An above-ground pool vacuum cleaner, also known as a pool vacuum, is a device that is used to clean dirt and debris from your swimming pool and pool water. The best pool vacuum will be fully automated and will be able to make a map out of your pool.
Enjoying a swim in a cold pool after a long day is healthy, fun, and extremely therapeutic. Pools also provide an excellent way to exercise, especially for those with joint or back problems. Enjoyed by the whole family, swimming pools have become a hallmark of home enjoyment and a status symbol of the rising middle class.
There are two main types of pool vacuum cleaners. The first type, suction-driven, use the suction that’s generated by the pool water pump to drive the vacuum. The second type, pressure-side, relies on the water return line of your pool and may need a booster pump attached (Source).
Above ground pool vacuum cleaners provide a major convenience as compared to cleaning a pool manually. Before you buy a pool vacuum, consider the cost, cleaning time, and reliability. Also, consider its features such as active scanning, and whether its a suction side or pressure side pump (Source).
In this list, we will give you the run-down on all the top-rated above ground pool vacuum cleaners. All of the vacuums in this review will do a great job at cleaning a pool, whether you’re a pool cleaner by trade or a homeowner looking for the perfect pool vacuum.
How Much Do Battery Powered Pool Vacuums Cost?
Table of Contents
First, we will look at the overall cost of battery-powered pool vacuums. This will strictly be a look at price ranges of the most common for any budget.
The Water Tech Pool Blaster is priced at a little under $200. This is a sleek, small vacuum with roughly an hour charge time and functions better for smaller spas and pools.
At a higher rate, the OASE Pondovac 4 Pond Vacuum Cleaner is our best pick for the commercial market. It’s a bit bigger and a little imposing, but for your in-ground pools, no more than seven feet deep, this is the best money can buy.
Prices extend upwards to nearly $5,000 for automatic pool cleaners like the UltraMax Gemini Pool Cleaner. The UltraMax is currently the most expensive pool vacuum. These are not traditional hand-held cleaners, but rather plug into your home and run on their own motor.
Automatic vacuums are like the Roomba for your pool!
Comparing the Top 5 Products
- INCREASED POWER: The Max offers increased vacuum suction with the Water Tech P30 Motor design engineered for quick & efficient debris pick-up.
- CORDLESS: Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery. Perfect for quick and easy cleaning in the Hot Tub or Spa and in the swimming pool. No hoses or cords needed. Ideal for Small In-Ground, Soft-Sided and Above Ground Pools like Intex.
- Strong, built-in Ni-MH rechargeable batteries for powerful suction capability
- Large filter bag; great for opening and closing pools!
- Strong, built-in Ni-MH rechargeable batteries for powerful suction capability
How Do These Vacuums Work?
Battery-powered pool vacuums work like indoor steam carpet vacuums. The pump or motor provides suction that draws water along with any debris, dirt, and silt (fine sand) through an intake hose, and into the vacuum.
From there, the dirty water passes through a filter that catches all of that dirt. The clean water is then pushed through an output area or hose back into your pool. This way, you don’t have to drain your pool again and again, although you can easily drain your pool with a garden hose.
This makes these vacuums simple to clean and take care of. When the filter is full, remove it from the vacuum, pick or hose the debris off of it, and then put it back into the vacuum.
Most of the models follow these basic and easy steps. Some vacuums come with a hose, while others are attached to a long pole.
Some only have a single port for suction on the floors and walls pool, and others come with multiple attachments for all areas.
The batteries themselves have multiple volt capacities that plug into your home for recharging, or as stated before, have traditional batteries that are thrown away once used (though even those have rechargeable options).
We will discuss these options below into detail to get a better feel for what might meet your needs.
Factors to Consider Before Buying
There are several factors to consider in purchasing a battery-powered pool vacuum. They are:
Rechargeable versus traditional batteries: Rechargeable internal batteries are going to be on the more expensive side at a lower cost because you don’t need to replace any dead batteries, as you would traditionally. However, traditional batteries now have rechargeable models available in all volts.
Charge and run time: This refers to how long a vacuum will operate on a single charge or single set of batteries. The run capacity, or run time, is the measure of square footage the vacuum can cover per hour of operating time.
For example, a vacuum may only have a run time of 90 minutes, but it can cover 600 square feet in one hour. Consider this relationship when you pick your vacuum and make sure to know the pool size.
Filter types: Filter screens or bags should always be easy to remove and replace. Where you find differences is in what they can pick up.
Some only handle larger pieces of dirt and leaves, while others can hand that fine silt or algae. A filter should last you a season with some even lasting two seasons before needing to be replaced.
Warranties and service plans: Some of the higher-end models (including the automatics) might require a specialized technician to perform the necessary repair. You will want to make sure that the warranty that clearly outlines a service plan for repair or replacement of the vacuum. Brands like Ryobi pool vacuum or the Water Tech pool blaster offer decent warranty offers.
Consider These Options Too
Hose Length versus Maximum Suction Depth: Hose length does not always match up to maximum suction depth. Now, if your pool isn’t deep, this shouldn’t be too much of a worry. However, for deeper pools that extend into 8-9 feet, you might want to consider an automatic model, or a vacuum attached to a pole, instead of a hose.
Power: Ideally, it’s better to purchase a portable pool vacuum with more suction power than you think you need. This allows you to adapt to unforeseen accidents or weather concerns if you have an outdoor pool.
Weight and mobility: Most of the lower end models are handheld. Some models are bigger and come with a set of wheels. If you find one that doesn’t have wheels, consider a similar, or even lesser model, because you don’t want to lug it around.
The number of attachments: Most pool equipment models will come with a standard wide head either already part of the product, or as an attachment. If you have areas of stairs or a ladder that you also want to include your cleaning, other attachments, like one with bristles, are perfect for getting up the grime off the surface.
Which Vacuum is the Best for Commercial Purposes?
Our pick for the best battery powered pool cleaner is the OASE Pondovac 4 Pond Vacuum Cleaner. For the money, you gain a unique two-tank device that sucks large debris and silt with equal efficiency.
Though the resulting stop-start action can be a little confusing at first, once you get used to it, you will see its effect, and that it helps to preserve the water level in your pool.dra
The power in the Pondovac runs close to a home stop-vac. It doesn’t require your pool’s pump or filter, and the hose attachment allows you maximum maneuverability.
This portable pool vacuum has a maximum depth of seven feet for your larger pools, and the hose runs sixteen feet long. It comes with four different hose attachments.
The wheels on the bottom allow for easy transportation, which is perfect because its’ weight is thirty pounds without water in it. It also comes with a two-year warranty.
If you order the product off Amazon, be sure to contact customer service for a copy of the warranty. Though also designed for pond maintenance, this is a fantastic product for an in-ground pool.
Are These Types of Vacuums Suitable for Above Ground Pools?
Some of the higher-end models would be suitable for your above ground pool, and they may also be a bit too expensive for that use. However, there are also options for best above ground pool vacuum cleaners.
We would recommend some of the handheld portable pool vacuum models as they may have all the power you need.