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Thread: Robotic Cleaners... questions

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    Robotic Cleaners... questions

    My Polaris 480 is 8 years old. I was trying to diagnose why it's always stuck on the steps with Polaris. Come to find out that I'm missing all 4 floats on the leader hose (I'm not the original owner of the house/pool/polaris).

    It also seems I only have one swivel on the entire hose (which is leaking). My debris bag is ripped AND I'm only spinning the wheels at around 26 RPM for some reason. The booster seems to be running ok, and there is a restrictor disc in the UWF.. though I'm not sure what color. The pressure relief valve on the quick disconnect seems stuck so I can't spin it outward to give the cleaner any more pressure all the same.

    Anyway, I'm getting way super tired of trying to keep it running. Last year I replaced the gearbox and it worked OK for a while.

    Looking at some of the Aquabots and Dolphins.

    Can these be run on a timer? It looks like the Aquabot Breeze requires you to press the power button to activate it? Is there any way to plug it into a timer and just let it go?

    I am in TX and my pool "runs" year round.. can I leave this thing in the pool all the time like my Polaris? I don't close down my pool in the winter (though we don't swim in it either, because it's too cold).
    13,000 gallons w/ spa (in-ground) | Plaster pool surface
    2.5HP Jandy Stealth Pump | CL580 Filter | Polaris 480 Pro w/ Halcyon Pump | 400,000 BTU Jandy LT | Jandy Aquapure 3PPM | Jandy PS4

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Robotic Cleaners... questions

    Robotic pool cleaners are not designed to be left in the water. They should be put in, run, and then removed. One or two of the Dolphin models have a timer, but that appears to only be recommended for use during vacations, and not for routine day to day use.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Robotic Cleaners... questions

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    Robotic pool cleaners are not designed to be left in the water. They should be put in, run, and then removed. One or two of the Dolphin models have a timer, but that appears to only be recommended for use during vacations, and not for routine day to day use.
    Doesn't all of that kind of defeat the purpose of a pool cleaner, then?

    Perhaps another Polaris is in the future then. They just seem so finicky! Just the right pressure, just the right spacing on the floats.... no leaks... Maybe I just feel this way because I'm dealing with a 7-8 year old unit instead of a brand new one.
    13,000 gallons w/ spa (in-ground) | Plaster pool surface
    2.5HP Jandy Stealth Pump | CL580 Filter | Polaris 480 Pro w/ Halcyon Pump | 400,000 BTU Jandy LT | Jandy Aquapure 3PPM | Jandy PS4

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Robotic Cleaners... questions

    Yeah, the traditional pressure and suction cleaners work so well for so long that we tend to forget about them. They make rebuild kits and parts for them, sunplay,com has lots of cleaner parts. I am in the same boat with my pressure cleaner starting its 4th pool season and it is not acting right. Maybe I'll just buy another. My cleaner definitely spends a LOT more time in the pool than out, like 90/10. From what I've seen robots need to be replaced every few years.
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    Re: Robotic Cleaners... questions

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Yeah, the traditional pressure and suction cleaners work so well for so long that we tend to forget about them. They make rebuild kits and poarts for them, sunplay,com has lots of cleaner parts. I am in the same boat with my pressure cleaner starting its 4th pool season and it is not acting right. Maybe I'll just buy another. My cleaner definitely spends a LOT more time in the pool than out, like 90/10. From what I've seen robots need to be replaced every few years.

    It's not just a rebuild kit that I need. The previous owners removed 4 floats, at least according to the manual I should have 4 on my leader hose.. there are none. I think I'm missing a swivel (out of 2)... my pressure is down for some unknown reason.. etc
    13,000 gallons w/ spa (in-ground) | Plaster pool surface
    2.5HP Jandy Stealth Pump | CL580 Filter | Polaris 480 Pro w/ Halcyon Pump | 400,000 BTU Jandy LT | Jandy Aquapure 3PPM | Jandy PS4

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    Re: Robotic Cleaners... questions

    So a common "feature" I see with Pool Robots is the purported additional mixing of water. Eg: Moving chemical filled water upward in the water column so the stuff on the top isn't chemically depleted all day long.

    Is there any truth to this? I mean obviously if the water moves upward out the robot, sure.. to a degree... but are we talking about anything noticeable?
    13,000 gallons w/ spa (in-ground) | Plaster pool surface
    2.5HP Jandy Stealth Pump | CL580 Filter | Polaris 480 Pro w/ Halcyon Pump | 400,000 BTU Jandy LT | Jandy Aquapure 3PPM | Jandy PS4

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    Re: Robotic Cleaners... questions

    Another question.

    I have a spa in the corner of my pool that I brush manually and turn "spa drain" on at my Aqualink panel to brush small debris down the drain (carefully)... could I drop the Aquabot in here for a short period (5-10 mins?) or would it have issues do to the small space?

