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Thread: Robotic Cleaner Experiences

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    Robotic Cleaner Experiences

    Hi All,

    Since I can not find robotic pool cleaners in my Consumer Reports magazine I am hoping that I might be able to draw out a few posts on any personal experiences with these devices. I am considering replacing our Polaris 380 with a robotic cleaner. I have two primary factors/assumptions for considering the change; 1) it shoud clean as well or better than the Polaris 380, and 2) it should utilize less electricity in the process.

    Any brands/models with good experiences, and any to avoid? I noted recommendations around a remote control in other posts. Other recommendations or considerations when purchasing a robotic cleaner?

    Thank you.
    25'X40', 23,000 gallon IG Pool with Gemstone Sandstone Tigers Eye Lagoon Pebble Finish
    Pentair TritonĀ® II TR 140, 925# Sand Filter
    2.0 HP Jandy Stealth Pump for filtration and SR Smith TurboTwister water slide
    1.5 HP Jandy Stealth Pump for 3 Sheer Descents
    Blue Diamond Robotic Cleaner

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Robotic Cleaner Experiences

    The User Control Panel link is just under the TFP logo at the top of the page.

    I recommend the remote because I think it allows you to more fully realize the technology you're already paying for. The most common ones I see around are the Aquabot and Dolphin, and manufacturer support is better for the Aquabot.

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    Re: Robotic Cleaner Experiences

    Is the 380 not getting the pool clean? I have the 280 and it keeps our pool spotless. It only runs for about 1.5 hours a day and I'm amazed at how well it cleans, especially at this time of year when the Live Oak trees are dropping their leaves.
    26,000 Gallon Gunnite IGP
    2 HP Challenger High Head Pump
    60sf Nautilus DE filter
    Polaris 280

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    Re: Robotic Cleaner Experiences

    The 380 seems to be getting the job done, but because it uses a booster pump that runs daily with the filter pump I was thinking that a robotic cleaner could just be put in once or twice a week and use far less electricity.
    25'X40', 23,000 gallon IG Pool with Gemstone Sandstone Tigers Eye Lagoon Pebble Finish
    Pentair TritonĀ® II TR 140, 925# Sand Filter
    2.0 HP Jandy Stealth Pump for filtration and SR Smith TurboTwister water slide
    1.5 HP Jandy Stealth Pump for 3 Sheer Descents
    Blue Diamond Robotic Cleaner

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Robotic Cleaner Experiences

    Only hear say but I have heard many good things about Blue Diamond and when my suction cleaner gives out, I will probably go with that one. Now and then I read posts about problems with Dolphins so I plan on avoiding those.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Robotic Cleaner Experiences

    Do not discount the size of your pool......IMO, it is the key factor in choosing a cleaner.

    If you have a small pool, most less expensive cleaners do fine and a bigger, more powerful one is overkill.

    Imagine trying to clean a 100,000 gallon pool with a suction side cleaner.....it's not gonna' happen.

    So, to oversimplify , suction sides work well in small pools, pressure sides for medium pools, and robots are the best for larger pools.

    If your current cleaner is not doing a good job, there is a good chance it is undersized for your pool.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Robotic Cleaner Experiences

    I've had about 4 Aquabots. They all have worked great. The latest one cleans a 38000 SF pool in about 1 hour and has a 4 year warranty. They aren't cheap and plan to spend some money yearly for new belts and brushes and about every 2 years a new motor. The motor is covered under warranty. Of course this depends on how often you use it. Before the extended warranty it was cheaper to trade in than to get a new motor.
    Gary
    18 x 38 28800 gals gunite inground;Purex Triton High Rate Sand Filter;1 HP 2 Speed Hayward Tristar Pump; Raypak Heater
    Aquabot Bravo; Goldline Aqua Logic Controller/SWG

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    Re: Robotic Cleaner Experiences

    Many of my customers have sold both the Aquabot and the Dolphin Diagnostic. Ditto with the Tigershark. All these $1500+ cleaners seem to do the job, but all have one disadvantage...major service is often done at a remote location, the proverbial "New Jersey".

    Depending on other feedback, I've had some success stories from the Smartpool Nitro robotic cleaners. They are, admittedly, just a couple of notches above "toy" level, in that they are plastic. However, it does come with a cart, and a power contol converting to 12v, and every part is "dealer serviceable". All parts are easily replaced, reasonably inexpensive, and available.

    Most all of my large service companies use Hammerheads.
    http://www.swimmingpool.com/

    "Leave the gun...take the cannolis"

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Robotic Cleaner Experiences

    I have a Dolphin Dynamic and I have been very happy with it. Cleaning the bag is more difficult than I have heard the Blue Diamond described, but it never bothered me. The remote control has been very useful when I am in a hurry and just want to touch up a couple of spots.

    The Blue Diamond has the best reviews. Keep in mind that all of the brands have both positive and negative reviews. No matter which robotic cleaner you get there is some chance you will have problems with it.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    DaveNJ's Avatar
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    Re: Robotic Cleaner Experiences

    I have a Dolphin Dynamic. Agree with all the comments. A remote is a must on my next cleaner. The current cleaner gets stuck on the main drains quite often. It also likes one particular path across the deep end. Since I go out and check it so much I could run it on a remote.
    IG 18x36 oval vinyl, Spill over spa, Northstar 2hp-2spd, 2.5" piping, S310T 500lb Sand filter, 400k gas heater, AutoPilot SWCG
    http://www.tftestkits.net/

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    Re: Robotic Cleaner Experiences

    Mid to end of season last year I purchased a Blue Diamond (remote model). For the first 10 or so uses I was pleased with it. It then started to intermittently stop working. So I called the manufacturer, who incidentally is located in NJ, and they confirmed that it was indeed defective and that I should send it in for repair, AT MY COST. Keep in mind, these are not light machines and return costs would be quite high. So since I bought it at Sams Club which has an unconditional guarantee/return policy, I called them and explained the situation. They again put me in touch with the manufacturer and again, they tried to get me to return it to them at my cost. Why would I do that if it was defective in the first 30 days? So I opted to just return it to Sam's Club for a full refund, which they were happy to process for me (a definite benefit of buying "local" - they paid for the return shipping as well!).

    Now I will say that for the short time that it did work, it was nice. Cleaned well and quickly. Unfortunately, this was my first robotic pool cleaner so I have nothing to compare it to. Now this season is quickly approaching and I'm torn between which cleaner to get now. In some ways I feel I just got a bum unit, but I think for a $1500 piece of equipment, the manufacturer should at least in the first 30 days offer to pay return shipping for warranty work. So, I'm struggling with giving them another try, or going with the other well reviewed models like the Aquabots, which do cost a little more.

    So anyway, my experience with the Blue Diamond was nice while it worked, but my experience with the manufacturer in the first month left a poor taste in my mouth.
    30K gallon, In-ground Gunite
    Central NJ

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