Easiest way to vacuum a pool
Doesn't handle stairs well, slow, can't spot-clean
The Bottom Line
We're thrilled to have this thing. It's almost worth the money just to see the cat jump when the tail squirts him unexpectedly as he's lounging poolside.
UPDATE - After 5 years of using this product, I thought I'd post a quick update. I've had no problems of any sort. It works as well today as it did when we first installed it. I use it less now then I used to, though. At first, I put it in the pool whenever ANY level of vacuuming was in-order. Now, I'll do quick clean-ups with the manual vacuum rather than using the Polaris. I can get the pool pretty clean in 15 minutes if it is just a matter of spot cleaning. But I put the Polaris in about once each week for two or three hours. It does a great job of getting the leaves and dirt that blows in. I'm glad we got it and I still recommend it.
This tool came recommended from the guy who renovated our gunite pool. He said it was the best tool of its kind. I was dubious, but he hadn't steered us wrong before so we told him to go ahead and install it. Once again, he was right.
The Polaris is easy to use - just connect the hose to the dedicated outflow port in the pool, switch on the pump and walk away. It takes three to four hours to thoroughly clean our 30,000-gallon pool. When it's finished, just turn off the pump, disconnect the hose and pull it out of the water. The bag that holds the junk that it sucks up is large enough so that you only have to empty it roughly every third time. (Your mileage may vary depending on how much stuff falls into your pool.)
Using the Polaris is far easier than doing the job manually, even if it takes much longer. We tend to turn it on when we won't be using the pool and pull it out whenever it's convenient. But I won't leave it on if we're not at home. When we first started using it, one of the fittings failed on the pump, and our garage, where the filter is installed, began filling with water. I happened to be home and turned it off as soon as I realized something was wrong. It would have been a disaster, though, if we hadn't been home. I know this isn't the product's fault, but it's just something to think about.
A minor drawback is the fact that you can't use it to spot-clean your pool. Leaves and dirt tend to gather in a couple of areas in our pool and I wish you could manually control the Polaris and direct it to the areas that need work. I bought a manual vacuum just to be able to do a quick cleanup from time-to-time. I also have to use the manual vacuum or the brush on the stairs as the Polaris won't go up higher than the first step.
One final caveat - if your filter is on a timer, be sure to have your electrician wire the Polaris pump to the timer as well. If the filter pump goes off and the Polaris remains on, the Polaris pump will be ruined.