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Wanda the Whale: What You Need to Know

Wanda the Whale: What You Need to Know
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Nothing beats the cold and refreshing experience of a splash in a swimming pool during summer when temperatures soar to unbearable highs. However, a swimming pool comes with a big responsibility: ensuring that the pool always stays clean at all times!

Cleaning a swimming pool can take up a lot of time and effort, and paying for cleaning services every time it gets dirty can be expensive in the long run. It is easier and cheaper to use an automated robotic pool cleaner. That is where Wanda the Whale comes in!

In a nutshell, Wanda the Whale is designed to keep your above-ground pool clean without breaking a sweat. Here is a comprehensive review of this adorable-looking and surprisingly effective automated in-ground pool cleaner.

About Wanda the Whale Pool Cleaner

Wanda the Whale, looks so adorable that you would be forgiven for mistaking it for a water toy. However, it is one of the most efficient automated pool cleaners designed for in-ground and above-ground pools. In other words, it is like a Roomba for pool – all you have to do is switch it on and leave it to do all the heavy lifting.

Wanda has a simple working mechanism that relies on its ingenious round design and patented SmartDrive programmed steering system. The design enables it to remain stable at all times, while the steering system ensures that it covers every inch of your pool’s floor. Additionally, a powerful suction system does a fantastic job to ensure that your pool’s floor is sparkling clean.

Wanda’s simplistic design also means that it doesn’t come with cumbersome accessories. Its main accessory is a 32-feet hose that connects to the pool’s existing filtration system. These attractive little fellows feature a unique turbine system that enables them to move gently for a quiet operation. What’s more, they remedy improper water flow and improve water circulation by pulling water from the bottom of the pool.  

Hayward W3900 Wanda the Whale Suction Pool Cleaner
  • The Wanda the Whale Cleaner from Hayward is designed to automatically clean the bottom of all sizes and shapes of above-ground and on-ground pools
  • Patented SmartDrive programmed steering system ensures quick and thorough cleaning
  • Unique turbine/gearing system provides constant balanced water flow assuring quiet operation and gentle movement across the pool bottom

Wanda the Whale pool cleaner stands out for many excellent reasons. Some of its most likable qualities include:

  • High-precision automated pool cleaning with minimal supervision
  • Quick installation without the need for extra tools (completely installs in less than ten minutes)
  • An efficient water removal and circulation system
  • Quick and thorough cleaning in record time
  • Easy maintenance and long durability with the proper care

Wanda the Whale is a product of Hayward, one of the leading brands in the industry – the Hayward family produces a wide range of pool cleaning accessories, all designed to look like adorable, attractive little fellows. It is equipped with a host of the latest automatic cleaning technologies designed to work on any pool floor size, shape, or design.

However, it is also worth noting that this above-ground pool cleaner is not designed to clean the pool’s walls. As such, it is advisable to give your walls a gentle scrub before deploying your Wanda vacuum to round up the dirt at the pool bottom. Additionally, you will need a 1500 GPH pump for optimal normal operation.

Be sure to also check out our related posts on pool vacuum cleaners!

Importance of a Pool Vacuum Cleaner

Can you imagine yourself or your loved ones swimming in a dirty swimming pool? It wouldn’t only be ugly but also unhealthy. Bottom line: a dirty swimming pool is essentially useless – and you need an efficient pool vacuum cleaner to keep your swimming pool clean.

Experts recommend keeping your swimming pool clean for dozens of good reasons, all of which highlight the importance of a vacuum cleaner. Some of the most convincing reasons include:

Preventing the Growth of Algae

Have you ever noticed that ponds eventually turn green? The growth of algae causes this, and it will happen to your swimming pool, too, if you don’t keep it clean. Algae can cause several conditions ranging from mild to serious, including diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. Algae start growing at the pool’s walls and bottom, making it necessary to clean them regularly.

Keeping the Drains Clear

Can you imagine swimming in a pool littered with leaves, twigs, and other debris? For starters, it would feel cluttered and dirty. Additionally (and more importantly), this debris is a hazard and can pose several risks, including choking.

