5 Best Automatic Pool Cleaners – 2018 Reviews

Love swimming at the pool? After all, it’s a traditional summertime activity that’s safe for the family. Here, you won’t have to worry about jellyfish stings or shark attacks.

But like all artificial structures, pools get dirty with extensive use. Soon, all the debris and chemicals accumulate. The water becomes unhealthy and the circulation system is affected.

Manually cleaning the pool is tiring and time-consuming. Luckily, now there are automatic pool cleaners on the market. These machines do all the work for you so you can have more time for relaxation. So if you want one for yourself, go ahead and check our guide below.


Best Automatic Pool Cleaners 2018


Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Pressure Side – Best Inground Pool Cleaner

5 Best Automatic Pool Cleaners - 2018 Reviews!

Do you have an in-ground pool? This pressure side pool cleaner is specifically made for that type. Thus, it’s guaranteed to work on surfaces made of fiberglass, vinyl liner, and gunite.

The Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 is designed to extend the lifespan of your pool’s filtration system by gathering debris both big and small. How? Well, the Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 has an opening wide enough to accommodate stones and leaves.

Also, the jet vacuum gives the Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 a strong suction power. Once the debris is sucked in, they all go to a filter bag. This container has a large capacity to lessen the number of times you have to empty the bag before the pool cleaner can continue its operation.

No longer will your pool’s pump basket and filter system have to deal with the debris themselves. Do you have a small or large pool? Don’t fret — the feed hose included measures 31 feet in length to ensure a good reach.

Since it’s a Polaris model, the Vac-Sweep 280 features the three-wheel design. The way these wheels are positioned improves mobility underwater no matter the shape of your pool. 

The pool floor and its walls are covered without any significant issues. Even if the machine ends up in a tight spot, its backup valve guarantees that it can set itself free. Thus, you don’t have to stay near the pool to monitor the cleaning process.

Pros

  • Sends clean, heated water all around so you no longer have to deal with cold spots in the pool
  • The 31-feet hose is long enough for most household in-ground pools
  • Sturdy and large chamber filter bag to collect debris of any size
  • Overall cleaning time is only about three hours thanks to the double jets
  • Assembling this machine takes less than 30 minutes

Cons

  • Does not include a booster pump
  • The reverse feature would be better with less backup distance and speed

Overall

It’s hard to ignore the impressive cleaning performance of this pressure side pool cleaner. This is a great model for anyone who has an in-ground pool. You can rest assured that all the acorns and twigs lying around the pool will be removed. From power double jets to a durable filter bag, the Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 has a ton of features working together to make cleaning as hassle-free as possible.


Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus – Best Robotic Pool Cleaner

Robotic pool cleaners aren’t as affordable as the other types, but this particular model is well worth the investment.

The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus doesn’t take the form of its mammalian namesake. Instead, the cleaner takes inspiration from the excellent navigation skills of dolphins. Dolphin calls it the CleverClean Technology.

How does it work? Instead of randomly traversing the pool and wasting electric power, the robotic cleaner first scans the entire area. Then, it follows the best pathway. What’s great here is that it identifies the best pathway no matter the pool’s shape and surface type.

Furthermore, the Dolphin robotic cleaner uses two brushes instead of a single one. This dual-scrubbing feature provides enough friction to scrape off the toughest algae and dirt stuck on underwater surfaces. Once this small debris is gathered, it’s sent through ultra-fine filters. 

There are no entangled hoses to worry about with the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus. It uses a cable that features a patented swivel design, which prevents severe twisting and tangling. The design allows it to spin around and make 360-degree turns, adapting to the robotic cleaner’s underwater movements.

With a tangle-free cable, the robotic cleaner can cover the entire pool area. Even if your swimming pool is 50 feet long, every single section of it will be cleaned in more or less 2.5 hours.

As for maintenance of the robotic cleaner itself, it’s easier than one might expect. The filter system has a top-load design, which means that it can be opened from the top instead of the front or the side. This makes it more convenient to access the two sets of filter cartridges that need cleaning.

Pros

  • Two scrubbing brushes make quick work of algae and dirt
  • Two-year cover parts and labor warranty
  • You can use the timer to have the cleaner follow a two-hour cleaning cycle for a week
  • Two sets of filter cartridges ensure that both fine and large debris are caught
  • Swivel cable is designed to spin around the pool without getting entangled

Cons

  • The user manual should have been more detailed especially about the timer feature
  • Occasionally stops even if its two-hour duration isn’t over

Overall

The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus is a pool cleaner that nearly does everything on its own. Since it doesn’t have to guess where it will go, you save more money on electricity bills. Plus, the fine and ultra-fine filters work together to get rid of any type of debris. With the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus, you could leave the pool for an entire week and go back to see how well-maintained it is.


