Best Vacuums for Intex Pools 2020 – Reviews & Buying Tips

best vacuums for intex pool

Intex Pools have revolutionized the above ground pool industry by creating pool kits that are extremely affordable and can typically be assembled in less than 2 hours. These are no wading pools either. Some are as large 32 x 16 feet. But while the design may be groundbreaking, you still need a way to keep your Intex pool clean once it’s assembled and in use. And that means a pool vacuum. These days you have a dizzying array of pool vacuums to choose from. And sifting through all the vacuums for Intex pools reviews can be a daunting task. But fear not! We’ve done the sifting and the testing for you and have come up with the following list of the best vacuums for Intex pools.

Top 5 Picks of Intex Pool Vacuums – User Choice

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5 Best Intex Above Ground Pool Vacuums – Unbiased Reviews

#1

Pentair 360100 Kreepy Krauly Lil Shark – Our Top Pick

Pentair 360100 Kreepy Krauly Lil Shark

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The Kreepy Krauly has been around for some time and has a solid reputation for performance and value. With its wacky design, you won’t find it cleaning the pool at the Ritz. But what matters is that it works. While you’re inside working in your home office or enjoying a lazy afternoon nap, the Kreepy Krauly Lil Shark is prowling around your pool hunting for contaminants.

The Lil Shark cleans a nice wide 10-inch swath with each pass, so the entire process shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours, even on a large Intex pool. The Lil Shark moves fast and has only a single moving part. It’s also ready to go right out of the box. Which is something that will appeal to a lot of homeowners.

The twin bands of durable nylon brushes won’t damage your Intex pool lining. But they will loosen any and all dirt and debris they encounter. And they’ll last for years. Designed specifically for flat or dish-bottom above ground pools, we found the Lil Shark to be a great match for Index pools, regardless of size or shape.

Pros

  • Gently scrubs the pool lining and vacuums away dirt and debris.

Cons

  • Movement can sometimes be unpredictable.

#2

Hayward 900 Wanda the Whale Pool Cleaner – The Runner Up

Hayward 900 Wanda the Whale Suction Above-Ground Pool Cleaner

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The Hayward 900 Wanda the Whale Pool Cleaner offers easy integration with your existing filtration system. In most cases, it installs in about 10 minutes, sometimes less. And it’s one of the most dependable automatic pool cleaners on the market. Don’t be fooled by the fun-loving profile of the Whale. It’s all business when it comes to cleaning your Intex pool.

Wanda the Whale features a unique gearing system the company claims provides for smoother, quieter operation without any loss in effectiveness. And our testing indicated that’s pretty much the case. We might want to take issue with whether it’s necessarily quieter than any other automatic cleaner. But there is no doubt that its movement is reliable and consistent. And the final product speaks for itself.

We appreciate the way the bumper prevents it from getting caught up in corners. And the programmed steering patterns usually end up producing few, if any, missed areas. Wanda the Whale isn’t exactly a discount pool cleaner. But we think most Intex pool owners will be happy with it.

Pros

  • Bumper ring ensures it won’t get snagged against the wall of the pool.

Cons

  • Not the cheapest of the best above ground pool vacuums.

#3

Intex Automatic Pool Cleaner – Best For The Money

Intex Automatic Pool Cleaner

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If you’re looking for a pool cleaner that you can be sure will be compatible with your Intex pool, getting one made by Intex is probably a good idea. The Intex Automatic Pool Cleaner is not the most feature-rich pool cleaner on the market. But you won’t have any problems getting optimal performance out of it when you plop it in your Intex pool.

This pool cleaner is quiet and dependable, and features a 24-foot hose. So you’re not going to have any problems reaching all parts of the pool with it. While it’s basically the equivalent of a plug-and-play device, there is one requirement you need to be mindful of. That is, requires a Pool filter pump that moves somewhere between 1,600 and 4,000 gallons of water per hour.

Because the Intex Automatic cleaner is designed to work on flat bottom pools, it’s not recommended for Inground pools. Since they tend to have a shallow end and then drop off precipitously to the deep end.

Pros

  • Designed by Intex specifically for their above ground pools.

Cons

  • The vacuum feature could be more powerful than it is.

#4

The Pool Cleaner Automatic Pool Vacuum by Poolvergnuegen

The Pool Cleaner Automatic Pool Vacuum by Poolvergnuegen

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While this pool cleaner might have the most difficult brand name to pronounce, it’s not difficult to appreciate the generally fine job it does once you release it into your Intex pool. This is a feature-rich pool cleaner and you’re going to pay more for those features. But none of them are superfluous, and none of them are poorly considered or poorly executed.

There’s the self-adjusting turbine vanes, for instance. They change with the flow and allow for maximum cleaning power. Even large debris will be easily collected and removed from your pool. Then there are the multiple steering programs powered by the reversible left wheel. This enables the cleaner to adapt to different pool shapes and avoid getting stuck.

And finally, there are the interchangeable throats. These allow the cleaner to make the most of its vacuuming capabilities at any flow rate. If you have a variable speed pump this is something you’ll want to keep in mind. If you have a large pool and a few extra bucks to spend, it won’t be wasted if you spend it on the Pool Cleaner by Poolvergnuegen.

