Suction Pool Cleaner Icon The Best Suction Pool Cleaners of 2021 – Reviews and Ratings

updated: July 14, 2021
One of the best suction pool cleaner

Are you worried that the best suction pool cleaners might make a big dent in your wallet? The good news is that suction-side pool cleaners are among the simplest and most affordable of all automatic pool cleaners. Operation involves simply plugging it into the intake of your pool pump system.

What is a suction-side pool cleaner?

It’s basically a vacuum that uses the pressure from the pool’s intake to suck in water as it moves around the pool to remove bugs, leaves, hair, and other debris. The dirt is sucked into your pool’s filtration system, where you can easily remove the filter basket and clean it.

What type of pools work best with suction-side cleaners?

Suction pool cleaners are best for light to medium dirt and debris. If you have a lot of trees around your pool or a newly constructed pool, you may need a separate leaf canister attachment or a pressure-side or robotic cleaner instead.

Suction-side cleaners are good not for all pools

The biggest limitation is that suction-side pool cleaners are only as good as your pool’s pump system. If you have a weak pump that struggles under normal conditions, a suction cleaner won’t perform well. Variable speed pumps (which are used to save energy) would have to run at a speed of at least 2600 RPM (25 GPM) for several hours at a time, which can impact your electric bill.

Some suction pool cleaners won’t do well on some types of pool surfaces. Delicate brushes or rubber blades could be damaged by extra-rough surfaces, so it’s important to find one that is a good match for your pool’s wall and floor material.

How do suction pool cleaners work?

Suction-side pool cleaners come in a wide variety of designs and functions. While their basic mode of operation remains the same, some are very simple and others have advanced technology. They all have brushes or rubber blades that remove debris from your pool’s floor, walls, waterline, steps, and other areas.

The simplest suction pool cleaners move in random patterns around the pool, while more advanced models have navigation settings. The advanced models usually have wheels. Simpler designs look like a flat disc that scoots around like a stingray.

PROS

    Pros:

  • Runs off pool pump – no separate power source needed
  • Affordable (average $200 – $600)
  • Picks up light to medium dirt and debris
  • Easy to install & repair
  • Durable
CONS

    Cons:

  • Makes the pool pump work harder
  • May increase your electric bill
  • Big hoses are visible in water while it’s running
  • Not good for large amounts of debris, big leaves, etc.

Have a look at our reviews and buyers guide to see if a suction-side pool cleaner is a good choice for your pool.

What are the Benefits of Suction Pool Cleaners

Like every other type of pool cleaner on the planet, suction cleaners have their own unique constellation of benefits. Here are some of them:

No Booster Pumps

Suction cleaners use the power generated by your pool’s dedicated filtration system, so no booster pumps are needed. This makes them less of a hassle to use.

Zodiac MX8 Elite scrubs the floor of the pool
Excellent Scrubbing Brushes

Many of them have excellent scrubbing brushes that can restore surfaces to their original luster, scour away stubborn algae and other stuck-on debris, and remove unsightly stains. This can go a long way toward keeping your pool looking visually appealing.

Superior Wall-Climbing

There are suction cleaners that have tank-like treads for superior wall-climbing capabilities. This way, they provide more complete coverage.

Safe For Every Pool Type

Most suction pool cleaners are safe to use on every pool type. This means you can have greater peace of mind knowing that your pool cleaner isn’t going to inadvertently cause damage.

Quiet Operation

They’re relatively quiet, so they won’t disturb the neighbors (God knows that neighborhoods are noisy enough as it is without adding to the commotion).

Kreepy Krauly cleans the pool
Operates Autonomously

Suction-side cleaners operate autonomously, which is the whole point of buying an automatic pool cleaner in the first place. This means you can set them and forget them without having to worry about repositioning them every two seconds.

Saves You Time and Energy

One of the best things about them is all the time and energy you’ll save. Instead of spending countless hours laboriously cleaning the pool yourself, you’ll have a machine doing your dirty work. This way, you can kick back and relax as you watch your mechanical pool boy restore crystal clarity to your pool water. This can be pretty mesmerizing to observe. In fact, they’ll probably do a better job than you can do!

Boosts Water Circulation

Suction cleaners not only clean your pool—they also boost water circulation. This keeps the water cleaner, prevents microorganisms from gaining a foothold, distributes chemicals more evenly, drastically reduces algae growth, and takes some of the pressure off your pool’s dedicated pump.

