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Thread: Roll call: What cleaner do you use? Are you happy with it?

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    Roll call: What cleaner do you use? Are you happy with it?

    In the interest of helping the many TFPers who want to know more about the various brands of pool cleaners (myself included), would pool cleaner owners be willing to answer a few questions?

    1) What pool cleaner do you own?
    2) Do you recommend it to others?
    3) What does it do really well? (e.g. picks up dust, acorns, climbs walls, steps, etc.)
    4) What does it do NOT so well? (ditto)

    If you have experience with another pool cleaner, please share that too, using the same questions. I will compile all the responses and post a summary. (Hope this is okay with the moderators.) Thanks!
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

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    Re: Roll call: What cleaner do you use? Are you happy with it?

    4-wheel The Pool Cleaner pressure-side cleaner on dedicated line at 15 GPM (using Pentair Intelliflo pump at lowest flow rate).

    I'd recommend it for those who want to save energy and whose pool gets light-to-moderately dirty; not heavy dirt/leaves (I don't think).

    It does a decent job most of the time and I've got it set for 2 hours of cleaning every night, but I also have a pool cover on much of the time.

    It sometimes stays in the deep end too long and doesn't clean the shallow end sometimes (once every week or so). It sometimes gets stuck on a ramp edge in the pool or at least is parked there after its cycle is finished. The bag isn't large so is fine for my 16,000 gallon pool but probably wouldn't work in a larger pool or one that gets a lot of crud without frequent cleaning.

    Overall I'm happy with it, but I used to have a Letro Legend with a booster pump and would say it cleaned a little better (didn't have the problems noted above), but used a lot more electricity.

    Richard
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Riles_J's Avatar
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    Re: Roll call: What cleaner do you use? Are you happy with it?

    I have a suction side 4-wheel cleaner (Tracker 4x Jacuzzi Cleaner) and it does a great job. It is on a dedicated suction port and runs when the pump is on. I find it to do a great job cleaning the pool and I get a lot of debris in it (leaves, dirt, small sticks). I don't have much to compare it to since before getting it I manually cleaned. Much better than that

    It does climb the walls, although I don't really need that as I have a vinyl liner and the walls stay clean.

    It did have a habit of getting stuck under the ladder in the shallow end until I rigged up a little pvc to block this from happening. It also sends debris directly to the pump basket, so I have to clean that out more often now.

    Overall a great cleaner for me and the cost, at just over $200, was in my price range.

    Riles
    16x32 IG vinyl, 19,000 gal, 1.0 hp pump, sand filter, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, diving board, slide

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    Re: Roll call: What cleaner do you use? Are you happy with it?

    We have a Hayward Phantom which runs from a booster pump. When its working, it does a fantastic job. We have had to replace a few interior parts (which were replaced free by hayward), but it cleans the pool very well. It cleans the bottom, but also has a slide switch to make it skim the top of the water as well. We have found that if we keep it on the bottom, and let the pool skimmers worry about the water surface, it seems less inclined to break. The bag is very easy to remove and empty, but we did purchase a second bag, so we could switch them out on occasion. We are starting our third season with the "mouse" as the kids call it, and so far we have been happy with it over all.
    WV Girl

    Custom "L" shape IG gunite pool, 36K gal., main drain, 2 skimmers, 3 returns, hayward heat pump, hayward 1.5hp pump with booster pump, ozonator, 4 cartridge filter.
    one dear hubby, two waterlogged kids, and lots of good times!

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    Woodberg's Avatar
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    Re: Roll call: What cleaner do you use? Are you happy with it?

    We have an in-floor system (Paramount PCC-2000). It works great. It has a dedicated 1 HP Whisperflo pump and I run it for 3 hours per day, (7:00am, Noon, 4:00pm). It is really nice to not have to mess with a polaris type cleaner and I am really amazed how well it cleans. An added bonus that I didn't plan on is how well it circulates the water. When I add chemicals, I turn on the cleaning pump and it very rapidly disburses everything. If you are planning a new pool, I definitely think it is worth the extra cost.
    20,000 gallon gunite pool, attached spa, Pebblesheen finish, Paramount PCC-2000 infloor cleaning system, Paramount ClearO3 ozone system, Intelliflo VS main pump, Whisperflo 1HP cleaner pump, StaRite cartridge filter, StaRite heater

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    rogerbrks's Avatar
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    Re: Roll call: What cleaner do you use? Are you happy with it?