Pros

  • Will clean a large pool with very little supervision.

Cons

  • You’re going to pay extra for the features.

#5

Pentair K50600 Kreepy Krauly E-Z Vac

Pentair K50600 Kreepy Krauly E-Z Vac

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The final item on our list of best pool cleaners for your Intex pool is this one from Pentair. The K50600 Kreepy Krauly E-Z Vac might seem like a cousin of the company’s Lil Shark (see above), but the two are so different in design, you might think they’re made by two different companies.

That said, the Kreepy Krauly E-Z Vac features random pattern cleaning. This ensures every part of the pool is eventually cleaned (including the walls). While it may be hard to believe the flapper (which helps with propulsion) is the only moving part here. And because the E-Z Vac runs off of your pump, it doesn’t require a second power source and the cost that comes with that.

Comes with a 32-foot hose that’s big enough for any Intex pool, hooks up to your skimmer line and typically cleans a large Intex pool in a couple of hours.

Pros

  • Designed to automatically climb and clean the walls of your pool.

Cons

  • If it encounters an obstruction on the walls, it falls off and starts cleaning the bottom again.

Buyer’s Guide

Tips to Buy Your First Intex Above Ground Pool Cleaner

If you follow the tips we’re about to provide, chances are you’ll hit a home run and wind up with exactly what you need. So, before deciding on an above ground pool cleaner, take these tips to heart:

Think value

Pool cleaners will typically run anywhere from $100 to a couple of thousand dollars. The fact is, however, that once you get above a few hundred bucks, the differences between pool vacuums is often hard to discern. If you’ve got money to burn, then by all means, go for top of the line equipment. But the vast majority of homeowners who don’t have money to burn should be thinking value. That is, the intersection of a good price and a basically dependable product.

Be mindful of the type of debris that winds up in your pool

For homeowners in older neighborhoods with lots of mature trees, leaves are a big problem. Other areas, however, often have few trees. And in those areas, windblown dirt may be the biggest problem. Are there lots of birds that frequent your area? What about insects? If there’s a river or lake nearby, you may wind up with lots of bugs in your pool. Make sure you get a pool cleaner designed for the type of debris you need to remove.

Get a vacuum that’s made for your type of pool

All the pool cleaners we reviewed above are a great fit for Intex pools. But if you’re thinking of buying one that’s not on this list, be careful. Some pool vacuums are best with concrete pools. Others are better with vinyl. And some are specifically designed for Inground pools. Make sure the pool vacuum you choose is designed for your kind of pool. Otherwise, you could wind up with a pool that’s never really sparkling clean.

Things to Consider When Buying a Pool Cleaner

Today’s best pool cleaners boast an array of features designed to make them more effective and convenient. Some of these features are important. Others are basically luxuries. But no matter the pool cleaner you choose or how long the feature set is, you’ll want to keep the following bottom line considerations in mind before spending your hard-earned money.

Manual or Automatic?

Manual pool cleaners are typically less expensive than automatic pool cleaners. They also typically have few (sometimes zero) mechanical parts. And fewer moving parts means fewer things to go wrong. Automatic cleaners, on the other hand, allow you to set them up and go back to work. Also, the technology has advanced to such a degree that today’s automatic cleaners – like the ones on our list – will do just as good a job as any manual cleaner.

Maintenance

While it’s tempting to buy a pool cleaner with a long list of features, keep in mind what we said a moment ago: more parts mean more things that can go wrong. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not down on feature-rich pool cleaners. But you need to stay real world when considering potential maintenance issues that could arise with your pool vacuum. There’s a persistent myth out there that automatic cleaners by their very nature need more maintenance. This might have been true years ago when the technology was new. But it’s simply not the case anymore.

Assembly

Every type of pool cleaner is going to require some degree of assembly. Some more so than others. As a general rule, the more bells and whistles your pool vacuum comes with, the more complicated will be the assembly. If you’re a natural with putting things together this won’t be a problem. But if you’re not, you’ll want to consider how much assembly is required for a given pool cleaner.

Conclusion

We looked at dozens of different pool cleaners to come up with our list of the 5 best vacuums for Intex pools. And we’re certain that you really can’t go wrong with any of the items on our list. However, after selecting these 5 pool cleaners, we needed to know if one stood out above the others. So we put them through a series of rigorous head to head comparisons to determine which one we’d spend our money on. The winner? The Intex Automatic Pool Cleaner. Some might say that Intex has a leg up since they also design the pools we’re looking to clean. But we can’t be worried about that. We’re only concerned with which one is the best of the best for your Intex pool.

The Intex Automatic takes the cake because it’s super-simple to set up, features auto-reverse that allows it to get into hard to reach places, requires no monitoring and gets the job done in a jiffy. The Intex Automatic Pool Cleaner is also quiet, can handle different sized pools with equal facility, and comes with a 24-foot hose that won’t leave you wanting. Toss in the attractive price and the rock-solid construction, and you have our #1 choice.