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Thread: Looking to make first ever purchase of robotic cleaner

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    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Houston, TX
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    Looking to make first ever purchase of robotic cleaner

    Hi folks. This is my first post here. I just severed ties with my pool guy yesterday after 2.5 yrs. I am going to take care of my pool myself from now on. I want to purchase a robotic cleaner since the live oak shading my pool is always dropping little sticks and leaves and dirt in the pool. Leslie's Pool Supply was touting the Polaris F945 and F955, but then I went on Amazon and saw the Dolphin 99996403-PC Nautilus Plus and the Dolphin Deluxe 4. I want the best machine to clean my irregular shaped pool (like an angular pac-man shape) and the most reliable one. Thoughts?
    IG, Plaster, 15,000 gal, Free-form (angular)
    Pentair FNSP 48 DE filter (48 sqft)
    Hayward SP3010X15AZ pump with 1.5 HP motor (installed 3/2015)
    Rock waterfall, large live oak shades half the pool
    Re-plastered April, 2017

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    Re: Looking to make first ever purchase of robotic cleaner

    I have had good luck with my Dolphin Triton Plus. It has two drive motors with split drive rollers and can do a true 90 degree turn and is very good at getting in tight spaces.
    38000 Gal, IG, Plaster, 20' x 40' x 10', Attached Raised Spa, Intelliflo VS 3 HP (011018), Pentair Quad DE 60 Filter, Raypak (Rheem) 400,000 BTU (407a low Nox), Easy Touch 8 upgrade, Screenlogic 2 with wireless, IS-4 Spa Side Remote, Stenner 45MPHP10 w/15 gal tank, Intellibrite 5g (3), Dolphin Triton Plus robot with PRO remote, Water Tech Catfish handheld vacuum for spa, TF100 with SpeedStir.

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    hellstorm2004's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to make first ever purchase of robotic cleaner

    A lot would depend on your budget. I have the DX5+S cleaner works like a charm.

    One thing i can definitely suggest is that get one with a top filter access. It would be a great load off your mind.
    Purex Titron FNS DE Filter 25000 gallons approx.
    Century A.O. Smith B855 56Y 2HP Motor. 40x25 (approx). Plaster surface.
    TFT-100 Test Kit.
    Rainbow Lifeguard 320.
    DX5+S Cleaner.

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    Re: Looking to make first ever purchase of robotic cleaner

    Anyone have any experience with Aquabot X4 or I2? Like dclynds, I'm looking to purchase my first robot. I'm trying to stay under $500-600. Would be ok with floor cleaning model only, brushing the walls isn't really a big deal for me.
    26,000 gal, IG, Vinyl, Sand, Hayward 1 HP Superpump, Hayward Goldline Aqua Plus SWG, Completed 7/2013

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    hellstorm2004's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to make first ever purchase of robotic cleaner

    Not sure onn that range. Just check out some pool websites and see what good options are there. Most top notch ones are 1000+. Like Dolphin M500 is close to 1400.
    Purex Titron FNS DE Filter 25000 gallons approx.
    Century A.O. Smith B855 56Y 2HP Motor. 40x25 (approx). Plaster surface.
    TFT-100 Test Kit.
    Rainbow Lifeguard 320.
    DX5+S Cleaner.

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    Re: Looking to make first ever purchase of robotic cleaner

    To refine my question: Of the models below, keeping in mind the details about my pool, which is better in terms of reliability, value, and ease of use (top filter access, caddy, etc.)? Is it possible to have "too much robot" for the size of my pool?
    1.) Polaris F945 ($1,025)
    2.) Polaris F955 ($1,255)
    3.) Dolphin 99996403-PC Nautilus Plus ($820)
    4.) Dolphin Deluxe 4 ($750)
    5.) Maytronics 99991079-PC Dolphin Triton Plus
    IG, Plaster, 15,000 gal, Free-form (angular)
    Pentair FNSP 48 DE filter (48 sqft)
    Hayward SP3010X15AZ pump with 1.5 HP motor (installed 3/2015)
    Rock waterfall, large live oak shades half the pool
    Re-plastered April, 2017

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    Re: Looking to make first ever purchase of robotic cleaner

    Quote Originally Posted by dclynds View Post
    To refine my question: Of the models below, keeping in mind the details about my pool, which is better in terms of reliability, value, and ease of use (top filter access, caddy, etc.)? Is it possible to have "too much robot" for the size of my pool?
    1.) Polaris F945 ($1,025)
    2.) Polaris F955 ($1,255)
    3.) Dolphin 99996403-PC Nautilus Plus ($820)
    4.) Dolphin Deluxe 4 ($750)
    5.) Maytronics 99991079-PC Dolphin Triton Plus
    Impossible to predict reliability on recent models. Maytronics has made repairs easier on some of their models, including some user-replaceable parts. My old Maytronics model is over 12 years old (maybe 15?) and would have continued to work but the older-model power supplies were not great. I'm on week 3 of my new Maytronics which has more than met expectations. And buy with a credit card that extends the warranty, if you have one.
    Geebot
    Chicago, IL
    30K gal, InGround Plaster Finish, 3.5'-9.5', Maytronics S300 Cleaner

