Swimming pool care is essential to maintaining healthy and balanced water quality, keeping systems and equipment operating smoothly, and avoiding serious structural damage and possible health problems. One element to good swimming pool care is the pool vacuum cleaner.
No different from a carpet vacuum cleaner, a pool vacuum cleaner cleans dirt, leaves, twigs and other debris from the bottom of the pool. And just like your home vacuum, not all pool vacuums are the same. Do your research or consult a professional before buying a pool vacuum cleaner.
- Annual Cleaning. A vacuum cleaner cannot clean a really dirty pool. Right before the swimming season, pools must be cleaned manually; after which, the pool vacuum should be enough.
- Pool Size. In this case, size matters. Some vacuum cleaners work well only on small pools and spas, while others are just too cumbersome for a smaller pool.
- Vacuums take a lot of abuse from the sun and chlorine. Some can cover the equivalent of over 600 miles annually. Ensure the vacuum has a good history for longevity and low repair. Choose one that does not get blocked a lot.
- Manual or Automatic. If only for spa and very small pool use, a manual vacuum might do the trick. For larger pools, however, an automatic vacuum is less maintenance intensive for homeowners.
- Angles Matter. Some cleaners are made to get into the angular corners of a pool, while others are better used with a round pool or one with only rounded corners.
- Cleaning Pattern. Some automatic cleaners work in random patterns, making them slower to clean the pool. Those with pre-determined patterns typically clean faster.
- Some pool vacuum cleaners can remain in the pool, but others may do damage to the filtration system and must be removed after each cleaning.
- Installation/Retrofit. The easier it is to install a vacuum, the easier it will be to retrofit it when the time comes, meaning it should cost less and take less time away from pool use.
- Filtration System. Some cleaners put a strain on the filtration system, fill up the skimmer box too quickly, put a strain on the pool pump, and cause damage to elements that are expensive to repair or replace. Choose one that is good to the system equipment or does the least damage.
- What It Cleans. While one vacuum may be great at cleaning dirt and small debris from the bottom of the pool, another may be good at removing the leaves and twigs, while another may do all of it better.
- Pool Steps. Some pool vacuum cleaners can climb and clean steps – others cannot.
- For homeowners with both a pool and a spa, a vacuum that is adjustable for different shapes and size of pools is necessary. The hose buoyancy and flow must be adjustable.
Each type of cleaner, make and model has its own advantages and disadvantages. Consult a professional in swimming pool care before buying a pool vacuum cleaner.