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Thread: Robotic Pool Cleaner for New Build

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    Robotic Pool Cleaner for New Build

    Hi Folks,

    We are in the middle of our build right now, http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...untain-Retreat, and are looking for a recommendation for a robotic cleaner. Weve decided not to include a dedicated suction or pressure side connection to save money.

    I have looked into 4 cleaners: Hayward Tiger Shark RC9955GR, Pentair Kreepy Krauly 830, Polaris 9550, and the Dolphin M5. As you can tell, all come with a remote control (my treat to myself) . Im leaning toward the Hayward at the moment basically because of the reviews Ive read. My original choice was the Dolphin; however it seems to be a bit more difficult to come by unless you go to a local pool store which is going to be more expensive.

    Im not thrilled with the Kreepy Krauly as it seems to be on the heavy side, over 40lbs, and the reviews on the Polaris werent as good as the other 3.

    So, my list from top to bottom would be the Hayward, Dolphin, Pentair, then Polaris. If anyone has had experience with any of the cleaners Ive mentioned, Id love your input. If you have a different suggestion for a robotic cleaner, Id love to hear about that too.

    The pool will be approximately 16k gallons and there will be a SWCG.

    Thanks everyone for any insight you may have.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Robotic Pool Cleaner for New Build

    I'm a Dolhpin/Maytronics fan. I have an M5 and I love it, but you can easily obtain a Oasis Z5 for about 300 less than an M5.

    Its almost Identical, minus a bottom roller brush. A friend has one, and they are extremely happy with it. Comes with remote, caddy and all. Very nice machine.
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    Re: Robotic Pool Cleaner for New Build

    I truly believe the blue diamond is the best cleaner, however parts are expensive. The dolphin is probably your best bet as parts can be had relatively cheap if it does break out of warranty. As for the remote, if the cleaner works correctly, you would likely never need to use your remote so I wouldn't factor that in as a huge deal. I could be wrong, but I don't think anyone but Aquatron, Dolphin , Aquabot, and Polaris actually make robots. The polaris has many issues that I've seen so I would forget that one. Pentair, and Hayward don't actually make the robots. If it was me, it would be Dolphin or Blue Diamond.
    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: Robotic Pool Cleaner for New Build

    Although not a M5, I have a Dolphin and I am extremely happy with it.
    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.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Robotic Pool Cleaner for New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick_B View Post
    I'm a Dolhpin/Maytronics fan. I have an M5 and I love it, but you can easily obtain a Oasis Z5 for about 300 less than an M5.

    Its almost Identical, minus a bottom roller brush. A friend has one, and they are extremely happy with it. Comes with remote, caddy and all. Very nice machine.
    Thanks Patrick. May have to change my list a bit. As I mentioned, it was my first choice, but finding it online at a "reasonable" price is a challenge. I won't purchase from a local pool store as their markup is a little crazy. It may be because we don't have a lot of pools here in the Denver metro area. Do you know how the M5 handles salt? Don't suppose you have an online store recommendation?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by robl45 View Post
    I truly believe the blue diamond is the best cleaner, however parts are expensive. The dolphin is probably your best bet as parts can be had relatively cheap if it does break out of warranty. As for the remote, if the cleaner works correctly, you would likely never need to use your remote so I wouldn't factor that in as a huge deal. I could be wrong, but I don't think anyone but Aquatron, Dolphin , Aquabot, and Polaris actually make robots. The polaris has many issues that I've seen so I would forget that one. Pentair, and Hayward don't actually make the robots. If it was me, it would be Dolphin or Blue Diamond.
    Thanks robl45. I've never considered Blue Diamond. Will have to look into that.

    When you say "Pentair and Hayward don't actually make the robots", do you mean they purchase from other companies?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Divin Dave View Post
    Although not a M5, I have a Dolphin and I am extremely happy with it.
    Thank Dave. How does it handle walls and steps? Not sure if you seen the pool from the construction post, but we have some pretty huge steps by the sun shelf.

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    Re: Robotic Pool Cleaner for New Build

    Hi SlowRocker,
    yes, I have seen your build thread! Very nice!

    Regarding steps, no robot, regardless of the make does well on them. The area of the step is just too small. It certainly will climb up on one, but thats about as far as it goes. It just runs out of room to maneuver.

