Product Review: The Hayward 500 Aqua Bug Above Ground Automatic Pool Cleaner

Since wind often blows in leaves and dirt into your pool, a great pool vacuum is essential to keep your pool clean.

Cleaning a pool manually can be quite tiresome, especially if you have a large pool. Because of this, many people are buying automatic pool vacuums.

Automatic pool cleaners are ideal since they do most, if not all, of the work for you. There are different types of pool vacuums depending on which kind of pool you have.

If you have an above ground pool, you should definitely check out the Hayward 500 Aqua Bug. It is one of the most popular above ground automatic pool vacuums on the market.

For over 80 years, Hayward has been manufacturing equipment to make life easier for pool owners. They continue to develop cutting edge technology so that the only work you have to do is press the on/off button.

Besides pool cleaners they also produce filters, pumps, heat pumps, lighting, controls, and salt chlorine generators. All these components are designed to work together to keep your pool functioning at its best.

Criteria For A Great Pool Vacuum

Saves Time

Most people are going for automatic pool cleaners these days since they keep the work you have to do at a minimum. This allows you to have time to do other things.

Cleaning the pool manually using a sieve would be an all day job. Automatic cleaners get the job done in just an hour or two depending on which kind you get.

Cleaning Efficiency

Besides helping you save time, the best pool cleaners should also do a thorough job. They should be able to pick up different kinds of debris. Of course, different kinds of pool cleaners are designed to pick up different kinds of debris.

Pressure side pool vacuums focus on large debris, while suction side vacuums focus on small debris. Robotic vacuums clean up both large and small debris. Whichever type of debris the pool vacuum is designed to clean up, it should do the job well.

A good pool vacuum should be able to navigate its way around corners, steps, and ladders without getting stuck.

Cost Effective

Automatic pool cleaners can be a bit pricey depending on which one you buy, so it should be worth the cost. A good pool cleaner can get your pool clean without consuming a ton of energy.

By efficiently cleaning your pool, pool cleaners maintain the health of your pool so that you don’t have to shell out extra money to get your pool clean again when it all builds up.

Even though a pool vacuum can be expensive, it should be durable so that you can use it for many years. One thing that contributes to the life of a pool cleaner is the number of moving parts it has. The lesser the amount of moving parts, the lesser the chance of something breaking and you having to spend money to fix it.

Since many pool cleaners have a set and forget function, they should have an automatic shut off feature to avoid wasting energy.

Product Overview

The Hayward 500 Aqua Bug is one of the most popular above ground pool cleaners currently on the market. It works off your pool’s existing filtration system to do the cleaning and does not require any booster pump. It can clean all different shapes and sizes of pools.

Featuring Hayward’s SmartDrive program steering, the Aqua Bug will clean your pool without missing any spots. The design of the head of the vacuum allows the steering pattern to be completed in minimum time.

The unique turbine gearing system allows for a constant, balanced flow of water. This makes the Aqua Bug run quietly and smoothly as it moves along the bottom of your pool. By pulling water from the bottom of the pool as it moves, it improves water circulation which helps your pool stay cleaner.

It can move away from walls on its on without getting stuck since it has a bumper ring which minimizes friction. If it gets up against a wall, it quickly moves away and gets back on track to its programmed steering pattern.

You don’t need any special tools to install this pool cleaner. You can get it set up in just 10-minutes.


According to user reviews, customers are very happy with the Aqua Bug’s navigation capabilities. It can navigate around wrinkles and bumps in the pool floor. This allows you to leave it to do its job without having to babysit it, even if your pool floor is a bit uneven. It also navigates well around ladders.

Users say they are happy that it cleans their large pools in just 1-2 hours. It is very easy to assemble; it just takes 10-minutes to put together. It cleans all areas of the pool. It removes all the debris that a manual vacuum can.

The Aqua Bug is quite durable and lasts for many years before having to be replaced. Of course, users are also pleased with the cute design of the Aqua Bug.


Some users complain that the hose that it comes with is not long enough so they have to purchase a longer hose. It comes with 32 feet of hose.

Since the Aqua Bug relies on your filtration system, you have to make sure your pump is strong enough or it won’t clean well.

Users have reported that it does not specify in the product details that it is only for hard surface pools, not soft liner pools.


The Aqua Bug is a great buy and will clean your pool well. Just make sure your pump is strong enough to ensure it can do its job well. Keep in mind that it only works on hard surface pools.

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Hayward 500 Aqua Bug Above-Ground Automatic Pool Cleaner
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