XtremepowerUS Automatic Suction Pool Cleaner

We’ve already got a robotic cleaner and a pressure side pool cleaner, so we have a suction-side pool cleaner this time. Like any other machine of its type, this XtremepowerUS needs a pool pump. In particular, it will work using a 1-hp or 1600-gas horsepower pump.

The suction pool cleaner relies on your own swimming pool filtration, and this can be a good thing. Thanks to its design, you don’t have to buy any installation tools. Likewise, maintenance only requires a weekly cleaning of its filter to optimize performance.

The XtremepowerUS suction cleaner has no problems reaching the pool floor and cleaning the walls. However, it is not made for cleaning the steps. For the most part, the machine remains stable as long as you place a yellow seal clip around the hose for every three feet of depth.

Pros

  • Removable flapper to conveniently remove debris and prevent clogging
  • Adjustable hose to reduce the chances of tangling
  • One-year parts replacement warranty
  • Performs well even on curve-shaped pools

Cons

  • The 10 included hoses can only cover a pool up to 30 feet in length
  • Not ideal for removing leaves from your pool

Overall

The XtremepowerUS Automatic Suction Pool Cleaner is a stellar choice for people who are new to automatic pool cleaners. It does not demand you to perform complex installations nor buy a lot of equipment. With this model, expect a remarkable cleaning performance whether you have an in-ground or above-ground swimming pool.


Zodiac Baracuda G3 W03000 Suction Side Pool Cleaner

The Baracuda G3 is also a suction side pool cleaner. It’s compact and comes in blue with a tinge of yellow. However, one stark difference between this machine and the XtremepowerUS suction pool cleaner is how the former can clean the pool steps.

It cannot handle large debris such as branches and palm-sized acorns, but smaller ones like dirt and pebbles pose no problem. Plus, the Baracuda G3 will work with low-speed pumps to clean concrete, tile, or vinyl surfaces.

The disc has 36 fins to generate an extensive cleaning path for maximum efficiency. This wide path means that the Baracuda G3 can cover a bigger surface area at a time.  Even if it accidentally goes to a tight corner, the wheel deflector will move it back to a better spot.

Pros

  • Two-year warranty for the hose and a one-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Minimal maintenance cost since the cleaner only has one moving part
  • Installation is very quick since it is already pre-assembled
  • Control valve automatically adjusts the water flow to improve performance

Cons

  • You have to buy additional hose segments if your pool is longer than the hose
  • Its cleaning path does not always cover the entire pool

Overall

The Zodiac Baracuda G3 is perfect for any pool surface thanks to its innovative 36-finned disc. It collects regular-sized debris and cleans the pool steps with ease. Apart from these, this model boasts of a low-maintenance cost. All in all, the Zodiac Baracuda G3 is certainly one of the best suction side pool cleaners on the market.


Hayward Poolvergnuegen 896584000-518 Suction Pool Cleaner

Last but definitely not the least, the Hayward Suction Pool Cleaner uses a two-wheel design to move around pools with a maximum length of 32 feet. Even if your pool has slopes and bumpy areas, the machine can maintain its suction performance thanks to the patented roller skirt design.

Some might wonder why this Hayward model opted for only a pair of wheels instead of adopting the three-wheel design of the Polaris Vac-Sweep 280. Well, these two wheels are equipped with specialized tire threads, which help the cleaner in climbing the pool steps and navigating around obstacles.

This Hayward model can handle large debris better than most suction side pool cleaners. The turbine vanes automatically adjust themselves to exert maximum power no matter the water’s flow rate. Thus, it will always generate enough power to collect sizable debris.

Pros

  • Minimalist dark gray design
  • The cleaner can move even at low pressure because of the turbine vanes
  • Has an internal steering system to move it in reverse and cover more areas of the pool
  • The two wheels have markers that indicate when you need to find replacement parts

Cons

  • Its climbing performance requires improvement
  • Needs hose floats with better quality to keep the hose stable

Overall

This Hayward model has patented parts ranging from the turbine vanes to the tire treads and the roller skirt. All these parts contribute to enhancing stability, navigation, suction power, and pool coverage. It does not skimp on durability and performance. Truly, the Hayward Poolvergnuegen 896584000-518 Suction Pool Cleaner is a product of superb design.


What’s an Automatic Pool Cleaner?