    Or would it just confuse it all to heck and back? I don't know if these have "mapping" logic in them like some floor robots (Neato) that try to map and remember your home to make cleaning quicker.
    13,000 gallons w/ spa (in-ground) | Plaster pool surface
    2.5HP Jandy Stealth Pump | CL580 Filter | Polaris 480 Pro w/ Halcyon Pump | 400,000 BTU Jandy LT | Jandy Aquapure 3PPM | Jandy PS4

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    Re: Robotic Cleaners... questions

    From what I can tell, all cleaners 'mix' the water. Some Dolphin/Maytronics models actually claim this as a feature, but it's purely marketing. Yes, there is a benefit to having your cleaner mix the water, but any cleaner will mix it. Your returns should mix the top/mid water, so you should be fine. Some cleaners shoot water up through and out the top, thus mixing the mid-level water a bit better. But I bet your Polaris does this too, since it shoots up through the bag. Mine does. Well, it did until it died. My Polaris 380 has made it 8 years and it is finally dead. I have replaced almost every part inside and on that thing. Several axles, the floats, bags, tail, you name it. Everything but the drivetrain. Anyways, now it won't work hardly at all, so I've officially killed it and have a new Aquabot Icon XI being shipped my way - finally..

    As for cleaning the Spa, I generally haven't had to clean mine I don't think ever. It does get stuff in it, but eventually it gets pushed out by my main return line which plows up through the center and then water overflows into my pool. Putting in a cleaner in there isn't the worst idea, but it likely won't do much because of the steps and small area. I would just clean it by hand if it doesn't get clean enough. Or you could get a pool vacuum and manually do it by hand. Just pay the kids $5 to do it when it's bad maybe.

    Hope this helps!

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Robotic Cleaners... questions

    your cleaner wont work well in the spa. The area is too small.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mindflux View Post
    Another question.

    I have a spa in the corner of my pool that I brush manually and turn "spa drain" on at my Aqualink panel to brush small debris down the drain (carefully)... could I drop the Aquabot in here for a short period (5-10 mins?) or would it have issues do to the small space?

    Or would it just confuse it all to heck and back? I don't know if these have "mapping" logic in them like some floor robots (Neato) that try to map and remember your home to make cleaning quicker.
    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 Cleaners... questions

    I like the Aquabot version that I have. It does a good job of mixing the water and filtering a lot of sand that sits on the bottom-that I did not realize was there until the first time I cleaned the filter bag. Although it does not move about in the hot tub, I still toss it in and let it mix the water and filter the sand that I cannot get out of the bottom until I do a drain/refill. It's also very nice to plug it in, drop it in the pool, turn it on and go.
    Sharkline Reprieve 15x52 (3/14). Still using Intex 2650 Sand Filter with Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 3/4 HP pump (6/15). Solar Cover cut into strips for easy removal, (2) 2*10 Space Saver solar panels. Swim Jet HD Robot (by Aquabot) (3/15). Chlorine Liquidator (4 gal). 4 person hot tub. Hard pipe is the way to go for improved flow! Retired Lil Shark (3/15). Starite Max E Therm 333k BTU Propane Heater w/ 24 gal tank (7/15).

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    Re: Robotic Cleaners... questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Divin Dave View Post
    your cleaner wont work well in the spa. The area is too small.
    That's what I was thinking too. I just want a way to easily suck up the debris that ends up in there. booo-urns

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by IPvFletch View Post
    From what I can tell, all cleaners 'mix' the water. Some Dolphin/Maytronics models actually claim this as a feature, but it's purely marketing. Yes, there is a benefit to having your cleaner mix the water, but any cleaner will mix it. Your returns should mix the top/mid water, so you should be fine. Some cleaners shoot water up through and out the top, thus mixing the mid-level water a bit better. But I bet your Polaris does this too, since it shoots up through the bag. Mine does. Well, it did until it died. My Polaris 380 has made it 8 years and it is finally dead. I have replaced almost every part inside and on that thing. Several axles, the floats, bags, tail, you name it. Everything but the drivetrain. Anyways, now it won't work hardly at all, so I've officially killed it and have a new Aquabot Icon XI being shipped my way - finally..

    As for cleaning the Spa, I generally haven't had to clean mine I don't think ever. It does get stuff in it, but eventually it gets pushed out by my main return line which plows up through the center and then water overflows into my pool. Putting in a cleaner in there isn't the worst idea, but it likely won't do much because of the steps and small area. I would just clean it by hand if it doesn't get clean enough. Or you could get a pool vacuum and manually do it by hand. Just pay the kids $5 to do it when it's bad maybe.

    Hope this helps!
    I know even the Polaris 'mixes' water.. but I don't think it does 70 gallons per minute or whatever the rate the aquabot does.

