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Thread: Pressure Cleaner Died, replace or switch to a robot?

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    Pressure Cleaner Died, replace or switch to a robot?

    We recently purchased a home with a pool and the cleaner, a Polaris 380, that has just stopped working. Took it to a shop for repairs and their assessment is it is in pretty poor condition - $300 to repair now, and will need to have hoses replaced within the next 6 months for an additional $250. The unit appears to be pretty old so I am thinking it's better to replace it than invest in it.

    Our pool has a lot of vegetation around it, so im constantly vacuuming up leaves off the floor of the pool. The Polaris was pretty proficient at picking leaves up, so it's an important feature to have in whatever we replace our current cleaner with.

    So looking for advice- since I have a booster pump and line in place for a pressure cleaner, does it make sense to replace with another pressure cleaner, or should I upgrade to a robot? I keep reading great things about robots, ease of use, lower electric bills but wonder if they are as good at picking up leaves and worth the added cost (assuming the motor has to be replaced every few years). I have had my eye on the Doheny Discovery vs a new Polaris 380 FWIW.
    Houston, TX


    23K gal, chlorinated in ground irregular shaped white plaster pool with waterfall feature. DE filter. 1.5 hp Hayward super ll pump. Doheny Discovery Cleaner. TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: Pressure Cleaner Died, replace or switch to a robot?

    Welcome to TFP Sarahdeakins

    If it's going to run $300 to get it going and another $250 soon I'd take that money and go with something new. I don't have a recommendation for you but I too have been looking at the Discovery and it sure seems to be a nice machine with good reviews.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
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    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
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    Re: Pressure Cleaner Died, replace or switch to a robot?

    Absolutely intend to replace it. The pool store recommends replacing it with a Polaris P39 pressure cleaner (which costs $700) as opposed to a robot. They said since my booster pump was still in good condition in the long run the ownership costs would be lower for the pressure cleaner than the robot. The robots they offer in store appear to have a pretty hefty markup compared to some of the online options I see so not sure if this is the right answer.

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    Re: Pressure Cleaner Died, replace or switch to a robot?

    It is the wrong answer. Robots use a fraction of the electricity required to run pressure side cleaners. Additionally, the booster pump will die sooner or later so you have that in front of you if you choose a pressure side.

    All the R&D is going into robots. They are superior enough that soon they will COMPLETELY dominate the cleaner industry.

    Dolphin seems to make pretty good ones but there are others that do as well.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Pressure Cleaner Died, replace or switch to a robot?

    Sarah,

    Look at it this way, which would you rather have, an obsolete rotary dial phone, or a modern cell phone? That is basically the difference between a water powered cleaner and a robot.

    A pretty easy decision for me.. Although, it is harder to leave a rotary dial phone in your pants pocket and run it through your washer...

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    Re: Pressure Cleaner Died, replace or switch to a robot?

    Ok, I'm persuaded! Thanks for the advice, really appreciate it.
    Houston, TX


    23K gal, chlorinated in ground irregular shaped white plaster pool with waterfall feature. DE filter. 1.5 hp Hayward super ll pump. Doheny Discovery Cleaner. TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: Pressure Cleaner Died, replace or switch to a robot?

    I'd go for the Polaris 280. Many people like robots but there are certain disadvantages. For instance, the Polaris can be left in the pool so you don't have to lug a robot back and forth, which can be a real pain. And if you like to run the Polaris on a daily basis, that can get annoying fast. The robots have to be plugged in so even if you decide to leave it in the Pool (and many on this site recommend against that), it wouldn't look good.

    I also doubt the difference in the electric from running the Polaris is a significant cost because I doubt it costs that much to even run the Polaris. I believe another thread supports that viewpoint.

    I am not sure if my opinion is a minority on this site or other proponents of the Polaris simply don't advance their views, but I thought you may benefit from another opinion


    I suggested the 280 because reviews seem to say it breaks down less than the 380.
    1200 Sq Ft 41,000 Gal. Gunite, JANDY SVRS VS pump, JANDY JXI 400,000 BTU, Polaris 280 w/ 3/4 BP, Rockwall and Grotto (w/6 jets and blower), 2 JANDY Lam Jets, 2 LED Bubblers, 5 Ledlights, AQUALINK P16 RS, 90% Quartz, SWF 185 GMP BP, SWF 125 BP, Levelor K1100 Autofill, AP Digital SWG, 2 skim and 5 returns, and mostly 3 inch piping

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    Re: Pressure Cleaner Died, replace or switch to a robot?

