Consider this: For a 44x22' pool the in-floor system costs $7,000+. For that price you can use a rover type vacume, and have the pool professionally cleaned weekly for 20+ years. I still can't find a good review of how clean the in-floor systems actually keep the pool. Rover type systems have fairly high cleaning ratings, especially on smaller pools with only the inconvenience of having a hose continually floating around the pool.
I was quoted 12k for a system for a 20x40 pool. It is way way way too much money for just cleaning, I'd never buy it for that. However, ... I'm still researching this but ... if you are solar-heating & you return the warmed-up water in from the bottom, apparently it is much more effective than having it come as in standard pool systems (from the side, usually close to the top of the water line). All I'm going on is word of mouth & ads from various sources .. I have yet to see a concrete analysis /etc.
From a cleaning standpoint the in-floor system is about a 1 on a scale of 1-10. It doesn't clean it just pushes everything around.
From a circulation standpoint the in-floor system is great. I have solar heating and it makes a big difference to have circulation from all around the bottom of the pool.
20 years of full service, ($35.00)weekly pool cleaning is about $33,000.
I've got to interject a comment here on the $35 weekly service. I do not know of a pool tech in the country that would have a fee that low. Fees range from$70 on up for full service without chemicals. Chemical costs would be extra. That $35 fee would not even pay for the guys gas for a month even if he had 100 accounts. That person charging those fees is not a good business person and know what his operating costs are. Also at that rate the pool guy would have a negative income based on the costs of doing business - - even 10 years ago.
This is the trouble shooting guide from a popular hose cleaner manufacturer website.
1. Hangs up on steps or other obstacles for longer than 3 minutes. 2. Cleaner does not back up. 3. Feed hose becomes tangled. 4. Sweep hose is sucked into the vacuum tube. 5. Sweep hose sprays too much water out of the pool. 6. The cleaner is running in circles on its side.
Here is the best one! 7. The cleaner does not clean the entire pool.
My answer: There is no true solution to this problem! Hose cleaners will never clean the entire pool. I have never seen one jump into the spa, clean it and back flip into the pool again either.
I am a strong advocate of in floor pool cleaning systems. When presented in terms that a pool buyer can understand, priced and installed correctly, in floor cleaning systems are a clearly superior, very cost effective way to clean your new pool.
Here is a list of criteria for your in floor selection:
1. System has active suction main drain. 2. In deck debris canister and heads to focus the debris into the main drain area. 3. A precision CAD layout and design of head locations in pool, spa, steps and benches. 4. Experienced contractor installation. 5. The total investment for the system is a fair $4000-$6000 depending on pool size and features.
I have had an in floor cleaning system for 5 years from turbo clean. The main reason I did it was for my dog. Yes, the dog. We rented a house with a polaris type cleaner in the pool. The Golden Retriever felt it was his job to retrieve it out of the pool and wrestle it to the ground. We could not break him of the habit, so when we put in a pool in the new house the in floor keeps the unsightly robot at bay. For heating the pool and chemical circulation it makes a difference. Weird to feel the water at the bottom of the pool warmer then the water on top. So the problems I have had. Had a piece of the filter break off and jam the gears in the device. I have had some of the gears wear out. But all is covered under a lifetime warranty. Do have an issue with some leaves clogging up the main drain and I still have to brush down the sides of the pool. The only thing I wish I had done was put a salt chlorination system in.
Obviously, the majority of the people out there are uneducated when it comes to the advantages of the in-floor cleaning system. Circulation is a giant part of it's advantages; not only making the pool a passive solar heated pool but also makes the equipment and materials that much more effective. The usual turn over of a pool is about 4 complete turns. With the circulation of an in-floor system it only takes about 2 turns, thus making everything that much more effective. I have heard in the past that in-floor system do nothing but stir up the debris and have no where to go. This is really not the case with the Paramount MDX drain. It has a wide opening allowing dirt and leaves to easily flow into. Any debris in my pool that gets near the drain in gone in a flash! Not only is it an amazing debris removal drain it is also the safest drain IN THE WORLD, and my pool remains spotless year round. So instead of bashing things that I'm sure nobody really knows about, do your homework first, and Paramount is the best!!
One problem I see with the above comment is that once your pump basket has filled to capacity (at most 8 hands full of leaves) the system will then just push the debris around the pool. The surface circulation is nearly dormant thus reducing the effectiveness of the skimmers. The skimmers are there for the purpose of sucking in bugs, leaves & things that float for a while before they sink to the bottom of the pool. If you have a major leaf problem there is no automatic pool cleaner that will completely do the job at hand even with add-on canisters , bags and the like. For the money you could buy a suction side cleaner and replace it entirely every few years ( 5) and still be ahead with money left over for better automated devices to run your pool system. I would go so far as to say that these in floor cleaning devices are over-rated.
A: Those "trouble shooting answers in #1 are mainly start up adjustments and you rarely have those problems through the years of use with your suction side cleaners. And as with most mechanical devices you will have to refurbish or do minor replacement of parts at certain 1, 2 or 3 yr. intervals. I have had nothing but grief with any of the in floor cleaner systems that I have had on my routes.
Yes it is possible to bypass an In-Floor Cleaning System. My first question would be, why would you want to? In-Floor Cleaning Systems are much more efficient than any portable cleaner. If you are having problems with your pools cleaning performance, I would look into flow adjusting your cleaning heads, before investing into a cleaner. Also It will probably be cheaper to repair the floor system, than to buy a portable cleaner. The easiest thing to do would be to buy a Polaris Suction Cleaner, such as the ATV. This can be installed via the skimmer fairly easily. If you want a pressure side cleaner, then you would need a dedicated return line. If you have wall returns already plumbed in your pool, You can retro one these lines to feed your Polaris. Polaris sells a return kit allowing you to do this. Good Luck INfloor Parts.
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