History of Automatic Pool Cleaners Explained

The Future of Pool Cleaning is Now

The history of automatic pool cleaners explained in this very comprehensive and well-researched article will change your perspective of the integral device that transformed pool cleaning forever.

“The future of pool cleaning is now” – at the very least that’s most experts said but indeed, this is a true statement grounded on facts and not just merely assumptions. In fact, this has already been true for most of the decade.

We now live in an era of pool cleaning wherein the existence manual labor and man power in the history of pool cleaning is as good as obsolete. Really, do people still care to clean pools themselves these days?



Although some may still practice the ways of the old laden days, the shift has already been made by most of the general consumers. Why would one not make the shift when there exists an efficient and smart alternative just around the corner?

The history of automatic pool cleaners explained through the very existence of early swimming pool cleaners that have brought the future to us. We simply don’t have to wait for the future anymore as it is already here.

Way back in the olden days…

automatic pool cleaners explained
Andrew L. Pansini, inventor of the automatic pool cleaner

We try to take an in depth look at the history of automatic pool cleaners and how it came to be, it is a story mired with different intricacies. In Its early existence, automatic pool cleaning was simply just a pipe dream. Pool Cleaning back then was more of a concept that was very inefficient and required a body of work.

Beginning with the existence of the very first pools over 5000 years ago, you can only imagine how much of a nightmare it was to clean one of them back in the day. Imagine having to scrape every nook and cranny and having to drain the water just in order to be able to clean a pool.

1800’s

As mentioned earlier, the concept was very inefficient at the time. Advances were only truly made in the 1800s as the world plunged into the Industrial Era.

Andrew Parsini automatic pool cleaners
Andrew Parsini filed a patent for automatic swimming pool cleaners on 1961.

As the Industrial Era brought along many different innovations unbeknownst to most, the history of Automatic Pool Cleaning also took stride towards its bright future. The existence of Cisterns along with the development of the modern water filters in the era has helped pave way for the invention of the Robotic Pool Cleaners that we now know.

But why Cisterns? This is due to the emergence of the apparatus known as the Cistern Cleaner which is essentially the fundamental basis of how Automatic Pool Cleaners work. Before the term Automatic Pool Cleaner took notice, these machines were once just simply known as Cistern Cleaners.

1900’s

As the era progressed into the 1900s, different patents would then be filed high and low regarding Swimming Pool Cleaners as many advances would gradually be made over the years.

1937

Before Automatic Pool Cleaners came to be in its modern embodiment, it was first invented by Roy B. Everson of Chicago in the year 1937. It then underwent many different improvements in its mechanisms until it came to how it is today.

The original patent of Swimming Pool Cleaner filed on March 20, 1957 by Roy B. Everson, Chicago, Ill can be viewed here. 

1957

automatic swimming pool cleaner patent
Automatic swimming pool cleaner original patent drawing by Andrew Pansini, May 1, 1962

After all, filing for patents has been a wise decision as history has narrated it as it allow you to protect one’s own intellectual property while making money off it at the same time. However, the first truly Automatic Swimming Pool Cleaner was created by Andrew L. Pansini in 1957.

Being a Polio survivor and suffering from the limitations caused by the disease, Mr. Pansini found it very difficult and inconvenient to clean the pool he made for his family thus over time, he found a solution.

That solution then came to be the very first true Automatic Swimming Pool Cleaner. An innovation which meant as a very huge victory for both Mr. Pansini and the History of Automatic Pool Cleaners. The original patent of his invention can be viewed here.  After Mr. Pansini’s invention, many more would follow suit as Automatic Pool Cleaners explained and began to diversify into three distinct types.

Mr. Pansini’s work and story is memorialized in this very inspiring book. I love reading and getting inspired by Mr. Parsini’s success story that realizes the American values of hard work, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.

The Diversity of Automatic Pool Cleaners Explained

As the world moved into the era of the 20th Century, the focus on Automatic Pool Cleaners has begun to shift. After discovering different innovations & methods to achieve the same end, Automatic Pool Cleaning began to diversify into three distinct types namely:

1. Suction Side

Original patent of Swimming Pool Cleaner Roy B. Everson
Original patent of Swimming Pool Cleaner filed on March 20, 1957 by Roy B. Everson, Chicago, Ill.

