I have been researching a new pool cleaner and based on a lot of the comments in theses forums, I am seriously considering one of the Poolvergnuegen cleaners. However, my pool plumbing is not straight forward and I'd like a few opinions as to whether the pressure or suction cleaner is better for my situation. First, a little background. My pool is a 16x32x7ft deep rectangle built in FL in 1964. I have only 2 returns in the shallow end pumping toward a single skimmer in the deep end. I only have 1 line from the skimmer that is pulled back to the pump. My main drain is not plumbed back to the pump, but rather, runs back to the skimmer so there is not much suction on the main drain (see photo). I have a 1 HP pump that builds up pressure in the filter to about 15 psi normally.
My pool is not screened and we have many oak trees in our neighborhood that fill my pool every winter (dry season here). Because of this, I have used a pressure side cleaner to pick up the big debris in the past. I connected a Pentair Legend II (no booster pump) to one of the returns and for a while (~1 year) it did an adequate job of picking up the big stuff, but it is dying a quick death and I am looking for a replacement. The PoolCleaner Pressure seemed like the perfect machine, until I spoke to one of them who told me that I may not have enough flow to run the unit since I only have 1" return plumbing courtesy of FL builders from the 60's.
Now, the Poolvergnueven people were steering me toward a suction unit, but I am concerned about disabling my skimmer completely. Normally, I have very good circulation and my skimmer does a good job of getting a lot of leaves before they sink. Plus, if I connect the suction cleaner to the skimmer, my goofy main drain will be disabled completely. Plus, the suction cleaner inlet is only 7/8", and it's possible the cleaner will choke on the leaves. Plus, all those leaves will be filling my pump basket. Anyway, you get the idea.
A couple more nuggets: I run my pump 8 hr/day all year round and I *never* take my cleaner out of the pool (I think it's best to be honest). The long run times are needed to turn the whole pool over and circulate through my solar heater during the sunny hours. Perhaps with a good suction cleaner, I wouldn't need to run for 8 hours? I dunno.
So, I think for me a pressure side machine makes more sense, but I have no idea if I'll have enough flow to drive the machine. Does anyone have any ideas if it will work?
(For the record, I spoke to a very helpful person at poolvergnuegen who said my situation is a toss-up and they nearly went so far as to say that neither may work for me.)