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Thread: Looking for Robot Rec's for FIBERGLASS- Got the Polaris 9400

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    Looking for Robot Rec's for FIBERGLASS- Got the Polaris 9400

    We had a 16x41 rectangular Fiberglass pool installed late last Fall which we have yet to swim in --- however, with the weather starting to turn, we are hoping to open by April at the latest. Sorry to start such a similar thread when there are others with activity on this same board... but while a some of the recommendations and feedback on that those are helpful, I am not sure how much carry over there is for a fiberglass pool.

    I have been reading as much as possible about pool robots and gathering as much feedback as I can from TFP/elsewhere --- while a lot of this information has been helpful, I have not been able to get a good sense for what type(s) of robot works best in a FG pool. I have an auto-cover installed and my backyard is not in an area where I expect a lot of leaves - I am mostly concerned about keeping the floor clean and, if possible, getting something that does a solid job on the walls too.

    My PB had an older Dolphin dx model that we ran over a 2 week period when the pool was being installed that was only 'ok' in my book --- I'd give it a C-. It was unable to climb our walls (but spent a fair amount of time struggling to do so) and, while it did an OK job on the pool floor, I wasn't crazy about the hassle associated with emptying and cleaning the bag (in this model, the bag was on the bottom of the unit).

    I had read some really good reviews on the Polaris 9300 and have heard positive information on the 'new' Polaris 9400 4wd unit which is coming out this spring. However, once more, most of these reviews/feedback/youtube videos/etc. are from folks with gunite pools. The lack of porousness of the fiberglass walls I think would have a significant impact on the ability of some/all of these units to do an effective/efficient job --- I am further sensitive to this as a result of watching the Dolphin dx model flounder around --- wasting a ton of time trying unsuccessfully to climb the pool walls instead of cleaning the pool.

    For owners of FG pools who have used robots, can you please comment on your experiences before I drop $1k+ on a unit based on 'mostly' the experience of gunite pool owners? Thanks for any information/insight you are able to share!
    41' x 16' x 7' deep rectangular IG FG Blue Hawaiian Olympic Bay model w/ Glacier Blue 'Extreme Quartz' finish / 2 skimmers, 4 returns + 1 dedicated vacuum line / Sta-Rite IntelliPro VS-3050 pump / Sta-Rite System3 Modular Media S7M400 Filter / Pentair EasyTouch w/ ScreenLogic 2 / Pentair IC40 SWG / Pentair UltraTemp 120 Heat Pump / Coverstar Auto-cover / Savi Color Changing LED Pool lights x 4 / Pentair MacgicStream Laminar LED Deck Jets x 4 / 2 x 2 Jacuzzi Jets installed on shallow and deep end steps / SR Smith Typhoon Waterslide / Polaris 9400 Robot. See my build thread HERE

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    bibeaud's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for Pool Robot Reccomendations for FIBERGLASS Po

    I aquired a Blue Diamond Robot at the beginning of this year for my Fiberglass pool. I will most likely throw it in when I remove the cover and open up the pool at the end of March/Early April. I will post results then.

    I went with the Blue Diamond because it was highly recommended on this forum and has the softer rollers which have been reported to be better for smooth surface pools.
    11,000 Gal Trilogy "Utopia" Fiberglass Pool, 1HP Jandy Pump, Jandy CS200 Cartridge Filter, Raypak 199k BTU Heater, Liquidator, CMP Off-Line Chlorinator. Cleaners: Polaris 360, Blue Diamond, Poolvernuegen Pressure

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    Re: Looking for Pool Robot Reccomendations for FIBERGLASS Po

    I have a vinyl liner pool and a Polaris 9300 that I purchased last year for my new build and have nothing but positive results. Not sure if the surface of fiberglass would be similar to vinyl but this unit has no problems cleaning walls all the way to the water line. Cleaning is simple thanks to the hard mesh filter instead of a bag and both the quick and deep clean cycles do a very good job of getting the entire pool cleaned. My only complaint is the inability to clean stairs well but I assume all robots would have the same problem. I have 4 full length stairs in the shallow end and the robot simply cant navigate them well. Otherwise I've had nothing but positives for the 9300.
    25K Gallon IG Vinyl Liner w/ concrete walls True "L" 16X32X16, Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Hayward Swimclear C4030 Filter, Hayward 21104T Heat Pro Titanium Heat Pump, Hayward Aqua Plus SWG + Automation, 2 Hayward Color Logic 4.0 LED lights, Polaris 9300 cleaner. TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: Looking for Pool Robot Reccomendations for FIBERGLASS Po

    Hey jhav, Ive got a few ideas for ya.

