Instapark Betta review

stormook

Active member
Mar 22, 2021
39
Ramona, CA
Pool Size
18600
Surface
Plaster
Lol! Good luck on what number is this one for you, 9?? I lost count. All I know is mine is still working fine. It’s all hit or miss.
I received number 5 yesterday (that does not include one that was sent back for repair) and put it in the pool this morning. So far it is still working. I will let it and number 4 run together for a couple of days then send number 4 back. You are a lucky man to have your last one operate well. Number 4 has actually been working fine for two days.
Lol! Good luck on what number is this one for you, 9?? I lost count. All I know is mine is still working fine. It’s all hit or miss.
 
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stormook

Active member
Mar 22, 2021
39
Ramona, CA
Pool Size
18600
Surface
Plaster
While I am not totally anal about this thing I think I have finally figured out what its various modes of operation are. Bye the way I have a security camera watching the pool so I can see it from my house (the pool is about 50ft. from the house with a wood fence around it). I have not touched the latest Betta for the week that I have had it, I just watch it. At times it will completely stop and flash blue and red lights for a short while then start going again, the owners manual mentions this. Other times the propellers will stop but the paddle wheel keeps going and the blue lights flash slow. This can go on for three plus hours and then it begins to operate again. I have come to believe the paddle wheel keeps turning to keep any debris in the basket from coming out while the Betta floats dead around the pool, just moved by water current or breeze. The manual says nothing about this and has led me to think that past units were defective. So, perhaps a lot of the complaints about the Betta are just due to impatience and the lack of information in the manual about its idiosyncrasies. Except of course for the defective motors it has had.
 
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Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
1,144
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Other times the propellers will stop but the paddle wheel keeps going and the blue lights flash slow. This can go on for three plus hours and then it begins to operate again. I have come to believe the paddle wheel keeps turning to keep any debris in the basket from coming out while the Betta floats dead around the pool, just moved by water current or breeze.
Mine keeps the paddle wheel moving when it’s charging. Mine flashes red when it’s charging though. Could be a change in software or a bug to make it flash blue when charging that mine doesn’t do. If you turn it off in the water stuff does comes out.
 

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
1,144
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
It’s almost time to close the pool. The last betta I received is still going strong. I wonder how it’s going to handle coming out of winter storage next season. I’ll probably let it sit in the sun some days over winter just to keep the batteries charged up.
 
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DanF

Silver Supporter
Mar 17, 2019
505
Chandler, AZ
Pool Size
12500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
Orion - My Betta is going strong also. Have been very happy with it overall since receiving it this summer. Fortunately or unfortunately we don't close pools here in AZ, so I'll deploy mine throughout the winter. Just be careful when charging yours in the sun; the company warns against doing that for overheating purposes. Might be best to give them a call for recommendations.
 
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Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
1,144
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Orion - My Betta is going strong also. Have been very happy with it overall since receiving it this summer. Fortunately or unfortunately we don't close pools here in AZ, so I'll deploy mine throughout the winter. Just be careful when charging yours in the sun; the company warns against doing that for overheating purposes. Might be best to give them a call for recommendations.
Will do! I know to avoid the extreme heat. It gets fairly cold here in the winter so I think I can safely charge it out of the water on cold days:
 

Bam Bam

Gold Supporter
Sep 14, 2019
157
Columbia, SC
Bit the Betta and I’m glad I did (after one day)!

Based on orion7319’s review and the Ariel posts I decided to purchase the Betta last week. It arrived in 3 days. I purchased it directly from instapark instead of amazon just to cut out the step of warranty registration Same price. I live an hour south of Orion7319 so the flora and weather challenges are very similar. My other reasons for going Betta versus Ariel were:

1. Impressed by Instapark’s handling of complaints in the discussions here, i.e., sending new parts/replacements immediately;
2. Compared to the discussion re: Ariel, Instapark is much more reachable and responsive;
3. Cheaper and in stock - as this was an impulse although justifiably necessary purchase that I should have made years ago, the unit arrived days after purchase;
4. The big debris collection bin

The instructions say to start it up on a sunny day. We just had several cloudy and stormy days with gusty winds and I couldn’t wait for the first full sunny day (today) while the pine straw, magnolia leaves, hibiscus leaves and blooms, plus other crud invaded the pool. I put it in yesterday (mostly cloudy). No need to charge as it comes fully charged. Pressed the red button and off it went.