    I just found it an interesting claim more than anything. I figured mostly marketing hooey.
    13,000 gallons w/ spa (in-ground) | Plaster pool surface
    2.5HP Jandy Stealth Pump | CL580 Filter | Polaris 480 Pro w/ Halcyon Pump | 400,000 BTU Jandy LT | Jandy Aquapure 3PPM | Jandy PS4

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    Re: Robotic Cleaners... questions

    I'm sure the Polaris doesn't mix 70gpm, but it sure is a lot. Have you ever run it out of the water (like when fighting with it or troubleshooting it)? Oh man, it soaks you - quick. (btw, the best way to do that is troubleshoot it on the 1st step or a swim platform, which keeps it mostly under water, but still reachable). Anyways, good riddance!! Can't wait for my new Aquabot!!

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    Re: Robotic Cleaners... questions

    Quote Originally Posted by IPvFletch View Post
    I'm sure the Polaris doesn't mix 70gpm, but it sure is a lot. Have you ever run it out of the water (like when fighting with it or troubleshooting it)? Oh man, it soaks you - quick. (btw, the best way to do that is troubleshoot it on the 1st step or a swim platform, which keeps it mostly under water, but still reachable). Anyways, good riddance!! Can't wait for my new Aquabot!!
    Yeah my Polaris has been acting weird for a while. The swivel is leaking, but I don't think that's enough to the wheels run just 26 RPM when the manual suggests 33-36 if I remember right.

    I replaced the gearbox last year.. so the drive train should be OK.

    One thing about the robots is the lack of leave-it-in factor.. hoping that doesn't cause me grief removing it from the pool daily.
    13,000 gallons w/ spa (in-ground) | Plaster pool surface
    2.5HP Jandy Stealth Pump | CL580 Filter | Polaris 480 Pro w/ Halcyon Pump | 400,000 BTU Jandy LT | Jandy Aquapure 3PPM | Jandy PS4

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    Re: Robotic Cleaners... questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mindflux View Post
    One thing about the robots is the lack of leave-it-in factor.. hoping that doesn't cause me grief removing it from the pool daily.
    This is my biggest gripe too. I have read a LOT of posts on various forums saying folks leave their robots in. Some have left them in for YEARS!! I care mostly because of the cost.. it's a lot more to replace a robot than a Polaris. One other thing I've noticed is plastic does OK for long periods of time in the pool, but as soon as you take it out, its color fades and looks horrible in just an hour or so. I suppose it is from being in the water so long, but it seems leaving it in is better for it, at least visually. Then again, an electric robot cleaner also likely has rubber seals protecting the inner circuitry and motor, and I know from experience rubber seals break down over time in chlorinated water.. so I'm not sure if I will risk it with my new robot.. :\

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    Re: Robotic Cleaners... questions

    Quote Originally Posted by IPvFletch View Post
    This is my biggest gripe too. I have read a LOT of posts on various forums saying folks leave their robots in. Some have left them in for YEARS!! I care mostly because of the cost.. it's a lot more to replace a robot than a Polaris. One other thing I've noticed is plastic does OK for long periods of time in the pool, but as soon as you take it out, its color fades and looks horrible in just an hour or so. I suppose it is from being in the water so long, but it seems leaving it in is better for it, at least visually. Then again, an electric robot cleaner also likely has rubber seals protecting the inner circuitry and motor, and I know from experience rubber seals break down over time in chlorinated water.. so I'm not sure if I will risk it with my new robot.. :\
    The Aquabot Breeze 4WD was no more than a new Polaris for me. I just hope it does a decent job.

    I guess we'll see how I feel about it after a couple weeks. It just landed today so I'll try it out this week... though I need somewhere to store this thing out of the sun when not in use.. hrm
    13,000 gallons w/ spa (in-ground) | Plaster pool surface
    2.5HP Jandy Stealth Pump | CL580 Filter | Polaris 480 Pro w/ Halcyon Pump | 400,000 BTU Jandy LT | Jandy Aquapure 3PPM | Jandy PS4

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    Re: Robotic Cleaners... questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mindflux View Post
    One thing about the robots is the lack of leave-it-in factor.. hoping that doesn't cause me grief removing it from the pool daily.
    I put mine in once a week, maybe twice a week once in a while.
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    Re: Robotic Cleaners... questions

    I'd be afraid for some debris to stain the bottom of my pool like a leaf or something else. I like to see a clean pool when I step outside. I'll probably run 3-4 times a week if not more.

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    Re: Robotic Cleaners... questions

    Seems to me that you can't just leave any cleaner in the pool (except for suction side cleaners that vacuum all the gunk into your filter) because they have to be removed after one or two cycles to clean them. Dead earthworms and insects just reek when left trapped in the pool cleaner and foul your water when the cleaner is turned back on without cleaning it. So, if you have to pull the thing out of the water to clean it you might just as well store it on its caddy until the next use. I've had 2 suction side Barracudas which were useless, a pressure side Jandy which was not bad but was high maintenance with a zillion parts to replace and only worked with the pump running and now a Dolphin M4. The Dolphin is in a completely different league and I recommend it hands down. Other bots may work just as well but the robot route is the way to go imho.

    One other thing with the Dolphin, it has a 3 year warranty and repairs are all done by the local dealer so there's no DIY aspect to owning the thing. I view that as a positive but others may not. Parts are not available.
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