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?