How does the Maytronics M400/M4 handle leaves?


Apr 23, 2012
Trying to decide between an S300i/Active 30i and the Dolphin M4/M400. I have a lot of leaves as well as silt that gets in my pool. I have a fiberglass pool with seats, shelf, & steps so can be challenging for robots. I have owned an Aquabot Turbo T (it cleaned the best but lasted 4 years & I have no local Aquabot dealers/service so makes that brand difficult) and a Watertech Blue Diamond (only lasted 2 seasons & didnt clean as well as the Turbo T).

I like the 3 yr warranty on the M400 along with the 3 rd scrubbing brush. However, I am concerned that the dual cartridges may fill quickly and be a bit of a nuisance. Any experience with the M400 or M500 and leaf capacity? Dealers locally all recommend the M400 over the S series, but I think this is most likely due to the fact the S series has not been around as long.

I really like the large top basket design of the S/Active series but not sure of their reliability since they are much newer design.

I would appreciate opinions & experience on this


Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
Southern OK
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool SJ-40
Not to many have robots yet, here is a bump and maybe some will see it :)


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
Sebring, Florida
I would never buy a robot and expect it to pick up a lot of leaves. They simply don't have the capacity. Leaves have to be removed with a leaf net.


Well-known member
Jul 10, 2013
Northern Howell, NJ
I have a Dolphin Explorer. It uses the bag, not the cartridges. Sucker holds A LOT. I will give you one of my most extreme examples. During SuperStorm Sandy I had an entire tree fall on the pool. It was already closed for the season. Lines were blown out, cover was on, etc. The tree destroyed the cover. I had to order a new one which was going to take weeks to build to my specs. For those that remember, Sandy happened the day or 2 before Halloween. I was not about to un-winterized the pool.

After standing on what was left of the cover, chainsawing up the tree and pulling off what I could, the pool was littered with twigs, saw dust, leaves and branches. You couldn't even see the floor of the shallow end. I got the largest of the stuff out I could by hand. Pulled the cover completely off and tossed the Dolphin in the pool. I did have to empty it frequently. But probably after half a dozen cycles it cleaned up EVERYTHING. Leaves and twigs alike.

To further the story, even after it was clean I continued to run the Dolphin daily in order to circulate the pool being that the pump/filter was shut down for the season. I was able to keep the water in perfect balance and algae free with this little machine. This was during the entire time that leaves were still falling from the trees. New cover arrived first week in December and I was finally able to close it up for good. That year was probably one of the cleanest the pool ever was for a closing. When they advertise that running a robot is like having a second DE filter on your pool, that is not an exaggeration.

So yeah - It's up to the task of picking up leaves. (The bag version that is. I can't speak of the cartridge variation)



Well-known member
Aug 19, 2013
I would never buy a robot and expect it to pick up a lot of leaves. They simply don't have the capacity. Leaves have to be removed with a leaf net.

For leaves at the surface a robot is useless, but for leaves that have settled on the bottom a robot like the s-series with the large basket is unbeatable.
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