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Thread: Best pool cleaner for above ground?

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    Best pool cleaner for above ground?

    Hello,

    Since the weather is starting to change here in Central Iowa I would like to start thinking about the pool and what things I need to be doing. However, there is still quite a layer of ice on it, but at least I can be prepared!!!!

    So, we bought a used above ground pool and it had a Wanda the Whale cleaner with it. We could never get Wanda to work properly last year (our first year with this pool) and that was my biggest source of trouble was keeping the gunk off of the bottom of the pool. The pool is too tall for me to be able to reach over the side and reach the bottom with a net to clean so I would really like something automatic that will pick up the gunk on the bottom for me.

    What is the best automatic cleaner for the size pool I have (hopefully my pool info is still showing in my signature) for around a couple hundred dollar or so. I also need to keep in mind the pump we have as I think you all had advised that it was a little on the small size for this pool. So do I need something with a booster pump?

    Would love to find a great sale before the pool season is in full swing.

    THANKS so much.
    2014 Used 33'x54" Wilbar Morada,deep end approx 28,800 gal.
    Hayward S180T1580S pump/filter combo,
    Pentair Aqualuminator light/return, Aquabot S2-50
    TF-100 kit, Initial fill with pond water
    South Central Iowa

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Best pool cleaner for above ground?

    I only have experience with Dolphin cleaners, but it's hard to imagine one that performs better than my M5. The Dolphin Z5 Oasis also gets very good reviews. For a pool that large, I would suggest one in this category at least. Don't skimp on a robot. $$=Cleaning power.
    TFP Moderator
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    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Best pool cleaner for above ground?

    I just found a used Dolphin Diagnostic on CL that is a couple hours away from me. $400. What do I need to look for? Is it worth buying used and risking having trouble with it? Can it be used on an above ground pool?
    2014 Used 33'x54" Wilbar Morada,deep end approx 28,800 gal.
    Hayward S180T1580S pump/filter combo,
    Pentair Aqualuminator light/return, Aquabot S2-50
    TF-100 kit, Initial fill with pond water
    South Central Iowa

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    Re: Best pool cleaner for above ground?

    I too am interested in whether they would work on an AG????
    21x42, 23000K AG ClearwaterII Cartridge Waterway 2HP 2 speed July 2014 TF-100 SWG aquarite with Tcell

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Best pool cleaner for above ground?

    I am a big fan of buying "used" stuff when I can but I would be a little gun shy of a used pool cleaner of any type. They just don't seem to have that much reliability.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Best pool cleaner for above ground?

    Doing a google search I am planning on sticking with my suction cleaner unless someone has adviceon a robot none seem to be able to handle a 42 foot AG. Some will do thefloor but without getting the sides would it bewotth it?

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Best pool cleaner for above ground?

    Re-visiting this post as I did not ever purchase a pool cleaner yet.

    Any more advice for me? I would like a robot, but do they work off of the pool pump or do they have their own drive system? I don't want to over work our pump if it is on the small side already.

    Pool is a lovely shade of green and I need to get busy on it. This is the last week of school for the kids and the weather is going to turn and stay nice one of these days!!!

    THANKS!!
    2014 Used 33'x54" Wilbar Morada,deep end approx 28,800 gal.
    Hayward S180T1580S pump/filter combo,
    Pentair Aqualuminator light/return, Aquabot S2-50
    TF-100 kit, Initial fill with pond water
    South Central Iowa

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    Re: Best pool cleaner for above ground?

    The Wanda vac is rated very highly. Instead of buying a new vac, I would suggest you consider buying a new pump that can provide the right amount of suction. I hesitate to recommend a different cleaner because they all work the same and you will likely be disappoint. Your pump is the place to start.
    Sharkline Reprieve 15x52 (3/14). Still using Intex 2650 Sand Filter with Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 3/4 HP pump (6/15). Solar Cover cut into strips for easy removal, (2) 2*10 Space Saver solar panels. Swim Jet HD Robot (by Aquabot) (3/15). Chlorine Liquidator (4 gal). 4 person hot tub. Hard pipe is the way to go for improved flow! Retired Lil Shark (3/15). Starite Max E Therm 333k BTU Propane Heater w/ 24 gal tank (7/15).

