revstrikerTX (and stack24),Thank You for the tip. What model of robot are you going with?
I have a suggestion to consider if you go with a plug-in robot.
And would you believe I live in Sugar Land too! What are the odds of that .
I've got some experience with various Polaris pressure side cleaners, and just recently got a plug-in robot as well.
Bottom line, if I were building a new pool in this area (hot, sunny), I would go plug-in robot, but also have them leave room (on your pad) and add all necessary piping (from the pad to the pool), so that you could add a pressure line Polaris 280 at a later date if you ever decided to. Think of this as a bit of future-proofing, as it would be prohibitively expensive to do that at a later date if you ever would want to switch. I would expect that they could plumb things so that limited flow will go through the unused pressure side cleaner line (just a dribble should do when your main pump is on) to prevent algae from growing in that line.
Here's my story, which includes having owned 4 separate Polaris models.
We moved to our home when the pool was 3 years old, and it's now 26 years old. The original owner had them install the CHEAPEST possible pool available (one 2.5HP pump to run pool, Polaris 360, Jacuzzi, and the Jacuzzi water lines run through venturi jets that suck air from the pool deck to provide the bubbles. In any case, that's why we started with a Polaris 360.
Here are the details and comments about our cleaners:
- Polaris 360 - horrible; stiff hose prevented cleaning all parts of pool and pre-filtered water clogs the tiny inline filter every few days; with a single pump and no automation, it also ran whenever the pool filter ran which causes a lot of wear on the cleaner
- Polaris 280 and 3/4 HP pressure side cleaner pump (older Polaris design); worked well for many years
- Upgraded when Polaris 3/4 HP pump died to a much improved Polaris PB45Q pump - huge improvement; much quieter and seems to last about 3 times as long as the other booster pumps we've had
- Polaris Quattro Sport (actually Leslie's P40 with different colored plastic from factory Polaris model) came next (~ 2 years ago). After being relatively pleased with the Polaris 280 (I think it's #1 selling pool cleaner even now?), the pool store helped me to purchase this model; it cleans about 100% better than the Polaris 280 - goes much higher on sides, flappers really do help cut down on how often I need to brush pool, BUT... And there is a huge but, just one month before the 2 year wtty. was out, my Quattro Sport needed about $340 of parts for two small outside wheel gear assemblies. And the YouTube video I watched to learn how to disassemble this model said that the most often parts to fail were a drive shaft assy and "engine" which add up to over $500 if those were to fail too. While the 280's don't clean as well, their maintenance of ~17 years probably ran about $60/year. Our pool is warm, gets total sun, and we have been running the Polaris for 9 months a year for about 2 hours/day, and about 1 hour day for the other 3 months of the year.
- circa 2021' - purchased Polaris Alpha iQ+ (actually, Leslie's VRX iQ+) true plug in robot purchased earlier this year while our Polaris Quattro was in the shop for above mentioned wtty. repairs. Evidently, Leslie's cannot use their in-stock parts for wtty. repairs; they have to order from Polaris and customers have to wait. I will not leave this wonderful cleaner in the pool, but will use it as needed. What's to love about the robot - best overall effectiveness and cleaning yet; you can "drive" it with an iPhone, and it really does the best job had so far for scrubbing the tiles. It's massive filter removes even the tiniest silt and has an optional even finer filter available that some TFP users have mentioned.
My situation - I will reprogram the Quattro Sport run only 45 mins/day (down from 2 hours) and use the robot as required (been once/week lately). I would prefer a Polaris 280 to run this way over the Quattro Sport just because of that model's bullet-proof reliability and low cost rebuilds. And, while Polaris instructions say don't leave any cleaner in your pool 24/7, the pressure side 280 really doesn't seem to mind. Electric robots have very expensive parts ($500 cables, $500+ motors, etc.) and I would not expect them to hold up as well left in a pool 24/7 in Texas as the 280's seem to.
Hope this helps!
Too, PM me if you want to visit and watch how either of our current Polaris models navigate in our Sugar Land pool.