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Putting pools on cruise control: From cleaners to chemicals, technology simplifies maintenance

By Jamie Novak

When it comes to chemicals, salt-chlorine generators automate the introduction of sanitizer into the water and can really put a pool on cruise control.
When it comes to chemicals, salt-chlorine generators automate the introduction of sanitizer into the water and can really put a pool on cruise control.

Today, the word ‘automation’ is often heard and is one that seems to drive innovation in many markets. Everyone looks to automate certain tasks in their life as a way to make them simpler, as it allows one to focus on things that really matter to them like family, friends, and fun.

To put this in perspective, think of certain scenarios from a pool owner’s point of view. For instance, imagine it is a gorgeous Friday evening in the suburbs and a homeowner has two options:

  • Lay down on a reclining lounger with his/her headphones on, ready to escape the worries of day-to-day life by taking a poolside nap.
  • Remove the skimmer basket (which is likely filled with various debris and bugs), hook up the manual pool vacuum and begin the tedious job of cleaning debris from the bottom of the pool.

After a long day at work, it is obvious which option most homeowners would likely choose.

When a pool owner is introduced to the various steps involved to maintain a body of water properly, sometimes he/she can be overwhelmed by the amount of work it entails. One of the main concerns most homeowners have is the visual look of the pool, or cleanliness of the surface. Automatic pool cleaners are a great tool for pool owners who have a limited amount of time to spend working on the pool. While deciding to use an automatic pool cleaner seems to be the easy and obvious choice, in this case there are multiple types of cleaners from which consumers and pool professionals can choose. This article will explore a range of these options.

Suction-side cleaners

Suction-side cleaners use a hose that attaches from the cleaner to the skimmer and use the pool pump to create suction.
Suction-side cleaners use a hose that attaches from the cleaner to the skimmer and use the pool pump to create suction.

A suction-side cleaner is a common automatic pool cleaner that is typically available at a lower price point than some of the other options on the market. It includes a hose that attaches from the cleaner to the skimmer (some pools have dedicated suction lines; however, it is more common to use these cleaners through the skimmer).

The pool pump creates suction and the ability to vacuum with the cleaner is obtained. These cleaners move throughout the pool in random patterns. While they are able to catch smaller particulate, they are sometimes limited in the size of debris that is capable of passing through the cleaner head and hose. Suction-side cleaners are particularly popular for pools that are screened in and protected from large debris (e.g. tree leaves).

Debris picked up by suction-side cleaners is transported to, and stored inside, the skimmer basket, which must be emptied as needed. It should be noted, when using the skimmer for a suction-side cleaner, the pool’s skimming capabilities are lessened while the cleaner is being used. That said, these cleaners are perfect for the do-it-yourself homeowner, as they are simple to install.

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