Automatic vacuums are great items to make the cleaning of your pool a snap. This section will help you get a better understanding on these vacuums and how they work.
Suction Side Random Action Cleaner
The first type of automatic vacuum is the suction side cleaner also known as a random action cleaner. These automatic vacuums work great with above ground pools that have flat bottoms. These cleaners work off of the suction from the pool filter. This vacuum hooks up to the skimmer similarly to the standard hand vacuum. Once hooked up with the filter on, the suction from the filter causes a fluttering of the diaphragm or hammer valve in the vacuum making the vacuum head shake or hop around the pool in a circular motion. This random circular motion will move around the pool randomly and usually will vacuum up to 70% of the pool. This is a very popular type of vacuum because of the fairly inexpensive cost and because it will pick up the small particles in the water.
Return Side Random Action Cleaner
The next type of automatic vacuum is the return side cleaner. This is a type of vacuum is a random action cleaner in which the vacuum uses the water from the out take or return of the pool to sweep the debris into a bag as it moves around the pool. This is a good type of cleaner, but it lacks the ability to pick up the smaller dirt particles because of the bag that it uses.
Robotic Pattern Action Cleaner
The final type of automatic vacuum is the motorized or pattern action cleaner. The robotic cleaner acts as a separate filter and cleans the bottom of the pool by moving back and forth in a pattern and suctioning all of the dirt into a filter bag located inside the unit. The robotic vacuum will clean 90% of the pool. This is the best type of automatic vacuum. By not suctioning the dirt and putting it into the filter, pool owners do not have to clean out their filters as much. Also, by having the vacuum work by suctioning into a filter bag, it works as a separate filter helping to clean the filter. The robotic vacuum has been very popular recently because the cost of the vacuums has gone down over the past few years.
While automatic vacuums are great additions to your pool equipment, they are really only maintenance devices and not something that is meant to be used to pick up 2 inches of dirt on the bottom of the liner. Just remember, these vacuums are made to make your life easier. Even if it only cleans 70% of the bottom of your pool, that is 70% less for you to clean.