Above Ground Pool Cleaners: Choosing the Right One for your Pool and Getting it Glowing in No Time

Don’t settle for a dirty, smelly pool. Get a top-notch above ground pool cleaner and your pool will be crystal clear in no time. Want to know what the best above ground pool cleaners are? Read on!

There’s nothing worse than getting prepared for swimming, and just as you’re about to dip in, you see that your pool has a thick coating of dirt on the bottom.

Fret not! There is a ray of hope at the end of the tunnel. A method for successfully removing the accumulation of debris and silt in the water while exerting the least amount of effort on your side. The vacuum pool cleaner.

In this article, we will go over everything you need to know in selecting the best possible above ground pool cleaners model for your backyard oasis. With only a few strokes of these bad boys, your pool will be clean and gleaming in no time.

Learn About Above Ground Pool Cleaners

Pool Cleaner

An above-ground pool cleaner is a device designed to clean your pool with minimal effort on your part.

Either electricity or gas powers them and are available either in the canister or robotic models. Canister models require you to move them manually, while the robotic ones will do all the work for you by just pressing the button.

If you have an in-ground pool, an automatic cleaner is likely already built-in, but if not, they only cost $800-1500, so it may be worth considering getting one installed at your next renovation.

How Does It Work?

It’s relatively simple really. At the bottom of the cleaner is a filter, which traps all dirt and debris floating in your pool.

The filter will be programmed to clean at a set speed (usually between 5-20 minutes), thus removing any dirt accumulated over time. Simply toss the collected debris into the garbage (or compost bin, if you live in North America), and you’re done!

What Comes With It?

A standard model will come with only an electric cord, which you can either plug directly into your wall or run an extension cord to your breaker box (depending on how far away it is). Most cleaners even come with multiple cords so that you can plug them into several different outlets to help them cover more ground at once.

Some models also come with a moveable hose, which allows you to move the cleaner around without having to lug it from one end of your pool to the other. This can be useful if you have a large pool or to save you time cleaning.

Will They Damage My Water?

Like any product, some brands are known for harming your water quality while others do not. If you want a cleaner that can’t adversely affect your water, look for a unit powered by electricity and not gas.

Gas cleaners generate a lot of heat, which may damage microbial life in the water over time and cause an increase in E. Coli counts as well as other bacteria that may harm humans.

If you’re wondering if it will save you money, the answer is usually yes. Most of these cleaners require minimal effort on your part, which means that you will be spending less time cleaning and more time enjoying yourself with your friends.

The only exception to this rule is if you live in a colder climate or if your pool isn’t too dirty (in which case there’s no need to spend extra on a cleaner).

What Are the Types of Pool Cleaners Good for Above Ground Pools?

In terms of selecting an automated pool cleaning for your above-ground swimming pool, there are a variety of options available, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Robotic Pool Vacuums

Robotic Pool Vacuums

Robotic pool cleaners are the popular above-ground cleaners used in swimming pools today. They are sold in either battery-operated or electric models and feature a hose and motorized brushes on the bottom of the unit to reach hard-to-reach places in your pool.

This type of cleaner is ideal for anyone who wants more of a hands-off experience, whereas an electric model can be a little more demanding on you, particularly if you’re new to owning such a machine. An excellent robotic cleaner will clean your pool more efficiently than an upright suction cleaner or even a hand-held model (which may also help you get a jump start on your daily workout).

Suction Pool Vacuums

Suction Pool Cleaner

Another option for pool owners is installing a suction pool vacuum, a popular feature in many above-ground pools.

Suction pool cleaners are typically the most affordable (at around $100 – $1000) and don’t require any chemicals to clean their pools. They can be manually powered by using an existing pump.

A suction cleaner usually attaches to the pool’s skimmer and features a long hose to reach deep into the water.

Their shortcomings include the fact that they require a constant presence and that they may not clean your pool as effectively as other types of cleaners when you want. They also require more effort on your part when compared with other models.

Pressure Pool Vacuums

Pool Vacuum in Water

These devices float in the middle of the pool and function by generating a pressure-induced suction effect that causes your pool’s water to flow through the filter steadily, and the debris is trapped there.

Certain pressure pool vacuums may require a booster pump to increase the water pressure sufficiently to get an optimal clean. Especially true for larger pools, the auxiliary pump will assist the pool cleaner in filtering all the water from debris or contaminants.

