Instapark Betta review

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
1,228
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I thought I would post my impressions of the Instapark betta and my experience with it. The beta does an excellent job cleaning the pool, it is the only skimmer I found on the market that has a very large container for collecting debris. I get a lot of pineneedles in my pool and this feature was the main selling point for me. The beta also comes with a remote control that you can drive the robot around manually with, and provides a convenient means to retrieve it from the pool, and to spot clean. It has a total of five different modes, which are indicated by the LEDs on the back of the unit. In it’s autonomous mode, the LEDs on the back blink blue. When the robot is being controlled with the remote control the LEDs are solid blue. When the robot is running low on power the LEDs will turn red. If robot experiences a fault or a jammed basket, the LEDs alternate between red and blue. When it is completely out of batteries it enters a sleep mode and no LED lights will display on the unit. The batteries seem to last a long time, as it can run all day and all night. However you cannot charge the unit with an outlet. It can only charge via the sun. What I have discovered is that if I run the robot a full day then let it run all night and if the next day is cloudy the robot will run out of power. This will require that the robot charges in the sun all day before it can run it again. Because of this, I choose not to run it at night, and it always seems to have enough power to run several overcast days in a row. This isn’t unique to the betta though as other solar skim bots are designed the same way. I wish that it had the option to charge it via an outlet.

I have had several issues with the product and I am on my third unit. The good news though is that the company is very responsive and when you have a problem they will ship you out a new one immediately. They also are constantly making updates to their robots and I am hopeful that they will eventually resolve the reliability issues myself and other owners have reported experiencing. There are at least three different versions of this robot that I am aware of at the time of this post. The first version of the robot apparently was having issues with their motors and they would not recommend the robots for use in salt water pools. The motors were rusting and seizing up apparently. The first one I received was the first version that was released for use for salt water pools and I have never experienced any issues with the motors on my previous two robots. The issue my first robot had was that it seemed to have gotten stuck in it’s error mode. When I would power on the robot all it would do is blink blue then red. Instapark sent me a new unit to replace it with. This robot seemed to do better and had its programming updated. The first robot seemed like it would just swim along in the pool full speed until it hit a wall. The new robot would slow down and turn before it would hit the wall. It also seems to do a better job avoiding objects in the pool. The issue that I eventually had with this robot was that it started swimming around in circles, which was a common problem on the first generation of robots due to the motors freezing up. That didn’t seem to be the case with this one though. I noticed that the robot would stop spinning in circles if it took up rather violent whack into the side of the pool. When it would start swimming in circles, I could give it a whack or two around it’s sensors and it would correct the issue for several days. The other issue it seemed to have, was it would go into its error mode when it would stubbornly try to fight the currents from the return jets. Instead of turning around to avoid going headlong into the current, it would eventually just give up and would enter into its error mode and start to flash blue and red. When this would happen I would have to turn it off and on again or just wait 20 minutes as the robot restarts itself 20 minutes after experiencing a fault. I have received my third robot last night, and I’ve yet to use it because it needs to charge. This new robot seems to be a different revision, because it has a much smaller power button then all of the previous ones. I’m not sure what the reasoning is for this but it does indicate to me that the company is making changes to the hardware of the robot on a fairly consistent basis. The newest revision as of the date of this post has a smaller button and red propellors. I will update this thread when I have more experience with this new robot. I am hopeful that this one doesn’t experience any issues, as when it’s working correctly it does a wonderful job and keeps my pool free of all the pine needles that I experience every time I have a massive storm. It does an excellent job keeping the pool clean. If it didn’t have the issues that I have experienced, I would be more than happy with it, and would highly recommend it to anyone.67CD3419-E68A-4171-9EDD-B2D45CB11FD9.jpegEA7E450F-F50E-45B3-A4A2-B6570AAE1877.jpegBE272681-DA3E-48DA-89E8-7B905AB2A0F4.jpegF940C02C-70F6-42A5-9851-66E093C4451A.jpeg997602CD-BB5E-4F6C-8B90-E8D716DCB2B7.jpegB46417A7-C658-4C35-9D62-BF9E1C065F78.jpeg
 
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Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
1,228
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I’m no boat builder, but I’m pretty sure that propellors are supposed to be opposites of one another, and not identical twinsies! They are going to send me a new one, but they can’t overnight it due to not being able to air mail products with lithium batteries in them. I emailed them back and asked them if they could overnight me a left propellor instead? Let’s see if they do that…. DA882DFE-30D8-4E74-B4BE-8DC7663CF3C5.jpeg687C020D-BB4C-4A9E-86C5-1780E42A5BEA.jpeg
 
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textommyboy

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2014
149
Pearland/Freeport, TX
Thanks for the thorough review and sorry to hear you have to deal with their (good) customer service again. I'm monitoring Amazon's inventory and pricing and will most likely order the Betta to replace my Solar-Breeze NX2. So when they send you replacement units they just let you keep the old ones? They must cost nothing for them to build at wholesale!
 

