Pool cleaners sit in sun and chlorine for most of their working life (which does sound a little like a good holiday…) and can clock up more than 1000 km a year. Some cheaper models may not last the distance. When CHOICE tested pool cleaners in the past, they found several were prone to getting blocked and others neglected some areas of the pool.
There are three types of pool cleaner out in the market: suction, pressure and robotic.
Suction cleaners attach with a hose to your skimmer box and use the suction created by your filtration system to suck up grime. Most pool cleaners you'll come across are suction models.
There are two kinds of suction cleaners:
Inertia driven suction cleaners clean in a random pattern. While they will cover every inch of your pool, it may take some time. They work well in pools with curved walls and no sharp corners. The popular Zodiac and Kreepy Krawler models are this type.
Geared suction cleaners, move in a pre-determined pattern and will clean your pool surface in the shortest time possible. They can easily get into tight corners which makes them suitable for smaller pools with lots of steps and sharp ledges. Geared cleaners have more moving parts than the random pattern models, so they will probably need more maintenance
Pressure cleaners are more powerful than suction cleaners. Most models operate with an additional booster pump which needs a separate hose connection in the pool wall. These can be expensive to retrofit so look at another model if your pool doesn't already have one. Pressure cleaners that connect directly into your existing pool pump may put strain on the filtration system.
Robotic or electric self-propelled cleaners
Robotic pool cleaners run on electricity so you'll need a power point close to the pool. Good for large pools, you need to place them into the pool for a cleaning session and then remove them.