Pros: Better than no cleaner
Cons: Too much effort for too little cleaning
We Bought a house last winter that has an inground pool that came with the Kreepy Krauly. I couldn't say how old this model is... ( after reading other reviews, I suppose this could be as old as twenty years, but I suspect it's around five years old)...
This pool cleaner is a suction-based model that connects to your intake valves. We don't have a dedicated pool cleaner valve, so this involves removing the skimmer basket & putting the primed hose though the skimmer plate.
( recently this has caused the skimmer floating panel to break)
To prime the hose, all the air must be removed & the hose must be completely filled with water... so this involves kneeling on the deck & sticking your arm down to the outlet or return jet (& placing hose onto jet). It can take a couple of minutes to blow out all the air... then carefully crawl on the deck, being sure not to raise the hose end above the water line or you'll have to start over again, & pushing it through the skimmer plate & bending it down to the filter intake.
This is an extremely disgusting process if your are in pool opening stage & the water is cold & yucky!
( It is also hard on the knees)
Now if you have done everything correctly, you shall hear the click-click sound & the cleaner should start to move.
I have noticed that in cold water, the KK moves extremely slowly.
This cleaner is terrible.
It has real problems with leaves. I hear that the leaves can become stuck in the hose, but that's not the problem that I've had with it.
If the leaves aren't stuck to the bottom of the pool ( but rather just resting there) the KK will somehow push them up over itself ( & then leave them behind).. it will remove stuck leaves, but the filter basket fills up very fast, so you need to keep checking your pump's basket. Recently, I didn't check the basket for a couple of hours & when I finaly emptied it, it had split down the side!
There is a leaf canister available for it ( very expensive for what it is), but I'm determined to not spend a dime on this cleaner now, but rather get a new type.
My pool is a Lazy " L " configuration 42' x 12'. It has basically two sections: an approximately Three foot deep shallow end & a Twelve foot deep deep end.
The walls of the deep end are very steep. The KK can almost never make it to the shallow end without assitance.
Because of this strange configuration, I have a lot of corners, & the KK gets stuck almost everytime on certain corners. It also gets stuck going under ladders & additionally gets stuck around the main-drain... even if you shut off the drain, it gets caught in the lip of the drain. ( it will also get stuck on your pool devil skimmer cleaner if you have one)
It is very very slow as well. The manufacturor recommends backwashing before cleaning... I believe this is to actually reprime your pool pump so as to create more suction power for KK. This does seem to somewhat increase the speed...
Because of the difficulties of both speed & being unable to make it to the shallow end, I had read-up on boosters. There are no boosters for the KK, however, there was a Thruster kit available at one time. The KK company is no longer making the thruster for it!
( I'm not sure it would have solved my problems with it anyway, but I was going to try... since it is not & will not be available, I'm buying a different cleaner).
The manual says that you can run KK with your solar cover on the pool. I found that it did not work at all... even in the deep end; if the hose isn't " 100% free moving" then the cleaner doesn't go anywhere.
Also, you are supposed to be able to leave this in your pool, which I was doing so that I wouldn't have to re-prime it everytime, but I spoke with a KK rep, who said that it should be removed after cleanings ( daily) because the plastic & rubber parts will start to break down from the chemicals in the pool.
Additionaly, you are supposed to store it without coiling the hose...(? lol)
The hose has "memory" and will not function properly if stored coiled up, but will rather just have the KK go around in circles, missing much cleaning spots of your pool.
This is pretty unsightly having the KK stretched all the way down your pool deck (& could be hazardous as well); it's also completely unfeasable to store it that way for winter storage.
I've checked out on costs for different replacement parts for the KK (as I didn't know yet that the machine wasn't broken - it just doesn't work well)
& boy are they expensive... it's almost worth buying a second one, just for parts! ( if you're determined to have this cleaner).
I simply can not stand, having to guide this thing around &/or check on it every 15 minutes to see where it's stuck now...
Overall, This cleaner totally sucks & not in a good way!