1. DUNN RITE Watervolly Portable Pool Volleyball Set V400 – A great value portable set!
★ Best value portable set ★
Dunn Rite has been manufacturing pool products since 1988 and were the first to create a commercial grade pool basketball hoop which we have reviewed. The Watervolly Set continues their line of sturdy, long-lasting pool products. This regulation-size water volleyball set is designed for residential and equally suitable for more commercial use.
Poles: It includes two sturdy 48″ x 1.90″ aluminium posts. (NOTE: a stainless steel set is also available)
Bases: These are large! Made of white molded plastic and are easy to put into place when empty and weigh 110 lbs each when filled with water holding the poles firmly in place.
The set comes with a high-quality volleyball for real (pool) court action.
The heavy-duty netcan be adjusted in width to fit your pool. It will cover a maximum of 24 feet as that is the width of the net. Should you need more than that there are a few inches of rope used to tie the net to the poles, so you have a little more room there or could even add some more rope.
However, the longer you go the more likely it is for the net to sag.
The volleyball is regulation size and has a nice soft feel to it, too! Ready to Play?
#2 DUNN RITE Pro Volly Retrofit volleyball kit – A solid choice for installation use.
This retrofit kit with powder-coated aluminum poles comes in two sizes and quality levels. It installs in your existing 1.5″ PVC pole insets or 1.90″ ladder anchors.
It’s a great set, too, coming in at under $125. For that, you get an extensive 24 foot custom-adjustable net for a real court volleyball setup.
The Dunnrite Pro Volly set offers a great net that fits nearly any pool – just stretch to the right size for yours and fasten as needed. Customer support is available, too, if you need help.
While the water ball isn’t as good as more expensive options (it’s a bit more plain), it’s a great set overall and one of the best if you don’t need surface anchors. This gives you that real volleyball net experience without the worry of tipping them over.
Don’t miss out! Start enjoying real pool sports fun at your leisure just like all the other happy buyers.
First Team specializes in sports equipment for commercial places including water parks. You can rest assured that everything is truly competition grade. It’s also American-made!
There’s no way around it, this kind of superior quality comes with a serious price tag.
With it you’ll get:
3 1/2″ diameter aluminum posts and a powder coat finish – These are solid and the powder coat finish will withstand hot sun and pool water for years to come.
Hinged ground sockets for easy installation and removal when opening or closing the pool. When the posts are removed, the hinged lid covers the sleeve and provides a nice finished look.
Customized Competition grade volleyball net for lasting quality. First Team provides the net in the right length for your pool.
Wormgear net tensioning crank – There is no other pool volleyball net that allows you to tighten the net like that. No more sagging, drooping volleyball nets, the Stellar Aqua will remain bowstring tight
Lifetime Limited Warranty
At close to $2,000 it’s not a “budget” net set by any means – however, if you’re wanting true professional-level quality that you’ll get years of amazing fun from, it’s you first choice.
Pool volleyball doesn’t come with any official rules and it’s best to agree on guidelines before start. How detailed these are will depend on age and skills of participants. Generally, the more competitive and skilled the players are, the more they will want to have a set of rules to adhere to.
A pool cover pump is an essential part of your winterizing kit. Opening a pool for the season can become impossible if the water that accumulates over time on a tarp and solid pool covers on above and in-ground pools isn’t removed.
★ The 5 best pool cover pumps ★
Top picks at a glance
★ Top pick ★Little Giant APCP-1700
Removable intake screen for easy cleaning and maintenance
Integrated float switch for reliable automatic operation
Built in handle. 25' power cord. Activates in 2" water
Each and every pool cover pump has different strengths. The ones shown above, are those that sell really well.
Not only do they sell really well, but they have also maintained excellent buyer reviews, on a consistent and steady basis. You’ll find more information on each, or you can click through to the full review.
Detailed pool cover pump reviews
1. Little Giant APCP-1700
The company Little Giant specializes in pumps and has a range of very good swimming pool cover pumps. In fact, three of these made it into our top 5.
The APCP-1700 is an automated pool cover pump that has proven to be a very reliable, valuable piece of winterizing kit. It has received even higher average customer ratings on Amazon than the WACP250 (close second in our reviews) and offers high quality at this price.
Technical Data and Specifications
Max Flow Rate 1700 GPH
A maximum flow rate of 1700 GPH is possible with a 1” discharge hose but the standard diameter is ¾” resulting in a lower output.
Automatic On: 2” OFF: .50″-1.50″
The minimum water level for the pump to kick in is 2″ and down to .50″-1.50″ to switch off. This removes enough water to safely remove a pool cover especially considering that the pump is quite heavy and pushes the cover down to form a valley.
Sideways discharge Hose ¾”
This means you can use your standard garden hose which most people already own. No need for extra adapter fittings. Sideways outlet reduces the risk of kinks in the hose.
The pump is sealed to work properly when fully submerged.
Weight of Pump: 12 lb
This is heavy but still easy to carry and move about thanks to the built-in handle. The weight helps to push a flexible cover down to sit at the deepest point for pumping.
High ratings are earned because of the pump’s high flow rate, ease of handling and reliability. It’s often used successfully in freeze/ thaw regions, even though it is not recommended to leave the pump out in freezing temperatures.
Even so, it usually comes back to life after freezing up.
The pump comes with a 3 year warranty but has proven to be very robust and the float switch works well to prevent the pump from burning through when the water level has decreased.
The APCP 1700 is best for:
Medium and large above-ground tarp covers
In-ground tarp and automated solid/ mesh covers.
Not suitable for:
Small tarp pool covers (due to its weight)
Performance might be overkill
My honest opinion? It’s a definite best buy pool cover pump!
An automated, set and forget pool cover pump that can remove water quickly and is certainly well suited for larger pool covers. It’s reliable, durable, and spare parts are readily available.
A 3 year limited warranty adds extra peace of mind – and I really like that.
