What's the right cleaner for you?
1.What types of cleaners are there for the swimming pool & spa industry?
The types of cleaner used for the swimming pool & spa industry are Suction, Pressure, Electric, Inbuilt and Manual.
2.What are the different drives for each type cleaner?
-Suction cleaners can be Hammer, Diaphragm or Turbine driven.
-Pressure cleaners can be Turbine or Valve driven.
-Electric cleaners are driven by an onboard motor.
-Inbuilt cleaners are driven by the recirculation system and outlets.
-Manual cleaners are driven people.
3.Describe how each type of cleaner works?
Hammer cleaners draw water through two parallel chambers in which a hammer swings in front of. This hammer closes one chamber and allows suction to be created through the other one. As the water draws through the open chamber a negative pressure is created in the closed one and the open chamber drawing the water now pulls on the hammer moves it across to close the open chamber. The chamber that had the negative pressure is now creating the suction force. This opening and closing of the chambers using a hammer not only allows debris to be sucked up the chambers but also bumps the cleaner across the pool’s surface allowing it to scrub it with its sole at the mouth of the cleaner. The debris is drawn up through the vacuum hose to be caught in the skimmer basket or an inline canister
Diaphragm cleaners use an inner and outer chamber in which a flexible diaphragm sits in front of. As water sucks through the chambers it will first suck the diaphragm closed. This closes the inner chamber and the suction is now created in the outer chamber pulling the diaphragm open again. This opening and closing of the diaphragm causes the cleaner to shuffle along the pool’s surface allowing its foot at the mouth of the cleaner to scrub the pool’s surface as it sucks the debris up the vacuum hose into the skimmer basket or an inline canister.
Turbine driven cleaners use water current driven turbines to move mechanical parts that move the cleaner around the pool. The mechanical components in this type of cleaner are driven by the rotation of the turbine which in turn works the gearbox that either turn wheels or walking frames. This spinning turbine may also be driving a rotating brush that can scrub the pool’s surface. But most of this type of cleaner is vacuuming only. The debris is vacuumed up the vacuum hose into the skimmer basket or an inline canister.
Pressure Cleaners work in the way of using a venturi. They force water into their debris catchment area. This catchment area is either of the sieve type bag or container. The water that is forced into the catchment area comes from pressure nozzle or jet that is faced upward into it. This creates the venturi at the mouth of the cleaner allowing the debris to be sucked up into the catchment area. The water pressure created for the nozzle or jet comes from a dedicated return line from the recirculation system. Most of this type of cleaner will need an additional booster pump to create the extra pressure needed to drive them. To drive these cleaners around the surface of the pool; water pressure is forced through a turbine in which works a gearbox that in turn works wheels or opens and closes valves that operate directional nozzles or jets.
Electric cleaners are driven by onboard motor/s. These motors are low voltage and are connected to a transformer and power pack outside of the pool. The power pack is then plugged into the mains power supply. These cleaner use a motor to operate an inbuilt pump that sucks water and debris into a catchment area via the mouth of the cleaner. This catchment area can be either a sieve type bag or container. In some of these cleaners the catchment area has filter cartridge/s. The wheels of these cleaners are driven by the motor/s which makes them mobile. They can also use these motors to drive inbuilt propellers to propel them around the pool’s surface. Plus also a motor/s can drive brushes that can scrub the pool’s surface too. To navigate their way around the pool they can use a sensor that relays a signal to tell a computer at the power pack that it has reached an obstacle. The computer signals the cleaner to change direction or the propeller models have their propellers aligned offset so not to go in a straight line. This allows them to cover most areas of the pool’s surface.
Inbuilt cleaner are usually called an in-floor cleaning systems as they are plumbed into structure of the pool itself. Pop-up nozzles built into the floor and sometimes the steps and swim-outs and use high pressure streams of water to push debris from every corner of the pool toward a main drain; where it is sucked into a collection basket or canister. These pop-ups usually work in a succession sequence that causes an underwater current. Each sequence pushes everything toward the main drain. To make these pop-ups work this way each row of pop-ups will have its own dedicated return line in which each line is plumbed into a central module. This module works when filtered water from the recirculation system passes through it; turning a turbine driven gearbox. The gearbox in turn opens and closes a series of ports that allows the water goes through the returns to the pop-ups.
Manual Cleaners are when we as people set up nets, brushes and vacuum heads that are attached to a pole and are manually moved around the pool or spa surfaces to remove the debris. The nets are designed to rake, shovel or scoop out the debris. The brushes are used to scrub the surfaces and the vacuum heads along with a hose attached to it and leading to a suction point will suck the debris up into a catchment area.
4.What are the Pros and Cons of these cleaners?
Suction cleaners prices can range from very cheap to expensive as the quality of these cleaner do vary. As they rely on suction from the recirculation system they decrease the dynamic head pressure and this will have to be taken into consideration when sizing the pump and filter. They can clean fine to medium size debris; but large debris will get stuck and can block the water flow to the pump. This may cause pumps to run dry and damage them. So regular monitoring is essential. The varieties that have a foot or sole scrub the surface very well but are not recommended in vinyl surfaces as they can rub a hole through it. So for vinyl surfaces we can use wheel driven or walking frame models. For their ability to clean all surface is reliant on the variables in place. These can be the gradient and texture of the pool’s surface, the water currents from the outlets and length and memory of suction hose.
Pressure cleaners are generally more expensive. Plus in most cases need a booster pump to work them. This also increases their cost. Because they use water propulsion to move around the pool; the surface’s gradient and texture are usually no longer an issue. Plus if the recirculation system is fitted with a chlorinator they can help spread the sanitiser around more still parts of the pool to combat algae growth. Water currents from outlets and length of memory of pressure hose do affect its ability to clean all surfaces of the pool. These types of cleaners have a large mouth and are good for capturing medium to large debris.
Electric cleaners are generally expensive, but make up for their initial cost outlaid, as they do not require an additional pump to work them. This keeps there running cost down. Plus can clean the pool in a very short time e.g. 1-3 hours. They are not recommended to be left in the pool or left un-supervised and should be manually retrieved and stored once cleaning is finished. They have a very large mouth and are able to capture medium to large debris and the models fitted with filters are able to capture fine debris also. Some models come with a remote control so they can be directed to all parts of the pool’s surface.
Inbuilt cleaners are usually the most expensive. Plus also usually rely on a booster pump or a larger recirculation pump to work them well. They are great in the way of distributing water from their many outlets. This distribution is great if you have an intergraded heating and/or chlorination into the recirculation system. Because this type of cleaner is usually plumbed into the structure of the pool’s surface; it may be very expensive to fix as the pipe-work will run underneath the pool.
Manual cleaning is the best way to clean a pool or spa; but also is time consuming and labour intensive. It is the least expensive if you do it yourself; but for a nominal fee your local Pool Technician can clean it for you with the additional benefits of balancing the chemistry and servicing the equipment.
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