I have a Polaris 360 cleaning the bottom. Despite Betta saying don’t use with other cleaners I will not retire the Polaris ever. Well who got the last laugh - Betta of course. Actually it did very well maneuvering over, around, swept by the polaris hose but Betta got hung up and trapped by the Polaris connection on the side of the pool. I used the remote to try to extricate it while on the deck but it was clear that it needed direct human intervention to get moving. This is something I will not put up with.

I thought raising the water level may help. That didn’t. After being mesmerized by how the Betta responds to the pool wall for a few hours I realized that if I could rig up a wall like structure at the polaris fitting it might convince the Betta to reverse when it hits it. I attached a hard plastic fin from a cheap snorkel kit at the fitting. It actually worked!

Right now it is trying to find the best sunny spot in the pool to charge since it didn’t get any sun yesterday. It ran all night. The pool looks the best ever - the sides have never been cleaner. It collects huge and teeny debris. The skimmer wizard that is attached in front of the inlet has nothing stuck to it either. It has no problem passing over the top of the built in step or the sun ledges.

There is one major problem that I still need to experiment with for another few nights. My dog Chaos woke me at 3 AM last night barking at the bedroom sliding door that has a clear view to the pool. He noticed a UFO (unidentified floating object) with blinking lights that had never been there before. After several bark bouts and me telling him it was okay, he calmed and went back to sleep. Hopefully he will adjust or I just might have to put up thicker curtains!

Here are some photos:04AA1FA8-842B-4A61-9B21-F81C746F29C6.jpeg21FF9F40-66E0-4A1A-B346-5E19ACD4BDAE.jpegA9018EED-A1FD-40E4-825E-9EA9DF16239D.jpeg
 
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DanF

Silver Supporter
Mar 17, 2019
505
Chandler, AZ
Pool Size
12500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
Glad you like and great review! I'm still happy with mine as it does a great job with little intervention. I turn the Betta off during the day while my skimmer/pump is operating and while my robot is in the pool. At night I turn the Betta on after I take the robot out and it skims all night.

You likely will still need a bottom cleaner/vacuum for those times when the Betta is charging or for debris that sinks fast before the Betta has a chance to grab it. As the say , it's best to clean the pool from the top down....but it's also nice to have something for the floor/walls.

Mu pup freaked a little at first also, but now he's used to it!
 
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Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
1,144
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Bit the Betta and I’m glad I did (after one day)!

Based on orion7319’s review and the Ariel posts I decided to purchase the Betta last week. It arrived in 3 days. I purchased it directly from instapark instead of amazon just to cut out the step of warranty registration Same price. I live an hour south of Orion7319 so the flora and weather challenges are very similar. My other reasons for going Betta versus Ariel were:

1. Impressed by Instapark’s handling of complaints in the discussions here, i.e., sending new parts/replacements immediately;
2. Compared to the discussion re: Ariel, Instapark is much more reachable and responsive;
3. Cheaper and in stock - as this was an impulse although justifiably necessary purchase that I should have made years ago, the unit arrived days after purchase;
4. The big debris collection bin

The instructions say to start it up on a sunny day. We just had several cloudy and stormy days with gusty winds and I couldn’t wait for the first full sunny day (today) while the pine straw, magnolia leaves, hibiscus leaves and blooms, plus other crud invaded the pool. I put it in yesterday (mostly cloudy). No need to charge as it comes fully charged. Pressed the red button and off it went.

I have a Polaris 360 cleaning the bottom. Despite Betta saying don’t use with other cleaners I will not retire the Polaris ever. Well who got the last laugh - Betta of course. Actually it did very well maneuvering over, around, swept by the polaris hose but Betta got hung up and trapped by the Polaris connection on the side of the pool. I used the remote to try to extricate it while on the deck but it was clear that it needed direct human intervention to get moving. This is something I will not put up with.

I thought raising the water level may help. That didn’t. After being mesmerized by how the Betta responds to the pool wall for a few hours I realized that if I could rig up a wall like structure at the polaris fitting it might convince the Betta to reverse when it hits it. I attached a hard plastic fin from a cheap snorkel kit at the fitting. It actually worked!

