August 10, 2016

Hayward Automatic Pool Cleaner

Hayward Automatic Pool Cleaner

Hayward has four designs in their Above-Ground Automatic Pool Cleaner line. You can find the following brands on, and local pool stores. They all have the same pool cleaning functionality.

  • Hayward Diver Dave ~ $135
  • Aqua Bug ~ $138
  • Aqua Critter ~ $134
  • Wanda the Whale ~ $136

The pool cleaner randomly crawls around the pool floor picking up all sorts of things. The pool cleaner comes in handy when opening up the pool in the spring. It's very easy to set up and connect to an above ground skimmer.

The whole unit is very easy to take apart for the winter and the box that comes in is perfect for storage.

We have used both Diver Dave and Wanda the Whale.

Standard Leaf Canister

Hayward W560 PoolVac Navigator Standard Leaf Canister is an 'ok' accessory to the Hayward Brand Above-Ground Automatic Pool Cleaners. I find it a bit tricky to open up the leaf canister. I find opening up the strainer cover in the pool pump is a bit easier.

Here's what you have to do when it comes time to clean out the PoolVac Navigator Standard Leaf Canister:

  1. Stop the pool pump
  2. Pull in hoses so that you can reach the leaf canister
  3. Disconnect the hose
  4. Anchor up one end of the hose so it doesn't float away while you empty the canister.
  5. Open up the canister, which can be tricky because of the tight inner seal.
  6. Dump the contents
  7. Put everything back together
  8. Disconnect the hose from the stainer
  9. Turn on the pump
  10. Put the hose by the outtake valve so the hose gets filled with water
  11. Reconnect the hose to the strainer

It's a lot of work, and in some cases, it's much better to deal with the pool pump strainer cover than the Standard Leaf Canister.

There are a couple of advantages of the leaf canister:

  • Catches the large leaves and the pool strainer deals with the smaller stuff.
  • Prevents build up in the pipes that typically happen between the pool and the Pool Pump. That is a real mess to deal with.

The leaf canister is a nice accessory to the pool cleaner, its not something that will make life that much easier.

Assorted Tips and Tricks

  • Over the years I have learned that the Hayward Above-Ground Automatic Pool Cleaner doesn't handle large amount of leaves very well. If you have a lot of leaves or twigs in your pool, your better off manually getting rid of them. Once you have a lot of them out, send the Hayward Above-Ground Automatic Pool Cleaner to get all the small stuff that's what it does the best.
  • Twigs and sticks can easily clog the pool cleaner. Make sure the pool is clear of those before using the Pool Cleaner. Otherwise you'll be pulling in the pool cleaner frequently to fix the clogging issue.
  • When something is clogging the pool cleaner, the hose near the filter will start to buckle up. This is because there is less water going into the pump. The pump therefore is causing additional pressure on the pipe. As a results, you'll see the tube nearest the strainer buckle up.
  • Always keep the pool cleaner hose straight when in storage. The Hayward box is one way to store Diver Dave in the Winter.
  • In the Spring, we always run the pool cleaner when someone is around to watch it. There is a constant need to just double check to make sure it isn't clogged.
  • When the pool cleaner is not in the pool, I lay out the hoses along the bottom of the yard fence.
  • Store the pool cleaner hose and accessories inside the house during the winter. We accidentally discovered that field mice use the Diver Dave box as their nest.
  • The pool cleaner plastic feet are interchangeable between the Wanda the Whale and Diver Dave (probably other units but can't confirm that). The plastic feet seem to wear down after a couple of seasons. We replaced our Diver Dave unit with Wanda the Whale because the plastic feet had a lot of wear and tear and was causing Diver Dave to only clean a small percentage of the pool.
  • We have a 25-foot round pool and find that having a couple extra hoses allows the pool cleaner to fully reach the pool. You can order extra hoses from Hayward.
  • Never run the Above-Ground Automatic Pool Cleaner when people or pets are in the pool since the water movement can disrupt the effectiveness of the cleaner.


Robin Lamb

August 29, 2017.

Great Post!

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