After many years of faithful service, I thought it was time to retire my Jandy RayVac. I like the design in that it has no moving parts except for the wheels, moves quickly and effortlessy and does a fine job with light debris. Also, people were mesmerized watching this thing go around. Unfortunately, it had been increasing circling the deep end, and not getting into the shallow end of my pool and had not been as effective cleaning. I needed a pressure side cleaner that did not need a booster pump. I spent a lot of time researching pool cleaners and read all the posts on this forum. I decided that the pressure side PoolCleaner was my best choice.
Admittedly, the manual for the cleaner clearly states that it will not work with a 3/4" constriction. My pool return for the RayVac starts out at 1 1/2" at the pad and goes underground but changes to 3/4" somewhere near the pool wall, I suspect. I took a (costly) chance to see if it would work (another member here has had success with this for his customers). I made a PVC coupling that went from 3/4" to 1 1/2" and attached the cleaner. I had more than enough flow at the end of the hose where it attaches to the cleaner head. I could regulate the flow from the Jandy valve between the required 25gpm up to a max of 40gpm. The wheels turned at the required rate and moved at normal speed. However, I had two significant issues.
1. There is a buoyancy problem. Without the bag attached, it works perfectly. With the bag, the front wheels do not stay down. Customer service has been great and they have been working with me on this. They said this can be caused by air bubbles in the line that can accumulate in the bag, but I cannot see any even at night with lights on in the pool when they should be easy to visualize. I have been experimenting with weighting it down and may be able to get this resolved but is very frustrating. I have been attaching various lead weights with duct tape and I am trying to find the right balance. Not a very elegant solution.
2. I have a small wading area that has two steps that lead into the shallow end of the pool. The lower step curves in at the corners to meet the higher step. When the cleaner reaches one of these curved corners, it gets hung up on the mouth of the cleaner and the wheels do not reach to touch the step and just rotate but cannot catch. It cannot even get off the corner when it tries to change direction. It will just stay there if I do not push it off and return there again and gets hung up again. It has caused a lot of abrasions on the bottom side of the cleaner.
Initially, I was excited about the PoolCleaner and expected it to do a better job than my RayVac and would get into the shallow end more often and climb steps. At this point I am very discouraged. I know from the posts on this forum that many members are very happy with it and I am disappointed I can not get it to work properly.
I ended up replacing the front castor wheel on the RayVac and it is working better. Hopefully, I will get more service from it before I have to think of replacing it again.
If I cannot get the PoolCleaner to work correctly for my situation, I will be putting it up for sale here.