Swimming Pool Blog

How to Choose an Above Ground Pool Cleaner

How to Size a Pool Filter
by Joyce Lau, June 12, 2018

How to Choose an Above Ground Pool Cleaner  

Above ground pool cleaner


Whether you are a pool owner buying your first above ground pool cleaner or simply upgrading to the next best thing, we understand that finding the perfect cleaner can be a time-consuming process. After all, there are so many options to choose from!

Here's a quick tip: Taking a look at your pool's plumbing and your personal pool cleaning needs may help you choose a specific type of above ground pool cleaner over another. For example, if you already have a dedicated suction or pressure cleaner line installed, you might not consider a robotic cleaner as your primary choice.

To help you with your investment, this blog will outline:

- Main differences between the three types of above ground pool cleaners

 - Pros and Cons of each cleaner

- Other important features to consider when deciding on which type of pool cleaner to purchase



Aquabot Pool Rover T Robotic Cleaner

What’s the Difference?
Robotic pool cleaners are automatic cleaners that do not hook up to the pool's circulation system. Instead, the power cord is plugged into a transformer which is then plugged into a wall outlet to convert it to a lower and safer voltage. Robotic pool cleaners have their own onboard filter that can trap particles as small as 2 microns. Simply choose a cycle or set a timer, and lower the cleaner into your pool. Keep in mind that robotic cleaners designed for above ground pools are not intended to clean uneven surfaces or climb walls.

Pro SignIndependent from pool's filter system, easy to use, good speed/cleaning coverage, scrubbing brushes

Con Sign

 Frequent filter cleaning, more moving parts, can be expensive to buy/repair 



Polaris 65 Automatic Above Ground Pool Cleaner

Pressure pool cleaners either attach to an existing return port, using the pressure generated by the pool pump, or they attach to a dedicated pressure line, requiring a booster pump. The added booster pump provides higher pressure, consistent flow, and the ability to automatically power itself on and off. A pressure pool cleaner has its own debris bag. The best part is that this cleaner will continue to clean your pool even if the bag is full - it just stops pulling debris in.

Pro Sign


Durable, fast, effective, captures large debris in its own bag 

Con Sign


 Requires pool pump to runmay require booster pump, not ideal for fine debris, can be hard/expensive to install




Zodiac Ranger Above Ground Pool Cleaner


Suction pool cleaners attach to the suction side of your plumbing - either the pool skimmer or a dedicated suction/vacuum line. While the cleaner is running, most of the skimming action is lost. There are two design styles for suction pool cleaners: the flat, round disk pulse type or the hydro drive train powered type. The latter is typically more powerful, faster and quieter. With suction side cleaners, debris goes directly into the pump basket and pool filter instead of an independent filter on the cleaner.



Pro Sign


Most affordable option, lower maintenance cost 

Con Sign

Requires pool pump to run, no onboard filter, can clog easily




Important Things to Consider

Knowing which type of above ground pool cleaner you need is just the first half! The second half is choosing your ideal cleaner from that category. The best way to do this is paying attention to the following:


1. Pool Size

2. Pool Surface

3. Cleaning Area 

4. Filter Type

5. Cord/Hose Length 

6. Warranty


For example, let's briefly compare two suction pool cleaners: Aquabot Mamba and Zodiac Ranger 


While both of these are the same type of cleaner, there are a few differences amongst the two. As you can see, the Zodiac Ranger  is designed to clean vinyl pool surfaces, while the  Aquabot Mamba is able to clean many types of pool surfaces, including vinyl. These cleaners are only meant to clean hard sided above ground pools, so they will not work with a soft sided or Intex branded pool. In fact, Intex actually makes a cleaner that is specifically for Intex branded pools.


By making sure you understand the features of the cleaner, you will be able to choose the right one that fits your pool. Filter type is also another important feature to consider if you are looking to purchase a Robotic pool cleaner. Some of them will only have one filter, while others will have two that can filter out finer debris. 


So there you have it! Knowing the main differences between the three types of above ground pool cleaners, including their pros/cons and other important features to consider, will help you decide on the right cleaner for your pool. If you still have questions, feel free to call or email us. Thanks for reading!