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    Re: Looking to make first ever purchase of robotic cleaner

    Be sure to get a caddy for whichever robot you choose. The robot can be quite unwieldy when out of the water and the caddy makes for easier transport. It also provides convenient storage for the cable and power supply. Another thing is that the caddy will store the robot with the tracks lifted up so that they don't flatten out.
    38000 Gal, IG, Plaster, 20' x 40' x 10', Attached Raised Spa, Intelliflo VS 3 HP (011018), Pentair Quad DE 60 Filter, Raypak (Rheem) 400,000 BTU (407a low Nox), Easy Touch 8 upgrade, Screenlogic 2 with wireless, IS-4 Spa Side Remote, Stenner 45MPHP10 w/15 gal tank, Intellibrite 5g (3), Dolphin Triton Plus robot with PRO remote, Water Tech Catfish handheld vacuum for spa, TF100 with SpeedStir.

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    Re: Looking to make first ever purchase of robotic cleaner

    Quote Originally Posted by gary300 View Post
    Be sure to get a caddy for whichever robot you choose. The robot can be quite unwieldy when out of the water and the caddy makes for easier transport. It also provides convenient storage for the cable and power supply. Another thing is that the caddy will store the robot with the tracks lifted up so that they don't flatten out.
    One aside for the caddy. It's built fairly poorly (not a heavy-duty item) and it doesn't navigate well on grass or up a step or two. We keep our pool equipment in a shed about 12' away from the most convenient power outlet for robot use (outlet is 10' from edge of pool, shed is about 12' past that). The shed is on a 6" high concrete pad and its doorway is about 4" above that. I end up pulling the cart backward to the shed after each use and then lift it over the two changes in elevation. I cannot then easily push it out of the shed because the wheels catch at the door sill, so I just lift the whole thing out of the shed and down off the concrete pad. Admittedly it's an awkward configuration but I can't be the only person who has to move this thing up and down a step or two. The cart's primary convenience is that the power supply snaps in and keeps it at a nice height. Other than that, unless you store the thing on the same level as you use it (and don't have to cross grass on the way) then the cart isn't all that handy.

    (And yes, the proper storage position for the robot to prevent the flattening of brush fins is important but I accomplished the same thing with my old robot by storing it on its flat plastic side.)
    Geebot
    Chicago, IL
    30K gal, InGround Plaster Finish, 3.5'-9.5', Maytronics S300 Cleaner

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    hellstorm2004's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to make first ever purchase of robotic cleaner

    I am all for the caddy. I have a shed, but with rain and all that, i just pull out the machine and drag it inside.
    Purex Titron FNS DE Filter 25000 gallons approx.
    Century A.O. Smith B855 56Y 2HP Motor. 40x25 (approx). Plaster surface.
    TFT-100 Test Kit.
    Rainbow Lifeguard 320.
    DX5+S Cleaner.

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    Re: Looking to make first ever purchase of robotic cleaner

    I don't dislike the caddy, it's just a flawed solution.
    Geebot
    Chicago, IL
    30K gal, InGround Plaster Finish, 3.5'-9.5', Maytronics S300 Cleaner

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    hellstorm2004's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to make first ever purchase of robotic cleaner

    Quote Originally Posted by Geebot View Post
    I don't dislike the caddy, it's just a flawed solution.
    4 wheels would have been a good thing. With 2 its a problem.
    Purex Titron FNS DE Filter 25000 gallons approx.
    Century A.O. Smith B855 56Y 2HP Motor. 40x25 (approx). Plaster surface.
    TFT-100 Test Kit.
    Rainbow Lifeguard 320.
    DX5+S Cleaner.

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    Road scholar's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to make first ever purchase of robotic cleaner

    After studying the reviews I decided to buy a bot from Dolphin. I spent the off season trying to decide between a Z5, M400 and M500, buying on line vs retail store. I was about to buy an M400 but the new S300i caught my interest. It's lightweight, simple, Bluetooth remote app for smart phone. Big factor for me is I live on 4 acres with tons of trees. The S300i has a generous basket filter that should do just fine. I used the Maytronics website for dealers within 100 miles and called them all to get a decent price. Ordered one today.

    BTW, the dolphin Active 30i looks to be the same bot as the S300i. Different color but the specs are the same.
    60' x 20' L-shape, 23K gal, NSW, IG Plaster, built spring 2002, 3 HP Inteliflo pump, Cartridge filter, gas heater, swim lane, volleyball net, Dolphin A30i robot.

