Moving from suction vac to robot experiences

QingGuy

Silver Supporter
Mar 22, 2015
490
Las Vegas NV
Time to replace my tires on my 2.25 yr old (this is 3rd season) Aquanaut 400 (4 wheel unit) and prior to doing so I thought I'd look at moving to a robot and sell my Aquanaut.

I like the robot style for several reasons:
Dirt doesn't go to pool filter (I do use a leaf canister that catches the large stuff)
Ease of putting in and out of the pool
Better "scrubbing" action for sides of pool
Don't have to worry about my son remembering to close the valve when he takes it out of pool​

Has anyone moved from a suction vac to robot and regretted the move? Any thoughts on what one could get for a used (in great shape except tires $70 replacement cost) Aquanaut 400?

Input greatly appreciated.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
15,510
Evans, Georgia
We got our first robot this year. Our pool doesn't get a lot, but what it gets was tiresome to clean up and of course your pool needs brushing too.

WOW! Skippy is so happy with our robot and how it brushes the walls so he doesn't have to and it chugs along the pool daily picking up the odd bit of schmutzen. He said it has been our best buy yet for the pool!

Dolphin Discovery from Dohenys. LOVE IT~!~ Doheny's Discovery Powered by Dolphin | Doheny's Pool Supplies Fast

Maddie :flower:
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,620
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
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Surface
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Chlorine
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See my S300i link in my signature. Just this April I ditched my suction-side Kreepy Krawly Sandshark and went with a robot. I could not be happier with the results. I am saving a lot on electrical costs AND my robot does a MUCH better job than my suction cleaner.

Well worth every penny to switch....
 

ride525

Gold Supporter
Jun 17, 2010
318
Pleasanton, CA
I've had the same cleaner as your Aquanaut 400. My is the original, The Pool Cleaner. I've really liked it.
Amazon sells new Aquanaut 400 for $381. So I would guess you would be lucky to get half that, say $200. But it needs $70 in tires, so make that $130. But not sure where to sell it.

I got a new Dolphin 300i, for fiancee's pool, and really like it. Filters are easy to clean. You may want to consider one that has the filters that nest, I think just the 30, 300, 30i, 300i models do this, but the nesting filters may be available as and extra if you get the 200, or Doheny's model.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,620
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
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I got a new Dolphin 300i, for fiancee's pool, and really like it. Filters are easy to clean. You may want to consider one that has the filters that nest, I think just the 30, 300, 30i, 300i models do this, but the nesting filters may be available as and extra if you get the 200, or Doheny's model.

Only the 300i has the "integrated" filter basket where the panels are the pleated cartridge filters and the insert is the coarse screen filter. In all the other units you have to switch between panels (coarse or fine). The coarse screen insert can be bought separately if a unit does not have it, but it's an extra $50 plus shipping and my understanding is that people are waiting a long time for Dolphin parts right now due to supplier issues.

I went with the 300i because I wanted access to all of the advanced cleaning functions, the fully customizable weekly schedule, the integrated filter basket and, in my opinion a very important item, the caddy.
 

ride525

Gold Supporter
Jun 17, 2010
318
Pleasanton, CA
Only the 300i has the "integrated" filter basket where the panels are the pleated cartridge filters and the insert is the coarse screen filter. In all the other units you have to switch between panels (coarse or fine). The coarse screen insert can be bought separately if a unit does not have it, but it's an extra $50 plus shipping and my understanding is that people are waiting a long time for Dolphin parts right now due to supplier issues.

I went with the 300i because I wanted access to all of the advanced cleaning functions, the fully customizable weekly schedule, the integrated filter basket and, in my opinion a very important item, the caddy.

I stand corrected. I went with the 300i also, and did not realize the 300 did not have the nesting filters. Now, another reason I'm happy with the 300i.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,620
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I stand corrected. I went with the 300i also, and did not realize the 300 did not have the nesting filters. Another reason I'm happy with the 300i.

