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Automation Fixation

Articles From Issue 15

A swimming pool is a major investment for most families. As such, it should provide maximum enjoyment. With the right cleaning tools, you can easily maintain a sparkling clean, inviting pool that will provide years of outdoor fun. Using an efficient pool cleaner will not only keep the water looking beautiful; it will cut maintenance and running costs, and extend the life of pool equipment.

With major advancements in automated pool cleaners in the past decade, homeowners can now enjoy a low-maintenance pool that is clean and ready for use year round. Different automated pool cleaners are designed for different sizes, shapes and volumes of pools, and selecting the right one for the job is the key to quick and effective cleaning.

Queensland Pool + Outdoor Design speaks to Justin Nicholas from Cooke Industries about the different automated pool-cleaning options on offer that will take the work out of owning a safe, hygienic and pristine pool.

Keep It Clean

A clean and well-maintained pool is a great feature for your family home, as well as an investment that adds value to your property. Cleaning your pool, however, isn’t only important for visual appeal. As Nicholas explains, “it’s essential for improving your pool’s efficiency, protecting pool equipment and maintaining safe, healthy pool water”.

It is crucial that your pool water is kept clean and well-maintained year-round, as “debris left in the pool to decay can affect the water quality, which, if left untreated, can damage expensive pool equipment,” says Nicholas.

“This will [also] increase pool treatment costs, as more chemicals will be required to rebalance the water, [which] can be an issue in winter when most people don’t think about their pools.”

Taking a consistent approach to cleaning by using automated cleaners will take the work out of ensuring your pool is always safe to swim in, easy to maintain, and as efficient as it can be.

Points To Ponder

There are several types of automatic pool cleaners available on the market. Some focus primarily on the surface of the water, while others are designed to work on the bottom of the pool. The most suitable option for any pool owner depends on their individual needs.

“The most common cleaning options for swimming pools are in-floor cleaning systems, robotic cleaners and suction cleaners,” says Nicholas.

“Each option has its pros and cons, so it’s important for prospective pool owners to do their homework and decide which system is best suited to their personal situation. Take the time

to understand the benefits of each system, the debris load of the pool, lifestyle requirements and long-term operating costs of each option.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to pool cleaning.”

Consider how much debris makes its way into your pool. Some will require pool cleaners that can tackle leaves, while others may only require the removal of small debris particles. Be sure to go through the manufacturer’s handbook, which should assure you the pool cleaner you’re considering is reliable and durable. Pay attention to the issues that the warranty covers, and whether it covers service costs only, parts only, or both.

The size of your pool can make a big difference to the style of pool cleaner you choose. Suction models require hoses of limited lengths, as well as the electricity and functions of the pool’s pump and filtration system. Robotic cleaners – with their determined paths and powerful brushes – make lighter work of the job and don’t require additional equipment.

Your choice may also be determined by whether you have a pre-existing pool or whether you are planning to install a pool. “A system such as infloor cleaning can only be incorporated into a pool during construction,” says Nicholas.

“Go for the system that suits your lifestyle, budget and ownership expectations.”

In-Floor Cleaning  Systems

In-floor pool-cleaning systems are quite simple to use and work in a similar way to in-ground sprinkler systems for lawns. They are set via a timer and consist of jets that rise up from the pool’s floor to spray streams of water.

“Our premium in-floor cleaning system, QuikClean Xtreme, provides an efficient and convenient pool-ownership experience,” says Nicholas.

“Tiny heads in the pool floor lift up and shoot a jet of water to push dirt and debris towards a drain, where it is removed from the pool. Larger debris is captured in a leaf canister and the finer debris is removed by the pool filter.

“Automated cleaning is great, but improved circulation is a considerable additional feature of an in-floor cleaning system. Improved circulation eliminates cold pockets in the pool to provide a better bathing experience, and it [also] reduces water-treatment and heating costs.”

QuikClean in-floor systems offer great long-term value, with lifetime warranties for cleaning heads and very little maintenance costs.

The return on an in-floor cleaning system makes them a great investment if you’re going to stay in a property for several years.

Robotic Cleaners

Robotic cleaners are one of the most popular automatic pool-cleaning products sold today. They are the ultimate plug-and-play cleaning solution for most pool shapes, sizes and finishes. They are energy efficient and work separately from your pool’s existing filtration system. Given their durability and efficiency, they are an excellent value-for-money option as they deliver savings on energy, water and pool-chemical bills.

“Robotic cleaners have captured a majority share of the market because they’re an easy option and can be used in any existing pool,” says Nicholas.

The robots collect dirt and debris in a filter bag or cartridge within the cleaner. The debris is then removed from the filter rather than stored in the pool’s filtration system, which would result in cloudy water that would require chemicals to control. The cleaners navigate the pool using sensors and change direction when they come into contact with walls, although some are designed to climb walls. They also learn to map the pool shape, which allows them to deliver 100 per cent coverage.

Suction Cleaners

Suction cleaners are the most common automatic pool cleaners on the market, and work in much the same way as a vacuum cleaner. Suction cleaners attach to your skimmer box with a hose and use the suction created by your filtration system to collect debris. They are reliable, do not require professional installation and are the most affordable pool-cleaning option. Some models work better with high- or low-flow systems, but overall it is easy to shop around to find the best unit for your pool.

“Do your homework and understand what’s important to you,” advises Nicholas. “Everybody’s needs, budget and expectations are different.”

An automatic pool cleaner is essential to keep your swimming pool safe to use, and takes the hard work out of keeping it clean. As pool maintenance is an ongoing activity, you’ll want to find a product that will do the job with ease. Fortunately, the current range of automatic pool cleaners on the market is vast, so you should be able to find the right one to perfectly suit your needs and your budget.

Top Image Credit: Cooke Industries
Bottom Image Credit: Cooke Industries