Hayward PHS21CST Aquanaut Pool Cleaner Review



There are many suction pool cleaners available today, but only some of them are efficient. One of those worth-the-price cleaners is Hayward’s Aquanaut 200, which is well-known for its features that will surely fulfill your pool’s needs. The sturdy and elegant design of this pool cleaner attracts many customers, while the reviews would make you want to buy one immediately. To discover why it stands out, read the specs, features, pros, cons, and customer feedback below.


Size 11 x 9 x 8.5 inches
Weight 16 lbs.
Manufacturer Hayward
Item Model Number PHS21CST
Cycle time 3 hours
Cable length 33 ft.
Pool Size Up to 20’ x 40’ or pools with deep ends
Pool Surface Concrete, Gunite, Vinyl, Fiberglass, Tile, Pebble
Drive Sequence Turn every 11’ to 14’
Min Pump Size 1/2 hp or 35 gpm
Warranty 2 years
Amazon Rating 4.0 out of 5 stars

Features of the Product

Easy Installation

Hayward Aquanaut 200 has a pretty straightforward setup procedure. Even if you’re a beginner, you won’t have a problem with setting it up. Just follow the simple steps below:

  1. Get rid of large pieces of debris, clean your filters and pump baskets, set right the chemical imbalances, then point all return fittings downward.
  2. Join the hose sections and the leader hose.
  3. Link the leader hose to the head of the Aquanaut 200, then add the hose floats at about 20-25 inches from the cleaner head.
  4. Connect the adjustable regular valve as well as the vacuum lock or hose cone adapter.
  5. Immerse the Aquanaut 200 together with the hoses in pool water. Ensure that all the air is forced out of the tubes. Remove the air by spinning the unit.
  6. See to it that the pool pump is switched off before hooking up the regulator valve or hose to the vacuum lock or the skimmer in the dedicated suction line.
  7. Regulate the bypass valve, wheel RPM, and suction flow.

And that’s it! You can leave it to do what it’s meant to do.

VFlex™ technology

This patented tech optimizes power from the water flow so that the Aquanaut 200 can move even at low pressure and suction, every single time while collecting debris (large ones included). That’s all thanks to the flexible vanes in the unit which can handle huge sized debris.

Adjustable Roller Skirt

As a patented technology, this helps the cleaner in the maintenance of the required suction under it, all the more when facing obstacles. If the unit is above an impediment, the roller skirt will lift, while all the other rollers preserve the suction. This feature is what prevents the cleaner from getting stuck on the main drain.

Multiple Preset Steering Sequences

All swimming pools are different, which makes this feature useful. This preprogrammed cleaning pattern allows your pool to be spotless. The internal steering helps the cleaner cover the whole area without getting stuck in tight corners. You can even choose a mode using the remote control, but it’s best to leave the pool on its own. Trusting it to clean your pool won’t disappoint. Because of this feature, the Aquanaut 200 can be compared to robotic pool cleaners that don’t need you to watch over them.

Ideal for variable speed pumps

The Aquanaut is also perfect for variable speed pumps because of the three available sizes of inlet throats (small, medium, large).

Why Should You Buy the Hayward Aquanaut 200?

aquanaut side viewBecause it’s from Hayward! This trusted brand has been operating for a long time (more than 80 years actually) and has been recognized for providing quality products. And because it’s from Hayward, you can be sure that the Aquanaut 200 won’t be difficult to maintain. The durable design is even backed by the company’s network of dependable service centers. It’s also cheap for its price, considering the features and all the flexibility options you can get from this cleaner. It’s a wonder to behold, and definitely an efficient pool cleaner to own.

Pros & Cons

Need more convincing? Check out the perks of getting the Aquanaut 200 below!


  • Installation is easy.
  • It’s US-made—which means the quality is out of the question.
  • It has reliable internal gears that take too long to wear out.
  • It has a power-adjusting turbine which can maximize the suction from your pool pump.
  • It has programmed steering that makes sure the cleaner will spend enough time in the shallow end.
  • The tire tread design is advanced, allowing it to beat obstacles.
  • It can climb walls.
  • It has a broad vacuum path which comes with significant ground clearance.
  • It’s ideal for pools with both small and large debris.
  • The pressure hoses snap together with the hose swivel for fast setup. 
  • It can work with speed pumps.
  • It’s easy to maintain.
  • It’s energy efficient.
  • Its soft rubber tire treads won’t harm vinyl liners.
  • It won’t get stuck on corners or steps.
  • It can pass over the pool’s main drain with ease.


Let’s be honest. No machine is perfect, and that includes the Aquanaut 200. Here are the three drawbacks we can find in this cleaner:

  • The tire treads can wear off quickly if the pool has a rough surface.
  • It doesn’t come with a filter bag, so the dirt is transferred to the pool’s filter system.
  • The turbine vanes can’t turn properly when large pieces of debris are collected.

What Are Customers Saying About It?

According to most customers, it does what it’s supposed to do—clean the entire pool, including the walls. They say installing it is easy-peasy, and it keeps the pool sparkling clean. It will even roll up the wall to clean the area where the floor meets the wall! Some also say the unit can last for more than five years. Many pool owners also appreciated the fact that you can buy individual parts if necessary.

However, some customers said you need sufficient suction power for it to climb the walls. A few pool owners even complained that it flips over on its side about 80% of the time. It also gets stuck on the main drain from time to time.


Clearly, there are more pros than cons when we talk about the Aquanaut 200. After all, it’s one of the most trusted and best suction pool cleaners from around the globe. If you came here looking for flexibility and durability, then congratulations, you’ve found it!