What pool cleaner should I buy? Common mistakes new pool owners make

We’ve seen it all before. You install a pool but you’ve got absolutely no idea what pool cleaner to buy.

Sure, a robot looks cool but what else do you know about them? I bet you didn’t know you have to keep lifting them out of the pool to empty them, right?

We take a look at the common rookie mistakes people make when buying pool cleaners so you can avoid getting sucked-in.

1. A robot looks cool

Buying something because it looks cool is the equivalent of buying a diamond encrusted dust pan & brush to clean your whole house. 

Sure, it might look impressive, but all you’ve really done is wasted a stack of money on something that doesn’t make your life any easier for the price.

When it boils down to it, we can all agree a cleaner, hassle-free pool is the key metric by which we should spend our hard earned cash – no one wants a pool that is a lot of work and still isn’t that clean.

So here’s the rub, a good suction cleaner (the one with the hose) sends water from the bottom to top of your pool, to your existing custom designed filtration and sanitation system, returning it clean and fresh to the top of your pool, all automatically!

This creates proper pool circulation, bottom to top, again and again, 365 days a year.

In contrast, robot cleaners (the one with the cord) can only collect and filter debris to the capacity their bags or cloth filters allow. 

This means having to clean its filter daily or weekly – your hands are going to have to get wet a lot more often than you think, and don’t forget lifting it out of the pool.

And while they assist in floor and side water movement, working independent of the pool’s filtration system, they essentially just take and return water from the bottom and sides.

Yes, robots do offer the ability to create programmable cleaning patterns, but that extra water filtration that you get with a suction device is just not possible.

The takeaway here: if your metric is a cleaner, hassle-free pool for you and your kids, don’t buy on looks.

2.  A robot cleaner is less work

A robot cleaner, if you believe the advertising, is like an independent, self-contained stealth bomber gliding on your pool floor. 

Make no mistake, these units require more work than you think.

Because the robot pool cleaner uses an independent power supply instead of the pool’s filter, it is not able to send its debris back to the skimmer box or filter through a hose connection.

And don’t forget the trip hazard with having a power cord running across your deck!

This means pool owners have to regularly remove the entire robot pool cleaner from the water and empty its internal debris storage tank.

Robot pool cleaners can be heavy – some weigh more than ten kilos – so pulling them out of the pool can be a hard job, especially if the device’s filter gets filled up quickly.

Phew, can you imagine having to do this every time the unit fills up? 

In contrast, a suction cleaner can stay in the pool all year round, sucking up debris that can be easily collected from the pool’s skimmer box or filter – no heavy lifting required!

3. Power to burn (your money) 

So here’s the thing and it’s simple. When you choose a suction pool cleaner, that energy bill is never added to, because the pool filter’s suction powers the cleaner. 

By the time you have your pump set to optimise pool circulation for maximum pool health, your cleaner adds zero extra cost.

But a robotic pool cleaner needs its own power supply, whether its battery operated or plugged in, meaning running costs are additional to your pool filter.

It’s simple maths really.

So before you visit the local pool shop, make sure you know your stuff. It could save you a lot of time and money.