The Perfect Pool Blog

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How to Find the Right Pool Cleaner For You

MX8 Elite - Zodiac Suction Cleaner with Cyclonic Scrubbing Action

Spring is the perfect time to upgrade or replace your automatic pool cleaner. Because there are different types of pool cleaners out there and you may be unfamiliar with the differences between them, below is a quick primer to help you determine the right cleaner for your pool.

It's good to start with a basic understanding of automatic pool cleaners. Here are the three types:

  1. Pressure: These cleaners are typically driven by a high-pressure booster pump, which operates together with the pool filtration pump. Pressure cleaners collect debris in a bag attached to the cleaner, capturing debris prior to the pool's filter. This type of cleaner works well for large types of debris such as acorns and leafy material.

  2. Suction: As the name suggests, suction cleaners connect to the pool's suction line. They usually gather the debris in an in-line leaf canister, pump strainer basket or the pool's filtration system. These cleaners often are good for medium to small types of debris.

  3. Robotic: These cleaners plug into the GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) electrical outlet near the pool, and don't require a dedicated cleaning line. Debris is usually collected in a bag or canister within the cleaner. Robots tend to work well for fine to medium-sized debris.

These descriptions are general, so some additional questions to ask yourself while you're shopping for a new cleaner include:

  1. What would you like your cleaner to do that it's not doing now? The answer to this question tells you a lot. For example, if you wish your cleaner didn't require so much attention, it tells you you're looking for a cleaner that's lower maintenance. Ask your local pool pro to point these models out to you.

  2. Do you have a dedicated cleaner line which is plumbed to the pressure side of the pool pump? This is an important basic question and tells you if you are set up for a pressure cleaner. If you have a dedicated line that is plumbed to the suction side of your pool pump, it can be used as is with a suction cleaner.

  3. What kind of debris do you typically have in your pool? This is a great question to assess what type of cleaner works best for the debris that collects in your pool. Your local pool pro will be able to point you in the right direction.

When it comes to cleaners, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. But asking these types of questions are a great start to finding the cleaner that works best for you.

Stay tuned for more detailed selection information in the coming months!

Did you know that Polaris and Zodiac Days are great times to purchase automatic pool cleaners? This is when our retailers offer the best sales of the season on our cleaners. Find a sale near you!

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Includes all the latest information, tips, and expert advice from Zodiac Pool Systems, Inc. on owning the healthiest, safest, most enjoyable pool possible.


Zodiac is a leading global manufacturer of differentiated pool and spa products. With our rich heritage of innovation excellence, we develop some of the world's leading products that afford our customers a better life.


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