Ok so new member here who found this site after having an algae/pollen issue for the first time in many years with our pool and with some lurking & reading we now we have a clear pool forming - big thanks for that.
Our 5 year old Polaris cleaner shot again last year after spending $250.00 to have it rebuilt the year before so decision was made to just skip the automated cleaner last year as we really only have dirt and small debris that gets into our pool and figured we would save for a nicer cleaner. Now we are ready to purchase one and we have been doing all sorts of research and are really confused in which direction to go for our 20 x 40 inground vinyl liner pool with hayward sand filter system. The Polaris connected to our skimmer line and seemed to do a decent job but was always having some gear or something needing to be replaced so we have started looking at robotic systems but those seem to be way more than we want to spend. Is there really that big of a difference in the self contained pump systems versus the ones that connect to your existing pump system? Would like to stay around $600 or so if possible but would spend more if it was worth it as far as easier care and length of life. From what I have read online though most have issues with their newer robotics as well after a year or so and just makes it seem like not really worth the investment.