Pros and Cons of Automatic Pool Cleaners

Pools can provide hours of fun and entertainment for the whole family, but they must be regularly cleaned to ensure the safety of all users. Cleaning your pool regularly helps to ensure that the filtration and pump systems do not get clogged. It also helps to create an experience that is more enjoyable without having to worry about dirt and grime. 

Types of Automatic Pool Cleaners

There are two broad types of pool cleaner available: automatic and manual. There are a number of different automatic pool cleaners, which will help you to find a model that works best for you and your pool. There are three main types of automatic pool cleaner:

●    Pressure-Side

This type of pool cleaner attaches to your pump, and the cleaner component moves around the bottom of the pool, collecting leaves and other debris.

●    Suction-Side

The cleaner attaches to the side of your pool filtration system, and the cleaner moves about the pool due to pressure caused by your pool’s circulation pump. The cleaner moves randomly along your pool floor, sucking up rubbish as it goes. 

●    Robotic

This is the most expensive form of the automatic pool cleaner. All you need to do is plug the cleaner in via a long extension cord and place it in your pool. The cleaner is capable of cleaning not only the bottom of the pool but also the stairs and walls. You can program the robotic cleaner to follow a specific route to ensure it cleans your pool as accurately and efficiently as possible. 

Each type of automatic pool cleaner will have their own pros and cons, but there are some general benefits and drawbacks that all of them have in common:

Pros

●    Time-efficient

If you get an automatic pool cleaner, it will do almost all of the work for you. Regardless of what kind of automatic cleaner you go for, all you need to do is turn it on, and you can walk away while it works. A manual pool cleaner will require you to vacuum the pool yourself, usually once a week, to maintain optimal cleanliness. Depending on the size of your pool, this task could take a very long time, which could be better spent doing other things. 

●    Requires minimal effort

Automatic pool cleaners require significantly less effort to use, compared to manual alternatives. In order to keep your pool clean with an automatic pool cleaner, all you need to do is place it in the water, turn it on, and then remove it when you are finished. Automatic pool cleaners still need to be removed from the pool when not in use, to prevent corrosion or other damage from the water, but this task is minimal compared to the effort it takes to clean a pool manually. 

Conversely, a manual pool cleaner requires the user to move the vacuum around, sucking all of the debris up. You need to move around and take care to ensure you manage to reach into all of the little crevasses. 

●    Great for larger pools

Perhaps it goes without saying that the larger your pool is, the longer it will take to clean. The greater the surface area of your pool is, the more and more efficient it is to invest in an automatic pool cleaner, saving you more time and effort in the long run. With a manual pool cleaner, you are only multiplying the time it takes to get your pool clean and ready to swim in again.

●    Often doesn’t require extra parts for your pool

For most automatic pool cleaners, you don’t need to be buying expensive extra parts in order to make it compatible with work in your pool. Most of the time, you can just plug your pool cleaner into existing systems such as the pump or filter, and away it will go. The only exception to this is if you purchase a pressure-side filter, and your existing pump is not strong enough to let the cleaner function properly.

Although this is a bonus for automatic pool cleaners, you should also remember that manual pool cleaners don’t require you to buy and install extra parts, either. 

Cons

●    Cost

Without a doubt, buying an automatic pool cleaner is going to be more expensive than buying a manual alternative. The heightened cost doesn’t just stop at purchasing the product – maintenance and repair fees will cost more for automatic products. If you haven’t chosen the best automatic pool cleaner, it might break down even more than regular, and those fees will just keep adding up and adding up.

That’s not to suggest that a manual pool cleaner won’t have any ongoing costs either, but they will just be significantly lower. If cost is a concern for you, opt for a manual pool cleaner. 

●    Less accurate

With an automatic pool cleaner, you are relying on the power of the machine to clean your entire pool. With the exception of a robotic cleaner, your machine does not have the ability to move around the pool according to a programmed route, meaning it might miss certain spots. Chances are, there will be occasions where debris has been missed. 

With a manual pool cleaner, you have the power to clean your pool completely to your satisfaction. If you are dedicated enough, you can spend the time to ensure that your manual pool cleaner gets all of the debris out of the pool, without wasting time going over the same clean spot twice.

●    Does not clean the stairs or sides of the pool

This point does not apply to all automatic pool cleaners, as robotic models are capable of performing these tasks. But suction-side and pressure-side cleaners are only able to clean what is on the floor of the pool. Although this will capture the majority of the litter in your pool (especially when the water is agitated and moves rubbish around before eventually resettling it), it may not get all of it. This leaves your stairs and pool walls still potentially dirty, and many pools can develop. 

So are automatic pool cleaners worth it?

This is completely dependent on your priorities and your willingness to invest. Automatic pool cleaners are often not perfect, and they can be more expensive. But the convenience and time-saving that they provide might be totally worth it.

Regardless of what you choose, always do your research so that you can make an informed purchase. Understand exactly how your pool cleaner will function, and what input it requires, so that you can get a cleaner that works best for you. 

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