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Thread: Robot help - fine dirt and some leaves

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    Robot help - fine dirt and some leaves

    Hello all, my pool is in my signature line. I am looking for a robotic pool cleaner. I have a Polaris 360 that has never worked right since new and I am tired of it. It always gets stuck in the middle deep section of our pool and does zero with the clay silt/dirt but I know that isnt really a feature on the 360. I does do well on leaves when it actually gets around our pool.

    Looking to upgrade to a full on robot. 10 months out of the year all it will need to deal with is the fine clay dirt, maybe some sunken Crepe Myrtle flowers, and things like that. Two months it could run into any leaves that I dont get scooped out (I leave pool open year round). Once the leaves start falling I really start getting the dirt as well just from the leaves.

    Budget - around $1K max

    Options I dont really care about - remote or a caddy unless they really Really help. My pool is a good 50+ feet from our house out in the yard and for storage I just have a big poly deck box. We do have power out there to run the robot.

    So far I have read over reviews on the:
    Dolphin Deluxe models from Leslies (there is one right down the street) (was looking at the DX5)
    Dolphin Oasis Z5
    Aquabot Apex Revive
    Ecojet Plus

    Those pretty much go from most $$$ to least $. One concern is warranty, I keep reading robots dont last long. If I am spending $1K I want it to last and if it doesnt I want it fixed with the least amount of hassle. I dont mind taking things apart to replace things but I have to think shipping any of these back would be a heavy expensive job.

    Anything has to be a big step up from my malfunctioning 360! I just use a manual vac and brush right now but this time a year I need to keep after it at least weekly if not a few times a week.
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

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    Re: Robot help - fine dirt and some leaves

    I just bought a no frills Aquabot Breeze 4WD. I used it a couple times before I closed the pool and it worked great. It was $700. I bought it online. It has 2 top loading baskets with a cartridge type filter. The baskets are fairly big and it will scoop up quite a few leaves and debris. It has a set 3 hour run time that cleaned my 16x32 very nicely.
    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: Robot help - fine dirt and some leaves

    What is the range of warranty you would require? 2, 3, or 4 years ?

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    Re: Robot help - fine dirt and some leaves

    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    What is the range of warranty you would require? 2, 3, or 4 years ?
    I guess it depends on how good the service actually is... If I can service it easily and they will ship me parts then the longer the better. If I can take it in locally then the longer the better. If I have to pack up a 50 pound robot to ship at $50+ only to have it gone 4+ weeks waiting on them to ship it back then the warranty doesnt mean as much to me.

    Some seem to be only 1 yr which seems to short for this cash outlay. I havent actually seen a 4 yr warranty on anything I've looked at.

    Forgot to ask above - can any of them be left in the pool extended periods? Can it be left in for a few days and just check the screens, filters, bags, etc for cleaning or does it need to be hauled out and stored dry until the next use?
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

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    Re: Robot help - fine dirt and some leaves

    I've had better luck just leaving mine in the pool, if you do take it out, you have to make sure it doesn't stay in the sun, even covered the seals can expand and get destroyed. The robots unfortunately do break. I had to ship one off for repair and this was over 5 years ago and I think it was exactly 50 bucks so that shipping should be about right. Probably 2 weeks to get it back. I like the Dolphins because they do sell parts at a couple of places and the parts are relatively reasonable. The Oasis give you a 3 year warranty. They had it on sale and with coupons it was like 1000 and change with free shipping. Thats a pretty good deal for 3 year warranty. The blue diamond gives you 4 year warranty but I believe its 4 years on the bot and 2 years on everything else unless they changed that. Also its 4 years or 400 or 500 cycles I believe. You'll blow 10 cycles just playing with the thing when you get it. Parts for that are also astronomical and not really a home repair.