Right now it is trying to find the best sunny spot in the pool to charge since it didn’t get any sun yesterday. It ran all night. The pool looks the best ever - the sides have never been cleaner. It collects huge and teeny debris. The skimmer wizard that is attached in front of the inlet has nothing stuck to it either. It has no problem passing over the top of the built in step or the sun ledges.

There is one major problem that I still need to experiment with for another few nights. My dog Chaos woke me at 3 AM last night barking at the bedroom sliding door that has a clear view to the pool. He noticed a UFO (unidentified floating object) with blinking lights that had never been there before. After several bark bouts and me telling him it was okay, he calmed and went back to sleep. Hopefully he will adjust or I just might have to put up thicker curtains!

Here are some photos:View attachment 380306View attachment 380307View attachment 380308
It does do a great job with the pine needles. Mine has only jammed up on me once, it holds a lot of debris. I closed my pool yesterday and this one lasted the summer. The only thing is the red propellors have faded in color quite a bit since new. That’s a pretty clever use of a fin! It really senses things pretty well on the surface of the water. During a heavy rain though it kind of freaks out spins around in circles as the rain messes with its sensors.
 

textommyboy

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2014
148
Pearland/Freeport, TX
Purchased my Betta June 22 and am now experiencing an issue with it. The Betta no longer is able to turn / back away from the pool walls. It just gets stuck against the wall. I made sure to clean off the sensors but unfortunately it still doesn't navigate correctly. Paddle and props seem to be working fine so I think it's either bad sensors or control board. I turned it off and let it charge (while in the pool of course) for several hours but still no luck. I emailed Instapark and they're asking me to ship it back for repairs. I was hoping they would ship me a replacement and then I ship back the bad unit upon receipt so I don't miss out on using the Betta. We're in Texas so we don't close the pool in "winter." It sounds like others have gotten replacements and then shipped back their bad ones. Should I call them instead?
 

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
1,144
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Purchased my Betta June 22 and am now experiencing an issue with it. The Betta no longer is able to turn / back away from the pool walls. It just gets stuck against the wall. I made sure to clean off the sensors but unfortunately it still doesn't navigate correctly. Paddle and props seem to be working fine so I think it's either bad sensors or control board. I turned it off and let it charge (while in the pool of course) for several hours but still no luck. I emailed Instapark and they're asking me to ship it back for repairs. I was hoping they would ship me a replacement and then I ship back the bad unit upon receipt so I don't miss out on using the Betta. We're in Texas so we don't close the pool in "winter." It sounds like others have gotten replacements and then shipped back their bad ones. Should I call them instead?
I always just call.
 
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stormook

Active member
Mar 22, 2021
39
Ramona, CA
Pool Size
18600
Surface
Plaster
Well, the new Betta I received in August (the 5th. one) began failing in late Nov. At first I thought its intermittent operation was do to some cloudy days but that turned out not to be the problem. The problem, once again was the motors, specifically the left one, it was magnetically seizing. I removed the rotor assembly to see if I could find a problem and thought I did when I saw fairly heavy lime build-up on the motor body. I cleaned it off and put the Betta back in the water and it ran fine, for about one week, and then started seizing again. I pulled it out of the pool and the left prop was hard to turn, the right one could be spun by flicking it with my finger the left one was binding after about a 3/4 turn (this was with the power off). With the power on the right motor ran freely but the left would start and stop and start and stop. I called Instapark and they said I could send it in for repair or get a refund. I think this time I will take the refund. They did mention my warranty was up in February 2022. Since pretty much the same thing has occurred with all of my units I feel I cannot take the chance of being stuck with a non functioning unit after the warranty. They would not send me a replacement motor, only the prop and they do not seem to sell motor parts so future out of warranty repairs would cost a lot. Shipping alone is around $50.00. As great as this thing is when it works its reliability is apparently not so good. My pool is fresh water and the water is hard so maybe that is causing the lime build-up, but judging from the difficulty turning the motor I think that the nylon bearing may be what is failing. I noticed that if I do not tighten the rotor assembly down with the center machine screw I can flick the prop with my finger or power the unit up and it rotates fine, but as soon as I tighten the screw the rotor binds with and without power. The bearing is right at the top of the rotor and the screw secures the rotor to the motor shaft at that point.
I will miss it but it has been too much of a problem. Hopefully you all are having better luck with yours.
 