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    Re: Best pool cleaner for above ground?

    Aquabot makes cleaners for AGPs. I have one called the Swimmer. I have had it for four months and I wish I had skipped all other cleaners. It cost me about $350 but you can find them a little cheaper if you shop around.
    Sharkline Reprieve 15x52 (3/14). Still using Intex 2650 Sand Filter with Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 3/4 HP pump (6/15). Solar Cover cut into strips for easy removal, (2) 2*10 Space Saver solar panels. Swim Jet HD Robot (by Aquabot) (3/15). Chlorine Liquidator (4 gal). 4 person hot tub. Hard pipe is the way to go for improved flow! Retired Lil Shark (3/15). Starite Max E Therm 333k BTU Propane Heater w/ 24 gal tank (7/15).

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Best pool cleaner for above ground?

    There are basically 3 types of pool cleaners

    suction cleaners like Wanda, Kreepy Kraully, etc

    pressure cleaners, these usually need their own pressure booster pump so I will go into more details

    and robot cleaners which are powered by electricity and drag a power cord around

    Of the 3 suction cleaners are the cheapest from under $100 for cheaper import models to around $400 for the latest brand name super duper models, but if your pump does not generate enough suction to power them there is no point in considering them without a pump ugprade

    This leaves robots which run from about $500 - $1,800, again this is somewhat of a get what you pay for unless you find a deal, I owned 2 Dolphin Diagnostics like you were considering (actually one was a Diagnostic Pro, but for all practical purposes they were the same, and recently switched to an Aquabot Turbo T) The thing I don't like about the older Maytronics Dolphin designs is the potential repair cost as they must be shipped back in for repair and they don't sell many repair parts, they also have a high enough minimum repair charge that it goes along way towards buying a new robot. I have also read but things about Aquabot repair service, but at least you can buy the parts and do it yourself with most of their stuff.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
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    jmcdtucson's Avatar
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    Re: Best pool cleaner for above ground?

    I like my Aquabot Pool Rover. No dependence on the pump.
    Intex 12'x24'x52"
    8,403 gallons
    Intex SF60110 2450 GPH Sand Filter
    Intex CS8110 SWG
    Aquabot AJET121I Pool Rover S20-40

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    yostmatt's Avatar
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    Re: Best pool cleaner for above ground?

    My Wanda the Whale works great. I am very happy with it. I usually toss it in every Saturday AM for a couple hours. It cruises around pretty good on high, and even works on low speed too, just not as fast. Have you tried to call Hayward maybe they can help troubleshoot Wanda.
    ~Matt~ Radiant Metric 24'x52" 14k- built into a slope. CircuPool Si-30 SWCG. Jandy 200 SqFt cartridge filter. Pentair Optiflow 2-speed 1HP pump. Wanda the Whale. TF-100 Test Kit. Hard Plumbed.
    My Build w/ lots of pics

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    Re: Best pool cleaner for above ground?

    Quote Originally Posted by f3justusc View Post
    The Wanda vac is rated very highly. Instead of buying a new vac, I would suggest you consider buying a new pump that can provide the right amount of suction. I hesitate to recommend a different cleaner because they all work the same and you will likely be disappoint. Your pump is the place to start.
    I guess how do I know if it is Wanda or if it is the pump? Wanda will run for a while and walk around the bottom and then her little feet stop and there is no suction (if I remember correctly). Wanda is probably several years old. Is there a way to re-vamp her and put new life in to her or would we be better off getting something different?

    THANKS!!!
    2014 Used 33'x54" Wilbar Morada,deep end approx 28,800 gal.
    Hayward S180T1580S pump/filter combo,
    Pentair Aqualuminator light/return, Aquabot S2-50
    TF-100 kit, Initial fill with pond water
    South Central Iowa

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    Re: Best pool cleaner for above ground?

