Automatic Robots

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
136
Pageland SC
As I get up to speed with my pool testing and chemical additions the "tfp" way, sort of the last frontier for me in making this pool really easy to maintain is, you guessed it, an automatic pool cleaner!

I have a "Vingli", which seems to be an Amazon knockoff of the Barracuda G3. It works, as in I can get it to move around the pool and it's creating suction, but other than that it's not worth the value of the paper that it took to print the $90 on. I've tried all the tips, trucks, and adjustments with the weights, hose lengths, and return jets. I can get it to follow a fairly random pattern, but try as I might I still cannot get it to even come close to cleaning the entire bottom of the pool. I'd say not even 50 percent coverage.

We also have an old Polaris "rover". I forget the actual model number but it's the one that requires a booster pump. I have never seen it functional. I tried it last year, and it doesn't "rove". I disassembled it, and it's all repairable. If memory serves me correctly, the bearings had essentially come apart (little BB's everywhere) and the belt(s) is gone. I worked on getting a list together of the parts I need to repair it, but put it up for the winter and have not messed with it since.

I asked elsewhere, and was told no, but do you guys think the Polaris cleans well enough to put any effort or money into? If it doesn't clean much better than the Vingli I'd rather save myself the frustration. However, if it cleans maybe 80% as well as a modern robot I think it'd be worthwhile to me. I don't remember the HP rating of the booster pump, but maybe they are standard. Will it use less, or more electricity than a robot?

If the answer is no, I'm interested in a robot. I can't seem to find answers to my questions in the stickies or articles here. My #1 question is, basically, I see robots advertised for in-ground pools limited to a certain size. They have the capability to clean, and climb from the deep end to the shallow, bit state limitations on pool size.

My question is, why that size limitation? Is it related to cleaning speed? If it's about the length of the cord, I have outlets out on the patio both halfway along the pool lengthwise and width wise. I could plug it up on either end, or at the halfway point on one side. I realize that it also might be due to the size of the filter bag, canister, or however it catches debris. That also depends on how dirty or clean the pool is kept so that seems moot to me.

Obviously I'm asking this question because as they come rated for larger pools they also have a much heftier price tag. I'm just curious to know what I'm paying for with those several hundred extra dollars.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
13,504
Pleasanton, CA
The "size" of a robot cleaner is usually related to both the cord length and also the travel length before making a turn move. So theoretically running a "small" robot on a large pool may not clean as efficiently as a larger one although I don't suspect it would make that much of a difference. Cord length is probably much more important.
 

UncleVanya

Member
Jun 15, 2019
7
Charlotte, NC
I use a Polaris 380 on a 16x32 with a tray bottom. It works reasonably well. Adjustments can be tricky. A complete rebuild kit of the bot portion is around $150 or less including belts and bearings and so forth. But the hose and the buoys and the valve that reverses the unit can add up to another $100+ and then you need the booster pump. Of course the parts you need may not be the entire rebuild kit. Also my understanding is that the electrical use of a booster pump is higher than the operating cost for an independent robot.

While I use the 380, the pool came with the booster and I bought a working 380 cheaply on Craigslist. I've replaced minor parts and even had the booster pump rebuilt. But if it ever dies completely I'd look to an independent robot.
 

mwemaxxowner

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2020
136
Pageland SC
I've exchanged a few emails with Margaret, and I believe once the invoice gets here, I'm placing an order for the Pentair Warrior SE. Seems unbeatable for my needs and the price, once I compare it to other models that meet my needs.