Wayne Inc is based in Ohio where it manufactures and assembles its own pumps. High efficiency, output and reliability as well as the fact that it’s a set and forget pump thanks to its built in anti-freeze protection made this automatic cover pump THE BEST SELLER for cover pumps on Amazon.
Specifications and Technical Data:
Max Flow rate: 3000 GPH
With a maximum flow rate is 3000 gallons per hour using 3000 GPH with a 1-1/4″ drain hose this pump easily leads the field and allows fast removal of water even in heavy rains or when a lot of water has already accumulated.
Achieving that kind of output with ¼ HP pump stands for high efficiency.
Automatic ON / OFF
The WAPC250 automatically switches on when the water level reaches a little above 2” (2 1/2” to be precise) and turn off by itself when the level drops below 3/4”, not quite as low as the Little Giant ACPC 1700
A lot of people buy it after their old pump has given up – in many cases an old (now discontinued) Rule 1800 or a cheaper cover pump.
People are happy with the sturdy construction and amount of water it can transfer. It’s easy to use and moved about thanks to the pull to shore cable.
This is especially true for solid + mesh covers. Pool owners also like that it’s amazingly quiet considering its power.
The pump comes with a 3 year limited warranty. Customer service is pretty good and helpful too. The strainer at the bottom prevents clogging even when there are lots of leaves.
However, the most common issue is frequent on and off switching when the vent hole is clogged up thereby preventing priming of the pump. This is usually caused by a clogged up vent hole and can be easily rectified.
The WAPC250 is best for:
Large above ground pools and automatic solid and mesh covers
In-ground pools thanks to its performance, reliability, and more
…and not suitable for:
Smaller tarp pool covers: due to its weight and the flow rate may be overkill
Small areas and amounts of water.
It’s a great automatic pool cover pump with one of the highest flow rates money can buy!
It’s also a snap to use once it’s set up, too. An automated, set and forget pool cover pump that gets rid of water build-up fast. Excellent for larger pool covers and heavy rain or snowfall.
You get a fantastic 3 year limited warranty for extra peace of mind.
This is the second Little Giant automatic pool cover pump making it into the top 5. You will also find this under item number 505600 on the internet. This has been on the market for more than 15 years and still going strong.
The Little Giant doesn’t reach the pump capacity of the APCP 1700 or the WACP250 I covered earlier, but it’s by no means short on performance!
Thanks to its much lower weight it’s great for smaller pool covers as well as a utility pump to empty hot tubs and spas.
Specifications and Technical Data
Max Flow rate: 1200 GPH
This was one of the strongest cover pumps before the arrival of the APCP-1700 and WACP250. 1200GPH is only reached with a 1” hose.
Smaller hose diameters will reduce the flow rate but normal circumstances like a ¾” hose and overcoming heights of 1’ to 3’ will still deliver flow rates capable of dealing with heavy rainfalls.
Automatic Mode ON and OFF
For automatic operation, the pump is plugged into a piggyback receptacle, which then plugs into the power outlet. Switches ON at 2 ½” and OFF under 1″
For manual operation, plug the pump plug directly into a properly grounded outlet. Manual means the pump runs continuously until the plug is pulled.
Needs supervision to avoid the pump running dry and getting damaged.
Weight of unit: 2.64lb
A light-weight coupled with a large footprint makes this a stable pump for smaller tarp pool covers.
This pump is often purchased by repeat customers who had this for several years and are happy with how durable and effective the 5-APCP is.
So much so they are happy to buy a replacement when it does wear out eventually after several years of usage.
As mentioned above, reliability and durability is the biggest strength of this automatic pump.
My opinion? It’s a great choice thanks to its proven design that delivers lasting midrange flow rates. Perfect for medium and smaller sized pool covers.
(The choice of manual and automatic mode make it popular for versatile maintenance and utility pump use too.)
If you don’t need an automatic pool cover pump the PCP 550 might be just the ticket. It’s not overly fast but it does the job in time without clogging. It’ll definitely remove water a lot faster compared to just siphoning it off.
Specifications and Technical Data:
Max Flow rate: 550 GPH
As said above, this flow rate was measured with a 1” hose. In reality, there will be friction loss with the recommended ¾” standard sized garden hose.
It will remove water fairly fast; much, much faster compared to siphoning it off.
Manual means that it is not an automatic pump but needs to be manually plugged in or off to operate. It does require power for the pump.
You can also switch the pump on to get going and then switch off and let the water be siphoned off without using electricity, just takes longer.
¾” garden hose
Manual means that it is not an automatic pump but needs to be manually plugged in or off to operate. It does require power for the pump.
You can also switch the pump on to get going and then switch off and let the water be siphoned off without using electricity. It just takes longer.
Weight: 3.45 lbs
Small and easy to handle. No muss, no fuss operation too.
Buyers keep being impressed by the high quality at this price (under $70). High quality means the pump is very reliable, the housing is sturdy and durable and it doesn’t get clogged up thanks to a cone shaped cage at the intake.
The pump comes with a 1 year limited warranty.
PCP 550 is best for
Above ground pools and spas.
…and not for
Large pool covers and unsupervised operations
For us, it’s a great budget by for manual pool cover pumps with a decent flow rate. It’s really affordable, too, as I’ve seen it selling for less than $50.
Simple, cheap, and reliable – what more can you ask for?
There are a few lower-priced manual pool cover pumps available, but most of these turn out to be just slightly better than a siphon. The Superior pump, on the other hand, stands out for its impressive power, workmanship, and reliability.
Strictly speaking, it’s not just a pool cover pump but a utility pump suitable to remove and transfer water elsewhere in and around the house.
Specifications and Technical Data
¼ HP, Max Flow rate: 1800 GPH
This is with a large 1 ¼” hose. A standard ¾” hose will reduce the capacity.
The pump plugs directly into a properly grounded outlet. Please be aware of the relatively short length of the cord. Manual means the pump runs continuously until the plug is pulled.
