Hayward Navigator vs Aquanaut Face to Face comparison

Hayward Navigator vs AquanautHayward Company has produced products – for residential pools and commercial pools – for pool owners for more than 80 years. Among inground automatic suction pool cleaners, the bestsellers are two models, Hayward W3925ADC Navigator and Hayward W3PHS41CST Aquanaut 400. Both models should be connected to the existing filtration system (Hayward also produces pumps and filters) and works perfectly without additional electricity or batteries.

Even though robotic cleaners have become more popular and are replacing automatic ones, the detailed comparison of Hayward Navigator vs Aquanaut shows that these models are considered the best solutions for cleaning pool floors and walls.

The comparison shows the requirements for both models and how better to install them for maximum efficiency. Then, based on the provided data, you can choose the model that better suits your expectations and budget.

Hayward Navigator vs Aquanaut – Comparison Table

Hayward W3925ADC Navigator Pro...
Hayward W3PHS41CST AquaNaut 400...
Package dimensions LxWxH
40.4 x 13.6 x 11.9 inches
40.4 x 13.6 x 11.9 inches
Weight
17.71 pounds
21.2 pounds
Color
White and dark blue
White, black, and dark blue
Pool Type
Inground all types and shapes
Inground all types and shapes
Pool Sizes
Up to 20' x 40'
Up to 20' x 40'
Pool Surface
Gunite
Concrete, Gunite, Vinyl, Fiberglass, Tile, Pebble
Motor type
Turbine-drive system
4-wheel turbine drive
Suction power
Determined by an existing filtration pump, not less than 1 HP
Determined by an existing filtration pump, not less than 1/2 HP
Filtration System
No filtration system, all sucked debris and dirt goes to the pool filtration system
No separate bags in the package; all collected debris goes to the filtration system
Hose length
40’
40’
Vertical surface cleaning
Water surface cleaning
Control
Pre-programmed cleaning with Exclusive SmartDrive and Aquapilot steering technology
Pre-programmed Internal Steering system
Cable
Powered from hose connection to existing pool’s filtration system
Powered from hose connection to existing pool’s filtration system
Additional feature
Two plastic flaps on the left and right sides
Four wheels with rubber tires
Warranty
Two years limited warranty
Two years limited warranty
Hayward W3925ADC Navigator Pro...
Package dimensions LxWxH
40.4 x 13.6 x 11.9 inches
Weight
17.71 pounds
Color
White and dark blue
Pool Type
Inground all types and shapes
Pool Sizes
Up to 20' x 40'
Pool Surface
Gunite
Motor type
Turbine-drive system
Suction power
Determined by an existing filtration pump, not less than 1 HP
Filtration System
No filtration system, all sucked debris and dirt goes to the pool filtration system
Hose length
40’
Vertical surface cleaning
Water surface cleaning
Control
Pre-programmed cleaning with Exclusive SmartDrive and Aquapilot steering technology
Cable
Powered from hose connection to existing pool’s filtration system
Additional feature
Two plastic flaps on the left and right sides
Warranty
Two years limited warranty
Hayward W3PHS41CST AquaNaut 400...
Package dimensions LxWxH
40.4 x 13.6 x 11.9 inches
Weight
21.2 pounds
Color
White, black, and dark blue
Pool Type
Inground all types and shapes
Pool Sizes
Up to 20' x 40'
Pool Surface
Concrete, Gunite, Vinyl, Fiberglass, Tile, Pebble
Motor type
4-wheel turbine drive
Suction power
Determined by an existing filtration pump, not less than 1/2 HP
Filtration System
No separate bags in the package; all collected debris goes to the filtration system
Hose length
40’
Vertical surface cleaning
Water surface cleaning
Control
Pre-programmed Internal Steering system
Cable
Powered from hose connection to existing pool’s filtration system
Additional feature
Four wheels with rubber tires
Warranty
Two years limited warranty

Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Main Difference Between the Models

Although these two automatic suction cleaners, Hayward Navigator vs Aquanaut, look absolutely different, they perform the pool cleaning with similar high quality, and both depend on the existing pool filtration system. The main differences between these models are:

  • Hayward Aquanaut has four wheels with rubber tires for movement and stability, and Hayward Navigator has two plastic flaps.
  • Hayward Aquanaut can be used in all types of surfaces of swimming pools, Hayward Navigator W3925ADC only for concrete ones.
  • For the installation of Hayward Navigator, a special regulator for adjusting the water flow between the skimmer cup and the first section of the hose should be used.

