Robotic Cleaners

SacDave

Well-known member
Jun 8, 2015
101
Rocklin Ca
I’m considering a Robotic pool cleaner I’m trying to lower my energy cost (Ca PG&E). I’ve read some pretty positive thing about them. I do have a couple questions.

1: My pool gets a lot of leaf’s in it and many sink how do they work for leaf pickup? I am retied so I’m pretty quick about removing them when I’m home.

2: I also have a programable main pump I ramp the speed up when the pool sweep is running Polaris 280 with booster pump. Would It be better to leave the pump at lower RPM’s when I have a robot? I’m thinking I’d have to run it a little longer but less energy would be needed

3: Would it be best to leave the booster pump in place? I think if I’m gone for an extended period I could use it instead of the robotic cleaner.

4: What’s the general opinion of the Robot cleaners? any negatives?
 

Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
1,104
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
I leave my robot inside the pool all the time, unless swimming. You can sell your booster pump, wont need it. Yes you can run the lowest rpm possible to skim properly. The best bang for the buck is the Maytronics 200 series, make sure you get the course filter basket that goes inside. Marina pools always has the best price around.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,201
Bedford, TX
Dave,

I have been using Robots for the past 10 or so years... I love them..

I recently upgraded to the Dolphin S200 and it is what I would recommend if you have leaves, as it has a large top-loading basket. The S200 is the base model and costs about $700.. You can add bells a whistles for more money, but they will not clean your pool any better...

I would leave your booster pump in until you have used the Robot for about a day... After that you will know why you no longer need a booster pump.

The whole point of having a VS pump is so that you can run at a low RPM...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

squirk

Well-known member
Sep 9, 2016
71
Southeast Louisiana
I’m on the cusp of making the change myself.

For those folks who once had a suction- or pressure-side vacuum, and switched to a robot, do you ever miss having the pool cleaner kind of “self-contained” in the pool itself, with no cords running out of the pool and no control unit to protect from the elements?

One thing I like(d) about my Kreepy Krauly is that I only had to touch it once a week to empty the bag. Otherwise, I left it in the pool and let it run two hours a day. Unless it got stuck on a step and I had to dislodge it, I never had to think about it. And I never had a hose, cable or power cord running across my deck to trip over or navigate around.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,201
Bedford, TX
Squirk,

If you trip over a robot's power cable, you need to go back to walking school... :mrgreen:

Many members here leave their Robots in the pool when not in use. They will automatically start and run each day for a week at a time.

I personally do not like to see some ugly cleaner in my pool, no matter what kind it is.. That is just one reason I like robots... You can leave it in if you want and it is easy to take it out if you want.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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squirk

Well-known member
Sep 9, 2016
71
Southeast Louisiana
I personally do not like to see some ugly cleaner in my pool, no matter what kind it is..
I understand. I myself don't like seeing ugly cords running out of my pool and across my deck. The way things are set up in my backyard, there is no really discreet way to run the cord from the pool to the control box and then to a GFI outlet. It'll all be pretty much front-and-center.

I mean, it's fine. If that's the "price of admission" for a robot, so be it. I just wondered if anyone missed that aspect of a pressure-side cleaner.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,376
Monmouth County, New Jersey
I purchased the Maytronic Dolphin Active 20. A great machine. Once in a while it will get stuck on the main drain so you kind of have to baby sit the pool. Use mine once per week as the pool does not really get to dirty. The leaves come later in September and this year I will be closing early, just because of other time constraints. Poly 60 and a solid cover will be your best friend.
 
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SacDave

Well-known member
Jun 8, 2015
101
Rocklin Ca
I have a GFI outlet 6' from the pool. I've been reading up more on the robot cleaners, the smart navigation, the claimed energy savings, how they clean sides and steps are big positives. I notice some have apps for your phone. One thing that keeps comming up is Maytronics Dolphin's they seem to get the highest score's in reviews. Couple more Question: 1 Do you run them every day? Some people say they only usr them a couple times a week. 2 whats the point of the app, is it just to turn it on/off remotely ?
 