Needs supervision to avoid the pump burn when running dry.
Lowest remaining water level: ⅛”
Works with water down to 1/8″ but needs to be closely watched around that level to make sure the pump doesn’t draw air.
Cord length 10’
Quite short compared to other pumps that come with a 25’ cord.
Buyers have repeatedly commented on the high quality (Stainless Steel impellors) and high volume pump for its size.
It does a very good job on pool covers as it pumps down to a very low level compared to other pool cover pumps.
However, the center of gravity is quite high in the pump. Coupled with a small footprint this makes for slight instability and the pump can tip over fairly easily and risks of running dry and burning the pump.
So be prepared to DIY a solution if you have a flexible pool cover.
The Superior Pump 91250 is best for:
Various applications around the house
…and not for
Large areas and volumes of water
Frozen/freezing temperature areas
Verdict for Superior Pump 91250 Good buy.
High-quality material and sealing ensure longevity. Although it’s not the most powerful compared to automated pumps it does deliver a decent flow rate to remove water from a tarp pool cover within a reasonable few hours.
It’s a smart choice if you’re looking for a nice all-around utility pump rather than a dedicated pool cover pump.
The basics of pool cover water pumps – why do I need one?
Removing water from the cover is also necessary to prevent rips and tears in the pool cover and damage from freezing or when removing the pool cover.
If you live in an area with freezing temperatures you’ll have the added problem of ice threatening to damage the cover and add big extra costs to replace or repair a damaged cover.
That’s true for solid as well as tarp and mesh pool covers.
A water pump for a pool cover is placed on top of the cover of above or in-ground pools or hot tubs. When the water reaches a certain level the water is pumped away and discharged via a hose.
As a result, stress and weight on the cover get relieved and removal becomes a lot easier.
Do I really need a pool cover pump?
You do have to remove water and debris from the cover before opening the pool. Otherwise, you’ll risk damaging the pool cover. There is a slow, no-cost solution.
You can just take a garden hose, put one end into the standing water on the pool cover, suck on the other end to get a flow going and let physics do the rest. So you could siphon the water off that way. This is S L O W and can take days and would be downright silly to consider for larger pools.
That’s where a pool cover pump comes in. The larger the pump flow rate, the faster this happens.
1. GoSports Splash Hoop 360 Floating Pool Basketball Game
Let’s start with the winner. The GoSports Splash Hoop 360 ticks all the boxes for a pool game. It’s very easy to assemble, no tools required and it’s especially handy if you don’t like having to blow up inflatables with your mouth and don’t want to worry about air leaks and punctures over time.
It does seem slightly on the expensive side but what you pay for is a sturdy, well made floating basketball hoop that won’t topple over in the slightest breeze or splash.
The basketballs are about 7″ in diameter and can be inflated with the included pump.
My top recommended floating basketball hoop – you’ll love it!
The Intex Floating Basketball Hoop in yellow and green is easy to spot in the pool. It’s a great little toy hoop! Don’t expect too much, though. It is quite light and will float and move about in the slightest breeze.
It’s best for parent/child play. Ideally, you’ll want to use your own, slightly heavier ball to play as it is more like a mini beach ball, very light and difficult to aim with.
You can fill the base with water to prevent it from tipping over. Very cool!
Great buy as an inflatable toy that can ALSO be used for basketball. You’ll find kids start using this first as a ball game and then invent other games: diving under it, turning it over to use as a chair, a raft…you get the picture.
An inexpensive, versatile fun toy at this price. At under $25 (and even cheaper at Amazon!) it’s a great buy for anyone.
4. SwimLine GIANT Swimming Pool Basketball Hoop Set
In case you didn’t notice: you’re in for GIANT fun!
Inflated it stands at a whopping height of 45″ tall by 36″ (3 feet) wide. Ideally you’ll want to get your motorized pump out so you don’t faint before the game even starts.
The hoop is made of strong vinyl and will last several summers – you’ll get years of fun for your money. Even though it’s tall it doesn’t tip over thanks to its weight and large base.
I like the score numbers on top of the side ports and big side ports themselves. Competitive older kids and adults will soon spot these and invent new games. The side ports also allow younger kids to join in and score.
It comes with one basketball. Highly recommended – check the awesome buyer reviews! Great for ages 7 and up.
Does the hoop stay upright after a hit or topple over easily?
Good quality & build will last over time
Are the basketballs heavy enough for good play and not too slippery?
More advice about floating pool hoops
The biggest disadvantage of inflatable hoops is the possibility of air leaks. So make sure you inflate as soon as possible after purchase to check for any manufacturing errors and to be able to send your purchase back to get your money back if need be.
On the other hand, as long as they don’t leak they’ll be used over and over again. Kids will quickly find other uses for them.
Thinking about a more grownup poolside basketball hoop? Read more here:
What better way to add value and activity to your pool than by adding both a basketball hoop and a volleyball net. Don’t be surprised if this pulls in your kid’s friends and see some epic basketball dunks and energetic games.
Have a look to see what game sets are available and get playing!
I’ve put together a list of the best pool basketball volleyball 2-in-1 combo game sets you’re going to love.
Feel free to browse and read our in-depth reviews further down as well as perhaps consider buying a separate basketball hoop and volleyball net that can stay there all the time saving you having to swap over.
★ The best pool basketball & volleyball combo sets ★
Our top picks at a glance
★ Top pick! ★Dunnrite Pool Sport 2-in-1
Easily converts to either game without tools. Base weighs 115 lbs filled w/ water
Vinyl coated 13.5 inch stainless steel rim. Stainless steel hardware
16' volleyball net for up to 22' pool. 3 yr warranty
1. Dunnrite PoolSport 2 in 1 basketball + volleyball hoop set
The Dunnrite Pool Sport 2-in-1 is a popular choice for many people thanks to its pleasing design, durability, and ease of use. You get all of that for a reasonable price (around $200 or so).
Switching from one game set up to the other is easy and you don’t need any tools!
