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Thread: Infloor cleaner not enough- alternate cleaner suggestions?

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    Infloor cleaner not enough- alternate cleaner suggestions?

    I have a large freeform pool (about 30,000 gallons) surrounded by oak trees which gets many leaves and acorns starting Sept/Oct and continuing until March, then tree pollen mid march for 3-4 weeks. The other debris is sand from the moss rock waterfall and travertine decking which ends up in spots along the steps and on the decline to the deep end. I have an infloor caretaker system which does clean some but has never left my pool "clean", I don't think it can keep up with the volume of leaves and pollen that we get.

    The pool has a sun shelf in the shallow end with 2 steps down to 3 1/2 ft., then after the shallow area a steep decline to the 7 ft deep end. There are 2 safety seats on the sides of the pool and a deeper shelf in the deep end.

    The pool has a return for a cleaner but does not have a booster pump. I also currently have 2 poolskims in but have not been able to get them to work yet, there are 6 returns in the pool and I need to minimize some of them so I can get the flow going to the poolskims.

    I am resigned to having to purchase a pool cleaner even after spending all the money on an infloor cleaning system. Knowing what environment I am dealing with, can anyone make suggestions on what cleaner to get? A pressure side clear or a robotic and any suggestions on brands?

    Thanks in advance!
    gunite pool with exposed aggregate finish 54'X25' freeform with raised spa
    SWG, 60 sq ft DE filter, 5 hp waterfall/bubblers pump, Pentair VS main pump
    Houston TX

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    kenandshari's Avatar
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    Re: Infloor cleaner not enough- alternate cleaner suggestion

    We have oaks and acorns as well. I give a thumbs up for the Nitro Wall Climber. No hoses to mess with, just a heavy duty power chord that floats on the water. We've had no issues with it getting tangled or sucked up by the robot. Read the post I placed on a different thread about our Nitro.

    would-anyone-recommend-a-nitro-t27886.html?hilit=nitro

    We did a lot of research (reading countless reviews on TFP and Amazon) and have been very happy with our purchase. There is a thread somewhere on here about various pool cleaners where lots of folks list the pros and cons of their particular unit, I can't find it at present, but perhaps someone else out there familiar with it can post a link for you. Hope this helps with your decision.
    Ken & Shari
    Savannah, GA
    16' x 40' freeform fiberglass inground (Pacific model, mfg by Tallman Pools), 23k gal, 2" plumbing throughout, Intellichlor IC-40, Easy Touch controller, Intelliflow VS 3050 pump, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Quad Cartridge filter. 4 Jandy deck jets (3/4" plumbing), Fiberstars color changing lighting, SR Smith salt friendly diving system, Interfab Wild Ride slide, Aquasol Solar Heat (5 panels 4'x12' DIY install automated with ET) RIP Nitro Wall Climber Mar 2011-Aug 2012, Nitro is survived by a Polaris 360.

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    Re: Infloor cleaner not enough- alternate cleaner suggestion

    I have a Polaris 280 pressure side cleaner. I really like it. It works very well on most debris when you use the proper bag for the job. I inherited it with the pool when I bought the house.

    Many people speak highly of The Pool Cleaner. They come in both suction & pressure side and do not require a booster pump.

    IMO though, a robot is the best choice and is less expensive than a pressure cleaner + booster pump. Obviously I have no experience with it, but I like the specs of the Aquabot Turbo T-Jet. I look forward to hearing what others recommend.
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: Infloor cleaner not enough- alternate cleaner suggestion

    Thanks for the suggestions. I looked into the Nitro but it is only recommended for pools up to 40' long and we are at 50'. From what I have read the Turbo T-Jet does not climb walls unless they are very sloped. I am now trying to decide between the Polaris 280 and the Blue Diamond (it had a better warranty and was less expensive than the Aquabot Turbo T), has anyone done a comparison of these two?
    gunite pool with exposed aggregate finish 54'X25' freeform with raised spa
    SWG, 60 sq ft DE filter, 5 hp waterfall/bubblers pump, Pentair VS main pump
    Houston TX

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Infloor cleaner not enough- alternate cleaner suggestion

    The big difference is that the 280 will require the installation of a booster pump. It also can't run without the main pump being on. For a big pool, you'll need to run it a lot, which equals a lot of power cost (though probably still less than running the in-floor system).

    Without bothering to look up prices (I'm lazy), I bet you can get the blue diamond for not much more $$. Duraleigh also has a colossal pool (even bigger than yours); he has a blue diamond and likes it.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Re: Infloor cleaner not enough- alternate cleaner suggestion

    Yes, I can get the BD for only $100-200 more than the 280 with the booster pump, and once I factor in the cost of installation and running the pump it is probably a wash?

    As far as performance is concerned, is one better than the other?
    gunite pool with exposed aggregate finish 54'X25' freeform with raised spa
    SWG, 60 sq ft DE filter, 5 hp waterfall/bubblers pump, Pentair VS main pump
    Houston TX

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Infloor cleaner not enough- alternate cleaner suggestion

    I bet adding installation alone would bump it up equal to or higher than the BD, unless you do it yourself. I don't know how much power the BD uses, but I bet it's quite a bit less than running your VS + booster pump. I'll try and get Duraleigh over here to throw in his experiences.

