The Best Pressure Side Pool Cleaners in 2024

Not to pour cold water on late-summer recreation but the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issues annual advisories relating to swimming pool hygiene and water-borne diseases. While public pools are particularly vulnerable, backyard basins are of no less concern.

Of course, chlorine (or salt) goes a long way in killing unhealthy microbes and other organisms. Still, sediment and debris accumulate on the sides and at the bottom, posing chemical threats to swimmers.

Pressure-side pool cleaners address this problem by attaching it to the return side of the water circulation route. In so doing, they collect deposits while redistributing clean water throughout the entire pool.

While some cleaners are powered directly by the pool pump, the pressure-side pool cleaners are attached to a supplemental booster pump. Outstanding among them is the Polaris Vac-Sweep 280. This device’s rates are consistently high among the pressure-side pool cleaner reviews.

Best Pressure Side Pool Cleaners:

1. Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Pressure Pool Cleaner

The strength of the Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 is in its double jets. Operating on the venturi effect, these jets move water and air efficiently by increasing speed without increasing pressure. This is achieved by reducing the orifice diameter in each jet.

Because of this capacity, the Vac-Sweep 280 can clean even large pools in under three hours. Scrubbing, sweeping, and vacuuming each surface, this cleaner is compatible with Polaris’ Tailsweep PRO, an attachment that further augments cleaning pressure.

Meanwhile, its single-chamber filter bag collects all sizes of debris while isolating the detritus from the filtration system. This feature prolongs the life of the pressure cleaner. Best of all, the 280 comes in a model that can service pools with dark bottoms.

Running off a separate booster pump–the Zodiac PB4-60 is recommended–this cleaner comes with a generous 31 feet of feed hose. Multiple pressure side pool cleaner reviews credit the 280 with noticeably improved speed over its predecessor models.

Owners who choose to purchase the Zodiac PB4-60 Polaris booster pump will appreciate the compatibility of the cleaner with the pump. The highly efficient .75-horsepower motor runs on the quiet side so as not to disturb family or friends while cleaning is in process.

In addition, installation is straightforward and uncomplicated. Overall, the Polaris 280 pool cleaner with a booster pump sits atop the pressure-side pool cleaners.

At the same time, no appliance performs optimally without care and maintenance. Polaris brochures are relatively easy to read and understand. Following directions and servicing the 280 as needed ensures the long life that these products boast.

For instance, those who do not regularly empty the debris bag will eventually encounter problems. Likewise, certain components must be adjusted for the pool size and hose fittings.

With appropriate attention on the part of the user, the 280 ranks as the booster pump pool cleaner.

2. Pentair LL505G Kreepy Krauly Legend Pressure-Side Inground Pool Cleaner

A close second to the Polaris 280 as the pressure pool cleaner is the Pentair LL505PMG Kreepy Krauly Platinum automatic pool cleaner. Constructed with a high-capacity debris channel, this Pentair pressure-side pool cleaner shares our pick’s ability to pick up larger foliage scraps and assorted detritus from lush lawns and surroundings.

Plus, its tires are heavily treaded, enabling this appliance to scale inclines with optimal traction. Its dual thrust jets and extensive sweep hose allow the Kreepy Krauly to finish any job swiftly and completely.

Appropriate on most pool surface materials, this cleaner also needs an independent booster pump to accomplish the best results.

Two separate designs are available for darker and lighter pools. Although its ability to take up all manner of debris is impressive, Pentair encourages consumers to purchase the optional leaf mesh bag for a thorough job of capturing leaves at the bottom.

Lightweight and compact in construction, the Kreepy Krauly is easy to handle but considered by some reviewers to be too slight. They report tires lifting from the surface both in use and off.

Perhaps not the very pressure-side pool cleaner, the Pentair LL505PMG Kreepy Krauly Platinum Pressure-Side in-ground automatic pool cleaner has a solid and expansive fan base among pool owners. Those who meticulously compare shops will likely include the Kreepy Krauly among the top three choices.

3. Hayward TVP500C TriVac 500 Pressure Cleaner

Automatic pressure pool cleaners often have success rates determined by the type and size of the swimming pool. However, the better ones are marked by consistent performance. Such is the Hayward TriVac 500 Bottom/Wall Pressure Cleaner.

While many high-performing cleaners boast of heavy, high-traction tires, this instrument trumpets its AquaDrive system that operates on lower friction. Recognizing the problems associated with greater friction–wheels getting jammed and cleaners immobilized on stairs–Hayward bets on this new drive technology to lower the frequency of such incidents.

These automatic pressure pool cleaners employ a pre-programmed backup sequence. It works as pressurized water from the rear-drive jet is redirected to the front-drive jet at fixed intervals. In so doing, it allows the cleaner to change direction more swiftly and sharply, cutting down on cleaning time. Like our pick and the runner-up, this appliance requires a booster pump.

One might expect ease of use if this were a pressure-side pool cleaner without a booster pump. Yet this Hayward cleaner is also remarkably uncomplicated. Set-up and installation are a breeze by all accounts.

What is more, the bag volume means fewer occasions for emptying. Some reviewers complained of ruptured sealings while others objected that it did not skim the water surface (few do, though an advanced and pricier model boasts this ability).

The Hayward TVP500C TriVac 500 pressure cleaner provides excellent service to those who buy. Make sure to inspect it carefully upon receipt.

4. Polaris Vac-Sweep 3900 Sport Pressure Inground Pool Cleaner

Another three-jet cleaner is the Polaris Vac-Sweep 3900 Sport. From the same maker as the top-rated side pool cleaner, this instrument has a sophisticated design to optimize both speed and thoroughness.

For example, its all-wheel PosiDrive system includes a stainless steel drive chain that contributes 50 percent more torque than predecessor models. That means speedier movement.

Conveniently, the Tailsweep Pro accessory is included with the 3900 purchase. This enhancement allows the cleaner to reach every nook and cranny of the pool, as well as minimize water spray beyond pool borders. Its debris bag is of generous proportions while the power of its jets is more than adequate for any cleaning task.

Some unhappy owners out there complain that the 3900 suctions in its tail and that the hose often tangles. Others cite frequent hose disconnection. Most, however, endorse this model for its power and overall performance.

This Polaris pressure-side pool cleaner appears to perform at an excellent level. A careful reading of and compliance with instructions is especially important with this model.

5. Pentair 360228 Kreepy Krauly Racer Pressure-Side Inground Pool Cleaner


Pentair makes another contribution to the honorable mentions of the pressure side pool cleaner competition. The 360228 Kreepy Krauly Racer pressure side inground pool cleaner is a scrappy model that takes the fight to all kinds of leaves, sticks, and other detritus.

Its rotating brush lets little stick to the sides or bottom of the swimming pool. With a large intake area, it gulps us the remains for quick and easy disposal.

The most persistent selling point for the Pentair Kreepy Krauly Racer pool cleaner is its powerful, rotating brush that loosens even the hardest-to-extract debris. Also prominent are its luminescent LED lights that make it visible during night cleaning.

Some users are disappointed in what they see as flimsy connections for the sweeper hose and the wheels. Still, the brush gets rave reviews because the bristles are hard enough for stubborn residue but not so hard as to damage the pool.

This is a dependable cleaner but may require replacement parts from time to time.

Making the Decision

Readers will note that our pick for the cleaner is not the one with the most jets. Many factors go into selecting the performing side pool cleaner, power being but one. Mobility, construction, efficiency, and simplicity are also highly prized among pool owners.

Choosing the cleaner means first prioritizing those properties, and then purchasing according to the highest concerns. Doing so will maximize satisfaction and minimize disappointment.

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