My experience with Pentair and Maytronics/Dolpin with my beach entry pool

Tiggamonsta

Member
Jul 29, 2021
6
Smithville, Texas
I wanted to share my month long experience with Maytronics incase it helps others. I realize my pool is not the standard design so I tried to validate as much as I could before making a purchase. Our pool has a beach entrance and the pool builder included a Pentair Prowler 930 with the build. After our first month of curing we began using the robot. We immediately noticed two issues. The robot would drive out of the pool and it would try to climb the wall of the shallow section causing it to get stuck. Pentair was no help and just told us to shorten the cable so the robot cannot access any of those areas. With out pool design that would eliminate more then 50% of the pool and defeat the purpose of having a robot IMO. Since the Dolphin name is on the Pentair I contact there support. The informed me that the Prowler 930 is based on an older Dolphin design and although they could not support that they did not feel it was the right fit for a beach entry pool. I sent them pictures, measurements and an explanation of the issues I encountered with the Prowler and asked them what they would recommend. The came back and suggested the M600 or Active 60 stating that they both had technology in them built to handle a beach entry pool. I then reached back to my installer and asked about getting a Dolphin instead. He bought the Prowler back from me and ordered me an M600 for $1,500.

A few days later the M600 arrived. I set it up and turned it on. Within 20 min it tried to climb the side in the shallow area and got stuck. I restarted the cleaning cycle several times. Each time it either got stuck trying to climb the wall in the shallow area or drove out of the water and did not drive back in. It never ran more than 20 min before getting stuck. S the same issues I had with the Prowler. I contacted support and they told me the M600 is not designed for beach entry pools. I shared the email from my initial discussion before making the purchased and told me they will do some research and get back. They ended up sending me a link to a web form that asks questions and then recommends a model robot. I went through the form and "beach entry" was an option I selected. It then gave me a list of models and the M600 was on that list. Support then stopped responding to me. I called in and got a new person. they told me it would work with my pool and maybe I just need to raise the water level or limit the cord so it cannot access the beach. I pushed back again and they asked me to upload pictures and videos of the problems along with measurements of my pool and overall pool design so engineering could review. Again days go by with no response to my requests for updates. I call in again and get a 3rd person on the phone. They say it should work and I need to send the robot in for testing. They send me a label and I ship it in. I made sure to type out mown description of the problem and ask the technician to call me once he gets the unit to discuss. A week later I get an email that they tested the robot and it is working correctly and that it should work in my pool. They included the technicians email so I could contact him with any questions. I send an email asking why it is not working if it tests fine and should work in my pool. No response from the technician. I let a couple days go by and call in again. This time the person that answers says that my hardware is OK but they are waiting for a software update. I asked for more details and they said I need to reply to the email I got about the testing and the appropriate person will get notified and get back to me. I do and a couple more days go by with no response. I call in again and this person tells me they are waiting for a part to fix my robot. At this point I ask for a supervisor. I speak to the supervisor and he seems very understanding of all I have been through. He explains that he understands supports confusion with the notes in the system and asks for some time to research. He does call me back later that day and explains that my robot tests out correctly and that sometimes the robot may not work in all applications. I explain that IMO a beach entry pool has two features that make it different then other pools. One is that the water level goes to 0 and that there is a shallow area where the robot may try to climb the wall. Since it is failing in those two features how is it designed with a beach entry in mind. He carefully avoids the question and suggest I try to return the robot. I explained that I have now been working with there support for over 30days and they still have my robot so not sure I can return it. He agrees to send it back and sends me a email from their system. He tells me to respond to that email if I cannot return it and they will see what Maytronics can do. It has now been 5 days since I first sent him a message and I sent a follow up yesterday with no response as my installer will not take the robot back. In addition they shipped it back to me in a generic box, when I sent it in the original box with all the original packaging.

So now I have a $1,500 paperweight with about 4hrs on it. I purchased a $50 pole vacuum to now clean my pool.
 

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BMerrill

Gold Supporter
Mar 8, 2021
46
North Carolina
Pool Size
17860
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite Pro (T-15)
Looking forward to there answer.
Have a tanning ledge and the M600 tries climbing the narrow entry step and gets stuck, eventually turning off.
 

Tiggamonsta

Member
Jul 29, 2021
6
Smithville, Texas
Finally heard back from Maytronics. They are going to upgrade some parts and do a software upgrade. I am glad they are trying to fix this. Frustrating that I get two weeks of silence before I get a response.
 
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Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,131
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Glad you got some action. Keep us posted on the end result.
 

