So, right off I will say after 4 years (3 complete seasons and so far in 2019) I like this cleaner. A lot.... I never expected it to last into the 4th year for $90. It's still going strong.
When I moved into my house in 2013, there was a completely spent broken down Zodiac type supply side cleaner that I could not get to work, gears busted it was a mess. Throw away value only, so I don't know anything about it.
I have two skimmers. One I use for the Cleaner at the shallow end by the steps...., the other at the deep end I use with a standard Weir door and strainer basket. The drains are set to return (not suction) water to the pool, or it's likely the cleaner will get trapped on the drain.
One really cool thing about this cleaner...it is an alarm to let you know WHEN to backwash the sand filter. When the filter is clean it makes a clickig sound at about 4-5 Hz. You can hear it from 20 feet away and it's loud underwater. When the clicking gets to 2 Hz, time to backwash. Clockwork. So if I were a Marketing Guy, I'd advertise it as a Backwash Notification Device... LOL
OK, all the love: But I have three ticky tack issues with the suction cleaner, only the last one is a pain.....
1) minor point but sometimes the male hose end that goes into the bottom of the strainer return with basket removed comes loose overnight when the pump is stopped (no biggie at all), If I push it in really hard when installing it does better and will not usually fall out
2) Any leaf or small item (mulch) on the bottom of the pool larger than 2-3 inches needs to be removed manually.....either by flipping it up off the surface and capturing with my pole skimmer or while swimming, grab it and toss it. But the cleaner might choke on it and stop working. When no clicking heard, it's usually a piece of mulch/leaf or rock bigger the 2 inches. Just pick it up off the pool floor 1-2 feet, the debris usually falls out, and it starts clicking away again. Happy again.
3) This is my only "real issue": See the pic. Sometimes, too often, it gets hung up int he shallow end at the steps. It will sometimes do it over and over again.
What I find is that I can drag it down to teh deep end using my brush or skimmer on extension pole.....and more often than not it'll come right back and hang on the steps. Seems one way around this problem is to stretch the hose with no loops and drag the cleaner all the way to the deep end...AND before installing the male end of the hose in to the suction return to revolve or rotate the hose 4-5 times AWAY from the steps. Puts a few loopty-loops in the hose....In this case, for a few days or at least many hours it will make a lot of trips to the deep end and come back to the shallow and miss the steps. I've thought about putting a barrier / barricade at
the corner of the steps...but I don't want the hassle to remove it.... I thought about tying the hose from the skimmer ot a point away from the steps, like the corner of the waterfall in the picture.
Any ideas for 3)?
But I really like this cleaning device....mostly becuase it was $90. I want to see how many years I can get out of it....and it's still chunking away. So, if you are in the market, I would definitely buy one. Again.