My Dolphin Active30 is a Lemon

div_0305

Silver Supporter
Sep 6, 2017
36
Northern VA
Did I expect too much from my $900 robot? Had the Dolphin for 3 years, and each year, it's needed to be sent in for service. Maytronics covered 3 services (1 just outside of warranty). I had to pay shipping to their service person each time. First season, the power cord had to be replaced. Second season, the motor had to be replaced. Now, third season, I'm guessing it's the motor again because the symptoms are the same. So we've had 3 years use, but really just 3 seasons' use. Maytronics will not pay for any of the service this time. I maintain the vacuum and our pool well, so I really do think the unit is a lemon. For the new motor to break down after just one season's use is ridiculous. I refuse to buy another Maytronics unit after this sour (no pun intended) experience. What manufacturer builds better, more durable robots?
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,160
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
I am sorry you’ve had a bad dolphin experience. It’s hit or miss to get them to replace vs repair under warranty. Perhaps yours was made near quitting time on Friday? Generally a lemon would need to be the same failure over & over in fairly short order.

I don’t have any thing to offer other than asking if you happened to purchase it with a credit card? Many have free extended warranty protections that extend the manufacturer warranty by a year. My visa signature has this. You make the claim w/ your cc company. Another member here was able to get a replacement/$$ for his this way.
 

mixsig

Active member
Sep 12, 2007
29
Austin, TX
Pool Size
10000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Did I expect too much from my $900 robot? Had the Dolphin for 3 years, and each year, it's needed to be sent in for service. Maytronics covered 3 services (1 just outside of warranty). I had to pay shipping to their service person each time. First season, the power cord had to be replaced. Second season, the motor had to be replaced. Now, third season, I'm guessing it's the motor again because the symptoms are the same. So we've had 3 years use, but really just 3 seasons' use. Maytronics will not pay for any of the service this time. I maintain the vacuum and our pool well, so I really do think the unit is a lemon. For the new motor to break down after just one season's use is ridiculous. I refuse to buy another Maytronics unit after this sour (no pun intended) experience. What manufacturer builds better, more durable robots?
I am at the same point as you with my Maytronics CC Plus. I am one month out of warranty and it has a broken internal track guide. They won't sell me the part for self repair. I've been loosing over a month of every swim season shipping mine in for service since purchase. This is the second bad experience with Maytronics. My first robot was a Dolphin Dynamic. The Dynamic cleaned nicely until it died just out of warranty as well. The proposed repair costs were absurd. I had a Polaris 9400 between the two. With the Polaris I was replacing a basket once per season after the second year. Otherwise, the unit was at least user serviceable and I never lost more than the two days of down time. After 5 years the power supply went out and I decided to buy new rather than replacing the PSU. I made the mistake of believing all the glowing Maytronics reviews when I replaced the Polaris. Anyway, I am not wanting to hijack your thread with my rant about how much I dislike getting burned twice by Maytronics :) I'll be interested to see the replies as well. But, for now, I am leaning towards another Polaris as a replacement. I consider readily available service parts and quick remedies of any issues a real benefit.
 

Saturn94

Bronze Supporter
Mar 11, 2015
1,290
SE Virginia
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Stories like these make me appreciate my basic 9 year old Polaris 280 even more. It’s not the latest and greatest, but it does the job, it’s reliable, and parts are easy to find and economical.

I realize these stories don’t likely represent the majority experience, but I have no appetite for risking $900.
 

mixsig

Active member
Sep 12, 2007
29
Austin, TX
Pool Size
10000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Again, not wanting to hijack this thread, but to clarify comments made in my last post. I ended up finding there are third party parts sources for Maytronics robots. There are part diagrams, exploded views and order availability of parts needed for the CC Plus at eztestpools. I was surprised to find it as Maytronics is not providing the parts directly. This does make self-repair possible.
 
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div_0305

Silver Supporter
Sep 6, 2017
36
Northern VA
Answering the questions above... No, I didn't buy it through my credit card-- I should have because such $$ items should be bought on credit card for the extended warranty. I wonder if Maytronics knows which units/models are lemons because they aren't even selling the Active30 it seems--though they may claim it's a supply issue. I don't trust Maytronics and they do not deserve repeat business from me.

