My Blue Diamond Robot died after 16 years of service, should I just get another?

mswlogo

Well-known member
Jul 6, 2017
73
MA
The controller failed within the first few years and they replaced under warranty. Now the main pump is not running and it shuts down after a bit, but I sure got my money's worth.
I don't think it's worth putting money into at this point. I did have to modify it a bit when I got it because the track guides rubbed the liner and I trimmed them back. I sent in my suggestion, not sure if they did anything.

https://www.poolsupplyunlimited.com/water-tech-71052rr-blue-diamond-robotic-pool-cleaner/109796p1 price is about what I paid 16 years ago. $1300.

It cleaned pretty good. I stopped cleaning walls because it was just too hard on the liner, too slow and not needed most of the time. And even still it's hard on corners etc. But it sure was reliable.

I really wanted to get a suction side cleaner. But none of the reviews seem all that great. I have a variable speed pump going now at very low rate (I forget flow rate, but its only 80 watts) at 24/7.
I was thinking the suction side cleaner would not move at that low flow rate. Then I can program a high rate for like an hour a day or so. With Solar cover on.

Is that feasible? How about a pressure side robot doing the same? I really like the idea of the vacuuming going into the filter. I don't have dedicated suction or pressure, but I have a lot of control on the pressure (2 skimmers, 2 jets) with valves on everything that I could tweak. The Hayward Suction Side pump mentions adjustments as well to adjust for vacuum pressure.

I would never keep an electric in the pool full time, they just won't last. That's why I got 16 years out of my blue diamond. But I'd like something more "full time" with Solar Cover on if that's feasable.
I don't mind a filter powered robot in water full time, nothing electric and they are a lot cheaper too.

Top of the line Dolphin (lots of cool tricks to make my life easier?)
Another Blue Diamond
Hayward TVP500C (only robot with greater than 4 stars on Amazon)
Hayward Poolvergnuegen (best rated suction side) 2 of 4 wheels.

What is tried and true around here?

I don't care about the price, if it does the job well and lasts. Well as long as it's under $2k.

My pool is 23k gallon, StaRite Filter, Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump, Intermatic PE653 Controller, oddly shaped only 4 month swim season.

I don't care if cleaner does stairs or vertical walls, but I do want the sloped walls on the deep end done

 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
23,065
Laughlin, NV
Sorry you have received no responses.

I could not imagine going back to a suction cleaner or paying the electricity use for a pressure side cleaner after having a robot. Especially one that lasted as long as yours! The new models of robots are in general really good. Many of us have Maytronics robots.
 

mswlogo

Well-known member
Jul 6, 2017
73
MA
Thanks for the response. Looking through reviews on Amazon some of the best reviewed “cleaners” are pressure and suction side. I just got delivered a Poolvernuegen today. The reviews were pretty darn good, repeat customers after 10 years, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I’m not sure if the cheaper prices on non robot cleaners biases the reviews higher.

I always read the 1 Star reviews. I’ve avoided many products after reading 1 Star reviews even though overall they might be highly rated. A lot of the Maytronic 1 Star reviews were scary. Also if I see a pattern in 1 Star reviews that is cause for concern. There are always 1 Star reviews on anything but it can tell you a lot from them. I may still end up with a Maytronic. So freaken many models turned me off a bit as well. Do they really need 20 models?

That said, I should have read the manual on the Poolvernuegen. Step 1, clean pool manually with vac. Hello?

I bought it on Amazon Prime, so it’s easy breezy to return it if doesn’t work well.

I always ran pump on high with robot running to pickup anything the robot stirs up and misses. Also robot cleaning is often after removing cover that had debris on it, so I need to do some extra skimming any way.
 

mswlogo

Well-known member
Jul 6, 2017
73
MA
OK, ok, your told me so. The Poolvernuegen was a bust. So close though.

Lot's of happy customers with Poolvernuegen but it just refused to go into the shallow end. I did NOT turn my jets down, I refuse to mess with those, and I highly doubt that was the issue but I admit I see posts that said jets not turned down was the issue. Seems jets turned down would make it worse. I want jets where they are for good circulation and what I call the "Fountain of youth". I use one jet to massage any ache or pain I have and it works great, it's turn upward a bit ;)

I did find a Video on youtube for the Poolvernuegen with some great tips on changing the mouth size, which helped but didn't quite do it. I had the 2 wheel version and possibly the 4 wheel might have done the trick.
One think I didn't conser is the filter basket fills up fast and takes away some of the convenience of it going into the filter. What is amazing there is nothing in the manual about changing mouth sizes, and they are included !! I really love the simplicity and cost. One other issue was the supplied wheels have a large "bump" to deal with obstacles. It was already getting stick on the drain with the large mouth for better climbing. But there are other tires optimized for Vinyl pools (small bump), well that will more likely get stick on drain, ugh. Enough of that thing, back it goes.

After reading more on this forum I was leaning towards the Dolphin M500/M600. Was settled on M500 then I noticed the M600 in a review here and it is available locally in stock at a reasonable price.

Few concerns that I have, and one I've seen mentioned.

