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Thread: Deciding on Robot for Vinyl - please help

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    Lightbulb Deciding on Robot for Vinyl - please help

    Hi All,

    I'm ready to purchase a robot and like most just trying to settle on the right one... Can anyone with Vinyl pool and good success with a robot comment. (Or if you think I should cross one off the list) These are in the running...

    Dolphin NautilusPlus or Z5 (higher end) - worried that either of these will get stuck on the bottom drain because of their roller design and the higher investment is wasted.

    Ecojet Plus - don't know much about it except recommended by Epic Pools. Worried like the Aquabot Breeze XLS it is better suited for Gunite pools not vinyl.

    Doheny Wall Climber - looks like it's the better option for vinyl, little more expensive than Breeze but cheapest on this list.

    Thanks so much.
    Just got new liner, installed SWG, and what to grab this last item!

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding on Robot for Vinyl - please help

    I don't have experience with any of these but can say that my AquaVac Tigershark (now Hayward) with a similar roller design as the Nautilus does on rare occasions get hung up on the main drain. It usually isn't permanent and it works itself off after a minute or two but on a couple occasions the last two years, I have had to pull the cord to dislodge it and get it roaming again.

    Otherwise, it does a great job with fine dust, bugs and worms on my vinyl pool, but not the greatest if you have a lot of leaves.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Deciding on Robot for Vinyl - please help

    I have both a tigershark and an M4 dolphin.

    That said, I prefer the dolphin. The included filters are easier to clean and it seems to not spend its entire life on the walls like the tigershark did. They both work well, just prefer the dolphin.


    30x20 vinyl IG, Hayward SD60 with Pentair Dynamo 340219 2HP pump, Compupool CPSC24 SWG, Hayward H200FDN heater. APC automatic pool cover.
    Central Illinois

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    Re: Deciding on Robot for Vinyl - please help

    Thanks JVTrain, any worry about damage to the liner or fading because of that?

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding on Robot for Vinyl - please help

    Quote Originally Posted by tjao View Post
    Thanks JVTrain, any worry about damage to the liner or fading because of that?
    Fading the liner because it gets stranded on the drain occasionally? Nah. Fading will only occur quickly if you allow chlorine levels to be too high for prolonged periods or allow chlorine to settle on the bottom in liquid or solid form. It's just less efficient at cleaning the whole pool if it's wasting time "spinning its wheels" on the MD.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Deciding on Robot for Vinyl - please help

    The Nautilus has only 1 year warranty, so I'm thinking the Dolphin Triton or Advantage plus with a two year warranty is worth it. Advantage comes with remote and caddy too.
    Doheny has a model powered by Dolphin called Discovery that looks just like these two... Same remote and all. $100 cheaper. I'm thinking that's top of the list now...
    Anyone have any experience with Dolphin Triton or Doheny's off brand version? And is it a big concern for vinyl for these to get stuck a few minutes?

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding on Robot for Vinyl - please help

    I have a Nautilus and I have a inground vinyl pool. Nautilus works fantastic in my pool.
    I dont have a main drain, so cannot comment on that part.
    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: Deciding on Robot for Vinyl - please help

    Divin Dave! Thanks.
    Would you spend the extra money for the warranty/handle/and remote after using the Nautilus?
    Nautilus seems like a great deal at $560 (without handle)

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding on Robot for Vinyl - please help

    Knowing what I know now, I definitely would spend the extra money for the handle.
    I dont need a remote. I just push the button to start it and it stops on its own 3 hours later. Pool is clean. Thats good enough for ol' Dave.

    I have my fingers crossed that my Nautilus will make it 3 years without a problem. If it does, I will consider it a really good investment.
    Ive had it a little over a year now, warranty is out. I use my cleaner at least 3 or 4 times a week almost year round and no problems at all.


