We've had our pool about 2.5 years (and the Hayward Viper that we got with it).
I can't tell you how frustrated I am with that cleaner!
Year 1 - right out of the gate we had a lot of trouble with it tangling up and getting tied into knots. Pool builder trimmed done the hose length, and it improved slightly but not much. I would say it got about an hour of cleaning before getting hopelessly stuck. It would also get consistently stuck in a corner. Our pool ... a apparently difficult to navigate large rectangle!
Also had some episodes where it wouldn't turn at all.
Year 2 - stopped working and had to send it in to get fixed ... thankfully under warranty. Later, it continued tangling and several times wold kink the hose and the pressure would pop the hose at a fitting, so I was constantly repairing. Probably only got about 25% usage during that season.
Year 3 - busted hose ... looked like another tangle and a worn spot on the hose. Also the nose of the viper had worn a hole from dragging along the side or bottom ... probably from spinning in the same direction and getting caught up in the hose. Replaced a 10' section of hose, and 5 days later, another hose break at the inline filter section of the hose. I had even checked and lowered to pressure to the lower end of the operating range to try and help.
Needless to say, I'm not prepared to spend another dime on this machine to get 10 days a year of operation. So I'm looking to replace.
Here's what I've narrowed down as options:
1) Robot Cleaner - Blue Diamond seems to be the best from the reviews that I've read. I wish Costco carried that brand to get a great warranty, but it does have 4 years from the manufacturer. My pool doesn't get a ton of debri, so it might be overkill ... but I would enjoy reducing the manual brushing and vacuuming, and the pressure side cleaners never totally get rid of the fine dirt.
2) Polaris 280 - Probably the best reviews I've seen, and since it is a few models old, the price is pretty good at most places. Of course, I have flashbacks of hose issues and maintenance nightmares.
3) Repair the Viper ... again. OK, this really isn't an option for me. But my wife sees $30 versus $350 for the Polaris versus $1000 for the Blue Diamond ... I just see headaches
Any feedback is much appreciated.