You'd never figure it out by reading the Dolphin website...their product descriptions are all over the place. I'm glad I have local shops in my area that sell them as it was more instructive to visit the various shops and kick-the-tires ... two of the shops did demo/loaner units.
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,365
Pacific NW
Got the more economically priced Dolphin E10 (least cost bot with front scrubber) and couldn't be happier.
I bought the fine mesh filter and that made a big difference too.

no regrets!

I wrote a review, just search tfp for e10
 

slickraft

Well-known member
Oct 7, 2016
219
Phoenix
Has anyone moved from a suction vac to robot and regretted the move?

I didn't regret it much because I sent the robot back before the 14 day trial was up so it only cost me shipping one way.

I bought a new Doheney Discovery robot a few months ago directly from Doheney and sent it packing after 10 days. I did not like having to clean out the on-board filter when my sand filter could easily handle the extra dirt. It also would bypass a small amount of the finest debris and put it back into suspension in the water. This made my water noticeably cloudier than with my Hayward Navigator. The robot was far heavier then my Navigator and must be removed from the pool each time you empty the filter. I leave the Navigator in the pool year round. No storage stand or special care needed if you remove it from the pool and no bright blue tangled cord laying across the cool deck for people to trip on. The cord tangled twice enough that it would not untangle without my help. That cord also looked ugly crossing the walkway and my wife objected strongly when see saw it. The power pack said not to place it in sunlight. That's ironic for a product intended for use outdoors around a swimming pool. It did clean my waterline which my Navigator won't but it only cleaned maybe 30% of it. It would clean the same tiles several times in one session but completely skip other sections entirely (probably due to the shape of my pool with outside corners, etc.). I did not expect it to clean any tile above the steps or the swim-out area of course.

I was happy to put my Navigator back in use and so was my wife. I also have a pool at a rental house and I use a Navigator there as well. I spend about $100 a year to upkeep both units and find ample repair parts on Ebay or Craigslist. I keep a spare I got for $75 at the ready so I can drop in a new one quickly and check out the malfunctioning one at a better time. I can say I would choose a robot over a pressure-side cleaner but not over my 10-year old Navigators. I had a Polaris 360 and it was way too much work to maintain and had to be hauled to the surface to be emptied just like the robots.

An old, well maintained suction-side cleaner works for me! Your mileage may vary.
 

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JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,620
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Just call then because you're right, the flyer for the S300 certainly makes it sound like it has the integrated filter. The 300i may just have access to more features on the App and the extended warranty for wearable components (treads and brushes).

The S200 and lower definitely does not have the integrated filter basket.
 

QingGuy

Silver Supporter
Mar 22, 2015
490
Las Vegas NV
Thanks for the input. Overall I'm not disappointed with the suction vac, just like the perceived ease of use and the self contained filter idea of a robot. Don't need the programmable cleaning times as rarely will it be left in the pool, probably only put in for cleaning and I typically only have to vacuum once a week.

The fine filter is important as I have a large vacant lot behind my house and get a lot of dirt/sand blowing over my wall and into my pool. Don't want it "blowing" this around the pool, need it filtered out.

Some great feedback, will be doing some more research on which unit best fits my needs.
 

QingGuy

Silver Supporter
Mar 22, 2015
490
Las Vegas NV
My neighbor has a Dolphin Nautilus and he seems to be very high on it. Anyone have experience with them? One thing that caught my eye right off the bat was that it only comes with a 1 yr warranty vs. the 2 year that most others have. The card I'll be purchasing it will doubles the mfg. warranty up to 1 or 2 years I think so I'd be covered for at two years on this unit.
 

Exncite

Member
Jun 17, 2017
5
York, SC
My first pool and got the Dolphin A30. Absolutely love it. Used the section type before I got it but the fact that it scrubs (almost polishes) my fiberglass pool is the deciding factor. So much easier to set up and use too. Easy to clean and store. Caddy is very convenient. I also love the bluetooth function. You can steer it to a specific spot. How long these last is an unknown but thus far, it is worth the purchase.
 

