How Long To Run In-floor Pool Cleaner? Find Out!

How Long To Run In-floor Pool Cleaner?  Whether it’s a suction side, pressure side, or robotic, one thing is certain about automatic pool cleaners: you cannot run them forever. For your in-ground pool to always look its best, it would have to be cleaned regularly. You can leave the hard lifting to these machines, but how long should they work on a stretch? You’re right to ask. 

The amount of time required to run an automatic pool cleaner depends on several factors, including the size of the pool and the type of debris in the water. On average 4 – 5 hours is ideal to clean a pool thoroughly. If you just got a new pool cleaner, you can run it for 12 hours at first, then reduce the runtime by 1 hour until you get the optimum runtime for best results. 

However, the right settings for your pool cleaner can help to reduce the runtime significantly. For example, if the weight is properly centered on the cleaner head, the cleaner will be leveled and can clean the pool in the least amount of time. Conversely, pool cleaners that have a hard time staying on the ground or getting around obstacles will spend more time in the water. A well-set pool cleaner will do its work effectively when set to it. 

Do I Have To Vacuum My Pool Every day? 

As a rule of thumb, vacuuming once a week should be sufficient to keep most pools in tip-top condition. We say ‘most’ because it depends on the frequency of use (amongst other factors). You can guarantee the hygiene of your pool by performing daily maintenance routines. But what if you don’t have all the time? What is the optimal frequency for vacuuming? 

Ideally, vacuum your pool twice a week. If you only have the weekends for the pool maintenance, once a week is great. However, you may have to vacuum your pool more frequently if you have lots of debris getting in. Also, it’s good practice to vacuum your pool immediately after heavy usage. This helps to keep the pool’s PH in check. Ideally, the PH of your pool should stand between 7.4 and 7.6. 

At some point in the year, your pool demands more attention than at other times. In fall, for example, leaves fly around and may enter your pool en masse. Skimming the floating leaves may not suffice, it is recommended that you vacuum your pool daily. Alternatively, you can get your hands on a pool cover to prevent debris from getting into your pool. 

How To Schedule Basic Pool Maintenance

The best way to keep your pool in great shape is by setting up a maintenance routine. You will significantly lessen the work if you perform several tiny routine maintenance daily. So that when you need to vacuum your pool on the weekends it wouldn’t have to be a Herculean task. 

Below, we have outlined daily, twice-a-week, weekly and two-week cycle routines to keep your pool in great shape. Take a peek: 


  1. Skim the pool using a pool net. This ensures that debris – like leaves and insects – that find their way into your pool water doesn’t have time to break down and wreak havoc to pool chemical balance. 
  2. Inspect the pool for signs of algae or obvious anomalies. If you find some, then you’d know to schedule a fix, depending. 
  3. Brush off leaves around the lips of the pool so that they do not get into the water. 

Twice weekly

  1. Go around the pool, brushing the sides downwards using a pool brush. You may intensify your efforts along the waterline to remove obvious watermarks.
  2. Using the pool brush, clean the pool steps(or rungs). 
  3. Brush other trouble spots. 
  4. Check water chemistry and add chemicals if necessary. 


  1. If sizable debris like leaves is on the bottom of the pool, use a pool net or rake to remove most of it. This is to allow your pool vacuum to work without trouble when it’s time to vacuum. 
  2. Implement the twice-weekly routine above skipping step 4. 
  3. You may need to vacuum to waste if the pool is very dirty. After Vacuuming, top up the pool water to replenish the amount lost while vacuuming. Otherwise, vacuum in filter mode. If you’re using an automatic pool cleaner, let it run until your pool is clean. 
  4. If set to vacuum to waste mode, keep your eyes on the pool water level. Once it goes below the skimmer level, you need to discontinue and top up the water again before you proceed. 
  5. Backwash the filter when necessary to keep it in top condition. 
  6. Assess the pool strainer basket to see if it has caught leaves and other debris. If it has,  then remove the strainer basket and empty its contents. 
  7. Replace the strainer basket. 
  8. Check the water chemistry and add chemicals to balance it out as necessary. 