Fortunately, your swimming pool’s drainage system is designed to pull in debris, keeping the pool clear. However, the debris can clog your pool’s drainage system if left to accumulate over time. As such, it is important to check the filter system and clear the debris in your pool regularly, necessitating regular vacuuming.

Supporting Optimal Water Balance

Swimming pool chemical sanitizers such as chlorine are designed to keep the water clean and safe for swimming. These chemicals should be added to the pool water regularly, ideally after every cleaning cycle. More importantly, the chemicals should be kept proportionate and balanced, or else they will pose a safety hazard.

Contaminants in the water can cause an imbalance in pool water chemicals. For example, the presence of algae may make some of these chemicals become toxic over time. As such, it is essential to keep the pool clean.

Keeping the Pool Enjoyable

Swimming in a pool with dirty and contaminated water would hardly be enjoyable – it would be cringy. However, swimming in crystal-clear water feels relaxing and comfortable, and you can even play and splash around. As such, keeping your swimming pool clean helps you and your loved ones enjoy the best of what it has to offer and make the best of your time swimming.

Hayward W3900 Wanda the Whale Suction Pool Cleaner
  • The Wanda the Whale Cleaner from Hayward is designed to automatically clean the bottom of all sizes and shapes of above-ground and on-ground pools
  • Patented SmartDrive programmed steering system ensures quick and thorough cleaning
  • Unique turbine/gearing system provides constant balanced water flow assuring quiet operation and gentle movement across the pool bottom

Wanda the Whale Pool Cleaner’s Features

Wanda the Whale looks adorable with its compact, whale-inspired design. However, it packs a powerful suction system under the adorable blue hood, making it one of the most efficient in-ground pool cleaners in its category. Some of its most notable features include:

SmartDrive Programmed Steering System

Navigation is a common problem among robotic above-ground pool cleaners that use basic navigation systems. Unfortunately, these automated pool cleaners just can’t seem to find their way around the pool bottom, and they can spend hours cleaning one spot!

Wanda the Whale uses a patented SmartDrive steering system, giving it a 360 degree view and coverage for trouble-free operation. Using the latest GPS technology, its forward movement, and free rotation mechanisms can cover the entire pool surface. Consequently, the exclusive SmartDrive program steering technology ensures that this aqua critter doesn’t miss a spot.

Wanda also features a contoured head design, in addition to the exclusive SmartDrive program steering. This prevents it from getting stuck in the edges and corners along your pool’s walls and floor, again ensuring that it doesn’t stop until the job is done.

Optimal Balance

Some robotic above-ground pool cleaners just can’t seem to stay upright. They lose balance and fall easily, making it necessary to pick them up several times before they can get the job done. This is frustrating, and it beats the purpose of getting an automated pool suction cleaner. Wanda is designed to keep its balance on even and slightly uneven pool surfaces – it doesn’t require much supervision, either.

Floating Hoses

It is not uncommon for automated ground pool cleaners to get stuck in cocoons made by their own hoses. Wanda the Whale overcomes this problem by using floating hoses (plus the patented SmartDrive programmed steering system), effectively leaving the pool bottom clear for the vacuum cleaner to move freely. This ingenious design also enables the robot to clean larger surfaces less than other pool cleaners.

It is advisable to attach more hoses if you notice the ones in pace sinking. It is also worth noting that you will need a more powerful pool pump if you add more pool hoses.

Quick & Easy Installation

You don’t have to be a technician to hook up this automated in-ground pool cleaner and get it running. It comes with a 32-feet hose that connects directly to the skimmer and uses the pool’s existing filtration system – you don’t need any tools, and it completely installs in less than ten minutes. However, while installation is easy, it is also advisable to test to ensure that everything is running properly – this is especially advisable when connecting extra hoses or using an extra booster pump.

Frictionless Deluxe Bumper Ring

An in-ground or above-ground pool with soft walls requires gentle handling when cleaning. Automated pool cleaners will bump into the pool’s walls several times, as does Wanda the Whale. However, Wanda is fitted with a frictionless deluxe bumper ring to make the inevitable collisions with your pool’s walls gentle and minimize the likelihood of damages.

