Guide to Automatic In-Ground Pool Cleaners

by Pool Builders on 04-25-2009 in Articles

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 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 cleaners for swimming pools. Hayward manufactures in-ground cleaners for swimming pools that are durable, reliable, and at the forefront of pool cleaning technology. Another excellent manufacturer of 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 vacuums for all pool styles and designs. Likewise, Pentair manufactures a range of reliable, simple, and convenient automatic cleaners for in-ground swimming pools 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 cleaners.

Choosing an Automatic In-ground Pool Cleaner

As in-ground 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, pressure-side, and robotic in-ground cleaners.

Suction-side pool cleaners for in-ground pools:

These in-ground 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 cleaners are that they're easy to install and operate.

Some of our suction-side 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 cleaners. Pressure-side 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 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 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.

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