    First off, does your FG pool have a toe kick? It is a small ledge (1-2") that is about half way up the pool wall - they are common in FG pools. The reason I ask this is because in my experience, the 9300 has some problems getting past it.

    For a FG pool, I would recommend either the Water Tech Blue Diamond or Aquabot Turbo T-2. Both can filter down to 2 microns as well as pick up large debris, and both will do the job on floors and walls.

    The Aquabot will clean most stairs, but does not have a caddy or remote. The Blue Diamond will have a tougher time cleaning stairs, but DOES come with a caddy, and has a model with a remote.

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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for Pool Robot Reccomendations for FIBERGLASS Po

    I've got a smartkleen nitro and am pretty happy with the results it provides.
    http://www.smartpool.com/website/nitro.html
    They have different models with more features, but the nitro does what I need it to do.
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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    Re: Looking for Pool Robot Reccomendations for FIBERGLASS Po

    Thanks for the insight on the 9300 blakej. My pool does indeed have a toe kick -- it runs from around the middle of the pool all the way around the deep end wall. I guess it is impossible to say at this point whether the new 9400 with its 4wd would struggle like the 9300 - wish somebody had some reviews on this unit.

    I'll check out the Water Tech Blue Diamond and Aquabot Turbo T-2 based on your suggestion --- I'm not overly concerned about the stairs as: 1) I don't have many, and 2) I could always brush them off before starting up the robot. Do you have any sense on the ease of emptying the filter bag/cartridge with either of these units? One of the things that really appeals to me about the 9300/9400 is how simple and 'clean' it is to empty/clean --- this is something that I did not like about the older-model Dolphin DX that the builder supplied last year.
    41' x 16' x 7' deep rectangular IG FG Blue Hawaiian Olympic Bay model w/ Glacier Blue 'Extreme Quartz' finish / 2 skimmers, 4 returns + 1 dedicated vacuum line / Sta-Rite IntelliPro VS-3050 pump / Sta-Rite System3 Modular Media S7M400 Filter / Pentair EasyTouch w/ ScreenLogic 2 / Pentair IC40 SWG / Pentair UltraTemp 120 Heat Pump / Coverstar Auto-cover / Savi Color Changing LED Pool lights x 4 / Pentair MacgicStream Laminar LED Deck Jets x 4 / 2 x 2 Jacuzzi Jets installed on shallow and deep end steps / SR Smith Typhoon Waterslide / Polaris 9400 Robot. See my build thread HERE

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    Re: Looking for Pool Robot Reccomendations for FIBERGLASS Po

    jhav, I actually had the privilege of testing the 9400 last week. The 4WD certainly helps, but it still seemed to struggle with the toe kick a little bit. If the unit approached the wall at a 90 degree angle, it would sort of 'teeter' on the toe kick. It was about a 50-50 chance it would get enough traction with the front wheels and make it up to the waterline. If the unit approached the wall diagonally, it made it over the toe kick every time. It also had a better success rate the more speed the unit built up. The pool we tested in was only 12' wide, so it could not get much of a 'running start.' Being that your pool is much wider, I think it might do well for you.

    You are right about the cleaning. The 9300 and 9400 are much easier to clean than the bags that are common in other units.

    We filmed the 9300 and 9400 with a Hero2 (underwater camera), and are currently sorting through the footage. We plan on posting a comparison video at some point in the near future!

