An above ground pool is a cheaper option than below ground pools and will usually have a less effective pump. Because an above ground pool isn’t usually as deep as those that are sunk into the ground, you can get often away with a cheaper pool cleaner.
There really isn’t much difference between an above ground pool cleaner and any other. It’s just that you don’t usually need as much reach for an above ground pool and, in most cases, you don’t need as much suction from the pool pump. This is because an above ground pool is usually shallower than below ground pools. To understand your options, we should look at the basic types of pool cleaners and determine how suitable they are for above ground pools.
Different Types of Pool Cleaners
Suction Side Pool Cleaners
These are the cheapest of all automatic pool cleaners and are, therefore, very popular. Suction Side pool cleaners have been around for a long time and have become more refined over the years. Though there are some irritations that the engineers have not been able to overcome.
The motion that drives a suction side pool cleaner around your pool is supplied by the filtration pump that has been supplied with the pool. You connect the suction pipe of the pool cleaner to the outlet that leads to the pump. Many above ground pools may not have a very powerful pump and this may cause the suction side pool cleaner to be less effective. It’s a good idea to check if your pump is suitable for this type of pool cleaner.
The biggest problem that people find with suction side pool cleaners is when they suck up large debris, this could be pebbles or even leaves. A suction side pool cleaner has diaphragm at the cleaner head that is used to move the pool cleaner and pick up debris – its action is similar to that of a throat and is commonly referred to as this. If hard objects are trapped in the diaphragm it stops functioning and the pool cleaner will come to a standstill and stop cleaning the pool. The opening at the base of the cleaner is also quite small and can become blocked by leaves, plastic and other objects.
There have been many innovations that prevent the pipe from becoming tangled as this another common headache associated with suction side pool cleaners. Even with these devices, suction side pool cleaners can end up traveling in small circles because of loops and tangles in the pipe. The only way to correct this is by removing the pool cleaner from the pool and detangling the pipe or climb into the pool and do it there.
The problems presented by suction side pool cleaners aren’t too difficult to remedy. They just require more correction and maintenance than other automatic pool cleaners. They are suitable for above ground pools, but can, sometimes climb out of the pool – though most modern suction side pool cleaners are designed to stop this from happening.
Pressure Side Pool Cleaners
A pressure side pool cleaner is more advanced than a suction side pool cleaner. Instead of using the pool pump’s suction to drive it. A pressure side pool cleaner uses the water pressure from the outlet that returns the filtered water to your pool. This makes them faster and they don’t use the pool filtration system to collect the debris – they have a collection bag and this reduces the amount of maintenance required for the filtration system.
One of the problems with pressure side pool cleaners is that they require a powerful pump. As most above ground pools don’t have a very powerful pump, to begin with, you will probably have to install a booster pump if you’re using a pressure side pool cleaner. This pushes up the cost of installing the pool cleaner, which already costs more than a suction side pool cleaner. You also have the obvious disadvantage of higher electricity costs, because of the extra power needed for a stronger pool pump.
The costs involved with using a pressure side pool cleaner, make them less popular. Homeowners with above ground pools will often have to pay more because of the additional booster pump, making them a less favorable option for above ground pools.
Robotic Pool Cleaners
A robotic pool cleaner is going to be your most expensive option but, by far, the best. The robotic technology used in pool cleaners has improved in leaps and bounds in recent times.
The robotic pool cleaners that are available today don’t use the pool circulation pump to clean the pool. They have a small internal pump – much like a vacuum cleaner. This reduces the cost of running the pool pump when using it. They also have an internal collection bag and built-in filters – offering the best pool hygiene.
Some robotic pool cleaners are more basic and, therefore, cheaper than more advanced models. Others have specialized features and this can make them more expensive. There are robotic pool cleaners that are designed for the specific conditions of above ground pools – making them the best option. Fortunately, a robotic pool cleaner that is best for above ground pools isn’t necessarily going to be more expensive than other robotic pool cleaners – but still more expensive than either suction side or pressure side pool cleaners.