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Owning the best pressure-side pool cleaner means a lot to many fun and comfort seekers. Nothing compares to a calm and relaxing bath during a hot sunny summer season where thermometers are reading close to 50 degrees Celsius.
Unfortunately, keeping the facilities clean requires good pool maintenance as you have to keep the pool chemicals balanced and remove any trash or debris in the water. Owning just any pool cleaner isn’t enough as not all can climb walls and clean those young slimy algae. Instead, you can make the work easier by investing in pressure side cleaners. Read on to learn more about the pressure side pool cleaners in this review.
What is Pressure Side Pool Cleaner?
The pressure side pool cleaner is a pool robot that is used for cleaning, asides from the pool floor, the walls, corners, and steps of a pool. It’s connected to a discharge nozzle or the swimming pool brush socket which is transformed into a discharge by the action of a booster.
Faster and more efficient than the hydraulic suction cleaner, this pool cleaner is however more expensive. The suction side pool cleaners are capable of cleaning large pools, inground pools especially. In addition, the gadget is ideal for complex-shaped pools that have steps and/or a lot of angles. It is effective on all types of coatings (concrete, tiles, liner). In summary, the pressure pool cleaner is versatile and can be suitable for all types of the swimming pool.
The relatively high cost and complex installation of most pressure pool cleaners are increasingly pushing the public to turn to electric robots, which are however also expensive. But it is a good compromise to relieve a large part of the cleaning of a pool quickly, efficiently.
How Do Pressure Side Pool Cleaners Work?
A pressure side pool cleaner works with a particular operating principle, different from hydraulic and electric pool robots.
While these pool cleaners suck the water from the pool to move and clean the pool surface, the suction pool cleaner pushes the pressurized water to the bottom and walls of the pool. It is the projected water that allows the robotic pool cleaners to move while cleaning the pool. The collected pool debris and impurities are retained by a dedicated filter on the robot.
This is why pressurized pool cleaners need a booster, i.e. a dedicated heavy-duty pool pump to operate. Your pool’s pump system will not be powerful enough to ensure proper pool cleaning.
In principle, the hose is connected:
- Via a pool jet nozzle: to operate, the robot uses the water pressure which is sent by the pool pump to deliver the water into the pool.
- Or via the brush socket: this assembly requires the installation of an electric booster pump and an electrical box in the technical room.
The water pressure allows the device to move randomly and suck the waste from the pool. The suction of waste (Venturi effect) and the movement of the cleaners are mechanical (Venturi effect). A pressure washer robot is faster than a hydraulic vacuum robot: moves 15 to 20 meters per minute. Travel speed and suction power depend on the power of the pool filtration system. Unlike a hydraulic robot on suction, these pool equipment for not clog.
6 Best Pressure Side Pool Cleaner
After several hours of research, we’ve cherry-picked the following pressure side pool cleaners for those looking to have great value for money.
1. Zodiac Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner
More innovatively designed than previous Vac-Sweep versions, we have chosen the Polaris Vac-Sweep 360, not only because of its design but also due to its performance and features. Both power and torque have been improved, offering consumers faster and more efficient cleaning. This pool cleaner includes a feed hose that is 31 feet long and with a vacuum inlet of 2.25 inches.
The automatic pool cleaner features a large chamber of zippered filter bag that can store more waste than other models previously made by Polaris. Therefore, you will spend less time on filter bag emptying and focus more on cleaning.
Lastly, it’s a suction pool cleaner designed for in-ground pools and it works without a separate booster pump. You can make use of the advanced hose that comes with it to target debris that is hard to reach at the corners.
- Dual-chamber zippered filter bag collects more debris than previous models
- Polaris offers excellent customer service
- Easy to set up
- Climb to the waterline
- Collects small and large debris
- Feed hose gets easily disconnected
2. Zodiac Polaris Vac-Sweep 65 Automatic Pressure Side Cleaner
The Polaris Vac-Sweep 65 has a patented jet sweep assembly that offers higher speed and better suction power, reducing cleaning time in an average size operating area to a minimum finish time of two to three hours.
Although not as long as other hoses we’ve seen with other models, the pool cleaner comes with a feed hose that is 24 feet long and it is designed for above ground pools with maximum depth of 5 feet.
