Not understanding the lure of robotic cleaners..

reggiehammond

Gold Supporter
Oct 4, 2020
375
Fort Worth, Texas
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CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
I'm a Polaris fan. Came with the house/pool. So easy to fix myself with aftermarket parts and supplies. I expect it to last forever.
Glad you like it - I found that the energy usage wasn’t on par for how little they actually clean compared to a robot. It’s shocking how much dirt and silt a robot can pull out of a pool compared to a Polaris with PB4-60 for so much less energy.
 

Hal3

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 29, 2008
188
San Antonio, Texas
Pool Size
9000
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Chlorine
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Glad you like it - I found that the energy usage wasn’t on par for how little they actually clean compared to a robot. It’s shocking how much dirt and silt a robot can pull out of a pool compared to a Polaris with PB4-60 for so much less energy.
Excellent point! I had not considered the extra energy cost. That has to add up over the years.
 

OrangeAndBlue

Silver Supporter
Aug 19, 2017
111
Houston, TX area
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I really would like to get a robot but somehow I just can't make the numbers / benefits work to replace the Polaris either:
2 hours at 200 Watts vs 2 hours at 1488. And the Dolphin cleans much better. No brainer.
I run my Polaris about 2 hours a day on average (probably more like 90 mins actually, but I'll roll with these numbers): That is 2.6kWh savings per day (2h x 0.2kW vs 2h x 1.5kW). At my electricity rate of 9c/kWh that would save me 23cents per day or $85 per year. Someone check my math.
I am more frugal than most pool owners I'm sure, but I don't think that's 'no brainer' territory yet. That's a 8+ year payback period for a relatively cheap model. For me personally, I think I'd need to be able to get that robot for around $300-400 before I'd buy one to replace the Polaris based on energy savings. Once the Polaris dies and needs to be replaced anyway then it would get more interesting.

I also don't see the big time savings that some here are touting. The old Polaris does a decent job and gets the floors quite clean except for one of the far corners in my pool that it doesn't reach too well, but I can just brush that debris to the center of the pool in a matter of seconds every couple of days. I almost feel like a TFP heretic to say this, but I only manually vacuum around 3-4 times per year and the pool is basically always very clean and clear (except right after a major storm). I have to brush obviously, but doing that 1-2 times per week doesn't take but 5-10 mins either.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Polaris fanboy and I'd probably pick a robot if I was starting from zero. But so far I cannot justify getting one to replace my working Polaris, as much as I'd like to because I like cool tech toys.
 
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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,273
NY
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Polaris fanboy and I'd probably pick a robot if I was starting from zero. But so far I cannot justify getting one to replace my working Polaris, as much as I'd like to because I like cool tech toys.
Agreed. If you already have the setup, And your electric is cheap, ride it until you need to rethink it.

I’m starting again and it will be much cheaper to start with a robot.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
23,160
Bedford, TX
I know a lot of people have brought up the cost savings when using a Robot... While true, it is not a lot of money in real dollars..

In my mind there are only two reasons to own a robot..

1. They clean better than any water powered cleaners..
2. They are easy to take out of the pool when you want, so that you don't have to have an ugly mess in your pool 24/7.. If you look at most advertisements of pools, you don't see some ugly cleaner taking up space... :mrgreen:

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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red-beard

Gold Supporter
May 27, 2019
1,395
Houston, TX
Pool Size
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Hayward Aqua Rite Pro (T-15)
Cleans better AND costs less...

I ran my Polaris 2 hours per day, but would kick it on a couple of times extra per week. Round it up and it might save $100 per year. And I am paying $0.089/kWh.

My math was based on the price difference between a major repair on my Polaris 280 (complete rebuild kit $279) and the $799 robot. Difference is ~$500. The electricity saves enough to pay for it in 5 years. But the real advantage: IT CLEANS BETTER! Much much much much much better.

And it cleans better.

Did I mention it cleans better?
 
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Hal3

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 29, 2008
188
San Antonio, Texas
Pool Size
9000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
How much does it cost to run the Polaris pump? My electricity is 9.24 cents per kilowatt hour. The Polaris pump is rated at 3/4 horsepower.

But, the pump is not running at maximum capacity.

I put the Klein clamp-on meter on the power connection while the pump was running.

I don't believe the meter. It's reading 0.1 amps. That's 24 watts at 240 volts. Impossible, I say. I need to check my meter.

And yet, I think the electrical costs may be overstated.
 

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JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
18,622
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
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Plaster
Chlorine
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
How much does it cost to run the Polaris pump? My electricity is 9.24 cents per kilowatt hour. The Polaris pump is rated at 3/4 horsepower.

But, the pump is not running at maximum capacity.

I put the Klein clamp-on meter on the power connection while the pump was running.

I don't believe the meter. It's reading 0.1 amps. That's 24 watts at 240 volts. Impossible, I say. I need to check my meter.

And yet, I think the electrical costs may be overstated.

You can’t put the clamp on the conduit as that will pickup both legs and the neutral. You need to clamp the meter on the individual legs to get the correct reading.
 
Last edited:

jseyfert3

Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 20, 2017
1,858
Southern WI
Pool Size
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put the Klein clamp-on meter on the power connection while the pump was running.

I don't believe the meter. It's reading 0.1 amps. That's 24 watts at 240 volts. Impossible, I say. I need to check my meter.
It is impossible. Your read is wrong. Clamping over the entire conduit gives a false reading. You need a single wire. Grabbing both the supply and return wires the current cancels out. There’s some error in the reading which is why you’re reading 0.1 but they mostly cancel out which is why you are reading 0.1. Get the clamp over a single wire, not over the conduit, and you’ll get a proper reading.
 
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joboo7777

Bronze Supporter
Aug 8, 2020
243
McKinney, TX
Pool Size
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The seriously overpriced Polaris Quattro is essentially a water pressure powered robot. It climbs walls and scrubs. Its fine filter captures tiny particles that other Polarises don't. It took several days to fine tune so it would climb less and clean the floor more, but I succeeded. I can't run a robot due to my setup. (Trust me. Don't ask.) So I have to credit Polaris for their hydraulic wizardry.
I’ve considered this option as well. If I knew at the time this was an option, I probably would have ordered as part of the PB package. Instead I have the 280 which has been a solid performer but does not do walls.

My biggest issue with robots is that it requires an electrical cord that eventually would exit the pool and lay across the decking. Slightly less concerning is the size of the debris container. Once they develope a rechargeable battery option that is reliable I may consider looking at that. Although the pain of pulling it out of water and recharging the battery is not appealing.
 

red-beard

Gold Supporter
May 27, 2019
1,395
Houston, TX
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite Pro (T-15)
I’ve considered this option as well. If I knew at the time this was an option, I probably would have ordered as part of the PB package. Instead I have the 280 which has been a solid performer but does not do walls.

My biggest issue with robots is that it requires an electrical cord that eventually would exit the pool and lay across the decking. Slightly less concerning is the size of the debris container. Once they develope a rechargeable battery option that is reliable I may consider looking at that. Although the pain of pulling it out of water and recharging the battery is not appealing.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
18,622
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
*second guessing decision to buy a pool robot as I throw out a 6 month old $500 house robot because my dog enjoys pooping in front of it so much.
View attachment 363000

You should really recycle ♻️ that properly. Household technology contains printed circuit boards and microchips with lots of heavy metals and solders as well as batteries that could be hazardous. Proper disposal through your local hazardous waste recycler should only cost you a few hundred bucks but think of the smile you’ll put on Mother Nature’s face 😊 Now go hug a tree and say you’re sorry …
 

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