Few Moving Parts

Suction cleaners do their work without requiring an electrical connection. They have few moving parts (some even have only one moving part) and no sensitive electronics. This means they’re easy to operate and super simple to maintain. Because they’re less likely to break down, you won’t get a heart attack because of an expensive repair bill.

More

Top-Performing Suction-Side Pool Cleaners – 2021 Ratings and Reviews


1Best suction pool cleaner
A tireless workhorse with superb scrubbing action.

There’s terrific news on the horizon if your pool tiles have lost their lustrous shine and you want to restore them to their original brilliance. That’s because the Zodiac MX8 Elite has patented cyclonic scrubbing brushes that’ll gently scour your tiles to make them luminous again.

What’s more, this magnificent underwater machine cleans better than almost any other model in its class.

ProsThe Good

One of the best things about the MX8 is its excellent traction. This gives the unit exceptional maneuverability—even in tight corners and on vertical walls.

Every ten seconds, the MX8 does what I like to call the “rotation dance.” This tactic is highly effective for liberating units that have embarrassed themselves by getting stuck in a corner or hung up on a drain.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

One customer had the unfortunate experience of their unit getting stuck near the water surface and making a noisy sloshing sound. The commotion was so loud that it woke them up in the middle of the night because their bedroom happened to be close to the pool.

A few other customers also said this happened to them. The good news is that these units were defective and were quickly replaced by the manufacturer.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Many customers reported being blown away by the MX8’s fantastic wall-climbing abilities. One guy stated that he was used to owning second-rate units that didn’t have the wall-climbing prowess of the MX8.

These subpar machines would at least occasionally slip off walls. However, this never happened with the guy’s Zodiac—not even once!

Another satisfied buyer with a 12,000-gallon pool went on vacation for two weeks. When he returned, he found his pool in a sorry state with algae-encrusted walls and a floor full of leaves. He was pleasantly surprised at how fast the MX8 cleaned things up.

More Info

2Most Compact
This small but mighty engineering marvel climbs walls like a champ.

The Zodiac MX6 might look small, but don’t let that fool you. This well-designed amphibious tank has enough power to thoroughly scrub every corner, crevice, and cranny of your backyard oasis.

It’s super quiet and won’t wake up your neighbors. The MX6 clambers up walls like you wouldn’t believe and boasts an automatic navigation system, so there are no missed spots.

No wall is too slippery, and no step is too high for this fantastic machine!

ProsThe Good

I really like that the MX6 has an enhanced flow regulator. This prevents the cleaner from moving too fast and damaging the gears. This innovative feature helps ensure your unit has a long and healthy life.

Another fantastic thing about the MX6 is that the parts have a modular design. This means that when a component fails, simply pop the old piece out with a screwdriver and put the new one in. Replacement only takes seconds!

ConsThe Not-So-Good

The Achilles heel of this otherwise excellent cleaner is the hoses, which have an unfortunate tendency to rip at the connectors. This is too bad because the hoses are expensive to replace.

I think the designers need to go back to the drawing board to come up with hoses that are a little more durable. If they do, this cleaner will be near perfect.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

One thing most customers like about the MX6 is what the manufacturers call “cyclonic suction.” This gives the unit unparalleled cleaning ability. A buyer remarked on how filthy his pool was with lots of mesquite leaves on the bottom.

He was red with embarrassment because friends unexpectedly stopped by and saw the deplorable condition. After they left, he dropped the cleaner-bot in the pool. He was impressed with the result: crystal clear water without so much as a speck of debris to be seen anywhere.

More Info

3Best for Variable-Speed Pumps
Innovative anti-clogging technology for more thorough cleaning.

The Hayward Aquanaut is one of the most versatile suction-side pool cleaners I’ve ever seen when it comes to collecting debris.

That’s because you get three different throats that allow you to customize your unit. The size you use depends on the size of debris you expect to collect and changing flow rates from variable speed pumps.

Something that this model has that few others have is V-flex technology. This means big debris easily slides down the suction tube without getting stuck.

ProsThe Good

Between the three different throats that come with every Aquanaut model and the V-flex technology, you can be assured of an outstanding cleaning job every single time.

Another groundbreaking feature that sets the Aquanaut heads and shoulders above many inferior models is the adjustable roller skirt that maintains consistent pressure over uneven surfaces.