Bperry

Gold Supporter
Aug 20, 2020
988
Knoxville, TN
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60
Seems like a simple fix....if the water sensor detects that the robot isn’t in the water anymore it should turn around!
 
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Tiggamonsta

Member
Jul 29, 2021
6
Smithville, Texas
Finally got the robot back. Issue 1 is the controller is all scratched up now. This was a brand new robot that had less then 4 hours on it when sent to them. They provided no protection between the controller and the robot in the box. I have run it 4 times since getting it back and it continues to fail with one of the same two issues. The primary issue is the photo below of it getting stuck on end. With the tracks on one side so small and the design of the case the way it is, it cannot correct itself if it flips onto this end. Almost needs a wheelie bar. I will say that two of the times is ran for almost 90 min which prior to sending to them it's max was 20 min before getting stuck. At this point I am loosing my faith in Maytronics. They take so long to respond and it is clear this unit was not designed for a beach entry like I was told before I made the purchase. One of the documents they sent me in the box even stated they had no way to test a beach entry. I feel like I am stuck with a $1,500 paperweight.IMG_4543.jpegtempImage04e1bf.jpg
 
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Tiggamonsta

Member
Jul 29, 2021
6
Smithville, Texas
So Maytronics is sending me a different model robot. Since I purchased their top of the line this will be a lower cost unit. My option is to see if this works for me. If it works I keep it and send them the M600 as an even swap. If it does not work I send it back and keep my now scratched and still not usable M600. That is the last option they are offering. I hope it works as I really just want something usable at this point.
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
7,009
Central MD
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I hope you have some better luck with the new model (which one?). I suspect that if the brains can't solve the issue, a new lower level model won't do it. They don't work well/reliably on shelves/steps. And your beach entry is kind of both, with variable depth to boot. If it doesn't work exactly as you'd hoped, I'd focus on having the bot be able to hit the main body of the pool and just brush the beach entry and shelf into the main bowl before deployment. The restriction can be done with cord length, though with your design there's not an obvious best way to do that.
 

Bperry

Gold Supporter
Aug 20, 2020
988
Knoxville, TN
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60
I hope you have some better luck with the new model (which one?). I suspect that if the brains can't solve the issue, a new lower level model won't do it. They don't work well/reliably on shelves/steps. And your beach entry is kind of both, with variable depth to boot. If it doesn't work exactly as you'd hoped, I'd focus on having the bot be able to hit the main body of the pool and just brush the beach entry and shelf into the main bowl before deployment. The restriction can be done with cord length, though with your design there's not an obvious best way to do that.
I was just thinking maybe using the cord length to restrict access to that area might help. Might not work so well depending on the design of the pool.
 

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wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
3,105
Spring Valley, NY
I was just thinking maybe using the cord length to restrict access to that area might help. Might not work so well depending on the design of the pool.
I have a feeling by using the cord as a stop gap measure to limit its travel you then will be faced with an eventually premature floating cable problem and the replacements aren't cheap.
 

Bperry

Gold Supporter
Aug 20, 2020
988
Knoxville, TN
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60
I have a feeling by using the cord as a stop gap measure to limit its travel you then will be faced with an eventually premature floating cable problem and the replacements aren't cheap.
That could be true. I wonder if there’s some thing the OP can build to drop in the pool to block the cleaner from getting past it.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
3,105
Spring Valley, NY
Would be nice if there was some kind of magnetic strip you could drop across the pool floor similar to the robotic in home floor vacs that use magnetic strips to limit travel into certain areas within a home.
 
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Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,131
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Does this robot have a floor only setting? If so that may be the only reasonable option. At least when u are unable to babysit it’s operation.
 
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bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
7,009
Central MD
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I have a feeling by using the cord as a stop gap measure to limit its travel you then will be faced with an eventually premature floating cable problem and the replacements aren't cheap.
For the converse opinion, I have no conceptual feeling that will occur. In practice, I’ve been doing it for 5 years with no ill effects as one data point.
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
7,009
Central MD
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I've changed a few floating cables and all had a broken wire inside the cable right at the point where it exists the plastic.
Cool, I’ll take those odds given that my robot is a bench snoozer without doing it.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
3,105
Spring Valley, NY
Wireform. Why don't you cut the broken end off and reuse the cable?
I have many times but the nitty gritty work that it takes to get it the way the original is takes some work to say the least. I'm not a believer of splice,wrap and tape which means uncliping the the pins from the motor end plug in a way as not to damage it and reuse via soldering and all needs to fit into the small waterproof connector is no easy task. Have done many which are working several seasons.
 

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