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Thread: Help me choose a new pool cleaner

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Sunny Phoenix AZ
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    74

    Help me choose a new pool cleaner

    Hi guys,

    Well, I've finally had enough of the Hayward Vac Ultra that came with the house and pool. I'm guessing it is 3-4 yrs old, but in desperate need of a rebuild, and I'm going to get something new instead because the vac ultra is the bane of my existence. There are just too many moving parts in delicate balance to even get the thing to clean the pool, much less keep it running. it has literally turned into a daily-at-630am exercise of pulling it from the pool and fixing whatever is wrong. Here's what I'm up against:

    -We have a 4 yr old Vizsla that acts like she is 6 months old - and she races around the pool, which is surrounded by kooldeck but on the outside of that is decomposed granite, which invariably ends up in the pool (think 1-2 pieces/day). The vac ultra picks most of it up, but every few days the turbine on the inside will jam on a rock, shutting the unit down until I disassemble it. I need something with high clearances thru the entire system, so it doesn't jam on 1/4-1/2 pieces.

    -I live in Phoenix, literally on the base of a mountain, and we get a lot of dust/dirt/pollen/small desert leaves in the pool. Nothing really nasty in terms of size. The worst thing we encounter is bouganvilla flowers (about 1.5" round and very, very thin like tissue paper).

    -I have a 28k gal pool with an 8" deep end, pretty much a rectangle but on the shallow end there are steps that move outside the rectangle. The corner stops the ultra every single time until I move it...arrrgh frustrating!!!

    -I am looking for a suction side unit, we have tons of suction to work with and it is adjustable.

    -I'd like to keep it under $500

    -My skimmer is located upwind so if there are any that have skimmer features that actually work (like a baracuda g3?) that would be nice.

    What do you guys recommend?
    28,000 gallons / Plaster / Hayward 30" Sand Filter / PoolCleaner 4x / PoolSkim / Hayward RS1500 / CircuPool RJ60

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Guest

    Re: Help me choose a new pool cleaner

    I've had them all (Hayward, Barracuda, Kreepy, Polaris) and I now have The Pool Cleaner (see my sig for more info, if you like). It is by far the best cleaner I have ever had, and I am very impressed with it. I have similar conditions to you as far as the pool, and I have bougainvillea, but those leaves tend to stay at the top, so I either skim them or let them go in the skimmer. I don't remember them ever falling to the bottom. It does not get stuck anywhere as it goes forward for some time, then pivots, changes direction and goes off to work again!

    I have a PebbleSheen pool also, which tends to "eat" cleaners that drag or skid across the bottom, and I do not have this problem with The Pool Cleaner. It has been great, and it sells for well under the $500.00 (at least on our site) that you are trying to stay under.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sunny Phoenix AZ
    Posts
    74

    Re: Help me choose a new pool cleaner

    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    I've had them all (Hayward, Barracuda, Kreepy, Polaris) and I now have The Pool Cleaner (see my sig for more info, if you like). It is by far the best cleaner I have ever had, and I am very impressed with it. I have similar conditions to you as far as the pool, and I have bougainvillea, but those leaves tend to stay at the top, so I either skim them or let them go in the skimmer. I don't remember them ever falling to the bottom. It does not get stuck anywhere as it goes forward for some time, then pivots, changes direction and goes off to work again!

    I have a PebbleSheen pool also, which tends to "eat" cleaners that drag or skid across the bottom, and I do not have this problem with The Pool Cleaner. It has been great, and it sells for well under the $500.00 (at least on our site) that you are trying to stay under.
    Does the pool cleaner have some sort of shielded turbines or flexible turbines or something to minimize jamming?
    28,000 gallons / Plaster / Hayward 30" Sand Filter / PoolCleaner 4x / PoolSkim / Hayward RS1500 / CircuPool RJ60

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Guest

    Re: Help me choose a new pool cleaner

    Quote Originally Posted by dombey
    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    I've had them all (Hayward, Barracuda, Kreepy, Polaris) and I now have The Pool Cleaner (see my sig for more info, if you like). It is by far the best cleaner I have ever had, and I am very impressed with it. I have similar conditions to you as far as the pool, and I have bougainvillea, but those leaves tend to stay at the top, so I either skim them or let them go in the skimmer. I don't remember them ever falling to the bottom. It does not get stuck anywhere as it goes forward for some time, then pivots, changes direction and goes off to work again!