    Quote Originally Posted by singerteacher
    In the interest of helping the many TFPers who want to know more about the various brands of pool cleaners (myself included), would pool cleaner owners be willing to answer a few questions?

    1) What pool cleaner do you own?
    2) Do you recommend it to others?
    3) What does it do really well? (e.g. picks up dust, acorns, climbs walls, steps, etc.)
    4) What does it do NOT so well? (ditto)

    If you have experience with another pool cleaner, please share that too, using the same questions. I will compile all the responses and post a summary. (Hope this is okay with the moderators.) Thanks!
    21,200 gal IG gunite, CL 580 sqft Cartridge filter, aqua pure salt system, polaris 480-blue&white, Jandy PDA Remote, (4) Jandy Deck Jets

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    Re: Roll call: What cleaner do you use? Are you happy with it?

    Polaris 380, came with the place. I have it set for about 2hrs/day, it had a hard time keeping up in the fall when everything was shedding but as a rule it does a good job on the leaves that fall to the bottom.

    Has a tendency to get hung up on the wedding-cake steps in the shallow end, probably just because of the pool shape on that side. The backup jet sometimes frees it up, sometimes not.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: Roll call: What cleaner do you use? Are you happy with it?

    Aquabot Turbo here..I've had it for almost a month and love it...I can't believe what it picks up....right now when I rinse the bag, it has this light yellow jelly looking stuff, the pool is crystal clear and I can't see any of it on the bottom--I'm guessing its pollen. I'm out of school or I would take it in and look at it under a microscope.

    gnew
    I used to have a ......40,000 gal pool, concrete, Hayward SuperPump 1.5 hp, 325 lb. sand filter

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    Re: Roll call: What cleaner do you use? Are you happy with it?

    This is great! Thank you to everyone who replied so far. I'm going to see if I can generate a few more replies by bumping this up, and then will summarize for those looking to buy an automatic cleaner.
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

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    Re: Roll call: What cleaner do you use? Are you happy with it?

    Polaris 280 with booster pump.

    Overall I am satisfied. It picks up most everything except very large stuff. I have 3 different trash bags for it so it can vacuum the floor and discharge via a fine mesh bag, or the regular every day use bag, or I have a leaf bag that is a looser mesh bag coated to make dumping leaves out easier.

    I modified mine so it can run anytime it wants independent of the pool pump. To do this you have to insert a pre-filter before the pump in your plumbing and build a priming pot preferably with a foot valve on the front of the pump. According to the manufacturer the Polaris requires 8 GPM at 40 PSI to work as designed. This can be provided completely with the booster pump (i.e. a true 2 stage pump arrangement is not required). Works great for me.

    The Polaris misses a couple things. It gets caught on my PoolSkim a couple times per week (any suggestions out there?). It doesn't clean steps that are more shallow than about 12-18" deep. It is too big to get in a small tight corner such as where my steps meet the curve of my spill over spa. For the most part this hasn't been a very big deal though.

    The pool store in my area charges a high price for Polaris parts. I try to buy most on eBay now for at least half price of the pool store.

    It climbs walls very well though.
    IG 24k plaster with overflow spa. Goldline PS-8 SWG. Tristar 0.75 HP filter pump, Polaris 280, large cartridge filter, 400k BTU NG Max-E-Therm HD, SR Smith Turbo Twister, Life Saver pool fence, ORP managed.

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    Re: Roll call: What cleaner do you use? Are you happy with it?

    Another Polaris 280 w/booster.

    Makes life with a pool much more tolerable! We have 27 Live Oak trees on our lot, which means LOTS of leaves in the spring, along with pollen, pollen pods, acorns, etc. The Polaris just sucks 'em up. The only place it doesn't seem to clean well are the swimouts. It just doesn't spend more than a second in them before it's headed back into the pool. It picks up leaves, twigs, fine sand, 2-inch gravel, and diving sticks.

    Other than the cost of parts, I love it. Like learthur, I buy parts on eBay. The price difference between there and the local pool stores is amazing. I've bought a few things from the eBay user Perry'sPoolPump in Arizona and have been quite pleased with their prices, prompt shipping and good email communication.