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    There are basically 3 types of pool cleaners

    suction cleaners like Wanda, Kreepy Kraully, etc

    pressure cleaners, these usually need their own pressure booster pump so I will go into more details

    and robot cleaners which are powered by electricity and drag a power cord around

    Of the 3 suction cleaners are the cheapest from under $100 for cheaper import models to around $400 for the latest brand name super duper models, but if your pump does not generate enough suction to power them there is no point in considering them without a pump ugprade

    This leaves robots which run from about $500 - $1,800, again this is somewhat of a get what you pay for unless you find a deal, I owned 2 Dolphin Diagnostics like you were considering (actually one was a Diagnostic Pro, but for all practical purposes they were the same, and recently switched to an Aquabot Turbo T) The thing I don't like about the older Maytronics Dolphin designs is the potential repair cost as they must be shipped back in for repair and they don't sell many repair parts, they also have a high enough minimum repair charge that it goes along way towards buying a new robot. I have also read but things about Aquabot repair service, but at least you can buy the parts and do it yourself with most of their stuff.

    Ike
    So, do you all think I need to upgrade the pump? Or can I just add another pump or what would be the best way to proceed? I just don't want to spend all summer cleaning the pool and not being able to enjoy it. If I need a different cleaner I will get one, but if you think a pump would be the better investment then I will look in to that. I am open to suggestions. Have no idea what to look for in a pump. Buy used or only new? What size? Another sand filter? THANKS!!!
    2014 Used 33'x54" Wilbar Morada,deep end approx 28,800 gal.
    Hayward S180T1580S pump/filter combo,
    Pentair Aqualuminator light/return, Aquabot S2-50
    TF-100 kit, Initial fill with pond water
    South Central Iowa

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    DaneCE's Avatar
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    Re: Best pool cleaner for above ground?

    From my experience with suction cleaners, if the cleaner stops moving it's due to lack of pressure. For my system this simply means I need to backwash my sand filter. I'm using an inexpensive Pentair GW8000 Kreepy Krauly Lil Shark. It works so well that I've had no desire to spend several hundred on anything fancy. Unless I'm having a party I leave mine in everyday for the 6~7 hour run-time and my pool bottom stays 99% spotless. I'm using a Hayward 1 HP Power-Flow Matrix pump with a Hayward 18" filter.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Best pool cleaner for above ground?

    In general I would say a 1HP pump should be enough, but not all 1HP pumps are equal so this is really hard to know for sure. By chance do you know someone else with a pool with a larger pump that you could try your Wanda in?
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Best pool cleaner for above ground?

    While your filter is on the small side, your pump is plenty large enough for your pool and plenty large enough to run a suction side cleaner effectively.

    I've owned several suction side cleaners and presently have a cheapy from Amazon. I paid about $80 for it and it works as well as any of the other cleaners that I've owned. The trick to any suction cleaner is getting the suction and weights right, and in your case, keeping the filter clean enough to not restrict it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Best pool cleaner for above ground?

    I've been using a pool rover jr. since 2010 and I'm very pleased with the way it cleans. My only grip is the cord twists up so much that the cleaner can't get clear across the pool. I believe I have an earlier model and maybe this problem has been corrected. It is not dependent on the pool pump.
    30 ft. round Conquest agp, 19,800 gal; Pentair Easy Clean 1 hp DE EC60 filter system
    Hayward H250N gas heater; TF100 Test Kit
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    Re: Best pool cleaner for above ground?

    The above ground pool my parents have we use the Polaris Vac Sweep. It connects to the water outlet jet with a quick connect fitting. This will sweep leaves and the fine stuff gets mixed back up and the filter takes care of it. The skimmer is still open to take care of the surface debris. You won't ever have to hand vacuum with this guy.
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
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    Auto pool cover, Polaris 280 auto pool cleaner, Jandy AqualinkRS8 Remote Control System

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Best pool cleaner for above ground?

    All - sorry I have been so slow to respond. I had my settings set to receive notifications of updates to the thread, but I had an old, unused e-mail address listed. I have now updated it.

    So what do you recommend I do? I am fine with cleaning out the filter a little more often. Is my pump size big enough to run Wanda? If so, why does it lose suction or Wanda stops working? Do I need to replace Wanda or do I need a larger pump or is there a possibility there is something else going on? What would cause Wanda to stop? Seems like when she was moving she was doing an awesome job of cleaning, but then I would look in and she had stopped.
    2014 Used 33'x54" Wilbar Morada,deep end approx 28,800 gal.
    Hayward S180T1580S pump/filter combo,
    Pentair Aqualuminator light/return, Aquabot S2-50
    TF-100 kit, Initial fill with pond water
    South Central Iowa

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