The item provides heavy-duty performance and is capable of handling the extra dirt that is common with inground pool types. Meanwhile, according to the manufacturer, the automatic pool cleaner can also be used in an above-ground pool.
The tires of the VacVac-Sweep 65 have heavy tread; this means you can use it for making smooth inclinations and wall climbings as they offer good traction. Hence, you will have full coverage of the pool during cleaning, regardless of your pool style.
- Makes full pool floor coverage
- Picks up debris in hard-to-reach areas
- Simple installation process
- Great value for money
- Easy to clean
- Works without the pool’s booster pump
- Parts require constant replacement
- Connecting the feed hose is challenging
3. Polaris Vac-Sweep 3900 Sport Pressure Side Cleaner
More powerful than the similar P-280 model, the new version offers a promising performance, keeping your pool perfectly clean, regardless of the debris that invades your pool. It has great cleaning power and brushes more efficiently and does not propel the water outside (no humidity on the edges and pool windows).
Basically, how it works is that large debris is sucked up and stored in a 5-liter net, while the silt is brushed off by the TailSweep Pro (sweep tail). The automatic pool cleaner has an Aquadynamic design for even more agile movement and less energy. The back up valve allows the pool vacuum to free itself from tight angles.
While Polaris says it can work for any type of inground pool, we recommend this suction side pool cleaner for any above ground pool smaller than 14x7m. Robustness has not been left behind: its three-wheel drive is driven by a stainless steel chain. However, to use this robot, you will need to have a booster pump installed.
- Great speed and cleaning performance
- Strength and durability thanks to the wider and larger wheels
- Perfect cleaning finishes with the new sweeping system
- Higher power than the old model, provided by three Venturi jets
- Large filter capacity
- Does not clean the edges of the pool
- Works with a booster: additional expenses to be expected if your pool is not yet equipped
4. Zodiac F5B Vac-Sweep 280 Pressure Side Cleaner
Effective for any size of the pool (up to 14x7m), the Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 robot is built to clean the bottom, walls, and steps of the pool. This model, on the market for years, has gotten a facelift thanks to new technologies from Polaris.
Faster, more efficient, the robotic pool cleaner promises to be a reliable investment for the maintenance and longevity of your pool. The jets placed face to face allow the robot to adhere well to the walls and ensure quality cleaning.
Like any pressure pool cleaner, this pool cleaner works with a booster pump to be installed in your hydraulic chamber (to be ordered separately or in a pack) and is ideal for inground vinyl and concrete pool surfaces. It comes ready for connection with a 1.5 inches dedicated pressure line and it includes a 31 feet feed hose.
- Reasonable cost
- Fast (3 to 4 hours of operation per day depending on the pool size)
- The jets allow good mixing of the water for efficient cleaning
- Does not clog the built-in filter system of your swimming pool
- Effective for large debris (leaves, seeds, stones, insects)
- Spare parts can be easily found
- Good lifespan
- Filter not easy to clean when wet
- Some blockages observed in some swimming pools
- Requires a booster pump
5. Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Side Pool Cleaner
Do you need a three-wheel pool cleaner that can scrub and vacuum? Then the Vac-Sweep 280 pool cleaner will impress you; it is fast, powerful, and makes it easy to use a dedicated pressure line. The pool cleaner comes with a feed hose that is 31 feet long and with a vacuum inlet of 2.25 inches.
The dual ventilation inlet on the robot allows you to utilize its power for efficient debris pickup. That’s why the pool cleaner can handle all sizes and types of debris, which includes pebbles and leaves.
The filter bag of this vacuum is placed conveniently where debris can be picked up before passing through the filter or pump basket. This, therefore, protects the vital areas of your pool system while reducing the frequency of maintenance. The pool cleaner works with a booster pump and is built for in-ground pools.
Finally, ensure you tweak the pressure correctly, adjust the vector nozzle and the feed hose and you will enjoy your purchase.
- The length of the feed hose can be easily adjusted
- Cleans an average pool in less than three hours
- Collects waste of different sizes and types
- Spare parts can be easily obtained
- Detailed instruction manual included in the product kit
- When wet, cleaning the filter bag can be challenging
6. Pentair Kreepy Krauly Racer Pressure-Side Pool Cleaner for In-Ground Pool
This “creepy” robot provides heavy-duty performance and is capable of handling the extra dirt that is common with a buried pool design. According to Pentair, it has 1/3 more cleaning power and cleans 30% faster than other models with pressure technology and side cleaning abilities.
