Here is my nightmare. My pool was built by the previous owners under a 82 year old California Pine that likes to shed these 2-3" needles year round. They drop into the pool and hang onto the side of the pool at the waterline until they get water logged, then they fall to the bottom. The ones that make it into the skimmer, generally get caught in the disposable debris shield that I have lining the basket, but the ones that make it through head straight to the pump and shut it down.
I tried a suction side cleaner, but even with a leaf canister (with the debris shield in it), the needles weaseled their way through and jammed the pump. Also, the machine (the new Baracuda) got stuck on the steps about every 15 minutes, so it wasn't even doing that much cleaning. One other factor in the suction side failure was that my lame pool guy never showed me that there was actually a suction side input, I HAD TO SHOW IT TO HIM AND ASK WHAT IT WAS!!!! (yes, time for a new pool guy, but one thing at a time). Anyway, I had it attached to my skimmer input which meant that some of the needles we being sucked straight down that skimmer hole and into the pump, and jamming it up.
I want to try a robotic cleaner, since the needles won't be headed to the pump, but I need one that can do two things. First, clean at the water line. Two, clear itself if it hits the steps. I have been looking at the Nitro Wall Climber, it's got pretty good reviews, but I read a review where it got hung up on the steps and the AquaJet, which looks pretty hokey, and I read a review where it didn't really clean at the water line.
And just to confuse things, I'm wondering if I should try the Polaris ATV, and triple up on the debris shields to see if I can stop these needles before they hit the pump.
I realize that no cleaner is gonna be perfect, but I'm just looking to get real close.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
My pool is sort of Kidney Shaped, about 40 X 20 or so. 2hp pump motor.
P.S. Did I mention that I have two homes being built adjacent to my property and they are pounding me with dirt and sand?