    I have a suction side cleaner and it's just not running like it used to. When something expensive finally gives on it (the seals are cheap to replace), I'm going with a robot. My pool does not experience a high debris load unless there's wind and rain. So I could easily run a robot 2-3 times per week and the pool would be clean to my standards. This would also allow me to dial back my pool pump speed quite a bit as I have to run it at higher speeds to get the suction cleaner to run properly. I agree with the sentiments above, robots are the way to go.

    I would suggest you do some research though and make sure that if you do get a robot that you have an authorized service center nearby. Unlike pressure side and suction side cleaners, robots are much more intricate devices and repairs are harder to do on a DIY basis. You want to make sure you get a model with a really good warranty (3+ years if you can) and one that can be easily serviced nearby so that you're not dealing with shipping costs.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and be careful with purchasing robots online. Dolphin (Maytonics) in particular voids all warranties unless you buy directly from one of their authorized brick & mortar dealers.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Pressure Cleaner Died, replace or switch to a robot?

    All good posts and I think that Polaris 280 is one of the best cleaners ever for it's time. A couple of points.....

    The robots run on a 12v DC motor that is CHEAP to operate. Pressure sides needs both main pump and booster pump to be operating. That's an awfully lot more electricity.

    The trend in robots is DIY repairs. The parts are becoming modular and something you can fix from your house. Thast's a great innovation and I think will allow them to extend warranties on parts (you do the labor) by quite a bit.

    The price on robots is just too high but the cost/benefit ratio is pretty good. I think they will dominate the market more than ever.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Pressure Cleaner Died, replace or switch to a robot?

    i had a pressure side polaris 380 and while it grabbed basic stuff, it was no where like my robot cleaner now. never run a booster pump again, and have something that actually scrubs the sides and bottom. it blows away my polaris.
    19K IG Pebbletec with attached spa. 60sqft Cartridge filter, Intelliflow VS, 399k BTU Gas Heater, Pentair IC40. Phoenix, AZ, full sun.

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    Re: Pressure Cleaner Died, replace or switch to a robot?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    All good posts and I think that Polaris 280 is one of the best cleaners ever for it's time. A couple of points.....

    The robots run on a 12v DC motor that is CHEAP to operate. Pressure sides needs both main pump and booster pump to be operating. That's an awfully lot more electricity.

    The trend in robots is DIY repairs. The parts are becoming modular and something you can fix from your house. Thast's a great innovation and I think will allow them to extend warranties on parts (you do the labor) by quite a bit.

    The price on robots is just too high but the cost/benefit ratio is pretty good. I think they will dominate the market more than ever.
    I'm really interested in the models that are powered by battery. Dolphin has one called the "Liberty". Of course I realize that there are strict limitations with those in terms of pool size and programmed run times. Have they gotten any better or are the corded models still the way to go?
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Pressure Cleaner Died, replace or switch to a robot?

    Quote Originally Posted by grottoguy View Post
    I also doubt the difference in the electric from running the Polaris is a significant cost because I doubt it costs that much to even run the Polaris.
    If you have a separate pump for the Polaris then, yes, it will be significantly more expensive to run. If you're on a shared pump then that takes an added toll also but will be less expensive than a dedicated pump (but appreciably more than the very low operating cost of current-generation robots).
    Geebot
    Chicago, IL
    30K gal, InGround Plaster Finish, 3.5'-9.5', Maytronics S300 Cleaner

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    Re: Pressure Cleaner Died, replace or switch to a robot?

    Polaris verses Robot

    This thread last year indicated that the cost to run a Polaris with a separate booster pump two hours every day in CA was $13 per month.
    1200 Sq Ft 41,000 Gal. Gunite, JANDY SVRS VS pump, JANDY JXI 400,000 BTU, Polaris 280 w/ 3/4 BP, Rockwall and Grotto (w/6 jets and blower), 2 JANDY Lam Jets, 2 LED Bubblers, 5 Ledlights, AQUALINK P16 RS, 90% Quartz, SWF 185 GMP BP, SWF 125 BP, Levelor K1100 Autofill, AP Digital SWG, 2 skim and 5 returns, and mostly 3 inch piping

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    Re: Pressure Cleaner Died, replace or switch to a robot?