    I can't really comment on how well either cleans, since I have an in-floor system as well; mine works OK mainly because I get practically no debris in the pool. How long do you typically run the system per day?
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Re: Infloor cleaner not enough- alternate cleaner suggestion

    Mine is running 4 hours a day but it is all at once, I think maybe I need to break it up into several times a day instead? Also, the caretaker rep said that it needs a minimum of 15 psi to adequately power the pop ups, and that is what I get, no more, when I run the VS at maximum speed 3450 rpm.
    gunite pool with exposed aggregate finish 54'X25' freeform with raised spa
    SWG, 60 sq ft DE filter, 5 hp waterfall/bubblers pump, Pentair VS main pump
    Houston TX

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Infloor cleaner not enough- alternate cleaner suggestion

    As long as the heads are popping all the way up, I wouldn't worry about that. Splitting up the runtime might help for the leaves/pollen; try it and see!
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Re: Infloor cleaner not enough- alternate cleaner suggestion

    How much leaves/acorns will the blue diamond hold as compared to the polaris? It doesn't seem to me like very much debris would fit inside the robot.
    gunite pool with exposed aggregate finish 54'X25' freeform with raised spa
    SWG, 60 sq ft DE filter, 5 hp waterfall/bubblers pump, Pentair VS main pump
    Houston TX

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    Re: Infloor cleaner not enough- alternate cleaner suggestion

    If debris (leaves, acorns, etc.) is the overriding concern, I don't think ANY robot or pressure side cleaner is adequate.....the bags are all too small.

    Leaves should be scooped manually with a leaf net (pretty easy, really) or perhaps vacuumed with a suction side cleaner with and inline leaf canister.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Infloor cleaner not enough- alternate cleaner suggestion

    If you have an extremely leafy pool, i'd just let the Skimmer do it's thing best it can, and if you want, install a pressure cleaner like a Polaris. But if leaves are constantly falling, it's up to you to skim them out when you have the time, and keep emptying your basket(s). Pretty much all you can do other than trimming or cutting down those trees!

    Oh, and 4 hours is just not good enough, even in the winter. Atleast 6-8hrs is ideal.

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Infloor cleaner not enough- alternate cleaner suggestion

    The amount of runtime is variable for every pool; if I could turn mine off, I would probably only need it a few hours a month. I don't think that blanket recommendations like that are worth much.

    jennacarly, good luck with whatever you choose to do. This may be a dumb question, but have you contacted Paramount?
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Re: Infloor cleaner not enough- alternate cleaner suggestion

    The skimmers only clear part of the leaves, the rest fall to the bottom before they make it to the skimmers. It takes me a good 2 hrs to scoop it out with the leaf rake.

    The problem with the infloor cleaner is that it leaves sand in pockets around the pool and on the slope, and it is supposed to agitate the leaves upwards for the skimmers to catch but they just seem to swirl around the deep end and fall back down to the bottom. It does have a leaf catcher which gets about 5% or less of the leaves.

    We have had the trees trimmed back but it didn't help, cutting them down is not an option my husband is willing to consider. And yes, the Zodiac reps have been out to my house about three times, we increased the pump speed to maximum and they said it is working properly but the pool is still not clean. The rep did not return my last phone call.

    The caretaker manual says that 6 hrs is a minimum runtime so I will increase the run time to 8 hours and see what happens, the leaves and pollen now in April only come down when it is windy so I think I may have a reprieve until September.

    The recommendations I've gotten so far is a suction side cleaner, a pressure cleaner and a robot. I'm confused on what to do now!
    gunite pool with exposed aggregate finish 54'X25' freeform with raised spa
    SWG, 60 sq ft DE filter, 5 hp waterfall/bubblers pump, Pentair VS main pump
    Houston TX

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Infloor cleaner not enough- alternate cleaner suggestion

    There is no perfect answer. There are lots of choices, and no way of being sure of which is best in advance. Each possible solution tends to have some problem, and you can't always know in advance what that problem is going to be or if it will bother you.

    I'm fond of my robotic cleaner, but it does take some work to put it in and take it out and cleaning the debris bag is a chore. Pressure side cleaners tend to work well, but you have to clean the debris bag regularly and they often need a fair bit of maintenance every couple of years. Suction side cleaners tend to work best on small pools and if there are lots of leaves they can clog the pump strainer basket.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Infloor cleaner not enough- alternate cleaner suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by Melt In The Sun
    The amount of runtime is variable for every pool; if I could turn mine off, I would probably only need it a few hours a month. I don't think that blanket recommendations like that are worth much.

    You're right, it depends on the size of the pool, the environment, equipment, lots of variables. But just from my experience in the field and from what i see every day, 4hrs is the bare minimum i want my customers pools running per day.

    The original poster has a large leafy pool, approx 30k gallons. If you want your skimmer to do it's job and a pool that large to filter properly esp with all those leaves eating up your FC all day every day, i'd have it filter as much as possible. And if you're worried about using too much electricity, run it after peak hours so you save on your energy bill.

    I have lots of leafy pools up in the hills of Palos Verdes, and i tell all my customers to run it atleast 6hrs per day in the Winter. If i had it my way, i'd want them running atleast 8hrs in the Fall/Winter months.

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