Robot Newbie - What do you recommend?

bostonpool

Well-known member
May 29, 2017
80
Worcester, MA
Hi folks:

Even though we are getting our 4th Nor'Easter in a month, spring is just around the corner.

I'm hoping to invest in a pool cleaning robot this year to help keep dirt/debris off the bottom and reduce the amount of manual vacuuming I have to do. But I have no idea where to start. Can some experts here help with some recommendations?

I've got a 40 year old 32,000 gallon Gunite pool. All edges are "curved" (no hard angles or intersections.)

I'm mainly looking for an electric cleaning robot as I think it would be easier to use than one of the ones that connects to the suction side / skimmer.

Thoughts and recommendations?
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
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Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,459
Central MD
The first two places I’d start are the Dolphin S and M series. Your size pool may be a better candidate for the M series. There are Owner threads for each in the Pool Cleaners section of the forum.

Bombardier is a cleaner technician and he is positive on Dolphins for their lack of needing repairs. Users here also report good experiences with them.

M-Series

This one is for the S-200 level of the S series. There are other's higher S-300 and S-300i.
Doheny-s-Discovery-S200-Active20-Triton-owners
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,033
Pacific NW
+1 for a Dolphin robot, they've been around and are technologically the best.

I have an E10 I'm very pleased with, but that is recommended for smaller sized pools.
 

kjdiver

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 23, 2009
81
Virginia
+2 for Dolphin...I did a lot of research and ended up purchasing the Matronics S300i - lots of features. Unfortunately can't test it yet with this last Nor'easter, but looking forward to it.

Marina Pool made it super easy and $500 cheaper than any local store, just have to give them a call.
 

Shelbrain

Silver Supporter
Feb 23, 2018
53
Spring Hill, Florida
Hi folks:

Even though we are getting our 4th Nor'Easter in a month, spring is just around the corner.

I'm hoping to invest in a pool cleaning robot this year to help keep dirt/debris off the bottom and reduce the amount of manual vacuuming I have to do. But I have no idea where to start. Can some experts here help with some recommendations?

I've got a 40 year old 32,000 gallon Gunite pool. All edges are "curved" (no hard angles or intersections.)

I'm mainly looking for an electric cleaning robot as I think it would be easier to use than one of the ones that connects to the suction side / skimmer.

Thoughts and recommendations?
What size would e eryone recommend for a 12×27 pebble tec pool?
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
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Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,459
Central MD
Which reminds me, my one year warranty on my refurb is March 30. Looks like i'll have to pop the cover and drop him in this weekend to see if he fires up this year just in case. If the snow melts off the cover that is.
 

bostonpool

Well-known member
May 29, 2017
80
Worcester, MA
Thanks everyone for the recommendation. I've researched the M series and like the M-500, except for the size. It seems bigger than I was expecting and a bit unwieldy. How is it to handle? Also do you have the version with or without bluetooth?

I found a local Dolphin dealer from their website. Unfortunately they don't carry the M-series and only sell the "Active" series. They recommend the "Active 30i" which similar to the M500. Do you know what the primary differences are between the two? I've read the Active can sometimes get stuck on floor drains, etc. I don't want that.

Is the M500 superior to the Active 30i, despite the size? Also, I get a lot of leaves. I assume leaves are no problem for these robots, correct?
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,040
Tucson, AZ
How deep is your deep end? Do you have any complicated curves or corners? Submerged bar stools? Lots of stairs or swimouts? A picture of your pool would help.

Ask the dealer if they have a loaner Active 30i (same as a S300i) that you can take home and try out for a day or two. That will give you an indication if the unit will be able to clean your pool. Given the size of your pool, you'll need a robot with more features to it so that you can specify Floor-Only mode, or 2.5hr cycle instead of the default 2 hour cycle. The S300i/A30i is about the only model that gives you all the features you need before you have to get into the more expensive M series.
 

bizzle

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2017
231
Imperial County, CA
I have an M500 and it is not unwieldy to use. That said, I'm a 200lb male and my wife is pregnant and hasn't tried to put it in the pool. When it isn't in the water it's on the included rolling stand and then it's a short push into the pool. I have, in the past, chucked it into the pool until I noticed I was throwing it higher and farther each time probably just out of boredom and thought that probably wasn't ideal for longevity. In any case, dragging it across or out of the pool is effortless due to its buoyancy. Heaving it out of the water isn't terribly difficult, I think it's lighter and definitely easier than the 40lb bag of dog food I haul from the car or the worst offender being 60lb bags of quickcrete.

I don't know if the size between the M500 and others is actually different externally. The difference I'm aware of is the placement of the motor. The M500 has a larger motor *inside* the body, which necessitates two filters on each side. I love my M500, no regrets.
 

mitchellb

Well-known member
Nov 22, 2017
72
Clearwater, florida
I have an Aquabot X4 in my similarly sized pool. I have been very pleased with this unit. Easy to use, not too heavy and the filter baskets are very easy to remove and clean. Really does a nice job picking up debris. Certainly worth consideration. Came with a caddy and 3 year warranty at a decent price.
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
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Jul 16, 2012
5,459
Central MD
I have an Aquabot X4 in my similarly sized pool. I have been very pleased with this unit. Easy to use, not too heavy and the filter baskets are very easy to remove and clean. Really does a nice job picking up debris. Certainly worth consideration. Came with a caddy and 3 year warranty at a decent price.
I think user experiences are great. I'm certainly glad you've had a good one. We do hear much less about Aquabot versus other brands, Dolphin specifically. I will though share a post from user 'thebombardier', who is a cleaner technician, so he has a lot of touches on various brands/models. Again, users can have great experiences and enjoy equipment with lesser overall dependability - it just really depends on your specific bot.

thebombardier on Aquabot pool robots
 

bostonpool

Well-known member
May 29, 2017
80
Worcester, MA
Hi folks. Just wanted to give you an update.

I'm a proud owner of a Dolphin M-500 "without Bluetooth". It still has the remote control, but just not the Bluetooth capability for use with the app. My wife isn't a big smartphone user so figured she would like the remote control better.

Looking forward to trying it out in May!
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
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Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,459
Central MD
That’s a neat combo of power and reduced tech for a savings. I saw that was likely an older stock item but that wouldn’t concern me in the least.

Coming from a guy who bought a refurb. A20 for cheap.

Excited for you!
 

Thurston

Bronze Supporter
May 19, 2017
131
RI
Hi folks. Just wanted to give you an update.

I'm a proud owner of a Dolphin M-500 "without Bluetooth". It still has the remote control, but just not the Bluetooth capability for use with the app. My wife isn't a big smartphone user so figured she would like the remote control better.

Looking forward to trying it out in May!
My local place is also recommending the active series after I asked on the phone about an M500. He said the Active 30i is latest tech. I have a large pool too and everything I've seen about the M500 looks positive.

What made you decide on the M500?
 

Scy0846

New member
Mar 29, 2018
2
Jacksonville FL
Dolphin hands down. I purchased one last year and it still runs like a dream. Had some hurricanes last year in Florida and that little guy really impressed me at cleaning up the pool afterwards, we did have to run him about 20 times but it did really well