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BowserB

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
120
Katy, Texas
After I switched to a Maytronics robot (M500), I realized why the Kreepy Krauly could stay in the pool with its two hour every day run of that noisy, KW consuming booster pump (which also required that the main VS pump be at 2700 rpm or higher, so that two hours was a major KW consumer.) The reason I could leave it in the pool and clean it weekly was that IT DIDN'T PICK UP DIRT! The day I took it out and put in the M500, after the 2.5 hr default run time, it was full of fine grit, dirt, leaf particles and even loose tiny gravel from, I suspect, the pool finish. I still wonder why my pool builder didn't mention or suggest a robot. The M400/500/600 models have a third brush in the center, and I think that makes a difference. After three months, it still picks up stuff I never found in the Kreepy Krauly bag. I don't leave it in the pool, though. I have a set up with the storage caddy next to an electric outlet under cover on the back porch. After running it--I use the 3.5 hr program usually--I clean out the filters, hose down the whole thing top, bottom and inside, and store on the caddy, loosely rolling up the low voltage cable to hang over the caddy's handle. That process takes about ten minutes.

Digression: [I keep an outdoor furniture cover over the robot and caddy when not in use, as I live on a corner lot in Katy Texas and have already had chairs stolen from the front porch, so I don't want someone peeking over the fence to see what's there and seeing something they can resell. Fence gates always have padlocks on for safety and security, plus eight surveillance cameras on a DVR.]

Starting up the robot takes about two minutes to uncover the caddy, stretch out the cable, and sit the cleaner in the pool. I'm not familiar with other models of robot, but this one ostensibly cleans the water line, but I still do a quick walk around with the brush hitting the waterline tiles and a few inches down, mostly to splash some water up onto the tiles for the brush. Also, the M500 needs to be fully underwater to run, so it can't clean the surface of the sunshelf, which is therefore part of my precleaning brushing. All together from out the door to starting the cleaner is five or six minutes. I usually rinse or replace the skimmer socks at the same time. The M500 can be programmed to run on a schedule, which implies that it can be left in the pool. However, I respect the power of chlorine to destroy plastic and rubber as well as encourage rust and corrosion. I don't want an annual replacement of the robot to be an additional cost of pool ownership, so I clean, rinse, and dry store every other day.

I bought the M500 because of the third brush (the ability to "drive" the cleaner from the phone app is a cute and useless feature IMO) and because my wife gets upset when I "go cheap." Since the pool is her dream, I spare no expense of time or money for her pool. It has turned me into a clean water fanatic, though. We spent Labor Day weekend with family at a rental beach house on Galveston Island. I could not go into that disgusting Gulf of Mexico water (did find it interesting watching cars get stuck in the sand at the beach access road, though. 13 on Saturday alone with 15 minutes to two hours each for retrieval! One compact sedan got stuck. A Samaritan in a 4wd pickup came over to help, but as he was passing the sedan, his pickup truck slide sideways and stopped barely six inches from being a side by side crash. It took a second 4wd pickup from the other end of the almost crash, plus a dozen tattooed beach goers to pull the sedan out of harms way. Tense moments. I also observed over the weekend that common tow straps are apparently inadequate for pulling stuck cars out of sand, as I watched at least half a dozen tow straps break.)
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,376
Monmouth County, New Jersey
Browserb:

I clean my robot each and every time, allow to dry off, and store in the garage. Also, I have a caddy. Leaving anything outside over time will take a toll on the unit. With such short seasons, hopefully this robot will last a long time. I run mine when the pool pump is not running, and it will pick up very fine dirt. I also have the fine filters, which have not used.
 
Anyone have experience of how long these machines run if you do take them out, rinse dry, etc? My common understanding is if left in pool they will be dead in two years. I’ve been torn between buying the more expensive one and praying I get an extra year or two out of them or do I just buy cheapest and know I’m only getting 2 seasons out of it? 🤷🏼‍♀️

You all have helped me realize I can focus on buying a dolphin one - now it’s just which model...

I don’t anticipate a lot of leaves/debris due to pool location but with my personality I will be obsessive about to being clean and clear.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,376
Monmouth County, New Jersey
Your question is hard to answer. The best thing to do is to rinse, allow to dry and store out of the sun. I purchased a caddy and the unit goes in the garage. I will tell you in 3-5 years or more how long it will last. Based on where I purchased my unit, his feed back was 2-10 years, and a lot depends on taking care of the unit. Same as any other product out there.
 
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