Best pool cleaner on a budget?

Sgowitt

Member
Aug 13, 2018
17
Goodyear, AZ
Hi all! Just got a new home with a pool and i am not satisfied with the in-ground pool cleaners. I want to get a cleaner to help get the dirt/dust and small particles off of the sides and bottom of the pool - especially after the AZ dust storms :(.

Any suggestions for a reasonably priced option? I know the robots are the best, but really hoping to spend around 200-300 bucks.

Thanks in advance!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
31,140
Laughlin, NV
I think you will have to raise your budget. You can get a suction side cleaner for around your budget but they are not going to do all that well and will eliminate your skimming of the pool surface when it is installed.

I have an Active 20, budget Maytronics/Dolphin robot. $700 is the price point.
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,489
Tucson
I have an infloor system that just never did the job. After several years, I bought the best rated suction side cleaner (Poolvergnuegen) I could find. This year I finally gave in and bought a Dolphin S-series robot. My pool has never been so clean, or so easy to clean. In the long run, I wish I had saved myself $300 and gone right to the robot.

I have had every type of pool cleaner, suction, booster pump pressure, infloor, and robot. If you want a clean pool, that’s easy to keep clean skip the suction side cleaner. Put your money toward a good robot. There is a world of difference.
 

IL_WS

Well-known member
Sep 18, 2012
125
IL, NW of Chicago
I got a Blue Wave Pool Rover Jr for $238 ($278 before $40 savings) from VMInnovations through Google Express. I've had my pool for 6 years, and SERIOUSLY wished I had it from day one. At this price point, it won't go up the walls, and maybe not even a deep end (I don't know, I have a flat pool bottom). Covers my 24' round pool well.

I built a u-shaped structure from 4" PVC to keep it from going behind the stairs and getting tangled.
 

TFRoger123

Active member
Jul 22, 2018
38
Babylon
I think you will have to raise your budget. You can get a suction side cleaner for around your budget but they are not going to do all that well and will eliminate your skimming of the pool surface when it is installed.

I have an Active 20, budget Maytronics/Dolphin robot. $700 is the price point.
Is this robot good for vinyl pools?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
31,140
Laughlin, NV
I believe they are fine for all surfaces. You can check with Maytronics.

Do you have a vinyl liner? If so, add that to your signature.
 

TFRoger123

Active member
Jul 22, 2018
38
Babylon
Also I understand that suction side cleaners vacuum to filter. I always thought it was not good to vacuum and to filter. And that waste was the proper method.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
31,140
Laughlin, NV
Suction side cleaners vacuum to filter. Not all pools can go to waste. Only if you have a multi valve. Many sand, DE, and nearly all cartridge filters can not vac to waste.
 

Sgowitt

Member
Aug 13, 2018
17
Goodyear, AZ
Thanks for the advice guys. Robot it is. Looked all over the valley here in AZ to pick one up today for instant gratification. No luck :(. I will order one tonight/tomorrow.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
31,140
Laughlin, NV
Thanks for the advice guys. Robot it is. Looked all over the valley here in AZ to pick one up today for instant gratification. No luck :(. I will order one tonight/tomorrow.
Marina pool in Denver is a good phone order place. You get a Maytronics warranty if you purchase via phone and not internet. Free shipping.
 

Njaneer

In The Industry
Aug 16, 2018
70
San Diego, CA
Suction side and pressure cleaners all vacuum to filter. Not all pools can go to waste. Only if you have a multi valve. Many sand, DE, and nearly all cartridge filters can not vac to waste.
Pressure cleaners use filter bags, but I guess you mean anything that is stirred up or passed through the filter bag, which essentially happens with all cleaners that use filters.
 

ZcottD

Well-known member
Jun 23, 2017
161
Connecticut
If you go with a suction side cleaner you should get an inline debris canister for it, but that will up the price. I've been very happy with my suction cleaner, and it plus the canister made my DE charges last MUCH longer. I would say 400-500 bucks for a suction cleaner, and then 700 for a robot. There isn't a ton of savings going suction side instead of robot.
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,489
Tucson
If you go with a suction side cleaner you should get an inline debris canister for it, but that will up the price. I've been very happy with my suction cleaner, and it plus the canister made my DE charges last MUCH longer. I would say 400-500 bucks for a suction cleaner, and then 700 for a robot. There isn't a ton of savings going suction side instead of robot.
But there is a big difference in performance and the cost to operate. A robot doesn’t need the pump to run for it to clean the pool.
 

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
595
Palm Desert, CA
Great posts guys! I am told I’ll get a robot for Xmas. The Dolphin Active 30i, or the Dolphin rebrand that’s mentioned here but escapes me. I have an in floor and you’ll find me defending it, but largely it works for me due to my desert climate where fine particles & bougainvillea get taken care of well with IFC & skimmer. I brush the walls less since new pebble finish, but I need an occasional vacuum, and am tired of doing it in 115 degree summers.
I began with a cheap Amazon Barracuda knockoff before I rebuilt IFC, and it worked great with skimmer Vacmate. It did show me how the old tech suction and pressure units were, trying to swim and push away the hose in our small plunge pool. The robots have just gotten so much better in only a few years time!
 

paulnx

Bronze Supporter
Jun 10, 2016
74
south florida,fl
What is typical routine for robotic cleaner? If I leave in pool all summer but take out off season (not summer) will give me 5 to 7 years of life? I am guessing minimum to no brushing?
 

paulnx

Bronze Supporter
Jun 10, 2016
74
south florida,fl
Actually $230 for Barcuda G3 on amazon and $40 for Hayward canister (if you need it). I'm happy with my setup but as soon as my single speed pump breaks... I plan to replace with variable speed. Lower speed pump does not work with suction vac if you plan to leave in the pool all summer. So robotics is where I would be next purchase (I think) after a new variable speed pump.

If you go with a suction side cleaner you should get an inline debris canister for it, but that will up the price. I've been very happy with my suction cleaner, and it plus the canister made my DE charges last MUCH longer. I would say 400-500 bucks for a suction cleaner, and then 700 for a robot. There isn't a ton of savings going suction side instead of robot.