When we talk about automatic pool cleaners, the name Hayward is bound to come up. These guys have been in the business of producing innovative pool vacuums for over 80-years. They are basically an institution, synonymous with cutting-edge engineering and the development of the world’s best automatic pool cleaners.
In recent times, robotic pool cleaners have taken over as the most advanced that you can get. Like so many of the top pool vacuum manufacturers, Hayward has not let the suction side pool cleaner fall behind. Instead, they’ve continued to develop, improve, and refine their automatic suction side pool cleaners. While the original concept has been around for a long time, the suction side automatic pool cleaners that Hayward produce today are streaks ahead of their rather archaic ancestors.
A lot of people still prefer suction side over robotic pool cleaners. This is predominantly because of their price. While the Hayward Poolvergnuegen that I’ll be reviewing in this article isn’t exactly cheap, it can compete with high-end robotic pool cleaners that cost considerably more. This is no ordinary automatic pool cleaner and is quite intelligent for a machine that doesn’t have true robotics to control it.
We generally associate suction side automatic pool cleaners with noisy flat disc type cleaner heads that chug slowly around the pool in a random path. They seem to be quite stupid, covering some areas repeatedly, whilst avoiding others altogether. Their intake throats are easily blocked by debris which causes them to stop working entirely until you remove it from the pool and clear the blockage. They are affected by the pool pump pressure and don’t work well (sometimes not at all) when the water flow to the pump is reduced. So as your debris basket fills, the pool cleaner becomes lazier and lazier – eventually coming to a standstill. It’s like these pool cleaners work for a union that will go on strike for absolutely no real reason.
Hayward have addressed all these issues and, in my opinion, they’ve done a mighty fine job. As a starting point, they’ve gone back to the drawing board and redesigned the suction side pool cleaner to make it more efficient, more adaptable, and less hassle for the pool owner. So they’ve thrown out the old suction disc and replaced them with wheels. The Hayward is available with either 2 or 4 wheels. The 4-wheel option costs more, but is way better. These wheels are the same type of thing that you’d find on the most expensive robotic models. The tread is designed so that the Hayward can climb walls and they work great on any pool surface – fiberglass, tile, gunite, or any of the modern poly materials that are used to line pools. These wheels are a major step forward in making the pool cleaner a better and much quieter machine. But they didn’t stop there.
To address the issue of changing suction rates, they’ve re-engineered the internal workings of pool cleaner’s propulsion mechanisms. Inside the body of the Hayward are self-adjusting, flexible turbine veins. These will adjust to the pressure provided by the pump to optimize the pool cleaner’s ability to navigate the pool and suck up large debris. In order to handle the better cleaning capabilities, the Hayward has three, interchangeable throats. This allows it to take up large leaves, pebbles and other objects that would have blocked the old machines and left them useless. This versatility, allows you to adapt your Hayward pool vacuum to your cleaning needs. Sometimes you want to remove fine sand and silt with the greatest efficiency and at other times, it may be a huge amount of leaves. You can maximize it for these changing conditions by changing the throat. It’s a quick and easy process which is highly effective.
The Hayward Poolvergnuegen navigates the pool like few suction side models can. I wouldn’t say that it can compete with robotic pool cleaners in this regard, but it comes quite close. It won’t exactly learn your pool’s dimensions but it has several pre-programmed steering patterns. So it’s able to make an about turn when needed and it won’t be repeating the same pattern repeatedly. It will turn every 8 – 10 feet and avoid obstacles, cleaning the walls, floor and coves. So, in the end, it’s going to clean your pool just about as effectively as a robotic pool cleaner. It’s just going to take a bit longer than the more sophisticated robotic machines. The smaller 2-wheel option comes with 33’ of hose and the 4-wheel model comes with 40’. Both will work fine when using a 0.5 HP pump and upwards.
The Automatic Suction Pool Cleaner from Hayward is a revolutionary piece of engineering and has changed the way I view suction side pool cleaners. Like so many, I’m a big fan of the brand and this is reassuring when you’re buying a product that you expect to work for years. You want to know that you’re going to get the replacement parts that you want and the service you need. So it’s always a good idea to stick with a brand that has a longstanding reputation. All-in-all, I’m very impressed and think it’s worth paying extra for this model, it’s no ordinary suction side automatic pool cleaner.