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    Re: Looking for Pool Robot Reccomendations for FIBERGLASS Po

    Quote Originally Posted by blakej
    jhav, I actually had the privilege of testing the 9400 last week. We filmed the 9300 and 9400 with a Hero2 (underwater camera), and are currently sorting through the footage. We plan on posting a comparison video at some point in the near future!
    blakej,
    Very interested to hear your impressions on how the 9400 stacked up against the 9300 - can you share your take? Is the 9400 worth the extra $$? Looking forward to seeing the comparison footage.

    jhav
    41' x 16' x 7' deep rectangular IG FG Blue Hawaiian Olympic Bay model w/ Glacier Blue 'Extreme Quartz' finish / 2 skimmers, 4 returns + 1 dedicated vacuum line / Sta-Rite IntelliPro VS-3050 pump / Sta-Rite System3 Modular Media S7M400 Filter / Pentair EasyTouch w/ ScreenLogic 2 / Pentair IC40 SWG / Pentair UltraTemp 120 Heat Pump / Coverstar Auto-cover / Savi Color Changing LED Pool lights x 4 / Pentair MacgicStream Laminar LED Deck Jets x 4 / 2 x 2 Jacuzzi Jets installed on shallow and deep end steps / SR Smith Typhoon Waterslide / Polaris 9400 Robot. See my build thread HERE

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    Re: Looking for Pool Robot Reccomendations for FIBERGLASS Po

    Hey jhav,
    The full report will be published next week and I will be sure to send you a link. Overall, the biggest difference was the tighter turning radius for the 9400. Both the 9300 and 9400 struggled with the toe-kick (but like I said earlier, the pool was pretty small).

    Some footage from the 9400 should go live today, and I will be sure to send you a link to that as well!

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    Re: Looking for Pool Robot Reccomendations for FIBERGLASS Po

    Quote Originally Posted by blakej
    Hey jhav,
    The full report will be published next week and I will be sure to send you a link. Overall, the biggest difference was the tighter turning radius for the 9400. Both the 9300 and 9400 struggled with the toe-kick (but like I said earlier, the pool was pretty small).

    Some footage from the 9400 should go live today, and I will be sure to send you a link to that as well!
    Hey blakej - Any update on the 9400 footage? My pool was opened up last week and I am soon to be in desperate need of a robot (using my PB robot for the time being).

    Thanks!
    41' x 16' x 7' deep rectangular IG FG Blue Hawaiian Olympic Bay model w/ Glacier Blue 'Extreme Quartz' finish / 2 skimmers, 4 returns + 1 dedicated vacuum line / Sta-Rite IntelliPro VS-3050 pump / Sta-Rite System3 Modular Media S7M400 Filter / Pentair EasyTouch w/ ScreenLogic 2 / Pentair IC40 SWG / Pentair UltraTemp 120 Heat Pump / Coverstar Auto-cover / Savi Color Changing LED Pool lights x 4 / Pentair MacgicStream Laminar LED Deck Jets x 4 / 2 x 2 Jacuzzi Jets installed on shallow and deep end steps / SR Smith Typhoon Waterslide / Polaris 9400 Robot. See my build thread HERE

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    Re: Looking for Pool Robot Reccomendations for FIBERGLASS Po

    We have a Nitro Wall climber for our fiberglass pool with "toe kick" (never knew the proper name for that little ledge) ... anyway, we have been happy with the Nitro. You can search our other posts on TFP for more details as I've responded about this cleaner multiple times. Nitro will not climb past the toe kick, but it will teeter on it as Blake said about the other cleaners. Anyway, this is not a big deal to us since it only takes about 10 min with the brush to push debris past the toe kick and then Nitro typically gets it. Our neighbor has a FG pool as well and had a Hayward that wouldn't get past the toe kick either. We figured that's just the way it is with robot cleaners. It kinda makes sense as the toe kick may be fooling the cleaner into thinking it is at the top of the wall. BTW, she tried our cleaner recently when hers was in need of repair and ended up ordering a Nitro for her pool. Hope the water heats up soon for you so you can begin to really enjoy your pool. Best of luck in your search.
    Ken & Shari
    Savannah, GA
    16' x 40' freeform fiberglass inground (Pacific model, mfg by Tallman Pools), 23k gal, 2" plumbing throughout, Intellichlor IC-40, Easy Touch controller, Intelliflow VS 3050 pump, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Quad Cartridge filter. 4 Jandy deck jets (3/4" plumbing), Fiberstars color changing lighting, SR Smith salt friendly diving system, Interfab Wild Ride slide, Aquasol Solar Heat (5 panels 4'x12' DIY install automated with ET) RIP Nitro Wall Climber Mar 2011-Aug 2012, Nitro is survived by a Polaris 360.

