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Thread: Dolphin Pool Cleaners -- Can They Rip Pool Liners?

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    Dolphin Pool Cleaners -- Can They Rip Pool Liners?

    I bought a Dolphin Pro 2011 for our pool almost a year ago and since about the second week it has been causing us problems. I noticed the water level dropping substantially every day, more than what could be contributed to evaporation.

    So, I called out the pool company to take a look and they couldn't find any immediate problems. So, on came his dive suit and into the pool he went.

    Ultimately, he said he was able to find about a dozen, very small tears in the liner. They ranged from the bottom of the pool all the way to the wall. He commented that he's repaired several dozen pools in the areas, all with very similar tears ... a lot of them use the dolphin. However he's never been able to confirm that it's the dolphin doing it, just that it seems to be the common link between all of the homes.

    The liner itself we had gutted last season. It was all removed, the foundation and base were reinspected, etc and then had a new liner installed. Filled it up, let it sit for two weeks, divers got in, etc --- certified leak free, pre-dolphin.

    So, the basic question still stands. Has anyone else heard or experienced anything like this?

    I called Maytronics and they very quickly said that this was news to them. That they had never received a call about the dolphin causing tears in pool liners nor had any of their products produced such results in their tests. This may very well be true but of course, in my opinion, I need to take what they say with a grain of salt.
    27' round/4 feet deep above ground pool
    ProClean by Waterway cartridge pool filter (125 square foot)
    Flowrate- 125 gpm

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Dolphin Pool Cleaners -- Can They Rip Pool Liners?

    Welcome to TFP.

    My guess, barring really bad water chemistry the last year, is that you might have a liner issue such as an mis-sized liner or flaws in the base that contributed to the damage.

    Maytronics is notoriously unsupportive, and I expect they'd give you the same answer if they had gotten 100,000 calls complaining about the same problem.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Dolphin Pool Cleaners -- Can They Rip Pool Liners?

    Welcome to TFP!!

    If Maytronics said "this was news to them", yours must have been the first call they've ever answered

    The company I work for sells the VERY similar TigerShark and I've seen wear on the liner pattern where there are ridges - all it takes to make wear a hole is for the ridge to be sharp!

    He commented that he's repaired several dozen pools in the areas, all with very similar tears ... a lot of them use the dolphin. However he's never been able to confirm that it's the dolphin doing it, just that it seems to be the common link between all of the homes.
    There is one other common link - his company! If they aren't thoroughly sweeping the bottom and scraping the walls to remove pebbles and 'splats' , any sharp protrusion WILL succumb to the 'gentle rubbing action' of the Dolphin and become a pinhole leak

    Also, if the patches weren't applied with EXTREME care, the Dolphin will 'eat' them off the liner

    I'd be more apt to blame the liner installers than the Dolphin - though for the Dolphin manufacturers to say they've never heard of this is ridiculous to the extreme

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    Please let us know if you find out more on your situation
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: Dolphin Pool Cleaners -- Can They Rip Pool Liners?

    I am in the market for a robot for my pool. I dont really like pressure or suction cleaners. I am just looking to plug and drop my robot and remove after a couple hours . I have been reading alot of recommendations from the forum. But then I came to this thread. My liner has many little ridges. Are there better models that wont get caught and tear my liner.
    INTEX ULTRA FRAME RECTANGULAR POOL SET, 32' x 16' x 52", Water Capacity (90%): 14,364 Gallons
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    Re: Dolphin Pool Cleaners -- Can They Rip Pool Liners?

    After consulting with the company some more and providing photographs of the interior of the robot, and that of the damage to the liner, they believed there is a fault on two rotators (?) on the ends of the brushes that is not only bigger than intended but they weren't probably smoothed out.

    So in short, the company has asked us to send in the robot (their expense), they confirmed what they thought.

    They've agreed to provide a new robot and replace the liner for the pool.
    27' round/4 feet deep above ground pool
    ProClean by Waterway cartridge pool filter (125 square foot)
    Flowrate- 125 gpm

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    Re: Dolphin Pool Cleaners -- Can They Rip Pool Liners?

    Balatro, thank you for the update!! I'm very happy that they will not only replace the unit but also the liner

    I hope you don't have any more trouble with the pool


    Childman, welcome to TFP!!

    Small ridges shouldn't show wear for a couple of seasons (they also shouldn't be there ) IMO, Polaris is the most gentle on ridges, though the tail will eventually rub the pattern of a crease or ridge However, it's a pressure side cleaner, which you said you don't prefer. As long as the ridges are small and the bot doesn't just sit in those areas for a few minutes at a time while you run it, the pattern shouldn't be removed for years
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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