Buying a cheap pool cleaner for your swimming pool seems like a good idea in these difficult economic times.
However, you do not want to end up with a shoddy pool cleaner that just sits on the bottom while the dirt multiplies around it. We want an affordable automatic pool cleaner that can keep an above ground or inground swimming pool clean.
Our cheap pool cleaner buying guide attempts to find the best suction-side, pressure-side and robotic pool cleaners at a bargain price.
Why buy a cheap pool cleaner?
The most obvious answer is to save money. We might pay up to $1000 or more for an expensive pool robot that might last for a few years before it becomes too costly to repair and maintain. However, we might also buy a budget pool cleaner for less than $250 and save money on maintenance and parts.
We could buy a cheap pool cleaner if we have a few years of pool cleaning experience. We will still need to sweep the stairs and the corners whether or not we buy an expensive pool robot or an inexpensive pool vacuum cleaner.
Cheap Pool Cleaner Suggestions
The standard Pentair 360042 Kreepy Krauly suction-side inground pool cleaner costs more than $250. However, Pentair also makes the Kreepy Krauly Kruiser inground pool vacuum which costs less than $250. This is a cheaper alternative to consider.
Let us not forget about the quirky Hayward Aquabug range of above ground pool cleaners. We think that the Hayward Aquabug is competitively priced at under $150. Read our Aquabug review to find out if you want the pool cleaning bug.
Suction-side automatic pool cleaners are usually the cheapest pool cleaners, therefore it is easy to find affordable generic versions of popular vacuum pool cleaners. However, finding inexpensive imitations of pressure-side or robotic pool cleaners is much more difficult.
When it comes to low-priced pressure-side pool cleaners, we suggest the Polaris Vac-Sweep 65. It can clean vinyl-lined or fiberglass inground swimming pools. It has water jets that blow water against the walls of the pool and it also has a long pressure hose with a filter bag that is dragged along the pool bottom. The filter bag collects pebbles and other debris from the pool floor. Learn more about it when you read our Polaris Vac-Sweep 65 review.
Is it possible to find a reasonably priced robotic pool cleaner? We might not find an inexpensive inground pool robot for less than $500.
How about an above ground pool robot for less than $300? That might be possible. There are two Aquabot pool cleaners to consider in this price bracket: the Pool Rover S2-40 and the Pool Rover Junior. These above ground robotic pool cleaners are very similar when it comes to price, features and performance. You can read our Pool Rover S2-40 review for our thoughts on this cheap robotic pool cleaner.
We might consider buying a cheap pool cleaner. Even so, we think it is time to look at a few of these rock-bottom bargains in more detail.
XtremepowerUS Suction-Side Inground Pool Cleaner
This replica of a Kreepy Krauly type suction pool cleaner is a popular alternative. It also gets above average points for its performance in the pool. Let us consider its basic features.
- Cheap setup: works without booster pump and without electrical outlet.
- Easy installation: no tools are needed.
- It cleans inground pools up to 16 x 32 feet.
- Mimimum requirements: 3/4 HP, 1600 GPH pool pump.
- Suction pool cleaner that works with your current pool filtration system.
How does the XtremepowerUS generic suction pool cleaner work?
Its operation is very simple: the pool filtration system provides suction which moves the flapper wedge which moves the pool cleaner head. The dirt that is sucked up by the pool cleaner ends up in pool filter. You might have to clean the pool filters more often.
The flapper is the only moving part. This means that the flapper is the only part that needs regular maintenance. It is cheap to maintain. However, the disadvantage of the flapper is that it might get clogged very easily. Even a small grain of sand might lodge itself between the flapper and the inside of the cleaner causing it to stop moving. Leaves or twigs will cause the same problem.
The XtremepowerUS suction pool cleaner does not remove large leaves and debris. You need to remove large debris from the pool with a pool leaf net before turning on the pool cleaner. This prevents large objects from blocking the inlet mouth of the pool cleaner head.
Are vacuum hoses included with the XtremepowerUS pool cleaner?
The pool cleaner head comes with hose sections, hose weights and a pressure regulator. It includes everything you need to connect it to the skimmer or a dedicated vacuum line. It also comes with the deflector wheel which helps it to navigate around pool ladders.
What is the verdict for the XtremepowerUS generic Kreepy Krauly?
The brand name Kreepy Krauly pool cleaners cost two or three times as much as this generic replica, but do they last two or three times longer? We do not know for sure. We suspect that a generic model might last for a year or two before it breaks down completely. You might have to do some troubleshooting to keep it working because it is not the best quality construction or materials. Avoid this pool cleaner if you are not comfortable with troubleshooting performance problems.
|If you do not mind making adjustments and doing some tinkering, then you might consider buying the XtremepowerUS generic Kreepy Krauly (buy from Amazon.com).|
Pentair K60430 Kreepy Krauly Kruiser
This suction-side pool cleaner is probably halfway between the XtremepowerUS generic Kreepy Krauly and the real Pentair 360042 Kreepy Krauly. It is still 50% cheaper than the Kreepy Krauly model number 360042, but you get the assurance of a brand name product, parts and warranty. Here are its basic features:
- Regulator valve for setting the best cleaning speed.
- Wide suction port to vacuum large debris.