22 foot volleyball net
The rim sits at a fixed height 36 inches above the deck while the hoop is a 13.5″ junior size (still just the right size for a fun pool game).
The set includes a basketball, a pink volleyball. and a ball pump.
You can’t expect stainless steel at this price and there is a tendency for the rim to rust unless you grab a can of Rustoleum at the beginning of each season and give the rim a nice clear coat to protect it.
Alternatively, there’s a replacement stainless steel hoop available, too!
Nice for both adults and kids, the Swimways 2-in-1 came combo has a lot to offer. Let’s start with the good: It’s all plastic which means there aren’t any parts that can rust.
Just like with other combo sets it offers set up for either basketball or volleyball. Seems obvious but some people are not aware that the posts can either be used for volleyball or basketball, not both at the same time.
Changing over doesn’t require any tools and is snap to do!
The volleyball net size is a nice 24 feet. The basketball is well design and easy to move, too, but not adjustable. It’s well designed and stable: the water-filled base and plastic material provides strong stability during play.
Set includes both a basketball and volleyball along with 1 basketball hoop and 1 volleyball net.
The Pro Rebounder Combo set is the only one that allows you to have your pool ready for volleyball and basketball at the same time. No parts to change between games – you’re always ready to go!
The volleyball net can be used for pools up to 38′ in width. It’s well made for the money (under $150).
The volleyball has a nice feel, weight, and size for family fun games. The included net is 16’ x 30’’ and extends to 38’
One of the best rated portable sets today, the Pro Rebounder set is one of the toughest also thanks to the weather-resistant hard backboard. The rim isn’t adjustable, though, as it sits at a fixed height above the deck
You’ll get a basketball, volleyball, 1 basketball hoop and backboard and base, 1 volleyball net, inflatable vinyl ball, volleyball net, volleyball game bases, poles, and inflatable deluxe game ball with inflating needle
It’s not just one of the best looking around but also one of the best in quality!
It’s easy to set up right out of the box, just slot in the pieces and fill the base with water using a garden hose pipe.
It’s an all-plastic set so there are no parts to worry about rusting. There’s a nicely designed basketball hoop base to keep it steady during your great 3 point shots as well.
Want that professional sports feel from the fun of your pool? You’ll get all that and a price that’s under $150.
No headaches when setting it up or when it’s time to swap up the fun: changing over doesn’t require any tools.
You get a 15 foot volleyball net and the basketball rim sits at a fixed height above the deck. Since the base features a more compact design than others, it’s a great match for many decks or pool surrounds.
The set includes both a basketball, volleyball, 1 basketball hoop and 1 volleyball net.
Great pool basketball & volleyball sets to combine
Most 2-in-1 sets have one big disadvantage: You can only play either one or the other games. Either basketball or volleyball and it always requires some reassembly.
If you like to have both available all the time have a look at these 2 great combinations of game sets that are similar in style.
Dunn-Rite Aqua Volly + Splash & Shoot – 2 portable poolside basketball & volleyball games
The AquaVolly includes 2 white heavy-duty plastic bases with sturdy no rust aluminum posts. The net spans pools up to 24 feet wide but you can shorten it if needed.
The Splash and Shoot basketball hoop made by Dunnrite is a great game all on its own. It looks good at the poolside, doesn’t budge and the hoop height can be adjusted.
A big plus is a no-rust hardware feature: stainless steel rim and bolts ensure a long life.
The Dunn Rite Pro Volly Retrofit kit (priced near $100 or so) is an affordable way to get the real volleyball experience. Just like more expensive sets!
Designed to fit existing 1.5″ PVC inserts (or 1.90″ ladder anchors) it features long-lasting power coated aluminum posts. There’s a durable 24 foot adjustable net to fit nearly all pools, too.
And don’t forget the brass and stainless steel hardware included – that also means you’ll get years of fun without worry. Throw in the included bright volleyball for easy visibility, and you’ve got the perfect volleyball game setup!
A lot of pool owners like to add a basketball hoop to their pool. A properly installed pool basketball goal will not only enhance the looks of the swimming pool but also provide hours of fun for the whole family.
Your kids will love to invite their friends over, too!
Deck mount basketball hoops most commonly come in the shape of a basketball hoop for pool sleeves or are bolted onto the pool deck. They’re the pricier option and range from $500 for a junior sized hoop to $4000 for a heavy duty, professional regulation sized pool basketball hoop for adults that is also adjustable in height and can withstand serious play and horsing around.
S.R. Smith S-BASK-44 Swim N Dunk
S.R. Smith supplies several basketball hoops specifically designed to last well in harsh, corrosive environments like coastal climates and saltwater pools.
Excellent for pools – including saltwater!
The two stainless steel legs are not just made of stainless steel but also sealed and coated with vinyl for extra protection.
The competition grade acrylic board with regulation rim easily copes when the game gets serious and competitive.
If you love playing basketball in the pool and you know things can get carried away a little you’ll need a tough unit to stand up to it.
The Hydroshot from First Team is tough. The post is a 4″ square stainless steel leg. Next comes the dual strut arm to adjust the height from as low as 30″ above water to a whopping 84″.
Height is adjusted by using a crank handle at the back.
This system can’t just be bought and plonked on the poolside. It is not a basketball hoop for a pool sleeve. Instead, it requires proper installing. Here are the instructions for installation to give you a taste of what’s involved.: Installation instructions
First Team provides hoops like this to commercial places like water parks. So you can rest assured that everything is truly competition grade: the acrylic 36″ x 60″ backboard, the rim and unit.
There is no way around it, this kind of superior quality pool basketball hoop suitable for adults comes with a serious price tag.
Heavy Duty Specs:
A pool basketball hoop for DUNKING
A tough STAINLESS STEEL adjustable system
Easy to use unrestricted height adjustment
A heavy duty flex goal
No products found.
