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Thread: Dolphin Premier M5 - 4th Season Refurb

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Dolphin Premier M5 - 4th Season Refurb

    Hey all, I recently did some refurb work on my Dolphin robot and thought I would share the info. I learned a few things talking with the Dealer Tech as well. I did this because I noticed some lack of performance on a couple of things that got my attention. As I have said many times, I have never bought a product I was more impressed with for a pool or otherwise, but there were clearly some issues.

    First I noticed he was missing some areas, always in the shallow end. This never happened quite like this before, but I had some clues late last summer. for the sake of brevity, I'll just say I couldn't dig into it at the time, and winter came around. This spring, I knew something was wrong so I started watching it during some runs and it was clear he wasn't getting done in the shallow end for some reason. But I finally noticed why, and it was simply because he wasn't getting there. On most angled approaches from deep to shallow, he was sliding sideways to varying degrees and turning back down to the deep. Strange, but I kept watching. Before long it was apparently due to lack of traction. So upon close inspection, it was evident that the tracks were worn way down, but was this why he wasn't climbing as well too? I also noticed they seemed much harder than I remember, so I started looking for parts where I had bought a new set of filters and discovered something else. The foam rings were listed in the parts page and they were called climbing rings. Bingo! Never knew that, but decided to call before ordering everything and see what the dealer had to say. Of course the tech was off already, but they assured me he would call first thing Monday and sure enough he did. He confirmed I was on the right trail, so I ordered tracks and rings. Once installed, it was evidently long overdue. The tech said probably about a year late based on all my facts from usage to water chemistry. He did say it would make big difference, but I think he was being conservative. It runs like it did when new, so I couldn't be happier. I'll post the pics, and maybe share some other facts and tips on another post, but check on yours, and see if it might need this too. It's about $80 or so in parts, but super easy to do. Well worth the time and money to be sure.

    Here we are with side panel, and one roller removed, and maybe I need to make another post about getting it apart. Anyway...




    Some parts. I got new dust flaps as well, also a big difference and obviously needed but one had a mouse hole chewed in it. Thanks mouse.



    Belts compared side by side clearly worn, and a lot on the outside edges.



    Finally, one more parts view, mostly comparing new and old foam climbing rings. Three hard seasons did them in no question. Interestingly, these were shipped wet. The technician said they get them dry, but ship them wet them for their customers so they don't think something is wrong when they get them.



    The Technician was very gracious with his time, and answered a few questions for me, and encouraged me to call back anytime for help or questions. When they said he would call me back on Monday I was skeptical, but pleasantly surprised that Morning. So, a couple of things he told me, I thought worth a mention.

    1. The motors are rated at a 1000 hour lifespan, but he said in all but a few rare cases they are seeing this surpassed regularly, and by a nice margin. If by chance you go this route with yours, it has to be replaced in house now, but it sounds risky doing it yourself and risking a motor flood from something simple you didn't know about doing or not. Sometimes it can be worth a motor versus all new though he said.

    2. Although made to stay submerged, the units will last longer if not left that way for it's lifespan, so occasional removal when not used for periods can only help. Provided you don't keep them out in the sun. That's a killer.

    If you have questions or decide to do this, or need help, simply let me know, and I'll be happy too if I can in any way.

    See post 27 & 28 for disassembly instructions.
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Dolphin Premier M5 - 4th Season Refurb

    Great post, Patrick. Thanks for writing that up and including the comparison pictures. I'm sure many will be helped seeing them.



    Matt
    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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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Dolphin Premier M5 - 4th Season Refurb

    Thank you Sir!
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    Re: Dolphin Premier M5 - 4th Season Refurb

    Very nice! I'm so glad there are DIY fixes on this model and that parts are reasonably priced! The parts comparison pics are great. Over a long period of time, it's hard to notice how much something gets worn down. Thanks!

    Crystal
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    Re: Dolphin Premier M5 - 4th Season Refurb

    Thanks Patrick!!

    I'll be honest, mine is in the water most of the pool season. I'll bet it's time for me to take a look at this.
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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Dolphin Premier M5 - 4th Season Refurb

    Mine too Tim. I used to remove him all the time, but got lazy with it I guess. I may start again.
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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Dolphin Premier M5 - 4th Season Refurb

    Doing a little cross linking here for anyone interested in these units.

