The world of pool cleaning has moved on leaps and bounds in recent years, and with so many automated pool cleaners available on the market, it is no wonder that people have turned to these rather than continue to employ costly pool men to come and clean their pools manually every few weeks or so. An automated pool cleaner may cost a bit upfront, but it can save you thousands on pool maintenance in the long run.

What is an Automated Pool Cleaner?

An automated pool cleaner at it’s most basic, is like a vacuum cleaner for the bottom of your swimming pool. Picking up bits of dirt and debris, automated pool cleaners effectively do the job yourself or your pool cleaner will do. With minimal human intervention, automated pool cleaning solutions can provide you with an easy way to be able to own and maintain a pool without investing too much or your time.

What Pool Cleaner is Best for Me?

There are three main types of pool cleaner on the market, and which ones is best for you will differ on your needs and budget:

Suction-side or Suction Cleaner

Suction-side cleaners use water from the swimming pool itself through drains or skimmers, and propel themselves along to pick up debris. They have separate valves which return the water to the swimming pool after the cycle. These types of cleaners trace random patterns along the pool. The first type of automated pool cleaner available on the market was a suction cleaner, and it can pick up dirt and debris easily using it’s suction mechanism to scan the walls and floor of the pool from dirt and debris.

The main pump of the pool is what powers suction-side cleaners, and they are the cheapest available out of the three cleaners. Although they are cheaper to actually buy outright, they do use quite a lot of electricity. Because they also power through the main pump and filter system, it means that you will need to get these cleaned and maintained more regularly.


A pressure side cleaner is very similar to a suction-side cleaner in the way it works, but it has a secondary pump on most models. This high pressure is used to power the automated pool cleaner along and to pick up debris. Because of the higher pressure and sometimes double ‘booster’ pumping mechanism, these types of cleaners can use quite a lot of electricity. Another way these cleaners can be more effective than suction-side cleaners is that the higher pressure pushes up the dirt and debris higher up into the pool so that it gets sucked into the main filtration system. The rest of the dirt and debris i caught up in the attached filter bag.

The cost of a pressure side cleaner is slightly more expensive than the suction side cleaner, and it is worth noting the higher cost of electricity. Pressure side cleaners also use the pools main filter and pump system to remove dirt, so with a booster pump they use a lot more electricity than suction side pumps.

Electric Robotic

Electric robotic cleaners work completely differently from suction side or pressure side cleaners. Electric robotic cleaners are powered by a separate power source than the main filter and pump system. Two internal motors make the robotic cleaners work, one which brings the water in and out through a filter bag, and a second which powers brushes which are usually found on the front and back of the cleaner, which remove dirt and debris from the floor. Electric robotic cleaners have an internal microchip which helps them direct themselves around the pool. When the cleaner hits a wall, the microchip will tell it to move in reverse.

They can also work by having ‘bump-bars’ with sensors in that can also make the machine move in reverse when they ht a wall. Electronic robotic cleaners are a lot more efficient in electricity and power sourcing, but this means they are usually the most expensive type of cleaner to buy outright.

Whatever the pool cleaner you decide on, there are many factors to think about. The size of your pool can be one of the biggest factors, and it is worth remembering that in some cases some of the more basic cleaners will not meet your needs. Budget is also a constraint and you need to do your research on how much each cleaner will cost you monthly as well as on outset.