FT186 Heavy Duty Flex Goal – YouTube
This is a demonstration of the Heavy Duty Flex Goal from First Team, Inc. Underneath the cover plate, there are 2 springs that provide the responsive return action for the breakaway function. As the players hang on the rim, the springs compress, and the rim returns to its original position when it’s released.
The rim on the FT186 is built with extremely strong .1875″ steel construction. It’s supported over 60 percent of the ring with a welded-on ring support.
The entire ring is powder coated in orange for exterior durability just like the best professional goals used in sports.
Buying a pool cleaner can be difficult. Should you stick with the manufacturer and model you know or is it worth upgrading to a completely different type?
This article will help you with your choice by showing you the current best for each cleaner type and will also explain the difference between each type of pool cleaner, in case you are a new pool owner and “suction, pressure-side, robotic” doesn’t mean anything just yet.
Below you’ll find the best value for money pool cleaner for each cleaner type (suction, pressure and robotic)as well as the pool cleaner that offers the very best in terms of functionality but will be pricier.
We only recommend pool cleaners that have proven to be reliable over a longer period but will also point out any promising newcomers although only time will tell how reliable these are after a couple of years.
The Baracuda G3 is priced for lower budgets and yes, there are other cheaper cleaners. Here is why we chose the G3 as “Best for the money side suction cleaner in 2018”.
Cleaning 4/5: It cleans the usual range of pool linings in oval and rectangular shaped pools really well. Small and medium-sized debris is picked up reliably and better than what most pool owners can do with manual cleaners! Not just the bottom of the pool but it goes over walls and climbs up to and cleans the waterline, too! We would have given it 5/5 if it could clean leaves and larger bits like twigs, but it doesn’t. You could get an inline leaf catcher, though, if your pool receives lots of plant material from nearby trees. Also, the G3 occasionally misses steps and some spots in more complicated pool shapes.
Versatility 5/5: It works well with any single, two-speed or variable-speed pump. You get great cleaning performance even with lower horsepower pumps thanks to the FlowKeeper Valve that automatically regulates water flow.
Reliability and lifespan 5/5: It hardly ever gets stuck, so does what it’s supposed to do while in the pool. Parts are well made and durable. There are only a few moving parts and it’s one of the cheapest pool cleaners to repair if you ever need to. Pros and cons of the BARACUDA G3 W03000 Advanced :
‘The Pool Cleaner’ may not be the most imaginative of all names but this is still the best overall suction-side cleaner for in-ground concrete pools. Apparently, Poolvergnuegen is German for Pool Pleasure. Here is why it has been so popular for years.
Cleaning 5/5: Where it goes there it cleans. Large leaves or fine sand. It could easily win the “Best side-suction pool cleaner for leaves” award because it can cope even with palm fronds without clogging up. It’s suitable for all pool surfaces. Users have been very happy using the Pool Cleaner in their pebble tec pool.
Reliability and Lifespan 5/5: Clean straightforward engineering keep this guy running and running for years. If we could we’d give it 6/5. The gears inside are very durable and it keeps moving like a tank over uneven surfaces.
Thanks to its big wheels it doesn’t get stuck on usual trappings like main drains. Parts that might need replacing due to normal wear and tear like the wheel treads are easily available. Warranty is a respectable 2 years.
Versatility 5/5: Cleverly engineered, multiple pre-programmed internal steering sequences move the Pool Cleaner over the whole pool including walls easily. It does so on gunite, vinyl, fiberglass, pebble-tec as well as tiled surfaces.
Very clever: a self-adjusting turbine maintains maximum suction power regardless of the suction power it receives from the main pump. The result is great cleaning power even with pumps as low as ½ hp. It works brilliantly with variable speed pumps, too.
BEST FOR THE MONEY: Pentair LL505G Kreepy Krauly Legend
Cleaning 5/5: The 4 wheel design of the Legend is unstoppable. It moves around without ever losing its balance and cleans reliably the whole pool with great power. Thanks to the large intake opening it will pick up large debris very well.
It will also climb and clean walls as long as there are rounded edges from floor to wall. The collection bag is spacious extends the time between cleaning. It easily clips on and off for emptying. There’s a sand/silt bag to pick up finer debris.
Reliability and Lifespan 5/5: The Legend is designed to run and run and run. And it does. As with all moving parts there will be wear and after about 3 years some parts like the wheels or their bearings might need replacing.
Versatility 5/5: The Kreepy Krauly Legend works on any inground pool lining including vinyl, gunite, tiled or fibreglass. The front wheels are powered and allow the cleaner to move up on inclined surfaces with ease
Cleaning 5/5: Both, the 280 and the 380 clean well where they go, namely the whole bottom of the pool and the sides to the waterline, but not necessarily the steps. The Vac-Sweep 380 does so a little quicker due to its more responsive drive and longer sweep tail which allows it to sweep a wider area in one go.
Reliability and Lifespan 5/5: for 280, 4/5 for the 380: Polaris pool cleaners have built a reputation for durability and longevity. That is not to say that it doesn’t have any wear and tear if used almost continuously. The belt of the 380 tends to wear out after about 18 months.
Versatility 5/5: Both cleaners are suitable for all the usual pool surfaces and will take care of pool floors and sides. There is a reliable back-up valve to prevent the cleaner from getting trapped and maneuver out of problematic areas.
The Dolphin Nautilus by Maytronics made has become a well-deserved Bestseller on Amazon thanks to its great performance for just under $650.
Cleaning 4/5: Overall the Nautilus offers amazing cleaning value for the money (under $650 or so).
It’s a huge time saver when you switch from manual, pressure side or suction cleaner because you don’t have to drag out lots of stuff to clean and don’t have to backwash the pool filter. The robot is a vacuum cleaner and doesn’t scrub.
Two types of onboard filters easily trap small leaves, bugs and dirt, including sand and algae but a bit of manual scrubbing, might be required for tough spots. The spring filter is perfect when opening the pool. The cleaner won’t be able to clean up larger leaves and debris, though.
