I've read dozen of threads and I've actually owned 2 different dolphins on my previous pool (the bright colored one that died after 5 years and then the M4). I'm now building a new pool and the PB has offer the 280 as standard, but would sub out a M4 if I prefer for even money (since I would not then get a booster pump either). I have no experience with any pressure side cleaner. In my last pool, I also had no leaves to contend with. My new pool does have an Oak tree that will give me some leaves in the fall and I suspect an occasional acorn will get blown over.
Ease of maintenance is the highest priority. At first I thought the M4 would be a no brainer and I'm still concerned I'll be disappointed with a 280. My pool will be about 26k gallons, free form with mini-pebble. My concerns are:
-the M4 will not do well with many leaves, but I do have 2 skimmers and would run them 24/7 in the fall.
-I'd like to leave the M4 in the pool to take advantage of its daily/weekly timer, but I've read this isn't recommended.....why in the world would they have a timer then?
a) Does anyone know about how many oak leaves an M4 can carry?
b) Is it more practical to leave a 280 in the pool over an M4? (I'll have the Hayward Omnilogic to automate it's cycles).
c) Does a 280 pick up any sand or does that pass through its leaf bag?
d) How weather resistant is the M4 power supply really?