Having a pool in your backyard is fun but also entails a lot of responsibility. Cleaning it entails draining the pool, cleaning the bottom, filtering the new water, and getting your chlorine levels right. Even after completing all these tasks, you still need to ensure that the water is free of debris and pollutants every now and then.
No doubt about it — pools are high maintenance but with the help of pool-cleaning equipment and tools, it’s a lot easier.
If you haven’t already, why not get a pressure-side pool cleaner? Getting one of these can significantly reduce the amount of manual pool-cleaning tasks you have to perform regularly. To answer what is the best pressure-side pool cleaner, let us help you by reviewing a few of the most popular models.
Top-rated Pressure Side Pool Cleaner
Pressure side pool cleaners use the jets of water from your pool pump to your swimming pool for power. This means that they don’t require an external power source to work.
A good pressure side pool cleaner should ideally be able to work with 0.75 HP pumps without compromising on cleaning performance.
Here are a few good models that you can consider:
Zodiac F5 Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner
The Zodiac F5 Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 is arguably one of the best side pool cleaners in the market right now. The vacuums are powered by dual venturi jets that can clean your entire pool of debris in less than three hours. It features a three-wheel design and an opening large enough to suck in debris the size of leaves, acorns, and pebbles.
Its filter bags have an enormous capacity so you won’t have to empty them while cleaning. There’s also an in-line-back-up valve designed to prevent cleaning interruptions by automatically setting the cleaner free if it ever gets cornered. All you have to do is connect it to a dedicated pressure line, turn on the jets and place it in the pool.
- Easily connects to a dedicated pressure line
- Sweeps and scrubs all surfaces it comes in contact with
- Powerful vacuum
- Doesn’t come with a booster pump, the Polaris booster pump is sold separately
Zodiac F6 Vac Sweep Pro 3900 Sport Pressure Inground Pool Cleaner
The Zodiac F6 Vac Sweep Pro 3900’s price is higher but it provides more vacuuming power. It’s powered by triple jets that can suck in larger pieces of debris and finish the job faster.
If you own a big pool, the extra power this side pool cleaner provides is necessary. The 3900 model has a sophisticated-looking design with many additional features for pool cleaning such as its auto-reverse technology that frees the cleaner when it’s reached a dead end.
The Polaris 3900 also has a dual-chamber bag that can store a large volume of debris while its tail sweep device blows debris out of corners and difficult-to-reach places without splashing.
- Unmatched vacuuming power for a thorough and uninterrupted cleaning
- Large dual-chamber bag which stores more debris
- Durable stainless steel drive chain that enables maximum efficiency in cleaning
- Comes without a booster pump, the Polaris booster pump is a separate purchase
- Tricky to connect
Polaris F3 VAC-Sweep Pool Cleaner, White and Blue
The Polaris F3 is also powered by triple jets which allow for faster vacuuming. One of the things that makes this model stand out is its maneuverability. It can climb up walls and go over stairs while picking up large pieces of debris with its powerful vacuum.
It has an iconic three-wheel design that works with all in-ground pools. The filter bag prevents any large pieces of debris from reaching the pump basket prolonging the life of your pool’s filtration system.
In case the cleaner ever hits a dead end, there’s an in-line-back-up valve that automatically frees it for uninterrupted cleaning. You can expect your pool to be clean in under three hours.
- Fast and efficient cleaning
- Improves filtration
- Powerful vacuum for large debris
- Excellent maneuverability on pool surfaces
- Comes without a booster pump
- Hose gets tangled with use
Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 Pressure Inground Pool Cleaner
Polaris 360 deserves a spot on this list for its unique design and capabilities. It’s easy to assemble, has a compact shape that makes it more portable and convenient to use, and fits in-ground pools of all shapes and sizes. Since it’s a small cleaner, it’s better suited for smaller pools.
Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 Pressure Inground Pool Cleaner has enough scrubbing and sweeping power to clear debris of all kinds from pool tiles. It leaves the surface of the pool looking clean and flawless.
Despite its size, there’s ample storage for large pieces of debris in its filter bag. It also offers surprisingly considerable vacuum power for a relatively small device.
- Compact design that’s convenient to carry and transport
- Comes assembled with minimal setup required
- Prevents clogging since its filter bags are separated from the canister
- Thoroughly cleans surfaces
- Takes longer to finish cleaning
- Filter bag needs to be cleared regularly
- Doesn’t come with a booster pump
Polaris Vac-Sweep 65 6-130-00 Pressure Side Automatic Above Ground Pool Cleaner
If you’re looking for an efficient above ground pressure-side pool cleaner, the Polaris Vac-Sweep 65 6-130-00 Pressure Side Automatic Above Ground Pool Cleaner is the best choice. It’s easy to install and can clean above ground pools up to five feet deep. It uses the pool’s filtration system to direct powerful jets of water towards hard-to-reach places for clearing debris.
