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Essential Pool Cleaning Equipment

Are you struggling to maintain a clear and inviting pool? Understanding the basics of pool cleaning equipment is the first step to achieving pristine waters. In the realm of pool maintenance, essential tools like nets, brushes, and poles provide a hands-on approach to cleanliness. 

However, those are just the basics. As you delve deeper, you’ll find more advanced counterparts such as pool vacuums and cleaners, each with its unique features. So let’s discuss the tools and devices that can help you maintain a clean pool and see how they compare to each other. Naturally, we should start with the foundation.

Basic Pool Cleaning Equipment - Nets, Brushes, and Poles 

Leaf nets and brushes are the basic pool-cleaning tools you can use. There’s not much to say here - you use nets to pick up debris like leaves and insects, while you use brushes to clean the bottom and sides of your pool. Telescopic poles are simple, but quite useful, extensions that you attach various cleaning equipment to to make your job easier. 

The main benefit of this type of pool cleaning equipment is that it is affordable, replaceable, and easily available. The downside is that you’ll need to do everything manually, which you may not have the time or energy for. That’s why most people opt for more advanced pool cleaning equipment, so let’s focus on that.

Pool Vacuums and Cleaners

The terms pool vacuum and pool cleaners are often used interchangeably, but there is a slight difference. A pool vacuum is a cleaning tool you use to manually or automatically suck up dirt and debris from the bottom of the pool. You can guide it around with a pole if you're doing it manually, while some vacuums move on their own if they are automatic.

On the other hand, pool cleaner is an umbrella term that includes different types of gadgets that keep your pool clean. A pool cleaner can refer to pool vacuums, but it can also include devices that move around the pool by themselves vacuuming and brushing the sides or bottom. Based on how they operate, pool cleaners can be divided into suction-side cleaners, pressure-side cleaners, and robotic cleaners.

A suction-side pool cleaner uses the suction generated from a pool's circulation system to move around. They are typically connected to a dedicated suction port or the skimmer. As water is pulled through the cleaner, debris is collected in a filter bag or the pool's existing filtration system. The cleaner moves randomly across the pool floor, vacuuming up dirt and debris. While they are effective for floor cleaning, many suction-side cleaners lack built-in scrubbing brushes, so they require manual cleaning for pool walls.

Pressure-side pool cleaners are connected to the pressure side of the pool's circulation system. They use the pressure of water returning to the pool through the pool's return jets to move around and clean the pool. As the cleaner moves, it collects debris and dirt. Some pressure-side cleaners have their own debris bags or filters to trap the collected particles. Many pressure-side cleaners come with built-in scrubbing brushes or wheels. 

These help in scrubbing and loosening dirt from pool surfaces. Pressure-side cleaners are effective at removing larger debris and can improve water circulation, however, like suction-side cleaners, they may not be as effective at cleaning pool walls, so you may need to manually brush for comprehensive cleaning. Additionally, some pressure-side cleaners may require a separate booster pump for optimal performance.

Unlike suction- or pressure-side pool cleaners, robotic pool cleaners don’t rely on your pool’s existing functionalities to operate. They are independently powered by electricity and have their own motors. One of the main advantages of these types of cleaners is that you can program cleaning cycles and operate them automatically. In general, a robotic cleaner is the most efficient device for pool cleaning.

All of that being said, these are just the principles on which the different types of pool cleaners operate. When you are choosing which one you want, the model is just as important as the type, i.e., the best pool vacuum isn’t necessarily a low-end robotic cleaner but can be a high-end suction-side model.


Another essential piece of pool cleaning equipment is the pool skimmer. They draw water from the pool's surface, collect debris, and then direct the water through the filtration system before returning it to the pool. This continuous process helps maintain a clean and well-circulated pool. This is the gist of it, but let’s elaborate a bit.

Pool skimmers are usually installed near the surface on the side of the pool. Water is drawn from the pool into the skimmer, partially cleaned, and then sent through the pool's filtration system. Skimmers have a weir - a floating door that helps to regulate the flow of water - into the skimmer. 

As water is drawn into the skimmer, the floating weir helps to trap larger debris like leaves, twigs, and insects. Inside, there is a removable basket or strainer that captures and holds the collected debris. The skimmer is connected to the pool's circulation system through a pipe and this basket prevents debris from entering your pool's plumbing system.

The water drawn through the skimmer passes through the pool filter, which removes smaller particles and impurities. After passing through the filtration system, the cleaned water is returned to the pool through return jets. And that’s how skimmers contribute to keeping your pool water clean.


Filters are another essential type of pool cleaning equipment. Their primary function is to capture and remove particles and impurities from the water, such as dirt, insects, and debris and algae spores and bacteria. There are three types of filters you can get:

  1. Sand filters - they contain a bed of specially graded sand through which water is pumped. The sand traps particles as water passes through and periodic backwashing is needed to clean the sand. Sand filters are often more budget-friendly upfront compared to other filters. This makes them a good choice if you are seeking an economical filtration option.
  2. Cartridge Filters - Cartridge filters use a pleated fabric cartridge to trap particles - think of a piece of fabric shaped like an accordion that traps particles. They provide a large surface area for filtration and are rather easy to maintain. The cartridge needs to be removed periodically and cleaned or replaced. When it comes to sand filters vs. cartridge filters, cartridge filters tend to capture smaller particles than sand filters.
  3. Diatomaceous Earth Filters - Diatomaceous earth (DE) filters use a special powder made from the remains of tiny algae called diatoms. This powder is spread over a filter grid and when water passes through the filter, the powder coats the grid and acts like a trap, catching tiny particles and impurities from the water. Typically, DE filters can catch the finest particles out of all the types. However, these filters need regular maintenance, which includes backwashing to clean the filter and sometimes adding new diatomaceous earth to ensure effective filtration.


Finally, pool pumps are a crucial component of keeping pools clean by enabling the circulation of water through the system. They draw water from the pool's skimmer and main drain, removing surface debris and collecting particles. The pump then pushes water through a filter where impurities are trapped. If you use chemicals, pumps distribute them to maintain a healthy balance. 

The cleaned and treated water is returned to the pool, which prevents stagnation. Pumps operate on automatic timers, ensuring consistent circulation. This constant movement and filtration help prevent algae growth, maintain water clarity, and contribute to an overall clean pool environment.

Do You Need Pool Cleaning Equipment?

If you do, you can get everything you need at Direct Pool Supplies. From pool cleaners to pumps, you can order your products online and we will deliver them to your address. We also carry pool chemicals for maintaining your pool pristine and sanitary. Feel free to contact us if you need advice on which type of pool cleaning equipment would be the most beneficial in your situation and we’ll gladly help you in any way we can!

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