We moved into a house last year with a pool that has pop-up cleaners. Oh man, do I hate these things. They just don't do much of anything but push dirt into a little pattern on the bottom of the pool. I have to manually vacuum the pool every other day during the summer. I've been neglecting it during the winter and just keeping it loaded on chlorine and brushing the bottom and sides. Anyway, I want to do something different this spring and summer, and I am trying to find out what kind of automatic cleaner people recommend.
As far as pool info goes, I don't have much info. It's a very tiny pool, about as small as you can get in a backyard. It's not pebble-tec but it doesn't feel like your typical plaster either. There is a skimmer, which I hook up the manual vacuum to because there is no other vacuum port, although there is a hole underneath the skimmer in the wall of the pool that looks like it would accommodate a vacuum but is just not the right size for standard tubing. There are 2 main drains. which don't seem to work very well. There is also a hole about 6 inches away from the pool in the ground. I'm not sure what it is for, but it looks like there is water in it, and there is a hole in the pool wall a couple inches above the water line directly in line with the hole in the ground. The hole in the ground is about 2 inches in diameter, the one in the wall of the pool is smaller, about 1 inch in diameter, and has a threaded opening.
Anyway, what would your recommendations be on an automatic pool cleaner? Do I need to disable the pop-ups to use it (because I actually really like the pop ups on the steps)? Is this going to require an expensive professional re-plumbing? Is it something I can do myself?
Thanks, and my sincere apologies for being totally ignorant when it comes to swimming pools and their parts.