Robotic Cleaners and Skimmers

DanF

Active member
Mar 17, 2019
28
Chandler, AZ
Hi,

I have always owned suction-side cleaners; my current one is a pre-Hayward PoolCleaner, about 6 years old that I really like. It's having some problems now (not moving) so I'm considering a robot cleaner.

I understand that the robots don't require the pool pump to be on in order to operate, but they require electricity. If that's the case, how does the water circulate in the pool and how does the debris on the top of the water get skimmed by the skimmer?

Thanks.
 

DanF

Active member
Mar 17, 2019
28
Chandler, AZ
Thanks kato. Then where do the electric savings from robots I've been reading about come from? Does one operate the pump less hours with a robot cleaner? Sorry if my questions are elementary, but I'm a robot noobie!
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
995
Marrietta Ga
In my case I ran my pump at 3200 or higher when I needed my polaris to work. Now I run it at 2100 all the time and the robot hardly pulls any power.
If you have a cleaner that uses a booster pump you have to run a 2nd pump.

But for me the polaris did OK but nothing compared to the robot, Its day and night different on how good it cleans
 
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DanF

Active member
Mar 17, 2019
28
Chandler, AZ
For those of you with robot cleaners, I understand that the pumps are not supposed to be running while the robot is cleaning.

How often do you run your pool pumps? Daily/Hours/day? And do you run them at a lower speed? I have a 2-speed pump (high at ~ 3400 rpm/low at ~ 1700 rpm) -- will the low speed be enough for circulation and skimming? Here in the AZ summers circulation is important for keep chemicals mixed and moving for algae prevention, plus I would like to keep the water surface as clean as possible.

Thanks!
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
1,059
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
How often do you run your pool pumps? Daily/Hours/day? And do you run them at a lower speed? I have a 2-speed pump (high at ~ 3400 rpm/low at ~ 1700 rpm) -- will the low speed be enough for circulation and skimming? Here in the AZ summers circulation is important for keep chemicals mixed and moving for algae prevention, plus I would like to keep the water surface as clean as possible.
The article below will help you determine pump run-times. Circulation in terms of moving water is not that critical in a well-balanced pool. Since all pools are different and are maintained in different environments, there's no right answer for determining speeds and run-times. I run my pool for about 5 hours at 1800 RPM and 2 hours at 2500 RPM for more active skimming and for running my suction cleaner. Unless we're using the pool, I generally run my pump at night since I'm on a Time of Use energy plan. You'll need to run your pump at both speeds, grab a beer, and watch the surface to ensure skimming action is sufficient.

 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
995
Marrietta Ga
Dan,

I can't think of any reason not to have your pump running at the same time as your robot is working.. :scratch:

My pumps run 24/7 and I have yet to see any issues with my robots.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Only reason I can think not to is getting stuck on main drain?
I have my main drain barely sucking and also run my pump 24x7 and never have had any issues
 

DanF

Active member
Mar 17, 2019
28
Chandler, AZ
The article below will help you determine pump run-times. I run my pool for about 5 hours at 1800 RPM and 2 hours at 2500 RPM for more active skimming and for running my suction cleaner. Unless we're using the pool, I generally run my pump at night since I'm on a Time of Use energy plan. You'll need to run your pump at both speeds, grab a beer, and watch the surface to ensure skimming action is sufficient.

Thanks Mike. I read the article and it was helpful. I'm also on a Time of Use plan so I run my pump 6 hrs high/2 hrs low during off-peak times. But that's with a suction side cleaner and I feel that's what I need to get enough bottom cleaning and skimming...although I also supplement the skimmer with my own leaf rake labor.
My pumps run 24/7 and I have yet to see any issues with my robots.
I have my main drain barely sucking and also run my pump 24x7 and never have had any issues
Thanks Jim and Mark. I just can't see where the energy savings from a robot come from if you're stilling running your pumps 24/7. I get that the robot runs on DC power thus the draw is low, but it still seems like your electric meter would run more than mine. Confused :confused::)
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
995
Marrietta Ga
For my Polaris to work half way decent I had to turn my pool pump from 2100 rpm to almost full speed so I am saving in power that way
Some have a 2nd booster pump, that uses electricity.
I can’t remember the watts but my dolphin used very little power, seems like it was around 1amp
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,884
Bedford, TX
Dan,

If the only reason you want a robot is for energy savings, then you don't really want a robot. On the other hand, if you want a cleaner that works better than any water powered cleaner, then a robot is for you.

For me anyway, using a robot has nothing to do with saving money...

That said, I run my VS pump 24/7 at 1200 RPM, and that costs me less than $20 bucks a month... So not much left to save anyway.. :mrgreen:

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
995
Marrietta Ga
Dan,

If the only reason you want a robot is for energy savings, then you don't really want a robot. On the other hand, if you want a cleaner that works better than any water powered cleaner, then a robot is for you.

For me anyway, using a robot has nothing to do with saving money...

That said, I run my VS pump 24/7 at 1200 RPM, and that costs me less than $20 bucks a month... So not much left to save anyway.. :mrgreen:

Thanks,

Jim R.
Yes my dolphin cleans 10 times better in 2 hours then my Polaris did in a day
 
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Geebot

Well-known member
Aug 19, 2013
902
Hi,

I have always owned suction-side cleaners; my current one is a pre-Hayward PoolCleaner, about 6 years old that I really like. It's having some problems now (not moving) so I'm considering a robot cleaner.

I understand that the robots don't require the pool pump to be on in order to operate, but they require electricity. If that's the case, how does the water circulate in the pool and how does the debris on the top of the water get skimmed by the skimmer?

Thanks.
Many people have pools suction/pressure cleaners that operate on an auxiliary pump, separate from main system. Those people can disconnect the pump and cap their lines. For people on a single pump, espepcially a variable speed pump, they have to run at higher RPM than normal to keep their cleaners moving. I have a VSP that I run 24/7 at very low RPMs that costs very little to operate. The robot adds trivial cost to that.
 
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