Cleaning swimming pools is no easy task, and sometimes above ground pools can be among the most difficult. The job can be very time consuming, so finding the right equipment to help make the task easier is vital.

Does dirt and debris keep collecting in the bottom of your pool no matter how many times you vacuum? Are you at your wits end with your current pool cleaner that doesn’t seem to be doing its job? Look at our Hayward Aquabug reviews to find out if this vacuum-style cleaner is the right one for you.

Hayward 500 Aquabug Suction Above-Ground Pool Cleaner

Designed for above ground swimming pools, you’ll never have to manually clean your pool ever again. The Hayward Aquabug is a suction-side automatic pool cleaner that works with your pool’s existing filtration system, so you don’t ever have to mess with any baskets or debris bags.

One of the best things we’ve found when testing this ladybug pool cleaner is the “moving drain” design. As it moves along the floor of the pool, it sucks water from the bottom and pumps it through the pool’s filter and then back into the pool.

This not only improves the water circulation in your pool but helps to limit the need to use a lot of chemical sanitizers, which can save you tons of money. So do other above ground pool cleaners we reviewed.

Additionally, the contoured head design allows the Aquabug optimal under-water steering, which decreases cleaning time. It’s also so quiet you’ll hardly know it’s there.

The only downside to the Hayward Aquabug is that it doesn’t clean the sides of the swimming pool, just the bottom. If you want something that has the same price point as the Aquabug but also cleans the sides, take a look at the Zodiac Ranger Automatic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner.

Cleaning of the sides is the only advantage that the Zodiac has over the Aquabug. Otherwise they’re virtually the same thing. If you already have a way to clean the pool sides that works well, stick with the Aquabug.

Why Buy Hayward 500 Aquabug?

Easy Installation and Operation

This above ground pool cleaner doesn’t require any tools to install. Initial setup takes about ten minutes, and it takes even less time after that whenever it’s time to use. All you have to do is connect it to your pool’s existing filtration system and let it get to work.

Additionally, since there are no bags or filters to empty and replace, you just need to put it in the water and forget about it. Everything gets sent to your existing filter. You can also attach a leaf canister between two hose sections if your pool has a lot of leaves and larger items it needs to filter out.

Attractive Design with Unique Steering Features

attractive design with unique steering features

The Aquabug, which looks like an underwater ladybug, features an attractive design that’ll fit well with any pool. Kids and adults alike with love it.

The design is also functional, making it glide easily along the bottom of your pool while cleaning. The deluxe bumper ring at the base minimizes friction and helps it steer around any obstacles in the water.

It also features Hayward’s SmartDrive steering system. Combined with the Turbine Gearing system and slotted Santoprene shoes, the Aquabug won’t miss any spots on its journey.

Great Price

While some may say the price on the Hayward Aquabug is a little high, in our experience it’s very reasonable compared to similar products. And for how easy it is to install and use, you’re not going to worry about the price as much as you might think. For an automatic pool vacuum above ground as easy as this one, you won’t find a better price.

1 Year Warranty

Hayward provides a 1-year warranty against any manufacturing defects or damages, which will be great to have should anything go wrong. However, if you see yourself using the ladybug well past the first year, you might consider purchasing a 2-year or 3-year protection plan from when you order the cleaner.

We highly recommend that if you get this device, do not ever coil the hoses that come with the Aquabug, as warranty may not cover any issues that arrive from the hoses being coiled.

Does the Hayward Aquabug need a booster pump?

Cleaners that require a booster pump to work properly may seem like a good idea given the extra power supplied, but they can cost you a lot of money in energy bills in the long run.

does the hayward aquabug need a booster pump

The beauty of how the Aquabug is designed is that it does not need a booster pump in order to work, unlike some other pool vacuums.

Just plug the vacuum into your pool’s existing filtration system and it’s ready to go. This saves you a lot of money on energy costs, as you don’t need to use any extra power or electricity.

When it comes to saving on energy, one competitor comes to mind that outshines the Hayward 500 Aquabug: the Dolphin Nautilus Automatic Pool Cleaner. Although it costs a lot more than the Aquabug, it’s 8X more energy efficient, which will save you more money in energy costs.

Additionally, the Nautilus provides all over cleaning power, not just the bottom like the Aquabug. No hoses are needed, and it comes with two large, easy to clean filters that don’t need to be changed as much as filter bags in other units. The Nautilus is, by far, the automatic above ground pool vacuum you’ll find.

Are the suction hoses included?

Yes! This above ground pool cleaner comes with twelve hoses: a single leader hose (which connects directly to the cleaner body) and eleven connector hoses. The total length of the hoses when connected is roughly 32 feet, which is more than enough for above ground pools of up to 24 feet.

If you have a larger pool, it is possible to purchase extra hose extensions. Do some measurements to decide how many you need, and make sure that the hose sections you order have a male connection on one end and a female connection on the other end.

However, if your pool is much larger, purchasing more hose connections will only cause you more work, so you may be better off going with the Dolphin Nautilus that we mentioned before, as that one limits the need for any suction hoses.

Will a wrinkled and uneven pool bottom cause problems?

Yes, it is possible for wrinkles to cause problems, especially large wrinkles or bubbles. Not only will the Aquabug not clean as efficiently, but it could easily tip over or cause tears in the pool lining.

The manufacturers do mention very clearly in the product description that the Aquabug is primarily meant for permanently installed above ground swimming pools.

They advise that it’s not recommended for use on Intex pools, or pools with soft liners. However, we’ve noticed in some pools that have minimal bumps or wrinkles the Aquabug didn’t seem to have any problems. Just for review purposes we did test this in a pool that was riddled with wrinkles and divets along the bottom. What resulted was an extremely poor cleaning experience and a torn pool liner.

Bottom line, if the imperfections in the linings are small, the Aquabug should still work fine. Otherwise, you might want to consider trying a different cleaner.

Will it vacuum the sand and dust from the pool bottom?

Yes! It will vacuum all kinds of dirt and sand from the bottom of your pool, that’s what it’s designed for. So long as you regularly clean your pool filter and your pool’s pump creates a strong enough water flow, the Aquabug will be able to clean up all kinds of dirt, sand, and dust.

Also, if you treat your pool with an algicide, the dead algae will release from the pool floor and get easily cleaned up by the Aquabug.

When it’s time to install your Aquabug (if you buy it), make sure you follow the instructions before using it. It may be a simple install, but if you miss something in the instructions you may find yourself with issues later down the line.

Our Verdict

Cleaning your above ground pool doesn’t have to be a struggle. Stop doing all the hard work and let the Aquabug do it for you. Its quality features make it both economical and fun to watch. To ease user frustration, it’s designed to be super easy to install (takes less than ten minutes), and even easier to use once installed.

Probably the best part, besides the price and how quiet it runs: no filter bags or baskets to clean (besides the filter already in your pool). And since it doesn’t require an extra booster pump it’ll help you save on your energy bill.

If you’re looking for a simple vacuum to help keep the bottom of your pool clean, you’ve come to the right place. We’re sure that you won’t regret purchasing the Hayward 500 Aquabug Above Ground Pool Cleaner.