Pool Vacuum Basics
How do we get the Dirt
To start out, we need to have a bit of knowledge of how these things work. The obvious idea is to vacuum the dirt out of the pool and save the owner the task of doing it manually. All pool vacuums use a pump to pull water into the bottom of the machine and at the same time vacuum up the dirt and leaves and other debris in the pool. This water is filtered through a bag, or a basket with screens, or a cartridge assembly and then the cleaned water is ejected out of the machine. There are some obvious advantages to using an on board filter. First you don’t need to hook up hoses to the suction side of your swimming pool. You often loose the prime of your pool pump when attaching pool vacuum hoses and it can be annoying getting the pump going again. Capturing the dirt at the robot saves you the issues associated with dumping all of the waste into your sand or cartridge filter. In the case of the sand filter you will need to backwash more often, which wastes water and chemicals and heat. If you have a cartridge filter the waste is eliminated but cleaning cartridge filters is a real effort compared to cleaning the robot debris bags or baskets. An on board filter is usually better at filtering than your existing pool filter. A standard sand filter will filter down to about 40 microns. A cartridge filter filters down to about 20 microns. Bag filters on a pool robot will filter down to 2 microns which is a huge difference if you have a sand filter on your pool. Screen or cartridge type filters will filter down to between 10 and 20 microns. If you think about it, a lot of the time you are running a big pool pump to simply filter the water. It the water is up to temperature and the sanitizer is good, all you are really doing is filtering the water. Most robots are filtering as much or more water than your pool pump. The good thing about the robot is that it can run for a full cleaning cycle for about 5 cents. If you turn off your pool pump when you are vacuuming, it gives the dirt a chance to settle and you save a quite a bit of money with the reduced electrical costs.