Our PebbleTec pool is approximately 32' x 15', free-form, with a long step and sitting area in the shallow end. We have a dedicated 2" suction port/line that's located not quite midway on the long wall. The pool has a 3' shallow end, and a pretty aggressive slope to a 8' deep end. We have a variable speed pump, single skimmer, and over-sized Pentair cartridge filter. I currently run the pump on low speed (1,300 RPM's I believe) for 14 hours, and high speed (2,300 RPM's I believe) for 2 hours each day. Most of the debris that enters the pool is grass clippings, sand/dirt, small worms and insects, along with a minimal amount of small, soft leaves and on occasion, a long piece of palm frond material. For a short period of time I ran a Zodiac G3 in the pool, and it had two distinct tendencies:
1. More often than not, it could not make it up the slope to the shallow end, and would turn back into the deep end, so it continually circled in the deep end.
2. When it was able to navigate the slope, it would either get stuck on the long step, or make a quick return to the deep end after a single pass in the shallow end.
I was constantly guiding it around the shallow end manually with the aluminum pole to clean the shallow end, which took more time than manually vacuuming the pool. I also tried an original Kreepy Krauly that came with the house, and had the same result, so I believe a traditional, "skirted" cleaner might not work in this pool. I had a Hayward Navigator, and could likely be retired after spending a fortune on parts, including wings and rubber feet. The cleaner would work great with the new parts for 30 days at best, then the performance went downhill.
I'm not interested in investing in a robotic cleaner, and want something I can leave in the pool nearly full time. As such, I'm considering the Poolvergnuegen 2X, Zodiac MX 8 and Zodiac MX 6. I worry about the complexity of the Zodiac cleaners, with their pivoting vanes, gearboxes, etc., and have read of premature gear wear and constant replacement of the gear boxes. The MX 6 has a single gear box, which would make it less expensive to maintain, however it still has the pivoting vane assembly. Owners report they are very effective when properly working.
No one in my area sells "The Pool Cleaner," so I'd be buying that sight unseen. My concern with the Poolvergnuegen is that I've read that it tips backward when going up steep slopes, so doesn't clean the slope area, and can also get trapped in the deep end. I have no interest in the 4X version due to the cost of parts replacement. The one advantage I see with the Zodiac is that parts costs seem to be low in relation to other cleaners. The problem is, if you're replacing things frequently, low parts costs become a moot point.
Any advice on which way to go in my specific instance? Is there another cleaner in this price range that I haven't considered?
Thanks in advance!