Likewise, for both models, there available other Hayward models that will be good for other types of pools.

Hayward W3925 is available in three types – for concrete (gunite), vinyl or fiberglass pools. Also, on the market, it is presented an upgraded version significantly more expensive with similar functionality for professional cleaners – Hayward 925ADC.

Hayward Aquanaut W3PHS41CST is available with four or two wheels (Hayward W3PHS21CST Aquanaut 200), the difference is in the steering wheel that allows the two-wheel model to turn more often and in the number of wheels. The four-wheel model is more stable and is designed for larger pools 8 ft or more profound.

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Detailed Product Reviews

Hayward W3925ADC Navigator Pro

Hayward W3925ADC is an automatic suction cleaner. The Exclusive SmartDrive system ensures cleaning and grabbing all debris from each square inch of your swimming pool. It perfectly cleans the pool floor, covers, and walls but with some limitations of size and inclination (for some cases, it isn’t easy to climb).

It takes ten minutes or less to connect with plastic hoses the Hayward Pro to your filtration system that has a pump with at least 1HP. If your pump is about 1HP or more, the cleaner can easily climb the walls. No booster pump is required to make it work. No additional tools are necessary.

Before installation of a pool cleaner, you need to prepare your pool accordingly: remove all large objects (you can use a simple net for leaves, large debris, coins, etc.), the pool water level should be as recommended, and the water composition also should be checked (chemical substances and a lot of algae can decrease efficiency and destroy the Navigator Pro), the filter should be prepared for connection to the cleaner for maximum performance (backwashed or cleaned in advance).

The installation procedure consists of two steps: determining the proper hose length and adjusting the correct water flow.

  • The hose is combined through 10 smaller pieces with push fittings until you reach the required length – the length from the skimmer to the far end of the pool and a pool wall plus two connection hoses. The leader hose has a cup marked with a red sticker that goes to the suction cleaner. The hose from the suction cleaner goes to a skimmer through an adjustable valve. Before the skimmer, you can add an additionally purchased extra leaf connector.
  • Then insert into the leader hose a flow gauge and put the whole hose under the water with a gauge, turn on the filtration pool pump and adjust the water flow to ensure that indicator is between a minimum and maximum marks. Do not forget to remove a flow gauge after that. The rear flap at the left bottom of a pool cleaner should be set on 2 for most of the pools.

After these two simple steps, put a suction pool cleaner into the water, remove all water and connect to the hose, starting with a leader hose section. After removing the skimmer basket, the skimmer cone is used to connect the other end of the hose with a filtration skimmer port. During all installation procedures, the pump should be turned off; after you turn it on, the cleaner starts to move. With proper following installation activities, you may ensure that the cleaner works as designed. In addition, the intelligent programmed cleaning ensures efficient cleaning of the whole pool without hose tangles.

The storage of all parts of the automatic pool cleaner is easy. All hose sections should be stored straight, not coiled, including the leading hose. The suction cleaner should be removed from the water after cleaning with a special handle and stored in a shelter.

Using the cleaner applicable only to your type of swimming pool is recommended. Plastic flappers of a pool cleaner can damage the surface of your plaster pool, and small pieces of damaged materials can achieve the filtration pump through hoses and destroy it.

Pros
  • No booster pump is required
  • Connected to existing filtration system with a pump
  • Can clean walls
  • No maintenance
  • Easy installation
  • Powerful turbine for effective suction of debris and dirt
  • Programmable system for full coverage of pools in every shape
Cons
  • Not recommended to use in salty water
  • The filtration system should be cleaned before usage of the cleaner
  • Separate cleaner for different types of pool surface
  • Not recommended to with a lot of algae

Hayward W3PHS41CST Aquanaut 400

The Hayward W3PHS41CST is also connected to the existing pool filtration system with a skimmer or suction port pump. For that, the package is provided with 12 one-meter hoses with push fittings. It has three different suction inlets– large, medium, and small. For example, if you have a pump with a low suction, you need to install a small plastic inlet. This also will be useful if you have a variable speed drive pump in the filtration system.

