Most of us have an extensive list of things we would rather do than spend time cleaning our pools. New automatic pool cleaner products on the market promise us that we can take care of that list while our pool gets cleaned on its own by a friendly mechanical helper.
But are these promises deliverable? Do automatic pool cleaners do a good job of maintaining your pool, and, more importantly, do they save us the amount of time and money promised?
As you might imagine, the answer to these questions is kind of complex. Automatic pool cleaners offer many advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, only a swimming pool maintenance service can deliver on the pristine waters and hassle-free pool ownership experience you might expect a mechanized pool man to provide. Nevertheless, automatic pool cleaners do have some benefits and drawbacks worth considering.
So, whether you want to stop cleaning your pool entirely or just want a helping hand, first consider these automatic pool cleaner pros and cons.
Types of Automatic Pool Cleaners
There are three types of automatic pool cleaners available on the market:
Suction-side cleaners attach to the intake part of your filtration system, creating suction through the line and propelling a wheeled device around to vacuum up your pool.
Pressure-side cleaners attach to the outlet jet of your pump system — or sometimes a separate pump — and use this pressure to drive the unit around and force debris into its collection bag.
Finally, robotic pool cleaners attach to your home’s electrical grid and, unlike the “brainless” models above, operate according to a set program. These units have their own internal pump and filtration system built in.
Considering whether you want an automatic pool cleaner involves weighing the pros and cons between these three unit types, so let us explore each one in more detail.
- Simple to attach and maintain, with very few moving parts
- Lowest cost option
- Effective at cleaning small to medium-sized pools and picking up small debris
- Can scrub walls and waterline
- Puts a lot of wear and tear on your pump and filtration system
- Needs clean filter to operate, meaning more filter cleaning or backwashing
- Suction hoses can be cumbersome, get tangled
- Cannot pick up larger debris like pine needles or dead leaves
- Powerful and fast
- Can pick up larger debris effectively
- “Tail” hose helps scrub pool
- Not nearly as taxing on your pump as suction-side units are on your filter
- Does not collect debris in pool skimmer
- Works well on medium to large pools
- Hose is easier to manage, less likely to get tangled
- Sometimes requires extra pump to operate
- Still adds to pool running costs
- Bags must be emptied for unit to still run
Robotic Pool Cleaners
- Only “intelligent” option, with programmed cleaning cycles rather than aimless crawling
- Plugs into your home’s 110v electrical grid and uses built-in transformer to operate efficiently at 24v
- Built-in pump and filtration system do not add maintenance or wear-and-tear on pool pump system
- Some have advanced features like remote monitoring, remote control, advanced programming, self-docking abilities and storage caddies
- Most expensive option by far
- Can add to your electricity bill, although far less than other two options
- Most models should be manually dropped in and removed
- Unit filter must be manually removed and cleaned
- Rapidly advancing market means you could easily miss out on latest features
- May not be worth investment for smaller pools
Conclusion: Automatic Pool Cleaners Not as Comprehensive as Swimming Pool Maintenance Service
As you can see, none of these options have true “set it and forget it” capabilities since they all require some sort of manual care and use your existing equipment to get work done. In other words, buying one can help with your pool maintenance chores, but it will never eliminate them.
The only way to stop worrying about your pool completely is to hire an Atlanta pool cleaning service, which can not only clean and vacuum, but also check your pool chemistry to keep it crystal clear. So, if you want a little help at a high cost, get a robot, but if you want true peace of mind, then entrust our experienced pool maintenance professionals.