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Thread: So what's the current hotness in Pool Robots?

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    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    32

    So what's the current hotness in Pool Robots?

    Not to just pile on with another 'What Robot should I buy?' thread (although this is really what it is), I've seen some newer, different ones out there and I'd like to get some perspectives.

    I've owned two different pool robots and preferred one much more than the other... of course it was also in a totally different pool, so I'm not sure how much the difference was robot vs pool.

    Robot 1: Dolphin Diagnostic.
    I loved this thing. I had an old, inground, fiberglass pool, about 25,000 gallons, with a deep end. One drain, 3 returns. Basically rectangular. Pretty simple pool. There was a large oak tree that reached over it and provided a steady source of bird droppings, so the robot was essential. The Dolphin did a very good job every time I dropped it in. Sparkling clean in a couple of hours. I never really fell for the hype of how it 'learns your pool, blah blah'. I always thought it just had some logic like, run in one direction for a while, then run in the other, and the offset floating handle just helped it sort of turn at the surface. Whatever, it worked well. The only thing I didn't like was hosing out the 'diaper' full of bird doo at the end. Later, I found a guy who sold disposable filters for it and life was good. Sold that house and left the robot with it.

    Robot 2: Got a new house, and built a fancier pool this time around. It's smaller, probably 15,000 gallons. The deepest end is only 5 ft or so. 2 drains (which I think is probably standard now for safety). Gunite structure with pebbletec surface. Has a couple of benches for sitting. Most importantly, it's sort of a very rough 'T' shape. This pool has far less bird droppings (I learned a lesson about the tree! but seems to collect more chunks of mulch and stuff from beds nearby). I went to the pool store and was convinced to buy the new Polaris 'truck' style of robot. It was the first model (9300?). Two drive wheels, jetted water out the back. I was mainly attracted by the fact it had a canister to collect debris which I could just dump out. This thing sucks (or sucked, I guess, since it's dead now). It never really seemed to get the pool as clean. I'm not sure why. I don't know if it had crappy logic compared to the other Dolphin, or it was the fundamental structure and design of the robot, OR if it was just the pool. Anyway, the power supply finally failed, and given the repair cost (sick!) and it's performance, I'm going to get a new robot.

    One thing I noticed about the polaris, is that it kind of 'fell off the sides' a bit more (if that makes sense). I think the water flow in these robots makes a difference. The dolphin pulled water through the bottom, and jetted it directly out the top. I think this helped on the sides since it would suck and push itself toward the edge (with the tracks and floaty handle doing just enough to give it upward motion). The Polaris sucked water in through the bottom and jets it out the back, which helps it propulsion-wise. It climbs the sides easily, but I don't think it help push it onto the wall enough. Secondly, that rear 'exhaust' looks like it disturbs a lot of the bottom debris as the robot drives around, making it hard to pick it all up.

    Anyway, I thought I'd just get another Dolphin Diagnostic, but that seems to be discontinued. I either can't find it, or the price is $3,000 for some reason (I paid like $900 for mine the first time around). I see at the pool store that Polaris has a NEW robot (and can't find it online) that is the track style. Instead of a bag/filter, it has a canister (which I like a lot). However, because of this, it also does not jet its water out the top (although I'm not sure where it does come out).

    So: Any recommendations, suggestions? Is there a currently available track-style robot that people are happy with? Is my pool shape the real problem here? Love to hear any inputs.

    Thanks!
    15000 Gal (I think) Gunite In-ground. Cartridge Filter. SWG.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Houston
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    32

    Re: So what's the current hotness in Pool Robots?

    Attaching a pic of my pool for shape reference...
    Back Yard.jpg
    15000 Gal (I think) Gunite In-ground. Cartridge Filter. SWG.

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    BobbyR's Avatar
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    Jun 2013
    Location
    Toronto, Ont
    Posts
    142

    Re: So what's the current hotness in Pool Robots?

    Nice pool. I have a Dolphin M4 and it works as advertised, cleaning the whole pool right to the waterline and never getting stuck on the drain or circling endlessly in one part of the pool. It's also very simple to use; no endless fussing with hose sections, floats and pressure gauges and it is independent of the pool pump and filter. I clean the cartridges after each use and this is a bit of a bother but really no big deal. Highly recommended. My pool is free form with no sharp corners like yours so I can't say how well it would perform in your pool, especially in the corners. Your walk-out stairs are quite large so the cleaner may actually climb them and partially clean the stairs but you won't know until you try it.
    Lagoon 40x22, Vinyl, 27,000 gal, 1HP WhisperFlo Pump, Pentair 60 gpm Sand filter, Hayward Brominator (used for chlorine pucks only when away), Rheem gas heater, Dolphin M4 Robot
    Waterfall on separate dedicated pump

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    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    610

    Re: So what's the current hotness in Pool Robots?

    Dolphin s300i with Bluetooth. It has a large center section with two fine filters on the sides. This little guy climbs and scrubs everything. We have a narrow and long lap pool and it cleans very well. We occasionally have to brush in the very corners to dislodge stuff, but we are talking about inches. Highly recommended!


    12K Gallon IG Lap Pool (c. 2001)
    6.6 ft x 48 ft/White Plaster/Concrete
    Pentair Superflo VS Pump 2.0 HP/Sand Filter
    Dolphin S300i Robot/SolarBreeze Robot
    TFT-100 Test Kit

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