The weekly maintenance process may seem grueling, but that would depend on how you treat your pool daily. If you do the daily and twice-weekly routine efficiently, you would not have to break your back doing the weekly cleanup. Ideally, it takes about 45 minutes to finish up the weekly maintenance.

Every two weeks

  1. Shock your pool as needed. Depending on use, you may even need to shock it weekly. This will clear out contaminants and prevent cloudy pool water. 
  2. It is good practice to check your pool’s pipework anywhere they’re exposed to detect leaks or trouble points. It’s important to fix pool plumbing problems ASAP to stop them from escalating. 

What Is a Pool Pop Up(And How They Work)?

How Long To Run In-floor Pool Cleaner

Another way your pool can clean itself is by installing an in-floor cleaning system. Like automatic pool cleaners, it can clean your pool with minimal human supervision. But unlike automatic pool cleaners, mechanical movement is reduced to the barest minimum, guaranteeing the efficiency of cleaning and longer equipment lifespan. 

An in-floor cleaning system makes use of a pop-up cleaner that pops out of the bottom of the pool to clear out debris from the bottom the pool. They can be placed everywhere around the pool surface to capture the whole area: walls, benches, steps, etc. 

Depending on how big a pool is, there might be up to 15 cleaners in the system working in sync. However, when not in use, they go back to the resting position, level with the pool surface. 

How Do Pop-Up Cleaners Work?

The working principle is simple: eject pressurized water in a particular direction so that particular move the other way into the drain. The various cleaners in the system do not work all at once. Rather, they work in sync by spraying water stage by stage to eventually lead the debris into the drain. 

The spray time for each pop-up cleaner is usually between 30 – 60 seconds but that can be adjusted. If your pool needs a deeper clean, you may increase the spray time. 

How Long Should a Robotic Pool Cleaner Last?

Robotic pool cleaners are efficient, arguably better than other automatic pool cleaning devices. But how long your robotic pool cleaner lasts depends largely on your investment. On average, you can expect top performance from your robotic cleaner for 5 years – with the right maintenance, of course. However, as stated earlier, investment in the right models can get you more years out of it. 

Broadly speaking, the more expensive the model is, the sturdier it likely is, the higher the lifespan, and eventually, the higher your return on investment in the long run. However, the most expensive robot in the world will be down if it is not properly maintained. When your robot tackles large debris, make sure to check and empty the waste bag ASAP. 

Robotic pool cleaners do not require expensive annual maintenance, so in the long run, they are cost-effective. And when all is said and done, you need to replace the robotic pool cleaner if it no longer does its work efficiently even with proper care. For more expensive models, this could be after 8 years of use. 

What Is a Pressure Side Pool Cleaner?

Pressure side pool cleaner

Pressure side pool cleaners are so named because they attach to the pressure side(or return) of your pool water circulation system. In this kind of setup, water enters the pool through these units and powers them. Because they attach to the pressure side, they help to filter pool water by having a debris bag, catching tiny particles that would otherwise enter your pool

Some pressure cleaners are powered by the pool pump and attach to a return port and do not need a booster pump. These types of pressure pool cleaners are called low-pressure cleaners. Models like Polaris 360, Letro Legend II, Jandy Ray-Vac, or Polaris 65/165 are low-pressure cleaners. On the flip side, high-pressure cleaners attach to a dedicated line with a booster for increased cleaning pressure. 

The major benefit of the booster-powered models is that they can switch on and off automatically depending on using a time-clock system. This is advantageous because it saves you energy costs and helps to reduce damages due to wear and tear from the prolonged operate. They can also be powered more consistently and are not affected by pump baskets, full skimmers, or pump baskets. 

What Is a Suction Side Pool Cleaner? 

Suction side pool cleaner

On the other hand, suction cleaners try to do things differently by attaching to the suction side of the pool circulation system to clean. They attach to the pool skimmer or dedicated suction line to do the cleaning up. They send debris up the pool’s filtration system through a ‘throat’ mechanism.

Suction pool cleaners are great for pools that get a lot of sand and tiny debris; not so great for sucking up larger debris like leaves, twigs, and small stones. Because of their narrow throat, they are susceptible to getting clogged by anything larger than a small marble. 

