Robotic vs Manual Pool Cleaning | Is One Better Than The Other?

I don’t know about you, I love my swimming pool, but I find keeping it clean can be a bit of a drag. However, nothing beats that crystal clear water on a hot summers day.

Pool cleaning is essential for the health and safety of pool users and the longevity of the pool itself. There are several methods for cleaning a swimming pool, including manual cleaning, automatic pool cleaning, and professional cleaning services.

This article we will be looking at robotic vs manual pool cleaning . So let’s take a look at some of your choice when it comes to keeping your pool clean.

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Manual pool cleaning 

By manual pool cleaning, I mean the process of cleaning a swimming pool using hand held tools such as a skimmer net, pool brush, and a pool vacuum. Manual pool cleaning is usually done with manual pool cleaners by the pool owner or a pool maintenance professional who manually removes small debris, dirt, and algae from the pool’s surfaces.

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The process of manual pool cleaning typically involves the following steps:

  • Skimming the surface: Using a skimmer net, the operator removes leaves, debris, floating leaves and other floating particles from the pool’s surface.
  • Brushing the pool walls and floors: The operator brushes the pool’s walls and floors to loosen and remove dirt, algae, and other debris. A variety of brushes are available for different surfaces, including concrete, fiberglass, and vinyl.
  • Vacuuming the pool: The operator uses a handheld pool vacuum to remove debris and dirt from the bottom of the pool. The manual vacuum or suction pool cleaners connect to the pool’s filter system and operate by suctioning the dirt and debris from the pool’s floor leaving the pool clean.
  • Pool’s filtration system: The operator cleans or backwashes the pool’s filtration system to remove any dirt or debris that has accumulated in the filter bag of the pool cleaners.
  • Balancing the pool chemicals: The operator tests the pool’s water and adds chemicals to balance the pool’s pH, chlorine levels, and alkalinity.

Manual pool cleaning requires a significant amount of time and effort, and it can be physically demanding, especially for larger pools.

Pros and cons of manual pool cleaning 


Manual pool cleaning also has some benefits, including:


Manual pool cleaning methods are generally less expensive than robotic pool cleaners. Skimmer nets, brushes, and a manual vacuum are relatively inexpensive and readily available, making them a cost-effective option for pool owners on a budget.


Manual pool cleaning is more flexible than robotic cleaning since you can clean an above ground pool at any time without worrying about setting up the robotic cleaner.


Manual pool cleaning requires minimal maintenance compared to robotic pool cleaners. You need only to clean the manual tools and store them correctly.


Manual pool cleaning has some disadvantages, including:


Manual pool cleaning can be time-consuming, especially for larger pools. It requires the pool owner to be present and actively engaged in the cleaning process.

Physical effort 

Manual pool cleaning requires physical effort, which can be tiring and even challenging for some people, especially the elderly or those with physical disabilities.

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Inconsistent cleaning 

Manual pool cleaning may result in inconsistent cleaning if the operator is not experienced or does not have the proper tools. Areas of the pool may be missed or not cleaned thoroughly.

Limited cleaning ability 

Manual pool cleaning tools, such as skimmer nets, brushes, and manual vacuums, can only clean specific areas of the pool floor. They may not be able to reach or clean all areas, like the pool floor, especially hard-to-reach spots.

Requires storage space 

Manual pool cleaning tools require storage space when not in use, which can be a challenge for those with limited storage space.

Chemical use 

Manual pool cleaning may require the use of more chemicals, such as chlorine and algaecides, to maintain the pool’s chemical balance and cleanliness.

Robotic Pool Cleaning 

Robotic pool cleaning is an automatic pool cleaner that uses a method of cleaning a swimming pool using an automated device that is designed to clean the pool’s walls, floors, and steps.

An automatic pool cleaner works independently and is equipped with various features that allow them to navigate the pool and remove larger debris, such as dirt, leaves, and algae.

The robotic pool cleaner or automatic cleaner uses a combination of brushes, suction cleaners, and filtration to clean the pool.

They are typically powered by a motor that drives the device and also powers the brushes and suction pool mechanism. Some robotic cleaners also come with a remote control that allows you to control the device for a better job and direct it to certain areas of the pool that may require extra attention from pool cleaners.

One of the main advantages of using a robotic pool cleaner is that it can save you time and effort in cleaning your pool. The device is designed to work automatically, so you don’t have to spend hours manually cleaning the pool.

Additionally, robotic pool cleaners are often more thorough in cleaning the pool, including hard-to-reach areas such as steps and corners.

The robotic pool cleaner can be a bit expensive compared to other pool cleaning methods, but they can be a worthwhile investment for those who want to save time and effort in maintaining their pool. They are also more environmentally friendly, as they use less water and chemicals compared to manual pool vacuums or manual cleaning methods.

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Pros and Cons of Robotic Pool Cleaning 


Robotic pool cleaning has many advantages, including:


Robotic cleaner is more efficient in cleaning the pool compared to the manual cleaner. These automatic pool cleaners are designed to clean the entire pool surface, including a pool wall, floors, and steps, and can clean the pool in less time than manual cleaning with minimal intervention.


Robotic pool cleaners or automatic pool cleaners are designed to be thorough in their cleaning performance. They are effective pool cleaners. They use advanced filtration systems that can filter even the smallest particles of dirt, debris, and algae from the pool, resulting in a cleaner and healthier pool.


Robotic pool cleaners are energy-efficient and require less water and chemicals than manual cleaning methods, which can save pool owners money in the long run.


Once set up, a robotic cleaner can work on its own, leaving the pool owner with more time to do other things. Robotic pool cleaners also come with a timer, so you can schedule them to automatically clean the pool at specific times.

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Better for the pool

 Robotic pool cleaner is gentle on the pool surface and does not use harsh brushes that can damage the pool’s lining.


Robotic pool cleaner is built to last and can withstand the harsh chemicals and UV rays from the sun. They also come with a warranty, ensuring that pool owners get their money’s worth.



Robotic pool cleaners are more expensive with a higher price tag than manual cleaning methods. They require an initial investment that may be out of reach for some pool owners.


 Robotic pool cleaners require regular maintenance, including cleaning the filters and brushes, and emptying the debris bag. Failure to perform maintenance can result in reduced cleaning performance and even damage to the robotic cleaner.

Electrical safety

 Robotic pool cleaners require electricity to operate, which can be a safety hazard if the electrical cords are not handled properly or if the pool owner is not careful with electrical appliances near the pool.


Overall, manual pool cleaning can be a time-consuming and physically demanding task that requires skill and experience to clean the pool effectively. It may not be the best option for those who have larger pools, physical limitations, or limited storage space for cleaning tools. Also, check out our comparison with robotic and pressure pool cleaners to see what best suits your needs.

While, robotic pool cleaning is a more efficient, effective, and convenient way to clean a swimming pool than manual cleaning methods. They may be more expensive than manual cleaning methods, the time and effort saved, and the improved cleaning results make them a worthwhile investment for pool owners.

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