How Does a Suction Side Pool Cleaner Work?

Now, let’s take a look at how a suction side pool cleaner works. Once it hooks up to the skimmer or suction line, it gets all the power it needs to do the work it does of keeping the swimming pool floor clean. This is because the water, which is already being sucked through the existing filtration system, helps the suction side pool cleaner move around the swimming pool surface. There are some models that can climb up walls, there are some with wheels and even models that come with rubber disks that make them lay flat against the pool floor.

Check out our ultimate pool cleaner buying guide to know more.

Installing a Suction Side Pool Cleaner

In order to better understand how a suction side pool cleaner works, it is a good idea to take a look at how you have to install it. While setting it up consists of a series of steps, once you get used to it, installing a suction side pool cleaner becomes really easy.

  1. Turn off the pump;
  2. Vacuum the pool and clean the filter and pump basket;
  3. Turn on the pump again for a whole to clear up the lines and then turn it off again;
  4. Shut off the main drain line for your swimming pool;
  5. Point the return lines down;
  6. Install the fitting for the wall to the return line;
  7. Attach the hose to the side where you will attach the pool cleaner;
  8. Put the hose underwater and let it fill up;
  9. Attach the leader hose to the pool cleaner; and
  10. Let the cleaner go down to the floor and then turn on the pool pump.

Once you turn on the pump, the pool cleaner gets to work on its own.

parts of a Suction Side Pool Cleaner

The real beauty of suction side pool cleaners is the fact that they do not cost a lot of money and they are easy to maintain. Now that you know how to install a suction side pool cleaner, looking at the different parts and how they work will help you better understand how a suction side pool cleaner works. While suction side pool cleaners come in various shapes and sizes, there are some parts which remain the same throughout.


The inlet is where the suction from the pump allows the water from the pool to come into the pool cleaner.

The Hose

The hose is something you already connect to the existing main pump in your swimming pool. It gets the water sucked into the pool cleaner to circulate through the pool again.


Some suction side pool cleaners have wheels which allow them to traverse the swimming pool floor. It makes it possible for the cleaner to move around easily and effectively clean the pool.


Some models have brushes which come into contact with the surface of the pool to remove even the finest of debris from the swimming pool surface.

In-Line Canisters

Some suction side pool cleaners have in-line canisters which allow them to trap the larger debris from the pool before it fills up the filter canister.

Filter Canister

The filter canister is where all of the debris collected from the swimming pool accumulates and you can clean it up as needed.

Final Takeaway

Knowing the different parts can really help you understand how a suction side pool cleaner works. It is the most popular kind of automatic pool cleaner because it is easy to maintain, install and operate. All you have to do is link it to the existing system and it does all the work on its own.

​Take a look at our articles on how to clean your pool after winter ​for detailed information and our review on some of the top above ground pool covers.

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