    If I had the money I would have bought the Oasis this time around when my blue diamond died but I didn't so I went with the dolphin primal X3 which fits my needs.
    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: Robot help - fine dirt and some leaves

    Dolphin M5 Supreme. If any one says there is something that works better it will have to be proven to me. I have not only been impressed with it for it's purpose, but I have never bought another product of any kind that I've been as pleased with. I feel like it was a bargain. I have a ton of dust, and we have lots of leaves. I put my vac hose in storage shorly after getting this thing, and I can't imagine I'll need it again.
    TFP Moderator
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    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

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    Re: Robot help - fine dirt and some leaves

    Brushpup - whats the difference in the M5 vs. Z5? I thought I read one is online only (Z) the other is store (M). Leslies doesnt appear to carry the M. Only reason I mention them is that they are very close by and the manager has been helpful without being pushy in the past. I dont mind buying online as long as I can get service if the need arrives.
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

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    Re: Robot help - fine dirt and some leaves

    M is only in store, and apparently only some places, I couldn't find one around here and you will pay probably 40% more than for the Z. M has a few more bells and whistles that you will never use.
    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: Robot help - fine dirt and some leaves

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406 View Post
    I just bought a no frills Aquabot Breeze 4WD. I used it a couple times before I closed the pool and it worked great. It was $700. I bought it online. It has 2 top loading baskets with a cartridge type filter. The baskets are fairly big and it will scoop up quite a few leaves and debris. It has a set 3 hour run time that cleaned my 16x32 very nicely.
    I also bought the AB 4WD this year and could not be happier with it. It cost me under $625 delivered
    I got the RAPIDS version which is the same as the Breeze but its grey instead of white and comes with a 2 year warranty.
    Parts are available all over the web. As with all robots, parts are not cheap.

    RE:Warranty-
    Some of the Robot vendors are funky with internet sales and their Warranty.
    What ever brand/Model you get, if you buy over the net confirm how valid the Warranty is!
    IG Tear Drop, Dark Gray Gunite , 27,000 gallons -Age 50+-years, very old Hayward Split Egg Sand Filter with side mount Multi-port- Hayward SP2600VSP Pump- Hayward chlorine feed (not used since finding TFP) - Laars 315K BTU Oil heater- LoopLoc Safety cover- AquaBot RAPIDS 4WD- TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speedstir- 390 Gal Hot Springs Spa Envoy installed May 2017

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    Re: Robot help - fine dirt and some leaves

    I have the Z5 and live within 30 miles of Brushpup. I still love love love my little Dolphin Z5. His has a third brush and the remote has some more options. It's a higher end unit, however my Z5 doesn't miss anything....

    Seriously, I hand vacuumed the pool twice in a row before a pool party this year....I still felt **** on the bottom of the pool with my feet. Since getting the dolphin, I run it about 2-3x per week. I never feel anything on the bottom. It's been best investment I've made into the pool.
    IG gunite/plaster pool/spa Started 1/17/14, Plastered 5/16/14
    Size: 12'-21'x39' free form, depth ranging from 4' to 7, attached 6 person spa with spillover.
    Equipment: Whisperflo 2hp pump, Pentair 30" sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 1hp Whisperflo for waterfalls, and a blower for spa floor

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    Re: Robot help - fine dirt and some leaves

    I noticed you guys have gunite/plaster pools. I have vinyl. Any concerns there with one style robot vs. another?
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

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    Re: Robot help - fine dirt and some leaves

    Quote Originally Posted by CHD Dad View Post
    I noticed you guys have gunite/plaster pools. I have vinyl. Any concerns there with one style robot vs. another?
    That does change things a bit. I've seen some complaints of the Z5 getting stuck on main drains. If my memory serves the person complaining of this also had a vinyl liner pool. Of course the design of the main drain is the key. I can say it doesn't get stuck on mine at all. I don't think the M5 would get stuck on any main drain with that third roller. My theory is that when the Z5 gets stuck it is getting high centered.
    IG gunite/plaster pool/spa Started 1/17/14, Plastered 5/16/14
    Size: 12'-21'x39' free form, depth ranging from 4' to 7, attached 6 person spa with spillover.
    Equipment: Whisperflo 2hp pump, Pentair 30" sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 1hp Whisperflo for waterfalls, and a blower for spa floor

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    Re: Robot help - fine dirt and some leaves

    I have a robot and an vinyl pool with two main drains, yes, the robot does get stuck, but if you are patient, it will reverse itself off.

