Robot or manual?

kellylean

Member
Jun 23, 2020
7
54023
I have a 14,000gal above ground pool, and I'm trying to decide on what type of cleaner to get. Since we don't have a huge pump, I think avoiding a suction side cleaner will be the best for us, but I'd like to avoid spending over $600 for a cleaner when the pool was $1600. What is a good "intro to pool ownership" cleaner, knowing it may require additional manual labor that we are okay with.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Hello! :wave: Well, there's no doubt that if cost is an issue, a manual vacuum is the old tried & true method and doesn't break the bank. Of course we have to move it around, but hey, we're at a pool right? :) I still use the same old manual vacuum hose and head I got with my pool 7 years ago (see below). One day I'll try to get a robot, but I just invested in a SWG so it's not happening this year. :( I know there are some robots on the lower end of the scale for a few hundred dollars, but I can't speak to their reliability. Hopefully some others will. Have a nice weekend. :swim:

 

thefloatqueen

Bronze Supporter
Dec 24, 2018
665
Columbus, OH
I have a 14,000gal above ground pool, and I'm trying to decide on what type of cleaner to get. Since we don't have a huge pump, I think avoiding a suction side cleaner will be the best for us, but I'd like to avoid spending over $600 for a cleaner when the pool was $1600. What is a good "intro to pool ownership" cleaner, knowing it may require additional manual labor that we are okay with.
Here is Miss Queeny, my Aquabot Pool Rover Junior, in action! She was only about $300 brand new. 🙂 I will NEVER go back to a manual or regular pool vacuum that connects to the pool. Best thing I’ve bought for my pool thus far! I also have an Intex and this robot works excellent even with my wrinkled liner! 😆

6678836F-22C1-4B51-A4BC-4332CE6DBEC0.jpeg4BA8B5A5-F739-4996-AB69-DAD31762881A.jpeg9391E4A2-CA5C-4543-8C1C-D83929A3F475.jpeg6F9A6131-6BC1-474B-B2AD-CA992BD0B0AA.jpeg
 
Last edited:

chazalicious

Member
Mar 21, 2016
17
Litchfield, NH
I got a Pool Rover Jr about four years ago, and it worked great for a while. About two years ago, it stopped changing direction. The jets and suction were working just fine, but it'd go until it hit a wall, then just kept driving itself forward. I got busy having a toddler and newborn, so I only just got around to researching and troubleshooting. Pretty sure I narrowed the problem down to the power supply. With my ear against it, I can hear it hum for ~30 seconds, then two rapid clicks, then humming again. Pretty sure the click is it changing direction, and two clicks means it's changing direction, then changing right back.

I emailed a robot repair place, and they said that if the power supply is the problem, the only option is probably replacing the power supply. Price for a new one seems to be around $200. So now I'm trying to decide between doing that and hoping it fixes it, looking for a new robot or suction cleaner, or just sucking it up and manually vacuuming.

I'd love to keep using an automatic cleaner, because I could run that a few times a week, while I'd only be able to do it myself maybe once a week. So ideally, a robot, but the most cost-effective AG robot seems to be...the Pool Rover Jr. Don't particularly love the idea of just getting another one when this one crapped out so quickly. Then again, maybe I did something wrong that made it Crud out.
 

kellylean

Member
Jun 23, 2020
7
54023
Okay, I got the Rover Jr. and so far so good! First time in the pool picked up a ton of junk. Now, is the basic filter it comes with sufficient, or should I be looking for a finer filter for any reason? My sand was collecting in corners, so I brushed the pool sides, and pushed the sand into the middle of the pool. Shouldn't be a problem.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,753
Tallahassee, FL
I have found the bag it comes with is GREAT! It is very dense and I have not see anything escape from it. I DID get an extra bag from Amazon. It makes it even easier. I just throw the dirty one in the wash and it is ready for the next time!
 

chazalicious

Member
Mar 21, 2016
17
Litchfield, NH
I'm pretty sure I'm going to be biting the bullet and getting a Dolphin E10/S50. Looks like MSRP on that is $500, plus I'd want the ultra fine filters. poolpartz.com has refurbished ones for $420. I know they're certified and have a one year warranty, but after my Aquabot broke down way earlier than expected, I'm hesitant to get a refurb.

Am I being overly paranoid and the refurb is fine and totally worth the $80 savings? Or should I just get the full price one?
 

ksteber

Well-known member
Sep 9, 2018
51
Summit Hill, PA
I’d go all in on a NEW one. That minut of a savings is truly not worth it. Let me know how you like it once you get it as that’s the one I am looking at too.
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
414
Central Texas
@thefloatqueen .... do you have a ladder in your pool, and does the Aquabot Pool Rover Junior get hung up in the bottom step/support rails?

My mom has a 28' round AGP, and tried a pressure cleaner, but had issues with it always getting stuck on the ladder. Wondering if the robots do any better with this?
 

chazalicious

Member
Mar 21, 2016
17
Litchfield, NH
@ksteber , I got the E10 on Friday, and ran it on Saturday. So far, so good. I wind up with a lot of fine dust and dirt on the bottom, so I got the ultra fine filter with it. There wasn't that much on the floor to begin with, but it did seem to get most of the stuff that was there. For sure it picked up the lines of dirt that the wrinkles in the floor always collect. The filter basket certainly had a lot of crud in the pleats of the filter when I hosed it out. I was swimming around with goggles yesterday, and did see more bits of dirt and stuff still in there, so not sure if it missed it, or if that's just stuff that fell in after it ran.

I didn't sit and watch it for the whole cycle or anything, but I did see that it made it all the way to the far end of the pool. I was a little worried because the nearest outlet I have is closer to one end, and I thought the cable might not be quite long enough, but it stretched with a little slack to spare. We have a set of stairs in the middle of one of the long sides, and it seemed to navigate around them okay. I even saw it climb the wall once, which I was surprised about. So yeah, so far, so good. I do wish it wasn't an extra $80 for the ultra fine filter, which seems like kind of a requirement, but even with the filter, it still came out cheaper than the Pentair one I was looking at.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ksteber