Pressure Side Pool Cleaner: Ideal for Small Residential & Commercial Pools

Learn how you can save both money and time while maintaining your pool efficiently and easily with a Pressure Side Pool Cleaner. Find out more here.

If you are looking for the best automatic pool cleaner for your pool, you will want to know all about the pressure-side pool cleaner. It works well on small commercial swimming pools, as well as residential pools.

In this article, we take a more detailed look at the pressure side pool cleaner.

What Is a Pressure Side Pool Cleaner?

The pressure side pool cleaner uses a pool pump and a motor to create suction. This picks up debris straight to the container for easy removal. This type of pool cleaner is appropriate for all liner materials and concrete, vinyl, and fiberglass pools.

To know the proper pool vacuum size, you should understand their volume in gallons per minute (GPM) – larger cleaners can handle higher volumes, while smaller cleaners work better with lower volumes.

Note: Not all pressures will fit on all pumps or motors - please consult your salesperson or manufacturer for details before buying a new unit.

A pressure side pool cleaner is an excellent option for pools that have a lot of debris. It can easily pick up and remove debris with no added stress on the filter and pool pump. 

How Does Pressure Side Pool Cleaner Work?

The pressure side pool cleaner works with a cartridge filter. 

You don’t have to replace the pool filter during the cleaning cycle, but you should clean both the skimmers and returns before starting a new cycle.

If your pool cleaner is not working correctly, your pump is likely incompatible with the unit. It may need to be replaced with a different type or have an upgrade performed on the pump or motor. You can also try upgrading the pipe fittings in the unit, which are very important in allowing enough air movement through the system.

Is a Pressure Side Pool Cleaner for You?

Pressure Side Pool Cleaner: Pool with Metal Stairs

Pressure models are available for both above-ground and in-ground pools. The finish of your pool and the amount of debris produced will determine which automated cleaner is ideal for you. 

Most pressure side pool cleaners have a large intake, which is perfect for gathering larger debris such as leaves, acorns, twigs, and stones, as well as smaller particles. Several different Polaris® pressure-side pool cleaner models are available, each with various debris bags and canisters to gather different sorts of dirt, ranging from microscopic silt to bigger objects.

In addition to cleaning the pool for debris, pressure side pool cleaners aid in distributing warm, clean water across the whole pool, therefore reducing cold spots. There are several advantages to using pressure side pool cleaners, including the following:

  • Ease of use
  • Filters the entire pool
  • Good longevity
  • Ease of cleaning and maintenance
  • Hoses are long enough to cover a medium-sized pool
  • Helps to safeguard your pool’s pump basket and filtration system

“Check the rotations per minute (RPMs) of the cleaner’s wheels to verify they are within the acceptable range for your model. If the wheels on your pressure side pool cleaner move too slowly, the cleaner will have difficulty getting around the pool. If they rotate too rapidly, the cleaner will float off the floor and lose power to suction. The ideal RPMs vary by model, so consult the handbook before proceeding.”

Matt Giovanisci, founder of Swim University

Pressure Side Pool Cleaner Troubleshooting Tips

Pressure Side Pool Cleaner

A pressure side pool cleaner is simple to use, but it may not always work exactly as it’s supposed to. Here are some common issues plus their solutions:

Problem: You can’t get your pool cleaner to move around.

Possible Solution #1: Leaves or other debris are maybe clogging up your cleaner. Remove any debris first so it can flow freely.

Possible Solution #2: Remove the basket first and then check the hoses to make sure they are clear of debris, kinks, or crimps that could be holding it back. Be sure to secure any loose hoses with cable ties.

Problem: The cleaner returns to the pool without cleaning the floor.

Possible Solution #1: The pressure side pool cleaner can get stuck on a small portion of the floor after a while. It may have become lodged on a lip or similar irregularity in your pool.

If that happens, just remove it from the pool water, turn off the power while it dries out, and then relaunch when it’s ready to go again. This usually fixes the problem fairly quickly.

Possible Solution #2: It’s possible that your pressure-side cleaner is worn out and needs to be replaced before proceeding with more use.

Problem: RPMs are above or below the recommended range.

Possible Solution: Make the necessary changes by the manufacturer’s instructions. This may entail the removal or addition of flow restrictors, the adjustment of in-line flow, the cleaning of your in-line filter, or the cleaning of the components of your swimming pool filtration system.

Problem: The pool cleaner is spewing water outside the pool or moving around quickly.

Possible solution: Make sure to adjust your model’s specifications. The sweep hose should softly swish back and forth behind your pool cleaner, rather than flailing frantically as if it were a tube man in training.

Problem: The backup valve is malfunctioning.

Possible solution: Remove the cleaner from the pool water with your hands. Check whether water is sprayed out of the valve. You may need to repair the valve or have your cleaner serviced by a pool professional if it doesn’t. 


Hopefully, this article has helped shed light on any questions you may have had on pressure side pool cleaners. If you have any issues we didn’t cover in this article, let us know in the comments below.

Additionally, 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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