Due to the size of my pool, I'm not sure what other brand to try. Searching the forum, I'm not coming up with anything promising.

I'm open to try any cheaper brand sold on Amazon now that I've had this experience with Maytronics, and then buy the extended warranty through Assurion or some other 3rd party warranty. It cannot be worse than the money pit the Active30 has been.
 

BowserB

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
648
"Old" Katy, TX
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I have a question for you guys with frequent or recurring failures. How do you use and store you robot? I know the mfr implies with built in scheduling, it is OK to leave in the pool, but Maytronics also cautions against leaving in a pool with higher than 4ppm chlorine. A 3600 ppm salt pool is also something to be concerned about. All in all, I see a swimming pool with high chlorine plus salt plus UV from the sun to be a hostile environment for pretty much anything made of plastic, silicone seals, and rubber. My M500 cost me $1,100 from Marina Pool & Spa, and in my budget world that is a lot of money.

I don't leave my cars or lawnmower out in the weather, and I'm not going to leave this expensive appliance in the elements either. I run the robot about once a week. After a 3.5 hour cycle set for floor and walls, I take it out and rinse THOROUGHLY with fresh water. All the outside, the openings and cavities, the three brushes, and the cord--especially the swivel connection. I separately clean the debris containers and filters. Then I park the unit on the caddy on a covered back patio. After some drying time, I cover the whole thing with a vinyl chair cover. I'm at the end of the second summer, and the M500 is still working fine. [OK. Fingers crossed now that I haven't jinxed it!]
 

div_0305

Silver Supporter
Sep 6, 2017
36
Northern VA
Mine is in the pool most of the time unless we are in the pool. I use the robot to clean the pool daily. My chlorine is through a SWG, and is between 2-4 (it has gone above 4 when we are getting the pool opened in spring, but I don't keep the vacuum in there until the chemicals are in range. My salt level is within Maytronics' range in the manual which they say is max of 5000. Ours is usually 3600. The unit looks great as far as the seals, plastic, tracks, rubber, etc. It's the motor now that has not lasted 1 season (4 months) twice in a row.
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,160
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Being as it’s an electronic device that you throw in the pool I opted to take a little less financial risk (aka - be cheap) & purchase a refurbished unit w/ my credit card that allows for 1yr extended warranty even on refurbished items (all cards do not allow for this). This essentially got me a new warranty at a refurbished price point. An automatic robotic cleaner is definitely a luxury item & is priced as such. Many folks here have had great runs w/ their maytronics units but like all electronic equipment there can be failures - this is inevitable in the grand scheme of things. The determining factor is how the company deals with problems when they happen & it appears you haven’t had a good experience. Not sure where you bought yours from but not having to pay shipping for repairs is why many people decide to purchase at a local place that also repairs even if it costs more $ upfront. They are the leader in robotic pool cleaners & have kind of cornered the market.
I wonder if @Maytronics Customer Care has any insight on a remedy for this situation.
 

div_0305

Silver Supporter
Sep 6, 2017
36
Northern VA
I am at the same point as you with my Maytronics CC Plus. I am one month out of warranty and it has a broken internal track guide. They won't sell me the part for self repair. I've been loosing over a month of every swim season shipping mine in for service since purchase. This is the second bad experience with Maytronics. My first robot was a Dolphin Dynamic. The Dynamic cleaned nicely until it died just out of warranty as well. The proposed repair costs were absurd. I had a Polaris 9400 between the two. With the Polaris I was replacing a basket once per season after the second year. Otherwise, the unit was at least user serviceable and I never lost more than the two days of down time. After 5 years the power supply went out and I decided to buy new rather than replacing the PSU. I made the mistake of believing all the glowing Maytronics reviews when I replaced the Polaris. Anyway, I am not wanting to hijack your thread with my rant about how much I dislike getting burned twice by Maytronics :) I'll be interested to see the replies as well. But, for now, I am leaning towards another Polaris as a replacement. I consider readily available service parts and quick remedies of any issues a real benefit.
I'm looking at the Polaris 9450--anything not made by Maytronics. What model are you thinking of getting?
 

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