Opinions please, I am completely confused by options

Camp Pool Guy

In The Industry
Oct 13, 2016
New Milford
Hey all. There are just too many options -- I have this problem sometimes in the grocery store picking mustard (who needs 40 varieties) but didn't expect it with pool cleaners.

Here are my issues

1) Commercial class pool (Campground)
State mandated 3x water changes per 24 hours so​
2 x hayward 2HP super pump
1 x Pentair NSP 72 DE filter running fiberclear media
1 x hayward S270T Sand running with fiberclear enhancement (amazing)
BOTH run 24/7 to meet the change rate required (I actually manage about 3.5x day)​
State Mandated logging of PH and Chlorine -- just downloaded poolmath app for my phone which will make that easier
All suction side locations individually valved
All returns flow controlled by eyeball size
With two pumps and two filters I also have (call me Noah) TWO heating systems​
Pentair feeds a fossil (oil) fired heater
Hayward feeds an home-made (ask for details) solar heater that is also 'boosted' by an Hayward booster pump (head on 400` of pipe)​
2) 50K gallon, average depth of 4' deepest 6' shallowest 3' surface 1500 square feet (30 x 50)
3) PVC (Renosys) Liner on concrete shell. (IF you have issues with your current pool shell I recommend the renosys PVC liner -- Its amazing)

Here are my questions

1) I had been thinking pressure side cleaner but

  • They mostly appear to need booster pumps
  • As my rebuild was just last year, I'm not sure I really want to have to add a booster to one of the return lines
  • I have a 'slight' problem and would like a cleaner that can do a little brushing of the bottom ... there's a lot of fine grit tracked into the pool and sometimes my manual vac head doesn't get it (and then its a brush and vac at the same time issue and that's well...who has time for that)
  • I also have straight sides with very small (like 1/4" or less) radius corners at the bottom, the corners of the length and width are more reasonably about 1' radius.
2) If I suction side, I have concerns
  • that with leaves and debris will reduce the suction of which ever pump they are on to the point of potential problems as the pump basket will end up blocked with leaves -- remember it's a campground pool in a leafy environment (and lets not get into the fallout from the Aspen trees surrounding it.)
  • I'd need to use one of my skimmer ports for vac-source
  • I'd read that they don't behave well under a cover and I'm hoping to put 'whatever' in at night and let it run around overnight in the pool.
3) My boss (who ultimately controls my budget on the pool) is opposed to the costs of independent robots--so unless I can make a really good case for one . . .
4) I've seen posts that the local pool companies will sometimes 'loan' units for testing/tryout ... I'm pretty sure my local guy doesn't like me much ... (given i've stopped buying hundreds in chemicals a year from him) ... (also I recommended another area campground use RenoSys direct and get him out of the middle of the project)

Please, I actually probably have no 'budget' limit on the how much I spend on this (well I'm sure I do, but it's probably in the 1K area) so most of what i've seen should fit that, but I cannot get a feel for what works in my more 'custom' system of thing.

My first choice would be, suction or pressure, to put the cleaner on the Hayward side of the filtration/pumps because flow through the fossil heater is rather critical and if I change the flow on that system SCH40 PVC does melt if the water gets too hot (yes, not me, but it has happened in the past with this pool.)

Thank you all in advance, the hints/tips/tricks which I have taken from this forum have made this part of my job a WHOLE lot EASIER.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
I had a Pentair Legend II pressure cleaner with booster pump for 4 years. Last year I switched to a Doheny's Discovery, same as Maytronics S200, Active 20, Triton Plus. It is way, WAY better. It picks up everything, including sand. I was amazed at how dirty I didn't know my pool was during the first few times the robot cleaned the pool.

More in my pool thread, link in sig. And also more here, First Robotic Cleaner, Doheny's Discovery