The result is a satisfyingly fresh and crystal-clear pool. The Polaris cleaner works for all kinds of pool surfaces, even those with an uneven bottom. Its high-suction makes debris lodged in all kinds of corners and crevices hard to miss. There’s also a filter bag that prevents debris from reaching your aboveground filtration system, protecting it from harm.
- Fast and easy to install
- Highly efficient at cleaning debris and removing contaminants
- Protects your filtration system
- Works on all surfaces
- Can take a long time to finish the job
- Hoses can get tangled because of the jets
Zodiac F5B Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Black Max Pressure Side Pool Cleaner
The Polaris F5B is a top-of-the-line high-pressure side pool cleaner with tremendous suction power and durability. Its glossy black finish gives it a sleek look and feel. You can count on Zodiac’s Max Pressure Side Pool Cleaner to automatically vacuum, sweep, and scrub all the surfaces of your pool in under three hours.
It also has a powerful tail-sweep attachment that can get into corners and hard-to-reach places to pull out debris. The entire process is automatic so once you connect it to the booster pump and drop it in the pool, your job is over.
It comes with a 31-foot feed hose that connects the pool cleaner to the dedicated pressure line. An added advantage is this device arrives assembled and ready to use.
- Efficient cleaning of debris in difficult places
- Works on all in-ground pool surfaces
- Automated operation makes it more convenient to use
- Beautiful slender design
- On the pricey side
- Booster pump needs to be purchased separately
What Is a Pressure Side Pool Cleaner?
Pressure side pool cleaners are pool cleaners that attach to the pressure side of your pool’s circulation system. It removes dirty water from the pool and sends back clean water.
Pressure side cleaners have the distinct advantage of helping your pool circulate and distribute clean water. They also come with a debris bag that prevents the debris that’s sucked up from compromising your pool’s filtration system.
Do You Need a Booster Pump for Polaris?
Polaris are high-pressure cleaners that require more pressure to work than the average water circulation system provides so yes, you will need to purchase a booster pump with the appropriate connection threads.
What Does a Pool Booster Pump Do?
Simply put, a booster pump provides the pressure-side pool cleaner with greater suction and thrust by increasing the water pressure and flow. This helps the pressure-side pool cleaner travel around the pool to clean debris from all corners and circulate clean water.
How Do Pressure Side Pool Cleaners Work?
Pressure side pool cleaners connect to your pool’s water filtration system via a hose. They use hydraulic “power plants” powered by the pressure from your water filtration system.
When water flows into the unit, it’s typically split into three directions: the thrust of water that moves the cleaned water throughout the pool and propels the unit, the sweeper tail attached to the back of the cleaner that helps stir out debris from corners, and the venturi.
There’s also an in-built filter that traps debris into the bag, keeping dirt in the unit and preventing it from reaching the pool’s filtration system. However, once this bag becomes full, it needs to be emptied manually. If the bag isn’t emptied, the pressure-side cleaner won’t be able to suck up more debris though it will still continue to operate.
Some models of pressure-side pool cleaners come with an additional attachment called a booster pump. If your filtration system’s suction power isn’t enough, your pressure-side pool cleaner won’t be able to work at full capacity. Booster pumps amplify the pressure by about 30 PSI, the level needed for efficient cleaning.
- If your pool cleaner isn’t moving, it may be a sign that the pressure is too low. Low-pressure cleaners need at least 17 PSI while high-pressure ones work with 30 PSI or more. If you own a high-pressure side pool cleaner, you may need to invest in a booster pump to reach the required pressure.
- If your pool cleaner gets stuck on the side of the steps, try adjusting the thrust jets to change their direction.
- Check the booster pump for damage before going to your water filtration system.
- If your cleaner doesn’t appear to be sucking up dirt, check to see if the debris bag needs emptying.
- Some pressure-side pool cleaners come with a backup valve that releases bursts of high-pressure water to propel the device through the pool. If the valve is leaking, it will spray the water instead of releasing it like a jet. In such cases, the entire component may need replacing.
Which Is Better: Polaris 280 or 380?
Here are the main differences between the Polaris 280 and 380:
- Has two jets for propulsion
- Wheels propelled by gears and jets
- Few moving parts
- Short tail for cleaning debris
- Large filter bag
- Lower priced and lower maintenance costs
- Has three jets for propulsion
- Wheels propelled by belts
- Many moving parts
- Long tail for cleaning debris
- Small filter bag
- Higher purchasing cost and maintenance costs
The Polaris 280 is more budget-friendly and easier to maintain than the 380. However, the 380 is more efficient and thorough in its cleaning and is better suited for larger pools. You should pick according to your pool size and based on how often you use it.
Pressure-side pool cleaners offer enormous convenience for swimming pool owners. They work automatically and can remain underwater for hours at a time while loosening up and removing debris. But convenience isn’t the only reason to invest in a pressure-side pool cleaner.
There are also health hazards from swimming in unclean pool water that you need to consider. Water can play host to all kinds of disease-causing pathogenic microorganisms. You can catch cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, and more from unclean water so make sure to invest in the best pressure-side pool cleaner.