Choosing the right cleaner for the job
Pressure-side cleaner When it comes to pressure-side cleaners, pool pros say Polaris Quatro Sport is a beast of a pressure cleaner that works like a robot. It has little trouble with acorns, leaves, and pebbles thanks to its extra large intake. It has a dual-stage filtration system, allowing it to collect both large and fine debris into a transparent cannister that is easy to clean. It is suitable for all inground pool surfaces and must be powered with a booster pump.
For smaller pools, service techs recommend the Polaris 280, where it dominates the market in many regions of the country. Many say all Polaris units are workhorses, and if the 280 is run long enough, it works very well. It has the added bonus that it’s easy to fix if something goes wrong.
The 280 sweeps, scrubs, and vacuums the bottom and walls of the pool. It includes 31-feet of feed hose and is equipped with single chamber filter bag for capturing larger debris. And it’s available in a Black Max™ model to complement dark-bottom
Polaris Quatro Sport With Booster Pump
pools. It is suitable for all inground pool surfaces and runs off a separate booster pump.
For vinyl-lined pools, the greatest consensus lies with the Polaris 380, if the pool has a booster, and the Polaris 360 if the pool does not.
For suction-side cleaners, there are three top contenders. These include “The Pool Cleaner” sold by Hayward, the Pentair Rebel, and the Zodiac MX6.
A lot of service pros don’t like suction-side cleaners at all, (this tends to be true in areas with a lot of trees) but some say that Hayward’s The PoolCleaner, by Poolvergnuegen, is the only one they would recommend. Hayward’s AquaNaut and Phoenix models are essentially the same cleaner, with different color schemes and different purchase locations. Hayward owns the Poolvergnuegen name and launched the other two cleaners to expand the appeal. The best choice of the three pretty much depends on the price and whether there’s a rebate at the time of purchase.
The PoolCleaner is a highperforming suction pool cleaner that provides enough power, traction and balance to efficiently clean pools with deep ends. Features such as self-adjusting turbine vanes ensure maximum power at virtually any flow and effortless debris management. Adjustable skirt and tire treads work together with programmed steering to ensure easy wall-climbing, obstacle management, and maximized pool coverage while delivering the best surface clean.
Whether you go with the 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive, The PoolCleaner is a great cleaner. The 2-Wheel Suction Drive comes with approximately 33 feet of hose and is ideal for most average sized pools without a deep end.
The 4-wheel drive comes with approximately 40 feet of hose and is best suited for larger pools with a deep end. The additional wheels maintain power and balance in pools with deep ends.
All of the PoolCleaner models have self-adjusting turbine vanes. These flexible vanes ensure maximum power at virtually any flow. Their ability to move allows easy passage of large debris to ensure full cleaning.
The PoolCleaner has multiple pre-programmed internal steering sequences, which cause the left wheel to periodically reverse, allowing The PoolCleaner to turn and then move into another direction. This feature ensures full pool coverage and efficient cleaning.
The tire treads give The PoolCleaner enhanced climbing ability and obstacle maneuverability – especially with main drains. This makes The PoolCleaner ideal for all pool surfaces and shapes, although optional tape tires may be required for smoother surfaces.
The PoolCleaner has patented adjustable roller skirts that allow the cleaner to maintain optimal suction on uneven surfaces and when encountering obstacles.
And it comes with three easily interchangeable throats to improve deb r is passage and suct ion performance, making it ideal for use with variable-speed pool pumps The Pentair Rebel is another favorite suction- side cleaner among pool service techs. It comes recommended for all surface types, and when asked about pebble specifically, a lot of service techs say the Rebel is the one.
The Rebel’s sure-flow turbine’s design captures debris—both large and small—for clog-free cleaning. And cleaning out the Rebel is easy with the Quick Release Latch, which provides easy top access.
It features SmartTrac Programmed Steering and steady-grip tire traction with added tread to provide thorough cleaning coverage and maneuverability in tight spaces. And the dual-action roller skirt maneuvers up and over obstacles for uninterrupted cleaning. Its modern
Polaris 280 Polaris 380 Pictured above: Polaris Quatro Sport, Polaris 280, Polaris 380.
Polaris brand is owned by Fluidra Inc., formerly Zodiac Inc. design fits into any pool environment.
And the Pentair Lil Rebel is among the highest rated suction-side cleaners for vinyl lined pools as well.
