This section will help you determine the right cleaning systems for you pool. A cleaning system is the automatic "robot" that swims in your pool and removes the dirt and debris (leaves and sand). This should not be confused with a pool sanitizing system which serves a different function of purifying the water. You will learn if you need to buy a Suction Cleaner, Pressure Cleaner or Self Contained Cleaner.
The three types of cleaners:
A cleaner that uses suction created from a pump. Your cleaner will pull the material into it cleaning port and suck the material into the pump strainer basket where the large debris will get trapped then to the pool filter where the dirt will be separated and captured. To give you a better idea of what this means, it would be similar to the action of sucking water up into a straw from your drinking glass. This cleaner can be installed into a separate suction port that may be built into your pool or can be plugged into your existing skimmer.
A cleaner that uses pressure (the opposite of suction) to power itself. It uses the discharge side of the pump to work. This type of cleaner does not send the dirt and debris to the pump strainer basket and pool filter, instead it pushed the dirt and debris into a separate collection bag that is attached to the cleaner itself. The benefit of this cleaner is that it will usually handle larger debris including leaves and small "gum balls" for a gun tree. This type of cleaner
Self Contained Cleaner
A cleaner that does not does not require the pool system to run itself. You will not be plugging this cleaner into any ports inside the pool and it will not be plugged into the skimmer. It is quite literally self contained. To use this type of cleaner you will simply plug it into an electrical outlet and drop it into the pool.
If you DON NOT have an attachment port built into your pool: This is a good indication that you do not have a pressure system in your pool and you should consider only a suction cleaner or a self contained cleaner. The suction cleaner will install into your existing skimmer very easily with no tools required. A self contained cleaner will not require any connection to your pool. You will simply plug it into an electrical outlet and drop it in the pool. To view all the suction and self contained cleaners.
If you DO HAVE an attachment port built into your pool: You will need to determine if the port is suction or pressure. To find out, follow these steps:
- First, make sure your pool pumping system is turned off!
- Open the port. Depending on what kind it is, you will either unscrew some sort of safety cover or lift up on a spring loaded flap.
- Turn on the pool pumping system. **WARNING** DO NOT place your hand in front of the port while the system is running. If it is a suction system, it might pull your hand in and potentially hurt you!
- Place a small piece of debris such as a leaf in front of the port. If the debris is sucked into the port then you likely have a suction system. If the debris if pushed away from the port, under pressure, then you likely have a pressure system. If it neither sucks nor pushed out, then you may have to reconfigure one of the valves to activate the line. Look for a label in or on the valve that indicates "cleaner" or "vac" or "sweep"
- Another way to figure out what you have is to look for a Booster Pump which will is usually mounted in your pool equipment area. It is a generally small pump between ½ - ¾ horse power and usually has only ¾" – 1" piping running out of the discharge side of it. Pictured here is an example of a booster pump:
- Click on either Pressure Cleaners or Suction Cleaner to find one you might like.
No matter what type of system you have, you can use suction cleaner or a self contained cleaner with it. Only the pressure cleaner requires a special configuration in order for it to operate.
We DO NOT recommend buying a pressure cleaner that requires the use of a separate booster pump if you do not already have your plumbing system configured for it because you will not be able to get it to work without installing new pluming into your pool. This is very expensive and you will likely be wasting lots of your money!
Everyone seems to love the self contained cleaner but it is the most expensive of all of them.