Okay, I'll try to educate you, but you seem to not only be clueless, but
proud of it!
What you need to understand is the difference between suction side and
pressure side cleaners, and the self-powered "robots" that do _not_ rely
on the filter system of the pool for "power," and which have no hoses.
The cleaner to which the original poster was referring to is what is
referred to as a robot i.e.
which I have for my pool.
A pressure side venturi-effect cleaner with an auxiliary pump such as
the Polaris 380, which I used to have, can be seen at
The suction side cleaners like the Kreepy Krauly simply attach to the
suction side of the pump via a hose port in the pool.
The latter two use hoses and rely on either suction or pressure from the
pool's filtration system (the Polaris uses an extra higher pressure pump
in parallel with the filtration pump but both must be on at the same time).
Since the robot is able to do a pretty good job of filtering out small
particals, unlike the suction or pressure side cleaners, it was a
legitimate question that the original poster asked. However the robots
can't filter the large volume of water in a typical pool, even if they
were kept on for 12 hours a day.
The "robot" pool cleaners are more similar to like the Roomba robot vac
for the home. They have a computer inside and they cover every square
inch of the pool, rather than going in random directions. They are self
contained without relying on the pool's pumping or filtration system.
Some of them will shoot a stream of water onto the pool surface to whip
up dirt and algae so they can vacuum it up.
The big difference I found between a pressure side pool sweep (Polaris)
and the robot I now have (Dolphin) is that the robot gets the pool a lot
The problem with the Polaris is that it picks up leaves and larger
debris, but stuff like sand or dead algae goes right through the
collection bag (even the extra fine bag). It also required an inordinate
amount of maintenance, it would get stuck in corners, and the parts were
amazingly expensive. I.e. the collection bag would last about one season
before splitting, and would cost $30 for a simple mesh bag with the
requisite connector. I was constantly disassembling it to replace one
part or another. Also, it required a second pump. The idiot that
installed it (it was there before we bought the house) did not wire the
timers correctly (the timers need to be wired so the Polaris pump cannot
turn on unless the main pump is on) so when one of the timers failed,
the Polaris pump came on by itself and self-destructed.
I've never tried a suction side cleaner, but I've seen negative reviews
for ones like the Kreepy Krauly.
One other advantage of the robot cleaners is that they keep a lot of the
debris from ever getting to the main pool filter, so the regular pool
filter stays pretty clean. I only have to clean it once a year now,
whereas with the Polaris I had to clean it every month (but the filter I
had with the Polaris was also smaller, so that's not an entirely fair
I'll bet it works, and I'll bet most pool maintenance companies will
eagerly sell you another one anyhow.
The way to tell if it works is to turn it on and check the water that
comes out of it. Age and external rust (even internal rust) don't
mean that something won't last another 20 years. (maybe with some
maintenance or small repairs now and every few years.)
I'd tell whoever comes out that you're not replacing it. You can
always change your mind later.
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