    I have a PebbleSheen pool also, which tends to "eat" cleaners that drag or skid across the bottom, and I do not have this problem with The Pool Cleaner. It has been great, and it sells for well under the $500.00 (at least on our site) that you are trying to stay under.
    Does the pool cleaner have some sort of shielded turbines or flexible turbines or something to minimize jamming?
    There are individual "skirts" at the bottom of the unit, 4 on each side, if I remember correctly (it's dark now or I would go out and check mine!), and they move to allow it to maintain suction on uneven surfaces (like going over a main drain cover, for example). As it normally rolls over the pool bottom, the skirts are in the down position, and I have never sucked up anything yet that has jammed the unit. Like I mentioned, my environment is similar to yours (I did have a bougainvillea leaf at the bottom today though!), although I do have several different types of palm trees around my pool that drop various berries in the pool, and it picks them up just fine.

    I'll look and see if I can post a link with a .pdf of the unit. That might provide better info than my explanation!

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Guest

    Re: Help me choose a new pool cleaner

    Here's the link to the manual: http://thepoolcleaner.com/PoolCleanerSUCTION.pdf

    Hope that is helpful!

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sunny Phoenix AZ
    Posts
    74

    Re: Help me choose a new pool cleaner

    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    Here's the link to the manual: http://thepoolcleaner.com/PoolCleanerSUCTION.pdf

    Hope that is helpful!
    thanks for all your help!
    That thing looks pretty nice in terms of design and materials. I woke up this morning and checked the pool and found my ultra jammed in the corner by the steps for the third day in a row...and the bottom of the pool has **** all over it....it's days are limited...
    28,000 gallons / Plaster / Hayward 30" Sand Filter / PoolCleaner 4x / PoolSkim / Hayward RS1500 / CircuPool RJ60

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    North Central Texas
    Posts
    1,358

    Re: Help me choose a new pool cleaner

    I have several types of cleaners, each used for our year round changing, extreme conditions; used depending on the type of debris that is the majority at the time. I have fallen in love with the Tracker 4X, the same cleaner that simicrintz uses but manufactured and labeled for Jacuzzi, which is no longer being done.

    edit Mine hasn't gotten jammed. When I took it out of storage it had a small acorn inside, where you can see the stainless steel "shaft". It didn't phase it.

    During this part of the year the Pool Cleaner is stupendous at cleaning up fine debris without stirring it up. The Polaris 280, pressure, is wonderful for fall and winter when we have a whole forest of leaves landing in my pool but during this time of year, when most of the debris is fine dust, sand, and silt, my Pool Cleaner way outshines the others. I run the Pool Cleaner 2-3 hours a day. In order to clean much of the dust up I had to run my Polaris 280 minimum 10 hours a day, using the energy hog booster pump and the finest bags, disposable EZ bags that didn't capture all the dust. The EZ bags only work for about 30 hours use before the "fabric" begins to deteriorate. That's $3 a pop for each bag so I was spending about $9-$12 a week on the bags alone. In addition the Polaris 280 kept the dust pretty well stirred up so that I had to change out the skimmer socks twice daily, minimum, as they became clogged with the dust. With the Pool Cleaner, I have now gone 6 days without changing out the sock.

    I and many people use an in-line leaf canister to catch larger debris before it goes to the pump basket. I have the large one, for use in fall and winter, but a much smaller one would be ideal for times when very little larger debris enters the pool. (For three months, during fall and winter, I have bushels of leaves blown into the pool 24/7. It is so severe that I have to be here the whole time the pump is running to keep the two Pool Skim bags emptied, the skimmer emptied, and the Polaris bag emptied many times a day. I don't have an auto cover and the dogs are still swimming so the pool is not closed.

    Hint: Right now I'm using one Pool Skim, on a return, to catch floating debris while the pump is running on low flow circulation. It also traps a lot of dust and doggie hair. Very little stuff makes it to the permanent skimmer. I have adjusted returns so that the Pool Skim gets enough flow when the pump is running on very low speed. For the two to three hours I run the Pool Cleaner, daily, I up the pump speed to get adequate suction for the vac cleaner, and this increases the venturi action in the Pool Skim, pulling any floating debris very quickly into the Pool Skim. I'm pretty anal about debris in the pool.

    The little "skirts" on the Pool Cleaner move up and down to adjust for obstacles and larger debris. My dogs tore up some cardboard, which flew into the pool. The largest piece was about 6" X 3". Pool Cleaner sucked it right up and it was caught by the in-line leaf catcher. The dogs occasionally kick pea gravel and other small rocks into the pool. The cleaner gets them right up and doesn't push them all over the pool, which could cause damage or marking to the pool surface.

    And the very best thing is that I'm saving about $100-$200 a month on electricity cost by not running the booster pump.

    I leave it in the pool most of the time. I just pull the vac hose to the deep end and it nudges up close to the edge of the pool. The dogs have never had any trouble swimming over the hose and even like to swim over and over it, like a game. (My best swimmer gets tangled in the Aquabot cord so it always has to be taken out of the pool when they are using the back, pool yard.)

