The use of quality manual vacuums can mean the difference between spending an hour or spending ten minutes cleaning a swimming pool. And for those with customers who refuse to invest in an automatic cleaner, a good manual vacuum system may be indispensable.
Three professional grade portable vacuum systems receive consistently great reviews from pool service technicians: Hammerhead, Riptide and The Power Vac. The Power Vac has been around for the longest time, starting in 1995, when the overwhelming need for this type of system inspired the beginning of the company, created by a small pool cleaning company.
Riptide and Hammerhead are a little newer, and very innovative.
Each has specific design features that distinguish them from one another such as differences in vacuum head design, vacuum head wheel type, cart design and much more.
It is therefore important to check manufacturer specifications for your specific needs. That said, these powerful vacuums have much in common.
Unless stated otherwise, all of the systems come with a transport hitch so that they can be easily transported on the back of a truck from one pool to the next.
The Power Vac makes four vacuum types: Residential (20 inch cleaning path, 6 inch throat size), Commercial (20 inch cleaning path, 8 inch throat size), Fountain (20 inch cleaning path, 6 inch throat size) and Waterparks (40 inch cleaning path, 8 inch throat size).
Hammerhead makes four models: The Resort-21 and Resort-30 and the Service-21 and Service-30 Units (21 inch and 30 inch vacuum heads). The service models are meant for pool route work, while Resort models are intended to be left on site and are not compatible with the vehicle mount assembly.
Riptide makes the SL and the XP (both feature 24inch vacuum head). The SL includes a cart and hitch mount to transport on the back of a truck or trailer.
The Riptide XP is an ultra-portable pool vacuum. There is no cart, making it perfect for routes with hard to access pools.
This same battery box can also be used with the Riptide SL which allows the cart to remain on the truck.
All of the vacuum systems work off of similar concepts: they have a powerful 30-35 pound thrust motor that pushes all dirt and debris into bags that are mounted on top.
The motor spins a propeller on top which pulls the dirt into the bag. All of the systems work off of an Ah battery.
The amp hour rating (Ah number) of the battery will tell you roughly how long the unit will run. For example, a 90 Ah battery will run the unit continuously for 4-4.5 hours.
To calculate run time based on amp hours, divide the Ah number by 22. This will give you the approximate run time in hours.
Because the vacuum systems all run off of the battery, they do not use the pool’s filtration system All of the dirt and debris is trapped in the bag, separate from the pool filtration system, minimizing the wear on the pools’ circulation system.
All manufacturers offer a variety of bag types from ultra-fine for capturing extremely fine particles to heavy duty for capturing rocks or glass. The means of attaching the bag to the vacuum head differs by manufacturer. While Hammerhead and the Pool Vac utilize a secure string attachment, Riptide uses a heavy-duty patent pending lock ring design.
These powerful professional grade pool vacuums are truly great for pool start-ups, green pool clean-ups, pools with a lot of debris and more.
The Power Vac Residential
Hammerhead Resort 21