My blue diamond never "Scrubbed", and that turned out to be probably a good thing, it was extremely gentle, for the most part. Even when opening pool if it went over patch of algae a few times it was gone !!
The blue diamond would get itself stuck in some complex corners (my pool is irregular) but reverse itself out after a few minutes. Those spots all show liner pattern worn off. I was shocked after a year or two when I first got it. Then I decided, it was worth it. It never got much worse and pool vacuuming was a non issue for 16 years.

I like the 3rd brush Idea on the M500. I'm concerned it's overkill for most of the routine cleaning and I might find more of my liner missing the pattern over time. I was not sure if that middle brush was optionally enabled, I doubt it. I figured at worst, if I found it to much I could find a way to disable it (removing a belt or something).

Now I really like the M600, mostly because it's more current. It does not have a 3rd brush but the main brushes always run 2x (scrub). Will it be overkill on my liner? Say after 5 years. My liner is 16 years old and some fade but not to bad, still looks appetizing. Scrubbing is great when you need it. But for routine cleaning it's overkill. Will it hurt anything? No way to disable the 2x scrub for sure.

One other concern like many things today is too much tech is bound to fail in a costly manner sooner. When I bought the Blue Diamond I bought one of the most advanced ones at the time and it paid off. I wanted the option to do walls or not (not many gave that option back then). Turns out I did not want walls. Way overkill for 95% of the season. Never even bothered once a season. It was just to slow. Remote was useless. Rarely missed a spot on automatic cleaning, which it was also noted for.

I LOVE tech, I own a Tesla. But there is some debate that say on new "smart appliances" that save energy, are actually WORSE for the planet. Because they don't last 30 years like old appliances did and you have to keep replacing them when the tech dies. So the land fills are filling up with "smart appliances" way faster than high energy consuming old appliances. Which is worse? I think that's why I like the Poolvernuegen.

I think the good news is all the "tech" is in the power head and not under water. I'm strongly leaning towards the M600 (because I'm a sucker for tech). Probably the most valuable thing is programming the right length of cleaning, what I want cleaned and the filters. Price does not bother me at long as it lasts. I might never see 16 years again though. I'd be thrilled with 10 years at this price point (with maybe some minor repairs). I plan to only put in the pool once a week or so.

My old Bluediamond was a two drive motor unit and I think that's a minimum requirement. I forget how the one drive motors turn (brake on one track?).

Sorry for the long ramble.
 

Ted2019

Silver Supporter
May 10, 2019
14
Lido Beach, NY
OK, ok, your told me so. The Poolvernuegen was a bust. So close though.

Lot's of happy customers with Poolvernuegen but it just refused to go into the shallow end. I did NOT turn my jets down, I refuse to mess with those, and I highly doubt that was the issue but I admit I see posts that said jets not turned down was the issue. Seems jets turned down would make it worse. I want jets where they are for good circulation and what I call the "Fountain of youth". I use one jet to massage any ache or pain I have and it works great, it's turn upward a bit ;)

I did find a Video on youtube for the Poolvernuegen with some great tips on changing the mouth size, which helped but didn't quite do it. I had the 2 wheel version and possibly the 4 wheel might have done the trick.
One think I didn't conser is the filter basket fills up fast and takes away some of the convenience of it going into the filter. What is amazing there is nothing in the manual about changing mouth sizes, and they are included !! I really love the simplicity and cost. One other issue was the supplied wheels have a large "bump" to deal with obstacles. It was already getting stick on the drain with the large mouth for better climbing. But there are other tires optimized for Vinyl pools (small bump), well that will more likely get stick on drain, ugh. Enough of that thing, back it goes.

After reading more on this forum I was leaning towards the Dolphin M500/M600. Was settled on M500 then I noticed the M600 in a review here and it is available locally in stock at a reasonable price.

Few concerns that I have, and one I've seen mentioned.

My blue diamond never "Scrubbed", and that turned out to be probably a good thing, it was extremely gentle, for the most part. Even when opening pool if it went over patch of algae a few times it was gone !!
The blue diamond would get itself stuck in some complex corners (my pool is irregular) but reverse itself out after a few minutes. Those spots all show liner pattern worn off. I was shocked after a year or two when I first got it. Then I decided, it was worth it. It never got much worse and pool vacuuming was a non issue for 16 years.

I like the 3rd brush Idea on the M500. I'm concerned it's overkill for most of the routine cleaning and I might find more of my liner missing the pattern over time. I was not sure if that middle brush was optionally enabled, I doubt it. I figured at worst, if I found it to much I could find a way to disable it (removing a belt or something).

Now I really like the M600, mostly because it's more current. It does not have a 3rd brush but the main brushes always run 2x (scrub). Will it be overkill on my liner? Say after 5 years. My liner is 16 years old and some fade but not to bad, still looks appetizing. Scrubbing is great when you need it. But for routine cleaning it's overkill. Will it hurt anything? No way to disable the 2x scrub for sure.

One other concern like many things today is too much tech is bound to fail in a costly manner sooner. When I bought the Blue Diamond I bought one of the most advanced ones at the time and it paid off. I wanted the option to do walls or not (not many gave that option back then). Turns out I did not want walls. Way overkill for 95% of the season. Never even bothered once a season. It was just to slow. Remote was useless. Rarely missed a spot on automatic cleaning, which it was also noted for.