    As for cleaning the walls, I haven't had a need to brush them with a brush since I get the robot. It does a great job. Not a hint of bio-film anywhere.
    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.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Robotic Pool Cleaner for New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by robl45 View Post
    I truly believe the blue diamond is the best cleaner, however parts are expensive. The dolphin is probably your best bet as parts can be had relatively cheap if it does break out of warranty. As for the remote, if the cleaner works correctly, you would likely never need to use your remote so I wouldn't factor that in as a huge deal. I could be wrong, but I don't think anyone but Aquatron, Dolphin , Aquabot, and Polaris actually make robots. The polaris has many issues that I've seen so I would forget that one. Pentair, and Hayward don't actually make the robots. If it was me, it would be Dolphin or Blue Diamond.
    Rob, have you owned both? I am not arguing the point of best, but I am asking in the interest of the OP making a choice. Having only owned the M5, I find it hard to imagine a cleaner doing better than mine. I put mine through real extremes here in West Texas, and I am still amazed how well it does. If the Blue Diamond is better, it would truly be an amazing machine. If my M5 lasts three years, I'll feel like I got a bargain at the $1500 price point.

    As for the remote, everyone is different, but I use mine every time I start the unit to choose run time, and what actions I want him to concentrate on. Walls, bottom, waterline etc. Once in a while to make a change in his routine while working, and every time he isn't where I want him to be when I pull him out. Love the remote!
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    Re: Robotic Pool Cleaner for New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick_B View Post
    Rob, have you owned both? I am not arguing the point of best, but I am asking in the interest of the OP making a choice. Having only owned the M5, I find it hard to imagine a cleaner doing better than mine. I put mine through real extremes here in West Texas, and I am still amazed how well it does. If the Blue Diamond is better, it would truly be an amazing machine. If my M5 lasts three years, I'll feel like I got a bargain at the $1500 price point.

    As for the remote, everyone is different, but I use mine every time I start the unit to choose run time, and what actions I want him to concentrate on. Walls, bottom, waterline etc. Once in a while to make a change in his routine while working, and every time he isn't where I want him to be when I pull him out. Love the remote!
    Patrick, how do you think the M5 will handle our steps and sun shelf? Can the remote be used to make it climb the steps?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Divin Dave View Post
    Hi SlowRocker,
    yes, I have seen your build thread! Very nice!

    Regarding steps, no robot, regardless of the make does well on them. The area of the step is just too small. It certainly will climb up on one, but thats about as far as it goes. It just runs out of room to maneuver.

    As for cleaning the walls, I haven't had a need to brush them with a brush since I get the robot. It does a great job. Not a hint of bio-film anywhere.
    Thanks again Dave. I will take the Nautilus into consideration.

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    Re: Robotic Pool Cleaner for New Build

    Just like Divin Dave said, they just don't do well with steps. And no, you really can't make them do steps with a remote. Mine never gets stuck on them, but they just haven't figured this out yet. I don't have a sun shelf, but my buddy with the Z5 has one. I'll get him to weigh in on how it does, but I just can't remember.

    Best thing to do, is brush your steps before he runs. With all the work a Robot saves you, this is hardly even a drawback.
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    Re: Robotic Pool Cleaner for New Build

    Slow,
    just a FYI,
    the Nautilus isnt remote controllable or have any fancy options. Its a basic cleaner, but as I said, Im very happy with it.

    If there is a drawback to the Nautilus, its that it doesnt have a handle on it. Makes getting it out of the pool a bit cumbersome.
    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.
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    Re: Robotic Pool Cleaner for New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick_B View Post
    Just like Divin Dave said, they just don't do well with steps. And no, you really can't make them do steps with a remote. Mine never gets stuck on them, but they just haven't figured this out yet. I don't have a sun shelf, but my buddy with the Z5 has one. I'll get him to weigh in on how it does, but I just can't remember.

    Best thing to do, is brush your steps before he runs. With all the work a Robot saves you, this is hardly even a drawback.
    I like having less work. Was really hoping that it would climb the steps with the remote, but I had a suspicion that it wouldn't. I don't mind doing a little brushing, though. Thanks.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Divin Dave View Post
    Slow,
    just a FYI,
    the Nautilus isnt remote controllable or have any fancy options. Its a basic cleaner, but as I said, Im very happy with it.

    If there is a drawback to the Nautilus, its that it doesnt have a handle on it. Makes getting it out of the pool a bit cumbersome.
    Hm. No handle may be a deal breaker. My wife will probably be doing most of the cleaning during the week and she may not be able to lift the cleaner out very well. One of the reasons we don't like the Kreepy, too heavy for her. I'll have to go look up a weight. Thanks for the input though.

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    Re: Robotic Pool Cleaner for New Build

    I'll save you the trouble and be honest. It's fair amount of effort for an average strength man to pull one out. They are heavy when full of water and no lightweights when empty. My wife struggles with it...it's tough but she can do it.
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    Re: Robotic Pool Cleaner for New Build

    +1 what Patrick says.

