By Lew Akins
It’s a plain fact: Nothing cools the affection of a new owner faster than confronting an under-equipped swimming pool’s need for lots of routine maintenance. He or she doubtless wanted the watershape for the good times it would provide; vacuuming the walls and floors and skimming leaves off the surface were definitely not part of the conceptual bargain.
That’s why, as this video relates, it’s so important to include some form of automatic cleaning system along with the pool right from the start. Yes, there are clients for whom it would never, ever matter – that is, the ones who have “people” to take care of such mundane details of their domestic lives – but by and large even homeowners who place the pool with a service company will appreciate having debris that gets in the water between technician visits taken care of without any personal intervention.
The video rolls quickly through the four main types of automatic cleaner and even more quickly through their advantages and disadvantages, but I must say that my own preference is to guide my own clients to in-floor or motorized cleaners when I can.
In my book, in-floor cleaners are almost mandatory in areas where there’s a likelihood that wind-borne sand will end up in the water: Their sweeping action guides that sort of small debris toward the main drain with great efficiency. Motorized, pressure-driven units are almost as good a bet, although there might be a need for occasional emptying of the debris-collecting system.
That’s not to say the other options don’t have their place: As I mentioned up top, the goal is to preserve the homeowner’s good mood; how we accomplish that is less important than accomplishing it in the first place!
To see my discussion of the automatic pool cleaner scene, click here.