Pool cleaning is an essential part of swimming pool ownership. But it is not a task any pool owner looks forward to!
It can take a great deal of time and effort, when you would rather be enjoying the water. But cleaning a pool is essential if you want it to be a safe and healthy environment for you and your family.
There are a number of different options available to you when it comes to pool cleaners. We have put together the ultimate guide to swimming pool cleaning. Here we outline the options and what each one means for you.
Why you need to know how to clean a pool
Every swimming pool needs a good filtration system to circulate the water. This is essential as it helps to minimise algae and bacteria, and regulate the pH levels in your pool. It also ensures that your pool water remains healthy and hygienic. However, a filtration system alone is not enough to provide a clean environment for swimming.
Adding chlorine or salt is another essential part of cleaning a pool. However, these can amass in large quantities over time. And this can inadvertently create an ideal environment for bacteria and algae to breed. Obviously, this is the exact opposite of what you want to achieve.
Also, as the vast majority of pools are located outdoors, there will be times when leaves and other debris will find their way into the pool. These cannot be removed by chemical means or the filtration system. You need to know how to clean a pool so you can keep using and enjoying it safely and hygienically.
Different types of swimming pool cleaners
Swimming pool cleaning can be achieved using a number of different methods. The main types of pool cleaners include:
Manual pool cleaning
This literally means cleaning your pool by hand using a number of pieces of swimming pool cleaning equipment, such as:
- A telescopic pole which extends far enough to clean the walls and floor of your pool
- A skimmer net, which attaches to the telescopic pole to collect any debris that has found its way into the pool
- A pool brush, which attaches to the pole to scrub dirt and algae from the walls and floor of the pool
- A manual pool vacuum with a hose long enough to reach all areas of the pool, and a vacuum head which attaches to the telescopic pole.
All this equipment needs to be good quality and suitable for the type of pool you have. For example, an unpainted concrete pool requires a brush with stainless steel and nylon bristles. Painted concrete or fibreglass pools should only be brushed with all-nylon brushes.
As you might expect, manual pool cleaning takes a lot of time and effort. If you lead a busy lifestyle without much free time, you would be much better considering investing in a different type of pool cleaner.
How often should you manually clean your pool?
Your pool should be skimmed every day to keep it safe and healthy. It will also need to be brushed at least twice a week, and vacuumed every two or three days.
Automatic pool cleaners
Cleaning a pool is far easier with an automatic pool cleaner. Most pool owners these days have some kind of automatic cleaner rather than choosing to clean their pools manually. These cut down dramatically on the amount of time and hard work involved.
Automatic pool cleaners do cost more than the equipment required for manual pool cleaning. But the investment makes sense as it enables you to spend much more of your free time enjoying your pool instead of cleaning it.
There are three main types of automatic pool cleaners. These all operate differently:
1. Suction side cleaners
Suction side cleaners hook up to your skimmer, which is the part of your pool filtration system that sucks the water out of the pool to be filtered. The cleaner moves around the floor of your pool picking up dirt and debris. It is propelled by the motion of the water being sucked through it. Some suction side cleaners can also climb pool walls to keep those clean too.
Suction side cleaners are relatively easy to clean and maintain, and they are also the cheapest of all the types of automatic pool cleaner. However, they can only work when the pool pump is running. This can use more energy as you will need to run your pool pump for longer so the pool can be cleaned while you are not using it. This type of cleaner can also put a strain on your pool filter over time.
2. Pressure side cleaners
Pressure side cleaners hook up to the return jets, the parts of your filtration system which propel the water back into your pool once it has been filtered. Pressure side cleaners have a filter bag and a sweep hose. This makes them more advanced and effective at picking up debris and cleaning the pool than suction side cleaners. As a result, they come at a higher price.
The cleaner is moved around the pool by the water being pushed back out of the return jets. This loosens any dirt and debris, which is pushed up into the filter bag. The result is an effective and efficient pool cleaner.
However, there are many different types of pressure side cleaners on the market. That’s why it is essential to choose the right model for your pool, particularly when it comes to the amount of power in the cleaner.
3. Robotic pool cleaners
Robotic pool cleaners are the most advanced and effective of all automatic pool cleaners. They run on electricity, so they operate completely separately from the rest of your pool system. You don’t need it to be connected to the filtration system of your pool.
Robotic pool cleaners operate on very low voltages, and they have extra-long power cords. They are specifically designed to be safe for use in the water, in spite of being electrical devices. In addition, they can only be plugged into sockets which are designed to cut out automatically if any electrical imbalance is detected. Every safety precaution is taken and you can use a robotic pool cleaner without worrying.
