Pool Cleaners: Manual, Automatic or Robotic?

Whether it’s winter or summer, your pool needs to be maintained year round. However, if you’ve ever ventured into a pool supplies shop or browsed our pool cleaners online, you’ll have seen there are a lot of different kinds of pool cleaners on the market. And, if you know little about these contraptions, you might be wondering: which type is best for me?

If you’re trying to get your head around which pool cleaner to purchase, here are some reviews of the different types available, helping to give you a better understanding of which gadget best suits not only your pool, but you as well!

Manual Pool Cleaners

Manual pool cleaners are your first option. They’re effective and the least expensive. There is one huge downside, however: they’re time-consuming to use. A manual cleaner translates to you doing the work. There’s absolutely no self-cleaning, so you have to take care of everything, including guiding the machine around the pool.

The cleaner comprises a vacuum head fitted to a telepole. The whole contraption then connects to a skimmer box. It’s efficient and affordable, but you’ll need to put in some elbow grease to get the job done.

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*Please note that you will be using your existing vacuum plate that suits your pool, not necessarily the Poolrite S2500 plate as showcased above. If you have a different vacuum plate, you can see our entire range of Vacuum Plates through the button below.

Suction Pool Cleaners

Suction pool cleaners are essentially an automatic version of a manual pool cleaner. They hook up in a similar to a manual pool cleaner, straining the water through the pool’s skimmer basket and filter. The biggest difference, however, is that they move around the pool floor on their own. With this added feature, you don’t need to stand in the hot sun and guide the equipment. Automatic pool cleaning is all about convenience.

When you use suction cleaners, you won’t need to brush, vacuum and skim the pool all that much yourself, allowing you to spend less time cleaning and more time swimming.

Pools that often have dust and smaller particles in their water are best suited for suction-side cleaning. You may need a leaf canister if you have to deal with branches, gumnuts, or eucalyptus leaves. It's also handy to catch the leaves in the canister, putting less strain on your skimmer basket!

Our Recommendation: The Water TechniX Rapid

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The Rapid is a great workhorse for basic cleaning duties. It works off a rubber skirt and a rubber diaphragm in the middle chamber, using suction to propel itself around the pool. These diaphragms do need to be replaced once or twice a year, but you can find replacement diaphragms in our store.

Pressure-side cleaners

Pressure-side cleaners use pressure to move along the pool’s floor and walls. Since they have their own filter bag, they reduce wear and tear on your pool filter. Most pressure cleaners require a separate booster pump to work at their best and can sometimes be a hassle to set up and maintain.

Robotic Pool Cleaners

Do you love seeing all the work being done for you while you sit poolside with an iced tea in hand, soaking up the sun? These days, nobody would even consider having a pool without an automatic pool cleaner. They are affordable and take a tedious and repetitive job off your hands. However, many pool owners don't realise that there is an even better solution: robotic pool cleaners. Simply put, robotic pool cleaners are the next level of pool cleaning equipment. If you owned one, you wouldn't go back to a suction cleaner and would more than likely ask yourself why you had not purchased one sooner!

Robotic pool cleaners not only look very impressive, but they do a better job than other cleaners and require even less attention. They are intelligent, diligent and work independently.

Given their durability and efficiency, they offer excellent value for money as they deliver savings on energy, water and pool chemical bills. There might be a bigger investment at first, when compared to a suction or an automatic pool cleaner, but the benefits outweigh the extra investment.

  • Save on power: Robotic pool cleaners work independently from the pool’s filtration system, eliminating the need to pump water through metres of piping for filtering.
  • Save on water: Robotic pool cleaners filter the water themselves, reducing clogging in the pool filtration system, translating to fewer backwashes.
  • Save on chemicals: Robotic pool cleaners remove dirt and debris rather than storing it in the pool’s filtration system, which otherwise produces cloudier water that requires chemicals to clear.

Robotic pool cleaners are by far the most efficient and effective pool cleaners. They can handle any kind of debris, vacuuming it directly into its own filter. Plus, they have their own smart technology that helps them master any shape or sized pool. Not only does a robotic cleaner help you with pool cleanliness, it also helps circulate water, guaranteeing a fresher swim.

For these extra benefits, there is of course a price. Robotic cleaners are the most expensive type of pool cleaner there is, which does mean there is a higher price tag. They are often used in commercial pools, larger private swimming pools or by customers who want the best of the best.

Which Pool Cleaner should I buy?

At present, we strongly recommend the Zodiac TX30 Tornax as it offers the best value for money there is for a robotic cleaner.

Zodiac’s X30 Tornax is a floor and wall, easy to use, plug and play robotic pool cleaner suitable for all pool surfaces and shapes. Backed by a 2 year warranty for peace of mind, it's a no brainer.

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Having trouble with your pool cleaners? Check out our Troubleshooting pool cleaners guide.

Need the Exercise? Read up on How to manually vacuum your pool.

Not convinced to get a robotic pool cleaner? See all the Reasons to buy a robotic pool cleaner

Please see a list of other useful pool blogs here!

Do you have any questions about this topic or the featured products? No worries, we're here to help! Drop us a question down below and we'll get back to you ASAP.

Happy swimming :)

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Post author:

Tom Hintze

Head of eCommerce & Operations at Mr Pool Man,
Co-Founder at Water TechniX

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