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    Re: Looking to make first ever purchase of robotic cleaner

    Quote Originally Posted by Road scholar View Post
    After studying the reviews I decided to buy a bot from Dolphin. I spent the off season trying to decide between a Z5, M400 and M500, buying on line vs retail store. I was about to buy an M400 but the new S300i caught my interest. It's lightweight, simple, Bluetooth remote app for smart phone. Big factor for me is I live on 4 acres with tons of trees. The S300i has a generous basket filter that should do just fine. I used the Maytronics website for dealers within 100 miles and called them all to get a decent price. Ordered one today.

    BTW, the dolphin Active 30i looks to be the same bot as the S300i. Different color but the specs are the same.
    I have the s300, which is pretty much the same model. The only difference seems to be that the s300i has a third "2.5hr" mode in addition to 1 and 2 hrs.Paid $1,100.
    Geebot
    Chicago, IL
    30K gal, InGround Plaster Finish, 3.5'-9.5', Maytronics S300 Cleaner

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    Road scholar's Avatar
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    Re: Looking to make first ever purchase of robotic cleaner

    Quote Originally Posted by Geebot View Post
    I have the s300, which is pretty much the same model. The only difference seems to be that the s300i has a third "2.5hr" mode in addition to 1 and 2 hrs.Paid $1,100.
    Geebot, how do you like your "S". You have your pool open already up there?
    60' x 20' L-shape, 23K gal, NSW, IG Plaster, built spring 2002, 3 HP Inteliflo pump, Cartridge filter, gas heater, swim lane, volleyball net, Dolphin A30i robot.

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    Re: Looking to make first ever purchase of robotic cleaner

    Quote Originally Posted by Road scholar View Post
    Geebot, how do you like your "S". You have your pool open already up there?
    Opened a couple of weeks ago but haven't been in yet. The s300 is great. Really light compared to my old Diagnostic. The basket is what Maytronics should have been using years ago instead of the old canvas bag. It also has a backflow filter that keeps the stuff you just vacuumed from escaping with the water that drains off when you pull it out of the pool (I would always swear in frustration when a few twigs and leaf bits would slip back into my freshly-cleaned pool with my old robot). And its thruster system helps it move aggressively to just above the waterline where it does a pretty decent job of scrubbing.
    Geebot
    Chicago, IL
    30K gal, InGround Plaster Finish, 3.5'-9.5', Maytronics S300 Cleaner

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    Re: Looking to make first ever purchase of robotic cleaner

    The S300i looks sweet but according to the website Comparison it doesn't have a "Full Filter Indicator". In fact, none of the "S" models do. Is that a big deal?
    IG, Plaster, 15,000 gal, Free-form (angular)
    Pentair FNSP 48 DE filter (48 sqft)
    Hayward SP3010X15AZ pump with 1.5 HP motor (installed 3/2015)
    Rock waterfall, large live oak shades half the pool
    Re-plastered April, 2017

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Looking to make first ever purchase of robotic cleaner

    My s300 has a fairly huge basket and the pool would have to have a pound or two of leaves in it to fill the basket on a single cleaning. With any robot you get the best performance when you clean the bag/cartridge/basket after each use. The ease of cleaning of the s series combined with large basket capacity renders the "full filter" light fairly unimportant.

    Check out the video at 1:35:

    Dolphin S-series - quick user guide - YouTube

    As an FYI, the s300 and s300i are essentially the same machine but the s300i adds delayed start and a 3rd option of a 2.5hr clean cycle (in addition to the 1 and 2hr cycles). So if you can get a better deal on the s300 than the s300i, you lose next to no functionality.

    Comparison
    Geebot
    Chicago, IL
    30K gal, InGround Plaster Finish, 3.5'-9.5', Maytronics S300 Cleaner

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Looking to make first ever purchase of robotic cleaner

    One downside of those new "s" models is their lack of power cord swivel. With my DX4 having a tendency to spin around on the main drains, no swivel could be a huge problem.
    16 x 31, Approx. 12,000 Gal Freeform IG pool; Flagstone coping; Quartzscapes Super Blue plaster finish; Tanning ledge w/2 bubblers; 1 HP Pentair Whisperflo pump, Pentair sand filter; (2) Pentair Intellibrite LEDs w/controller; Easytouch8 w/IC-40 SWG; Salt finish concrete decking.

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Looking to make first ever purchase of robotic cleaner

    My previous Diagnostic had no swivel and I had no issues with it. Maytronics claims that they left it off the s series because it senses its orientation relative to the cord connection and makes turns to avoid tangling (could be true; could be BS). In my less than extensive 2-week history with the s300, it hasn't been an issue.
    Geebot
    Chicago, IL
    30K gal, InGround Plaster Finish, 3.5'-9.5', Maytronics S300 Cleaner

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