How do Pressure Pool Cleaners Work?

There’s a lot of confusion regarding automatic pool cleaners and how they work, specifically with pressure-side models. Don’t worry—in this brief info guide, we’ll describe in detail how they work and how they differ from other cleaning system.

How do Pressure Pool Cleaners Work?


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What is a Pressure Pool Cleaner?

A pressure pool cleaner attaches to the return side, also known as the pressure side, of your pool’s water circulation system. Water pumping out of your booster pump activates their built-in hydraulic “power plant” which propels it forward.

Since they use water from the pressure-side of your pool, not the suction-side that powers pool vacuums, these pool cleaners help in distributing filtered water throughout your pool. Additionally, they have their own separate debris collection bag that will take the load off of your pool’s filter system.

How Do Pressure Pool Cleaners Work?

Water from the booster pump is exits through three ports: the sweeper tail, the propelling jet, and the venturi.

How Automatic Pool Cleaners Work

The sweeper tail is the piece connected to the rear of the pressure pool cleaner and serves to kick debris off of walls and floors. As the pool cleaner moves through the newly kicked-up debris, its venturi suction inlet swallows anything and everything whole.

Also located on the rear of the pressure pool cleaner is the propelling jet that moves in forward and upward to a certain degree.

The pool cleaner does not come programmed with built-in navigation software so it moves in a random pattern along the lining of your pool. Inside of the feed hose is a backup valve that reverses the pool cleaner every so often to escape corners and edges while also randomizing its trajectory.

Finally, the venturi port on the “belly” of the pool cleaner is what picks debris—leaves, sediment, acorns, etc.—off of the floor. The collected debris is stored in a bag that rolls along with the pool cleaner. The venturi suction isn’t nearly as powerful as a robot’s vacuum, but it deals with debris, large and small, fairly well.

Pressure Side Pool Cleaners

Related Pressure Pool Cleaners Articles

Buying Guides
Best Pressure Side Pool Cleaners

Single Product Review
Polaris Vac-Sweep 280
Polaris Vac-Sweep 3900 Sport

Comparison Articles
Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 vs 360 vs 380
Polaris Vac-Sweep 65 vs 280

Info Articles
How do Pressure Pool Cleaners Work?
Pressure vs. Suction vs. Robotic Pool Cleaners

Do I Need a Booster Pump?

The short answer is yes, you do need a booster pump.
Pressure-side pool cleaners require quite a bit of pressure to get around, and most main pool pumps aren’t equipped to deliver.

Adding a booster pump to the pool circulation system will boost water pressure through to the pressure pool cleaner to ensure it does its job thoroughly and effectively.

Pressure Pool Cleaners

Pressure Pool Cleaners: Pros and Cons

Pros
• Not much manhandling is needed to operate a pressure pool cleaner. The only times you’ll actually need to touch the device is during installation and when cleaning out the debris collection bag.
• Pressure pool cleaners are inexpensive while also producing similar cleaning results as robotic pool cleaners. This is not taking into account the cost of a booster pump.
• Replacement parts are easily accessible and less expensive than parts for a robotic pool cleaner.
Cons
• Using a booster pump will increase monthly power bills. Running on a timer can help keep operating costs down.
• This type of automatic pool cleaner isn’t the best of climbers. This means your pools walls after a couple of feet from the floor are left untouched by the unit.
• No scrubbing action. At most, pressure pool cleaners shoot out a jet of water to loosen debris but will not actively remove clinging algae or dirt from floors and walls.

Our Recommended Pressure Side Pool Cleaners


Best of the Best!
Most Popular
Also Great
Polaris Vac-Sweep 3900 Sport Pressure Inground...
Zodiac F5 Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Pressure Side Pool...
Polaris Vac-Sweep 65 6-130-00 Pressure Side...
Polaris 3900
Polaris 280
Polaris 65
• 50% More Torque
• 31ft of Feed Hose
• Requires Polaris Booster Pump
• 10.1 lbs
• Large Capacity Filter Bag
• 31ft of Feed Hose
• Requires Polaris Booster Pump
• 6.2 lbs
• Suitable for All Above Ground Pools
• 24ft of Float Hose
• Operates with Pump
• 13.94 lbs
The new and improved Polaris 3900 Sport delivers unmatched vacuum power, incomparable convenience, and legendary performance.
The Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 is a powerful pressure-side pool cleaner for all in-ground pools and easily connects to a dedicated pressure line.
The Polaris 65 is our best above ground automatic pool cleaner. It installs in minutes and is suitable for all aboveground pools up to 5-feet deep.
Best of the Best!
Polaris Vac-Sweep 3900 Sport Pressure Inground...
Polaris 3900
• 50% More Torque
• 31ft of Feed Hose
• Requires Polaris Booster Pump
• 10.1 lbs
The new and improved Polaris 3900 Sport delivers unmatched vacuum power, incomparable convenience, and legendary performance.
Most Popular
Zodiac F5 Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Pressure Side Pool...
Polaris 280
• Large Capacity Filter Bag
• 31ft of Feed Hose
• Requires Polaris Booster Pump
• 6.2 lbs
The Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 is a powerful pressure-side pool cleaner for all in-ground pools and easily connects to a dedicated pressure line.
Also Great
Polaris Vac-Sweep 65 6-130-00 Pressure Side...
Polaris 65
• Suitable for All Above Ground Pools
• 24ft of Float Hose
• Operates with Pump
• 13.94 lbs
The Polaris 65 is our best above ground automatic pool cleaner. It installs in minutes and is suitable for all aboveground pools up to 5-feet deep.

Last update on 2021-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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About the author

Hi I’m Alexander, founder of HouseholdMe.com and I’d like to say thank you for dropping by. Like most of you, the first thing I look at before buying something online is reviews or buying guides. By reading what other people say will help me gauge whether or not a product is good or not.  I am trying to help people find answers, solve problems, and get inspired.

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