In this type, a drain or skimmer is used to suck water out of the pool and pump it into a filter in order to remove the underlying debris. After removing the debris thus then, the water is returned to the pool by way of its return valves or outlets.

These type of cleaners utilize a hose (usually 1.5-inch-long) that is attached to a hole in the skimmer basket, or into a SkimVac attachment which then serves as the dedicated vacuum line for the pool.

The sucking action is what drives the Cleaner to navigate into the different segments of the pool floor and walls removing dirt & debris lying in its wake in the process. This device however, moves randomly. This type of cleaner has known to be the most widely used and least expensive among the three types.

2. Pressure Side

This type of Automatic Pool Cleaners explained how the device utilizes a secondary pump which is used as a “Booster Pump”. This pump is specifically utilized to pressurize the water that flows into the device.

As the water is then pushed into a choked orifice within the system, the Venturi Effect is then hereby utilized. The pressure which is produced results in water turbulence.

This causes the dirt & debris lodged in the pool floor and walls to be distributed while causing some to refloat in the surface effectively putting them in position to be sucked by the main filter thru its inlets.

Just like the suction side type, this device also traverses the pool in a random manner.  Although very effective, the main drawback of the device is its requirement of a booster pump.

The presence of a booster pump alone simply jacks up the electricity consumption of the device which then results in higher pool mechanics expenses. Among the three types, this one is known to consume electricity the most in order to operate. This is how a Polaris Pressure Side Pool Cleaner works.

3. Electric Robot

Cordless pool cleaning robot
Cordless pool cleaning robot patent by Efraim Garti filed on Oct 14, 2004.

In this type of Automatic Pool Cleaner, the term “Robotic” now finally comes into play and not just plain “Automatic”.

It is now what we commonly call the robotic pool cleaner. The device is equipped with an internal micro-chip along with a native operating software in some which dictates when the machine turns on and off. This chip serves as the device’s central nerve mind & internal compass, dictating the devices direction of movement & when it has to change directions.

If the device is about to reach a wall or the water surface after climbing the pool walls, the chip works in unison with its internal sensors in order to illicit the necessary response just as a human individual would do with his/her senses.

It is equipped firstly, with sensors located in the bump bar which drives the device to reverse its direction when it comes into contact with objects such as walls. Secondly, it has an internal mercury switch which informs the chip if either the device is horizontally, or vertically oriented at the moment.

This allows the device to be able to change direction from ascending to descending the wall at set intervals while taking the height of the pool into factor.

It has two internal motors:

a. responsible in sucking water into a self-contained filter bag and then return the filtered water into the pool at very high speeds

b. a drive motor that is connected into tracks via a metal shaft that can be likened to that of tractors along with brushes that resembles that of a paint-roller.

These brushes are positioned in the front and rear sides of the device and helps in removing contaminants and different particles from the pool and guide them into the internal filter bag.

The Key Secrets of Automatic Pool Cleaners Explained

The key into how this device can move like a spider that can traverse walls & move forward and backward relies on three essential elements namely:

1. Traction & Motion which is attributed to the drive motor and its tracks wherein some of the devices may even utilize brushes with unique material components that possess adherent qualities hereby helping the device cling onto walls, floors & steps.

2. Buoyancy produced by the filling large areas within device with air.

3. Resultant Force caused by high pressure of water being emanated at the top of the device pushing it against the pool floor and walls preventing it from keeling or turning over thus, keeping the device in play.

history of automatic pool cleaners

Looking forward

Among the three different devices, the Electric Robot is known to be the most sophisticated being equipped with state-of-the-art sensors along with a micro-chip that works along in conjunction very well.

It’s only drawback is its runaway retail price range that can scare some customers on a budget right away. However, this is a device born out of countless decades of novelty and innovation culminating into a singular & titular manifestation of efficiency in time, money, cleaning ability & maintenance.

The history of automatic pool cleaners explained the rapid growth and importance of robotic pool cleaners. Automatic swimming pool cleaner is will always be something worth a look.

Without a doubt, the history of automatic pool cleaners explained by finally reaching the proverbial promised land with a device that shouts out from the outset “Finally, The Future of Pool Cleaning is NOW!” as the dawn enters into the 21st Century.

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