Is It Safe to Swim with a Robotic Pool Cleaner? Here’s Why Removal is Recommended

Robotic pool cleaners have revolutionized how we maintain our beloved swimming pools. They streamline pool upkeep, promising a clean, ready-to-swim pool with minimal effort. 

While these devices are not inherently dangerous (most are equipped with low voltage power supplies and a raft of safety features), it’s generally advised to remove the cleaner from the pool before getting in. Let’s dive into this guide and find out why! 

How Robotic Pool Cleaners Work

Over the years, the way we maintain pools has undergone a major transformation, largely due to the advent of robotic pool cleaners. These advanced devices have revolutionized pool maintenance, offering a helping hand to pool owners and taking a significant load off their shoulders.

Robotic Pool Cleaners

These automatic, smart devices engineered to scour your pool of debris and dirt. They glide underneath the water’s surface with grace and efficiency, covering every nook and cranny from the floor to the walls, often extending their reach to the waterline. 

Using advanced mapping technology, robotic pool cleaners ensure comprehensive coverage, leaving no spot untouched.

Less Strain on Your Pool Pump

One of the stand-out features of these modern marvels is their independence. Unlike traditional manual cleaners or pressure-side cleaners, robotic pool cleaners do not rely on your pool’s existing filtration system. 

They serve as standalone units, equipped with their own internal filters, capable of trapping everything from large leaves to fine particles. This results in crystal clear water.

Designed with User Convenience in Mind

They often include automatic shut-off mechanisms, which means once their cleaning cycle is complete, they would stop operating, conserving energy and extending their lifespan. Some of the newer models even boast smart functionality, enabling you to control and schedule cleans right from your smartphone.

While robotic pool cleaners are an invaluable asset for maintaining your pool, for a safe and uninterrupted swim, it is recommended to schedule your laps either before or after the device has completed its cleaning cycle. This way, you and your robotic pool cleaner can both enjoy the pool in harmony.

Examining Safety Concerns of Swimming with a Robotic Pool Cleaner

When it comes to enjoying your pool, safety should always be your number one concern. Even with the many conveniences that robotic pool cleaners offer, it’s crucial to understand the safety implications of using them, especially when people are swimming.

Safety Features

One of the primary safety features of robotic pool cleaners is their low voltage power supply. This minimizes the risk of electrical hazards. While the risk is low, it’s always important to consider that water and electricity can be a dangerous combination, and rare as it might be, a fault with the cleaner or power supply could potentially create a risk.

The physical presence of the cleaner in the pool while swimming also presents safety concerns. The most prominent of these is the possibility of swimmers, particularly small children, becoming entangled in the power cord. This could lead to injuries as well as potential damage to the cleaner itself.

A Robotic Cleaner Can Pose Challenges 

For instance, a swimmer may accidentally kick or collide with the cleaner, causing unexpected shocks or injuries. Even small interruptions like these could disrupt the cleaner’s programmed cleaning pattern, making the cleaning process less efficient.

Moreover, while many cleaners come with sensors to avoid obstacles, they are not designed to navigate around swimmers. The cleaner can inadvertently bump into a swimmer or vice versa, leading to potential damage to the cleaner or, worst-case scenario, minor injuries to the swimmer.

How Swimming Impacts the Efficiency of a Robotic Pool Cleaner

Beyond safety considerations, swimming while your robotic pool cleaner is at work can also have a direct impact on the cleaner’s effectiveness. These machines operate on pre-programmed paths and cycles designed to cover the entire pool surface methodically.  However, when swimmers enter the mix, these cleaning patterns can be disrupted.

Swimming causes water displacement and movement, potentially forcing the cleaner away from its intended path. This could lead to the cleaner missing spots or even entire sections, resulting in an imperfectly cleaned pool. 

Furthermore, swimmers tend to bring additional debris into the water, such as sunscreen, oils, or loose hair, which could impede the cleaner’s operating efficiency and lead to unnecessary accumulation of debris in its filters.

Adopting Best Practices for Robotic Pool Cleaners

In order to reap the maximum benefits from a robotic pool cleaner, it’s recommended to adhere to a few best practices. 


Operate the cleaner when the pool is not in use.

This typically means running it overnight or early in the morning before the day’s swimming activities.


Always remember to unplug the cleaner when pool users are swimming. This not only removes potential safety risks but also prevents the cleaner from trying to navigate around swimmers, thereby preserving the efficiency of its cleaning path.


Make the most of your cleaner’s features, especially if it comes with a scheduling function. Having predefined cleaning schedules during non-swimming times could save you the hassle of manually starting and stopping the cleaner, and ensure your pool is always ready when you want to swim.

Why It’s Generally Recommended to Remove the Robotic Pool Cleaner before Swimming

While there are no explicit dangers associated with swimming while a robotic pool cleaner is at work, this approach significantly minimizes potential safety concerns and guarantees the cleaner can perform its job unhindered. That’s why it’s generally recommended to remove the robotic pool cleaner before swimming. Minimize safety concerns and ensure efficient cleaning.

For expert advice on pool maintenance and safety, contact Hilltop Pools and Spas, Inc., Atlanta’s trusted pool contractor since 1976.

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