Suction-Side Automatic Pool Cleaners for your Inground Pool
Suction-side automatic pool cleaners attach to one of the suction ports at the pool. Usually, this port is the skimmer, or your pool may have a separate vacuum port where the cleaner's hose can attach. With the hose attached and the filter pump running, suction is created on the underside of the cleaner by the water being pulled out of the pool by the pump.
Suction-side pool cleaners move randomly or automatically around the pool with motion created by a device that gives a stop/start pulsation of water. As the automatic pool cleaner travels, debris is sucked up through the neck and then into the hose, past the suction port, through the pipe, and stops at the filter pump strainer basket, while smaller debris passes right through to the filter. The cleaner, its hose and the volume of water flow can be manipulated to create a variety of cleaning patterns, to maximize pool coverage and cleaning efficiency.
Some Advantages of Suction-Side Pool Cleaners:
- They install simply and extremely easy to operate
- They have a proven track record
- Lower cost than other types of automatic pool cleaners
Cleaner is Moving Slowly: First check the pump basket for debris & ensure that water is flowing properly and the filter is clean. Next check the throat of the cleaner and the portion of the hose that attaches to the suction port for any obstructions. Also check the hose itself for splits, holes and obstructions. If your yard has lots of trees / leaves, you'll want to have an in-line leaf trap to use with your suction cleaner.
Cleaner is not Cleaning the Entire Pool: This can be caused by any number of reasons: (1) the hoses could be too short, or the cleaner could be following the flow pattern of the water in the pool (as strong flow from wall return jets will push a cleaner into a pattern). To fix this, adjust the return port wall fittings or add wall fittings to the return ports. It helps to point the fittings at a downward angle. If your pool doesn't have wall fittings at the return ports, there are alternative wall fittings made by the manufacturer to divert the flow.
Notes about Suction-Side Automatic Pool Cleaners
- Always rotate the wearable parts on the cleaners and replace those wearable parts when needed. These parts will prevent the need to replace more expensive components.
- If you have only one skimmer, most skimming action is lost while your cleaner is hooked up.
- Unless the cleaner has an in-line strainer basket somewhere on its hose, the filter pump basket can get clogged up rather quickly.
- If the strainer basket becomes full, it will reduce filtration and put more front pressure on the system by restricting the flow into the filter. Having a suction side cleaner is much better than having none at all. On the bright side, suction-side cleaners are available for half the cost of pressure side cleaners.