Best pool cleaner

Hi, my old Lettro pool sweep has kicked the bucket (it was junk from the start) and I'm looking for a replacement. Leslie's is pushing the Hayward Viper. Has anyone used this? Would I be better with a Polaris?
--Doug
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Had a Hayward for 9 years. Do not remember the model. Twice a year I needed to rebuild the worn parts. I had at first the skimmer plaster, that NEVER worked right. Finally punched a hole in the side of the pool and installed a direct wall connection and a 3 way valve. I was replastering at the time so it was no big deal. It kept the pool clean as long as you were willing to run the pump 8 hours a day. When the pool usage dropped, I turned it off during the week and ran it for 20 or so hours on weekends only. Kept the chemicals up and except for a dust storm or leaves I really noticed no difference except the pump was not running 40 hours a week. I am sure that all of the cleaners are good. The installation and application is more important.
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Our pool builder told us the Polaris was the best way to go because it is the cheapest to fix..We had him put in one that uses a connection into the pool outlets (he installed a seperate one for this) so it did not require a seperate pump..They have both kinds..Our pool is 5-6 years old and Polly has never had to be overhauled..Only thing we have had to replace was the bags (they have silt and leaf bags) and also the little foam floaties that go on the hose, and the rings and scrubber on the tail..These are cheap fixes, and the stuff is hanging on the wall of any of the popular pool supply stores..Yeah the Polaris isn't flashy but it does the job.... Hope this helps! John

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"Our pool builder told us the Polaris was the best way to go because it is the cheapest to fix"
That's got to be the worlds greatest recommendation!!!!
I purposely stayed away from Polaris because every pool supply place you walked into had a complete wall filled with Polaris spare parts. Another great recommendation!!
I decided to go with Kreepy Crawler, and never looked backed. Only one moving part. I've had to replace a couple of hoses and the rubber "foot" over the last 18 years for a total of about $20. Best decision I've ever made.
Dave

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My mom had a Kreepy, and it worked good but the only thing I didn't like about it was you had to take out a skimmer basket, and hook the hose down in the bottom of it..Other than that it worked good, just looked funny with that big hose sticking out of the skimmer..I did like that it sucked the crap into the pump basket..With the Polly you have to pull it out and take the bag off and empty....I wonder if you could have you pool plumbed to let Kreepy be plugged into the side to prevent having the hose situation?? Gives the OP a couple of choices to concider for sure...A friend of ours just bought one of these new REALLY expensive ones that are actually electric and looks like a tractor, or maybe more like an army tank..It has a low voltage transformer with shock protection outside the pool with a really long wire that attaches to the machine..It climbs and swims around and scrubs the walls..Best unit for cleaning I have ever seen..It has a sort of "jet propulsion" which makes it stick to the wall and it climbs all the way to the top edge...But I couldn't swallow the amount..It's like a thousand bucks.... John

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I saw that one at Leslies. Looks like something NASA would send to mars. --Doug

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I have a Hayward, and I like it. Just put it on the suction hose, and let it run. You have to check on it occasionally, because sometimes it gets stuck on a step or ladder. I didn't like the looks of some of the others because they were a large Rube Goldberg looking contraption, or had to have an auxiliary pump.
Steve
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Doug Lowe writes:

Booster-pump units (like the Polaris) are best, most effective and most economical in true lifetime costs. Pool chemistry is much improved by the added circulation at the normally stagnant bottom layer. Up-front costs are high, but low duty cycles mean less $/day over the life of the unit vs crawlers.
Suction-side or pressure-outlet crawlers are parasites that *worsen* circulation (more chemicals needed to compensate). And they work soooo sluggishly, which is why terms like "creep" and "crawl" are appropriate. They're clever mechanisms, and any effective cleaner is better than none, but the boosted units win on all aspects.
Forget the "one moving part" line. What's cheaper, a bicycle or a car?
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I should have been clearer. I have a Lettro Legacy that kicked the bucked. It runs with a booster pump, which I just replaced 'cause it too was bad. So I'm committed to spending $400 or more on a booster-pump style cleaner. I'm just trying to decide which one is better -- the Lettro Legacy, Polaris 380, or the Hayward Viper.
Leslie's claims the Hayward is better because the wheel is directly driven, no gears, belts, or bearings to wear out, so they say maintenance is cheaper. On the other hand, the Viper isn't old enough to have a real track record. The owner of a local shop who's been in the business for 30 years swears by Lettro. He says Polaris used to be the best, but Lettro is now better. He also says Hayward is junk, and Leslie's comes up with something new every 3 years or so because they want to sell new ones rather than service existing units. I think there's some truth to that, so I'm leaning towards Lettro. (In fact, when he saw my Lettro, he said I probably don't need a new one at all, the only moving parts are the gears, bearings, axles, and wheels, and replacing that is about half the cost of buying a new one, and the only thing wrong with the rest of it is that the paint's faded.)
--Doug

Hayward
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I've had Polaris Pool Sweeps for about 25 years. Fairly low maintenance items since I only had to buy replacement parts every 3 to 5 years.
Although I have not had a Hayward pool sweep I have had other Hayward components and not been impressed.
RB
Doug Lowe wrote:

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I've got 2 twelve year olds that do a pretty good job of keeping the pool clean. : )

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