30-Foot Reach

Wanda the Whale has impressive coverage of 30 feet from end-to-end, the standard size for most residential in-ground pools. It is also worth noting that it works with the pool’s existing filtration system and requires about 1500 GPH (or 25 GPM) to cover the 30-foot surface area. However, Wanda can cover a larger surface, but you will need a more powerful pump and longer hose to cover the extra distance.

Wanda The Whale Alternatives

Hayward AquaNaut 400 Suction Pool Cleaner
1,213 Reviews
Hayward AquaNaut 400 Suction Pool Cleaner
  • The Hayward AquaNaut 400 Suction Cleaner features an exclusive 4-wheel drive capability for superior power, traction and stability in pools of all kinds
  • Patented V-Flex technology with self-adjusting variable vanes maximizes suction power while virtually eliminating clogs
  • Multiple pre-programmed steering sequences ensure end-to-end coverage, including walls

Be sure to also check out our related posts on pool vacuum cleaners!

Wanda the Whale Pros

As already established, Wanda the Whale is undoubtedly one of the best automated in-ground and above-ground pool cleaners. It offers many benefits, including:

  • Installation is quick and easy and generally takes less than ten minutes
  • It doesn’t require sophisticated tools to set up and connect directly to the pool’s existing filtration system
  • It cleans every inch by utilizing its exclusive SmartDrive program steering
  • It gets rid of big and small debris, including fine sand, thanks to its highly efficient sand filter system (use properly balanced chemical sanitizers to ensure that the pool stays cleaner for longer)
  • It is equipped with an efficient turbine system for quiet operation and gets the job done in less than two hours
  • It supports constant balanced water flow and good water circulation by pulling water from the bottom of the pool
  • It has a large coverage of 30 feet, and users can extend this coverage by using a longer hose and a more powerful pump

Wanda the Whale Cons

Wanda the Whale cleaner for in-ground pools also has its shortcomings, including:

  • It isn’t equipped to clean vertical pool walls
  • It is only suitable for in-ground and above-ground pools
  • It has limited space in the debris bag, which may fill up before the robot is done cleaning
  • It is not advisable to use for cleaning ground pools larger than 30 feet


Here are answers to some of the most common questions about Wanda the Whale cleaner for in-ground pools:

Why Is Wanda the Whale Not Moving?

Wanda the Whale may stop operating for several reasons. For starters, it is worth noting that it shuts down temporarily after several hours of use. It may also stop moving if constant balanced water flows through the cleaner, in which case you should fit the hose correctly and check to see that the pump is powerful enough (at least 1500 GPH).

Other complications may include clogging and blockage. Many of these problems are easy to solve yourself, but it is advisable to consult a technician if the problem seems more complicated.

How Does Wanda the Whale Work?

Wanda is automated, meaning that she doesn’t require direct supervision to clean your in-ground or above-ground pool. All you need to do is connect the cleaner to the hose and the pool’s filtration system to get the cleaner to start working. You can place it anywhere at the bottom of the pool, and it will start moving around as it cleans the whole surface. It uses an exclusive SmartDrive program steering to make its way around the pool’s floor, and it doesn’t flip or get stuck.

How Do You Empty Wanda the Whale?

Wanda the Whale in-ground pool cleaner comes fitted with a canister and bag to store debris. It is important to empty these bags and canisters as soon as they fill with debris, or else the cleaner will become clogged. Fortunately, the bag and in-line leaf canister are easy to remove and re-install. It is also important to check and wash the filter regularly.

Why Is My Aqua Critter Not Moving?

Your aqua critter may stop moving and working for several reasons. Some of these problems are easily noticeable and can be fixed with minimal technical expertise. However, you will need a Hayward aqua critter troubleshooting (or a Diver Dave troubleshooting) guide to pinpoint the problem and remedy it.

Pricing on this page was last updated on 2024-07-14