DanF

Silver Supporter
Mar 17, 2019
505
Chandler, AZ
Pool Size
12500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
I called Instapark and they said I could send it in for repair or get a refund. I think this time I will take the refund. They did mention my warranty was up in February 2022.
Sorry about your experience, @stormook. I'm surprised that 1) Instapark didn't offer to send you a new one (I wonder if they are having supply issues) and 2) why they wouldn't warranty your current unit until August 2022, since you received it in August 2021. They should compensate you something for all of your diagnostic efforts!
 

Bam Bam

Gold Supporter
Sep 14, 2019
157
Columbia, SC
So far my Betta hasn’t gone kaput but it still gets stuck at the polaris connection despite my various attempts to make it think it is bumping into a wall. It has a hard time with the greater than 6” pine straw that drops from the pine trees this time of year. The pine straw can’t get past the collection wheel so it agglomerates and looks like the Betta has a pine straw wedding dress train as it floats around. The leaves can’t get through the pine straw. They just go under the unit until they sink and get sucked up by the polaris although some are so big that the polaris inlet and pipe get clogged requiring frustrating human intervention.

One time the pine straw got tangled around one of the propellers causing the unit to stop. My experience seems to be that when the Betta gets into trouble it just depletes whatever power storage it has until I intervene or the sun comes out.

I have had one problem that I have no idea what or why. Several times only one of the red lights blinks while the unit is not working. The info doesn’t address this. Resetting gets it back up and running.

All in all, I’m still very satisfied with the unit. I have had some shoulder issues this year. Adding skimmer shoulder to the mix would have added to the already uncomfortable pain.

I don’t know why I’ve lucked out with a unit that chugs along as I was prepared by all the comments to have some problems. I have empathy for those who haven’t been so lucky though!
 
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Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
1,144
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
So far my Betta hasn’t gone kaput but it still gets stuck at the polaris connection despite my various attempts to make it think it is bumping into a wall. It has a hard time with the greater than 6” pine straw that drops from the pine trees this time of year. The pine straw can’t get past the collection wheel so it agglomerates and looks like the Betta has a pine straw wedding dress train as it floats around. The leaves can’t get through the pine straw. They just go under the unit until they sink and get sucked up by the polaris although some are so big that the polaris inlet and pipe get clogged requiring frustrating human intervention.

One time the pine straw got tangled around one of the propellers causing the unit to stop. My experience seems to be that when the Betta gets into trouble it just depletes whatever power storage it has until I intervene or the sun comes out.

I have had one problem that I have no idea what or why. Several times only one of the red lights blinks while the unit is not working. The info doesn’t address this. Resetting gets it back up and running.

All in all, I’m still very satisfied with the unit. I have had some shoulder issues this year. Adding skimmer shoulder to the mix would have added to the already uncomfortable pain.

I don’t know why I’ve lucked out with a unit that chugs along as I was prepared by all the comments to have some problems. I have empathy for those who haven’t been so lucky though!
Mine usually deals with the pine straw fine until it gets full. Pine cones jam it up though. Mine sometimes experiences wierdness like the lights doing funny stuff it’s usually about out of power.
 

Orion7319

Well-known member
Jul 1, 2020
1,144
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Pool Size
19775
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Sorry about your experience, @stormook. I'm surprised that 1) Instapark didn't offer to send you a new one (I wonder if they are having supply issues) and 2) why they wouldn't warranty your current unit until August 2022, since you received it in August 2021. They should compensate you something for all of your diagnostic efforts!
That is surprising. They told me specifically that my warranty would renew with each new unit. Hope they honor that when the time comes.
 

Newdude

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
16,554
NY
her They told me specifically that my warranty would renew with each new unit
Not saying it can’t be. Just saying I’d double check it wasn’t a newer and/or less informed employee who spoke wrong. Darn near every other warranty out there is from the original purchase date. Getting something fixed on your car doesn’t give you another 3 years / 36k miles.

Try and get it in an email for future proof.
 
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