updated: June 25, 2021

Here’s our 2021 review of the Hayward TriVac 500, one of the best pressure side pool cleaners ever made!

Our rating: 9.9
Price: High

The Hayward TriVac 500 is one of the most exceptional pressure side pool cleaners money can buy. In fact, it does a better job than many pool cleaners costing hundreds of dollars more.

Hayward TriVac 500 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner stands near the pool.
TriVac 500 is one of the most exceptional pool cleaners available

What’s more, the company that manufactures it has been around for over 80 years, and their products are built to last a good long time. This means you can expect to get years of use out of this well-engineered machine.

Features

  • Excels at cleaning hard-to-reach places;
  • Proprietary water-jetting technology;
  • No electricity to worry about;
  • Super easy to install.

Who’s It For

Hayward TriVac 500 cleaning the swimming pool.

The Hayward TriVac 500 is perfect for users who live in geographic areas with lots of trees. If this describes you, you know you’re going to be besieged with a massive number of leaves in the fall. All that fallen foliage provides material for algae, bacteria, and other aquatic scum on which to grow. However, they can also get stuck in your pool’s dedicated filtration system, causing all kinds of problems, including expensive breakdowns.

Besides, leaves pose a significant problem if it’s still warm enough to go swimming. Now, you can get out your manual pool cleaning tool and laboriously do all the cleaning by hand. This will only result in you getting all tuckered out and risking injury to your poor back. Or you can hire a faithful mechanical servant in the form of the Hayward TriVac 500, who will do all the work for you.

Pros

Plus

Exceptional Cleaning Ability

If you’ve put up with pool cleaners in the past that did a hit-or-miss job, you’ll be relieved at the comprehensive coverage of the Hayward TriVac.

This unit has an exceptional ability to clean every crack, nook, and crevice. The Hayward TriVac relentlessly hunts down dirt and unsightly debris in hard-to-reach areas better than most other pressure side cleaners, and does it in record time! Cutting-edge water-jet propulsion technology allows the unit to quickly clean all pool surfaces, scrubbing finishes and tiles, so they look like new again.

The unit’s triple Venturi jets create powerful suction to loosen even stubborn dirt and debris. It even has a unique feature where it stirs up debris for more complete cleaning.

Easy to Install

Hose laying on the sun to remove kinks.

When you install the Hayward TriVac, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your pool instead of looking at it as a never-ending chore. The thought of how much work you must do to maintain your pool can produce a lot of low-level background anxiety, which gnaws away at your mind. The TriVac gets rid of all this anxiety, freeing you to once again revel in all the glorious benefits of being a pool owner.

The unit is straightforward to set up, taking ten minutes or less. Merely lay the hose in the sun for three hours to remove the kinks, and your underwater pool boy will be good to go.

Drop the unit in for 90 minutes or so, and you’ll come back to sparkling clear water. It’ll be blessedly free of all the aesthetically unpleasant flotsam and jetsam that destroy the crystalline, pristine appearance of your swimming area.

Cleans Any Pool Surface

Its innovative water-jet propulsion technology makes deep cleaning possible on any pool surface. In other words, you’ll get the same excellent performance whether your pool is granite, tile, fiberglass, vinyl, gunite, or some other material.

Hayward TriVac 500 working near the pool stairs

No Electricity

The Hayward TriVac doesn’t run on electricity, which means it can live in your pool 24/7, even when you’re swimming. You won’t have to worry about getting zapped by a high-voltage electrical current. Simply turn it on when you’re done swimming for the day. Then, watch it as it operates like an aquatic Roomba scouring every nook and cranny of your backyard swimming hole. In a short time, it’ll devour all debris, leaving your pool as spotless as can be.

Low Friction Wheels

The unit has low friction wheels, so it won’t scrape or scratch pool surfaces. I’ve heard too many horror stories of units that didn’t have this feature and ended up being more trouble than they were worth.

Innovative Backup Sequence

TriVac 500 chooses another cleaning path when stuck in a tight corners

An innovative short backup sequence means the unit won’t dilly-dally as it makes its way across the pool floor. This allows it to complete its cleaning cycle much faster than machines that lack this attribute.

Once the unit runs into an obstacle, it chooses another cleaning path. This results in fewer interruptions, making cleaning faster and more efficient without having to rescue it from getting stuck all the time. With some cleaners, you’ll need to free them from self-imposed predicaments every few minutes.

Extra-Large Debris Bag and Suction Outlet

The suction inlet is 40% larger than comparable units, and the debris bag is 25% bigger. The extra-large bag makes emptying debris a breeze. The bag can capture up to six quarts of debris and dirt. The extra-large suction inlet sucks up more dirt than your average cleaner, which helps prevent the unit from clogging. The suction inlet combines with the three high-pressure Venturi water jets to pick up debris that’s bigger than many pressure side cleaners can handle.

Underside view on the extra-large suction inlet.

The extra-large bag allows the TriVac to clean for longer without needing to be emptied.

During swim season, you’ll probably only have to empty the debris bag once a week at most. This bag prevents floating junk from reaching your pool’s dedicated filter, which means it won’t get clogged as frequently, and you’ll do less backwashing. Less backwashing means you save money on electricity and water, allowing you to be more environmentally friendly.

Cleanup couldn’t be easier—simply remove the float at the top and rinse out the bag with a hose.

Advanced Sweep Hose Technology

The Hayward TriVac 500’s advanced sweep hose technology allows it to clean more crevices and corners than most other mechanical pool cleaners.

Extra-large debris bag of the TriVac 500 with leaves and other debris accumulated there

The Ultimate in Durability

The unit is amazingly durable, with built-in reliability for which the Hayward name has become synonymous. It might look too compact to adequately do its job, but don’t let size fool you. This unit is a workhorse par excellence that’ll live up to every one of your expectations and then some.

Minimal Maintenance

The Hayward TriVac has a minimal number of moving parts, which means fewer maintenance issues.

Cons

Minus

Like most other pressure side cleaners, you’ll need a booster pump for the unit to work. While the Hayward TriVac does an excellent job navigating most pool areas, some users report that the device tends to get stuck in deep ends.

Other customers with units that were obviously defective had the unfortunate experience of water spraying everywhere when they tried to switch the machine on. This seems to be a somewhat common occurrence.

Thankfully, most of these users quickly got replacement units from the manufacturer.

My Final Verdict: Should You Buy the Hayward TriVac 500

Let’s say you’re sick and tired of cleaning your pool by hand. In that case, the Hayward TriVac is an exceptional pressure side pool cleaner that comes loaded with all kinds of features that’ll make pool ownership a joy once more.

Hayward TriVac 500 cleans the pool stairs
TriVac 500 is a well-engineered, durable, and highly reliable device

That’s why I heartily recommend this unit. While it’s not perfect (and what product ever is?), it’s a well-engineered, durable, highly reliable device that’ll be a potent weapon in your fight to maintain a sparkling clean pool.

If you want to know what we consider the best pressure side pool cleaners, check out our guide on the subject.

Author
Our pool maintenance expert, Luke Reed, earned his BS in Civil Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1998. Since then, he’s worked in a variety of industries, including design and construction of luxury swimming pools.

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