An automatic pool cleaner will keep your swimming pool cleaner on a daily basis. Depending on your backyard environment and amount of use, an automatic pool cleaner may or may not be useful for you.
There are three different types: Suction side (connects to your skimmer port hole or a dedicated suction port on the side of the pool), return side ( connects to the return side of your pool through a dedicated port or return line), and plug in (plugged in isolated cleaning systems).
A return side automatic pool cleaner is best suited for leafy pools surrounded by trees and brush. They trap debris with a net usually and do not filter what they suck up through the pool system. These are not good cleaners for pools that have a lot of dirt or very fine debris as the debris will just flow right through the net.
Plug in type cleaners are also best suited for leafy pools surrounded by trees and brush. They usually use some type of net or cartridge and will not get all of the fine debris much like the return side cleaners. These are most beneficial for swimming pools where the homeowner does not want the cleaner in the pool all the time. These are portable and are taken out of the pool when not in use.
A Suction Side Automatic Pool Cleaner Offers a More Detailed Cleaning!!
This article is going to focus on suction side cleaners as they are more popular in our orange county area. They suck water and debris up into the pool system and therefore filter very fine debris as well as bigger debris.
These cleaners have more potential to get blocked up than the other two, but will leave your swimming pool immaculate on a daily basis when maintained well. Your swimming pool will still need to be maintained as baskets will get filled, filters will get dirty, and bigger debris will need to be netted out to avoid blocking up the pool cleaner. Read about keeping your swimming pool filter clean here swimming pool filter issues. Sometimes you will have to pick out the obstruction in these cleaners and fix or replace parts as well, so there is a little bit of a learning curve.
Pentair 360042 Kreepy Krauly Automatic Pool Cleaner Is a Legendary Favorite!!
First, but not least is the Pentair Kreepy Krauly which is one of the legends in our industry. This automatic pool cleaner has a round mat like seal that will pulsate all around the pool. It does have a ticking sound as it works and may not be advisable for swimming pools located very close to the house.
This automatic pool cleaner is great for a swimming pool with small debris and leaves. It does not have big holes for water to filter through, so big leaves (3" and above) could block it up. It does have multiple holes and does not leave space under the mat seal to pulsate over bigger debris, however. This design does help it from getting blocked up and it mainly only happens after major winds and/or big piles of leaves in the swimming pool.
The Kreepy Krauly will occasionally get stuck on steps and/or drain covers, so you may have to experiment with the amount of suction and length of hoses for reach of the pool cleaner.
This automatic pool cleaner is pretty durable and will last for 5 to 10 years if maintained well. You need to pay attention to the foot pad at the bottom of the cleaner under the mat, because if it wears out, the footpad frame can get damaged and it is very expensive. The round mat seal and food pad will need replacing every 2 to 4 years and they will cost around $60 to $80 together at the time of this writing.
Zodiac Baracuda G3 W03000 Automatic Pool Cleaner Has it's Advantages!!
The next automatic pool cleaner we will discuss is the Zodiac Baracuda. This pool cleaner also pulsates, but it is much quieter than the kreepy krauly. The Baracuda uses a diaphragm for it's propulsion and it also has a round mat seal that pulsates around the swimming pool.
This pool cleaner has similarities to the kreepy krauly in how it works and has the same potential for getting blocked up. This cleaner is not as big as the Kreepy Krauly and might be a little easier on the eyes. It also has fewer parts and may not last quite as long as the Kreepy Krauly.
The diaphragms on these Baracudas need replacing almost every year and cost around $30 at the time of this writing. I would recommend this pool cleaner for pools that are close to the house as it is quieter.
The Hayward 925ADC Navigator Pro Can Clean a Swimming Pool to Perfection in a Hurry!
The next automatic pool cleaner we will discuss works great out of the box. The Hayward Navigator looks like a little box 10" by 10". It has 2 pods with feet that move up and down rapidly to propel the unit forward. It moves in a circular pattern that can be changed for sharper or wider turns. This Navigator is very impressive when new and/or working well!
It moves fast and is raised up, so it moves over debris and sucks it right up into the system. I have seen it make dirty pools immaculate in an hour's time. It can also climb the walls of many swimming pools just like the the Kreepy Krauly and the Baracuda. It has one small hole about the size of a quarter which can get blocked up if it sucks up something too big or a clump of leaves.
The one issue we have with this cleaner is it has a lot of movable parts that need replacing. They have multiple kits and you can expect to need to rebuild these cleaners every 3 years for anywhere around $125 and up. The pods, shoes, and wings will need replacing every couple of years or so which will cost around $60 at this time.
These cleaners can be tricky to replace parts on as well, because of all the layers of parts. Sometimes all these cleaners need is some tightening on the screws that set the pod to the frame of the cleaner.
Occasionally, they will get stuck on drains and/or steps as well, but we would say a little less so than the others. This is a good pool cleaner for pools that get a lot of small debris, so long as someone can figure out and fix as needed.
Hayward Poolvergnuegen 896584000013 "The Pool Cleaner" Just About Does it All!!
The next automatic pool cleaner is the Hayward Poolverneugen The Poolcleaner. This cleaner is raised up like the Hayward Navigator and rolls over debris and sucks it up. It also will clean up a dirty pool fast as it moves fast and vacuums everything under it. It can also climb walls if not too vertical of a climb.
The advancement of this automatic pool cleaner is that it moves forward and then reverses back, so it does not get stuck on drains or steps as much as the others. It has fewer moving parts than the Navigator and does not need rebuilding as often to boot.
The tires for the wheels need replacing every couple of years, but the internal parts seem to last more than 5 years or so. At $375.00, it is right around the same price as the Navigator.
And The Best Automatic Pool Cleaner is??
Our favorite would have to be The Hayward Poolverneugen The Poolcleaner. This automatic pool cleaner has the fewest problems with getting stuck and with needing repairs. It rolls over most debris and will clean the swimming pool fast. Combined with perfect water chemistry, The Poolcleaner will provide you with an immaculate swimming pool. The exception would be if you have a leafy pool with surrounding trees that could block the cleaner up alot. We then would pick the Pentair Kreepy Krauly as it has less chance of getting blocked up.
These cleaners can get stuck on steps and drains, so play with the skimmer regulator to see if more or less suction helps. You can also use less hoses to keep the pool cleaner from reaching your steps or drain. These cleaners can be a big help even if they only cover 75% of your pool bottom. An automatic pool cleaner could be a great addition to your Pool Heaven!
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