The Kreepy Krauly Racer has a third more power than other automatic pressure pool cleaners in Pentair’s lineup and is up to 30% faster. It stands out for its large entrance, 40% more, as well as its front rotating brush, which helps to clean even the most difficult dirt.
Kreepy Krauly Racer includes a very striking accessory within the pool cleaners; this is its Nite Cruize® self-powered LED lights which mainly provide an aesthetic improvement and are very attractive at night. Its futuristic design makes it very attractive, but at the same time allows comfortable and easy maintenance.
Although the pool cleaner model works with a booster pump, you can make use of an existing booster pump. If you want a slow cleanup, you can turn the flow to the machine down.
- Picks up debris in corners and hard to reach areas
- Larger entrance for a full pool floor coverage
- Simple installation process
- Great value for money
- Easy to clean
- The warranty coverage could be better
- Not so long-lasting
These suction side cleaners can be useful for cleaning the walls and sides of the entire pool surface. But not all work the same way. It is, therefore, reasonable to expect it to be equipped with a series of features aimed at personalizing the cleaning job
An integrated filter
Asides the pool filter in the facility, these pool robots must be equipped with an integrated filtration system to collect the sucked waste. Waste is not sent to the pool’s pump pre-filter and pool’s filter system as with a manual vacuum or a hydraulic vacuum robot.
However, they are stored inside the filter bag. You need to occasionally empty and clean this filter bag to remove the waste. These bags can be washable or disposable.
For robots with a booster, the installation of a control box meant for filtration is strongly recommended. Thanks to it, you can program a daily cleaning time. Depending on the size of the pool, between 1 and 3 hours of operation will be necessary and you just have to empty the filter bag from time to time. The servo ensures that the booster starts up while the main pool pump is running, this will protect it against running without water.
A criterion that goes hand in hand with the working speed of the pool robot is its filtration volume, i.e. the amount of water it can filter in a unit of time (typically an hour). The filtration volume is expressed in m³/h (cubic meters per hour): the greater the filtration volume, the faster the robot will be in completely cleaning the pool, in other words. A robot with a high filtration volume will be more suitable for a large pool, while a lower filtration volume will go with smaller pools.
With or without booster pump?
It is possible to operate this type of robot without a booster, but unless you have a sufficiently powerful filtration pump, this is not advisable. The lower the flow and the pressure, the less efficient the robot is.
In addition, the broom plug is normally designed for vacuuming. However, the principle of the pressure vacuum cleaner is to push the water at a high speed to the robot. The vacuuming and collection of waste are done in the machine.
It is advisable to install a booster pump to have a good vacuum as this type of robot is subject to the prior installation of a booster. Booster pumps send the pressurized water to the robot.
If this installation was not planned during the installation of the swimming pool, it may require the intervention of a professional when you are not sure of being able to do it yourself. And if you don’t call a professional, you may be disappointed with its suction strength.
Once you are sure that you have identified the pool robot models suitable for your pool, you should know what the pool cleaners can do and for how long.
First of all, it is important to check which parts of the pool the robot can clean: obviously all of them clean the seabed without problems, but not all can clean hard-to-reach areas like corners, staircases, and pool steps.
The best models are in fact capable of climbing along rigid and semi-rigid walls – no matter how high they are – while others can climb only the first 30-40 cm in height. The simpler models, on the other hand, are completely devoid of this ability.
The working speed of a pool robot, as we have already partly mentioned, depends mainly on the type of robot in question. The fastest are pressure pool cleaners. Speed, measured in m/min (meters per minute), can range from just 6 m/min up to 15 m/min. The higher the speed, the faster the cleaning cycles will be (obviously in relation to the size of the tank).
Pressure side pool cleaners are the most effective for pool maintenance, especially inground pools. They are the true pool robots as they take pool cleaning up to the sides and other difficult places which a hydraulic pool cleaner can’t reach.
There are a lot of models to choose from; it all depends on your needs. While some are made for above ground use, others are for inground pools. The pool cleaners also vary according to their operating systems as while some can work without a booster pump, other models need this.
Whatever your preference is, you would definitely find your choice among the six of the best pressure side pool cleaners reviewed.