I LOVE tech, I own a Tesla. But there is some debate that say on new "smart appliances" that save energy, are actually WORSE for the planet. Because they don't last 30 years like old appliances did and you have to keep replacing them when the tech dies. So the land fills are filling up with "smart appliances" way faster than high energy consuming old appliances. Which is worse? I think that's why I like the Poolvernuegen.

I think the good news is all the "tech" is in the power head and not under water. I'm strongly leaning towards the M600 (because I'm a sucker for tech). Probably the most valuable thing is programming the right length of cleaning, what I want cleaned and the filters. Price does not bother me at long as it lasts. I might never see 16 years again though. I'd be thrilled with 10 years at this price point (with maybe some minor repairs). I plan to only put in the pool once a week or so.

My old Bluediamond was a two drive motor unit and I think that's a minimum requirement. I forget how the one drive motors turn (brake on one track?).

Sorry for the long ramble.
I’m not an expert and new to TFP but I’m on my second Blue Diamond. First one lasted 10 years ( fancy one with remote); second one (no remote and almost half the price of the first one) is now four years old and does walls and floor. It rarely misses a spot in a 2 1/2 hour cycle. My pool is simple compared to yours .... so I’m happy with the Blue Diamond.
 

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mswlogo

Well-known member
Jul 6, 2017
73
MA
I’m not an expert and new to TFP but I’m on my second Blue Diamond. First one lasted 10 years ( fancy one with remote); second one (no remote and almost half the price of the first one) is now four years old and does walls and floor. It rarely misses a spot in a 2 1/2 hour cycle. My pool is simple compared to yours .... so I’m happy with the Blue Diamond.
The blue diamond is a work horse, no disagreement there. Just curious, can you disable walls with the cheaper unit? If I recall that was the main reason I bought more expensive unit is, you could disable walls and I did.

I hear ya on blue diamond though. But they have done nothing in 16 years. Concerned is they will be around for the next 10 years to service it.

I did get warranty service once on the blue diamond. I knew it was the head unit. But they made me send the whole unit. I sent it in a factory box all packed nice. They returned in a plain over sized box with NO packing and it bounced all around hard in shipping. And it was just the head unit. It really got banged up. And they would not replace any banged up parts because they still functioned. That left a bad taste. But it ran for 12 years after that. I was not tempted to do the modification I did on another blue diamond. It was a fair amount of work and photos still look like the original I bought. Like I said they have done nothing to that unit.

I just picked up the Dolphin M600 and here is why.

1) It has the swivel cable (cheaper dolphins have that as well). That was always a pain with the blue diamond. I'd string it out on the lawn and untwist it after every cleaning. But I've seen reports of swivel failing.
2) I hated cleaning the under pants in the Blue Diamond. I know, I'm lazy. The top basket design is a no brainer. Cheaper dolphins have that too.
3) Place I bought it will service it.

The M600 has many features like the high end blue diamond, dual drive motors, remote etc. I think dual drive units start at around $1000 for Dolphin. Dual drive is not required but I feel it makes a for a better system.

Lots of cool stuff on M600 I'm not sure I'll use in the long run. My wife might use the "Come to me feature". The easy remove will be nice, Blue Diamond can weight ton pulling it out.

I also like I can set the length of the program and what to include. Once set, I doubt I'll change it much.

Place I bought it said 5 day return policy if I don't like it. And if I don't love it, it will go back. But it looks pretty darn good.

Tempted to buy aftermarket extended warranty. Asurion or something. I think it's like $80 and adds 3 years after manufacturer warranty runs out.
 
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Ted2019

Silver Supporter
May 10, 2019
14
Lido Beach, NY
M600 sounds like a very nice unit — my second BD has no shut off for walls but for my pool, I want the walls done since I consider it a beach/play pool ( depth is only 3’ to 51/2’), i.e. walls are quickly done; it stays on the bottom 85% of the time.
Also, I found that switching each side of the handle of the BD from front to back after each use keeps the cord from twisting.

But, I also hate cleaning the BD “diaper” after each use!!
It also seems to be getting heavier as I age!
 

mswlogo

Well-known member
Jul 6, 2017
73
MA
M600 sounds like a very nice unit — my second BD has no shut off for walls but for my pool, I want the walls done since I consider it a beach/play pool ( depth is only 3’ to 51/2’), i.e. walls are quickly done; it stays on the bottom 85% of the time.
Also, I found that switching each side of the handle of the BD from front to back after each use keeps the cord from twisting.

But, I also hate cleaning the BD “diaper” after each use!!
It also seems to be getting heavier as I age!
I love your pool BTW. Looks like a bench along the deep end.

I love our pool but I regret it’s irregular shape. Solar covers have been a royal PITA.
 

mswlogo

Well-known member
Jul 6, 2017
73
MA
M600 is in and running. Perfect so far.

Cleaned most of the pool in 45 minutes in Floor Only mode. Just doing spit and polish now for the next 75 minutes or so.