Dolphin M500 Review

Paul & Crystal

Silver Supporter
May 25, 2014
539
Oklahoma City, OK
#1
Hello Robot Shoppers!

After about 40 hours of research, I decided to go with the Dolphin M500. I looked at many including commercial types. Most commercial were out of my price range and after getting in the house and measuring the pool myself I found the pool was slightly smaller than the seller had said which allowed me to open my options up to the higher level residential models. The main points in my decision are the dual motors, the split brushes, zero turn ability, the third brush, the anti-twist cord, and top filter access. I did appreciate the top access basket type for extra leaf capacity of some models, but I could not find that feature combined with the other features that were important to me. I knew I did not want to have to turn the unit over to access the filter as in the bottom access types. The double filter of the M500 is easy to access and clean and holds plenty of leaves as well.

I was also interested in the Dolphin Triton Plus which is similar to the M500 but does not have the third brush. Ultimately, I went with the M because I was able to get it a mile from my house where I will have immediate service with the 3 year warranty. I paid $250 more for that level of service ($1400 including tax) over what I would have paid for the Triton with a 4 year Assurion extended warranty that I would have to jump through a lot of hoops to be able to use and it would involve shipping.

I ran the M500 tonight and so far I'm very impressed. I'll be updating my experience with the M500 throughout the season and I'm happy to answer any questions.

Crystal
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#2
Ill perhaps burst your bubble now and say if there is one thing I wish was better, it would be the "tangle/twist free" cord. It hasn't hindered performance in any that I can tell, but it's slightly annoying. Hopefully we find from you that they have improved on that swivel. Mine is going on season 4 now, and is the same as day one regarding that. Otherwise, I just know that I would truly hate being without my M-5. Love it to bits.
 

Paul & Crystal

Silver Supporter
May 25, 2014
539
Oklahoma City, OK
#3
Hi Patrick,

I did not notice anything off with it but I've only run it once. What kind if issue should I be looking for? The cord was easy to replace on the cart and wasn't tangled so far.

Crystal
 

robl45

Well-known member
Oct 27, 2007
786
Parkland, FL
#4
The problem with the dolphin swivel and the reason newer dolphins don't have them is they break and they are not serviceable. Mine lasted a little over 2 years until it stopped making contact. It never really worked anyway. I don't know how your's is but on mine, the force to turn the cord in the swivel was more than the pool cleaner was every going to be able to do.

Smart pool has a better design on the swivel in that it actually swivels with a pressure that makes sense for the application and it is replaceable if it breaks.

The M500 is a very nice bot and I"m sure you will be happy with it. I'm glad you went with one with dual drive that can zero turn. They really are much better.
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#7
Hi Patrick,

I did not notice anything off with it but I've only run it once. What kind if issue should I be looking for? The cord was easy to replace on the cart and wasn't tangled so far.

Crystal
Sorry I never came back to this. Getting busier now and forgot, so my apologies.

Just the cord twisting up. Sometime it does as the swivel never worked that well for this, but like I said its no real problem. Mine never has failed. But the "anti-twist" properties could be better. Maybe this has improved. Uncoiling and letting the line relax once in a while helps tremendously for this.
 

Paul & Crystal

Silver Supporter
May 25, 2014
539
Oklahoma City, OK
#8
Patrick...so far so good. I do lay it out length wise when I pull it out of the pool so I'm sure that helps. The M500 is doing a pretty good job overall. I do wish it would climb the walls a bit more. I need to look more closely into the settings. I've been using mostly the 3 hour but maybe there is one that is more wall intensive? But mostly I think some of the angels between wall and bottom cause it to lose grip. Most of the sides are angled or sloped enough for it to climb but there are a couple places where it's more of a right angle.

Do you use the floaters in the slide out position?

- - - Updated - - -

Rob...I thank you for the tips on dual drive and zero turn...I was clueless about those features and I do think they are good to have.

