Hi, before I dive into my question, this isn't a post about which robotic pool cleaner is the best or which one do you like, or what the advantages of one model is over another. Rather, this is a specific question related to my setup and the decision to make a purchase of a robotic cleaner based on the short term and long term functionality of it vs manual cleaning. It is with this that I ask you, when answering, to disregard the marketing of time savings and ignore the idea of the cost of the cleaner.
Hopefully my pool will tag in below, but if not, some useful information. I'm running a DE filtration system and maintaining pristine chemistry through (admittedly) over sampling, control charts and event records. The water is crystal clear. There is no visible loss through 40'. At night I do not see the light beam from the LED lights nor do I see any significant diffraction of light from a focused source (i.e. flashlight).
I vacuum by hand twice a week and brush the walls every 10 days or so. For my 20x40 pool it takes me about 1.25 hours, start to finish. I also brush around the skimmers, returns, intakes, and ladder. When vacuuming, I can never tell where I have vacuumed because the bottom is very clean. Most materials settle to the bottom and includes your typical leaves, sand, bugs, and the toads that just didn't make it. The cleaning is performed using the standard hose to skimmer (into the filter). There is no back washing of the filter (it's a DE), rather I'll open and clean off the DE mid season and at the end of the season. The recommended pressure increase to clean is +10 psi from startup and has never increased more than 4. Irregardless, the filter is cleaned mid-season.
So, is there a functional benefit (supported by metrics) of getting a robotic cleaner? Is there a detriment? Based on research, I have some follow up questions that may help define what I mean by 'functional'.
- Is an RC more efficient at cleaning?
- Will a RC increase fine particles in the pool over time? - When I manually vacuum the water is going through the DE filter. Research on RC shows a 50-70 filtration screen. Although small particles may not be visible, they can agglomerate.
- Does a RC cause more, less, or equal wear and tear on the liner and seams?
- It has been said that an RC removes particles so it doesn't enter the filter thereby saving wear and tear on the filter. However, I have seen no metric on this. With my (oversized) filter and the fact that manually vacuuming has not increased pressure, how real is this? Are we talking an extra 10% of life out of the main cartridge?
I think answers to these may help the decision to by a RC or not. Then, the follow up question would be which one, for which I've already done that research.
I'm not sure I'll get a lot of responses here, and that's ok. It may just be that those are difficult questions to answer. It seems as though marketing (which is fancy for the art form of smiling while lying) sells these based on the personal time savings, which is why I haven't found a solid answer to these questions. If that is the case, so be it, and good to know.
Please refrain from explaining the time savings. This is not a factor for which I'm interested in.
Thanks for your time.