Automatic Pool Cleaner Review:
Hayward Phantom Pool Cleaner
*All of our reviews are written from a non-biased point of view and are based upon research and testing.
The Phantom comes in at #3 on our Best Pool Cleaner list based on innovation, manufacturer history and price. This pool cleaner sells for around $1,050 including the booster pump which is required for operation. It's made by a company called Hayward Pool Products. The proven history of the manufacturer is definitely a positive aspect of this product, with over 75 years in the pool cleaning industry and offering a wide range of equipment for pool owners.
The Hayward Phantom (offered in black or white) is a pressure-side type of cleaner which attaches to your pool's main filtration system. While pressure-side is a widely used and long-proven method of pool cleaning it does require a significant amount of energy to operate in comparison to a robotic pool cleaner.
Set up of this cleaner proved to be a fairly simple procedure, something that is always appreciated by pool owners! The main thing we appreciated about the Phantom is the manufacturer's effort to keep pool cleaning technology on the cutting edge. It's uniquely engineered to clean the pool’s bottom, walls and steps, and automatically rise to the surface to skim debris from the top of the water. This is a unique feaure of the Phantom and we were impressed that it did a great job of serving up a sparkling clean pool when initially tested. However, we read numerous online customer reviews which reported that the Phantom has a very short life, requiring new parts and ultimately replacement, often times after or during the first season. The upside is that if you do experience this problem parts are completely covered by the manufacturer's warranty within the first year. However, it doesn't seem worth the hassle because the price point is comparable to other pressure-side and robotic pool cleaners that are effective cleaners and don't break down as often.
One of Hayward's selling points is that the Phantom's patented AquaDrive Water Jet Propulsion allows for less wear and tear on the pool surface. The AquaDrive system is a great bit of engineering but to advertise less wear and tear on the pool's surface because of it seems like a stretch. The 6 quart filter bag also proved to do a great job of collecting all kinds of debris from leaves to sand. (In comparison the EcoJet PRO has a significantly larger filter bag at 29 quarts.) Overall the Hayward Phantom is a good pool cleaner when it's doing its job. On a final note; we were also impressed with the technology of the customizable random cleaning pattern, although not a unique feature to the Phantom, it does accomodates most pool shapes very well.
The Hayward Phantom is as mysterious as its name. Hayward is a very popular brand of pool cleaner, widely available online and in stores, but this model seems to be lacking in the key areas of durability, long term performance and reliability. Bottom line for the Hayward Phantom automatic pool cleaner, it has lots of potential to be a great cleaner but may not make your life as a pool owner any easier or less expensive at this point.
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