are that they’re easy to install and operate.

Some of our suction-side pool cleaners include the Pentair Kreepy Krauly, the Hayward Pool Vac Ultra, and the Hayward King-Ray. For an extremely economical option, try the Hayward Sun-Ray.

Pressure-side pool cleaners for in-ground pools:

These in-ground pool cleaners connect to the return side of the circulation system of your pool. Water that is pumped back to the pool is used to power these pool cleaners. Pressure-side pool cleaners for in-ground swimming pools have an internal vacuum bag for collection dirt and debris. Sometimes pressure-side cleaners can run off your pool pump and sometimes they will require a dedicated cleaner line and booster pump depending on the model of pool cleaner. Deciding whether you’ll need a dedicated cleaner line and booster pump basically depends on the model of pool cleaner, along with whether your pool’s existing pump can provide enough pressure to power the automatic pool cleaner. Using a dedicated booster pump for your in-ground pool cleaner will ensure that your cleaner achieves maximum efficiency.

The benefits of pressure-side pool cleaners for in-ground swimming pools include the fact that they redistribute clean water throughout your pool and they have a dedicated debris bag so they won’t compromise your filter system. They can be less efficient than other varieties of in-ground pool cleaners, but have a proven track record and make a great investment.

A wide range of pressure-side in-ground pool cleaners are available including the Hayward Phantom (with or without booster pump), the Polaris 380, and as an economical alternative the Polaris 165.

Robotic pool cleaners for in-ground pools:

These in-ground pool cleaners run independently of your pool’s pumping or filtration system. They contain an internal motor to power locomotion and suction, and therefore require electricity. Robotic pool cleaners for in-ground pools are connected to a transformer which plugs into a standard outdoor outlet and converts the electricity to low voltage. They have an internal filter for collecting debris and sediment. The main advantages of robotic cleaners for in-ground pools are that they are quick, efficient, and carry the most features of in-ground pool cleaners. The extra features of robotic in-ground pool cleaners, including their independence from your pool’s circulation system, self contained filter, and internal motor providing drive and suction, make these cleaners somewhat more expensive but typically more effective as well.

An affordable robotic in-ground pool cleaner is the Nitro. Some other well-reviewed robotic pool cleaners for in-ground pools are the Hayward Aqua-Vac and the Aqua-Vac Plus.

Linda Gordon is swimming pool owner with more than 12 years experience of pool maintenance. She provides guidance on buying automatic in-ground pool cleaners for regular pool maintenance. Find out difference between suction-side, pressure-side and robotic pool cleaners for in-ground swimming pools.

Read More

Automatic Pool Cleaners for In-Ground Pools – How To Make A Right Choice


Nobody wants to spend more time cleaning their pool than they do swimming in their pool. At the same time, however, keeping your pool clean for your swimmers is extremely important. Fortunately, with the help of automatic swimming pool cleaners, you can keep your pool clean with very minimal time and effort on your part. Of course, considering the multitude of different models of automatic pool cleaners available on the market, it may not always be easy to decide which cleaner will be best for you and your in-ground swimming pool. However, by taking a few factors into consideration and by educating yourself about different features and options, you can feel confident that you’ll end up making the right choice and the right purchase.

To begin with, it’s a good idea to think about what type of debris you will be primarily trying to remove from your in-ground swimming pool. For example, if your pool collects a lot of leaves and not much in the way of dirt, you might be better off with a different automatic cleaner than someone who has a pool that collects lots of dirt but not many leaves. This is because certain models of in-ground pool cleaners are better at cleaning up different types of debris.

Automatic pool cleaners for in-ground pools are typically divided into three general categories — suction side cleaners, pressure side cleaners and robotic cleaners. The different types of cleaners vary in price and have different pros and cons. Once you know your budget and the type of cleaning your in-ground swimming pool primarily requires, it’s time to start considering the benefits and drawbacks of each category.

Automatic suction pool cleaners attach to your existing pool suction system, which is the part of the pool plumbing which sucks water out of the swimming pool to be filtered. These in-ground pool cleaners attach to the skimmer or a separate vacuum port and move automatically around the pool when your pool pump is turned on. Suction swimming pool cleaners are particularly great at picking up dirt and they also tend to be the most affordable type of automatic pool cleaner for in-ground pools. Also, these cleaners do not require a booster pump to operate and are easy to install and to maintain. The main drawback involved in using suction pool cleaners is that they’re operated by your pool pump and the dirt and debris they suck up goes to your pool filter.

Pressure side pool cleaners operate differently from suction pool cleaners as they typically require an additional booster pump or work off the pressure side of your pool’s circulation system. Pressure side in-ground automatic pool cleaners are excellent for pools that collect leaves and other large debris and will provide outstanding cleaning power. These cleaners also help to circulate pool water and will collect dirt and debris in their own internal debris bag, which will prevent your filter from becoming compromised. However, if you are considering the purchase of a pressure side pool cleaner, keep in mind that these cleaners are typically more expensive than suction pool cleaners and are not as easy to install, especially if you do not already have a booster pump hooked up.

Robotic pool cleaners make up the third category of swimming pool cleaners. Robotic cleaners are self-contained units that operate off of electricity. This type of automatic in-ground pool cleaner uses a transformer to convert electricity from your house into a safe current. The electricity is then used to power the unit’s drive motor, which powers the cleaner’s movement and pump motor which sucks debris into the cleaner’s internal filter. Robotic swimming pool cleaners are perhaps the easiest to install and use as they just have to be plugged in and thrown in the pool. They also do a great job of cleaning and come with an easy-to-remove internal bag that stores the collected debris.

However, just as with all other in-ground automatic pool cleaners, robotic cleaners have certain drawbacks that need to be considered. Perhaps most notably, robotic cleaners are the most expensive type of in-ground pool cleaners. If you’re on a tight budget, these cleaners may not be a realistic option. However, if you have more money to spend, robotic swimming pool cleaners will provide you with excellent cleaning power as well as outstanding convenience.

Basically, the major factors to consider before purchasing any of the above types of automatic pool cleaners include expense, performance and maintenance. Once you have taken all these considerations into account and have become aware of all the pros and cons associated with the various categories of in-ground automatic pool cleaners, it will be much easier to choose the right unit for your pool and your cleaning needs.

Brenda Masten is an experienced pool owner. She provides information about automatic pool cleaners for in-ground swimming pools. This helpful buyer’s guide describes different pool cleaner types and explains what features could be important for pool maintenance.

Read More