    Dolphin Supreme M Series Owner’s Club
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    BobbyR's Avatar
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    Re: Dolphin Premier M5 - 4th Season Refurb

    Very informative thread. I replaced the climbing rings on my M4 last year as they were obviously worn out. Same symptoms as you had - wouldn't climb the vertical walls and was sliding and skidding on the sloped portions of the pool. Didn't think to replace the tracks but will check this out tomorrow. It probably needs them. This is the only service the unit has required since buying it and it's a good thing. The dealer was terrible. It took over two months to get these simple parts ordered and into my hands. This is a minor complaint but Maytronics should take more care to properly qualify their dealers. Such a fine product deserves a competent dealer.

    btw, thanks for the reply on my other post.
    Lagoon 40x22, Vinyl, 27,000 gal, 1HP WhisperFlo Pump, Pentair 60 gpm Sand filter, Hayward Brominator (used for chlorine pucks only when away), Rheem gas heater, Dolphin M4 Robot
    Waterfall on separate dedicated pump

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Dolphin Premier M5 - 4th Season Refurb

    You're quite welcome Sir.

    Just having ordered my second round of parts this summer, I will have mine for the bottom brush by week's end from Marina pool and spa. The customer service and followup could not be better. Their parts and filter prices are the best Ive been able to find. Call them when you need something.


    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    Thanks Patrick!!

    I'll be honest, mine is in the water most of the pool season. I'll bet it's time for me to take a look at this.
    Did you ever look into yours Tim?
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    Re: Dolphin Premier M5 - 4th Season Refurb

    So I pulled my Bot the other day, and noticed something strange with the bottom brush. Kind of a fluke, as I usually don't look, and I've just recently started sitting him on his side for next round prep. I knew it wasn't right, but thought I would give it a look after filter changes. When I open the carts, there were two strips of bristle in one of them, so this was really weird now.



    Once removed, I found some issues, namely that the center bearing appeared to have a lot of wear, creating slack in the middle. It was actually the slack and mis-alignment or the brushes that first caught my eye. Further inspection revealed severe wear on the final drive gears at the brush ends. You can see the old and new set here, and notice how much play is in the old one.



    In the following picture and the last one, you can see just how much of the center bearing is gone. Pretty astounding so much could be worn away, but as WoodyP so affectionately says, my pool is a sand pit. True enough, as fine blow sand and dust are constant companions out here, but its still pretty amazing to see this happen when it's constantly flooded.



    Unfortunately, none of the parts for this part of the unit are sold separately. You have to buy the whole assy, but after closer inspection and install I kind of see why. If you look closely at the pics, you can see how much the bristles are worn down too. I never even noticed really until editing the photos. What I will likely never figure out is how two strips of them were pulled out of their slots. Something significant happened at the time of failure which was this last run. I suspect the end gears had worn for some time being mis-aligned with with the mains, but something jammed and ripped out two of those strips in the process. Notice how much the gear teeth are worn down here...old and new for comparison.



    But there is more. When the new parts arrived, there was something included I didn't have when I removed this assembly. You can see the tube sticking out the end of the new set there above. There is no question that this created the possibility for this to occur, and or sped the process. Either they forgot to install this when my bot was made, or they have added this support "axle" to later units since then. I highly suspect the former, but will talk to Seth pretty soon and find out. The old parts are made to accept it, so I suspect it was a fluke during final assembly of my unit. If you have an M5, it's worth removing 4 scews to find out if perhaps yours got missed too. I'll report the findings once I know.

    In any event, and at least for mine, 3 seasons of frequent hard labor in the sand pit have taken a toll on wear parts. I have harsh conditions, have never babied this unit, and I'm sure that overall, my conditions are tougher than most. Bad water, frequent use, and lots of mess to clean. I still can't complain, and may have noticed some of these things last season, but again I wasn't around for much of it. I'd say no matter what your conditions are, you should take a look at all this seasons two and three for any replacement or PM work you may need to do.



    Lastly, this answers a question that comes up or has in my mind more than once. I had enough tree wash following some rain to find out the bottom brush makes a noticeable difference having run mine completely without it. After yesterday, its was evident that the new one clearly worked better than the old as well. They didn't go to the cost and trouble of engineering this into the unit for no reason. So if you've also wondered if it makes any difference, it absolutely does. It doesn't really scrub, but it sure sweeps the surface and helps get all the dust and debris up for filtering.
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    Re: Dolphin Premier M5 - 4th Season Refurb

    Patrick,

    This is great info and good to know how to make the M like new again. I will be using this in the future. I have thought that the middle brush helps with getting dirt and debris into the filters. Now we have that confirmed! Thanks for running that test and reporting back. Here's to many more years of reliable service!

