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Thread: will any other cleaner work as well as suction w/o a drain?

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    will any other cleaner work as well as suction w/o a drain?

    We have a hayward navigator that is okay but needs constant babysitting and its driving me crazy. I'm wondering if a robotic cleaner will work as well as a suction side cleaner since our main drain is not functional. My reasoning is that without a drain, a suction cleaner is the only thing thats going to get the really fine stuff off the bottom. Maybe the robotics filters are extremely fine, but I just don't know. My other thought is that the robotic could stir up the fine particles enough that they'd eventually get into the skimmer. Unfortunately we only have one skimmer, and its at the end of a long pool. Plus there's a deep end, so I don't know if the particles would stay suspended long enough to get into the skimmer.
    I know theres not an exact answer to this without trying it, but if anyone has thoughts (or experience) on this, I'd love to hear about it before I shell out a ton of money!
    28K IG, stonescapes pebble, raised spa, hayward heater, Pentair Intelliflo, Pentair 60ft DE filter, built around 1980, remodeled 2007.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    All of the robotic cleaners have a pump that vacuums things up off the floor of the pool and into their dirt bags fairly well. The better ones filter down to 2 microns, which is better than just about any filter. Even the not so good ones catch particles nearly as fine as a sand filter will. The different brands/models vary somewhat in how much total stuff they will fit in the bag, how easy it is to clean the bag, how frequently they break, and how good they are at covering the entire pool, but essentially any of them will do the cleaning you are talking about.

    There are various adjustments that can be made to your existing cleaner, lengthen or shorten the hose, etc. If properly setup it is not supposed to have the problems you are talking about. Many cleaners, both regular and robotic, can be rather finicky about being properly setup. Assuming nothing is broken, it is almost always possible to figure out a combination which will work reliably.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Jason:

    I am looking at a Robotic Cleaner next year, somewhere I read that they can basically take the place of a pump as they will do the whole pool water in 3 hours...and remove far smaller particles then any filter could ever do.

    Is it or would it be possible to just run a cleaner once a day?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    I suppose you could do that, but it probably isn't a great idea except in an emergency. A typical robotic pool cleaner does move enough water for most pools (50 to 70 GPM), and the better models have very fine filtration (claims of 2 microns), but they are not really designed for continuous usage. For example the Blue Diamond is warranted for 500 hours of usage. Even at only 5 hours a day that would be only a little more than three months of daily use. Plus you would need to manually clean the debris bag at least once a day.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    problem solved!

    I had to replace the leader hose on the Navigator recently (the last section of hose before the actual vacuum) because it was splitting and would occasionally come off. I guess the slight suction leak around the fitting was enough to affect the performance of the cleaner because now it is flying around the pool, sucking up tons of leaves, and even climbing the walls! Whether or not that will continue, I don't know, but it sure is nice now...
    28K IG, stonescapes pebble, raised spa, hayward heater, Pentair Intelliflo, Pentair 60ft DE filter, built around 1980, remodeled 2007.

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    We've been using the Dolphin Dynamic Robotic since mid July and I LOVE IT. On average, I run it about once a week, along with brushing a portion of the pool every day. It cleans all the fine debris without stirring it up. Most of the cleaners that run off booster pumps do a good job when used more frequently, but I hate the way they stir up the small particles. With the Robotic, when your cleaning cycle is complete, all the fine particle are in the filter bag, not suspended in the pool. The robotics are pricey, but from what I've seen during my limited use of them, well worth the extra $.

    Good Luck, Dan
    My pool… 30K gunite free form, 3 ft. to 11 ft. deep, with 700 gallon spill over spa. White plaster, Jandy 60 sq. ft. DE filter, 2HP Jandy Stealth Pump, 3/4 HP booster pump, Jandy color changing lights, Jandy 400,000 BTU heater, Polaris EOS command center with in-house controls, and shortcut remote next to spa. Hayward goldline valve actuators. 2HP Polaris QT blower for spa. Dolphin Dynamic robotic cleaner. Inline Chlorinator which is used with trichlor pucks ONLY when I need to raise my CYA, which I try to keep around 30 to 40 ppm.

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