Any opinions on suctions-type swimming pool cleaners?

I'm tired of vacuuming my plaster pool, and am looking at automatic cleaners, particularly the suction type.
The Kreepy Krauly appears to be the most popular, but I see some complaints about the frequent need to buy repair parts. Apparently this is part of their business plan.
My local pool store guy sells the KK, but prefers the Polaris 140, which is $50 less, and doesn't need parts all the time.
And then there's the Baracuda, about which I know nothing.
I would appreciate any opinions on these, or links to discussions about them.
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Skip the rest and get the best. Polaris 280.
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Rick says...
>> I'm tired of vacuuming my plaster pool, and am looking >> at automatic cleaners, particularly the suction type.
>> The Kreepy Krauly appears to be the most popular, but I >> see some complaints about the frequent need to buy >> repair parts. Apparently this is part of their >> business plan.
>> My local pool store guy sells the KK, but prefers the >> Polaris 140, which is $50 less, and doesn't need parts >> all the time.
>> And then there's the Baracuda, about which I know >> nothing.
>> I would appreciate any opinions on these, or links to >> discussions about them.
> Skip the rest and get the best. Polaris 280.
Thanks, but that model is a "pressure" cleaner. My pool isn't plumbed for that.
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Polaris 360 would be next best.
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Meant to add the 360 requires a filter pump of 1HP or more.
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I have a Hayward Pool Vac Ultra. Got it on sale with rebate for $200. It is a simple device, hooks up to the suction. I have a 38,000 gallon plaster pool, and I am 102% satisfied with it. I investigated others, and found out that you need additional pumps, and they all looked like a Rube Goldberg contraption. Wheels of all sizes. Extra pumps. Flailing hoses. These are S - I - M - P - L - E devices that work well. I am going into my third summer with this little hard working robot. It is about one cubic foot overall. My rich contractor BIL has a big Polaris that looks like an alien landing ship on steroids. He saw mine work, and tossed his and got one. His was always crapping out and getting tangled.
Steve
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SteveB says...
> I have a Hayward Pool Vac Ultra. Got it on sale with > rebate for $200. It is a simple device, hooks up to the > suction. I have a 38,000 gallon plaster pool, and I am > 102% satisfied with it.
Thanks very much. For a suction cleaner, the Hayward is beginning to look pretty good. Thanks for the recommendation.
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Gotta tell you, though. I had a problem with mine today. A rock got in there. You take out five screws, and pull out the rock. It takes about two minutes. It is a simple device, and I love it.
I call him Poolio. Throw him in the pool, and come back occasionally to see if it has choked on a pebble. Then, you can put the roller head and pole on the same hose, and get the places it didn't catch. Bing, bang, boom. GET A LEAF CATCHER, about 8" in diameter, and 2 feet long. It will catch the stuff before it goes to the filter.
After seeing all the complicated contraptions that are in use, I wonder why anyone would use anything else. Geez. some others require ANOTHER pump, and all sorts of stuff.
Watch for your local pool supplier to have a sale on them. I haven't shopped the net for them, but I got mine for $200 locally with the rebate. Maybe you can equal that deal online.
Steve
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On Sat, 07 May 2005 18:13:59 -0500, Peabody

I have a Hayward Navigator that runs 6 hours a day. I have had no problems with it and it does a good job on the bottom and sides but it won't climb stairs
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wrote:

I have a Hayward Ultra. Ditto on the stairs. But, heck, I just put it in the pool and come back later and put the suction head on there to do the stairs and anything else I can see. Minutes instead of hours.
Steve
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Peabody writes:

Polaris 180, 280, or 380. Pressure booster pump, not suction. Suction side is inherently dismal performance.
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Richard J Kinch says...
>> I would appreciate any opinions on these, or links to >> discussions about them.
> Polaris 180, 280, or 380. Pressure booster pump, not > suction. Suction side is inherently dismal performance.
The problem is that I don't think my pool plumbing will support a pressure cleaner. There is no separate line for the cleaner, and of the three normal return lines, only one has an eyeball fitting. The other two just end with plain PVC pipe. In the past, I've tried driving a fountain from the eyeball fitting, but of course the water just goes out the other two openings instead, so I can't build up any head pressure.
I understand that I could add a deck-mounted pump/motor, but I don't know how well that would work, and of course it adds a lot to the expense, and might look kinda goofy.
Why is a suction-side cleaner worse than a pressure cleaner?
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Peabody writes:

Because there is virtually no power there to do mechanical work.
The pressure-side power makes the cleaner scoot around like a rabbit, covering the pool much faster. Meanwhile, the venturi effect makes it circulate enormous volumes of water through the bag.
Being thus more effective, the cost is lower, because you run it on a timer for short periods, not all the time, and the power cost is ultimately the dominant true cost, not the purchase price.
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On Sat, 07 May 2005 18:13:59 -0500, Peabody

Hey Peabody! I am on my second inground vinyl liner pool and have been using the "Polaris" pool cleaner quite successfully. It has a separate pump that provides power for it to suck debris off the bottom of the pool and store in a net bag as it rolls all over the bottom in random orbits. It's not a cheap pool cleaner but it works good!
Regards, Bill
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