Pool Cleaning Options: Which One Is The Best For You?

Choosing among the available pool cleaning systems is in your best interest if you want a safe and germ-free environment for your friends and family. So, which one is right for you?

There are few things better in this world than taking a dip in the pool in the middle of a sweltering day. The flip side is that, as a pool owner, you have much responsibility riding on your shoulders. Pools need regular upkeep, and no, we’re not talking about the usual maintenance. What’s required is constant skimming, brushing, and vacuuming– tasks that take time and effort.

Are you up to the task? As a pool owner, you have probably already come to terms with that fact unless you want a green swamp full of algae and mosquitoes in your backyard. Here, we look at the various pool cleaning methods to help you gain a better understanding of what is involved and how you can make things easier on yourself.

 

The Importance of Swimming Pool Cleaning

Cleaning your pool is essential for your comfort, protecting your equipment, and preserving a clean and safe environment for everyone to enjoy. It’s hard to relish a mid-afternoon dip when you see leaves and other stuff floating around.

What’s more, algae and debris are health hazards. Excessive levels of swimming pool algae provide a breeding ground for microbial pathogens that feed on algae. These bacteria pose risks to swimmers, causing skin rashes or bacterial infections to the eyes and ears.

A clean and properly-maintained swimming pool contributes to the longevity of your pool. Your pool’s skimmers and filtration system will require fewer repairs, saving you money over the long haul. Needless to say, cleaning the swimming pool must be a non-negotiable priority for all pool owners.

Therefore, if pool cleaning is THAT important, what are the options available, and which one is the best for you? Read on.

Manual Cleaning

This method is exactly as it sounds– rolling up your sleeves for good, old manual labor. This option is not ideal for owners who do not have much free time, are up in years, and for someone who has a large pool. Out of all the pool cleaning options, this is obviously the most cost-effective, but it is also the most physically exhausting.

If this option works for you, you’ll need the right equipment. For starters, you must have a skimming net, a brush, a telescopic pool, and a manual pool vacuum. The net and brush can both be attached to the telescopic pool for the initial part of the cleaning, and a manual pool vacuum essentially finishes the job. For above-ground inflatable pools like those made by Intex, ensure that you’re using a manual vacuum designed for inflatable pools.

Since you’ll be using various tools in this method, see to it that all of your equipment are in tip-top condition and are appropriate for the pool type. A pool made of paintless concrete may require brushes with stiffer bristles (such as a combination of stainless steel and nylon), while fiberglass pools can be cleaned with softer nylon brushes.

Your pool will require regular cleaning to remain safe and sanitary. Skimming must be done daily, while brushing and vacuuming should be enough to keep your pool from becoming a microbial hotbed.

 

Pool Cleaning Options: Which One Is The Best For You?

 

Automatic Cleaning

Did your arms ache just by reading the to-do list for manual cleaning? It’s understandable. If you’re not up to the intense physical exertion of manual cleaning, you can always go the automatic route.

“Invest” is an appropriate description. Automatic pool cleaners will require upfront investment but are guaranteed to be economically advantageous in the long run.

 

Pool Cleaning Options: Which One Is The Best For You?

 

Here are the three primary types of automatic pool cleaners, how it works, and the benefits that each one brings:

1.) Automatic Suction Cleaners 

Also known as suction-side pool cleaners, this type of automatic pool cleaner is the cheapest. It is also easy to use and maintain, making it a popular choice for first-time pool owners. However, because of its complete reliance on the power of the pool pump, continued use increases the chances of wear and tear in the system, not to mention high electricity consumption.

To use this automatic cleaner, the filtration pump must be in excellent shape and sufficiently large for the job. Expect to clean and backwash your filters quite often, as more dirt than usual will pass through the system. With that being said, its reliability and effectiveness in cleaning every part of the pool are never in doubt. Also, suction cleaners are generally very durable and can take on pools of any size and shape.