    As the dust and silt do go to the filter I do have to clean the filter a little more often but it is well worth the work for the splendid job the cleaner does. A lot of the sand "pools" in the leaf canister.

    I don't have many obstacles in the pool but other cleaners sometimes spend a bit of extra time semi hung on the steps and bench. When the Pool Cleaner gets to those areas, when it makes one of its turns it moves on.

    The only difference between the two wheel and four wheel is that the four wheel goes a longer distance between its turns. I like that as I have a very long slope from deep end to small shallow end.

    I'm converting my dedicated pressure return to a vac port, using valves so that I can use it for both pressure and vac. Right now I use the skimmer for the suction cleaner. I have things adjust so that the skimmer is always fully open and the main drain is partially open. That way there is better circulation when the cleaner is not running.

    Hope this helps some.

    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

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sunny Phoenix AZ
    Posts
    74

    Re: Help me choose a new pool cleaner

    Quote Originally Posted by geekgranny
    I have several types of cleaners, each used for our year round changing, extreme conditions; used depending on the type of debris that is the majority at the time. I have fallen in love with the Tracker 4X, the same cleaner that simicrintz uses but manufactured and labeled for Jacuzzi, which is no longer being done.

    edit Mine hasn't gotten jammed. When I took it out of storage it had a small acorn inside, where you can see the stainless steel "shaft". It didn't phase it.

    During this part of the year the Pool Cleaner is stupendous at cleaning up fine debris without stirring it up. The Polaris 280, pressure, is wonderful for fall and winter when we have a whole forest of leaves landing in my pool but during this time of year, when most of the debris is fine dust, sand, and silt, my Pool Cleaner way outshines the others. I run the Pool Cleaner 2-3 hours a day. In order to clean much of the dust up I had to run my Polaris 280 minimum 10 hours a day, using the energy hog booster pump and the finest bags, disposable EZ bags that didn't capture all the dust. The EZ bags only work for about 30 hours use before the "fabric" begins to deteriorate. That's $3 a pop for each bag so I was spending about $9-$12 a week on the bags alone. In addition the Polaris 280 kept the dust pretty well stirred up so that I had to change out the skimmer socks twice daily, minimum, as they became clogged with the dust. With the Pool Cleaner, I have now gone 6 days without changing out the sock.

    I and many people use an in-line leaf canister to catch larger debris before it goes to the pump basket. I have the large one, for use in fall and winter, but a much smaller one would be ideal for times when very little larger debris enters the pool. (For three months, during fall and winter, I have bushels of leaves blown into the pool 24/7. It is so severe that I have to be here the whole time the pump is running to keep the two Pool Skim bags emptied, the skimmer emptied, and the Polaris bag emptied many times a day. I don't have an auto cover and the dogs are still swimming so the pool is not closed.

    Hint: Right now I'm using one Pool Skim, on a return, to catch floating debris while the pump is running on low flow circulation. It also traps a lot of dust and doggie hair. Very little stuff makes it to the permanent skimmer. I have adjusted returns so that the Pool Skim gets enough flow when the pump is running on very low speed. For the two to three hours I run the Pool Cleaner, daily, I up the pump speed to get adequate suction for the vac cleaner, and this increases the venturi action in the Pool Skim, pulling any floating debris very quickly into the Pool Skim. I'm pretty anal about debris in the pool.

    The little "skirts" on the Pool Cleaner move up and down to adjust for obstacles and larger debris. My dogs tore up some cardboard, which flew into the pool. The largest piece was about 6" X 3". Pool Cleaner sucked it right up and it was caught by the in-line leaf catcher. The dogs occasionally kick pea gravel and other small rocks into the pool. The cleaner gets them right up and doesn't push them all over the pool, which could cause damage or marking to the pool surface.

    And the very best thing is that I'm saving about $100-$200 a month on electricity cost by not running the booster pump.

    I leave it in the pool most of the time. I just pull the vac hose to the deep end and it nudges up close to the edge of the pool. The dogs have never had any trouble swimming over the hose and even like to swim over and over it, like a game. (My best swimmer gets tangled in the Aquabot cord so it always has to be taken out of the pool when they are using the back, pool yard.)

    As the dust and silt do go to the filter I do have to clean the filter a little more often but it is well worth the work for the splendid job the cleaner does. A lot of the sand "pools" in the leaf canister.

    I don't have many obstacles in the pool but other cleaners sometimes spend a bit of extra time semi hung on the steps and bench. When the Pool Cleaner gets to those areas, when it makes one of its turns it moves on.