    If your wife is going to be hauling it out of the pool. Get one with a handle.
    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.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Robotic Pool Cleaner for New Build

    Thanks guys. Handle it is. I mentioned it earlier, but does anyone have an online store recommendation? Or is that not allowed. Totally understand if it's not.

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    Re: Robotic Pool Cleaner for New Build

    I bought mine on epicpoolsupply.com. I don't think the dolphin 100 coupon code works anymore but maybe try and see?

    I am very pleased with it this far and I am glad I went this route over the in-floor system. The only place it won't go is on our reef step which is 12" and less but I never expected it to anyway.

    The manual states 4500 as the max salt level
    -Brian-
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    Re: Robotic Pool Cleaner for New Build

    Several of us got our Dolphins at epic pool supply
    http://epicpoolsupply.com/

    Depending on who you buy online from (big dealer vs little dealer deal I suppose), you may or may not get the full warranty. Epic is a big dealer and you get full warranty with them.
    Looks like they have a really good deal on the Z5 right now....

    Quote Originally Posted by SlowRocker View Post
    Thanks guys. Handle it is. I mentioned it earlier, but does anyone have an online store recommendation? Or is that not allowed. Totally understand if it's not.
    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.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Robotic Pool Cleaner for New Build

    Thanks for the link. I've bookmarked the site. Want to see what the Blue Diamond has to offer.

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    Re: Robotic Pool Cleaner for New Build

    Yes, I had a blue diamond remote, I had a Dolphin Diagnostic, I had a Cobia robot with salt generator and now I have the primal X3 Dolphin. The blue diamond takes an hour and the pool is clean, end of discussion. My last pool was a volly ball type pool that extended out in the middle further than on the sides making it difficult for robots to clean easily. I got that one because it was supposed to be the best and my dolphin diagnostic wouldn't work very well as it had to climb the walls to turn and as soon as the bag got a little dirty, it would just cover the same spot. The Cobia I was beta testing and when it died, I went back to the blue diamond which I didn't have any issues with as long as I left it in the pool. That poor thing was on its way out for awhile now and still did the job up until the end. I got the primal X3 because frankly I didn't have a lot of money and needed a cleaner. My new pool is also a lot smaller than the old one. I frankly can't imagine the motors in the dolphins are all that different and I can tell you that the dolphin is like a snail compared to the blue diamond. When I first ran the dolphin I thought it was broken. Also they claim the dolphin can turn on the floor. I've never seen it happen. The aquatron bots that don't have dual drive actually pulse the motor and do soft 90 degree turns. As I said, huge thing for Dolphin is the parts are relatively cheap and it seems meant to be servicable so a dolphin like the m5 or Z5 would probably be the best bet for most people as they can turn on their own and at least the Z5 has a 3 year warranty. I'm not sure I'm sold on these cartridge filters, they are easier to clean, but I clean them every 3 seconds compared to the bag on the blue diamond.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick_B View Post
    Rob, have you owned both? I am not arguing the point of best, but I am asking in the interest of the OP making a choice. Having only owned the M5, I find it hard to imagine a cleaner doing better than mine. I put mine through real extremes here in West Texas, and I am still amazed how well it does. If the Blue Diamond is better, it would truly be an amazing machine. If my M5 lasts three years, I'll feel like I got a bargain at the $1500 price point.

    As for the remote, everyone is different, but I use mine every time I start the unit to choose run time, and what actions I want him to concentrate on. Walls, bottom, waterline etc. Once in a while to make a change in his routine while working, and every time he isn't where I want him to be when I pull him out. Love the remote!
    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: Robotic Pool Cleaner for New Build

    Yea, Those sound very different than mine. He turns all over the floor, no problem. Fast he isn't, but I've never thought of that as an issue. It just cleans so well, I never gave it a thought. Thanks for sharing your info Rob.
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    Re: Robotic Pool Cleaner for New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick_B View Post
    Yea, Those sound very different than mine. He turns all over the floor, no problem. Fast he isn't, but I've never thought of that as an issue. It just cleans so well, I never gave it a thought. Thanks for sharing your info Rob.
    Yes you have an M5, that has the dual drive. I really can't recommend non dual drive robots unless its the type from aquatron that pulse the motor and really does turn on the floor. Even with that, it is not nearly as good as the dual drive that just turns the motors in opposite direction to change direction.

    As for the weight of these with water in them. It depends on the pool how bad it will be. If you have cement steps or a sun shelf or something, by the time you reel it in with the cord and set it on one of those steps, sunshelf, whatever, you can just rock it a bit and start getting the water out. I've never had one with the top load cartridges so I don't know how that would work, but with the bottom load, you have to flip it over and pull the cartridge, bag out, so you flip it again and its empty.
    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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