This means you won’t lose any suction when your bot runs over an obstacle.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

A few customers have reported that the Aquanaut flops over on its side and stay there like a stuck turtle. However, most customers say that this isn’t the case for them.

Its wall-climbing abilities are somewhat impaired unless you have powerful suction. Some customers complain that it gets stuck in the deep end of their pools.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Customers with towering pines and other trees that shed love the Aquanaut because of its excellent ability to such up every type of debris. Others are impressed with the way the unit climbs over obstacles of any kind.

Most buyers report that it never gets hung up on their drains—an all-too-common problem with pool cleaners.

More Info

4Best redesign
Classic suction-side pool cleaner redesigned for a new era.

Kreepy Krauly is the most popular suction-side cleaner ever made, with over three million satisfied users spanning decades. It’s been re-engineered to provide better cleaning coverage, so if you were a fan of the old model, you’ll love the new one.

With only a single moving part, there’s not much to break down. This means you can probably expect to enjoy years of dependable service without suffering through any aggravating malfunctions of complex gears and other parts.

ProsThe Good

The Pentair 360042 boasts several innovative features that’ll make it easy to keep your pool clean. For example, an automatic valve regulates water flow to set the ideal travel speed for more thorough cleaning.

There’s an easy-to-adjust “dive float” directional system that intelligently guides the cleaner from the water line to the pool bottom, ensuring it hits every spot along the way.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

While most customers rave about the redesign, a few don’t like it as much as the old one.

Some say the new model isn’t as durable as the original model. Others have problems with the float balls continually falling off.

Some users say the new model takes more time to clean the pool. This means you must run the pump longer, and your electricity bills will be higher.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Some customers remarked on an interesting little quirk the machine has that improves cleaning efficiency. That is, the hoses vibrate in the water, which knocks debris down towards the bottom of your pool. This makes it easier for the machine to suck up dirt.

Others love the roller bumper, which prevents the bot from getting stuck in the step area. Most everyone resoundingly agrees that the Pentair’s ability to make their pool crystal clear is second to none.

More Info

5Widest Cleaning Path
Unique bristle-drive mechanism scrubs away even the toughest dirt.

The Kreepy Krauly Great White suction-side cleaner from Pentair lives up to its name because it has a sharklike appetite for dirt, gunk, and debris. Set it loose in your pool while you kick back and relax as it carries out its mission to give you the cleanest pool in the whole damn neighborhood.

By purchasing this exceptional cleaner, you’ll finally get your life back. There are only so many hours in a day—do you really want to spend them on doing something you can have a machine do instead?

ProsThe Good

Though it’s completely automatic, an attachment comes with this model to allow you to use it with your manual pool vacuum handle. This is handy if there are tight spots like steps and other areas that the cleaner may miss.

The bristle drive quickly propels this guy through the pool and up the walls to the waterline. It comes with 12 one-meter hoses, so you can easily adjust the hose length for any pool size.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

There have been complaints that the Great White is afraid of the shallow end of the pool. You’d think something named after one of the most ferocious of all sea creatures wouldn’t be frightened of anything, but you’d be wrong.

One woman said that during eight hours of operation, the unit didn’t visit the shallow end—not even once.

Others lament that the unit is manufactured from less-than-durable plastic that becomes brittle all too quickly.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Many customers are impressed with the unit’s 15″ cleaning path, one of the widest of all pool cleaners. Having such a wide cleaning path dramatically reduces cleaning time.

More than a few satisfied owners remarked that the Great White excels at sucking up pine needles. Lesser machines can’t handle them, but this isn’t a problem for this model.

Others love that the machine does a great job cleaning specialty pool surfaces such as gunite, vinyl, and fiberglass.

More Info

6Most economical
Well-engineered automatic pool cleaner with no messy bags to clean.

If you’re cleaning your pool the old-fashioned way by using a telescopic pole and the sweat of your brow, it’s time you updated your hopelessly archaic methods.

Dispense with the backbreaking work by getting yourself a Baracuda. It’ll devour every piece of debris in your pool and then some. However, it’s not finished yet, because it’ll then go on to scrub away filth and algae from your pool floor, walls, and steps until nothing’s left but a crystal-clear pool.

ProsThe Good

Maybe you’ve had a pool cleaner or two in your life. If you have, you know that switching out malfunctioning parts for new ones can cost a pretty penny. If replacing expensive pool cleaner parts is something you’re sick of doing, you need the Barracuda in your life.