Here are some of the best suction-side cleaners on the market:

  • Zodiac BARACUDA G3. The BARACUDA is one of the most budget-friendly models out there. Its most critical features are its adaptability and the ability to function at any suction power level. It is not as effective in cleaning large leaves, but other than that, the combination of a friendly price tag and reliable cleaning is enough for most owners.
  • Hayward AquaNut 400. The Aquarius 400 comes with a pretty hefty tag that rivals, but it could be the best suction pool cleaner in the market. It can pretty much handle anything with ease — twigs, leaves, bugs, etc. This unit has a long hose that allows it to clean pools of any size and operates quietly so that you can take a nap nearby while it’s cleaning.

2.) Automatic Pressure Cleaners

Automatic pressure cleaners, also known as pressure-side cleaners, also use the pump and filter in your swimming pool. The difference is that it has its own filter bag and sweep hose, making it better than suction cleaners, especially when dealing with larger debris such as pebbles, leaves, and acorns. You may directly connect it to your pool’s main circulation system, but adding a separate booster pump provides higher and more consistent power.

Regarding its maintenance, this cleaner’s filter bag must be cleaned after each use. Because it is powered by your swimming pool’s pump, the energy bills should be the same as the suction-side cleaners, but you won’t have to backwash it when you’re finished. Generally, pressure cleaners are more expensive than suction cleaners.

Here are two of the best automatic pressure cleaners on the market:

  • Polaris Vac-Sweep 360. The Vac-Sweep 360 is the perfect balance between cost-effectiveness and power. It does not need a separate booster pump and works best with a dedicated return line and a valve. The 30-foot hose may be a little short for bigger pools, so be sure your pool is the right size
  • Polaris Vac-Sweep 3900. The Vac-Sweep 3900 has elite cleaning power. ​​The filter bag provides 40 GPM of additional pool filtration, which helps to protect the filter from wear and tear. The PosiDrive system and steel chain make moving around the pool simple. It collects debris as large as acorns and treats dirt like it’s nothing.

 

Pool Cleaning Options: Which One Is The Best For You?

 

3.) Robotic Cleaners

Robot pool cleaners are the most advanced type of automatic cleaners. They are self-contained machines, which means they are powered separately from the pool circulation system and do not put additional strain on the filter.

Above all, these robots are plug-and-play equipment. You plug them, turn them on, and drop them off the pool to do their thing. And yes, they are designed to never cause electrocution, so you can rest easy. Robot cleaners are very energy efficient that whatever initial cost you pay for them will simply pay off months after.

 

Pool Cleaning Options: Which One Is The Best For You?

 

Here are some of the best robotic pool cleaners 2022 has to offer. If you want a more comprehensive list, this piece by cleanup.expert got you covered.

  • Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus. If that jolly pool-cleaning guy at the nearest swimming pool shop is a robot, he’d be the Nautilus CC Plus! It does not require any pumps or hoses and has dual-scrubbing brushes to help eliminate dirt, algae, and other foreign objects. This robotic cleaner is intended for in-ground pools up to 50 feet long and finishes an entire cleaning cycle in two hours. Without a doubt, the Nautilus CC Plus provides all of the functionality and convenience you’d expect from a robotic pool cleaner at a mid-tier price point.
  • Polaris 9550 Sport. Designed more like a sports car than cleaning equipment, the 9550 provides exceptional cleaning performance, a motion-sensing remote, and many programming options. The smart 7-day programmable timer with fully customizable cleaning cycles is one of the 9550 Sport’s unmistakable advantages. This feature allows owners to set and forget while still coming home to a pristine pool every day.

 

Pool Cleaning Options: Which One Is The Best For You?

 

Final Thoughts: Which Pool Cleaning Option is Best For You?

A swimming pool is the most polarizing thing you can own. Why? Because it can be both fun and disheartening at the same time. However, if you can figure out which pool cleaning option works best for your circumstances, you need not fret.

If you don’t have much to do and your pool is relatively small, perhaps you could use the upper body workout that comes along with manual cleaning. If not, you can automate that task using suction cleaners, pressure-side cleaners, or robotic pool cleaners. Regardless of what you choose, the bottom line is that pool cleanliness is absolutely vital for a safe and healthy environment for your family.

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