Suction side automatic pool vacs for IG pools

Rangeball

Well-known member
May 25, 2007
785
I have a 16' x 32' IG vinyl liner pool. 3.5' shallow end and 8' deep end, standard design. For suction I have one skimmer and one main drain. I only have 1 return that is in the shallow end, paralleling the 16' sidewall.

Does anyone have experience with the suction side kreepy krauly type pool vacs in an IG pool they can share? Does it do a good job? Can it be hooked into the main drain so I don't lose my skimmer action which cleans the surface of the water while the pump is running (currently 10hrs daily)?

Any input would be greatly appreciated. These things are cheap enough between $2-350, and I definitely don't want to get into robotics. If these work as advertised, they have my interest. If not, I'll keep doing the manual thing :)
 

mathey

LifeTime Supporter
May 9, 2007
35
Taylorsville, MD
I also have a "The Pool Cleaner" suction model...It seems to work pretty well, though I've never an automatic cleaner before, so I have nothing to compare it to. It does what it's supposed to do. I typically put it in on a weekend morning and let it go about it's business for a few hours, then return to normal skimmer mode.

I also have a 16x32 with one skimmer, one bottom drain and 2 returns...So, yes, you lose your skimmer during the time the cleaner is running, but the skimmer runs all other times when the pump is on (currently 8 hrs/day)
 

Poolsean

TFP Expert
Apr 15, 2007
1,462
Ft Lauderdale, Florida
With any suction type cleaner, I highly recommend using an In-Line leaf trap. This alleviates the debris clogging up the skimmer and pump baskets by trapping the debris in its own basket, or mesh bag. When it is full, it still allows water flow to the pump so it doesn't starve the pump. They have clear bodies so you can see when it needs to be emptied.
Best investment I made.
By the way, I have a Sta-Rite Great White cleaner, about 4 yrs old. Very large suction port so it sucks up very large objects. Although it did get stuck trying to suck in a large Cuban Anole that though it could swim.
 

bestlandlord

LifeTime Supporter
May 26, 2007
21
Massachusetts
I used a kreepy krauler brand for 3-4 years worked ok in my 20x40 8'6" deep end. It got stuck on ladder alot. The tubing needed replacing after a couple of summers it started collapsing. I had to do a lot of modifications to get the suction just right not too strong not too weak it was very finicky. I ran it to return with valve at return to adjust flow. Then summer 3-4 it wasn't working as well as the first 2 years. Bought a robot at local pool store for $1300.00. The dirty f@%!*+s told me it would do an excellent job. Have seen it on ebay since for maybe $8-900.00 Dolphin by Smartpool. Three years ago it quit after 2nd day had to threaten lawsuit to get it fixed. Took months got it back for beginning of last year. Remote didn't work more threatening phone calls. So we used it maybe 4 weeks last summer. Put it in 2 weeks ago sometimes works great sometimes just goes back and forth in same area for 8 hrs. So the reason for this long diatribe is if there is a suction side that works better than kreepy and it sounds like poolsean has one buy it. If you have to replace it every 4 years its worth it. Maybe there is a better robot than smartpools I don't know but I have always said if it wasn't for bad luck I would have no luck. But "woot" I am getting my Autopilot tomorrow and am excited about that and I hope it works as good as many on this site have experienced
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,800
Pleasanton, CA
Poolsean said:
With any suction type cleaner, I highly recommend using an In-Line leaf trap. This alleviates the debris clogging up the skimmer and pump baskets by trapping the debris in its own basket, or mesh bag. When it is full, it still allows water flow to the pump so it doesn't starve the pump. They have clear bodies so you can see when it needs to be emptied.
Best investment I made.
I would second that. I have one as well and it is much easier to clean than the pump basket.
 

Rangeball

Well-known member
May 25, 2007
785
For those with the poolcleaner:

Do you have the 2x or 4x model?
How large is your pool?
How long does it take to clean your pool?
Where did you buy it and if I can ask what did it cost?