This unit doesn’t have 50 moving parts that constantly break down and cost a fortune to replace—it just has one.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

Some people report that the Baracuda stops working after only a short time using it. However, this is usually because the inner sleeve that holds the diaphragm is too tight.

Other customers say that although the unit works quite well, they still must manually clean off their tanning ledge, steps, and deep-water seats.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Many customers are ecstatic that only one moving part means they spend less time on maintenance and less money spent replacing worn-out parts. Others rave about the flow-keeper valve, which prevents a decline in performance when the water pressure drops.

There are those who live in warm and balmy climates where taking a dip in a refreshing pool is a daily activity. These passionate swimmers appreciate the hundreds of hours of labor they save each year.

More Info
There are variety of cleaners which you may have to try
You may have to try a few pool cleaners before you find one that suits your pool

If you don’t take away anything else from this guide, remember this one rule: What works in one person’s pool may not work in yours.

Many factors affect how well a pool cleaner works. For suction pool cleaners, the water pressure from your pool’s pump is a big factor. Then there’s the type of pool surface, pool shape, water depth, type and amount of debris, and obstacles such as stairs, ladders, and drains.

So, this means you may have to try a few pool cleaners before you find one that suits your pool. We’ve compiled this guide and reviews, however, to help you narrow down the choices in the hopes that you won’t waste time and money on incompatible products.

Types of Pool Cleaners

While suction-side pool cleaners are among the cheapest of automatic pool cleaners, they’re not always the best choice for your pool. You have a few basic options.

You could brush your pool too.
Manual pool cleaners are the cheapest option

  1. Manual pool cleaners: These are your pool skimmers, manual vacuums and brushes. They’re the cheapest option, but will require the most physical effort. If you have a small pool, you’re on a budget, and want to burn some calories, this is your best bet.
  2. Automatic pool cleaners: We’ll divide these into three distinct choices.
    Suction side pool cleaner at work.
    • Suction-side – As you’ve seen, these are fairly affordable and depend on your pool’s pump intake. If your pool pump can’t consistently move at least 25 gallons per minute, then this isn’t the option for you. Variable speed pumps often struggle with this.

      You also have to stay on top of cleaning the pool filter and ensuring all the plumbing connections are airtight. They’re best for fine and small debris and will often need a separate leaf canister if you need to remove large leaves, twigs, acorns, etc.

    • Pressure side pool cleaner at work.
    • Pressure side – These run on your pool’s return port. They’re cheaper than a robotic pool cleaner, but more expensive than a suction-side cleaner. They’ll pick up larger debris easier than a suction-side cleaner.

      Some of them run on the filter pump via a wall return fitting or dedicated cleaner line, but depend on your pool filter being kept clean. Some run on a separate booster pump with a dedicated cleaner line and don’t require your pool’s filter system. But they can also boost your electric bill.

    • Robotic – These are the most technologically advanced, most independent, and most expensive of the automatic pool cleaners. They run on their own power source and don’t require your pool’s pump at all. They’ll pick up debris of all sizes and are great for larger pools.

How to find the best suction-side cleaner for your pool

Make sure your pool pump is powerful enough
Your pool pump should be able to consistently produce 25 GPM at minimum

First off, your pool pump should be able to consistently produce 25 GPM at minimum. Some suction cleaners will list the minimum pump GPM while others don’t. We’ve listed it in our reviews when we could find it.

When in doubt, you can always reach out to a pool supply store rep or call the manufacturer directly to see if your pool pump is compatible. If they can’t tell you, then that’s probably a good hint to skip that brand.

Beyond pump power, there are other important things to consider.

You should match the size of your pool to the amount of hose sections purchased

Hose length

The bigger your pool, the more hose you’ll need. This also includes pools with deep ends. The good thing is that most cleaners come with several sections of hose that you simply snap together until you get the length you need. If your cleaner can’t reach the furthest corner of the deep end with all the hose sections, you’ll need to purchase extra hose lengths.

Type of pool surface

Construction materials are another big factor. Often, these cleaners lack enough suction to climb the walls of smooth surfaces such as vinyl and fiberglass. Special “tape wheels” or tracks may be needed to make these work.

We’ve listed compatible surfaces in our reviews when possible. But browse through customer reviews and see what their experiences have been with various pool types. You can also call that handy pool supply rep or manufacturer to see if a certain cleaner will work for your specific pool surface.