- Seal pad with curved edges for navigating over and around obstacles.
- Obstacle bumper is built into the pool cleaner head.
Which swimming pools can the Kruiser clean?
The Kreepy Krauly Kruiser is made for cleaning inground swimming pools only. It does not work for above ground pools. It will probably work for most pool shapes and pool surfaces.
Are hoses included with the Kruiser pool cleaner?
There are 12 hose sections included with the pool cleaner body. Each hose section is about 3 feet long. Two hose weights are also included. The hose weights are added at various points on the hoses in order to keep the pool cleaner head at the right 45-degree angle for the best performance. This ensures that the seal is flat on the pool floor.
Is it difficult to install the Kreepy Krauly Kruiser?
Installing the Kruiser pool cleaner is not difficult. It comes with the hoses, regulator valve and valve cone needed for a skimmer basket connection. This is the standard Kreepy Krauly Kruiser installation method. You do not need any tools to do this.
You can also do an alternative installation if your pool system has a dedicated vacuum line. A safety vac-lock fitting is included in the box for a dedicated suction port installation.
Kreepy Krauly Kruiser vs. Baracuda G3
These pool cleaners are both made for inground pools. They are connected to the skimmer or a dedicated suction line.
However, the Kreepy Krauly Kruiser has a flapper unit while the Baracuda G3 has a diaphragm. The diaphragm provides silent operation. The flapper might make flapping noises, although the Kruiser seems to have a “silent flapper” design that reduces operational noise.
Should you spend a hundred dollars more to get the Baracuda G3 suction pool cleaner? You may read our Baracuda G3 review to learn more about its features and functions.
How does the Kreepy Krauly Kruiser perform in the pool?
The Kruiser cleans most of the pool surfaces, except for the steps and stairs. The trick is to put the hose weights in the right place and to get suction flow at the right rate. If you can get the installation right, then it will perform almost as good as the more expensive Kreepy Krauly cleaners.
|You can view special online offers for the Pentair K60430 Kreepy Krauly Kruiser at Amazon.com.|
XtremepowerUS Pressure-Side Pool Cleaner
We have decided to look at another XtremepowerUS product that is nowhere near as popular as the generic XtremepowerUS Kreepy cleaner. This product is a low-priced pressure-side cleaner for inground swimming pools. Its main points of interest are:
- It has a 31-foot pressure hose.
- Needs a booster pump to provide extra power.
- Cleans the pool floor and walls.
- Suitable for all pool surface types.
This inexpensive XtremepowerUS pressure pool cleaner seems to be compatible with Polaris hoses and filter bags. It requires a booster pump installation.
|The XtremepowerUS pressure pool cleaner is definitely cheaper than a Polaris Vac-Sweep (check current online price). It is at least 50% cheaper than the Polaris 280, but its reliability and performance might be 50% worse. You probably get what you pay for: pay half the price and get half the cleaning power. Therefore, we do not recommend this XtremepowerUS pressure pool cleaner even though it is a cheap option.|
Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior
This affordable above ground pool robot has been around for many years. It gets mixed reviews, but its price is hard to beat. Its 24-volt pump motor is extremely economical and uses very little electricity. Here are its best features:
- Adjustable axle pins change the cleaning direction and pattern.
- Bottom access filter bag traps leaves, dirt, algae and bacteria.
- Floating power cable that is 40 feet long.
- It cannot climb walls or clean the waterline.
- It has its own 24-volt pump motor that provides suction and water jet power.
- Made for cleaning the flat floors of above ground pools.
- Power supply with a two-hour automatic shut-off cycle.
Does the Pool Rover Junior have an anti-tangle cable?
The Pool Rover Junior does not have an anti-tangle floating cable. There are two things you can try to keep the floating cable from twisting by the pool.
Firstly, do not throw the whole cable into the pool. Just add enough to ensure that the Pool Rover Junior can reach the furthest point in the pool.
Secondly, remember to change the position of the axle pins so that the pool cleaner can move in opposite directions.
If this does not help, you can always lay the floating cable flat on the ground, let it soften in the sun and then untangle it by hand.
|The Aquabot Pool Rover Junior seems to be a reasonably priced robotic pool cleaner for above ground pools with flat bottoms. It has a few minor issues such as the twisting power cord, but overall it functions pretty much as advertised. You can view its current price at Amazon.com.|
Cheap Pool Cleaner: Our Low-Cost Conclusions
The cheap pool cleaners we discussed are low-cost, but they are not worthless. Let us end our best cheap pool cleaner guide with a short summary.
The XtremepowerUS suction pool cleaner is a cheap but popular alternative to the more expensive Kreepy Krauly pool cleaners. Definitely worth considering if you have a large inground pool, but a very limited budget (see prices at Amazon.com).
We still think that the Polaris Vac-Sweep 65 is the best cheap pressure-side pool cleaner for inground pools. You might consider the XtremepowerUS pressure pool cleaner, but that decision is up to you.
The Aquabot Pool Rovers are still the best choice when it comes to cheap robotic pool cleaners for above ground swimming pools. The Aquabot S2-40i might even work in a small inground pool.
Thank you for reading our guide to affordable automatic pool cleaners that cost less than $300.