Understanding Automatic Pool Vacuums: Their Function and Importance

June 4, 2024

Maintaining your swimming pool’s cleanliness can feel like an endless battle. You’ve got to take care of leaves and other debris, and that’s just on the water’s surface. But keeping the sides and floor of your pool in good condition is just as crucial. While most pool owners use chemicals to balance their pool water and minimise algae and bacteria growth, it’s not enough to do the whole job.


An automatic vacuum is one of the easiest ways to keep your pool clean. These devices work autonomously to keep your pool clean, and we’ll learn all about them in this article. Keep reading to learn about different types of automatic pool cleaners, and how they can benefit you.


What is an automatic pool vacuum?

An automatic pool vacuum is a cleaning system that moves autonomously around your pool, cleaning as it goes. They are designed to clean the walls and floor of your pool, but they can also help to remove debris and other contaminants from the water. As technology advances, we’re seeing automatic or robotic pool vacuums with more impressive features, better energy efficiency and higher performance.


From keeping your waterline clean to scrubbing algae from the floor, automatic vacuums represent the ultimate in convenience. Most modern models have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to remotely control or monitor the device from afar.


Different types of automatic pool cleaners

Pool cleaners come in all shapes and sizes. Below, we’ll look at some of the common types of automatic pool cleaners, how they work, and why you might choose one over the other.

Robotic pool cleaners

Robotic pool cleaners are the ones this article focuses on. They are completely autonomous in their operation; however, you can program and control the devices wirelessly. Rather than using the pool’s existing filtration system, they have their own, meaning less stress on your pool filter. Essentially, the robotic vacuum plots a course around your pool and will scrub the walls, floor and waterline throughout the cleaning cycle to keep your pool clean and healthy.


These are the obvious choice if you want to save time, hassle and money over the long term. You’ll pay a little more upfront for a good robotic cleaner, but you’ll enjoy the benefits for years to come.


Suction-side pool cleaners

Unlike robotic cleaners, suction-side pool cleaners must connect to the pool’s filtration system. They use the water pump’s suction power to make its way around the pool and suck up debris. Typically, these cleaners don’t cost as much as a robotic one, but you get what you pay for. Suction-side cleaners may not move as efficiently around the pool, and all debris goes back through the pool’s main filter.


Pressure-side pool cleaners

Much like suction-side cleaners, pressure-side cleaners use the pool’s water pump in order to move. As water is pumped back into your pool, the cleaner uses the pressure to collect debris around the pool. Again, they aren’t as thorough as robotic cleaners and they rely on your existing pool infrastructure.


One benefit is that they usually collect debris in a bag, rather than using the pool’s filtration system. This requires manual intervention to empty it, but it makes pressure-side cleaners a more appealing option than suction-side for many pool owners.


How do automatic pool vacuums work?

Robotic pool cleaners usually have a long power cord that is connected to an electrical outlet. They operate on a low voltage to ensure they’re safe in the water, which also helps keep running costs down. They use a brush and suction mechanism, which is not too different from a normal vacuum. The brushes dislodge debris and scrub the surface, while the vacuum collects loose contaminants from the water.


An automatic pool cleaner usually has a bag or another collection vessel, and this needs to be emptied regularly. Importantly, robotic vacuums don’t connect to the pool’s filtration system. Rather, they have a built-in filter that catches pollutants and debris.


With many systems offering wireless connectivity, you can control them remotely or program them to work autonomously. Most robotic cleaners have pre-set cleaning cycles to choose from. Ultimately, they represent a hassle-free way to keep your pool in pristine condition all year round.


How does an automatic pool cleaner navigate the pool?

Modern robotic cleaners have excellent scanning capabilities and software, allowing them to effectively assess the area and move around. The main goal is to ensure complete coverage, and that’s what these cleaners are programmed to do. Essentially, the robot’s software guides it around the pool to ensure that all walls, floors and the waterline are clean.


If there are obstacles in the pool, the cleaner’s navigation software identifies and avoids them. Rather than being knocked off course, it quickly returns to its normal cleaning pattern and gets back to work.


Once the cleaning cycle is complete, most robotic pool cleaners return to the pool’s surface where you can empty it for the next cycle.


The benefits of automatic pool cleaners

While most pool owners would agree, they absolutely love taking a dip or relaxing in the water whenever they like. However, one of the biggest challenges is keeping the pool clean. Whether it’s preventing dirt and grime from building up on the walls or clearing unwanted leaves, cleaning a pool is a lot of work.


If you, like most people, don’t necessarily enjoy the process of cleaning your pool, an automatic cleaner is a great choice. Robotic cleaners are easy to use, and they’re almost a set-and-forget solution (provided you empty it and change filters as recommended). Let’s take a look at the full scope of benefits you can get from going robotic.


Save time

The most obvious benefit to owning an automatic pool cleaner is the fact that you save time. Manually scrubbing the floors and walls of a swimming pool is hard work, and not a task that anybody really enjoys. Robotic pool cleaners navigate autonomously, cleaning the walls and floors effectively so that you can spend more time enjoying your pool and less time cleaning it.


Effective cleaning

Automatic pool vacuums are known for their excellent scrubbing ability. Of course, all makes and models are different, but a robotic vacuum is usually strong enough to handle all your pool cleaning needs. They are designed to move across every accessible surface, meaning you always get a thorough clean.


Improved chemical balance

With a robotic vacuum moving around your pool, water circulation increases. Much of a pool’s algae and bacteria growth can be attributed to a lack of water movement, but an automatic vacuum improves this. As water circulates more freely, chemicals are also distributed more evenly throughout the pool. Your water quality increases, and your pool chemicals will be more effective.


Reduced wear and tear of pool filters

As we discussed earlier, some automatic pool cleaners rely on the pool’s existing filtration system. Robotic pool cleaners, on the other hand, use an internal motor and operate independently. You can program most robotic cleaners to return to the pool’s surface after cleaning, when its internal filter is full, or when it is full. Simply empty the unit, and you’ve saved your pool filter from processing a considerable amount of debris. Less pressure on your pool’s filtration system means fewer repairs and a lower ongoing maintenance cost.


More cost-effective over time

You’ll need to invest some money into a quality automatic pool cleaner, but it pays off in the long run. Firstly, with a robotic cleaner you’ll never need to pay for professional pool cleaning services. Over the lifespan of your pool, this is a considerable saving. Additionally, reducing wear and tear on your pool filter saves you money in the long run.


Programmable features for convenience

With so many different varieties of robotic pool cleaners, it’s impossible to list all of the features you might come across. However, modern cleaners typically include Bluetooth or wireless connectivity. This lets you control, monitor and receive alerts from the vacuum. You can also program the vacuum to work when and for how long you want. Many people choose to run their pool vacuum at night to save energy.


Energy efficiency

The new breed of automatic pool cleaners is made to be energy-efficient. Sustainability is a big issue in the modern world, and many pool accessory manufacturers are leading the charge. With greater energy efficiency and more control, using your pool cleaner won’t cost you a fortune in power bills. If energy efficiency is important to you, make sure you check whether a product is certified as eco-friendly.


Need assistance with automatic pool vacuums?

If you want to keep your swimming pool sparkling clean without the manual work, it’s time to invest in an automatic pool vacuum. Blue Haven are your experts in swimming pool design, construction and care. So, whether you’re considering a brand-new swimming pool installation or you just need some advice on keeping an existing pool clean, contact the friendly team at Blue Haven today.

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