Best Above Ground Pool Vacuum Cleaner of 2018 & Buying Guide

Your friends and family probably love spending time by and in your above ground pool yet they have very little idea about all the responsibility and work that goes into maintaining an above ground pool in a backyard. You need to make sure that the pump that circulates the water and moves it through the filter is working properly. You also need to be regularly checking the filter itself and the quality of water and these are just some of the tasks involved in keeping an above ground pool clean.

A pool vacuum cleaner is an appliance that can make maintaining a pool much easier by doing a lot of work for you while you are sitting back and relaxing by your pool. From this guide, you will learn about several types of above ground pool vacuum cleaners, the differences between them and factors to pay attention to when choosing a vacuum for your pool.










Hayward 900



Intex Auto Pool Cleaner



Intex 28620E



Dolphin 99996403


What types of above ground pool vacuum cleaners are available on the market?

There are several types of above ground pool vacuum cleaners. They are suction side vacuums, pressure side vacuums and robotic vacuums

Suction side vacuums work with the pool suction line. They attach to the line and then use the suction it provides to move the cleaner through a pool and vacuum its surface. The advantages of such cleaners are lower costs and easier maintenance. One of the cons is that in order to operate such a cleaner you will need to be running your pool pump.

Pressure side vacuums use pressure side lines. A pressure side vacuum may need an extra boost pump. Pressure side vacuums do not use the filtration system of your pool. They have their own filtration bags where they store all the dirt, leaves and debris.

Finally, you can choose a robotic pool vacuum. Just like robotic home vacuums, robotic pool vacuums do the work for you. Robotic pool vacuums plug into a power outlet and do not use your existing pool equipment in order to operate. Depending on the model, a robotic pool cleaner can vacuum the floor of your pool, the steps, the sides and the waterline.

From this review, you will learn about five different above ground pool vacuums that do an excellent job in cleaning pools.

1. Intex Auto Pool Cleaner

Intex Auto Pool Cleaner is a pool cleaner that will work with Intex or other compatible connectors. It does need a 1.5-inch hose fitting. If you do have a compatible connector, it will save you a lot of time and effort. All you have to do to start using is it assemble the hoses and attach them to the cleaner and the pool pump outlet.

Here’s how this piece works: it pumps the water out of the ends creating vacuum on the bottom of the machine where the vacuum then sucks the dirt and debris. The dirt and debris are captures by a filter that is located inside of the vacuum.

Related:  Best Pond Vacuums of 2018 & Buying Guide

The vacuum moves the water through it in a certain pattern that helps it clean the water better.

It is this simple and Intex Auto Pool Cleaner does work very well. The time it will take this vacuum to clean up your pool depends on how large and how dirty your pool is.

This cleaner is not suitable for in-ground pools. Before you start using it, you need to make sure that the cleaner has been installed properly and that there are no air pockets in the hose of the cleaner.


  • Does a great job at cleaning pools
  • Runs off existing filter pump
  • Creates a pressure that will suck the dirt and debris


  • The filter screen gets full quickly
  • Is compatible only with certain pools
  • Needs a filter pump with certain specifications

Intex Auto Pool Cleaner is a great investment that will do the job for you and keep your pool clean.

2. Hayward 900

Hayward 900 is an above-ground pool cleaner that has been created to automatically clean the bottom of a pool. It was designed to work with permanently installed swimming pools only. It will work will pools of all sizes and shapes made my different manufacturers. The manufacturer does not recommend using it with any kinds of pools that can be easily disassembled. This includes most soft-sided temporary pools including Intex pools.

Hayward 900 operates using the existing filtration system of your pool.

In the package with the cleaner, you will find everything you need for trouble-free operation, including the hoses.

Every Hayward vacuum comes with SmartDrive steering functionality that allows the machine to clean faster.

Hayward 900 pulls water from the bottom of a pool as it moves, which helps it to do its job better.

Hayward 900 does clog easily with leaves and small rocks and you will need to empty its filter several times if you start using this cleaner with a really dirty pool. The process of emptying the filter takes some time, but once you do clean the filter up, the vacuum with start doing its job well again.

Hayward 900 does have great suction and it will keep your pool clean if you have a strong pump that is working properly.


  • Has a unique system that provides constant water flow
  • Operates quietly
  • Advanced head design
  • Bumper ring to help avoid friction


  • Clogs easily with leaves or small rocks
  • Tail falls off easily

Hayward 900 is a great useful product once you figure out how it functions. It works really well and does exactly what its manufacturer claims it does: cleans the pool thoroughly. Hayward 900 does need full pressure to perform its job so you will need to make sure that your filter system is clean. Just like with all other above ground pool vacuums, you will need to make sure that you have the correct hose.

3. Intex 28620E

Intex 28620E is a manual handheld vacuum, meaning that it is not an automatic or robotic cleaner. To clean your pool you will need to use it manually, similarly to how you would use a regular vacuum.

