Keeping your swimming pool clean and free of debris is a big job that we could all use a little help with, right? Well, the good news is that an automatic pool cleaner can do most of the work for you, so that you can spend more of your precious time doing the things you love to do, instead of cleaning your pool. There are three types of automatic pool cleaners: robotic, suction side, and pressure side. Here we will discuss the differences between the three types of cleaners, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Robotic Pool Cleaners

Robotic pool cleaners are popular for many reasons, including ease of installation and advanced tech features. They are, however, the most expensive type of automatic pool cleaner to purchase. Robotic pool cleaners are different from other types of automatic pool cleaners because they do not connect to your existing pool equipment. They have their own self-contained filtration system, which reduces wear and tear on your pool filter.  Plus, they plug directly into a 110 volt GFCI outlet, making installation super simple. Many robotic cleaners have attractive features like Bluetooth compatibility and fully programmable cleaning cycles.

Pool robots work by pumping water into the cleaner, running it through the internal filtration system, and pushing the clean water back out into the pool. During this process, small and large debris is caught in the filter bag, which needs to be emptied regularly. The cleaner is propelled by the pressure from the internal pump, and it scrubs pool floors, walls, and stairs as it moves along.

Recommended Robotic Pool Cleaners

Doheny’s Advantage Inground Robotic Cleaner Powered by Dolphin

This compact but mighty pool cleaner can clean an entire pool up to 33 feet long in just two hours! Doheny’s Inground Robotic Cleaner Powered by Dolphin is super energy efficient and uses an active scrubbing brush to clean all of your pool surfaces up to the waterline so you won’t have to. The fully programmable weekly scheduler and easy access filter basket make operation a breeze.

Hayward SharkVac with Caddy

The SharkVac by Hayward is perfect for inground pools up to 20 x 40 feet and can be used on most pool surfaces, including vinyl. This energy-efficient unit is very economical to operate. The internal filter system has an easy-to-empty canister so that you won’t have to deal with messy bags.

Suction Side Pool Cleaners

Suction pool cleaners connect to the skimmer or the dedicated suction line of the pool’s filtration system. The suction created by the pool pump moves the cleaner along the pool surfaces, scrubbing and vacuuming as it goes. Dirt and debris that is picked up by the cleaner go into the existing pool filter, so it does cause more wear and tear on your pool equipment.>

Suction cleaners are a good choice for above ground pools with light debris. In pools with lots of debris, we often recommend attaching a leaf canister to the hose to prevent larger debris from quickly filling the pump basket. Many pool owners choose suction side pool cleaners because they are affordable and easy to maintain. They do, however, require that the pool pump is running in order to operate.

Recommended Suction Side Pool Cleaners

Pentair E-Z Vac Above Ground Suction Pool Cleaner

The Pentair E-Z Vac Above Ground Suction Pool Cleaner is a powerful pool vacuum that includes a skimming valve to skim surface debris as it cleans. This cleaner moves flawlessly around your flat-bottomed or dish-shaped pool, thanks to its hydraulic design and the included 32-foot hose.

Hayward Aquanaut Suction Pool Cleaner

For a clean pool, the Hayward Aquanaut provides unmatched maneuverability and suction. This unit can handle large and small debris alike, never clogging thanks to V-flex technology. Available in both two and four-wheel-drive models, this cleaner is compatible with pools up to 20 feet by 40 feet and all shapes and water flow rates.

Pressure Side Pool Cleaners

Pressure side pool cleaners connect to the pressure side of the existing pool filtration system and use the water that is being returned to your pool for propulsion. Many models have a hose on the back that acts to sweep dirt and debris from pool walls, floors, and other surfaces. Pressure side cleaners have their own filter bag, which means less wear and tear on your pool filter, but the bag does need to be emptied regularly.

These cleaners are affordable, low maintenance, and recommended for pools with lots of leaf debris. Another bonus for heated pools: pressure side cleaners help distribute heat throughout the pool water. It is important to note that many models require a separate booster pump, making them less energy efficient.

Recommended Pressure Side Pool Cleaners

Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 Pressure Pool Cleaner

The Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 will sweep, scrub, and clean the steps, sides, and bottom of the pool quickly and easily. The handy filter bag is easy to clean and prevents debris from getting to your pool’s filtration system. Available with or without a booster pump, this reliable unit easily maneuvers in even the most hard-to-reach places.

Polaris 3900 Sport Pool Cleaner and Booster Pump

The Polaris 3900 Sport Pool Cleaner is equipped with all-wheel-drive and auto-reverse technology that allows it to avoid getting stuck, even in tight spaces. The tail sweep takes care of dirt on pool surfaces, and the dual-chamber super bag can handle lots of large debris like leaves and acorns.

Take the work out of pool cleaning this summer with an automatic pool cleaner from Doheny’s. Whether your pool is large or small, inground or above ground, we have the right cleaner to suit your needs and budget. If you have questions about our pool cleaners or any of our other pool supplies, contact us today at 800-574-766 5 or visit our website at