Service techs have fantastic reviews for the Zodiac MX6. Maintenance technicians say that they have 50 to 75 customers each using the MX6 in their pools, and they all look great. In terms of maintenance, they say they only need to change the treads and steering box each year — they say it’s close to bulletproof. While some also have positive reviews for the Zodiac MX8 and MX8 Elite, the MX6 gets more positive reviews by leaps and bounds.
The Zodiac MX6 Advanced Suction Side Automatic Pool Cleaner is a highly efficient pool cleaner that features best-in-class vacuum power and programmed navigation for a comprehensively clean pool. The Zodiac MX6 is superior in cleaning while requiring less water flow to clean the pool's floor, walls, and up to the waterline. The design is perfect for small to medium-sized pools no deeper than 6 feet. This pool cleaner is self-propelled and cleans in a sweeping pattern motion with 360-degree directional changes. The built in X-Drive Navigation works as the brain of the MX6, assisting it as it traverses stairs, walls and around any obstacle in its path.
It is an ultra-efficient low-flow pool cleaner that cleans aggressively. With Cyclonic Suction Technology, the MX6 features increased vacuum power for powerful dirt and debris breakup and aggressive wall climbing. It’s equipped with dual tracks, single scrubber assembly, flex power turbine, and single side A gear box. Articulating turbine blades paired with the MX Flow Regulator provide ultra-efficient operation and control excess flow through the cleaner for optimal performance and longevity, even on low-flow pumps.
The MX6 offers optimal cleaning ability at a lower speed than other suction-side cleaners in its category, making it an ideal choice for 2-speed or variable speed pool pumps.
The MX Flow Regulator helps reduce excess flow that can cause damage on the internal parts such as the gears inside the cleaner.
In the situation that you have a single-speed single motor, a flow regulator valve and FlowKeeper valve are suggested.
For robotic cleaners, everyone loves the Maytronics Dolphin, and they seem to love every model.
Like other robotic cleaners, Dolphin robots are totally selfsufficient, requiring no connection to the pool or its other systems, and running entirely through their own power supply. They come with a built-in navigation system that allows them to clean the entire pool.
Many models come with Wi-Fi capability and access to a phone app that allows users to control the pool cleaner from anywhere. A scheduling system means that users can set the cleaner in advance, to take care of the pool while away.
Some of the higher quality units come with a choice of filtration system: cartridge or a filter bag. The cartridge filter is easier to clean, while the filter bag is better at getting fine particles.
There are a lot of Dolphins to choose from, so when it comes to robotic cleaners, among the most popular questions is “which Dolphin should I get?”
Some say the M series is better for fine or very small debris and pools with a lot of flat surfaces and no safety ledges, while the S series is more reliable for large debris and leaves.
For vinyl-lined pools, the S200 gets a lot of mentions.
The choice is also related to: 1) The number of bells and whistles your customer wants to pay for; 2) The size of the pool; 3) The pool shape: is it round/rectangular? Does it have a lot of edges? Does it have an island?; 4) The surface texture. Is it vinyl, tile, fiberglass, plaster, or pebble?
A great resource for finding the right Dolphin for your customers’ pools can be found online at www. mydolphin.com.au/which-model-isright- for-you/ Another really popular choice is the Polaris Alpha iQ+, which gets a lot of mentions by service pros.
The Polaris ALPHA iQ+ provides strategic cleaning for a brilliantly clean pool anyone can clearly see. This cleaner offers customized cleaning with SMART Cycle functionality that learns the pool and calculates the most efficient amount of time to eliminate debris while collecting data to make automatic adjustments as it cleans. Information is then sent to your iAquaLink app, where you have full access and greater capabilities including: monitoring cleaning status, checking the water temperature, and even spot cleaning targeted areas of the pool.
Hayward’s Aquavac 650 is another popular choice — a lot of pool service professionals say they have them on their own swimming pools.
AquaVac 650 cleaners feature patented SpinTech filterless technology with 18 hydrocyclones, maintaining maximum suction power. The six variable-speed-driven rollers with adaptive traction offer wall-towall cleaning on any pool surface. And the unique TouchFree debris canister, with a quick release button, is designed for effortless cleanup. AquaVac 650 cleaners are a great solution for pool owners who want the latest in innovation and smart technology.
Pictured above: Polaris ALPHA IQ+ by Fluidra and Hayward’s Aquavac 650.
The Pool Cleaner
Pictured above: Hayward’s The Pool Cleaner, Pentair’s Rebel and Fluidra’s Zodiac MX6.