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What cleaner type is best for my pool? I get asked this question often along with what cleaner I suggest.


Since I work for no manufacturer, do not sell any products directly and have not been paid by anyone to review a product I can be unbiased when it comes to recommending the best cleaner type. Of course, within each type, I do have preferences but this is based on field testing a cleaner or by having one on my pool route for some time.


I must admit that if you watch my earlier videos I really panned the Robotic cleaners. But I had good reason since the 1st generation of these were bulky, ineffective, unreliable and very ugly. In a six-year span the manufacturers of these cleaners have made significant strides and now I can safely recommend them if the situation fits.


Most of the cleaners on my route are suction side cleaners which work directly off of the pool pump. These are easy to maintain, work effectively and are priced low for my customers.


The builders in my area also like to add Pressure Side cleaners in new construction and I have several of these on my route also. In certain cases, I also install Return Side cleaners on my route if the pool is more suited for that type over a suction cleaner.


Suction Side Cleaners:

This is the most familiar type of cleaner to most consumers and the most popular type. A suction cleaner works off your pools existing pump and attached to the skimmer or a side/ vacuum port in your pool. Depending on the pool and type of debris this can be the most effective and cost-effective cleaner type for you. Most suction side cleaners retail for $400 or less.

The Suction side cleaner is the one most popular on my pool route as they are affordable, effective and there are a lot of different models to choose from. In most cases, I will suggest a good suction side cleaner since they are also easy to set up and easy to repair when something breaks.


Pressure Side and Return Side Cleaners:

Pressure Side cleaners are extremely effective. They have a large debris opening and a large bag on top for debris. They can clean a large pool in 2- 3 hours or less. The drawbacks are that they need a separate booster pump installed and a dedicated return line. So usually Pressure Cleaners are installed when the pool is constructed or remodeled.


I have several pressure cleaners on my pool route and they leave the pools spotless each week. If you are having your pool built or remodeled maybe consider a Pressure Cleaner.


The Return Side cleaner is a great option if you have a newer pool with 1 1/2" threaded return lines. This cleaner connects right into your existing return lines and works much like a Pressure cleaner with the exception that no booster pump is needed. I have these on several accounts and love them.

The only major drawback is that since you need to restrict one or more return jets to generate enough pressure the skimming action of the pool is reduced. It is not a deal breaker but something to be aware of. So, if you have lots of large debris in your pool and think a Pressure Side cleaner would work, try a non-booster pump Return side cleaner as an alternative to remodeling your pool.

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