The automatic cleaner is designed for all sizes of debris thanks to V-flex Technology – self-adjusting variable vanes – a clog-free clean. An adjustable roller skirt on the bottom of the cleaner allows for uneven cleaning surfaces like drains. You can buy a separate basket for large debris and install it between any of the hose sections.

Before installing the pump, you need to perform the same steps as for Navigator Pro. First, you must check if the filter and pump basket is clean. Then turn the pump off. After that, you can install the hose, starting from the leading hose on the head of the cleaner; the hose is combined from the section to the furthest point plus one section. You can now put the cleaner inside the pool to ensure all air is out from the hose. The last section should be connected afterward to the skimmer via a special skimmer adapter. When you turn on the pump, the cleaner will start to move around the pool. The most important procedure to check if everything is installed correctly is to count the number of wheels rotation per minute – 11 – 14 rpm per minute is the best performance with proper suction. If you have a more considerable value, you need to turn to adjust the skimmer adapter.

The pre-programmed system does not allow to stick in any pool place. It quickly changes direction when it reaches some obstacles or walls impossible to climb. Also, the suction power will not be lost on obstacles thanks to the patented adjustable roller skirt. High-traction tires perfectly move on all surfaces and obtain greater climbing power.

important

There are similar models to Hayward Aquanaut pool cleaner – PoolCleaner and Hayward Phoenix. This happened as Hayward a couple of years ago purchased Poolvergnuegen Company produced pool cleaners under the trademark PoolCleaner. And Hayward Phoenix is a retail version of Aquanaut. All three cleaners are similar but have different colors and slightly different wheel designs. Also, PoolCleaner does not have an ergonomic handle. But it is handy for taking the cleaner out of the water, it doesn’t have a changeable suction inlet, and a swivel for a hose can be taken out, whereas, for Phoenix and Aquanaut, it is attached to the body itself.

So, it is recommended to buy Hayward Aquanaut online or Phoenix in retail to obtain all recommended features, with the possibility to quickly purchase additional or changeable parts from Hayward.

Pros
  • Three types of suction inlets
  • No booster pump is required
  • One cleaner for different types of pool surfaces
  • Can clean walls
  • No maintenance
  • Connection to the existing filtration system
  • Only one changeable part – rubber tires (every 12-18 months)
  • No noise during operation
Cons
  • The filtration system should be checked and cleaned, if necessary, before usage of this cleaner
  • On some walls, the cleaner cannot climb
  • Expensive
  • Humps only on the front tires of the cleaner
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Buyer’s Guide

An average pool owner will not judge that pool maintenance takes time. Therefore, any device that can simplify the process and give you more time for fun is appreciated. Automatic suction cleaners are devices that can work in fully automatic mode and remove all dirt and debris from the pool floor and walls. Hayward Navigator vs Aquanaut is a perfect example of this convenience, as they obtain all advantages.

Advantages:

  • No electricity or batteries are required
  • Connection to the existing filtration system for work is only required
  • Simple installation
  • No maintenance
  • Pre-programmed cleaning patterns
  • Simple construction does not require a lot of changeable plans
  • Can clean walls and floor; some models can clean a waterline
  • No booster pump is required for work
  • No separate filters inside the cleaner to clean after each use; all debris and dirt go to the primary pool filter
  • If required separate filter installed on the hose could be purchased for big debris and leaves
  • Can be connected via pool skimmer or pool suction pump inlet
  • Properly installed suction cleaner cleans the whole pool without missing spots and stops near obstacles
  • Some cleaners have the additional protection for the suction line – a special vacuum valve installed on the suction line

Disadvantages:

  • Depending on the pump of the filtration system and its condition, it increases stress on them
  • If the pump has less than ½ HP or even 1 HP, some automatic suction cleaners will not be able to climb the walls
  • If you determine the hose length incorrectly, hose tangles can occur
  • Cannot collect debris from the water surface
  • Some automatic cleaners are not recommended for use with a lot of algae
  • No standard time for one cleaning cycle

The pros and cons prove that automatic cleaners are easy to use and have only some disadvantages that are not so significant for you to reconsider. With a proper following of all manuals and advice, Hayward Navigator and Aquanaut will work for many years cleaning your pool. Please see the comparisons below to understand more clearly the differences between these two models.

