I purchased the Barracuda MX 8 about 2 weeks ago. I just want to do a quick review for those that might be in the market for a new cleaner.
This is the second year for the Barracuda and they have made one significant change. They include a suction meter to measure the suction of your system before you hook it up. Apparently, if it is hooked up with too much suction, it tends to have some parts fail. I mention this first just to note that I have it set to a just under the recommended 3 setting which I currently feel is a good balance between the cleaner and my two skimmers.
I am using the Barracuda on a Pebble Tech pool with a designated pool cleaner intake. The pool is a free form style almost like a peanut shape and measures 32' x 16'. The hose is made up of small sections that have a quick connect system. I have 4 sections left over that I am storing for future replacement. It came with several adapters to fit different sized inlets and even a skimmer. The suction meter connects to the end of the hose and lets you adjust your valves to get it to the recommended 3 setting. As noted above, I have it set to just under 3. I would guess it is set at 2.75 as it only has whole numbers on it. Once I connected the Barracuda it took off and started cleaning. I found it amusing that it says to vacuum the pool before using it. I of coarse not only ignored this statement but had it cleaning a dirt and dead grass clipping bottom as a result of a recent storm that combined the level of my pool with the surrounding yard. Oh, I have not mentioned yet that I also have a sanded beach area that is 3 feet from the pool only separated by some stone pavers.
The Barracuda took on the challenge with no problem. The bottom was so bad that I had to clean my pump basket every few minutes for the first hour or so. It never clogged of got stuck. I pulled it out and opened the top access several times to see nothing stuck or inhibiting the inner workings. It truly cleaned it better that I could have manually with the standard vacuum with the 8 rollers. It has 2 circular scrubbers underneath that stirs up the sediment and leaves nothing but pure bottom.
Since the rain storm disaster it has worked flawlessly maintaining a clean bottom. Having a beach area with dogs and kids keeps a constant flow of sand in the pool which I no longer notice with the Barracuda running. I have a large deck area inside the pool that has stairs the full length of the shallow end. it will not climb the stairs or reach the deck which is fine because it is only about 4 inches deep on top. I can just brush anything on the deck and stairs to the bottom of the pool for the Barracuda to pick up. Just general use of the pool will circulate the stuff to the bottom anyway so I don't foresee too much brushing needed.
Works very well
Gets to tight corners by my steps
Has scrubbers underneath
Hasn't been stuck yet
Comes with meter to help with wear
Looks cooler than the Hayward
Pinch a Penny claims they can get any replacement parts
It doesn't climb my walls on a Pebble Tech pool even at recommended setting (I never manually vacuumed them either)
I'm not confident the quick connect hoses will be good long term
I hate dealing with rebates
I will gladly report back after a more extended use period or at first falter.