Types and amount of debris

If you have a lot of leaf litter, you may need a separate inline leaf canister

Generally, suction-side cleaners do best with fine to medium sized debris like bugs, small leaves, dirt, grass, hair, etc. Some cleaners have adjustable intake valves so you can make the opening bigger for bigger debris.

If you have a lot of leaf litter, you may need a separate inline leaf canister to prevent clogs. Or you should opt for a pressure side or robotic cleaner instead.

Amount of debris is another consideration. Since they depend on your pool filter, suction-side cleaners will require that you keep your skimmer basket clean, so heavy debris may require more maintenance from you. On the other hand, a fenced-in pool with no trees around it and minimal dirt trafficking will not pose much of a challenge debris-wise.

Price

You don’t have to spend a lot to get a good cleaner.

Suction-side cleaners can run anywhere from $200 – $600, with the simplest models being the cheapest. You don’t have to spend a lot to get a good cleaner. A small pool with minimal debris will do just fine with a simple Kreepy Krauly.

However, if you have a large pool with a lot of debris and frequent usage, you may want to invest more in a cleaner that will tackle the mess faster and more efficiently. Look at the pre-programmed models and those with adjustable throats. Purchasing a separate leaf canister and a repair kit of spare parts isn’t a bad idea either.

Troubleshooting tips

From what we’ve gathered from pool professionals and customers, here are some of the most common issues you’ll find with suction cleaners and how to address them.

    Debris sometimes can jam the turbine and must be removed manually.
  1. My pool cleaner won’t move or moves too slowly
    • Backwash your filter and empty the pump basket if needed.
    • Check for trapped air. Do you see a lot of air bubbles in the pump basket or return lines? Are all the hose connections tight? Are the fittings at the pump tight? Is the o-ring at the pump basket in good shape?
    • Look inside the cleaner to see if debris is jamming the turbines.
    • Check the flow regulator valves on the cleaner to make sure they’re at the right setting.
    • Make sure nothing’s caught in the wheels or tracks and that they’re not damaged.
  2. My pool cleaner won’t cover the whole pool.
    • Make sure you have adequate hose length to reach all the way across and all the way to the bottom of the deepest end.
    • Adjust hose float as necessary. This is especially important in pools with big depth changes.
    • Adjust programmed steering settings to change the number of wheel rotations.
    • Are the return line fittings turned downward? Use a return diverter if needed.
    • Is the hose kinked or coiled? Straighten and lay in the sun to remove bends.
    • Is the hose broken, cracked, or damaged? Replace with new hose length(s).
  3. MX6 Suction Pool Cleaner at work
  4. My pool cleaner won’t climb walls.
    • Adjust flow intake and hose float.
    • The wheels/tracks/feet may not be compatible for that pool surface. You may be able to purchase additional ones from the manufacturer.
    • Check that the cleaner throat and turbine are clear of debris.
    • Backwash filter and empty pump basket if needed.
    • Replace worn feet, wheels, skirts, or tracks.
  5. My pool cleaner gets stuck on steps, drains, or ladders.
    • Try a ladder guard kit to block the ladder.
    • Try a pool drain cover to ease the transition from floor to drain.
    • Make sure the main drain is closed.
    • Adjust the water flow or direction of the cleaner.
    • Shorten the hose to keep it from going in those areas.

With little routine maintenance, you could keep your pool clean

If you have a good pool pump, keep your pool filter system cleaned, and with a little routine maintenance on the machine itself, you should be able to run a suction-side cleaner for at least 1 – 3 years. Since they use minimal energy and have no danger of shorting out, they can be left in the pool for an extended time, unlike those that require their own power source.

When you find one that works well for you, stick with that model or with similar models from the same manufacturer when you need to replace it. And don’t be afraid to ask your local pool supply reps for their recommendations. They should be familiar with your pool type and the debris most likely found in your area.

Suction-Side Cleaners FAQs

Can I leave a suction-side cleaner in the pool 24/7?

You can leave a suction cleaner in your pool long-term. Whenever the pump kicks on, it’ll automatically start operating, getting your pool all nice and clean for swimmers. However, many manufacturers recommend removing the unit whenever swimmers are in the water or when you’re adding chemicals (which could irrevocably damage your device). You should also remove the cleaner when you shut your pool down for the season.

AquaNaut 400 stands near the swimming pool
Why do people like suction cleaners?