The Nautilus cleans the bottom of the pool very well but doesn’t always reach all of the walls and steps.
Reliability and Lifespan 5/5: This pool cleaner works well straight out of the box, no setting up or adjusting needed. The sturdy design will last for years to come. The warranty is 12 months from Maytronics.
Versatility 5/5: The Dolphin Nautilus moves around in a random pattern cleaning the whole pool floor area and can, therefore, clean any pool shape: rectangular or curvy free-form. It will not remember the pool shape, though and might miss a spot here or there.
You’ll need a higher-priced robotic pool cleaner if you want to go for perfection. Because it’s a vacuum it is equally suitable for all pool linings. The Nautilus can be used in chlorinated as well as saltwater pools. You can read my review of the Dolphin Nautilus here.
Most people get curious when they see a price tag of over a grand for a pool cleaner. However, there are many good reasons why this one has been steadily collecting 5 star reviews on Amazon since its newly packaged launch in 2018.
Cleaning 5/5: The Premier is able to clean EVERYTHING in your pool, from large palm fronds to microscopic particles. It scrubs and climbs walls and steps, coves and corners with its high-speed spinning brushes and easily removes difficult colonies of bacteria, algae, and biofilm.
It calculates the best path to do its job in the most efficient way and stops when its done.
Reliability and Lifespan 5/5: It’s one thing to know that the robot works well right out of the box. However, in case you wonder whether you should wait for another couple of years before buying you’ll be pleased to know that this robot comes with an impressive, no-nonsense 3 year limited warranty – the best warranty for this kind of cleaner.
Versatility 5/5: Out of the box the Dolphin Premier can be used for practically all kinds of pool linings and shapes without the need for extra brushes: gunite, concrete, tile, fiberglass or vinyl-lined and any shape under 55 feet long.
On its cleaning journey, it will cover every inch of pool surface, including the waterline and tricky areas like steps and corners. You decide what kind of cleaning you need most and choose any of the 4 types of filters for the job.
How to choose a pool cleaner to fit your maintenance routine
Installing a proper pool will cost you at least $10,000 and considerably more for an inground pool unless you are rich in time and/ or friends to help you with an alternative DIY swimming pool. (Good for you if it already came with the house.) Not maintaining the pool properly will quickly show: the water quality goes visibly down and debris and algae cover the pool surfaces. Not only does the whole place turn into an eyesore it can also have expensive consequences for your pump and filters.
A pool maintenance routine with the right tools will ensure a high quality of water and a long repair-free lifespan.
Why do you need a pool cleaner?
At its basic, a good pool maintenance regime will take care of two things: High quality of water by maintaining chlorine levels and keeping the upper hand in the constant battle against algae, debris, and grime. removing any debris from the pool. In addition to keeping the pool clean and clear, it’s worth looking at potential energy savings by keeping the pump times low and main filters clean enough so they can do a good job. A good pool cleaner is an essential part of pool maintenance as it effectively takes care of two major pool elements: the pool water itself and pool surfaces. The best automatic pressure, robotic and solar pool cleaners will also ease the burden on the existing pool filter because they work independently from the main existing filtration system and remove debris before it even reaches the existing filter. They should also remove debris from areas that wouldn’t get cleaned otherwise like corners, steps, the waterline, and walls. And all of that while you just watch or do the stuff you really want to do.
The different types of pool cleaners & how they work
There is no getting around it, a pool cleaner is a must-have item for every pool owner. Over time different types of pool cleaners emerged and it can be confusing to decide whether a manual, automatic, robotic or solar pool cleaner is the best choice for you. Every pool cleaner works by drawing in pool water which is then filtered to remove dirt and debris. Different types of cleaners vary in how they draw in pool water, where they filter the water, how the cleaner moves around the pool and how much of the whole process is manual or automated.
Watch the 3 min video below for an overview of how each type of pool cleaner works:
The Difference Between Pressure Side, Suction & Robotic Pool Cleaners
The type and quality of pool cleaner makes a huge difference in how much time and effort it takes to keep the pool clean.
On one end of the spectrum, there are simple, yet time-consuming manual systems. On the other end are fully automatic, self-contained devices and systems that clean on their own with very little if any work left to do for the owner. Choosing the right kind depends not just on the pool itself but also the user’s preferences and budget.
Manual Pool Cleaners
These are often simply called pool vacuum which can be confusing because suction-side cleaners are also often simply referred to as a pool vacuum. So, to be precise it’s best to say ‘manual pool cleaner’ or ‘manual pool vacuum’. These consist of 3 to 4 main parts:
Vacuum head or vac head to move over the pool liner
Vacuum hose to draw water through to the pool skimmer and filter
Telescopic pole to guide the vac head manually
A complete manual cleaner set will cost anything between $80 to $150 making this the cheapest pool cleaner option. A manual pool vac might be all you need if your pool isn’t too big or if there are a few areas an automatic pool cleaner doesn’t reach.
Another bonus is that these are equally suitable for above and in-ground pools.
However, connecting everything ready to clean and going over the whole pool does take time. Also, debris will end up in the main pool filter which will eventually need cleaning as well. Using a manual pool cleaner only is a time-consuming way to clean the pool and quickly becomes a dreaded chore, especially in summer. It’s at this point when many pool owners start looking for an alternative and consider buying an automatic cleaner.
SUMMARY: Manual pool cleaners are the cheapest option in pool cleaners, easy to set up by connecting it to the suction outlet. It requires a lot of elbow grease but you are in full control where you clean.
Debris lands in the main pool filter and will eventually (sooner rather than later) have to be removed.