- - - Updated - - -

Rking...I have not even tried my remote yet...lol. I'm not sure if mine has the Bluetooth but I will check into that. Thanks!

- - - Updated - - -

Ausietta....that's interesting...I will have to test that out and see if I notice a difference.
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#9
I use floats out. You will see it climb better when the water warms up. Cant explain it, but see it every year. You will too, so dont be disappointed yet. This climbing and washing the tile line is another thing about the robot that amazes me and friends. There is a remote setting that makes him climb more than roam the bottom. The 3 wave sign under the robot icon does help focus on the bottom in higher suction mode. I use this a lot with all our dust. Now, have you named him/her yet? :p
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#11
Oh, that reminds me....

How have your Chem additons turned out in terms of pool volume? Does it seem to be about what we thought? More...or less?

Great name BTW. :goodjob:

Next, when you are ready, we can talk about the handle angle.
 

Paul & Crystal

Silver Supporter
May 25, 2014
539
Oklahoma City, OK
#12
I've been using 59K in pool math and it has been spot on. I lowered my pH from 8.2 to 7.4 and my chlorine adds are keeping me right at FC 8.

Yes...the handle...I've been keeping one side all the way forward and the other side all the way back. Should I be switching sides on that? Should I run them both in center position at times or any variation of these positions? Any advice on that would be greatly appreciated!
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#13
It wont matter much until its warm and he stays up on the tile line. The angle makes him move down the line one direction or another as opposed to staying in one spot when he gets up top. Just experiment, and see what you like him to do. Try different things with the angle and floats etc. Took me a while to figure all this out, but it was kind of entertaining. Actually fun while sitting poolside with a beverage. :cheers:

It might as well be called 60K and that's quite a bit of pool! I hope you have the men around there hauling Bleach and Acid for ya. :jocolor:
 

Paul & Crystal

Silver Supporter
May 25, 2014
539
Oklahoma City, OK
#14
Yes...I think it is close enough to 60K. Calculator said 59,600 so I will go ahead and round up.

I will try all the Dolphin setting possibilities out as I go along. It's good to have a fellow M500 buddy here. Cheers!

I've got hubby on track to buy several jugs of pool essentials 10% every time he steps into a Walmart and I do as well. Luckily, my garage has a door that leads right out to the pool house in about 30 steps. So I just pull in, unload them in the garage floor, then take a couple jugs at a time out at my leisure. It's a pretty sweet set up.

I have googled bulk bleach in OKC and have not come up with much. I'd love to find a place that offers the refillable option. I may check with the pool store about that this week. Maybe they know about some options around here. Meanwhile, the pool essentials 10% is working out pretty well. The worst thing about it is the empty jugs.
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#16
Once in a while, I soak the fine (pleated) filters in soapy water because we have so much dirt. And never, ever let them dry out when dirty. Anytime they are dirty I take them right out and hose them first outside inward, then flip to hard spray the insides clean. Then they are ready for another round or storage till next time.

You will likely not find a pool place selling Bleach in OKC. Strange, but its all over Florida pool stores and farm stores up in the midwest. You may have those (cant remember them) but we just have Tractor Supply here and they don't have it. Our mod JohnT buys it in Indiana in some farm stores. You will have bulk suppliers of industrial chems there too, but here, its only by the 55 drum or bigger, and they wont deliver residential.
 

Paul & Crystal

Silver Supporter
May 25, 2014
539
Oklahoma City, OK
#17
Thanks for the info...the 10% at Walmart works great so I'll stick with that.

I've been hosing the filters out each time but I have a lot of dirt here too and they never look really clean. I will try some longer soaks.
 

Paul & Crystal

Silver Supporter
May 25, 2014
539
Oklahoma City, OK
#20
Oh yeah. I have dirt just like that. If the wind blows for a couple days straight, the dirt will be so thick that it is like sludge when I open up the filters. Last night I gave them a nice hour long soak in warm soapy water and I had a half inch of sludge in the bottom of the pan afterwards. Gotta love the OK/TX red dirt!