    The only difference between the two wheel and four wheel is that the four wheel goes a longer distance between its turns. I like that as I have a very long slope from deep end to small shallow end.

    I'm converting my dedicated pressure return to a vac port, using valves so that I can use it for both pressure and vac. Right now I use the skimmer for the suction cleaner. I have things adjust so that the skimmer is always fully open and the main drain is partially open. That way there is better circulation when the cleaner is not running.

    Hope this helps some.

    gg=alice
    wow- great post! lots of great info.
    28,000 gallons / Plaster / Hayward 30" Sand Filter / PoolCleaner 4x / PoolSkim / Hayward RS1500 / CircuPool RJ60

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sunny Phoenix AZ
    Posts
    74

    Re: Help me choose a new pool cleaner

    well guys I took the plunge and bought a 4x PoolCleaner. What can I say? My pool is clean and the unit works as advertised - I've even cut the number of hours the pump runs by 40% because it just doesn't need that long anymore.
    Thanks for the recommendations!
    28,000 gallons / Plaster / Hayward 30" Sand Filter / PoolCleaner 4x / PoolSkim / Hayward RS1500 / CircuPool RJ60

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    North Central Texas
    Posts
    1,358

    Re: Help me choose a new pool cleaner

    Dombey, I'm so glad you are happy with the Pool Cleaner. I was very surprised at how well it cleans my pool and how little time it takes. One can't complain about the electric savings either.

    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

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Guest

    Re: Help me choose a new pool cleaner

    Great choice

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sunny Phoenix AZ
    Posts
    74

    Re: Help me choose a new pool cleaner

    yeah, it made me realize there is a lot of great stuff our there that can save me time, money, and aggravation in the long run...so I ordered a PoolSkim today too. Ha! The dynamix duo, Poolcleaner + Poolskim!!!
    28,000 gallons / Plaster / Hayward 30" Sand Filter / PoolCleaner 4x / PoolSkim / Hayward RS1500 / CircuPool RJ60

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
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    Re: Help me choose a new pool cleaner

    Quote Originally Posted by dombey
    yeah, it made me realize there is a lot of great stuff our there that can save me time, money, and aggravation in the long run...so I ordered a PoolSkim today too. Ha! The dynamix duo, Poolcleaner + Poolskim!!!
    Congratulations. If someone had told me the Pool Cleaner would do the miraculous job it does with my pool mess I would have not believed it. I use the word miraculous because I have four top rated cleaners. Well, three now as I traded the Vero for the old Aquabot.

    The Pool Skim is wonderful. The most important factor in how well it works is getting enough flow to the return for adequate venturi affect. I manage mine by closing or restricting the other returns. Now that I have the variable speed pump I, now, run the pump, 21/7, at just enough speed to create good flow to Pool Skim return and get 1 turnover a day. Right now two returns are fully open, with one totally restricted. That's around 1200 rpm, but does increase as the filter, with cellulose, starts getting full. When I run the Pool Cleaner the flow, of course, has to be bumped up, so the Pool Skim goes into major venturi action that nothing floating can escape. That's usually around 3K rpm.

    Last fall I used two Pool skims and had the one other return totally restricted and one restricted down quite a bit. They sucked up enough leaves that I had to empty the bags several times a day. The bags hold a lot more than you think they will.

    I'm saving my money now, for a mesh Looploc, to be installed late Oct when the leaves start really coming down. I just don't want to deal with baby sitting the pool, all day, another winter. I'll keep pool "open", otherwise, as usual, with balanced water, lots of circulation, and run the old Aquabot under cover several times a week for dust/dirt/silt. I'm going to have a velcroed hatch put in near the skimmer so I can manage that and have enough room to take the Aquabot in and out of pool. Most people don't have the whole forest dumping into their pool all winter but I get just as much in the pool in Feb as I do in late Oct.

    If you need assistance with the Pool Skim, just ask. In my pool the bag positioned parallel to the wall works best for circulation around the 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

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Help me choose a new pool cleaner

    Hi all,

    New to the boards and sick of the hayward ultra-vac and the number of parts it seems to burn through. Was wondering where is the best place to find a 2x Pool Cleaner? It looks like a very elegant, effective design (unlike the ultra-vac) and you lot seem very keen so that's good enough for me!
    22K gal, IG Vinyl, ?HP pump, ? sqft Hayward DE filter with a currently injured Dolphin Diagnostic cleaning robot. Pool built in 2001, new liner 2013.

  15. Back To Top    #15
    Guest

    Re: Help me choose a new pool cleaner

    I know a place where they are pretty reasonable and the guys try really hard (hint: see my sig ). Service is quick too!

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