Do Robotic Pool Cleaners Pick Up Algae? (explained)

pool cleaner

Robotic pool cleaners are the latest addition among the various pool equipment that clean algae. Unlike traditional cleaners, automatic pool cleaners function as autonomous units.

The robotic cleaners generally perform two main functions; one is to navigate, and the other is to clean the pool surface. 

The motherboard in the robot navigates the machine using several sensors, which requires minimum human assistance.

All the algae accumulates into a bag after the robot has finished cleaning. You take out the algae and dispose of them. 

What can robotic cleaners do other than cleaning?

After your robotic pool cleaner has finished cleaning, you can take it out of the pool. However, if you want to keep it there, you can also use it as a water filtration system.

Best ways to vacuum algae out of your pool

You can do the work manually what a robotic pool cleaner does. 

For that, first, you need to set up a waste line and vacuum the pool. The process will take algae and other debris out of the pool.

During the process, you have to take care of the waterline; the water level shouldn’t get too low. If the water level goes more than fifteen centimeters below the tile, stop and turn the system off.

Refill the pool and continue running the system. You may need to repeat the process until the whole pool is algae-free. 

Can I vacuum the pool when the filter valve is in the backwash position?

During the vacuuming process of the pool, you need to avoid inevitable mistakes. You need to avoid putting the filter valve in the backwash while vacuuming. If you do that, the dirt will end up getting under the sandbed. The pool will get clean until the valve turns back to the filter position. 

Once the setting turns back to filter position, all the cleaned-up dirt and debris will blowback to the pool, putting you back to square one. 

How to avoid getting the dirt blowback to the pool?

The backwash setting in the system can lead to blowing back all the cleaned algae again into the pool. To avoid such incidents from happening, keep the sand filter valve in the ‘filter’ position.

The algae and other debris will accumulate on top of the sand bed after passing through the pump, which will stop the dirt from going back to the pool. 

What are some mistakes to avoid while vacuuming the pool?

Vacuuming your pool is a relatively easy process; however, the whole effort may go to waste if you make these mistakes.

  • Vacuuming debris of large size without a leaf trap is what you should avoid. A leaf trap consists of a bag that sits between the end of the vacuum hose and the skimmer. It helps to keep leaves from jamming your skimmer line. Unless you’re vacuuming small things that can’t clog the line, it will work perfectly. Otherwise, you need to call for professional service once your skimmer line is jammed. 
  • If you wish to use a mechanical pool cleaning robot to save some manual effort, try to use it with some restrictions. A filthy pool with debris of different sizes is not suitable for cleaning with a pool cleaning robot. The chances are that the robot will not work as its dirtbag will get clogged. These machines are suitable for cleaning tiny algae; or keeping a clean pool cleaner. A very dirty pool will need vacuuming. 
  • Vacuuming or using a robot cleaner will clean up your pool nicely, but using a brush is also essential. Sometimes, dirt and other debris, such as algae and mold, can accumulate on the sidewalls of the pool. Using a brush to rub them off the walls is essential to keep the pool clean year-round. 

How often should you use a robotic pool cleaner?

The number of times you should use a pool cleaning robot will depend on your pool usage. If you wish to swim in it daily, you should clean the pool using the robotic cleaner once each day. 

If you use your pool for occasional activities, you may use the robotic cleaner once a week or in two weeks. However, using a pool cover will save you from your pool accumulating dirt quickly; so, you may clean the pool once a month. 

Should you keep your cleaning robot in the pool all the time?

No pool cleaning equipment should stay in the water 24/7. Leaving the cleaning robot all the time in water may damage the equipment. Sometimes, pool water may contain traces of corrosive chemicals; in most cases, that is chlorine and shock. That may react with the components of the equipment and discolor it; it may even create corrosive damage. 

How do long pool cleaning robots last?

The lifetime of your robotic pool cleaner will depend on how you use it. If the machine is not faulty from the inside, regular or moderate use will make it last at least three to five years. This is when you use the cleaner twice or thrice a week. 

If you take care of and maintain the robot correctly, it may last you an additional two years, pushing the lifetime to seven years. The maintenance may include replacing one or several parts of the machine. 

Can you run the pool pump 24hrs?

While experts recommend that the water must go through a filtration process every 24 hrs, you might not need to run the pump for 24 hrs. Instead, if you’re using the pool continuously, you may run the pump for eight hours to keep the water clear and keep the chemical balance.

When should I run my robotic pool cleaner?

You can run your pool cleaning robot any time of the day you want. However, running the equipment to do its job can get tricky, especially when the pool is in use. So, many people resort to running the cleaning equipment at night.

At that time, the water gets colder, and still, with that, you may save some money from running the cleaner at night.

Some electrical companies charge less per unit during the non-peak hours, which is the nighttime, and that makes running the robotic cleaner at night more efficient. 

Do pool cleaning robots pick up leaves?

Although robotic pool cleaners are generally suitable for cleaning a moderately clean pool with fine debris, many people use different tools to gather large debris and leaves.

However, some advanced pool cleaning robots come with integrated systems that can have separate settings for picking up leaves, dirt, and algae. 

Time for a robot to clean a pool

Many factors can contribute to the time required to clean a pool. However, it mainly depends on how good the cleaner is and the size of the pool.

There are many robotic cleaners available in the market equipped with various tools and working capacities. An advanced robot can clean in much less time than an older or a basic one. 

Similarly, pool size can make a difference in time. If your pool is small and well-maintained, it will take around 20 minutes. On the other hand, a small dirty pool or a large well-maintained pool will take about 45minutes to an hour to clean. 

What to look for while choosing a pool cleaner robot?

As there are many options available with plenty of features, it can be difficult to choose a cleaner that works best for you. 

These are the things you should look for in a robotic pool cleaner.

  • Rather than buying generic pool cleaners, choose one that has an advanced A.I. controlling the equipment. A high-functioning A.I. will take information and learn about the pool, which will help to clean it thoroughly. Some models also have an option for remote control and are also operable by smartphones. That will contribute to less energy and chemical use. 
  • Pools have different surface materials. That means they will have different traction coefficients. Tiled pools become slippery, so it is better for your cleaning robot to have bigger rollers and caterpillar tracks. A better grip and four-wheel drive will also ensure a better cleaning in corners. 
  • Generic cleaning bots remove algae, dirt and clean the water to a reasonable extent. On the other hand, advanced, high-end models do a much more satisfactory job when keeping the algae at bay and the water crystal-clean. However, they use up more power to do so. 
  • The reason many people prefer vacuuming instead of using a robot is the capacity. Cleaning robots come with a smaller dirtbag, which doesn’t hold much dirt and algae. A bigger bag will also cause the robot to slow down; it will become heavier and hence, won’t work efficiently. A moderate-sized bag will have the best of both sides. 


Robotic pool cleaners can be very effective at pool cleaning.

Its small size and little power usage make it a favorite among pool owners.

However, if your pool is large enough and in constant use, you may consider vacuuming to save time and costs.