Thanks :)
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,800
Pleasanton, CA
The suction side only comes in 2x which is what I have. My pool is a freeform with max dimensions of 18x36.

Cleaning time is difficult since I don't stay around to watch it but I would say it catches most stuff in a few hours (2-4?). I ususally leave it in the pool all the time and just take it out when we swim.

I got mine a couple of years ago through a local store so I am not sure price would help you much. Plus I can't remember. 8)
 

mathey

LifeTime Supporter
May 9, 2007
35
Taylorsville, MD
I found mine on Ebay (only used 1 day, still under full warranty) for about $250 shipped...I had to add 2 extra lengths of hose ($10 each) and a set of skirts with rollers ($17)

I'll also guess about 2-4 hours

mine is a 16x32 vinyl
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,800
Pleasanton, CA
Rangeball said:
Mark, perhaps the 4x suction side is new since you bought yours?

http://www.thepoolcleaner.com/4xpoolcleaner.html

They say it's for larger pools. I have emailed them asking for a brochure and list of online retailers, and if the 2x or 4x is best for my pool. I imagine the 2x is plenty.

Thanks for the info :)
Yes, I guess it is. I have a suction port in the middle of my pool so I do not need as much hose length than if I used the skimmer. You need to make sure you have enough with some to spare. Here is what they say about the 2x and 4x.

An easy way to determine if you need a 2 Wheel Suction PoolCleaner or a 4 Wheel Suction PoolCleaner is to imagine a 40 ft long pool. If the suction port or skimmer is half way (most newer pools) approx 20 ft from one end, then the 2 Wheel Model will be sufficient.
If however the suction port is all the way at one end AND you have a very deepend the 4 Wheel PoolCleaner would be better suited for your pool. The best way to describe it is that the 4 Wheel model can drag more hose.
 

Rangeball

Well-known member
May 25, 2007
785
Thanks. I read that last night, and figured the 2x would be the one for me but thought I'd ask to make sure.

Some of the info I was reading on IG suction cleaners was you need to have a "flush" main drain. My main drain has a ring that sticks up maybe 1/4"-1/2" above the pool floor. Is this flush enough? Will it be a problem with the 2x?
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,800
Pleasanton, CA
Rangeball said:
Thanks. I read that last night, and figured the 2x would be the one for me but thought I'd ask to make sure.

Some of the info I was reading on IG suction cleaners was you need to have a "flush" main drain. My main drain has a ring that sticks up maybe 1/4"-1/2" above the pool floor. Is this flush enough? Will it be a problem with the 2x?
Mine sticks up about that much but the edges are sloped so the cleaner has no trouble going right over it. I think you will be pretty happy with the cleaner. One thing I was surpised at was how far up the walls that it climb. Most of time it makes it to the surface.
 

anotherpyr

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2007
78
Columbia, MD
Well I can second the Kreepy Krauly is a piece of Crud opinion. Replaced mine with a Polaris 360. I'll never have another suction side cleaner again. It cleans better, faster, and is easier to connect and disconnect.

Issues with suction side cleaners (some may be Kreepy specific):
1) Must have a leaf canister (unless you like losing pressure and cleaning the pump basket)
2) Air leaks - things like the sectional hoses that the Kreepy use are a source of air leaks as it ages.
3) Gets stuck easily and stays there until manually moved.
4) Have to adjust the suction so it runs at the proper rate.
5) Can run all day and not cover the entire pool (its random)
6) Hose must be disassembled and stored flat.
7) Getting air out of lines before hooking up.
 

GoBlue

Member
Jun 10, 2007
9
Sta-Rite advice needed

I've been looking at the Sta-Rite Great White and PoolShark cleaners. I don't see much difference in either price or features, or am i missing something? Any words of advice on these or reviews?

My pool is an in-ground vinyl lined 18X36, 3.5-4.5 foot deep.

Thanks