So, you’ve made the conscious decision to buy an above ground pool vacuum cleaner from Intex, Doughboy, Aqua Leader, or another company, to satisfy your swimming urges. The truth is that there are a few extra factors that you’ll need to consider. These include size, type, shape, and perhaps, most importantly, getting the best possible above ground pool vacuum cleaner.
Any avid swimmer among us will appreciate the importance of keeping a pool debris-free as well as balancing the right chemicals to produce a clean and safe swimming environment. That said, we’re going to take you through the different types of home poolside vacuum cleaner for above ground pools as well as list some of the most popular brands available on the market today.
Above Ground Pool Types
When starting your search, it’s helpful to have a good idea of the different types of above ground pools that are available and how they can influence your decision when it comes to buying a new vacuum. They can be broken down into numerous subcategories but are essentially comprised of two main groups:
Ring pools are inflatables with a prominent highly inflated ring running around the top. These are typically great for first-time above ground buyers as they are more affordable than framed pools, granting users the opportunity to see if a pool suits their lifestyle and if they can happily manage the maintenance that comes along with it.
- Extremely quick and easy to set up
- Quick water-filling and emptying process
- A large variety of both shapes and sizes
- More child-friendly due to soft sides and a limited depth
- Can be easily stored during colder months
- You’ll need to purchase an electric pump.
- They don’t cope as well with wear and tear.
- Difficult to patch up
- Take up a significant amount of space
Framed types offer a lot more support and structure compared to ring types. The frame surrounding this pool type is usually made of high-endurance plastic, metal, and occasionally wood for more permanent fixtures. This kind also offers a variety of benefits not seen in ring pools, but these are reflected in the generally higher price.
- Increased depth
- Well-supported sides
- Easy to find a cover that fits appropriately
- Save backyard space
- Everything you need to set it up is included
- Longer life than ring as they’re less prone to damage
- More expensive than ring
- Longer set up times
- Longer fill and empty times
Types of Above Ground Pool Vacuum Cleaners
Buying an above ground pool vacuum cleaner can be a rather daunting task as there is such a wide variety currently available on the market. Nevertheless, the first thing we need to look at is the type of cleaner that best suits your swimming pool.
Below are three types of cleaners that are suitable for above ground swimming pools:
Suction Side Pool Vacuum
This is possibly the most popular poolside cleaner due to its low cost. This type of above ground pool vacuum cleaner derives its power from the filter pump that is typically included in your pool purchase. However, if this isn’t the case, then you’ll need to buy an external pump.
Suction side pool cleaners are great for clearing the bottom of any debris that may have settled at the bottom. This is then transferred out to the pool and into your filtration system for easy removal. This type of above ground pool vacuum cleaner is manually operated. This makes it a great choice for first-time buyers and those who don’t need to clean on a regular basis.
Pressure Side Pool Vacuum
Pressure side pool vacuums are by far the most famous automatic cleaners. They gained their name through their method of operation, and that is using the pool’s return jets.
Typically, the unit is hooked up to your water return jet with a flexible hose, and the pressure pulled from this jet is what drives the above ground pool vacuum cleaner. You’ll then use an attached sweeper hose, which can be dragged along the bottom, to blast the bottom and walls with high-pressure to loosen debris. That debris is then collected in a skimmer bag that is attached to the cleaner.
This type of cleaner is extremely handy as it not only helps clean harder-to-remove debris but also lessens the work of your filtration system since larger debris is collected in the skimmer bag, which is then simply emptied into the trash.
The problem is that although this is an automatic cleaner, it will still need to be overseen to ensure it doesn’t get caught and stop cleaning. You’ll also have to regularly check the skimmer bag to make sure it can still collect debris.
Robotic cleaners are the ultimate piece of cleaning equipment when it comes to convenience. These cleaners have their own onboard filtration system, which can act as a secondary filter.
The units are completely self-contained, which means there’s no need for any hoses to be run along your pool from any pumps or existing filter systems. They are also often fully programmable, so all you need to do is select your desired functions, leave it, and let it do its job. As such, you can go about your day without having to worry about overseeing the cleaning process.
The vast amount of robotic cleaners also use a series of scrubbers, which help clean the bottom and lowest sides of the walls of your pool. The debris is then stored in the unit’s internal bag after the cleaning process. Apparently, this type of above ground pool vacuum cleaner is commonly the most expensive in the market.
Brands You Can Trust
With so many product brands and vac models currently available, we figured we would give you a hand and create a shortlist of some of the most reliable and trustworthy companies that provide both quality products and services. We’ve selected these companies since they have been in the business for a long time and their products come with reasonable warranties.
Zodiac Pool Systems, Inc.
Zodiac Pool Systems, Inc. is a USA-based, BBB-accredited company that is geared towards developing innovative and user-friendly pool and spa products for residential properties. They distribute several products under the brand names iAqualink, Jandy, Polaris, and Zodiac Ranger. However, only the last two are focused on cleaners and accessories.
They have pressure-type cleaners that include their Polaris Sweep Series or the Polaris 65 as well as the very appealing Turbo Turtle model. The Polaris Brand also offers robotic pool cleaners while the Zodiac Ranger automatic pool brand focuses on suction-type cleaners.
Hayward Industries, Inc.
Easily one of the most well-established giants in the pool industry, Hayward Aqua has been in the business for over 80 years with a heavy focus on automatic above ground pool vacuum cleaners. They have a variety of technologically advanced commercial and residential pool cleaners as well as accessories and equipment.
Amongst their most sought-after automatic pool cleaners are those included in their Wanda the Whale Series. This is because they come in a very attractive design and small size as well as because of their affordable price and patented SmartDrive steering system. They also offer sand filter cleaners.
Aqua Products is another company that is based in the USA and has been around since 1982. It is claimed that they are the first company to produce robotic pool cleaners, which they now call Aquabots. They have Aquabot pool rover models that can be used for residential or commercial properties. The great thing about their products is that they are not just focused on keeping the pool clean but also ensures that it remains “healthy” for the user.
Aquabot cleaners such as their Aquabot Pool Rover S2, Bravo, Fury, and Junior Series, as they say, are at the forefront of robotic pool cleaning. They offer everything from light scrub and debris micron collection to patented jet drive technology and aqua smart technology. They also offer a pool rover junior robotic for smaller pools. You can check out their Aqua EZ-Vac automatic pool cleaner also. These advanced systems are great for saving you heaps of time when it comes to maintenance of you above ground pool vacuum cleaner.
As opposed to the first three manufacturers we discussed above, Kreepy Krauly is a company based in Australia. It is a family-owned business that has been in the industry for more than four decades. They produce various models of above ground pool vacuum cleaner models to match the shape, the profile of the pool’s floor, the material used in the construction, and the amount of leaf or debris typically present.
Above ground pools are a great way to cool down and relax during those summer months but require regular maintenance for a safe and fun swimming experience.
To get the best clean possible, it’s essential that you match your pool with the best above ground pool vacuum cleaner available. You’ll need to consider the size and shape of your pool as well as the capacity of your existing pump and filtration system. The price of replacing filters should be taken into consideration also.
First-time buyers may be more inclined to purchase suction side cleaners due to their lower initial cost and ease of use. However, for those looking to save a bit more time as they don’t want to be stuck cleaning, you may want to consider a robotic cleaner.
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