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Thread: Vinyl Liners and Robots

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    Vinyl Liners and Robots

    I just had my liner installed and my pool builder was less that thrilled about the idea of me using a robotic vaccum with the spinning brushes. He believes that they cause more issue like ripped liners so he prefers the type that just use suction. I believe his favorite cleaner is the Polaris 380 with the added pump.

    I;m looking for something that can clean my 20x40 pool that does not hook up to the pool filter. I've looked at Polaris, Dolphin, Blue Diamond, Aquabot and I am more confused than ever. Does anyone have a recommendation for a robot that works well on vinyl liners?
    2012 (late install) 20x40 inground Oasis steel pool with vinyl liner. Pentair DE Filter with Whisper Flow 1HP pump and Pentair 400K BTU heater.
    2016 Marquis Promise Spa (2 pump model)

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Vinyl Liners and Robots

    Your best bet is most likely a robot. I'm sure people will be along soon with their favorites.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Vinyl Liners and Robots

    I hope so! I am looking specifically for people with vinyl liners. I want to say mine is a 28/20 liner as far as thickness. Hope that helps.
    2012 (late install) 20x40 inground Oasis steel pool with vinyl liner. Pentair DE Filter with Whisper Flow 1HP pump and Pentair 400K BTU heater.
    2016 Marquis Promise Spa (2 pump model)

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    X-PertPool's Avatar
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    Re: Vinyl Liners and Robots

    I like the hayward sharkvac, it's cheaper than the other ones and it's easier to clean since it doesn't have that dumb disgusting bag to take out. The pool guy is right, they can damage liners but so can all the automatic cleaners especially the barracuda model. Anyways a pressure side may be slightly safer but the problem comes into play that there is always the chance that something can get snagged on a wheel and be drug around the pool. The problem with most electric designs if they get stuck in a spot and don't reverse they can rub the print off the liner but not very likely will it rip the liner because of that. IMO the coolest looking one is the polaris electric sport vac http://www.nationalpoolwholesalers.com/ ... L9300.html
    -Kevin
    X-Pert Pool Service
    x-pertpool.com
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    22,000 gal / 16' x 32' / Vinyl / Hayward s244t /Pentair SuperFlo 1 hp

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Vinyl Liners and Robots

    I have a vinyl liner and have been reading endless reviews since spring. I can't work this one out either re robots, and I've seen several reports of liner damage. As an interim measure, I got that external pool blaster max and just manually vacuumed with it. That did the trick all summer and it was more powerful than I expected. Not great once a heavy leaf load was coming done, but manual leaf raking really seemed like the only option at that point.

    I am going to experiment in the spring, because I have an indie pool store owner who has agreed to let me try it before I buy it. She says the sport (Polaris) is nice because the bag is easy and clean to handle.

    The people who lived here before used a barracuda (based on fittings found) and while in pool I can see scratch marks that I suspect were from a cleaner!
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Vinyl Liners and Robots

    I have a Polaris 380 and an old vinyl liner. The liner has damage from previous owners but since I started using the Polaris I have not seen any additional damage. I have only used the Polaris this season (only had the pool this season).


    - Sent using Tapatalk
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Vinyl Liners and Robots

    I've been afraid to try a robot on my pool for fear of liner damage as well. I wish somebody would come out with a slower moving robot that doesn't scrub. My pool doesn't often need any scrubbing, just vacuuming up the bugs, dust and leaves and grass that get in there after a wind. A sensor like an optical mouse could tell if the unit was stuck and shut the drive off.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Vinyl Liners and Robots

    I have an aquabot that works great. It doesnt scrub really, just a good suction.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Vinyl Liners and Robots

    The Polaris 280 is available with tank treads.


    - Sent using Tapatalk
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Vinyl Liners and Robots

    I am dreading the manual cleaning method. That's what I grew up with with my parents pool. Not a fan but maybe it will be different seeing this is "my" pool. My PB loves the polaris cleaners like the 360 (380?) but I was looking for something that can run separate from my filter. Countless hours of research and its been hard enough finding a robot that doesn't have it fair share of problems. While not unexpected, I need to figure out which problems I want to deal with. The Polaris 9300 mentioned above has issues like wheels falling off. That probably isn't as bad as a dead motor. Hmm...

    One item I hadn't really looked at was the cleaners/rollers themselves to see what materials are used. I would assume that robots that use softter/lighter rollers would probably create less issues but the tradeoff will be lower quality cleaning (maybe).

    To bk406 - which Aquabot do you have? I've looked at a bunch of them.
    2012 (late install) 20x40 inground Oasis steel pool with vinyl liner. Pentair DE Filter with Whisper Flow 1HP pump and Pentair 400K BTU heater.
    2016 Marquis Promise Spa (2 pump model)

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Vinyl Liners and Robots

    Actually, MP, it's kind of therapeutic and zen-like to manually clean the pool. I'm not actually certain I want to give it up The nano-second I'd have to give time and attention to the maintenance of a machine or machine snafus, I think that would be the end of the bot for me. That's why I'm still trying to access my true needs.

