I’ve never met an in-floor system I liked.
Homeowners preparing to build a pool call me regularly to ask for advice on the plans they’ve received from the salesman representing XYZ Pool Builders. I share my input on pumps, filters, controls, etc. When it comes to the pool cleaner I always hold my breath and hope they aren’t considering an in-floor system. I’m not a fan of in-floor swimming pool cleaning systems because they aren’t effective at cleaning the pool. If you must install one, I say, ‘make sure you install a dedicated cleaner line at construction, you’ll thank me later’.
I can’t tell you how many pools I’ve been called on to repair where the homeowner asks if there’s any way to install a traditional pool sweep (like a Polaris) because his expensive in floor system wasn’t working out. He tells me that the in floor system just blows stuff around and isn’t cutting it. He continues sadly, ‘It seemed like a good idea when the salesman presented the idea’. When he doesn’t have the $25 dedicated cleaner line pipe underground I explain that we have to cut the concrete deck, drain the pool, core a hole through the wall or, run a pipe over the deck to supply the 1.5” pipe the Polaris requires. If the pipe is installed at construction its an easy install for the Polaris and some minor plumbing at the equipment pad.
In theory, in floor systems are a good idea. In application they just don’t work (unless you don’t have any leaves or dirt in your backyard).
The dedicated cleaner line pipe is regular ole 1.5” schedule 40 PVC pipe and should be installed as close to the center of the pool as possible. The other end is just stubbed up and capped on the equipment pad.
Make sure your builder installs this inexpensive 1.5″ pipe at construction. In time, when you can’t stand the in floor system any more you’ll have the easy option of installing a traditional pool cleaner that picks up leaves and keeps the pool clean as its suppose to.