QingGuy

Silver Supporter
Mar 22, 2015
490
Las Vegas NV
Here's a link to the unit my neighbor has and recommends - http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dolphin-Nautilus-Robotic-Pool-Cleaner-With-CleverClean-/252983327559?epid=676981982&hash=item3ae6fb3b47:g:k18AAOSwVJhZO1Qg Anyone have thoughts on this unit?

I found it on Amazon as well - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N78IVWJ/ref=ask_ql_qh_dp_hza. For an additional $52 I can purchase a 4 year warranty that will kick in after the mfg warranty expires after 12 months so it would be under warranty for 5 years. I typically don't buy the extended warranty but on this for $12.50 a year (and some change) it almost seems like a no brainer. Read reviews and average is 3.5. Read through them and I'm comfortable with the reviews.

Anyone have experience with this unit, missing any features I would want etc.?
 

xyz

Gold Supporter
Sep 8, 2016
641
Escondido/CA
I've got the Dolphin DX6 which is a powerhouse. I can hold on to it, and it will drive around with me holding my breath underwater. It has been 100% reliable, and it's only limitation is it can't get up on my first step which is about 6" of water. It tries, but cant operate in that little water. It scrubs the edges and hold a LOT of leaves. One downside is that the bag full indicator is far too sensitive. It goes on after maybe 1 day, while it will continue to clean for a week.

I also have an S300i which is the ultimate in user friendliness. So easy to clean, I sometimes will pull the cartridge while it is running, empty it, and put it back in, and it just keeps cleaning. The 2.5 hour cycle is good for me since I gets tons of leaves. The control via the app is cool and interesting, but not of much use. More like a fun thing to play with, or if you want to drive it to somewhere to pull it. Benefits are, fairly large leaf reservoir, large "hole" to vacuum up larger leaves, very easy to remove and replace basket, easy to clean, and like the DX6 aggressive scrubbing of the waterline, and it cleans everything except the very shallow top step.

Interestingly, despite the DX6 being the more powerful cleaner, I don't use it anymore as the S300i still works great, and is oh so easy and convenient.

Anyone interested in a used DX6 in perfect working condition? ;-)
 

Holydoc

Gold Supporter
Jul 17, 2016
418
Navarre/FL
I do not have the Nautilus but I do have the Nautilus Plus:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Q8M0NWE/ref=psdc_8498885011_t1_B01N78IVWJ

This has been a wonderful cleaner and keeps my pool polished. There are several reviews on this cleaner in this forum, just search for Nautilus. The only real drawback to this cleaner is that it is rather heavy. Though this will not necessarily be a factor for your IG pool, it does take a little effort to pull it out of my AG pool. I recommend the Plus over the standard model because you have a large handle on top, filters are on top, cord is longer, warranty is 2 years, and it has updated technology. Now take those items with a grain of salt since I have never owned the standard model. However I do love mine!
 

QingGuy

Silver Supporter
Mar 22, 2015
490
Las Vegas NV
@holydoc - Interesting hadn't seen the Plus. Great reviews on Amazon, 24 mo. warranty vs. 12 so with purchasing a 3 yr warranty I'd be at 5 years. Also has the swivel cord. About $100 more.

The filters look "small" I will regularly fill the large Hayward leaf canister with palm leaves and palm "silk" and wonder if I'd be changing the filters during cleaning when there's been a wind storm. Have y ou noticed any issues there? The combined filters seem smaller than the single filters in other units.
 

Holydoc

Gold Supporter
Jul 17, 2016
418
Navarre/FL
Qing,

I only use the "fine" filters and have had no problems. Between the Nautilus and the plus, the Plus is given a large capacity instead of the normal capacity of the Nautilus. I am not sure what that means, since I only own the plus.

Now also realize that I have an AG pool. What that means is that there is no rain water trash washing in, leaves are only from close vicinity, no small critters, and basically minimal debris. If you are getting palm leaves, which can be as large as a small child, this robot may not be for you. However if you are getting pine needles, oak leaves, and the occasional bug, this robot does wonders. :)
 

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