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Thread: Doheny Discovery, Dolphin S300, M4, (M400), M5, (M500), Z5? Buying our 1st pool robot

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    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Question Doheny Discovery, Dolphin S300, M4, (M400), M5, (M500), Z5? Buying our 1st pool robot

    Good Morning!
    We live in PA, near Lake Erie. We have an inground, vinyl liner, (replaced last year), inserted plastic? step unit at the side, pool. We installed the pool ourselves, (at the side of our house, which is located in the woods), about 20 years ago, and have had to replace the liner only twice during that time. We are still happy with our pool, but six children, (2 at home, 4 now married), and 13 grandchildren later, we would like a little less pool cleaning time, and additional farming and kayaking time!
    Our youngest daughter, (24) and our youngest son, (22), asked Santa for a robot cleaner for our pool this year. Santa agreed but wanted to wait until spring to purchase one.
    It is now spring.
    I have been trying to do my research and this is what I have come up with so far:
    People like all different brands for all different reasons. (Kind of like Chevys and Fords....We go a different route and drive Jeeps! )
    Many have posted that they like the Doheny Discovery. I read that it used to be $649. It is now $719. (and they say it will also have a handling charge of $10.) Perhaps waiting until about June might bring down the price! The Discovery seems to have a better collection unit which utilizes a basket instead of a bottom attached net, (which people say is a real pain.) But it seems to only have a cleaning time of 2 hours, which several people do not think is long enough, and no swiveling chord.
    I have a flip phone and a blue-tooth set up isn't high up on our list.
    Some people like the Dolphin S300, M400, M500, or Z5. Dolphin is said to clean very well, but have bottom attached bags.
    Some units have swivels for the cord and some do not. Some people are saying that swivels really don't matter that much.
    Our local pool dealer has some cleaners for sale at much higher prices than online, along with posted signs that say that all warranties are void if purchased from on-line dealers.
    Some warranties are for 3 years, and some may be for 5 years.
    A robot which has a top debris catching unit are able to have a middle brush on the bottom which helps with cleaning and possibly maneuvering around and over the bottom main drain.
    A caddy seems to be a needed accessory, but is it only for pushing around the cleaner, or is there also another reason? Is the cleaner that heavy?
    How am I doing so far?
    I would truly appreciate any updated advise on robot cleaners. There are good threads on this forum about them. It seems that a few are ones just purchased last year, (and before), and I would like to know if those people would buy the same model again and why, or why not, and if not, what would they now buy. Are the older versions still the better ones, and why? And if to purchase one online or from a distributor.
    I would like to thank everyone for their answers and I am sorry if it seems that I am beating a dead horse.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    DFW, TX

    Re: Doheny Discovery, Dolphin S300, M4, (M400), M5, (M500), Z5? Buying our 1st pool r

    I love my Doheny's Discovery (S200) purchased last summer. No caddy and don't need one. It isn't heavy I have a pool hut to store it with a hook on the wall for a cord when it isn't in the pool. Top load basket is super easy to clean. 2 hour cycle is plenty and we have a LOT of trees. If you don't have a smart phone then there is no need to get the S300. More about my cleaner in my pool thread, link in sig. Also more more here, First Robotic Cleaner, Doheny's Discovery
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: Doheny Discovery, Dolphin S300, M4, (M400), M5, (M500), Z5? Buying our 1st pool r

    Dolphin S300i owner here. It has great options and a top loading basket that integrates a fine and coarse filter screen so no need to change out filter types. I love it and a 2 hour cycle is more than enough to do my 16000 gallon 18x38 freeform pool.

    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Paul & Crystal's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Oklahoma City, OK

    Re: Doheny Discovery, Dolphin S300, M4, (M400), M5, (M500), Z5? Buying our 1st pool r


    You have a pretty good start on your search! I was right where you are about 6 weeks ago I ended up with the Dolphin M500. It does come with a nice cart and a remote. I have not used the remote yet, but I plan to check it out pretty soon. I hear that you have settings on it that make it clean only the bottom, or both bottom and sides, or more sides. I will use that when I get around to it. Now Pooldv who has the very fine Doheny's Discovery cleaner which I was also very interested in is apparently more of a Tarzan type and doesn't need a cart. But for most women or teens, a robot can be pretty heavy to lug around. So you might consider who is going to be using it. Some people leave their robot in the pool all the time. I get mine out every time. I really use the cart. I don't think you said how big your pool is. My pool is large so I needed something pretty substantial. If your pool is small to medium, you probably have more options. Top loading, whether basket or cartridges was a very important feature for me. I did not want to have to turn this thing over all the time to get at a bottom loader. When I saw them in person...I knew I did not want to be doing that. Now Joyful also has a very good bot that I also loved. Ultimately, my decision came down to the dual motors, the third brush, and the cart for the M500 simply because I felt that's what my particular pool required.

    Best of luck in your search and post update on your choice!

    60K 53 X 23 X 3'-10' IG Grecian Concrete aka "The Beast"
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    Patrick_B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Midland TX

    Re: Doheny Discovery, Dolphin S300, M4, (M400), M5, (M500), Z5? Buying our 1st pool r

    I can't add much to what Crystal said, and I couldn't possibly care less about the Bluetooth features on the new models. This is the only big difference I am aware of, but I wont agree the swivel doesnt matter. While less than perfect, I think it would truly be a nightmare without one. Considering all the positives with the upper end Dolphins, this is a tiny flaw in comparison. I traded the install cost of a pressure cleaner setup on my build, and have said many times it was the single best decision we made. I wouldn't want to be without mine, and will replace it in kind should it fail without consideration for anything else. I put mine through extreme duty, and it's been a dream to have.
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