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Thread: Dolphin Primal, reviews and comments?

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    Dolphin Primal, reviews and comments?

    First post, I have been lurking a long time absorbing the great info. Finally have a question that I can't answer with the search function.

    I have decided to take the plunge on a robotic cleaner. Our pool is small, only about 35 feet long and 11K gallons. It is kidney-ish in shape and finished with pebble-tec. I fight a constant battle against tons of super fine dust the blows into the pool leaving a fine sediment. Six months of the year I also battle oleander leaves. The leaves can be as large as 7 by 1.25 inches, but they fold up pretty easily for a cleaner with decent suction.

    The Dolphin primal looks like a good value at $630. It is essentially a Nautilus with a 2-year warranty and weekly timer function. The "Doheny's AWD Powered by Aquabot" looks nice for around the same price. However it is a wheeled cleaner, and I don't think it would do as well on the pool walls. The fine sediment in the pool tends to settle in the pebble-tec walls so good wall performance is important to me.

    Anyone have any experience with the Dolphin primal (or the Nautilus) they can share? Do you think it would be a good fit for my needs? Any reviews, advice, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Stamford, CT.

    Re: Dolphin Primal, reviews and comments?

    I'm new too, and have recently tried the Dolphin Nautilus, which I bought on Amazon. It works pretty well on the bottom of the pool, but on my concrete, painted, rectangular pool, it rarely climbs the walls. Once in a blue moon I'll see it at the top, but mostly it climbs up the wall about a foot and then drops back down. I've also noticed a lot of cloudiness in my pool right after it cleans, which I'm worried may be my paint!

    It is easy to operate. You just plug it in, lower it into the pool and turn it on. However, it is heavier and a bit less easy to lug around than I thought. I never thought that I would want a cart, but it might make it easier to move back and forth if you don't plan to store it right next to your pool.

    I also didn't get one with a remote and this may have been a mistake. The Dolphin Nautilus doesn't seem to have any pattern for going around my pool, even though I've tried it several times. There is always one spot at the far corner that doesn't seem to get clean. And it doesn't clean my steps either -- just sort of crawls part way up and falls down. I have found that it is critical to untangle the hose and drop it into the pool. I think there must be a mechanism on the machine that keeps it from yanking the power source into the pool. If you don't loosen up the cord completely, it seems to keep the machine from moving around freely.

    It has been easy to clean the filters, which I do every time I use it (hoping this will make it crawl up the walls).

    And, it is a lot nicer than hauling out the huge hose and cleaning the pool by myself.

    I tried a polaris 360 last year and it didn't clean the walls of my pool either.

    So I think I'm back to the drawing board. Let me know if you find something that's great!
    Pool: In-ground; 18,500 gallons; painted concrete (I think -- it was built in the 1940s); Triton II Sand Filter, pre-1991; Hayward Super Pump II; Pentair heater

    Spa (separate): in-ground; cartridge filter, 3 Hayward Super Pump IIs (1 for circulation, 2 for jets);Pentair heater

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Longview, Texas

    Re: Dolphin Primal, reviews and comments?

    The nautilus is a very good clearner for the price. It will climb the walls fine but it doesnt clean 100% of the walls 100% of the time. I dont belive any of them will do that. The nautilus is not designed to turn sideways and crawl along and clean the tile line, which most plaster pools have. Most plaster pool owners desire the tile line feature.

    If you want the cleaner to clean the tile line also, A dolphin triton is basically a nautilus with the added float handle would be more suited, if you desire your cleaner to do that. As well there are many other cleaners that also clean the tiles.

    As is the case with all robot cleaners, the more you pay for them, the more features they have.

    All in all, the Dolphin line seem to be about the best out there.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge. Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Dolphin Primal, reviews and comments?

    Sorry I didn't reply sooner. My pool is relatively small and only has tile around a small portion. I couldn't really justify the extra cost of the Triton (extra $200). I decided to go with the Dolphin Primal, which arrived today. First impressions are pretty good; if it is reasonably durable I think I will be pretty happy. I will do an in depth review when I have had it a while. Thanks for the input.

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