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We Tried It: The AquaVac 650

After a summer in a local pool, Hayward’s cleaner stood up

About a year ago, we wrote about Hayward’s new AquaVac 650, which was set to hit the market in 2019. This summer, we had the opportunity to test it on a pool in Norman, Oklahoma.

Before we talk about the performance of the cleaner, let’s talk about the swimming pool. The pool is at a home that was under renovation for the last year. The pool itself also is in desperate need of a reno — the surface is chipped and rough, some tiles are falling off, etc. — and the homeowners didn’t move in until this fall. A professional took care of the pool, but no one was at the home to monitor the water regularly, and this is the first time owning and caring for a pool for the new owners. Despite that, the pool still saw heavy use on the weekends, so the water chemistry could get out of balance quickly.

These are somewhat tough conditions for a cleaner, but most likely something you’d experience with your customers: Busy, absent or absent-minded homeowners who don’t understand the ins and outs of water chemistry or pool equipment. They need something that requires little effort, little pool knowledge and no hiccups.

The AquaVac 650 was simple to set up, and easy to use and program from both the mobile app and power supply. The house didn’t have Wi-Fi for most of the summer, so the power unit providing its own network for the mobile app to connect to was a great benefit. However, once internet was available, it was a bit of a pain to switch from the home network to the AquaVac network to connect with the cleaner.

It covered the pool with no issues, climbing all the walls and stairs without ever getting hung up. It did fall off the stairs a couple of times but went right back to work. It picked up large, medium and small debris and scrubbed stuck on dirt off. The TouchFree debris canister was easily the favorite feature, taking a quick minute to clean out the canister. Everything flushed out each time and, although you can take the canister apart and rinse out the filters individually, it wasn’t necessary. If the pool has a lot of leaves and twigs (this pool did not at the time), those smaller bits may get stuck and need to be rinsed more frequently.

Toward the end of the summer, the rubber wheels started to show some wear but should still last another half season or so. Considering how beat up the pool surface was, I felt like they held up pretty well.

One thing that didn’t work for us: The cleaner has a feature where you tug on the cord three times and it is supposed to come to the surface where you are pulling from. We could never get it to do that. However, the cleaner was so buoyant that it was no problem to get it to you, and then the handle toward the end of the cord helped you pull it out.

Overall, we found the cleaner to be as advertised and the homeowners had no complaints. It is not cheap, but it’s robust and should make for happy customers and a hassle-free cleaner. Read our original article about the development and features here.

*Hayward let us try and keep the cleaner, but did not pay us to write about it.

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