In Floor Cleaners

From_Arizona

LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2007
212
Glendale, AZ
I have been lurking for a while and have taken the plunge to be my own GC for our new pool. One topic I have not seen is about in floor pool cleaning systems.

I loved my last pool with the hayward navigator, but the hose and my dogs do not get along....well rather the hose becomes the tool my dogs use to extract the "pool bunny" running across the bottom. After many "wing" repairs and hose replacements we have decided to build with an infloor cleaner.

Does anyone have an opinion on the Caretaker or Paramount systems?

Thanks to all that created such a useful forum!

Sincerely,
Julie

~Anxiously waiting for permit from county!
 

Buggsw

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 22, 2007
925
Arizona
I don't have any idea what brand mine is. I have an old pool that was here when I bought the house. My pool has an inground cleaner with 10 ports on the bottom.

I can tell you I love it, but I can also tell you that I still use another vacuum or two. There always seems to be some pesky area that collects some dirt. Also, the steps and loveseat seem to collect a lot of dirt. Then, there are those horrid dust storms which blow a lot more dirt and leaves and crud into the pool that, well, it takes a bit longer for the inground to take care of than I'd like because, well, I'm expecting people over for a BBQ in an hour and I'd like to have it look nice.

I have a robot - a Blue Diamond - no hoses, it's self contained. I got tired of lugging 50' of hose and wrangling a manual vacuum around the pool when it was 110 degrees in the shade during monsoon weather. The BD does the bottom and the side walls and tile, it also sails right over the inground ports with no problem - something my old Haward Navigator always got stuck on. The BD will also work in the colder temps, another thing the Navigator wasn't good at doing. I also have a PoolBuster, for when I only need to get the dust off the steps and loveseat.

So, why do I really love my inground cleaner, you may ask. Well, I actually, had the advice of several pool "experts" who recommended I just disable it when my actuator gears kept jumping off. I replaced the first crumbling set of gears and the new gears just wouldn't stay on, no matter how much I calibrated them. I even had them out to try to calibrate them a couple of times. They said, "oh just let it run straight through, you'll get plenty of circulation, these things are really a waste, anyway". Another "expert" in the pool business 30 years came out to try to sell me an SWG several years ago, when SWG's were reallllly expensive and relatively not accepted a lot out here - he smirked and told me, "ahhhh, why don't you just disable that thing, those infloor cleaners were never any good, anyway."

So, I thought, okay, I give up, they probably know what they are talking about - I took the gears out and boy was I soon, sorry. That summer, my pool temperature was way too warm from the decrease in circulation and it was a constant battle to keep the pool clean, I also had a more difficult time keeping my water in balance. By the end of that summer, I was having an entirely new actuator installed. I had enough of those problems. My pool, once again, stays cooler because of the better return conditions and definately is a breeze to keep clean and sanitized.

So, if you can afford one, by all means, I think they are worth it, but I just wanted you to know they won't be the only thing you'll ever need.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,832
Pleasanton, CA
I wouldn't spend the extra $$$$ for in floor cleaner if you are just going to use them for better circulation. You can get the same circulation effects by more strategic placement of the returns. Most pool returns are place a foot or so below the surface when it is best to place them at various depths for the reason Buggs suggested.

Most of the posts I have read on in floor cleaners have been negative where the most common complaints are the same as Buggs. The pop ups seem to fail quite often. Make sure you really want them otherwise you may be better off with a good robotic and better return placement plus save quite a bit of money too.

I keep my pool very clean with just a standard auto vacuum cleaner. Nothing fancy but it works well and I don't think a floor system would have improved things much.
 

Buggsw

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 22, 2007
925
Arizona
Nope, I don't have popups. Mine are toe stubbers, stationary. The rotation is within the stationary return. I think mine does a fantastic job, really, except for the circumstances I described. Perhaps having an old system is an advantage. I like not having to deal with the hoses, too.
 

MikeS

LifeTime Supporter
May 24, 2007
22
Burtonsville, MD
+1 for the inground pool cleaner. Mine are popup heads(Quikclean). I use a Poolbuster to get the three very small sections where silt collects. Otherwise the heads take care of the rest. Of course I have over 29 popheads, including the steps and seats(in a 40 x 18 pool). The heads have been very dependable once all the pool contruction debris was blown out of the pipes. I lost three heads to stones coming though the pipes. The heads are expensive to replace.

