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Thread: Typical Lifespan?

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    Marriottsville, MD
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    Typical Lifespan?

    We've had our (first) pool for 2 seasons now. It came with a "Ray-Vac" cleaner that I guess gets the job done, but we aren't exactly thrilled with either. We haven't done too much research yet, but some quick looks revealed these things aren't cheap! That led me to wonder... Does anyone know what the typical lifespan of automatic cleaners in general and/or ray-vacs in particular is?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    22.5k gal. (est.) IG Dark Plaster Pool (2007)
    Jandy Stealth SHPM 2.0HP Pump ~100gpm
    Jandy CL460 Cartridge Filter
    Polaris 9300 Bot/Cleaner
    Jandy AE-Ti AE2000T Heat Pump
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: Typical Lifespan?

    Quote Originally Posted by autoxer
    We've had our (first) pool for 2 seasons now. It came with a "Ray-Vac" cleaner that I guess gets the job done, but we aren't exactly thrilled with either. We haven't done too much research yet, but some quick looks revealed these things aren't cheap! That led me to wonder... Does anyone know what the typical lifespan of automatic cleaners in general and/or ray-vacs in particular is?
    Not sure about how long the ray-vacs last; I've read plenty of posts from Polaris owners that say those cleaners can last 10-20 years. Based on my 2 years of experience with the model 280 I can say that the cleaners do require attention (and parts) on an almost yearly basis, but I'm happy with its performance in my oddly shaped pool. Read up on geekgranny's experience with various pool cleaners... I think she owns them all!

    If you're making a decision about whether to replace it at some point in the future, consider the following:

    In October 2008, Jandy ceased manufacture of its long-time popular Rayvac Pool Cleaners as part of the restructuring after Zodiac purchased Jandy Corp. and Polaris. The stock of those Rayvac cleaners is dwindling and will soon be no longer available. Ray-Vac parts will be available for at least 5 more years. If you were planning on purchasing a new RayVac cleaner, you do have some great options.....
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
    __
    View of spiral galaxy in Ursa Major NGC6217 - Hubble Telescope 2009

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    Re: Typical Lifespan?

    i am a new pool owner, i've had the hayward viio for a little over a year, it has worked amazing, before having a pool i was very skeptical that these things could actually work, picks up leaves, sticks, and gets the dirt particles, that said it now does need an internal part, but considering it runs every day 3 hours a day i kind of expect it
    12000gal, freeform, gunite, pebbletec midnightblue, waterfall, weeping wall, hayward de6020, hayward 6060 booster, hayward northstar 2hp, 2 skimmers, main drains plumbed and valved separately using 2" PVC, 6 returns, using 1&1/2" PVC,

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    Re: Typical Lifespan?

    Quote Originally Posted by polyvue
    Read up on geekgranny's experience with various pool cleaners... I think she owns them all!


    The second cleaner we had when after we purchased the house in 86 was a Ray Vac, that we purchased to replace the float-on-top, octopus thing with tentacles that reached to the bottom, to sweep stuff to a big round leaf catcher, over main drain ( used that main drain leaf catcher, for many years, after we replace the Octopus because it really helped to keep the leaves from going down main drain. I actually have tried to find another one of those for years and ended up making my own redneck version.). The, Ray Vac looked like a ray or elongated crab. Is that the one you have?

    We were pretty happy with it except that it couldn't hold enough of the leaves we have in fall. I had a regular and a silt screen. I'm pretty sure it needed a booster pump but I'm not too sure as the first one did, so the pump was in place (3/4 hp dedicated return.) It probably was pretty sturdy but I had to replace several of them or parts of them because my dogs "rescued" and then "killed" them (they did that to subsequent P-280's too). As I said, being in the woods, and having swimming dogs, and high winds, and lots of sand and silt, the collection bin needed emptying quite often, BUT, a big but, very few people have the extreme conditions we have.

    I'm not sure when the first pressure Polaris came out, maybe after 1986, and may have been the P-180 or a precursor. We couldn't use it because the hole wasn't big enough to capture some of the big acorns from out ancient, huge, oak tree that was 10 ft from the pool and the rocks the dogs liked to drop in the pool (they still do that now but, now, they use bigger rocks so nothing will pick them up other than momma with a big leaf net). I don't remember how well the Ray Vac picked up acorns. It may have done well with them, but really can't remember. But you have had experience with the Ray Vac so you would know about that better than I can remember. I really did like the Ray Vac fine screen and , if I am remembering correctly, it did a better job with the fine silt than the P-280, I eventually purchased when it came out (much bigger suction opening) but I can't remember if they had introduced the sand/silt bag then. Silt (mud) does go through Polaris silt/sand bag and other off-brand bags I've tried.

