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Thread: Robotic Cleaner that gets the FINE debris ?

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    Robotic Cleaner that gets the FINE debris ?

    OK, I'm a bit fed up with my issue of really fine dirt debris in our pool. I've tried the suction Hose attachment method connecting to my skimmer to the filter -- the process is tedious at best and very time consuming, often only capturing 75% of the debris (it mostly just seems to stir things up). Priming the hose is always a difficult task. Probably just me, but I find this a PITA to deal with. So I'm ready to spend some money for something that reliably sucks up that fine debris. Am I being realistic about this? I'm prepared to spend < $1,000 on a robotic. But seems to be like 3 or so choices.

    I would really appreciate any recommendations on your own experiences and what you bought. Are you 100% pleased with your purchase? How is it holding up (maintenance)? Do they REALLY clean perfectly the floor & walls? (Fiberglass here). Dolphin? Nautilus? I'm prepared to maintain the device as parts DO wear out. But I'm in analysis paralysis mode.

    Any advice? Much appreciated.
    30,000 Gal FIBER GLASS (over Gunite Plaster) Pool, Dolphin Nautilus PLUS Robot, (2) Cartridge Filter System (old), 1/2 HP Pump, Full Sun, Solar Heated, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Robotic Cleaner that gets the FINE debris ?

    The Dolphin line of top load cartridge filter robots have two sets of filter screens that come with them - one is really made of a material similar to a cartridge filter which will get almost the finest debris. I seldom use it as the other screen while a little more coarse gets everything that bothers me in the pool.

    dolphin-fine-mesh-filter-cartridge_2.jpg

    If you do end up with a Dolphin, these folks have been great to deal with regarding parts - Home | Marina Pool Spa & Patio
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Robotic Cleaner that gets the FINE debris ?

    While the high end cleaners get fine debris, you may want to spend some time trying to figure out what it is and why you have the debris to start with. Your filter should get it out of the water unless it is falling in the pool while the pump is off. The fine stuff settles slowly so it usually gets caught by the filter.
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    Re: Robotic Cleaner that gets the FINE debris ?

    First off, I dont think any of the robots at any price, will "perfectly clean the floor and the walls" every time.

    Once the pool is clean the robot will keep it that way if you use it often enough. I have a dolphin Nautilus and I am 100% happy with the performance it provides.
    I would buy another in a hearbeat.

    If the pool is extremely dirty, like after a huge rain, or tons of leaves dropping as they do during the fall, then it takes a couple or 3 rounds for it to get ALL of the dirt, but it gets it.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Robotic Cleaner that gets the FINE debris ?

    My old Hayward Tigershark does a pretty good job at fine dirt. In the spring when I open, it takes about 3 cycles of the robot to get the whole bottom nearly spotless after I open. I removed larger stuff such as leaves, bugs with a leaf rake before doing that. Regular summer maintenance I run the robot about twice a week, gets most of the fine dirt that collects in the liner seams, but that's never that much.

    Lots of good reviews on the Dolphin Nautilus. If it were me (and maybe it will be soon) I'd look at units with top loading filters for convenience. Don't like flipping over my robot every time to unload and load the filter.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Re: Robotic Cleaner that gets the FINE debris ?

    Thanks guys ... really appreciate your thoughts on this. To answer 1 of the questions, the 'debris' we are getting is general "dust" that blows into the pool from wind & storms. I regularly skim the leaves and such, but the smaller dirt/dust just builds up. Brushing it just seems to move it around and never seems to get removed bu the filtration system. even in the winter (now), I run our filter about 5 hours per day ... more like 8+ during the summer hot months. But we still get the dirt that accumulates. thanks.
    30,000 Gal FIBER GLASS (over Gunite Plaster) Pool, Dolphin Nautilus PLUS Robot, (2) Cartridge Filter System (old), 1/2 HP Pump, Full Sun, Solar Heated, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Robotic Cleaner that gets the FINE debris ?

    If you can see the debris, and obviously you can, then any of the robots with the fine filters like the one Tim posted will get it.

    Once you get that stuff out, then its pretty easy to keep it out with a robot.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Robotic Cleaner that gets the FINE debris ?

    That "fine" debris often turns out to be dead algae and you will NEVER vacuum it out with ANY cleaner if that's what it is.....it just reappears.

    What you are describing is more often than not a chemistry issue. At what level do you keep you chlorine? How about CYA?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Robotic Cleaner that gets the FINE debris ?