    You can also get these, I haven't, cause I don't like the idea of hitting it with my foot. The only other concern is if it gets stuck in one place, it can wear off the colour.

    Main Drain Clip.jpg

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    Re: Robot help - fine dirt and some leaves

    I have what looks to be the same drains in my gunite pool and my dolphin primal x3 doesn't get stuck on them.
    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: Robot help - fine dirt and some leaves

    So my neighbor happened to buy a new Dolphin Deluxe 4 from Leslies last month. He likes it in his lagoon style pool and said I was welcome to try it out in our pool. I tried it out and it did great for most things except two:

    1) it got stuck on one drain twice during its 3 hr cycle. Both times it high sided right in the middle of the tracks and I had to pull on the cord to get it going.

    2) it missed my corners (I have a normal rectangular pool). I am not talking like the tight part, but it missed a couple feet out. It got one out of three clean.

    Maytronic said they can send a diverter for the top exhaust fan/port to send the water backwards vs. straight up and that is supposed to help getting stuck. Otherwise I would need to install new covers if I wanted to go with this style cleaner. I dont want to install covers, especially right now when the water is very cold! Anybody have any experience with the diverter?

    Price was reasonable, warranty was good and my local Leslies told me I can bring it to them for all repairs. I think I read that the Z5 that everybody loves from Epic also has the high side issues and you need to find a M5 locally with the third track to avoid it altogether. True?
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

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    Re: Robot help - fine dirt and some leaves

    Quote Originally Posted by CHD Dad View Post

    Price was reasonable, warranty was good and my local Leslies told me I can bring it to them for all repairs. I think I read that the Z5 that everybody loves from Epic also has the high side issues and you need to find a M5 locally with the third track to avoid it altogether. True?
    Yes sir.
    IG gunite/plaster pool/spa Started 1/17/14, Plastered 5/16/14
    Size: 12'-21'x39' free form, depth ranging from 4' to 7, attached 6 person spa with spillover.
    Equipment: Whisperflo 2hp pump, Pentair 30" sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 1hp Whisperflo for waterfalls, and a blower for spa floor

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    Re: Robot help - fine dirt and some leaves

    I just called around and nobody has the M5 but could order one. I did find the M4 in stock for $100 more than Leslies Deluxe 4 but the M4 has the third roller. The M5 just appears to add a remote which I could honestly care less about. My kids might have fun with that but I dont need it!
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

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    Re: Robot help - fine dirt and some leaves

    We have the zodiac MX8 works great for small debris and after 7 months so far no problems It really does its job well. Its running off of a dedicated suction line.

    It did get jamed with a couple of pine needles once or twice. I dont have many trees in the back yard so for "small" debris I think its worth it, but if you have large debris in your pool (leaves,pieces of pine cones etc...) I would recommend something bigger/better.

    retails @ about $450

    http://www.amazon.com/Baracuda-MX8-Z...a+pool+cleaner
    Completed 38'X21' IG Free form pool approx 18.5K gallons, sports pool w/spa and tanning shelf 3.5-5.5 ft. Jandy Cartridge Filter, Jandy stealth pumps, Jandy LXi Heater, I aqualink, Inline chlorinator. Click to see My Pool Build

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    Re: Robot help - fine dirt and some leaves

    Quote Originally Posted by CHD Dad View Post
    I just called around and nobody has the M5 but could order one. I did find the M4 in stock for $100 more than Leslies Deluxe 4 but the M4 has the third roller. The M5 just appears to add a remote which I could honestly care less about. My kids might have fun with that but I dont need it!
    remote is useful when it missed a corner. my primal x3 misses it too, after the 3rd cycle it usually gets it all. The blue diamonds are a much better product, one hour and whole pool is spotless, but they are expensive to repair. Night and day difference from the primal x3 I have now.
    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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