Review: Paxcess Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner

Apr 29, 2018
Austin TX
I've recently become aware of the potential advantages of a robotic pool cleaner over the older technology (e.g. my current pressure-side Polaris 280). I'm recovering from knee surgery, so I'd like to "get some help" in scrubbing the pool walls, in particular. To that end, I've recently acquired a Paxcess Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner. Herein is a review of same.

The Paxcess seemed attractive to me for the following reasons:
  • It was available for a reasonably low price from W*lmart (which has a solid and simple carry-in return policy)
  • It seemed to have a clean and simple design - my brain got foggy trying to make sense of the Maytronics product line...
  • It had (or claimed to have) features that I thought were important: swivel cord, wall-climbing and waterline scrubbing, 3 hour cycle (my pool is large)
I'm not including any close-ups pix of the cleaner (the website has plenty), but I did record a time-lapse video of a 3-hour cleaning session. Feel free to take a look.

  • The Paxcess climbs walls and scrubs the waterline quite well
  • Its navigation strategy can best be described as "randomly directed back-and-forth" - have a look at the video
  • It does poorly on steps, at least on curved "wedding cake"-style steps; it gets hung in such a way that neither driving roller is making contact with the pool surface, and stays hung until it randomly gets dislodged from its perch.
  • Its specs says that the filter baskets (two top-loaders) are good for ~170 micron debris. This is good enough for dirt and sand, but won't cut it for scrubbed-off algae.
So, in summary, here is the scorecard from my perspective for my pool:

  • Affordable (and returnable)
  • Simple design
  • 1, 2 and 3 hour programs
  • Does a credible job on debris
  • It does not have a swivel cord as claimed, but frankly it doesn't need one either
  • Design allows the cleaner to get hung up on steps (the major issue) - if you watch the video, you will see it get hung up 4 or more times, including just after I drop it in the water
  • Filters not fine enough for algae, and since they are one-piece, they are a little bit more difficult to clean compared to other brands
  • Has foam rollers instead of rubber "teeth" - this makes the cleaner much heavier to haul out of the pool and requires a longer drying time to prepare for storage
  • No smart navigation - it does back-and-forth OK, and may work well for a simpler pool geometry, but didn't seem thorough enough to adequately clean my 35K gal. pool
My bottom line: the Paxcess is going back to WallyWorld. I need a robot that will map my pool and do a more thorough job in a 3 hour cycle. I also need a cleaner that will not get hung up on my "wedding cake" stairs.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
Bedford, TX

A lot of cleaners say they "Map" the pool, and I am sure they do something, but for all practical purposes they just look like they are randomly moving around.. I have had several and they all do the same thing.

No robot will clean your steps... but they should not get hung up on the steps either.. Did your 280 clean your steps???

If you are using any kind of cleaner to get rid of algae, you are feeding the wrong end of the horse.. Cleaners and filter are not designed to keep your pool algae free.. Algae is a chemical problem not a cleaner or filter problem.

Thanks for your review,

Jim R.
Apr 29, 2018
Austin TX

Thanks for your reply. Two items:
  1. I'm totally aware that algae is a sanitation, not a scrubbing, problem. I monitor and dose my own pool using sodium hypochlorite. I included the information regarding filter mesh size above for those who might want to use a robotic cleaner as an aid to getting a pool ready for swimming after a bloom, or at the start of a season.

  2. The Polaris got stuck on the steps, not unlike the Paxcess. I don't care if the cleaner can clean steps (and I didn't expect it to), but I cannot have the cleaner "hung up" for 5 minutes at a time in a cleaning cycle - too much lost time and energy.
Thanks again,
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