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Thread: SmartPool quality complaints

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    SmartPool quality complaints

    Trying to do research on replacing my Blue Pearl cleaner (which died after 2-1/2 pool seasons).

    I like the SmartPool line, and love their prices, but I have read too many bad reviews on Amazon. Did a BBB search and they have a lot of warranty/product complaints. They've changed their model line (the Scrubber 60 is now called the 9i), but it looks like the only actual change is the color and a shorter warranty. Scary to me that they went from a 2-year warranty on the to a 1-year warranty.

    Researching robotic cleaners is a real pain. Wish there was a simple answer for quality and longevity.

    UPDATE: SmartPool 9i died in under 75 days, was repaired and returned and worked fine the rest of the season

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    Re: SmartPool quality complaints

    SmartPool came out with a second line of cleaners. The Scrubber 60 line that included the NC71, NC71RC, NC51, NC22 are now brick and mortar cleaners only. The 9i line you see online was made specifically for the internet. You can still find the Scrubber line online if you look hard enough. The 9i line has a lesser warranty, but other than that is no different.

    From our experience, and we have sold thousands of the SmartPool cleaners as well as others, you get what you pay for with robotic cleaners. SmartPool cleaners are made in china and work very well for their up front cost. However, they do not last very long, and you will soon be replacing parts on it.

    Cleaners like Dolphin or Aqua Products tend to cost more up front, (unless you can find a private label or older model deal) but they can last twice or three times as long before needing major repairs. Water Tech (Blue Pearl and Blue Diamond) also fall into this category although a step below the other two.

    Go with something you can afford, but get the better quality manufacturers. Take care of your unit. Clean it out everytime, store it in a good place and get a caddy for it to help store it correctly. Change the brushes and tracks when needed, do not wait until you can't see them anymore. Take care of it like you would your car and it will last you a lot longer.
    Chris - In the Industry

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    Re: SmartPool quality complaints

    Thanks for the comments, Chris. Your advice is spot on, but...

    I went ahead and purchased the Smartpool 9i. They're offering a $100 rebate which brought my cost into the upper $500 range. Visa gives an extra year on the warranty. Anyway, I thought I'd give a running report on the unit and try to be helpful to others.

    Came in a brown box marked "made in China" - no fancy packaging whatsoever (which is fine with me). About the same size as the other cleaners, a little bit lighter in weight when dry. Cord was advertised as 60', but I think it is less, more like 55'. I was initially a little disheartened at the unit's performance, but when I went to clean it the first time, I realized the filter bag was not on properly. Cleaned it, re-seated the filter bag and let her fly.

    We have had massive storms here the past week and the yard flooded into the pool leaving a thick layer of dirt and leaves at the bottom. Power was out for a day so everything settled to the bottom. My pool is massive, around 55,000 gallons, "L" shaped with each leg running 40". Vinyl. The Smartpool 9i cleaner completely cleaned the entire pool in two cycles. Blew me away - neither of my other units would have done as good a job. I'm skeptical about the unit's longevity given all I've read, but I'm more than happy about it's ability to clean my pool.

    A few other comments. The filter bag is huge and easier to clean than the others I've had. As they market, it is easier to get in and out of the pool than other units, but unless you are really weak, I don't think it's a big benefit. The only downside so far is that is has only one run cycle option - a 3 hour bottom, walls and waterline cycle. The other units I've had had options to clean either just the bottom or everything. I'll try to keep this thread updated...

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    Re: SmartPool quality complaints

    July 3 Update

    Everything still fine. Only using it every 5 days or so because the pool is so clean and am taking it out and rinsing when not in use (I've never been so diligent about a cleaner). Sometimes the filter bag slips and instead of catching debris, it just recirculates it. Might have to make a tiny modification to ensure the bag stays in place.

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    Re: SmartPool quality complaints

    Aug 5 Update

    Still working very well.

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    Re: SmartPool quality complaints

    Sept 7th Update

    Clearer ceased working properly this week. Moves back and forth about 5' for a couple of minutes and then stops working.
    Haven't even received my rebate yet. Will call SmartPool on Monday and see how they handle this.

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    Re: SmartPool quality complaints

    Sept 27th Update

    SmartPool had me send the cleaner back to them (cost me $32). They returned it to me yesterday. No new parts visible and no explanation of what was repaired. Working fine now.

    Still no rebate check after nearly 3 months. I'll call on that next week.

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    Re: SmartPool quality complaints

    Rebate check came yesterday; after several phone calls. After I actually reached a person, they were terrific, pleasant and quick.

    Cleaner did fine the rest of the season. Now it is put up until next summer.

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    Re: SmartPool quality complaints

    Thanks for the updates

    btw, when you sent it back to them for repairs, costing you $32 for shipping, how long did it take for them to repair it and get it back to you?
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    Re: SmartPool quality complaints

    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly
    Thanks for the updates

    btw, when you sent it back to them for repairs, costing you $32 for shipping, how long did it take for them to repair it and get it back to you?
    Just over 2 weeks; I think 16 days. No problem, but it would have been nice to have been able to track progress.

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    Re: SmartPool quality complaints

    Season 2 with the Smartpool 9i. It has been up and running fine for a week now. Whew! As long as it works, I'm very happy with the performance.

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    Re: SmartPool quality complaints

    Lasted the entire second season without any problems. Yea! Also, I was not nearly as diligent this year about cleaning and washing it. I left it sitting in the pool for weeks at a time. Cleaned it thoroughly this week and put it away.

    Bag is starting to show wear issues; will probably need to replace it in another year.

    Cleaner's pattern is such that the power line now gets twisted up so that every 3 or four cycles I have to unplug it and untwist it.

    Overall, I still think it cleans fantastic, but I worry about when it will break. If it lasts another year, my amortized cost will drop below $200.

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    Re: SmartPool quality complaints

    Quote Originally Posted by b6283 View Post
    Lasted the entire second season without any problems. Yea! Also, I was not nearly as diligent this year about cleaning and washing it. I left it sitting in the pool for weeks at a time. Cleaned it thoroughly this week and put it away.

    Bag is starting to show wear issues; will probably need to replace it in another year.

    Cleaner's pattern is such that the power line now gets twisted up so that every 3 or four cycles I have to unplug it and untwist it.

    Overall, I still think it cleans fantastic, but I worry about when it will break. If it lasts another year, my amortized cost will drop below $200.
    Wow - made it through a third season! I treated it very poorly, left it in the pool for the full season (and you can tell by the color fade). Bag frame broke, but with careful handling, I was able to use it fine. Rubber is starting to degrade (again, due to my leaving it in the chlorinated pool all season).

    I doubt it will hold together for a full fourth season, but if it does, it will be in spite of me.

    I titled this thread "SmartPool quality complaints" in the hopes of flushing out thoughts on the company and their cleaners; at this point, I'd buy again.

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    Re: SmartPool quality complaints

    Well? Did it make it through fourth season? I'm gonna buy one. You sold me.
    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: SmartPool quality complaints

    Just ordered nc74s. We will see how it does. Very bad reviews for longetivity but my dolphin made it 2 years and my blue diamond broke plenty so this couldn't be much worse.
    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: SmartPool quality complaints

    Sorry for the delay. Made it through the 4th season, but lost a wheel belt in it's last week. All rubber is degrading to the point of uselessness. I consider it dead. Not surprising since I leave it in the water the entire season. Now shopping for a replacement and will stick with Smartpool.

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    Re: SmartPool quality complaints

    Nc74s 600 on amazon

    - - - Updated - - -

    How did you get the bag to stay on.mine keeps coming OFF the frame
    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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