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What does an in floor cleaning system do?

An in floor cleaning system is essentially a self-cleaning pool. Swimming pools with an in-floor system utilize pop up cleaners that emerge from the bottom of the pool to clear debris and dirt. When the pop up cleaners have finished their job, they recede back into the floor the pool. A typical in-floor cleaning system utilizes around 15 or more pop up cleaner heads distributed strategically around the pool. The technology for in-floor systems has been around for generations but has dramatically improved in recent years.

How does in in-floor cleaning system work? #

In an in-floor cleaning system, pop up heads emerge from the bottom of the pool floor to spray jets of water that propel debris to the drain. The pop up heads in an in-floor system work in quadrants to be faster and more effecient. A quadrant typically consists of anywhere from 2-10 pop up heads. Each quadrant is tasked with cleaning a specific section of the pool.

Diagram of how a typical in-floor cleaning system works in an inground swimming pool.

Why choose an in-floor system? #

Swimming pool owners prefer an in-floor system over robotic cleaners because they save time.  The in floor system systematically works to collect debris from the bottom of the pool and collect it to be sucked away in a centralized main drain. In-floor cleaning systems are highly configurable and can be set to different speeds.

Can an in-floor cleaning system be used on any inground pool type? #

The short answer is yes. Most in-floor systems can be easily integrated into any type of pool. The setup and configuration may vary. In floor cleaning systems are used in Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass, and Gunite Pools. There are different cleaning systems that are preferred products for each style of pool. It’s best to check with a local pool builder to see which style of in-floor cleaning system best suits your pool.

How much does an in-floor cleaning system cost? #

The short answer is an in-floor system will normally cost between $5,000 and $10,000, depending on the size and style of the pool. We answer this question in a much more in-depth article, essential reading if you want to find out the true cost of installation,

Pros & Cons of In-Floor Systems #


  • Automatically cleans the pool of debris and dirt
  • Improves water circulation
  • Improves heat distribution
  • Configurable to nearly any type of pool
  • Typically uses less electricity than other cleaning methods
  • Quiet in comparison to robotic cleaners
  • Prevents stains from setting in


  • Mainly effective at cleaning the bottom of the pool, not the surface
  • Expensive to install
  • Expensive to repair
  • Typically not effective for larger messes, you may still need to vacuum.
  • Difficult to install after the pool has been constructed.

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