Because they’re a more affordable alternative to pressure and robotic cleaners while still being effective enough to keep their pools sparkling clean. Also, pool owners love these cleaners because they’re low maintenance and are easy to install.

How much electricity do suction cleaners use?

A suction cleaner runs off your pool’s dedicated filter pump, so it doesn’t use any electricity on its own. However, it still indirectly uses electricity. This means the more time your device spends operating, the more electricity it will consume.

That’s why it’s crucial to purchase a model that’s the perfect size for your pool. This way, you won’t have to run the pump as long, saving you a ton of money on electricity costs.

Man checks the pool's pump.
Ensure that the filter is clean when installing your cleaner
How do you maintain a suction pool cleaner?

If you’re installing your cleaner at the beginning of the season, ensure that the filter is clean and the plumbing line is flushed out. For storage during the winter months, turn the pump off and remove the cleaner from the pool. Once you remove the unit, drain all the water to prevent it from incurring damage from freezing.

Either disassemble the hoses or lay them straight. Never coil the hoses or store them in direct sunlight. Find a dry area where you can keep the product so it will be ready to use when next summer rolls around.

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.
image description Comments
Walter Ruby
July 21, 2021 at 5:05 am

If I only have one skimmer on my pool, how do I clean up all the stuff floating on my pool surface if I keep a suction-side pool cleaner connected to it 24/7?

Kevin (Cleanup.Expert Team)
July 21, 2021 at 10:35 am

Hello, Walter! Thanks for your excellent question. You can use your suction cleaner if you use a diverter. This is a device that connects to the end of the hose that goes to the skimmer. It allows you to simultaneously circulate water from the pool and operate your cleaner. If you don’t want to do this, you can manually clean your pool. There are also solar-powered skimmers you can buy, such as the Instapark Betta.

Sarath Samaradivakara
May 26, 2021 at 10:59 pm

i have pool cleaner two wheel POOL cleaner -Brand) one ,its start to stay in deep side, and i found 2 leaking hose and changed it ,no progress, cleaner is old 4 or 5 years .do you think time to replace the cleaner, if so you recommend Kreepy Krauly type cleaner i am tired of wheels and maintaining it, My pool is about 40 -20-8.thanks for your help

Cory Dimovski
April 6, 2021 at 10:44 am

Greetings, Luke. I’m a bit of a cheapskate who loves to keep things as long as I can. Can I get away with running the Zodiac Barracuda once a week, so I don’t wear out the parts?

Kevin (Cleanup.Expert Team)
April 7, 2021 at 7:05 am

You’ll need to run your cleaner often enough to keep the waters of your pool sparkling clean and free of debris. For some people, this is daily. Others who don’t do much swimming might be able to get away with running it once or twice a week.
Thanks for the excellent question!

Brandon A.
March 9, 2021 at 6:01 am

Hey, Luke, how’s it going? I’m a long time reader of your blog. Kudos to all the first-rate info in it! I’ve had the misfortune of owning cleaners with subpar cleaning abilities. My birthday is coming up later this spring, and I want to treat myself to a machine that has superior climbing skills for once. Which one would you recommend?

Kevin (Cleanup.Expert Team)
March 10, 2021 at 5:24 pm

Hello, Brandon! Thanks for the excellent question. I’ve heard some really good things about the Hayward AquaNaut 400. It has exceptional wall climbing abilities, and will scrub away debris right up to your waterline.

I hope you found my answer helpful! Thanks, and have a good day.

Louise
June 16, 2020 at 8:59 pm

I have a 20 x 40 plaster pool, about 3′ to 8′ deep. I had been using a creepy crawly type vacuum (Xtremepower) which was very temperamental. I spent a lot of time opening and closing skimmer and main drain lines to get the suction right so it would move. Yesterday and today, neither my weekly pool guy nor I couldn’t get it to move at all. I really need to watch my budget and wouldn’t mind cleaning it myself manually. I do have a leaf vacuum, but it doesn’t do well picking up smaller particles. Can you recommend a manual vacuum? Do they work on the same principle with suction through one of the skimmers, but I would move it manually? Thanks.