Suction-side cleaners are one step up from a manual cleaner. They are still fairly simple devices with only a few moving parts. That’s good news in terms of lifespan and maintenance costs. Suction-side pool vacs also connect to the intake (suction) line via the skimmer or an existing dedicated suction line where water is pumped out of the pool into the filtration system. Unlike a manual cleaner, a suction side vacuum moves on its own and doesn’t need to be guided by a person, hence “automatic side suction cleaner”. A closer look reveals two sub-types of suction pool cleaners. Zodiac and Kreepy Krauly offer so-called inertia-driven devices that move about in a random pattern, taking their time to cover the whole pool. The second kind works more methodically as they follow a programmed pattern to cover the whole pool surface. Examples include the Pentair Rebel. As long as the side suction vacuum is connected and your pump running it will be on cleaning duty, no timer required. With the pump running, a suction is created on the underside of the cleaner head sending debris through the hose to the strainer basket and finer particles to the filter.
The disadvantage of suction cleaners is their dependency on the flow rate of the pool plumbing.
Preferably there will be a strainer basket somewhere along the hose preventing clogging up of the pump strainer basket too quickly.
The flow rate needs to be carefully adjusted for the cleaner to work well. Even then, their cleaning power is usually more suitable for smaller debris like sand. But there are exceptions like the Great White by Pentair which can also deal with larger bits like acorns and leaves making this type of cleaner a good choice at an affordable price.
Summary: Not too expensive, easy to install and maintain. The biggest disadvantage is that it adds to your energy bill because they only work with your existing pool filtration system.
They’re not as powerful as pressure or robotic cleaners and you will still have to clean your pool filter frequently as this is where debris is drawn to.
Pressure Side Automatic
Unlike suction cleaners, these attach to the return (not suction) side of the pool plumbing. This pressure propels the cleaner around the pool. There are so-called low-pressure cleaners that are powered by the pool pump and the second type which needs to have a booster pump. This latter makes it a pricier option from the start but it also ensures constant pressure and cleaning power.
Pressure side cleaners collect debris right into a bag attached to the cleaner. This bag has to be emptied when it’s full – usually much easier done than having to clean the main pump filter.
Entry models start at around $200. Stronger and more durable pressure cleaners that attach to a booster pump can be up to $800.
Yes, they are the most expensive option. But it’s such a relief to let a machine do a chore for you. They are indeed designed to make your life as a pool owner A LOT easier. Here is how.
One of the biggest advantages is that they work independently from the existing pool plumbing which means they can run even when the pools own water circulation pump is switched off. Robotic pool cleaners are either battery-powered or plug into a power line. This means there needs to be a power socket near the pool. Another advantage of robotic pool cleaners is that they can freely move about the whole pool and reach difficult areas more easily, even climb walls and steps which means they can work in almost any pool. There are several models that even calculate an optimized cleaning path according to the shape of the pool. Robotic pool cleaners usually carry a filter pump, a drive train for mobility and debris filters or bag all on-board. They should require little input from the owner aside from lifting in and out of the pool and cleaning the filters.
Some of them can be programmed to clean a pool within a certain time limit. A few models even have a remote control to help it reaching spots it might have missed. You might have spotted entry models at about $300 but overall advanced and sophisticated technology like strong suction power, amazing cleaning and filter functionality, the ability to calculate the best cleaning path, etc, all of that comes at a much higher price point, typically at least $500 and you can easily spend even $1000 for a machine with all bells and whistles. The best robots will allow the owner to greatly reduce the run time of the main pool circulation system. The main skimmer and filter will need to be cleaned less frequently, too. Summary: Robotic Pool Cleaners are one of the best options for laid-back, high-standard pool maintenance and care. The right model will not just remove debris from the pool but also filter the water on the spot.
The savings in energy through less main pump time and perhaps getting rid of your pool service make this a worthwhile option despite the higher price tag.
Who wouldn’t like to save energy AND work at the same time? Solar-powered pool cleaners may not yet be as widespread as other types of pool cleaners but there are now some units that are well worth considering as additional silent little helpers with a huge impact on the time you need to spend on cleaning.
Some models like the Solar Breeze NX skimmer have earned great buyer reviews because of their ability to quietly and continuously gather surface debris like leaves and bugs. This means huge energy savings because the main pump has to run much, much less. However, solar-powered cleaners can only skim the surface water and will not clean the bottom or sides of a pool. In other words, there’s a need for an additional cleaning device for those areas. However, a device that removes automatically the bulk of debris before it even reaches the pool floor or skimmer basket without extra energy input justifies the price tag.
I know it can be overwhelming to decide what pool cleaner to go for when there is such a wide choice. However, if you have the right information about your pool and situation ready you will be able to narrow down your choice considerably.
What information do you need to buy a pool cleaner?
The size and depth of your pool
The type of your pool lining: vinyl, pebbletec, fiberglass, or gunite to name but a few
Do you have a booster pump?
The type of debris you tend to have most: is your area prone to sandstorms, are there trees close by?
It would also be wise to take your experience into account. What did you love/ hate about the old device?
Armed with this information you can now jump right in and find the best one from my list of recommended cleaners.
Pool basketball hoops are like magnets, great for cool basketball dunks, family games as well as kids, teenagers, and adults. Thankfully, in this day and age where most teenagers seem to be glued to their phones and Xbox, pool basketball hasn’t lost its appeal.
Revamping and reviving the pool, an upcoming birthday or a pool party often prompt people to purchase a water basketball hoop. There’s a lot of choices out there making it difficult to decide which one to go for.
If you are in that position you have come to the right place for help.
I review the most popular pool basketball hoops below the chart to make it even easier for you, saving you time and money.
★ Our top pool basketball hoop picks ★
Dunnrite Splash & Shoot
Generous 43x28.5" backboard
Adjustable for the perfect height
Super-tough holds heavy water to stay put. Includes quality basketball
The Splash and Shoot basketball hoop made by Dunnrite has everything I look for in a poolside basketball net:
The color scheme looks good at most swimming pool settings
It doesn’t budge thanks to its heavy base
The hoop height is adjustable
No rust hardware: The materials used are no rust in themselves. But Dunnrite went one step further and coated everything as well, really a belts and braces approach to withstand harsh pool conditions. Stainless steel rim with vinyl coating, powder coated aluminum post and stainless steel assembly hardware ensure a long life.
