I received the Polaris 9300 on Wednesday from an online retailer for $900. Supposedly I will get a $150 rebate bringing the net cost down to $750. Why? I opted to purchase a robot instead of spending money on a new motor, water valve, and head replacements for our in-floor cleaner. I am also looking to save money on operating costs of the robot vs. what I feel is the most inefficient (from an energy perspective) pool cleaner.
From box to pool takes about 30 minutes. The unit is fully assembled except for the cart which has 4 bolts and 2 screws. Really simple. Since we have always used the in-floor cleaner and I'm used to doing very little in the area of cleaning I will probably fabricate a small "garage" close to the pool for storage, quick deployment, and a GFI receptacle for the unit.
Although all the neighbors have a Polaris (pressure feed) of one kind or another and I've seen them plenty of times I've never had anything except our in-floor cleaner so that's my only basis for comparison. I used to chuckle when they took them out to swim and I didn't have to do anything.
So far it has met and exceeded my expectations. The in-floor first lost a water valve rendering half the heads inoperable then the pump seals went out about a month ago so I've only vacuumed a few times here and there to keep the debris down. So while the water was fairly clean the floor had a good accumulation of particles, sand, twigs, etc. I set it on 2.5 hour run and it picked up 95% of the mess. From experience this would have taken a 24 - 36 hour run for the same level of clean with the in-floor cleaner. The next run on the robot got the remaining debris which the in-floor would not get until it operated daily for a week. It's really hard for the in-floor to get that last bit. It keeps pushing dirt around like a kid eating spinach.
Also it "scrubs" or brushes the pool while the in-floor can't.
We have a recessed bench and small step on the deep end that it got stuck on (twice) in a vertical position. Strange! I put a rock on the bench and it hasn't gotten stuck since. Since the bench surface is stone the rock doesn't stand out. We have a waterfall with stones that hang out over the pool. A couple of times it has hit these at speed and turned upside down floating on top of the water. It take 3-4 forward/backward sequences to recover.
You have to clean the robot debris container. Since it's summer much of the material was finer grained, stuff that would have ended up in our filter and not the strainer basket so I think there's some consolation in less material to be cleaned out of the filter. We have huge trees with lots of leaves so it will definitely get a workout in the Fall.
The in-floor cleaner is (was?) very good at distributing chlorine and heat. The robot can't.
So far very happy. It does a great job of cleaning. However, this is still the honeymoon stage. The jury is still out on how often it breaks down and total repair costs. I think the drive unit is under $400 so if that lasts 2-3 years, great.