    Quote Originally Posted by grottoguy View Post
    Polaris verses Robot

    This thread last year indicated that the cost to run a Polaris with a separate booster pump two hours every day in CA was $13 per month.
    Maytronics advertises their newer robots to run for about 15 cents a cycle, so about 1/3 the cost.
    Geebot
    Chicago, IL
    30K gal, InGround Plaster Finish, 3.5'-9.5', Maytronics S300 Cleaner

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    Re: Pressure Cleaner Died, replace or switch to a robot?

    Understood. But assuming the pool is open for four months, I don't know that a $36 incremental seasonal cost is that significant when deciding whether to get a Robot. I think the prior thread had good pro and cons for each.
    1200 Sq Ft 41,000 Gal. Gunite, JANDY SVRS VS pump, JANDY JXI 400,000 BTU, Polaris 280 w/ 3/4 BP, Rockwall and Grotto (w/6 jets and blower), 2 JANDY Lam Jets, 2 LED Bubblers, 5 Ledlights, AQUALINK P16 RS, 90% Quartz, SWF 185 GMP BP, SWF 125 BP, Levelor K1100 Autofill, AP Digital SWG, 2 skim and 5 returns, and mostly 3 inch piping

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    Ronald U.'s Avatar
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    Re: Pressure Cleaner Died, replace or switch to a robot?

    I am fairly sold on Hayward Tiger Shark QC. Cleans nice. Easy to clean filters. Doesn't get stuck. True, at 3 1/2 years the first one stopped moving. Used credit card warranty to buy a new one. But then again I mostly leave it in the pool!
    In-ground gunnite, 24k gal., Hayward DE filter, bleach, borate, Hayward Tiger Shark robotic cleaner, 75% full sun

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    Re: Pressure Cleaner Died, replace or switch to a robot?

    If those robots could get in and out of the pool by themselves then maybe i would get one, but since they can't, I will wait until they can.

    And maybe an attachment that also could help with scorpions and black widows around here, spend some time in the pool, crawl out and make a few passes over the lawn suck up a few hundred spiders and other assorted venomous prehistoric survivors that linger around here, why stop there, make it fun to be around, keep me company at night, invite it inside to watch a little t v every now and again,

    I am definitely at buyer at that point

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    Re: Pressure Cleaner Died, replace or switch to a robot?

    what vacuum can? after owning a robot i bought on craigslist for 350, i'll never own another vacuum. this thing is amazing and it blows away any other vac i've had in all my pool years. i'd probably pay 1k for a new one if this thing dies. its really changed my mind about what a "clean" pool really is. i ran it 3x today on 4 hour cycle and the filters were dirty every single time.
    19K IG Pebbletec with attached spa. 60sqft Cartridge filter, Intelliflow VS, 399k BTU Gas Heater, Pentair IC40. Phoenix, AZ, full sun.

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    Re: Pressure Cleaner Died, replace or switch to a robot?

    I bought a Dolphin DX5+S in May and I'm completely satisfied with it. Does an excellent job cleaning our pool. I run it once a week. Comes with a 3 year warranty.
    84' perimeter 16' x 31' gunite in-ground pool with blue quartz finish, travertine coping, 8'-6" x 18" raised beam and 14' of 12" raised beam with 2 scuppers, built in June, 2015. 385' of Houston Tan acrylic decking. 2 H.P. Tristar variable speed pump, Hayward 4025 cartridge filter and Dolphin DX5+S robotic cleaner

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    Re: Pressure Cleaner Died, replace or switch to a robot?

    I run my robot auto every day. It stays in the pool. Has been working great for a year and a half now. Only trouble was googles left in the bottom got eaten, as well as a pool diving missile got fouled in a track. But I pulled them out and nothing broken.

    I can now run my pump longer at a much lower power level. Pool is much cleaner, and even the water seems a bit more crystal. I get a LOT of debris. If it had a mode to run it 2x a day, I'd probably do that.

    The only think I wish was for it to have an iPhone app to control it, and maybe have a "park" button so it would go to a particular location for cleaning.
    Jon -- 28kgal, IG, AquaBright, Attached Spa, ~1990, Quad DE 80, Easytouch8, IntelliFloVS-3050, Intellichlor60, IntelliPh, Dolphin DX6, City Water, K-2006/TF-100, SpeedStir, SampleSizer, San Diego, CA

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