3 Year warranty
Basketball: A little smaller than a regulation size basketball. The grip is good, holds air well and color holds up well over a longer period of time i.e. doesn’t fade
Best Value For Money: PORTABLE Poolside Basketball Hoop
Lifetime 1306 Pool Side Height Adjustable Portable Hoop
Our Best Value for Money hoop for in-ground pools has to be the Lifetime 1306. This is a height-adjustable portable sturdy basketball system with great value.
There is also the almost identical Lifetime 1301. The only difference between them is the backboard. Differences in price really come down to competition in the market place.
Lifetime 1301 vs 1306
The 44″ Impact® backboard of the Lifetime 1301
with High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) surface.
HDPE is a popular plastic: lightweight yet
super-strong and impact resistant.
Long lasting and weather resistant,
resists mold, mildew, rotting, and insects,
so will look still look great after a few seasons.
Style: WHITE FUSION
Lifetime 1306 features a transparent
44″ Shatter-Proof Fusion backboard
with a Makrolon surface. This material is
extremely robust, lightweight with glass-like transparency and is impact resistant.
The Blue Fusion versions is a great-looking choice, too!
I recommend theLifetime 1306 simply because I prefer the clear backboard over the one of the Lifetime 1301.
Even though a ball isn’t included (get a regulation-sized one or a junior size for younger kids) in neither the 1306 nor the 1301, it’s great value.
Both models feature a powder-coated (i.e. it should last longer than merely painted) steel pole.
Even though this is better than paint, it will only be a matter of time until a tiny bit of steel is exposed and starts to rust. It’s better to spray all painted surfaces with a clear coat or Rust-Oleum to keep it good-looking for more than one season.
The telescopic height adjustment allows heights between 4′ – 6.5′ in 6″ increments.
The base (43″ x 30″ x 7″) can be filled with water or sand and won’t move even in the most heated game.
It doesn’t allow hanging from the hoops for older kids and teenagers but will cope nicely with slam dunks. I like the see-through backboard and slim base, making the hoop less obtrusive than big bulks of plastic.
The only way to avoid the basketball hoop becoming a rusting eyesore is to go for a stainless steel model. The Clear Swimming Pool Basketball Hoop by Dunnrite is a very elegant, sharp-looking, and lasting solution.
Good, lasting quality comes at a price. At $499 (including free shipping on Amazon) it’s the most expensive hoop. I think it’s well worth it because it is clearly designed for a harsh pool environment.
If you have already a sleeve in your deck or can get a concrete cutting company to drill a hole for the post (diameter 2 3/8in) you won’t need the hassle of filling a plastic base with water or sand. But what’s more, the clear ⅕ inch thick clear backboard and curved stainless steel post look minimalistic, stylish and will do so for years to come as there is nothing that can rust. Dunnrite offers two hoop sizes. The Junior is a little smaller in diameter allowing younger players to have fun with the smaller ball whereas the Regulation hoop is standard basketball size. Both sets come with color-matched blue and white water basketball.
Looking for a different design? Click on the image to see MORE deck mounted basketball goals:
Great poolside basketball hoops – LARGE, PLASTIC, and PORTABLE
Here are three hoops for kids and family fun. The kind you can plonk on the deck and start shooting. I did make sure I only included models that are secure enough to not being pulled into the pool.
Here’s what I found for under $200.
Poolmaster Pro Rebounder Poolside Basketball – Inground Pools
The Rebounder has been around forever. it does have its flaws but still provides good play value, the rebound is good. The base is fairly small (18 by 21 inches) making it easy to place it anywhere you want on the edge of the pool.
Very easy to assemble and, once filled with water it sits right on the edge of the pool. The height cannot be adjusted. Unfortunately, even though the rim is stainless steel and the base plastic there is a rust issue.
It’s best if you could paint or spray everything with a clear coat.
This doesn’t come with stainless steel bolts, so I’d recommend exchanging all the hardware with suitably durable bolts and washers before assembly.
VERDICT: Great, sturdy play value. Ideally, add stainless steel bolts and spray with a clear coat FOR LASTING VALUE.
The board is identical to the model mentioned above. On this one, the height of the hoop is adjustable to 40″, 54″, and 74″ from the ground. Changing the height is not a straightforward affair because the PVC pipes have to be changed.
I don’t recommend it if you need to adjust the height very often, but it’s ideal if you only need to adjust it to your preferred height occasionally.
The base (18 by 21 inches), once filled with water makes this a stable, secure set up. It won’t tip over unless the game is very energetic but of course doesn’t hold up to any hanging from the rim.
Unfortunately, the base has a lot of corners and edges, making the ball jump not always back into the pool after falling through the net but rather outside a lot, so players will have to go and fetch the ball more often than usual.
VERDICT: Plastic Basketball Hoop Set with a 14” hoop, worthwhile entry model, definitely portable, but a few impractical flaws. A good buy for around $140.
The additional cost to replace hard-wear with stainless steel bolts and washers.
If your wallet doesn’t quite stretch to more permanent solutions or you know you only need a short-term set up to keep kids or visitors entertained have a look at the solutions below. These are great options for budding basketball players and can provide a lot of fun and gameplay.
Intex Floating Hoop
The Intex Floating Basketball Hoop in yellow and green is a great little floater hoop and base! The inflatable beach ball LOOKS LIKE a basketball but is too small! So, forget the ball, use one or a few you probably have lying about anyway and have fun.
Being very lightweight means even a little wind will push this easily to the side and corners of the pool but it doesn’t tip over because the base can be filled with water. But that’s ok as long as you don’t expect more than an inflatable that can ALSO be used for basketball.
Kids will very likely start with the ball game but soon find other uses for it: diving under it, turning it over to use as a chair, a raft…you get the picture.
Highly recommend! It’s a great & inexpensive (and fun!) way to get the most from your pool for under $25.