    Quote Originally Posted by tjao View Post
    Divin Dave! Thanks.
    Would you spend the extra money for the warranty/handle/and remote after using the Nautilus?
    Nautilus seems like a great deal at $560 (without 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: Deciding on Robot for Vinyl - please help

    I have an Aquabot Bravo that wasn't cheap but I think is one of those private label bots. It does get stuck on the drain but that doesn't bother me, because I look for it and just tug the cord when its on there. I have had it for 4 years and am quite happy with it. Now that I have jinxed it I am sure it will break now.
    IG Vinyl -30,000 (20x40)
    Hayward Pro Grid DE Filter/Hayward rebuilt 1 HP Pump
    AutoPilot DIG-220 RC52 SWCG
    TF-100 Test Kit
    Aquabot Bravo

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding on Robot for Vinyl - please help

    I am now on my 3rd Robot, the first two were older design Dolphin Diagnostic / Diagnostic Pro and both worked ok on my vinyl pool, but I have no bottom drain, I just replaced the dead Diagnostic Pro with a Aquabot Turbo-T (not Turbo-jet -T) crawler style robot and it works much better than the Dolpin, the Turbo-T is the lowest level model Aquabot offers with a cleaning jet in addition to plain vacuum, and it makes a big difference on fine dust, which is a lot of my problem. Speed and water volume moved is also much higher than my old Dolphins. The Turbo T is also offered with a remote, which I intended to buy before finding a deal too good to pass up on the plain Turbo-T on ebay, new no box for $650. Another thing I like about this model is the adjustable digital timer, so I can set cleaning time based on how the pool looks in 1 hour increments.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
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    Re: Deciding on Robot for Vinyl - please help

    I on second season with dolphin I think it's the 4, vinyl pool with two floor drains. It has never gotten stuck on them. Maybe it could, but I haven't had the issues. It doesn't get stuck in deep end or any issues at all. I only vacuumed when yard was straw n dirt before grass and other then that pool is perfect. The dolphin has my vote.
    Using Tapatalk

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    Re: Deciding on Robot for Vinyl - please help

    Isaac,
    Pool store (friend) recommended a Aquabot Supreme. Which I believe is similar to the TurboT. That's what Epic told me to compare it to for online purchase. $999 was his price. Comparable to most online prices for TurboT.

    I think I'll like the Bag better than cartridge filter. Sounds like you like yours...
    Anyone else have an opinion on the bag vs cartridge style of the new Dolphins?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thx for the info Amanda... Aquabot just stuck their hat in the ring because of a friends recommendation... Glad to hear good review

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    Re: Deciding on Robot for Vinyl - please help

    If you haven't bought one yet, I will recommend the Nautilus Plus. I've had mine for about a month and it does a great job. The handle is needed, IMHO. Without it, you would need to both hands to get it out, and I don't see how you could do it without getting in the water. I have not had any problem with mine getting stuck on the bottom drain that I'm aware of, but I don't watch it too much; usually drop it in, hook it up to the power supply and let it do it's thing.
    1994 18X36 IG vinyl, about 24,000 gallons, Hayward sand filter model S244T, 2 speed 1hp pump w/timer, Dolphin Nautilus Plus Robot, in beautiful SW Ohio.

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    Re: Deciding on Robot for Vinyl - please help

    I've been using a Water Tech Blue Diamond for about 10 years now. It hasn't gotten caught up on the main drain and I rebuilt it about four years ago with new parts from the manufacturer. It was an easy DIY project that took about an hour. I don't know what the other brands mentioned cost but this one was about $900 and if it only lasted 2-3 seasons I wouldn't think of buying another one. It has performed well for the 10 years I've used it and I would definately buy another if it becomes unrepairable. The unit comes with a caddy that is very convenient.
    33k 20x40 vinyl, main drain 2 skimmers, Haywood sand 244s, Haywood 2 hp superpump, Clearwater enviro RC-50 ionization system. Built 1987 originally chlorine based switched to ionization in 2006.

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