As the name implies, this type of pool cleaner takes away the burden of cleaning from you. They are made for high efficiency and user convenience.

Instead of draining the pool and using a brush to scrub the pool floor, you can just activate the automatic pool cleaner. All you really have to do is the proper installation and regular maintenance of the device.


Types of Automatic Pool Cleaners

In general, there are three types: pressure side, suction-side, and automatic pool cleaners. Each one has their own set of pros and cons that you should take into account.

Pressure Side Pool Cleaner

Otherwise known as a booster pump-powered cleaner, this type makes use of booster pumps placed near the pool’s own pump.

The machine integrates itself with the circulation system of your pool. Once installed, water returning to the pool through the pumps move in a propelling action — all thanks to the hydraulic system.

Pros

A common feature of a pressure side pool cleaner is a debris bag that provides support to your pool’s own filtration system. These internal containers collect debris such as leaves and tiny rocks that have gathered in the pool.

Another feature is the timer, so you can regulate the pool-cleaning procedure. You can have the machine working for three hours each day. Afterward, the pressure pool cleaner stops operations to avoid wasteful use of electricity.

Cons

One disadvantage of a pressure side pool cleaner is its design. The system still relies on hoses — and these can be bulky and visually unappealing. Still, this doesn’t really matter if no one will stay by the pool during cleaning hours.

Second, the size of the automatic pool cleaner isn’t meant for all swimming pools. If it’s too big, you either pay for plumbing services or pick the other types. Plus, the installation gets pretty stressful if you want to have high-powered booster pumps to speed up the process.


Suction-Side Pool Cleaner

The second type relies on vacuums for the suction power. A hosepipe — usually made of plastic — is simply attached to the part of your pool’s own filtration system and the circulation system in general.

In particular, suction cleaners are connected to the hose. Once activated, the suction-side pool cleaner traverses the pool floor and the walls to suck in the debris.

The accompanying brushes eventually remove even the dirt that has clung to the surface for quite some time. If you’re in a rush, you can increase the movement speed of the hose. All the leaves and other debris will then go through the filtration system.

Pros

A suction-side pool cleaner is typically an affordable option. Both the cost and the maintenance expenses should be relatively cheaper compared to the other types.

If your pool only has to deal with dust and small debris, this machine should work fine. In fact, the accompanying brushes are ideal for removing pesky algae. Also, the installation isn’t as complicated as that of a pressure side pool cleaner.

Cons

One obvious downside to using this automatic pool cleaner is how it’s primarily built for cleaning up small debris. However, all hope is not lost. If you have debris such as branches and sizable leaves, you can have a leaf canister installed.

Moreover, the pumping and filtration system of your pool has to work more to support the cleaner. This doesn’t have any internal debris container so the pump basket and filters get clogged pretty fast. Once this happens, the circulation of the pool water is affected.


Robotic Pool Cleaner

The third type pretty much upholds the ‘automatic’ to its fullest extent. A robotic pool cleaner comes with its own filtration system that doesn’t need integration with the pool’s circulation or filter system.

In particular, the robotic cleaner has a pump, drive, and a processor. Simplicity is what this type prioritizes. You just have to plug it into a power outlet, place it in the pool, and turn it on. Just like the suction-side pool cleaner, this one will move around the pool to remove and gather the debris.

Pros

One clear advantage of the robotic pool cleaner is how it scrubs the entire pool without relying on your pool’s filtration and suction systems.

Moreover, you can program how the machine covers the floor — allowing you to have the dirtiest suctions cleaned up first. You can pick only certain sections for cleaning.

The robot pool cleaner is also made to quickly adjust its pathway if it faces obstacles. Compared to the two other types, this offers the most efficient cleaning process.

Cons

With the robotic pool cleaner having the most automated functions, it’s no surprise that it’s the priciest type. And even if you can set a designated pathway, the cleaner can’t move with ease if the electric cord isn’t long enough.

Likewise, the device cannot stay in the pool for an extended amount of time. It does have its own filter and pumping system, but you’d have to clean this as well. Lastly, the cleaner cannot compete with the pressure side pool cleaner when it comes to removing sizable debris floating on the pool.


Conclusion

No one should have to spend long hours using a brush to clean a massive pool. If you want to maintain the quality of your swimming pool, get an automatic pool cleaner. There are three types for you to choose from depending on the size and type of debris you want to clean up.

Like all machines, we highly recommend reading the user manual to ensure a proper installation. Furthermore, you should conduct maintenance on both your pool circulation system and the pool cleaner. We hope that our guide will help you find the right pool cleaner.

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