When considering a new pool you will find there are numerous options to choose from. Whether you’re looking at tile, interior finish samples, or deck ideas, the different methods and materials can be overwhelming. One choice that doesn’t get as much attention as the design is how you plan on keeping debris and dirt out of the pool. Nearly every pool will have skimmers which suck in anything floating and trap it in the skimmer baskets, but what do you do for the debris that has sunk to the bottom? Enter in floor pool cleaning systems.
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In Floor Pool Cleaning Systems Alternatives
Many pool owners will choose to go the route of a suction pool cleaner if they live in the southwest. These are popular anyplace where dust and dirt is the main culprit for making the pool dirty. In most other cases, people will select the pressure side pool cleaner to keep the leaves and debris out of the pool. However, there is a third option. The robotic cleaner which some may choose, like the Dolphin Nautilus which independent of water flow, will travel around the surface of the pool and scrub it clean. The higher end option though which makes all of these cleaners unnecessary is the in floor pool cleaning system.
How Do In Floor Pool Cleaning Systems Work?
In floor pool cleaning systems are made up of groupings of cleaning heads. These heads pop up out of the floor and have an effective cleaning radius around them. The radii of the cleaning heads interlock, much like an automatic lawn sprinkler system. The cleaning heads spray the dirt and debris off the steps, benches, and floor where it eventually ends up settling in the deepest part of the pool where the main drain(s) are installed.
The drains will have an open portion around the perimeter designed for dirt and debris to go into the drain and out of the pool. Either in the deck or at the equipment there will be a leaf canister which will catch the debris in a net or basket. This canister needs cleaning along with the skimmer baskets on a regular basis.
In Floor Pool Cleaning Systems Pros And Cons
An in floor cleaning system is unequivocally better than a robotic pool cleaner. One of the many pros of these systems is they virtually zero maintenance whereas even with a robotic pool cleaner, you need to place it in and out of the pool each time. Additionally, most robotic cleaners leave something to be desired, usually cleaning the pool’s walls, so you will also need a fair amount of manual maintenance.
That being said, as with any superior product, the major cons of an in floor cleaning system surround a high price tag. These systems cost anywhere from 7 – 20 times the price you’ll pay for a robotic pool cleaner.
In Floor Pool Cleaning Systems Manufacturers
There are four major manufacturers of in floor pool cleaning systems. We will review each company and encourage you to do your own research as well. We do not have a recommendation for which manufacturer to use. They are all competent at what they do and can be trusted for your pool.
A&A In Floor Pool Cleaning System
First there’s A&A Manufacturing, now owned by Pentair. They add a component to their cleaning systems called the Quickskim. This is a venturi skimmer which increases the reach of a skimmer dramatically, and adds to the cleaning prowess of the system as a whole. Additionally they have the Gemini head which operates using venturi power to increase the reach with minimal water flow of their cleaning heads.
Caretaker / Fluidra In Floor Pool Cleaning System
Next there is the Jandy Caretaker, which is owned by Fluidra. There isn’t much special about the Caretaker system other than their 8 port valve which reduces the need for additional distribution valves.
Paramount In Floor Pool Cleaning System
The next manufacturer is the Paramount in floor cleaning systems. The Paramount system utilizes an additional feature the other systems do not. They use down jets and fixed heads in the floor. The idea with these fixed heads and down jets is to create flow toward the main drains in the pool. Additionally, they reduce the amount of time the debris is just blowing around the interior of the pool and not getting removed.
Bluesquare In Floor Pool Cleaning System
The last system is the Bluesquare cleaning system. Bluesquare is the newest player in the in floor cleaning scene and probably the most impressive. Bluesquare has dramatically reduced the materials cost to pool builders for an efficient and functional cleaning system. Their distribution valve is designed to reduce pressure differential while moving from port to port. The main drain is one of the most impressive components of the Bluesquare system. When it’s installed there is minimal plastic showing, and it disappears into the interior of the pool while remaining functional for debris removal.
What Is The Best In Floor Pool Cleaning System?
Ultimately, whatever system you choose or your builder chooses, it will work. If we had to point you in the right direction, we prefer A&A Manufacturing or Bluesquare. These two systems are the most advanced and are what we would use for our pools.
Benefits Of In Floor Pool Cleaning Systems
In floor pool cleaning systems must be designed by their manufacturer and installed per the manufacturer’s installation instructions. If the system is installed per the manufacturer’s design, you will have a clean pool and very little issue with debris and dirt.
You’ll also enjoy a hydraulically superior circulation system. Your pool will not have cold spots and hot spots. Since you are returning water to the floor of the pool, you will mix up the pool constantly. This makes testing of the pool water more accurate since anywhere you test a pool with an in floor cleaning system will be representative of the whole body of water.
Are In Floor Pool Cleaning Systems Worth It?
Notably, in floor pool cleaning systems can be expensive. Expect to spend somewhere in the range of $5,000 – 15,000. Although, if you are looking for the lowest maintenance option for keeping your pool clean, this is it. The benefit of not having to move the suction cleaner or pressure side cleaner hose out of the way can be worth it alone for some homeowners. However, the water circulation and heating benefits of in floor cleaning systems also make a world of difference. This makes the choice to pay for it and install in floor pool cleaning systems easier to stomach.