Are you looking to buy an automatic suction pool cleaner but don’t know where to start?
The best suction pool cleaner will remove dirt, sand, leaves, algae and other grime from the bottom of your pool, keeping the water crystal clear.
It will be able to effectively navigate your specific pool size and shape, will have enough suction power, and a hose length long enough to ensure it can reach all corners.
Here are our picks for the best suction pool cleaners currently on the market in Australia:
Best for most people: Aquabuddy S3
In terms of value for money, it’s hard to look past the Aquabuddy S3.
This fully automatic pool cleaner features a hydro-dynamic circular collar and auto pilot assembly, which allows it to work alone—saving you energy, time, and cleaning effort.
It’s easy to use and quiet. The unique rotation foot and soft silicon skirt help to keep your pool cleaner from getting stuck while it works its magic.
To use our cleaner, simply connect it to your existing filtration system (any pump of 0.5 to 2hp is fine) and let it get to work. It has a 10m hose included, so you can clean all corners of your pool without having to drag the device around.
The Aquabuddy S3 is designed for use in any in-ground or above-ground pool between 0.8 and 3 meters deep. It works on any surface, so whether you have a concrete or fiberglass pool, or even a vinyl liner or tiled walls, this thing will clean like nobody’s business.
It even comes with an extra Barracuda diaphragm so you won’t have to worry about buying a replacement one down the road.
Upgrade pick: Zodiac G1
From one of the most trusted names in pool care comes the Zodiac G1 pool cleaner.
This is an efficient, trouble-free suction pool cleaner. It’s suitable for use in all in-ground and above ground pools. It can be used in pools with concrete, pebblecrete, quartzon, tile, fibreglass or vinyl surfaces.
The G1 has only one moving part – the diaphragm – so it’s simple to operate and requires low maintenance costs. The diaphragm is easy to replace when required.
The Zodiac G1 Pool Cleaner is simple to set up and once operating it easily navigates around steps, ladders and corners.
Overall, this is a great option if you don’t mind spending a bit more.
If you’re prepared to go top-shelf, check out the Kreepy Krauly Sprinta Plus.
No matter if you have an in-ground or above-ground pool, the Sprinta Plus is an ideal solution for keeping your water clean.
It is designed to navigate all corners of your pool, including climbing up walls, while its front and side scoops are great at sweeping up debris.
If you’re worried about using too much suction, don’t be! The Smart-Skim feature regulates the amount of suction needed, and if there’s excess vacuum it pulls floating debris into the skimmer box.
The Sprinta Plus is made with UV and chemical resistant plastic, so it won’t break down no matter how much sun exposure it gets or how many chemicals you use to treat your water.
This pool cleaner is popular because it has no debris compartment to empty and no bags to replace. This is because everything sucked up by the cleaned goes straight to your pool’s filtration system.
The design is straightforward, which is a good thing because it lacks the diaphragm seen in many other cleaners, allowing heavy particles such as gum nuts to travel through with ease.
The compact design increases its maneuverability, providing superior cleaning performance. It operates silently, creating only a small amount of noise when leaves become stuck in the pressure intake.
It just takes five minutes to put it together, and then you just throw it in the pool and let it do its job. All of the parts are UV stable and chemical resistant.
How does a suction pool cleaner work?
Like a vacuum, suction cleaners work by sucking up dirt and debris through a filter basket.
The suction force of a suction pool cleaner is powered by the pump in your swimming pool’s filter equipment system.
A vacuum hose connects the pool cleaner to a suction line on one side of your filtration system, typically below where water is returned back into your swimming pool (the skimmer).
As water flows through the hose into the pool cleaner, it creates a low-pressure area that sucks dirt and debris into a filter basket on the unit.
Features to look for in a suction pool cleaner
- Hose length
- Pool filter compatibility
- Navigation ability
- Turbine technology (gear driven vs inertia driven)
Inertia driven vs geared suction pool cleaners
There are two basic types of suction cleaners:
- Inertia driven pool cleaners
- Geared pool cleaners
Inertia driven cleaners are also known as random pattern cleaners. A random pattern cleaner moves about without any predetermined path. They follow no set pattern through your swimming pool.
Geared suction pool cleaners move along the bottom of your pool using wheels or tracks.
By moving in a programmed pattern around your pool, these cleaners can get into tight spaces like stairs and corners with ease.
They also tend to track dirt better than inertia-driven cleaners because of their ability to follow a pre-determined path throughout the space during each cleaning cycle.
This is especially important for those pools that have irregular walls (like freeform designs) or have large obstructions where regular suction cleaners could get stuck easily if not guided properly by gear tracks or wheels.
Do suction pool cleaners climb the walls?
Many suction pool cleaners come with a built-in ability to climb the walls of your pool.
If you look on the sides of these products, you’ll notice small rubber wheels and flaps that are designed to help the cleaner scale your pool’s walls.
However, some cheaper brands don’t have any climbing capabilities. There are also some high-end models that won’t climb either – it depends on the type of cleaning technology used by the product in question.
If you want a cleaner that can reach all of your pool’s surfaces (including walls), then we’d recommend looking for models with brushes and flaps that move backwards and forwards as they operate. These products tend to work well when climbing vertically.
What is a suction pool cleaner booster pump?
Suction pool cleaners are unique because they don’t have their own motor like other types of automated cleaners.
Instead, a suction pool cleaner is powered by the existing filtration system on your swimming pool.
Most suction-cleaners require a three-way valve to create the proper pressure to collect dirt and debris.
The three-way valves are designed with two outlets to connect the suction cleaner and an additional port for connecting a booster pump kit.
A booster pump kit adds additional pressure to move debris more efficiently through the vacuum hose and into your existing skimmer basket or dedicated debris canister.
In addition, if you have multiple suction ports (more than one skimmer), you will need a second three-way valve and booster pump.
What are the other types of pool cleaners?
There are four major types of pool cleaners:
- pressure, and
Suction pool cleaners are driven by your pool pump and deliver leaves and debris to the filtration system in your pool. They’re simple to set up and maintain; they connect to the pool pump through a hose and require no additional power, but you’ll have to operate your pool pump for longer than usual. Suction pool cleaners are the most cost-effective to purchase and operate.
Robotic pool cleaners are self-contained and operate independently of your pool system. They’re often programmed to follow a predetermined path and function at specific times. Some come with remote control, allowing you to manually direct them. Because there are no hoses in the pool and they are simple to operate, robotic pool cleaners are incredibly convenient. The disadvantage is that they are expensive, and you can’t normally repair them yourself if they break.
Pressure cleaners are heavy-duty suction cleaners that can swiftly clean a pool and take up large particles. They require their own dedicated booster pump and a separate return line, so you can only install one when building a new pool or remodelling an existing one. They are inefficient in terms of energy use, but they endure a long time and are simple to maintain.
Robotic pool cleaners vs suction pool cleaners
As you will know by now, a suction pool cleaner uses your existing pool pump and filtration system, which makes it more affordable than a model that has its own filtration system.
Robotic cleaners tend to be more expensive and require separate filtration systems. This is because they are stand-alone devices.
Suction cleaners are generally not as effective as many robotic cleaners, but they are a solid choice for anyone who wants to keep their pool clean without breaking the bank.
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