What Makes an Above Ground Pool Cleaner Different?

What Makes Above Ground Pool Cleaners Different?

Above ground pools provide an easy and accessible way for people to have a pool in their yard, but don’t want to have to go through the extensive construction process required for installing an in ground pool. These pools are a viable alternative, available in numerous sizes, and even shapes.

Like in-ground pools, above ground pools need to be cleaned too. Dirt, debris, insects, and other foreign objects are just as much an issue for above ground pools, regardless of size. Because of this, it’s important to use above ground pool cleaners to ensure that the job is done right.

Working Robotic Pool Cleaner on Pool Side

Some above ground pool owners mistakenly use in-ground pool cleaners when trying to clean their pool, and often encounter some issues because of doing so. Using the appropriate cleaner for your pool will go a long way in ensuring that your pool is kept clean, while avoiding potential damage to both the cleaner and pool.

What Is An Above Ground Pool Cleaner?

Well, an above ground pool cleaner is essentially a cleaner that you can use in an above ground pool. While this is a rather obvious statement, there are reasons that above ground pool vacuums are made the way they are.

Critter Above Ground Pool Cleaner
  • Above ground cleaners are manufactured to cater to the unique needs that above ground pools have. Aside from the fact that in-ground pools and above ground pools are made from different materials, the pump system used for each pool type is different as well.
  • In-ground pools tend to be larger than above ground pools, so the pump and filtration systems are going to be fairly different when it comes to overall power. In-ground pool systems are designed to move a much larger volume of water throughout the pool’s system, and the pump is located above the pool’s water level.
  • ​Above ground pool pump systems are below the water level, which creates a literal uphill battle for the system. This fact, along with the smaller pool size, means that above ground pools do not have the same suction and water pressure power than an in-ground pool possesses.
  • There’s also the issue of the pool’s shape. In-ground pools have gentle slopes, stairs, and curved edges leading up to the walls. Above ground pools lack all of these aspects, and have a 90-degree angle where the wall meets the floor. In-ground pools are made from stone, tile, and concrete, while above ground pools use a vinyl liner throughout the inside.

All of these factors result in an above ground pool cleaner that needs to operate efficiently off of smaller amounts of water pressure, while treading lightly on the pool’s vinyl liner.

Does It Matter If I Use One Or Not?

Yes. If you try to use an in-ground pool cleaner in your above ground pool, there is a good chance that the pool’s pump won’t provide enough power to allow the cleaner to function at full strength. Automatic pool cleaners may get caught or stuck on small wrinkles in the vinyl liner where it bunches up.

Using an above ground pool cleaner will ensure a smoother and more efficient operation without any snags or mishaps.


Automatic Above Ground Pool Cleaner in a Pool

Types Of Above Ground Pool Cleaners

Above ground cleaners can be grouped into four different types, in two different categories.

Automatic Above Ground Pool Cleaners

Automatic pool cleaners are cleaners that don’t require manual operation. With automatic cleaners, you simply place the cleaner in the pool, hook it up to the pump or an outlet, and let it handle the work on its own.

Suction Side Above Ground Pool Cleaners

As the name suggests, suction side cleaners are connected to the suction intake in the pool. Any debris or dirt that is collected by the cleaning unit is sent directly to the pool’s filtration system.

The cleaner will roam around the pool on its own, continually vacuuming up particles and sending them to the pool’s filter until you are ready to detach it. These cleaners are economically-priced, but they are not always the most thorough option. They can clog and jam somewhat easily as well.


Pressure Side Above Ground Pool Cleaners

Pressure side automatic cleaners operate in the opposite way. Rather than using suction, these cleaners use the pool’s water pressure to blast dirt and debris off of walls and flooring, sending it all into an attached filter bag that collects the particles.

Like the suction side cleaner, the pressure side will use the propulsion to roll around in your pool, eagerly grabbing what it can. While this cleaner is also highly affordable, it places added stress on your pool’s pump, and may require a booster or extra pump altogether.


Robotic Pool Cleaners

Robotic pool cleaners use a different approach forging your pool’s entire filtration and pump system. These cleaners operate off of low-voltage electricity, and are completely self sufficient.

Robotic cleaners use the electricity to power a motor that creates a suction effect, while also propelling the cleaner across the pool’s floor as it cleans. Any particles vacuumed up are sent to a cartridge with its own filter, where you may then empty it and rinse using a hose after cleaning.

Robotic cleaners have the ability to learn your pool’s size and shape, and create an efficient cleaning cycles that ensures every spot in the pool is cleaned. Once the cycle is over, the cleaner will power itself off and may even dump water before rising to the surface on its own.

Since robotic cleaners forego your pool’s system and use low-wattage electricity, they provide significant energy savings, while also extending the life of your pool’s filter and pump system. They are more expensive than suction and pressure side cleaners, but you can make the difference back on your energy bills.

Vacuum For Above Ground Pool

Above ground pool vacuums are an economical and hands-on method for cleaning the pool. Like the suction side cleaner, an above ground pool vacuum connects to the suction valve in the pool, and then you manually clean the pool’s walls and surface on your own, sending all the dirt into the pool’s filter.

Always Make Sure You Use The Right Pool Cleaner

As I said earlier, it’s imperative that you use the proper pool cleaner for your pool type, otherwise you risk mediocre performance and troublesome issues getting your pool fully clean in an efficient way.

There are numerous above ground pool vacuuns on the market today, and many of them are made by major in-ground pool brands such as Polaris, Aquabot and Hayward