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in floor pool cleaning systems

Are In-Floor Pool Cleaning Systems Worth It Or Not?

Having a pool on your property is one of the great pleasures in life. Your kids can play in the pool, and what better place to sit back and relax with a book or a cold beverage? You also get to host epic pool parties and sip some mojito by the poolside on a hot summer day.

However, there’s one thing you’ll never enjoy doing in your pool – cleaning it! In-floor pool cleaning systems can make cleaning your pool feel much more effortless. The system can be costly, though, so you’re probably wondering, are these systems even worth it? We’re about to find out.

What Are In-Floor Pool Cleaning Systems?

In-floor pool cleaning systems are made up of pop-up cleaners that literally pop up out from the floor of the pool, clean the water, and retreat to the floor when they are done. They are added to the pool during its construction. Most are laid on the floor, while others are attached to the steps and benches.

A medium size pool is typically outfitted with about 15 pop-up cleaners. Bigger pools have more strategically scattered around the floor and other areas as needed. However, the pop-ups are laid out in a way, so they don’t get in the way when you are swimming or playing. If you’re worried about knocking your big toe against a pop-up cleaner in your pool, It’s highly unlikely because of the level of cleaners.

How Do In-Floor Cleaning Systems Work?

The in-floor cleaning systems are installed on the pool floor during construction. We mentioned the pop-up cleaners. Another element of the system is the nozzles connected to the filtering system’s return line.

When you turn on the cleaning system, the pop-up cleaners or heads will rise to the surface and remain open for half a minute. Each has sprays of pressurized filtered water to push dirt and debris to the pool’s main drain. The booster pump helps the cleaners to produce an intense water swirl, which is quite spectacular to watch until you get used to it.

The drain takes over and sucks the dirt and debris. You can remove the dirt and debris later on. The swimming pool will be clean and ready to use right after. The pop-up heads usually work in different groups progressively. Every group hands over to the other in every section of the pool. They work hand in hand to push the debris to the drain.

The cleaners or heads may work in a straight line, moving the debris from one end to the other with the drain, or it could take a curve depending on the shape of your pool and the systems used. The heads also rotate. You can set the speed at which these cleaners rotate and spray water, but cleaning the whole pool should take at least 30 seconds. You can also spend a minute cleaning if the pool is messier than usual, say after a storm blows dirt to the bottom of the pool.

The Cost Of Installing An In-Floor Cleaning System

Good things don’t come cheap! Imagine having to drain out water just because you realized there’s a lot of debris and dirt in it. The water bills would be higher. One year later, you’ll realize the pool didn’t only take more water but also sucked your pockets dry. An in-floor cleaning system saves you stress, and even though it might sound costly, it’s a long-term investment that will save you money down the line.

The in-floor cleaning systems are efficient and durable. Once installed, it will serve generations. Installation of the system can cost about $3,000 upward. Installing it in a bigger pool costs more than $5,000. However, it’s not the cost that should worry you, but the quality of the equipment. The best equipment doesn’t have to be the most expensive, but one that meets your pool requirements.

The price of installing the cleaning system depends on various factors like the brand and manufacturer. Your contractor of choice also plays a critical role in helping you determine the most suitable equipment for the system. The cleaning system is installed during pool construction, which means a lot of money will be going into the construction regardless. If your contractor gets it wrong, your pool will have issues with algae. Hiring a certified and experienced professional pool builder is also essential.

Pros & Cons of An In-Floor Pool Cleaner

Despite being one of the best solutions to clean your swimming pool, the in-floor pool cleaner has disadvantages, even though they don’t outweigh the advantages. This section will mention the benefits and drawbacks of the in-floor pool cleaner.


  • It removes debris and dirt from the water and leaves your pool clean. A cleaner pool means safer swimming with no worries.
  • It improves water circulation in your pool, which means better heat distribution and make s your pool more comfortable.
  • It’s compatible with all pool types and designs. As long as the pool has a floor, it can be integrated with it.
  • It uses less electricity than other pool cleaning methods, which translates to energy saving, while it is a better alternative to manual cleaning methods that are time-consuming or costly.
  • It’s quieter than a robotic cleaner and won’t bother the neighbors with unnecessary noise.
  • There are many color options, and you can match them with your pool floor color or try with a blending color of choice, how you like!
  • They prevent staining on the floor of your pool. When dirt sits for longer on the floor, it turns to stain.


  • The system is expensive to install.
  • Doesn’t remove dirt and debris from the surface.
  • Difficult to install in an existing pool. It can only be installed during the construction of the pool.
  • They are costly to improve, and you cannot repair and fix any problems with the system.
  • The system is not enough solution to cleaning your pool. You’ll need to use other cleaning methods like vacuum cleaning to keep the water clean.

A dirty pool requires cleaning. In-floor pool cleaning systems can help avoid such messes.

Other Considerations of an In-Floor Pool Cleaning System

While the in-floor pool cleaning system is a good alternative, there are other options you might want to consider. For instance, if you found out about this system later when your pool was already constructed, you won’t be able to use it unless you decide to reconstruct your whole pool, which will be too costly. What are the other methods to consider?

Manual Brushing

Manual brushing is suitable for shallow pools, above-ground pools, and spas. This inexpensive option involves brushes and skimming nets attached to a telescoping pole, allowing you to clean your pool manually.

Handheld Pool Vacuum

The in-floor pool cleaner cannot work alone, and you might need the pool vacuum to clean what was left on the surface. A handheld pool vacuum is affordable and straightforward to use. You only have to hold the suction head with bristles and move inside the pool while holding it. The most advanced pool vacuum cleaner goes for $300 or less.

Robotic Pool Cleaner

The robotic pool cleaner is an automatic cleaner that would be best for your pool if you don’t have the in-floor pool cleaning system installed. The robot is considered one of the most efficient pool cleaners. They come with a built-in filter and motor, which helps them grab the dirt from the pool’s surface.


The in-floor pool cleaning system is definitely worth it if you can afford it. It cleans the pool in less than a minute and keeps your pool fresh with minimal effort. It would take you about an hour to do the same manually. However, if you need assistance cleaning your pool or repairing your cleaning system in Atlanta, Georgia, The Pool Butler is here to help. Our professionals are experienced and make sure the job gets done right the first time. Your satisfaction is our motivation. Contact us to learn more about all of our cleaning and repair options!

The Pool Butler