Design and construction

Hayward W3925ADC Navigator Pro

Hayward W3925ADC Navigator Pro
Hayward Navigator Pro has a streamlined form with two plastic flaps on the right and left sides. They do constant vibration pushing the cleaner to move and giving additional stability to the model. The upper part of the body has an ergonomic handle to take out the cleaner from the water safely without destroying the hose. The lightweight – 17.71 pounds allows you to do this quickly and effortlessly.

Hayward W3PHS41CST Aquanaut 400

Hayward W3PHS41CST Aquanaut 400
Hayward Aquanaut 400 has a stylish design with a small body, four plastic wheels, and rubber tires. The front tires have humps to escape obstacles like drains. Wheels and tires provide a 4-wheel turbine and ensure perfect movement, stability, and maneuverability. A handle for taking out the cleaner with a weight of 21.2 pounds is also installed on the body.

verdict

Both models have a robust design but comparing Hayward Navigator vs Aquanaut, the second one is a winner. As four wheels provide more stability and climbing power for cleaning walls. The weight difference is insignificant for taking out the cleaners with a special handle.

Requirements for the pool pump

Hayward W3925ADC Navigator Pro

The automatic cleaner should be connected to the pool pump with not less than 1 HP for powerful suction and wall climbing.

Hayward W3PHS41CST Aquanaut 400

Aquanaut requires a pool pump with ½ HP at least for effective work and wall climbing.

verdict

Hayward Aquanaut requires a pool pump less than Hayward Navigator, which is ensured by the different construction of this model. Considering that the filtration system should be prepared accordingly and checked for clogging and suction activity before starting a cleaner, this is a significant advantage of this model.

Type of pool surface

Hayward W3925ADC Navigator Pro

Navigator Pro for inground pool
It is recommended to use only gunite pools as plastic flaps can destroy other types of surfaces.

Hayward W3PHS41CST Aquanaut 400

Aquanaut 400 for inground pool
It is designed almost for all popular pool surfaces – Concrete, Gunite, Vinyl, Fiberglass, Tile, and Pebble.

verdict

If you buy a cleaner for a specific type of pool without needing to use it somewhere else or do not want to change the pool surface type, this feature is not essential. But if you want to use your cleaner on different pools, Hayward Aquanaut is a better solution as it can be used for most pools.

Installation activities

Navigator Pro

Hayward W3925ADC Navigator Pro

The correct pump flow is checked with a special flow gauge installed on the leader hose. The gauge should be between the minimum and maximum marks. You may need to check during the cleaning procedure, as suction power can drop significantly because of the flow.

Hayward W3PHS41CST Aquanaut 400

This model can change the size of a suction inlet at the bottom with detachable plastic detail depending on the type and available power of a pool pump. Also, to increase the ability to climb the walls, you can set a special screw in three positions. The proper settings can be checked by counting the number of wheel rotations.

verdict

Hayward Aquanaut has more varieties in installation settings that allow using pump suction power with the best efficiency. Also, it is much easier to count the number of front-wheel rotations (from 11 to 14 per minute) to understand if the cleaner is installed correctly.

Other construction features and technical characteristics for both models are the same:

  • location of hose connection on the upper part of the body,
  • no build-in filter, but can be purchased separately and be installed between hose sections,
  • connection via a plastic hose consisting of 10-12 sections,
  • possibility to connect to a skimmer or suction inlet,
  • easy access to the turbine to check for clogging with several screws,
  • procedure for combined hose sections with fittings.

In conclusion, some additional features that Hayward Aquanaut have with the same main technical characteristics as Hayward Navigator Pro make this model a favorite of this comparison. But these advantages are provided for a significantly higher price than for Navigator Pro.

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How to choose the best automatic pool cleaner?

The face-to-face comparison of Hayward Navigator vs Aquanaut showed that the second model has more advantages. But which parameters are essential for the automatic suction cleaner, and which may be skipped?