    As I remember, the Ray Vac came up to the surface more. That was just too irresistible for the dogs. We lost more Ray Vacs and parts to the dogs than we have lost on the P-280.

    If you are happy with the Ray Vac, and especially if you can find some good prices for parts, or used "donner" Ray Vac, that you can use for parts, on eBay or Craig's list, that might be a viable solution and much less expensive.

    FYI... I just recently purchased the Jacuzzi Tracker, four wheel, suction cleaner for my on going battle with silt. It does a great job with the silt. It Is exactly like the Ver. The Pool Cleaner, as I've been told, but much cheaper. I think Ver. (I'm not going to even try to spell it.) bought out Jacuzzi for that cleaner. I purchased it at Inyoxxx dot com, online, along with the Pentair in-line, big leaf catcher. With the P. Leaf Catcher, about $65, I'm pretty sure the two were cheaper than the Ver. The Pool Cleaner. There is at least one person on TFP, other than me, who has the Tracker, and several people who have The Pool Cleaner. For both "brands" there is a 4-wheel for larger pools, that goes longer between direction change, AND makes it up my steep slope from deep end, and a 2-wheel, for smaller and/or level pools.

    I, also have the iRobot Verro 300, automatic robot, electric, that doesn't need the pool to be on at all to use, is extremely cheap to run (electric) and makes it up my steep slope except when I put the fine silt bag in, that plugs up the double layer mesh pretty quickly. The Verro 300 is very similar to the Aquabot Turbo T-jet. The great advantage to purchasing the Vero is that you can get it on HSN and make payments. Verro 300 (I think longer for the high-end model) manufacturer's warranty is only 1 year but you can get a reasonably priced extended warranty at HSN. There are two other versions of the Verro, one for AG pools, and the other, much more costly, for any surface. It has scrubbing bars for cleaning while the Verro 300 uses jets for cleaning. I'm pretty sure that the three iRobot Verros are re-branded, for iRobot, Aquabots. Parts are supposed to be interchangeable. I've had the Verro 300 for three years now, I think three, but at any rate I got it the week it was introduced. It is still in fine shape, and I've only replaced one part; a small plastic holder for the cord that goes to the pump and I didn't have to take it apart to do that.. I've had several occurrences when I couldn't run the pool pump and it really comes in handy. The Verro and Aquabot all circulate 1000's of gallons of water every hour. So, if you have to keep the pool pump off for whatever reason, or if the pool water is down, say a leak, you can run them and keep the water in great shape. The only real complaint I have about the V. 300 is that the controller is manual and set to run 90-120 minutes and then switches off. That's probably enough time for a "normal" pool.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Typical Lifespan?

    BTW.... My Polaris 280 runs, normally at least 10/7, all year, and rarely leaves the pool; mostly only when another cleaner is in use. I've had this one for several years, probably 7 or more. For this one I've replaced tires maybe once, tails (doggie toys), make my own tail scrubbers, tail wear rings, collection bags of course, and maybe a section of hose here and there (doggies), and maybe a hose swivel or two. I think I've replaced the wall attachment a couple of times over the years since I've had them. I do have a nice collection of parts, though, from the P-280s I've had to replace because of, guess , dogs. When the bags start getting some age on them, and sticks tear little holes, I just patch them with a dot of similar material and fabric glue. As you might guess, I have a bunch of bags to keep clean ones handy. I, also, have at least three leaf bags, maybe four, that I have to change out every hour or so during the fall. I've tried bigger bags, like for the Leaf Eater, but they get too full and heavy.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Marriottsville, MD
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    Re: Typical Lifespan?

    Wow, great information. Thanks so much for the info on all those other options and the demise of the ray-vac.

    Our Ray-vac is somewhat an elongated diamond shape. Our biggest issue is that it gets "stuck" in the same corner a LOT (it backs up periodically, but goes right back into the same corner) and that it doesn't hold all that much debris before it starts circling. I do concur that it does do a good job with sand, which, we do have a decent amount of...

    Sounds like the doggies need an alternate chew toy hehe
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    22.5k gal. (est.) IG Dark Plaster Pool (2007)
    Jandy Stealth SHPM 2.0HP Pump ~100gpm
    Jandy CL460 Cartridge Filter
    Polaris 9300 Bot/Cleaner
    Jandy AE-Ti AE2000T Heat Pump
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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