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    Re: Looking for Pool Robot Reccomendations for FIBERGLASS Po

    Thanks for the information on the Nitro, Ken & Shari. His easy is it to clean/empty the filter cartridge or bag of that unit? The primary feature of the Polaris which appeals to me is how simple and clean this process is with their top loaded cartridge.

    Thanks!
    41' x 16' x 7' deep rectangular IG FG Blue Hawaiian Olympic Bay model w/ Glacier Blue 'Extreme Quartz' finish / 2 skimmers, 4 returns + 1 dedicated vacuum line / Sta-Rite IntelliPro VS-3050 pump / Sta-Rite System3 Modular Media S7M400 Filter / Pentair EasyTouch w/ ScreenLogic 2 / Pentair IC40 SWG / Pentair UltraTemp 120 Heat Pump / Coverstar Auto-cover / Savi Color Changing LED Pool lights x 4 / Pentair MacgicStream Laminar LED Deck Jets x 4 / 2 x 2 Jacuzzi Jets installed on shallow and deep end steps / SR Smith Typhoon Waterslide / Polaris 9400 Robot. See my build thread HERE

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    Re: Looking for Pool Robot Reccomendations for FIBERGLASS Po

    Quote Originally Posted by jhav
    Thanks for the information on the Nitro, Ken & Shari. His easy is it to clean/empty the filter cartridge or bag of that unit? The primary feature of the Polaris which appeals to me is how simple and clean this process is with their top loaded cartridge.

    Thanks!
    i agree, i've had 3 robots with bags, and they are a pain in the butt, i've done it probably 8 times today cleaning the bags getting my pool ready to swim in and its a pain to pull the bag off, turn it inside out, rinse it out, etc. a rinseable cartridge would be much easier.

    but i do wonder about the life of those cartridges as compared to the bag. on my cartridge filter for the pool, they don't withstand too many times of cleaning before they get clogged so quickly you might as well throw them out.

    I think the nitro is a great deal, but the reviews and the fact that it is chinese made kind of scare me away from it. at any rate i would get the nitro wall scrubber if any of those as it has a ton of features for the price.

    I wish there was more info on the new 9400 polaris. i'm deciding between that, another blue diamond and the nitro wall scrubber.
    8000 gal diamond brite pool with 650 gal spillover spa, Pentair 3hp VS pump. Jandy Cartridge filter and Jandy Heat Pump. Jandy PDA automation system with 2 Pentair Laminars. SmartPool NC74S Robotic Pool Cleaner.

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    Re: Looking for Pool Robot Reccomendations for FIBERGLASS Po

    I bought the T2 last year and it works great scales the walls and cleans very well. Hardly had to use / backwash the DE filter,

    T2 + BBB = sparkling pool w little effort.

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    Re: Looking for Pool Robot Reccomendations for FIBERGLASS Po

    Quote Originally Posted by jhav
    Thanks for the information on the Nitro, Ken & Shari. His easy is it to clean/empty the filter cartridge or bag of that unit? The primary feature of the Polaris which appeals to me is how simple and clean this process is with their top loaded cartridge.

    Thanks!

    one other thing that should be a primary feature for you is whether it can turn itself on the ground. the 9400 can rotate itself on the ground of the pool, the nitro wallscrubber unit can also rotate itself on the ground (not the lesser nitro models). this is very useful especially in a rectangle pool. My pool is also rectangle but one section of the back wall is further out in the middle. if the robot can't turn itself on the bottom like the dolphin and has to use the walls to turn, then if the bag gets dirty, etc, it stops climbing the walls and ends up getting stuck in the same spot. main reason I sold my dolphin.

    the blue diamond non remote control can turn itself on the ground, but it does so by pulsing the motor which works OK at best when it works. you have to mess with the floats inside it and such and when the bag is dirty it doesn't do it as well as when the bag is clean etc. if you have a sloping pool floor, that affects it as well. so thats an advantage to robots with dual motors or the remote controlled units that must have 2 motors to turn themselves.
    8000 gal diamond brite pool with 650 gal spillover spa, Pentair 3hp VS pump. Jandy Cartridge filter and Jandy Heat Pump. Jandy PDA automation system with 2 Pentair Laminars. SmartPool NC74S Robotic Pool Cleaner.

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    Re: Looking for Pool Robot Reccomendations for FIBERGLASS Po

    Hey blakej - Any update on the 9400 footage? My pool was opened up last week and I am soon to be in desperate need of a robot (using my PB robot for the time being).
    Hey jhav, I am sending you a few links via PM!