Kevin (Cleanup.Expert Team)
June 29, 2020 at 6:20 am

Hello there, Louise. Yes, pool vacuums work by tapping into the suction generated by the skimmer. You’ll need a quality vacuum hose that doesn’t kink up, a standard telescopic pole, and a vacuum head. Since you have a plaster pool, get a vacuum head with wheels on it instead of brushes. A good (and inexpensive) one is the Milliard 14” flexible pool vacuum attachment.
Here are the steps:

  1. Remove the skimmer basket.
  2. Attach the head to the telescopic pole.
  3. Take the swivel end of your vacuum hose and attach it firmly to the head.
  4. Put the head underwater and push it out towards the middle of the pool.
  5. Grab the free end of the hose and feed it straight down into the water, so it doesn’t kink.
  6. Put the end of the hose in front of a return jet. Watch the end of the hose that’s in the water for bubbles. When you can’t see bubbles anymore, the hose is full of water.
  7. Bring the hose over to the skimmer with your hand over the top of it.
  8. Insert the hose into the skimmer hole with suction.
  9. Now, it’s time to vacuum. Move back and forth slowly, so the vacuum head doesn’t fall off. Keep going until you’ve sucked up all the nasty debris.

So, there you have it! I hoped I helped you.

John Mooney
May 8, 2020 at 2:53 am

I have a 15 x 30 pool with 6 foot max depth, the sides are curved with no sharp angles except at the steps. The skimmer is the only intake besides the floor drain. Pool material is gunite I believe and has a coarse surface finish. It is in a screened in structure, I’d like to jump into a reliable automatic suction cleaner but just can’t find a convincing review for my needs as they seem to be all over the place! Budget is $425 or less…
up to now I’ve had to brush down the sides almost daily in the Florida sun due-to fast alge buildup! Any recommendations?

Kevin (Cleanup.Expert Team)
May 18, 2020 at 7:15 am

Hello John! We’d have to suggest you take a look at the Hayward W3925ADC Navigator Pro Pool Vacuum. This cleaner works on pools up to 20 x 40 and does a good job with fine substances such as algae on curved walls. The W3925ADC model I mentioned is specially designed for gunite pools. Thanks for the question!

Paul
April 19, 2021 at 7:21 pm

How come this recommendation isn’t in the “Top-Performing Suction-Side Pool Cleaners – 2021 Ratings and Reviews” list above?

Kevin (Cleanup.Expert Team)
April 21, 2021 at 6:28 am

Hello, Paul! That’s because the Hayward W3925ADC Navigator Pro Pool Vacuum was recommended to solve the unique needs of John, the person asking the question. The W3925ADC is especially designed for gunite pools and John has this type of pool. Although the W3925ADC is a great cleaner, it just missed making our list.

Jason K.
February 12, 2020 at 5:44 am

I have a creepy crawly vacuum, but for some reason I suddenly have no suction in the vacuum hose – what’s up with that?

Kevin (Cleanup.Expert Team)
February 14, 2020 at 6:15 am

This can happen for a number of reasons. First of all, ensure your hose has nothing clogging it. If you suspect a clog, try using a wet/dry vac. Disconnect the hose from the vacuum and attach it to the wet/dry vac hose. If there’s a clog, you’ll hear a change in the motor when the clog pases through.

Secondly, check for any cracks/damage to the hose. Also make sure the pump basket and skimmer are free of debris.

If you have a diverter valve in the skimmer, make sure it’s turned for suction. If all else fails, call in a professional as you may have a bigger issue.

image descriptionAdd comment

Pool Maintenance Tips & Tricks

What You Need to Know About Pool Water Chemistry
Balancing your pool water isn’t some sort of complex chemistry experiment. By following a few simple rules, you can keep the chemicals in your pool water exactly where they’re supposed to be.
A man trying to get rid of mosquitoes
The 14 Best Ways On How To Keep Mosquitoes Away From Pool
Nobody wants to see nasty mosquito larvae in pools. That’s why you need to kill them whenever you see them. If you need some solid strategies for eradicating these airborne pests, read our article on the subject.
Bromine powder and chlorine tablets
Bromine vs. Chlorine: Which Hot Tub Sanitizer is Best For Your Spa?
When it comes to chlorine vs.bromine, do you know which tub sanitizer is best for the rejuvenating water of your home spa? We’ll tell you the answer (plus lots more) in our article!
Above-Ground Pool vs In-Ground Pool
In-Ground Vs. Above-Ground Pool: Which is Better?
Still undecided on what kind of pool you want to get? Our article on above-ground vs. underground pool gives you all the facts you need to make a good buying decision.