    See if pool stores in your area will let you "try" some out!
    I wish someone would do a consumers-style study unbiased comparison on them -- but there are so many variables to every pool their behavior could not be reliably predicted, I think.
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: Vinyl Liners and Robots

    Quote Originally Posted by mpkelley20
    To bk406 - which Aquabot do you have? I've looked at a bunch of them.
    a T2
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Vinyl Liners and Robots

    I stopped by a local swimming pool store about 3 miles from my house and talked to them about cleaners. As others have stated, it seems like a lot of the robots out there are virtually the same models with minor color differences and maybe a few differnet options. The place near me only carries Aquabot and they feel the Aquabot Turbo T would be perfect for me. They are an authorized seller for Aquabot and they are one of the warranty centers as well so I gues gong with Aquabot might be a great choice considering how close this place is.

    We talked about the various models and they prefer the T over the T2 as they see way more repairs coming in for the T2 and the T4RC. They had several people buy the T2 this year and end up retunring them for a T model. I like the idea of quicker cleanings (T2 does it an hour vs. T which is 3 hours) but I would rather have longer cleaning times and less hassels. At least I think!

    I'm still doing reserach but learning that this store is a warranty center for Aquabot makes it the leader in my search.

    I still have my pool open up here in MA as the pool is new and they recently finished the install. I ended up hand vacuuming it today and I can tell you that the serenity others get from cleaning was nowhere to be found for me! LOL!! I can't wait to get robot.
    2012 (late install) 20x40 inground Oasis steel pool with vinyl liner. Pentair DE Filter with Whisper Flow 1HP pump and Pentair 400K BTU heater.
    2016 Marquis Promise Spa (2 pump model)

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    cood60's Avatar
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    Re: Vinyl Liners and Robots

    This the one I use:
    Smart Pool Scrubber60 Robotic Pool Vac. It has rubber flaps and suction. It does have a bag but you get used to it. Mine is a low voltage unit so no need for pumps etc. It got hung up on the pool drain covers until I bought oversized covers. (about $85.00 each) simple to install
    If I ever get another robot it would be the same kind but with remote control for those small patches of debris you just want out to look nice.
    Have had it for one year, have not noticed any liner problems. It climbs all the way upi the walls. My grandchildren named it. They treat it like a pet.
    22'x40' IG, Freeform, 26K gal, Vinyl liner pool(2011), three returns plus two step jets, one slide, two skimmers, two LED lights, Stamped Concrete with Aqua PL-Plus Automation panel, Pentair Intelliflo VS, Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter 500lb, Hayward Turbo Cell T-Cell 15 (SWG) Smart Pool Scrubber60 Robotic Pool Vac.

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    Re: Vinyl Liners and Robots

    I finally pulled the trigger on a robot. I went with the Aquabot one. I actually found it online from a licensed dealer and saved a ton of money compared to buying it local. I went with the Aquabot Turbo T4RC and got the optional cart with it for $300 less than what the robot by itself would have cost me locally.

    Main reason I went with Aquabot was two-fold. First, they just changed their warranty from a 4 year pro-rated to a 3 year warranty which covers verything the first year then everything less the belts for the next two years. So one year less warrnty but it covers a lot more than the 4 year did (their website has NOT been updated but I called and spoke to them). Second, having a local service center a few miles from my house is a huge benefit. Won;t have to ship it and replacement belts and parts are readily available.

    So why the higher end model with remote?? No clue. I'm sure the standard Turbo model will be fine but the idea of the remote seems like fun.
    2012 (late install) 20x40 inground Oasis steel pool with vinyl liner. Pentair DE Filter with Whisper Flow 1HP pump and Pentair 400K BTU heater.
    2016 Marquis Promise Spa (2 pump model)

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    mitch08's Avatar
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    Re: Vinyl Liners and Robots

    Quote Originally Posted by mpkelley20
    I finally pulled the trigger on a robot. I went with the Aquabot one. I actually found it online from a licensed dealer and saved a ton of money compared to buying it local. I went with the Aquabot Turbo T4RC and got the optional cart with it for $300 less than what the robot by itself would have cost me locally.

    Main reason I went with Aquabot was two-fold. First, they just changed their warranty from a 4 year pro-rated to a 3 year warranty which covers verything the first year then everything less the belts for the next two years. So one year less warrnty but it covers a lot more than the 4 year did (their website has NOT been updated but I called and spoke to them). Second, having a local service center a few miles from my house is a huge benefit. Won;t have to ship it and replacement belts and parts are readily available.

    So why the higher end model with remote?? No clue. I'm sure the standard Turbo model will be fine but the idea of the remote seems like fun.
    I love the Aquabot robot. Its a great cleaner. Your warranty is good. Of course right about that time is when the motors start breaking down which will cost a fortune since there are 2. Ive gone through a few of them already (both drive and pump) and each time is a $400 - $500 repair. But when they work, they work great!!!
    18x38 Inground Liner (25k gal) Paver surround, multi-speed pump, DE Filter, Raised spill over spa, TF-100

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