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    Re: Looking for Pool Robot Reccomendations for FIBERGLASS Po

    Quote Originally Posted by blakej
    Hey blakej - Any update on the 9400 footage? My pool was opened up last week and I am soon to be in desperate need of a robot (using my PB robot for the time being).
    Hey jhav, I am sending you a few links via PM!
    can i get this too?
    8000 gal diamond brite pool with 650 gal spillover spa, Pentair 3hp VS pump. Jandy Cartridge filter and Jandy Heat Pump. Jandy PDA automation system with 2 Pentair Laminars. SmartPool NC74S Robotic Pool Cleaner.

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    Re: Looking for Pool Robot Reccomendations for FIBERGLASS Po

    Sure thing, rob!

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    Re: Looking for Pool Robot Reccomendations for FIBERGLASS Po

    BlakeJ - Thanks for the link to the review. I read through that one and some of the others on the blog page. It was good to read some detailed and constructive feedback of a few of the units.

    A couple more - and probably final - questions for you. Are there any other robots with an easy to empty/clean filter system similar to the one in the 9300/9400 which you would recommend? I have more or less decided that I would like to avoid the bottom-opening, filter bag units as I find them a PITA to empty/clean. Given that this is an important feature for me - and considering that all of the robots seem to struggle with the toe-kick in a FG pool - it seems like the only robots which fit the bill at the moment are the 9300/9400. Is there something else I am missing?

    Lastly, any clue when I'll actually be able to order a 9400 (assuming I go this way)? I noticed one or two sites which indicate that it currently in-stock for immediate shipment - however, many other sites (including yours) indicate 'spring availability'.

    Thanks again!
    41' x 16' x 7' deep rectangular IG FG Blue Hawaiian Olympic Bay model w/ Glacier Blue 'Extreme Quartz' finish / 2 skimmers, 4 returns + 1 dedicated vacuum line / Sta-Rite IntelliPro VS-3050 pump / Sta-Rite System3 Modular Media S7M400 Filter / Pentair EasyTouch w/ ScreenLogic 2 / Pentair IC40 SWG / Pentair UltraTemp 120 Heat Pump / Coverstar Auto-cover / Savi Color Changing LED Pool lights x 4 / Pentair MacgicStream Laminar LED Deck Jets x 4 / 2 x 2 Jacuzzi Jets installed on shallow and deep end steps / SR Smith Typhoon Waterslide / Polaris 9400 Robot. See my build thread HERE

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    Re: Looking for Pool Robot Reccomendations for FIBERGLASS Po

    9300 only cleans in one direction. so that would leave the 9400. honestly, cleaning the bag is not that bad, its a pain when you are cleaning it multiple times a day, but only takes about 2 minutes with a hose. plus the filters on these things i'm sure will clog up. the 9400 looks like a good unit and i may get it once my blue diamond remote dies which i'm sure won't be that much longer, but i wouldn't buy it just for the filter. the thing to remember is that bags can be cleaned many many times, but those filters will have a finite life and they are more expensive than bags.

    Quote Originally Posted by jhav
    BlakeJ - Thanks for the link to the review. I read through that one and some of the others on the blog page. It was good to read some detailed and constructive feedback of a few of the units.

    A couple more - and probably final - questions for you. Are there any other robots with an easy to empty/clean filter system similar to the one in the 9300/9400 which you would recommend? I have more or less decided that I would like to avoid the bottom-opening, filter bag units as I find them a PITA to empty/clean. Given that this is an important feature for me - and considering that all of the robots seem to struggle with the toe-kick in a FG pool - it seems like the only robots which fit the bill at the moment are the 9300/9400. Is there something else I am missing?

    Lastly, any clue when I'll actually be able to order a 9400 (assuming I go this way)? I noticed one or two sites which indicate that it currently in-stock for immediate shipment - however, many other sites (including yours) indicate 'spring availability'.

    Thanks again!
    8000 gal diamond brite pool with 650 gal spillover spa, Pentair 3hp VS pump. Jandy Cartridge filter and Jandy Heat Pump. Jandy PDA automation system with 2 Pentair Laminars. SmartPool NC74S Robotic Pool Cleaner.

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