Related:  Best Pool Vacuum Head of 2018 & Buying Guide

This vacuum is cordless. It is powered by strong built-in rechargeable batteries. To charge the batteries, you will use the USB cord that comes with this vacuum.

Intex 28620E comes with two brush heads. The package also includes a long 94-inch lightweight aluminum telescopic shaft that will allow you to clean the pools up to 18 feet in diameter.

Intex 28620E is a small vacuum for small pools and spas. It will do a great job in helping you maintain a smaller pool clean and tidy. It is not a magic wand that will solve the problem of neglecting a large pool for a prolonged period of time. This vacuum with pick up large leaves and debris but the dirt container is on the smaller side and you will need to empty it several times.

This vacuum has an automatic shutoff feature that turns it off when it is not fully submerged in water. It also has a waterproof switch that helps protect it. This means that the vacuum will only operate when you fully submerge it into the water of your pool.

One of the disadvantages of Intex 28620E is that it does not have a charge indicator light. For this reason, it is better to leave it charging overnight to make sure that it becomes fully charged and operational again in the morning. The manual of the vacuum says that it takes about eight hours for the batteries to charge fully.


  • Comes with two built in rechargeable batteries
  • Includes two brush heads
  • Has a USB cable for recharging
  • 94-inch telescopic aluminum shaft
  • Automatic shutoff feature


  • The dirt collector is a bit small
  • Works for about 30 mins before you need to dry it and recharge it

This is a great handheld manual vacuum. It only operates when its fully submerged in the water. It runs using rechargeable batteries that will last for about 30 mins before you have to dry the vacuum and recharge it. The dirt cup is somewhat small and if your pool is really dirty, you will need to be emptying it often.

4. BARACUDA G3 W03000

BARACUDA G3 W03000 will clean pool walls, floors and steps and removed leaves, sand, debris and dirt.

This vacuum has only one moving part, which is the diaphragm. There are no wheels or gears. Some of the parts of the vacuum will tear and wear with time, but they are replaceable and you’ll be able to service the unit yourself.  The components of the vacuum are available separately from the manufacturer. There is a special diagram that lists different parts of the machine. The manufacturer also has a dealer locator feature so that you can easily find pool professionals in your area.

BARACUDA G3 W03000 works with low-speed pumps providing maximum suction and efficiency.

The unit is compatible with a variety of one-speed, two-speed and multi-speed pumps. It comes with a FlowKeeper Valve that automatically adjusts the flow of water to provide maximum suction even with not-so-strong pumps.

Related:  Thoroughly Vacuuming a Pool to Waste: A 12 Steps Guide

BARACUDA G3 W03000 has a wheel deflector that will make cleaning easier around tight corners. The hoses of the vacuum are scuff-resistant. You do need to keep the hoses straight while not using the vacuum to make sure that they maintain their shape.

To assemble the vacuum, you will need to perform two steps: attach the hose, deflector and disc and connect the vacuum to the skimmer or suction line. You will not need any tools or special plumbing equipment during the assembly of this vacuum.


  • Quiet and powerful
  • Works with low-speed pumps
  • Cleans floors and steps
  • Special valve regulates water flow
  • Scuff-resistant hose


  • Does have parts that will need to be replaced over time
  • Does not rotate at the hose

BARACUDA G3 W03000 is a great pool vacuum that works really well and will take care of dirt and debris that automatic cleaners may miss. This vacuum does have parts that will wear out with time, but it is completely self-serviceable and you’ll be able to replace them on your own with just a little bit of work.

5. Dolphin 99996403

Dolphin 99996403 is an easy-to-use robotic pool cleaner. It uses CleverClean technology that allows it to clean all surfaces in the pool, including the floors, the walls and the water line.

There is a top-access filter that is easy to clean. There are two sets of filters in this vacuum. One is a polyester fiber filter that stops fine particles. The other one is a mesh screen for larger leaves and debris. Having two filters means that the vacuum will do a better job picking up all kinds of dirt and debris to keep your pool clean.

The vacuum comes with a floating swivel cord that helps the vacuum to do its job and maintain suction.

The vacuum has built-in software that will clean your pool regardless of its shape, size or surface. The way this vacuum works is similar to how a GPS works in the car: it scans the pool and then figures out an optimal way to clean it efficiently and effectively.


  • Cartridge filter system
  • Cleans surfaces in just 2.5 hours
  • Expands when submerged in water
  • Fully automatic and does the work on its own


  • Support from the manufacturer could be better
  • Cord sometimes tangles

Dolphin 99996403 is a robotic pool cleaner that will do the work so that you don’t have to. You plug it into the outlet and it starts doing its job. It will clean the floors and even go up and down the walls picking up dirt and debris.


There are different kinds of above ground pool vacuum cleaners available on the market, so make sure to choose one that fits your needs. If you have an Intex pool, an Intex vacuum is a great choice. If you are looking to save some time, choose a robotic vacuum. Finally, you can get a handheld vacuum that you can use for manual cleaning of your pool.