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    The Dolphin line of top load cartridge filter robots have two sets of filter screens that come with them - one is really made of a material similar to a cartridge filter which will get almost the finest debris. I seldom use it as the other screen while a little more coarse gets everything that bothers me in the pool.

    dolphin-fine-mesh-filter-cartridge_2.jpg

    If you do end up with a Dolphin, these folks have been great to deal with regarding parts - Home | Marina Pool Spa & Patio
    This.... The fine filter works wonders.


    21,000 gallons, Salt, IG Gunite, Plaster Finish, Free From, Pentair FNS DE cartridge filter, Pentair Intelliflo-VS pump, Intellichlor IC-40, 2 port fountains, bubbler in tanning deck, Dolphin M400, TF-100, K-1766, Speed Stir

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    Re: Robotic Cleaner that gets the FINE debris ?

    That filter works fine, I have it, too.

    Do not discount what I said about water chemistry, however. I think that's where your problem is and not with filtration.

    Filters cannot be used to get rid of algae.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Robotic Cleaner that gets the FINE debris ?

    I agree with Dave. If you constantly have fine junk in the pool yo may have a low level algae bloom. You chlorine is killing it and producing the fine debris. The only way to verify is to conduct an Overnight FC Loss Test (OCLT).
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Robotic Cleaner that gets the FINE debris ?

    OK, I hear you guys .. but honestly, this is not algae ... it is very fine dirt debris. I run my brush over the floor of the pool & I see a "cloud" of the stuff .. There are clearly accumulations of pocket of dirt along the edges of the walls where my Polaris 280 doesn't/can't get to .. We leave the pool uncovered at this time of year - and for that matter, the solar cover we have doesn't completely cover the pool (there are gaps along the sides & a 'cut out' where the steps are.) (re: the Polaris: This cold weather causes the hose to be much stiffer, so less flexible hence doesn't access every knook and cranny.) I monitor my CYA & CL levels constantly. Currently CL=6.5 and CYA=35 .... Water temp is about 58 ... (SF East Bay area). I ran a OCLT about a month ago & I am NOT losing chlorine overnight.

    So back to my point, I'm tired of just pushing this stuff around with a brush & it not getting totally filtered out. The Polaris just doesn't do it for me. So I was really hoping that going to the next level of a Robotic cleaner that I can insert/run every 2 weeks or so would provide that extra cleansing power & get this finer debris out.

    Thanks !
    30,000 Gal FIBER GLASS (over Gunite Plaster) Pool, Dolphin Nautilus PLUS Robot, (2) Cartridge Filter System (old), 1/2 HP Pump, Full Sun, Solar Heated, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Robotic Cleaner that gets the FINE debris ?

    Dirt is gritty and you can get it between your thumb and forefinger......dead algae is slimy and you cannot capture it.....dead algae "poofs" into a cloud when you brush it......dirt settles quickly back to the floor.

    Sorry to be hardheaded.......I see it over and over on this forum.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Robotic Cleaner that gets the FINE debris ?

    Building on duraleigh's advice.... I have stuff like this, too, but only after a hard wind. If you can't tie its appearance to some sort of exceptional physical phenomenon, you are most likely dealing with a low level algae bloom. And, as he notes, the thumb and forefinger test will be conclusive....

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    Re: Robotic Cleaner that gets the FINE debris ?

    Those filters work on my West Texas Dust, and work well.
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    Re: Robotic Cleaner that gets the FINE debris ?

    And... never underestimate the power of a skimmer sock....

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    Re: Robotic Cleaner that gets the FINE debris ?

    My Polaris Robot works great. Im not sure the what the level of fine debris it grabs but i know it catches a lot of sand a dust. I can not run my pump for over a week, drop in my polaris, and have a clean pool in about 2.5-3.5hrs.
    20yr old,14k,IG,Plaster,Hayward Pro-Grid 60sqft, Hayward DE Separation tank, Hayward Multi-port Valve, Whisper-flo single speed 1.5hp pump,Hayward XL concrete pool suction vacuum, Polaris P340 (Leslies Pool model), Still working to get a test kit, Leslies Power Powder and Leslies 3" Tabs.

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    Re: Robotic Cleaner that gets the FINE debris ?

    Which model Polaris do you have? I'm in analysis Paralyses over what to buy ... The Tiger Shark, The Dolphin, or now this Polaris. I don't want to spend more than $1k ... and they each seem to have their particular issues based on the reviews I'm reading in Amazon. Thanks ...

    (and guys - this is DIRT, not algae ... confirmed).
    30,000 Gal FIBER GLASS (over Gunite Plaster) Pool, Dolphin Nautilus PLUS Robot, (2) Cartridge Filter System (old), 1/2 HP Pump, Full Sun, Solar Heated, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Robotic Cleaner that gets the FINE debris ?

    I cannot imagine a cleaner doing better than my Dolphin, the same as Tim5055...
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