Well, because of the flow of water required and the needed second pump, pressure pool cleaners have a greater running cost than both pool cleaner types above. If you’re eyeing a model that needs a booster pump, we recommend getting help from a pool professional for safety installation.

Things to Remember When Buying an Above Ground Pool Cleaner

It’s important to consider all of the factors that can influence how well an above-ground pool vacuum cleaner cleans your pool, as well as whether or not the vacuum cleaner is suitable for your particular swimming pool’s shape and size.

The Size of the Pool

The size of your pool also has a bearing on the type of cleaner that you should get. If you have a rectangular pool, then you’ll want to invest in a robotic cleaner that can clean all four sides of the pool without having to climb on top of them.

If you’re obsessed with efficiency and don’t mind spending more time cleaning your pool, then consider buying an electric suction cleaner.

The Type of the Pool

If your pool is round, then a rotatory suction pool cleaner is a perfect fit. This style of cleaner is a type that collects debris from the bottom of the pool and then spins to collect all dirt and debris from the surface. 

How Fast and Efficiently Do the Pool Cleaner Filter?

Girl Smiling while Swimming

An efficient filtration system assures that your water is clean and free from debris and contaminants. Having an effective filtering system also makes you less likely to get sick. It would help if you also looked for a model with multiple filters to ensure that the water in your pool stays clean throughout the year. 

Also, remember that not all pool cleaners can climb up on the above-ground pool walls to clean it. If this concerns you, you can look for particular pool cleaner models that offer this feature.

Furthermore, you also have to be meticulous on your purchase by knowing how the vacuum can interact once it encounters a problem. The last thing you want is the pool cleaner stopping entirely out of nowhere every time it’s hitting an obstacle.

How Much Does It Cost to Run?

The operating cost of an above-ground pool cleaner is another crucial factor to consider. This includes the cost of your energy, for example. The more energy-intensive and affordable a certain model is, the better. 

It’s important to note that the price you see in retail stores may not reflect how much it costs to run because pool shop owners can also sell these machines at a higher price with shop owner manufacturers’ warranties attached.

Also, you want to check if any additional costs may come up because of how often you need to replace filters or brushes that break off.

“If you have invested in a robotic pool cleaner or pressure-side pool cleaner, you will be reducing filter wear on your system drastically.”

Pool Guides, team of pool experts

How Difficult Is Setup/Installation?

The majority of robotic pool cleaners are relatively easy to install. You can DIY install it on your own or have a professional come in and do the installation for you.

In most cases, this will cost a minimal amount of money, depending on how much help you need. If you need a power tool to remove pipes and fittings, make sure you factor that cost into your operating costs as well.

How Many Years Will It Last?

To maximize the lifespan of your robotic pool cleaner, you must clean your pool regularly.

You want a product that won’t break down in a few years or break after a few years after you spend a lot of money on it.

Your gas pressure vacuum cleaners have a weak motor and weak filtration system to work for 5-6 years. While this is still good, you want to get something that will last longer than that.

No matter how big or small your above-ground pool is, you’re going to want to keep it clean in the best way possible. Having a dirty pool is not just an eyesore but can also be dangerous for anyone swimming in it. 

Also, homeowners who have automatic pool cleaners tend to spend more time relaxing or enjoying their pools instead of worrying about cleaning them manually.

So whether you know you’ll get the most out of an electric suction cleaner or simply prefer a more hands-off approach with a robotic cleaner, there are plenty of options on the market that will get your pool sparkling clean with less effort on your part.


When it comes to picking the right pool cleaner, there are many things to consider. There are so many of them on the market right now, so it can be overwhelming to try and determine which one is best for you.

You want to choose a model that will be able to keep your pool clean, but you also want to choose one that you will be able to afford. It can be difficult to get the best of both worlds, but hopefully, this blog has given you some insight into how to choose the right pool cleaner for you.

We hope you found this article helpful in choosing the right above-ground pool cleaner for your needs; if not, feel free to drop us a comment below! We’d love to hear what questions you may have for us. Also, below are more pool articles that you will definitely find useful. Check them out! To view more pool articles, click here.

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About the author

Brian Anderson

The rather dry pool world out there is in need of some passion to make it shine. With the help of my son Ruben and his wife Maria our mission is to help you create the favorite spot of your house - your pool.

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