And a final note, I run (2) 2HP pumps to power the heads, so they do use more electricity.

Mike S.

PS I am not an expert and I don't play one on TV. I can only speak from my personal experience.
 

azmeltdown

New member
Jun 4, 2007
1
Phoenix
in floor cleaners

Hey "From Az" I have the same dilemma about putting in an in floor system.I'm here in Phoenix.
Construction should start in about a week and I was hoping to get a lot of feedback on these systems.
Some say they can be trouble, others say they love them.I seem to think there is way to much plumbing involved
for something to go wrong.Also i don't think they would do 100% so what's the use. I was told to get a Hayward, I wouldn't be disappointed.
Anyone else care to comment?:)
 

stevet1

Active member
May 28, 2007
42
Okay,

So in my brief stint here so far, I've read 2 very positive things about the infloor cleaners, but what sticks out most in my mind is the benefit of improved circulation is strongly touted at least as much if not more than the cleaning ability.

If all I'm concerned is about the improved circulation, since I plan to use a robot cleaner anyway, what do you think of this product:

http://www.polarispool.com/products/details.asp?ID=18


"A Polaris EnvironPool® is a high efficiency water distribution and management system, designed to continuously pump freshly-filtered, chemically treated water throughout your entire pool by way of strategically located, patented, pop-up, rotating floor returns. Since no electricity is needed to power this innovative valve, there are no additional energy costs associated with its usage after installation. Each hour, the floor returns make several complete 360-degree rotations, effectively circulating all the water in your pool in a fraction of the time it would take for an ordinary pool to distribute the same water."

Any ideas/thoughts/experience with this?
 
G

Guest

stevet1 said:
Okay,

So in my brief stint here so far, I've read 2 very positive things about the infloor cleaners, but what sticks out most in my mind is the benefit of improved circulation is strongly touted at least as much if not more than the cleaning ability.

If all I'm concerned is about the improved circulation, since I plan to use a robot cleaner anyway, what do you think of this product:

http://www.polarispool.com/products/details.asp?ID=18


"A Polaris EnvironPool® is a high efficiency water distribution and management system, designed to continuously pump freshly-filtered, chemically treated water throughout your entire pool by way of strategically located, patented, pop-up, rotating floor returns. Since no electricity is needed to power this innovative valve, there are no additional energy costs associated with its usage after installation. Each hour, the floor returns make several complete 360-degree rotations, effectively circulating all the water in your pool in a fraction of the time it would take for an ordinary pool to distribute the same water."

Any ideas/thoughts/experience with this?
This is basically a 'reverse flow' system that takes water from the surface of the pool and returns it to the jets on the pool floor. . There really is no hard evidence that I have seen that these systems are more efficient at circulating the water than a properly designed system with skimmers, drain, and returns. If pool dye is intorduced into a conventional designed pool the dye will be evenly distrubuted throughout the water in a matter of minutes. Some proponents of these systems say that they allow a heater to heat the pool quicker and more effeciently but if hotter water is introduced to the pool bottom it will quickly rise to the surface and displace the colder water there. In a traditional circulation system the water is taken from both the surface and the main drain (where the colder water is) so the colder water is getting heated instead of the warmer water at the pool surface. There is potentially a lot more that can go wrong with them and I don't see the extra expense as justifiable. They are basically just in floor cleaning systems without a distribotor (which is the main problem with in floor cleaners!) Just my 2 cents.
As far as in floor cleaners, they put a LOT of strain on the plumbing in the pool. Just watch the pressure gauge on the filter in a pool with such a system. The needle will swing wildly each time the distributor turns on another set of jets! This constant backpressure will eventually take it's toll. Also, all the dirt is collected in the filter so filter cleanings become more frequent. If porperly designed they do work but I have seen a lot of systems that just weren't designed properly and have 'dead' areas' that the system misses completely.
A good pressure side cleaner or a robot will effectively circulate the water in the pool (a pressure side cleaner acts a a traveling 'return'). The dirt will be collected in it's own collection bag, keeping your flter cleaner longer.

If it were my pool I would take the extra money and invest it in a SWG and possibly pool automation to control your valves, lights, heater, pump, etc. , and invest in a good pressure side cleaner or a robot.