    Last year I noticed that one of my neighbors was throwing away a complete 280, from the wall fitting to the wheels. It's now in the pool house, to be cannibalized for future spare parts. 8)
    26,000 Gallon Gunnite IGP
    2 HP Challenger High Head Pump
    60sf Nautilus DE filter
    Polaris 280

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    Re: Roll call: What cleaner do you use? Are you happy with it?

    We just replaced our Kreepy with a 2wheel suction "The Pool Cleaner". I really like it. First off it looks way better, we got the limited edition dark bottom one. Its dark grey, it blends much better with my prism blue pebblesheen then the bright blue Kreepy. Its also much smaller and less gaudy, its just a paint can sized barrel with a wheel on each end.

    It works great, it doesn't get stuck on anything (except for my dogs non-pool toys he keeps putting in deep end ) I had to mess with the Kreepy all the time, it was very sensitive to changes in pressure(suction?) What I mean is when the filters would start to get dirty I would have to adjust the amount of suction to Kreepy or it would do wierd stuff like lay on its side or rather ride its own hose . I have not had to mess with the amount of suction to cleaner at all so far, we've had it about 5 weeks now. So it may be too soon to tell.

    Another added bonus is that it makes no clicking noise. I really did not like the constant clicking of the Kreepy. The pool cleaner is silent.

    So far so good, my pool is spotless. I would for sure recomend "The Pool Cleaner" . It really does keep my pool cleaner then the Kreepy. It has a unique way of spinning its way around entire pool. It does not clean the steps or benches, but the Kreepy didn't either. I just brush them off once a week or so.


    Anna
    15X35 freeform gunite w/7' spa, 16,100gal.
    Pebble Sheen (Prism Blue)
    Sta-Rite Equip.=2HP MaxE Pro pump, sys.3 Cartridge filter(350sq.), 400,000 Nat.Gas Heater, 2HP DynaGlass booster pump(6 spa jets), Polaris 2HP blower(5 calf jets), Kreepy Krauly
    4 pool returns + 3 deep returns
    1 skimmer
    Using BBB since 8/2006-Thanks to all the great people @ The Garden Web pool & spa forum, poolsolutions, and now this great site!

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    Cherie's Avatar
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    Re: Roll call: What cleaner do you use? Are you happy with it?

    We bought a used VERY old Aquabot Turbo (I believe these are intended for an inground) and it cleans WAY better than our suction-side cleaner did. We are amazed at how this AT has held up, given it's age and that it's on it's 3rd owner now Our only complaint is that we don't need it to climb the walls and feel it would cover the entire pool quicker if we could figure out how to make it clean just the bottom of the pool.

    But the most positive part about this cleaner is that the bag that came with it works better at catching the poofy stuff from the pool bottom than even our skimmer sock catches. So it's self-contained and nothing goes back through our filter. We've had a hard time with the poofy stuff and since getting this cleaner, WHEN we put it in twice/week, our pool bottom stays clean. It also climbs steps...and I don't mean just the wedding cake steps either!! My hubby had to order it to get back down into the pool when he was standing next to the pool ladder - said it came all the way up out of the water almost and climbed onto the first step!

    Also, it's easy for one person to dump it in the pool and turn it on. Supposedly, it only costs pennies per cycle. We didn't have a problem with it trying to eat its floating cord (like many people have complained). But just in case, we sliced pool noodles and put on the cord - lol, they're too big to fit in it's mouth(s)
    32x16 buried Doughboy, 4' shallow - 7' deep
    Pentair Dynamo 1 hp, 2-speed - Pentair 150# SD40 w/zeolite (75#)
    One skimmer/two returns/Aquabot Turbo T2

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    mickey4paws's Avatar
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    Re: Roll call: What cleaner do you use? Are you happy with it?

    We have a Dolphin Dynamic. It's our first automatic cleaner so I don't really have any other to compare it to. It has it's own filtration system and power, so no need to run it off the pump. It does a really good job and it's surprising just how much stuff it picks up. It climbs the walls too. The only downside is it's expensive. Here's a pic of it if you're interested:

    http://www.thelifeguardstore.com/produc ... oduct=3224
    IG 12' x 39' - 20k Gallons - Vinyl Lined - StaRite Cristal-Flo II 26" Sand Filter - Hayward SuperPump 1 hp - Dolphin Dynamic autocleaner - Lochinvar Energyrite gas heater - Aqua Rite SWCG T-15 - TF100 Test Kit - Skimlite Duallly 9016 pole (great pole)

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    Re: Roll call: What cleaner do you use? Are you happy with it?

