Having a pool in the garden is great, being able to use it whenever you want to for exercise or relaxation. Often it is an in ground pool that is most popular but there are times when this is just not practical for a number of reasons.
The best alternative to an in ground pool is the above ground pool, designed to stay in place all year round but without the mess and cost of having an in ground pool installed. An above ground pool still has the same maintenance requirements and this can be a little more difficult due to the materials used to construct the pool.
While a manual pool vacuum will probably do the job effectively it is far easier, and more time effective to invest in an automatic above ground pool vacuum. This guide will help you find the overall best above ground pool vacuum.
The Buyers Guide
As with all big and important purchases, there are some things which you need to think about before you decide which is best for you. We know it is ‘just a pool cleaner’ but taking the time to make the right purchase will save you time and money in the future. Here is what you need to consider:
- The size of your pool. This stands to reason, if your pool is too big for the pool vacuum then it will not be completely clean. This also applies to the hoses and/or cable, it needs to be long enough to do the job effectively.
- The material of your pool. This is not an immaterial point, some pool vacuums are just not suitable for use on all types of above ground pools. Checking this could save you a substantial amount of time and stress.
- Is your pump strong enough? Many of the above ground pool vacuums work via the pools filtration system, often on the outflow as the water is pumped back in to the pool. If your pump is not powerful enough this will affect the performance of the vacuum.
- Is your pool wrinkled? Setting up an above ground pool can be a tricky job, and all too often you are left with a few wrinkles in the floor of the pool. This is important because some vacuums run on wheels or tracks which can become stuck on the wrinkles and impede the performance and cleanliness of your pool.
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The Hayward 500 Aqua Bug Above-Ground Automatic Pool Cleaner is cute little machine which actually does look like a bug. Although this has no bearing on the performance of the vacuum, it is something that the children might find fun.
The Aqua Bug works via the skimmer/inlet valve of the pool filter, it sucks water from the pool floor along with any dirt. This method of cleaning not only gets to dirt out of the pool but also helps to circulate the water, keeping it fresher for longer. There are no bags or filters to clean as it all goes in to the main filter which makes the Aqua Bug a quick and easy choice.
You will need to check that your pump is powerful enough to operate the Aqua Bug effectively, some adjustments might be necessary to get the performance right but the end result is well worth the effort.
It takes about 10 minutes to set up the Aqua Bug and can be left to do its thing for as long as you want, because it uses the existing filter there are no additional running costs to consider.
For the price of the Aqua Bug it does a great job very efficiently and the ‘bug’ housing helps to make cleaning the pool fun, and it is the overall best above ground pool vacuum option. There is a warranty available, but you need to contact customer service for this.
The Baracuda Ranger is another above ground pool vacuum which uses the pool filter intake valve to operate. Using this method to suck the dirt from the bottom of the pool also helps to circulate the water.
The Baracuda is not recommended for pools which have wrinkles in the floor lining as there is the possibility of damage to the pool.
Due to the Baracuda using the existing filter pump, it is important to make sure it is compatible and that your pump has enough power. The Baracuda is a floor only vacuum and will not clean the sides of your pool and is not suitable for use with an Intex or soft sided pool.
XtremepowerUS have produced their Automatic Swimming Pool Cleaner which is suitable for both in and above ground pools, but is not suitable for Splasher Pools. It connects to the suction intake of the pools filtration system, giving a quick and easy set up.
Although the swimming pool vacuum states that it will climb the walls, it is not made very clear whether this only applies to an in ground pool. Either way, the XtremepowerUS Automatic Swimming Pool Cleaner does a reasonable job considering the low budget price.