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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
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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.
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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

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

    We put in a liner pool with the heaviest liner 4 years ago. Purchased the Dolphin with our package. Shortly after we started using the Dolphin I noticed the water level falling. I called the pool company and they knew exactly what the problem was. The Dolphin was making pin holes and small tears in the liner when it tried climbing the walls. They replaced my liner and brought me an older model Dolphin. Not long after, I started noticing the water level going down again. After multiple phone calls the company owner called me. He told me it was a known problem and that they'd had to replace many liners because of the Dolphin. They replaced my liner again and I got a refund on the Dolphin. I now clean manually and use a Creepy Crawly. I'm looking at a Hayward Tiger Shark. But I'm reluctant after all the problems we went through with the Dolphin.

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

    well dang, and here I just spent a huge chunk of change on one and have fallen in love.

    //oops, I didn't realize this was a really old thread bumped back open.

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

    I have a friend with a Dolphin M5 going on season three and never a problem. The only damage hes seen was from a suction cleaner getting stuck on a drain and nearly rubbing a hole in it. So, until he saw my M5 run in his pool, he was back to vacuuming after that. Not now, and you couldn't talk him out of his Dolphin. This makes two people I know, who never had liner damage from their robot in their vinyl pools. I wouldn't worry about it much if it were mine.
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    Re: Dolphin Pool Cleaners -- Can They Rip Pool Liners?

    I had a Dolphin Oasis within four months I had 22 holes in my brand new liner. After months of going back and forth with Maytronics they agreed to swap mine out for a S300i. I have not had an issue since.

    Dealing with Maytronics is not fun and I would rather walk on a bed of hot coals rather than deal with them ever again.
    16x32 IG rectangular 21,800k new vinyl liner 2014, Triton II TR 50 sand Filter, Pentair 3/4 hsp whisperflow pump, 3 returns, TF100 test kit w/speedstir. Maytronics s 300i robot.

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

    Maybe this is just an issue with older models. I have a new Dohney Discovery (Same as the S200) and I have no problems with using it in my vinyl liner pool. In fact I have about 12 patches in my pool right now (from last year) and the Discovery works fine with no issues, even on the patches.
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