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How do I Choose the Best Automatic Pool Cleaner?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 July 2014
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Choosing the best automatic pool cleaner depends on several factors. The first is the type of swimming pool equipment you can afford, which makes a difference with all pool maintenance issues. The second is the complexity of the shape of the pool. The third factor is the durability of the product. Not all cleaners do the same job in the same way, and this can significantly affect price.

While any automatic pool cleaner will be able to run along the bottom of the pool and suck up debris and other sediment that has settled on the bottom, how sophisticated these machines are varies. A simple model just uses suction and currents to run randomly along the bottom. The law of averages suggest that it will eventually get to every corner of the pool. A robotic cleaner, on the other hand, can be programmed or can actually map out the swimming pool bottom, to come up with an efficient cleaning grid.

The robotic pool cleaner is typically the gold standard of pool cleaner models. It is able to map and remember the grid pattern through a computer chip. All of that technology comes with a price, however, and this is usually the most expensive type as well.

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Many swimming pool owners are very happy with a less sophisticated automatic pool cleaner, which will, in most cases, do a very satisfactory job. The cases where the random cleaners may not do as good of job are when the pools have unusual shapes or spots that are more difficult to get to through random chance. If a pool owner has a concern about a traditional cleaner not being able to do a good enough job, he or she should check with a pool care professional for advice.

For those who do want to try a more random device, the main benefit will be in the price. Check on the store's return policy before buying any pool cleaner. If, after a few weeks, you decide that you need a robotic cleaner, ask the store if you can return or exchange the original product.

Remember that the cheapest models on the market may be made with inferior materials or poor workmanship. Chlorine and the sun can make materials such as rubber very brittle very quickly. Therefore, it is important to ask about various options and ask the retailer which ones have the reputation for greatest durability.

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clintflint
Post 4

@indigomoth - Well, on the other hand, there are jobs created because someone has to maintain the pool cleaners. Any kind of automatic inground pool cleaner is going to need regular maintenance because you won't believe the kinds of stuff that end up in swimming pools.

Our pool cleaner seemed to break down almost as regularly as we would have had someone in to clean it. And even with a pool cleaner, we still got someone to give it a thorough clean every now and then.

Having a pool is expensive either way and it creates plenty of jobs, automatic cleaner or no automatic cleaner.

indigomoth
Post 3

@bythewell - I find this a difficult topic to get my head around properly, which sounds like I'm thinking too deeply about something quite mundane, but hear me out.

People who have complicated pools almost always ended up hiring someone to clean them properly and it was a fairly good job to have, even if it didn't have much prestige. Often the people were self employed and made decent money for work that wasn't exactly back breaking.

Now automated pool cleaners might made those jobs go away. On the one hand, I really think that people should use what works best for them and there's no point in creating jobs artificially. But on the other hand, it's a real shame for people to lose jobs that they do well and which support a family.

Yeah, I might be over thinking it, but I think I'm going to stick with my pool guy for a while yet.

bythewell
Post 2

Wow, I didn't even know you could get a robotic pool cleaner. I suppose they are something like those robot vacuum cleaners you can get. They started out as being very expensive, but they aren't all that bad now.

So, I'll be that automatic swimming pool cleaners will probably come down in price over time as well as the technology becomes more ubiquitous and less expensive to make.

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