Demo in CA Bay Area? Is there really any difference?

DucPool

Member
Mar 23, 2019
11
Bay Area, California
I was hoping to find a robotic cleaner to demo for a day before spending $1,000 + on one. I can't believe how hard it is to find a dealer in the east bay area that has a demo, its not like I'm in the middle of nowhere... The Dolphin "Elite Dealer" I talked to today doesn't even stock any of them, they said they don't sell many and are special order only. They referred me to another that I'm waiting to hear back from since they were closed today.

I was really sold on the Dolphin and I just now found out that it is a re-brand from the same manufacturer of the Pentair, which I suppose helps finding a dealer. I'm open to Polaris as well, again I would like to demo. It seems like there are really only a handful of manufacturers and then they just re-brand the products.

It does seem that the Dolphin is the most popular on here, I have a 16,000 gal inground kidney shaped plaster pool with 2 main drains (new pool). I was torn between the M500 and S300i (or 30i, T55i which seem to be the same thing), main differences seem to be
-M500 is the older design but it has 2 drive motors and is more robust? The filter basket seems like its more difficult to clean.

-S300i new tech, single motor, easier to clean and pull from the pool. Does it clean and scrub as well as the M500 though?
 

Geebot

Well-known member
Aug 19, 2013
880
Dolphin is Maytronics' brand name for their cleaners. Maytronics is the manufacturer. Pentair relabels the Dolphin cleaners. The S300i, S300 and S200 are effectively the same cleaner with some different controller features. In my opinion the S-series is the best bang for the buck and, in hindsight, the S200 does everything you need to to do. The remote control capability of the S300i is a cute gimmick, but just that. You'll use it once or twice but the whole point of an automated cleaner is to "set it and forget it" so driving it around is a step backwards. You need a machine that will start when you push a button and then clean on its own. Anything more is a solution in search of a problem.
 
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Rocket J Squirrel

Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
468
Alamo, CA
You have to be careful what you ask for. In the pool biz, "demo" can mean "demolition" as likely as "demonstration." :)

I doubt you'll find a retailer willing to lend you a robot. My only suggestion is to buy one from a reputable retailer with a solid return policy and return it if you don't like it.
 

Oly

Gold Supporter
Jun 28, 2017
1,095
Fresno, CA
You may be disappointed if you expect your robot to "scrub" your pool.
Yes there are soft paddle rollers that brush the bottom, walls and tile line.
The ease of cleaning the unit is important as you will be doing it often.
Also no need to pay over $1K, you can get a new bot for under $800.
 

DucPool

Member
Mar 23, 2019
11
Bay Area, California
You may be disappointed if you expect your robot to "scrub" your pool.
Yes there are soft paddle rollers that brush the bottom, walls and tile line.
The ease of cleaning the unit is important as you will be doing it often.
Also no need to pay over $1K, you can get a new bot for under $800.
So don’t believe the marketing hype?

What I really want is a pool cleaner that doesn’t spend 90% of its time hung up on a step and something that can suck up the dirt on the bottom. I’m assuming the wall scrubbing still reduces the frequency you brush but doesn’t eliminate it right?
 

DucPool

Member
Mar 23, 2019
11
Bay Area, California
You have to be careful what you ask for. In the pool biz, "demo" can mean "demolition" as likely as "demonstration." :)

I doubt you'll find a retailer willing to lend you a robot. My only suggestion is to buy one from a reputable retailer with a solid return policy and return it if you don't like it.
I’m sure there would be a market for a pool demolishing robot 😂

Do you have a local retailer you recommend? I’m about 15 minutes from Alamo so your somewhat local...

It’s disappointing that Dolphin says you can get demos from there dealers and I have 2 “elite” dealers near me and neither have demos!
 

mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
465
OV, CA
I'm curious what you are using now? Every time I start shopping for an upgrade to my 15 year old Polaris 360 "walkin around" as the kids call it.. I can't seem to justify the cost. Mine only runs for 30-45 min a day and gets everything it needs to get as it helps stir the water around... I recently had the booster motor go out.. I supposed I would have bought one if it was in the $200 price range that a replacement motor cost. But the cheapest ones I found were almost thrice that price. I have very few pieces of electronics that have lasted 15 years.. So I'm not sold on the longevity yet either...

BTW... I pooped into this thread cause I thought it was a demolition ;)
 

Rocket J Squirrel

Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
468
Alamo, CA
Do you have a local retailer you recommend? I’m about 15 minutes from Alamo so your somewhat local...
Not really. I go to the Leslie's in Danville. Compared to reports of other Leslie's around the country, this one is pretty good. They sell me what I want, not what they want to sell, and are actually reasonable folks. Once they were out of stock of an item and offered to go get it from the Dublin store and deliver it to my house.

The problem is that Leslie's prices are literally double what you'll find anywhere else. I would not buy an expensive item like a robot from them without trying some haggling. Amazon may be worth looking into.