The requirements for the existing pool pump
The essential requirement should be checked in advance, determining how a suction pool cleaner will work. A suction power also determines the ability to climb the wall.
Hose length
The hose length (or the total amount of hose sections) should be at least the length from the hose connection to the pump to the furthest part of the pool, plus 1-1,5 sections.
Requirements for the pool size, type, and surface
Some suction cleaners are designed for specific pool sizes and surfaces. For example, if you can put a robotic cleaner in different locations of the pool, but for automatic cleaners the cleaning area is determined by a hose length. Also, some cleaners are designed for specific surfaces, as they can destroy not as per design.
Ability to climb the walls
Some suction cleaners can clean only the floor; some can also clean walls. It is always better to have a more functional device that significantly saves your efforts and time. Walls as a floor require constant cleaning from dirt and algae.
Easy installation and maintenance
The easier the installation and maintenance, the more evident it will be and will not require a professional. Easy maintenance also includes less changeable parts, saving your efforts and time.
Warranty
The more extended warranty ensures fewer expenses if a cleaner requires a repair
The price
Price should correspond to the number of performed activities and analogs on the market. And it should fit your budget. Otherwise, you can check other cleaners – manual cleaners.
It is essential to mention the number of debris and its size are not a requirement for these cleaners, as all sucked garbage goes to the existing filtration system, which should be already chosen based on these data.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Why does Hayward Navigator Pro not climb the walls?

faqThere could be four main reasons for that. First, if your pool pump has less than 1 HP. Secondly, some large debris can stick on the suction side of the automatic cleaner near the turbine. Thirdly, there are air licks in a hose fitting. And the last reason is that your filter is not clean enough. If this is the case, you need to shut down the whole system and check step by step the reason.

Why is it recommended to install a vacuum lock safety wall fitting on the suction line for Hayward Navigator Automatic pool cleaners?

The purchased separately fitting is designed to prevent potential accidents during the accidental opening of the vacuum line. Also, it prevents hoses from being detached when the pumping system is turned off. For Hayward Aquanaut, this fitting is included in the package.

Do all tires for Hayward Aquanaut have humps on the rubber tires?

Only front tires have humps to go through the main drum; the back ones don’t. So please keep this in mind when you are ordering new tires.

Which automatic cleaner is suitable for a large fiberglass pool – Hayward Navigator vs Aquanaut?

Hayward Navigator Pro W3925ADC is not recommended for a fiberglass pool. Meanwhile, Hayward W3PHS41CST Aquanaut 400 is a perfect solution for large fiberglass pools with deep ends.
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Conclusion

A detailed comparison of these models – Hayward Navigator vs Aquanaut – shows that Hayward Aquanaut is more reliable in wall cleaning and requires less suction power from the filtration pump. Also, it has several sizes for suction inlets to maximize cleaning and suction. It is also designed for a wide range of swimming pool surfaces, as Hayward Navigator only for concrete pools.

But all these advantages compared to Hayward Navigator Pro cost almost twice. And because they are both designed for the exact size of the pool, work from the pool pump, and almost equally clean the pool (if installed correctly and a pump has enough HP), you will not see much difference in performance. The summary is that both cleaners are equally good; if you have a tight budget, you can buy a Hayward Navigator, but you need to check if you fit all requirements for proper installation. Otherwise, Aquanaut is a good choice with additional pleasant features.

Hi! I'm Markus Robertson, and water is my passion. Five years ago, I graduated from the University of California-Los Angeles and was going to become a professional marine biologist. However, my fate had other plans for me, and due to family problems, I had to find a more stable and well-paid job. I had only one wish for my job to be connected with water. During this period of my life, I worked as a sales manager at Olympic Pool & Spa Supplies. The job helped me learn everything about swimming pools and related pool equipment, as well as how to choose the best option and what to pay attention to. Having worked there for three years, I decided to start my own blog about pools, where I can tell people about the best new pool equipment models and share my knowledge and experience. A marine biologist by education, I became a pool blogger by trade. Now I'm glad I can help the guests of my store and the visitors of my blog know a lot of exciting things about pools, their types, best pumps and filters, necessary equipment maintenance, and so on. I welcome all people who want to choose a proper basin and the stuff to my blog! Hope you'll find this information interesting and useful!

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