There’s no doubt that having your own inground pool will provide you with plenty of convenient relaxation, exercise, and amusement during the warmer months. But unfortunately, having a swimming pool isn’t all fun and games. There are many responsibilities that are also associated with owning a pool. And one of the biggest responsibilities is keeping the water clean. This requires a multi-step approach that includes keeping the water chemistry balanced, removing fine particulates with a water filtration system, trapping larger debris in the skimmer system, and cleaning the pool walls and floors through the use of scrub brushes and vacuum cleaners. In this article, we’re going to concentrate on the vacuuming portion of water quality control. How does an inground pool vacuum work? Read on to find out.
Types of Pool Vacuum Cleaners
There are four main types of pool vacuum cleaners on the market these days: manual, suction side, pressure side, and robotic vacuums.
Manual Vacuum Cleaners
Manual vacuum cleaners are the original and cheapest types of pool vacuums. The vacuum hose is connected to the intake valve in the skimmer unit and is powered by the swimming pool water pump. After vacuuming the pool you’ll need to clear out the skimmer basket and backwash the water filters.
Suction Side Vacuum Cleaners
Suction side vacuum cleaners also utilize your swimming pool’s water pump to power the vacuum. The vacuum’s hose typically connects to the water intake valve located in the skimmer. As the vacuum sucks up dirt and debris it passes through your water pump’s filtration system. If your model doesn’t have its own filter bag, similar to manual vacuums, you’ll need to clean out the skimmer and backwash the filters after the pool is vacuumed.
Pressure Side Vacuum Cleaners
Pressure side vacuum cleaners are also known as booster pump cleaners and rely on attachment to the return (or pressure side) of your water pump. It’s the water that’s being pumped back into the pool that actually powers these cleaners. Pressure side cleaners have their own filter bag which you’ll need to clean, but you won’t have to worry about extra workload for your skimmer or backwashing your water pump filters.
Robotic Vacuum Cleaners
Robotic vacuum cleaners are the newest of the bunch, the most hands-off and therefore the most convenient. But also, the most expensive. Robotic vacuum cleaners are completely self-contained which means you don’t need to attach them to your water pump or filtration system. They have their own filter bag which you’ll need to clean, but your skimmer and water filtration system won’t be affected by its use. In fact, it’s recommended that you turn off your water pump while the robot is doing its work.
Choosing A Pool Vacuum Cleaner
The type of pool vacuum cleaner you choose generally depends on the amount of time and money you have to spare. Manual systems are by far the cheapest, but they require the most of your time. However, some people enjoy the Zen-like state required to manually vacuum a swimming pool on a regular basis. Of the other three vacuum types, suction side cleaners are the cheapest. However, suction side cleaners require a dedicated line. Pressure side cleaners are generally more expensive than suction-side cleaners as they often require a booster pump to work properly, but some pool owners feel the fact that they have their own filter system reduces the wear and tear on their water pump. Robotic systems are probably the easiest to use and require much less of the pool owner’s time, but they’re also the most expensive option of the bunch.
To learn more about what is involved owning your own inground pool, download a free Backyard Escapes Guide.