    C
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    Re: Dolphin Premier M5 - 4th Season Refurb

    Good info, Patrick, Thanks!
    30000 gal inground vinyl liner;sand filter w/glass media, nuvo uv, TF-100 test kit; 25 years on Baquacil, converted to TFP chlorine in 2016

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Dolphin Premier M5 - 4th Season Refurb

    Yes, I'd say you're right about sand vs. nylon + time = nylon loses. That wear is a bit surprising though. So, what is your running tally for the parts cost?
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    Re: Dolphin Premier M5 - 4th Season Refurb

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Yes, I'd say you're right about sand vs. nylon + time = nylon loses. That wear is a bit surprising though. So, what is your running tally for the parts cost?
    Yep, Nylon is definitely the loser every time. I have a feeling Maytronics made the mistake on this latest one though. I haven't found out yet, but I'm sure I will confirm that axle should have been there. Even if it's a design update, it cost me some cash, and I really feel this wouldn't be needed yet. Still, I've had no other issues and wear parts I don't hold against them. All in all I have no heartburn with my cleaner truly back to new. So let's see...

    Tracks and rings-$80
    Dust flaps -$10 (only needed one in reality)
    Bott Brush Assy - $85

    Shipping & handling, and Beer, it's pretty well a $200 bill, but I never considered the cleaner a real cost since it was part of the build, and had I not done it, I'd be stuck with a pressure cleaner setup. I can't say how glad I am to have avoided that. I will say, some of their parts costs make no sense when you compare the different ones, and what they sell for. No sense at all.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Dolphin Premier M5 - 4th Season Refurb

    Not bad, 50 bucks a year for lots of good cleaning. I'll take that. Yes, I would have been happy to skip the whole pressure cleaner thing. It was never very good and often wasn't good at all.
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    Re: Dolphin Premier M5 - 4th Season Refurb

    You started with one DV?
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Dolphin Premier M5 - 4th Season Refurb

    We started with a Pentair Legend II pressure cleaner. Not awesome.
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    Re: Dolphin Premier M5 - 4th Season Refurb

    Patrick. This is great. This is exactly what I am having trouble with! Identical issues! Did you order your parts online or at your local store?
    Pool Owner since Sept. 2014, but 2012(ish) in-ground pool. 40'x'20x3'(shallow)-8'(deep). Around 28,000 gallons. Vinyl liner. SWG. Aqua Rite with Hayward T-15 cell. Hayward Super Pump (self priming). Hayward Sand Filter. AquaPro Pro1100e Heat Pump. 2 main drains. 2 skimmers. 2 jets. 1 light. 1 diving board. Dolphin M4. TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Dolphin Premier M5 - 4th Season Refurb

    Online, and here is the parts page you need. This is the best place I know of to get them. By far they have the best price on filters too.

    Robotic Replacement Parts - Maytronics Supreme M500 | Marina Pool Spa & Patio

    I mentioned it over on the other thread, but old pleated filters allow less flow, and this reduces climbing ability as well.

    Got to thinking about it, and I'm going to add a couple of disassembly tips. Ill have this done before your parts arrive wkusae31.
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    Re: Dolphin Premier M5 - 4th Season Refurb

    Got it. That's the same website that I found while trying to troubleshoot. Thanks for all of the great info. I guess it's time for me to give the M5 a tune-up.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Patrick. One last question. I had a lot of tiny holes in my pool liner (6 years old). Do you think the Dolphin could have caused those from being stuck in one position or having worn out tracks/rings? I did not notice anything abrasive, but I had to replace my liner after only 6 years and the people changing it out showed me a ton of little pin/pen size holes.
    Pool Owner since Sept. 2014, but 2012(ish) in-ground pool. 40'x'20x3'(shallow)-8'(deep). Around 28,000 gallons. Vinyl liner. SWG. Aqua Rite with Hayward T-15 cell. Hayward Super Pump (self priming). Hayward Sand Filter. AquaPro Pro1100e Heat Pump. 2 main drains. 2 skimmers. 2 jets. 1 light. 1 diving board. Dolphin M4. TF-100 Test Kit.

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