I'm going into my second season with my pool and I'm dreading the early summer cleanings. On top of the leaves and dirt blowing around, I have an issue with birds cleaning out their nests into my pool (I posted here about it last summer). I've decided that it would be a huge time saver to get a decent robot to clean my 20x40 inground pool. I don't get a ton of leaves, but I live in a high wind area, so I get a lot of dirt/sand and the previously mentioned bird waste. This robot will be run during the week while I am at work, so I really don't care if it takes 5 minutes or 5 hours to get it clean, so long as I don't have to do it myself.
Here's where things get murky. As with previous pool product purchases, I've been to multiple stores and had each one tell me why the robot they sell is better than all the others, how they would never sell XYZ product and why the $650 model I went in to ask about is inadequate for a pool my size. However all do agree that a robot would serve me better than a suction or pressure cleaner. I have also spent a few hours researching products and reviews of robots and every time I think I have one picked out, I start to see all the negatives.
I like the Polaris sport robots, but people seem to say the wheels break off. I also like the Dolphin robots, but at last count there are 2,467,852 different Dolphin products, 983,249 may or may not be discontinued, 325,890 are not applicable for my pool, and 453,862 attempted to lead a robot revolution last summer. Virtually every other company's product seems the same to me. Someone could really make a fortune keeping an updated, good looking website about quality pool products.
Anyway, I'm completely locked up in analysis at this point and I plan to open the pool in 2-3 weeks. I'm sure others could benefit from a 2015 conversation about what is available and why it is worth purchasing. Any insights would be greatly appreciated.