Robotic pool cleaners are the most expensive of all automatic pool cleaners. But they are a wise investment due to the amount of time and effort they can save you. They have their own brushes and vacuum attached, enabling them to clean every area of your pool thoroughly. This allows you to maintain a healthy and hygienic pool environment without the stress and effort of cleaning the pool yourself.
Robotic pool cleaners do require regular cleaning and maintenance. But this is a small inconvenience when compared to the amount of time they save you.
For the ultimate in easy swimming pool cleaning, you can invest in a self-cleaning pool. This might sound like something from the future, but it is actually available today thanks to the latest smart pool technology.
In-floor pool cleaner systems literally clean the pool from bottom to top themselves, so you don’t need to do anything at all. Your pool can clean itself while you are asleep or out of the house. This leaves you with a fresh and hygienic pool to jump straight into whenever you want.
The Vantage in-floor pool cleaner system, exclusive to Compass Pools Australia, has led the way in this innovative new technology. It is available as an option with all fibreglass pools from Compass.
The Vantage system operates via a number of nozzles which integrated within the pool floor. They lie completely flush when the system is not in use. This does not cause any obstruction when swimming or any negative impacts on the appearance of the pool.
The nozzles release jets of freshly filtered water throughout the pool, pushing all dirt and debris into a designated cannister. The system is completely silent and can be automated, so you can set the pool to clean itself at times which are convenient for you.
The benefits of an in-floor cleaner system
The Vantage self-cleaning pool system makes your pool cleaner and more hygienic than any other method of pool cleaning. This is because the water is circulated from the bottom of the top of the pool. The entire pool is cleaned, leaving no spots where bacteria and algae can grow.
Most automated systems simply push the filtered water in at the top of the pool, only circulating the top third of the water. This means algae and bacteria can still grow at the bottom, leaving your pool unclean.
In addition, the pool chemicals are circulated evenly throughout the pool as well as the water. This means the pool requires far smaller amounts of chemicals to clean it. This creates a healthier, more environmentally-friendly pool that saves you money on pool chemical supplies.
Another benefit is that it vastly reduces the dry skin, irritated eyes and breathing difficulties that can come from swimming in pools containing too much chlorine. This is particularly important if you have children. You can enjoy peace of mind that comes from not having to store large quantities of potentially hazardous pool cleaning chemicals on your property.
In addition, it makes your entire property safer for children. There is no need to store large quantities of potentially harmful pool cleaning chemicals that the kids could get into.
Are there any disadvantages of in-floor pool cleaners?
Self-cleaning pools are truly revolutionary. They make your pool smarter and more eco-friendly and free up significant amounts of your precious time. You can spend this extra time swimming and relaxing in the pool, or bonding with your family in the water.
However, like all systems, there are a number of points which it is important to be aware of if you are considering purchasing an in-floor pool cleaner system.
1. All systems are different
The Vantage self-cleaning system is only one of a number of in-floor pool cleaning systems available on today’s swimming pool market. Just as Vantage is completely exclusive to Compass Pools, the manufacturers of other in-floor cleaners make their systems exclusive to their pools, too.
This means you really need to do your research when looking at in-ground pool cleaners. It is important that the pool and the cleaning system available with it both suit your needs. Every system will have different features, so you need to compare these when choosing your pool manufacturer.
2. They cannot be fitted retrospectively
As in-ground pool cleaners are literally built into the floor of your swimming pool, they have to be installed at the time of manufacture. This means you will have to choose an in-floor pool cleaner at the time when you order your pool. The pool shell can be built with the cleaning system already installed.
Unfortunately, this means if you have an older pool without a self-cleaning system, you cannot have one fitted. However, if you are considering purchasing a pool at present, it makes sense to include an in-ground pool cleaner. This will make your pool ownership more of a pleasure and less of a chore.
3. They can be expensive
The amount of technology that goes into producing an in-floor pool cleaner system is significant. And this can add a sizeable amount to the overall purchase price of your pool. However, over time they can save you money as you will have to purchase far smaller amounts of pool cleaning chemicals.
In addition, the amount of time they save you is considerable. You will have plenty more hours to spend enjoying your pool rather than maintaining it.
Find out more about the self-cleaning pool
At Compass Pools, we are always happy to provide you with more help and information about all the optional extras we can provide with our fibreglass pools. If you would like to know more about the Vantage in-floor self-cleaning system and consider having it installed in your new pool, please talk to one of our authorised dealers. They are always happy to answer all your questions and discuss your pool project with you.