They’re more cost-effective than a pressure-side pool cleaner. For one, they make use of the existing pool filtration system, thereby saving you more money on initial installation costs. Additionally, they clean your pool efficiently by moving in random patterns. 

However, if you’re having debris like twigs in your pool, then your suction might run into problems regularly, and you’re better off using a pressure-side pool cleaner. Further, the footpad may need to be replaced every once in a while, adding to the overall cost in the long run. 

What Is a Robotic Pool Cleaner?

Robotic pool cleaner

Robotic pool cleaners are a culmination of state-of-the-art technology. They are machines that mostly come with wheels, to move around the pool, a built-in motor, debris collector, internal water pump, and filter bags to collect debris – they are completely self-contained. Even more, they combine the better qualities of both suction side and suction side pool cleaners for superb cleaning. 

Because robotic pool cleaners are self-contained, you can run them while your pool’s filtration is turned off. It’s recommended that you turn off the pump while the machine does its work. They can be quite pricey, but if you value quality pool cleaning with all the hassles associated with using pressure side or suction side pool cleaners, then robotic cleaners are your best bet. 

A robotic cleaner will have the right filtration and scrubbing power to remove debris from your pool. A robot with smart navigation will clean your pool thoroughly and efficiently. Some models come with a remote control so you can control what they’re doing in the water. However, if you’re apprehensive about having an electrical device in your pool water, don’t be – they’re safe. They can be used for both in-ground and above-ground pools.

What Is The Best In-Ground Pool Cleaner For The Money?

Best Suction Side Cleaner: Zodiac Baracuda G3 W03000

The Zodiac Baracuda G3 makes light work of cleaning your in-ground pool wall and floor using suction action. If set upright, you would not have to monitor your automatic cleaner because it will work efficiently most of the time. It connects to your pool’s dedicated suction line or skimmer to function properly. 

The Zodiac G3 suction side cleaner is easily installed and maneuvers around your in-ground pool in 100% random motion to keep it clean and clear. It is suitable for all pool surfaces and cleans both the bottom and walls of your pool. 


  • Can clean walls, floors, and steps.
  • Cleaner wheel for navigating obstacles.
  • Cleans all pool surface types.
  • Operates silently. 


  • May have trouble staying on the pool floor. 

Best Pressure Side Pool Cleaner: Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 Robotic Pool Cleaner

The Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 is a budget-friendly robotic pool cleaner at a little under $600. It may not have every fancy function of the F9950 model, but what it lacks in sophistication, it makes up for in sheer cleaning power. 

Although it can be tricky to put together, that’s about all the problems you will encounter with this pool cleaner. There are videos available that can make it a bit easier. However, the time spent on proper setup will prove worth it when you have a stable and dependable pool cleaner for years to come.


  • Great value for money.
  • Snug hose fitting.
  • Durable.


  • Tricky to assemble.
  • No user instructions.
  • Needs regular updates

Best Robotic: Polaris F9550 Robotic Pool Cleaner

The Polaris F9550 robotic pool cleaner is a compact, four-wheeled pool cleaner that will make light work of cleaning your pool. It comes with a special feature ‘ActiveMotion sensors’ that allow it to locate and focus on the dirty areas in your pool.

At over a thousand dollars, the Polaris F9550 is not cheap, but the quality of work it gets done makes every penny worth it. This machine is programmable and can be controlled using a remote control that allows it to focus on the areas of your pool that need help the most. 


  • ActiveMotion Sensing
  • Many programmables choices
  • Compact design
  • Runs quietly
  • Easy to assemble and clean
  • Solid Mesh Filter
  • Smooth operation 


  • Short power cable (6 ft.)
  • No speed control 
  • More expensive 

Conclusion on Why Does My Pool Vacuum Hose Collapse?

When it comes down to it, the ideal amount of time your pool cleaner should work for maximum effect depends. If you’ve got a large pool, for example, then you’re better off letting the pool cleaner run for longer. Other factors include frequency of use, environment, and pool cleaner type also contribute to how long you should leave these devices running. We hope this article has helped you in your pool cleaning quest. 

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