    Polaris 380 - love it. This is my 3rd Polaris in 21 years. Don't remember the other 2 models. These are workhorses that pick up almost anything. I have a lot of trees (oak and maple) in my yard and my neighbor has several pines so I get all his needles. What a mess. But the "Larry" gets them all. This may be the last one I have to buy because we're in the process of enclosing my pool and patio with a screen enclosure (aka pool cage). So Larry will not have to work overtime anymore!
    15x30 IG vinyl liner pool, pool cage
    Hayward S-220T high rate sand filter and Hayward super pump w/1hp motor
    Hayward SwimPure Plus SWG
    Polaris 380 cleaner and booster pump

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Roll call: What cleaner do you use? Are you happy with it?

    Polaris 280 with 3/4 booster (named: Dalek)

    Works well, picks up just about everything, including the mini toypedos. It climbs the walls well but does not get to the swimouts very often, although it does get up there once in a while. It spends more time in the deep end than the shallow. I think it would be better if the backout valve did not activate as often, It spends too much time floating around than cleaning.

    A few times over the past 3 years, the hose came loose off of the cleaner and I found it whipping around in the pool.

    It runs about 2 1/2 hours a day.
    Gary
    21k gal SW, IG Gunite PebbleSheen, 1HP Jandy, Jandy 340 filter, Polaris 280, 17' fiberglass slide w/ 2HP pump.

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    Cherie's Avatar
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    Re: Roll call: What cleaner do you use? Are you happy with it?

    Now that would be another fun thread. "What did you name your cleaner?" Ours is Rosco and it's now a member of our family!!
    32x16 buried Doughboy, 4' shallow - 7' deep
    Pentair Dynamo 1 hp, 2-speed - Pentair 150# SD40 w/zeolite (75#)
    One skimmer/two returns/Aquabot Turbo T2

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Roll call: What cleaner do you use? Are you happy with it?

    Quote Originally Posted by crabboy
    I think it would be better if the backout valve did not activate as often, It spends too much time floating around than cleaning.
    Tangent Alert! Does your Polaris have the "black box" backup valve? Ours had that when we bought the house and I also thought that it went into backup mode too often. That valve died and I replaced it with the newer "white acorn" backup valve. It now waits much longer before going into backup mode. 8)
    26,000 Gallon Gunnite IGP
    2 HP Challenger High Head Pump
    60sf Nautilus DE filter
    Polaris 280

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Roll call: What cleaner do you use? Are you happy with it?

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryH3
    Quote Originally Posted by crabboy
    I think it would be better if the backout valve did not activate as often, It spends too much time floating around than cleaning.
    Tangent Alert! Does your Polaris have the "black box" backup valve? Ours had that when we bought the house and I also thought that it went into backup mode too often. That valve died and I replaced it with the newer "white acorn" backup valve. It now waits much longer before going into backup mode. 8)
    Neither of my older models had a "black box" backup valve. Nor does my 380 which was purchased ~ 2 years ago have the black box. Is that something new?
    15x30 IG vinyl liner pool, pool cage
    Hayward S-220T high rate sand filter and Hayward super pump w/1hp motor
    Hayward SwimPure Plus SWG
    Polaris 380 cleaner and booster pump

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    no-mas's Avatar
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    Re: Roll call: What cleaner do you use? Are you happy with it?

    I'm very happy with my 2 wheel suction pool cleaner - which replaced a less than one year old Hayward Navigator that constantly would get stuck on my main drain covers.

    Jagfan, you're going to LOVE your screen - - I can't imagine not having one with all the trees we have around... pollen and fine junk will still make it through, but "Larry" will start getting a break.
    18k gal inground, everbrite finish, 505 sq ft; 1.5 hp two speed whisperflow; rheem 5100ti 100k btu heat pump; 3 sheer descent falls; DE filter; swg (cell out and using trichlor for now)

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