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
1,228
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Thanks for the thorough review and sorry to hear you have to deal with their (good) customer service again. I'm monitoring Amazon's inventory and pricing and will most likely order the Betta to replace my Solar-Breeze NX2. So when they send you replacement units they just let you keep the old ones? They must cost nothing for them to build at wholesale!
They seem very nice at instapark and I will confess I got kinda irritable with them over the phone last night for a second. The conversation did leave me with the impression that customer service really means something to them and that goes a long way with me. They don’t let me keep the broken units, they ship a prepaid ups label with the replacements and I just box the broken one up in the box the new one came in and send it back. Unfortunately I had already took the last bad unit to UPS before I tried the new one so I couldn’t just swap the propeller. You have to charge them in the sun for around 8 hours when you first get them, and I guess I was feeling extra efficient that day and had the thing out the door before I tested the new one. They told me that it costs them $50.00 to ship each way which in my mind gives them extra motivation to resolve any issues quickly. I’m not sure how big of a company they are, but they seem to have all the hallmarks of a start up in my mind. I hope they succeed.
 

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Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
1,228
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I got the left propellor in and it’s running fine now. I have a backup right propellor now. We will see if this third revision proves to be more reliable, time will tell. It seems to run like my last revision 2 did. Since I had to dismantle the propellors, here are some pictures. The earlier versions apparently weren’t rated for salt water because the motors weren’t sealed at the shaft. This new design, the motors and shaft are completely sealed. The motor basically spins a magnet around inside the shaft and the propellor is attached to a second magnet. It works kind of like a speed stir. The following pictures should be self explanatory. CFF09FD8-B936-4EEA-BC57-17EE3E98329B.jpeg43AC4BE6-EB45-4FDC-B181-DB854B2A7B19.jpeg7AA5D996-5D44-4497-B89D-D081C2667E00.jpeg8E9F1046-07C7-4928-BE13-901C2527C57D.jpeg58928E50-D41C-46F4-B71C-16B5815D5C31.jpeg
 
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Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
2,210
West Palm Beach/Florida
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I really hope it works!!! There needs to be more competition in this field.

Waiting to hear what Solar Breeze tells me about this battery issue. Hopefully they do the right thing, or I might find myself with a Betta!!!
 
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Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
1,228
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
The only other competition is the skim devil, but it’s a lot more expensive and it’s basket doesn’t look as big as the Bettas.
 

stormook

Active member
Mar 22, 2021
41
Ramona, CA
Pool Size
18600
Surface
Plaster
This new one is running well so far after a week. If it acts up, I’ll post here. If not, I’ll just update in a month or two.
Hi Orion. That was a very informative write-up. My earlier Bettas operated as yours did. I received the new updated model last Tuesday and charged it for a few hours on Wednesday, then put it in the water. Luckily my propellers were correct. It has been running pretty much non-stop day and night. It does seem to be operating a little differently, seems to have more power and does not stay stuck on a Baracuda hose for a long time like the earlier models did and appears more responsive to other obstacles. Hopefully they have worked out many of its problems, and improved the reliability, a lot.
 
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Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
1,228
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I want to purchase the blue one but they only have the silver and white models in stock. I'll give it a week or so to see if the blue ones become available. If they don't then I may purchase the white one.
Yeah I had asked them to send me a blue one the last time. They said they were back order and would be several weeks.
 

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
1,228
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Hi Orion. That was a very informative write-up. My earlier Bettas operated as yours did. I received the new updated model last Tuesday and charged it for a few hours on Wednesday, then put it in the water. Luckily my propellers were correct. It has been running pretty much non-stop day and night. It does seem to be operating a little differently, seems to have more power and does not stay stuck on a Baracuda hose for a long time like the earlier models did and appears more responsive to other obstacles. Hopefully they have worked out many of its problems, and improved the reliability, a lot.
I’m hopeful that this newest version continues to work fine. It seems a bit sturdier somehow to me, but I can’t quite explain it. One thing I noticed this morning after a heavy rain is that it can behave a bit weird if it’s sensors are wet. Drying them off with a towel made it happy. So if they act up try drying it off a bit first.
 
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