Which Type of Automatic Pool Cleaner Should I Use?

Which Type of Automatic Cleaner Should I Use?

Ever wanted to buy an automatic pool cleaner but didn’t know which one was most suitable for your pool? If so, jump in line with hundreds of other pool owners across the country. Everyone likes having choices to choose from, but sometimes too many choices can create more chaos and confusion than variety. There are three different types of automatic cleaners: Pressure Side, Suction, and Robotic. With our help, you should be able to narrow down which type of automatic cleaner fits your pool’s needs

Polaris 380 Pressure Cleaner
Polaris 380 Pressure Cleaner

Automatic Pressure Side

Pressure side automatic cleaners work off water pressure from your pump. Some pool owners use the same pool pump they already have in place, while others purchase a separate booster pump specifically to operate the cleaner. The option is completely yours.

The water pressure from the pump is what drives the cleaner around the pool. This also forces and holds the debris bag in place. If you live in an area with a lot of trees or in an area where you get large debris in your pool, this cleaner is for you.

Pressure side cleaners do not filter small particles into the bag well, nor do they act like a moving drain like suction cleaners do. Still, for that same reason, pressure cleaners do not suck debris or dirt directly into your filter or pump basket, allowing you longer periods of time between cleanings.

Pros of Dedicated Pump

Polaris 3/4HP Booster Pump
Polaris 3/4HP Booster Pump
  • Cleans the pool a little better
  • Increased longevity of filter pump

Cons of Dedicated Pump

  • Additional cost because of separate installation of dedicated line

Pros of Non-Dedicated Pump

  • Cheaper install

Cons of Non-Dedicated Pump

  • Loses efficiency when filter is dirty

Automatic Suction Cleaners

The Pool Cleaner 2 Wheel  Suction Cleaner
The Pool Cleaner 2 Wheel Suction Cleaner

Automatic suction cleaners rely on suction to move and vacuum your pool, acting as a moving drain. While the cleaner is sucking debris underwater, it is also sucking water through your pool filter, causing you to turn over more water in a shorter amount of time. There are some suction cleaners that may scrub your walls, but not all come with this feature. You will have to check the specs on the cleaner if you are interested in this feature.

Unlike the pressure side cleaners, suction cleaners are great at removing smaller particles. However, they do suck the debris through the filter and pump basket


  • Because they suck debris straight into the filter and pump basket, it has the potential to become a nightmare for cleaning. We recommend you purchase an additional leaf trap.
  • A dirty filter results in a poor cleaner.

Automatic Robotic Cleaner

Hayward Tiger Shark Robotic Pool Cleaner

Robotic cleaners are operated and driven by an electric motor inside the cleaner itself. There is a little transformer that supplies the power to the cleaner. It then converts electricity to a low voltage, which is connected to the cleaner. The cleaner acts like a vacuum, using a pump inside the unit. There is a small computer chip that learns the shape of your pool in an effort to clean the pool in the fastest, most efficient way possible. Some robotic cleaners come with wireless remotes to control the unit. Robotic cleaners are best for small debris, sand, or silt. It is the only cleaner that will scrub both the walls and the tile line.


  • More expensive than pressure or suction cleaners
  • A lot more internal parts that can potentially go bad

If you’re still having difficulties deciding or you simply have a question about a particular cleaner, feel free to give us a call at 877-372-6038. We’d be more than happy to help you make the best purchase for your pool needs.

4 thoughts on “Which Type of Automatic Cleaner Should I Use?

  1. I have an old Letro Legend cleaner that I want to replace. I have a booster pump for the cleaner. The new model doesn’t need a pump. Do I buy the new model anyway?

  2. Thinking about changing from a two speed pump to a variable. I have a Polaris 289 pressure side cleaner. Will I have to change it out? It runs off the main pump–I have no aux pump. I often have 3-4″ leaves in the pool. What are my options?

  3. I think its so cool that we can use robot cleaners to do all the hard work for us. Cleaning a pool can be a very time consuming project and it has to be done regularly. I just moved into a house that has one and I know nothing about taking care of pools. Thanks for sharing this because I’m definitely going to go and buy a robot cleaner.

  4. We recently just bought a pool. The residue on the walls and the floor build up so fast. We have ben looking into getting a pressure water cleaner to take care of that, so thanks for the advice and information!

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