Robots VS Auto cleaners...

tfpusername

Well-known member
Apr 23, 2017
74
Las Vegas
Trying to decide if I should go with a self contained robot VS the auto cleaners that plug into your filter/skimmer. Can anyone help list the pros/cons of both? Maybe some model recommendations too (budget is around 300-400).

My main concern with the auto cleaners - how hard is it to attach/remove from the skimmer? Do they make ones with quick connects so its very quick to hook up (I would also love to leave the cleaner itself in the pool at all times if possible).

Thanks for any advice!

*just to be clear - my dream would be something super low maintenance, so I can just leave everything in the pool, quick connect one hose, run for a few hours, then disconnect.
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
Hey TFP user name, :)

I haven't seen you yet, so welcome aboard!

Actually a Robot is one that runs on its own power independantly of any pool equipment like pumps or suction from pumps. Usually a DC from AC converted from a power supply to the Robot. Commonly, the ones from pumps are pressure cleaners, or the ones hooked up to vac or skimmer lines are suction cleaners.

I am very biased toward Robots for a few reasons, and many members will weigh in. I have, and love the Maytronics Dolphin M-5/500 and could not imagine being happier with this type of product. Others have different units and most of them feel just as happy about theirs as me. It's everything youre asking for, with advantages, a good Robot is. Good luck in your selection, ask plenty of questions, and do let us know what you decide. This is one of the favorite subjects on the forum.

Here is a link to my updated Model M-5
M500 | Dolphin pool cleaning robot
 

Davegvg

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 30, 2008
326
Hrmm the really high end bots seem a bit pricey though.. I was looking at this auto cleaner...

https://www.amazon.com/XtremepowerUS-Automatic-Vacuum-generic-Kreepy-Cleaner/dp/B00ESQMA8M/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1493417211&sr=8-1-fkmr1&keywords=pool+cleaner+creepy+crawler

I hear they make annoying clicking sounds though? And could I leave something like this plugged in 24/7?
Suction side cleaners only work when the pump is running, and when the pool is flowing enough to make them work.

You "could" leave it in 24/7 but it wont run unless your pump is running and pool is flowing (a plugged filter will degrage a suction cleaners performance)
I say "could" because when the suction cleaner is plugged in your skimming will degrade and the pool surface wont stay as clean as it would otherwise.

Some of them make loud clicks, (Kreepy and all other diaphragm type brands) others a are a little softer, but are still cyclical GSeries, T5, at 200 watts its barely audible, When running solar and cranking the system up to 1000 watts or more for the flow the clicking gets louder.

I like the diaphragm type suction sides best of the group so far.

Cleaners like the poolvergnugen, and MX8 also are suction side powered but are more complex and have more moving parts that must be serviced and therefore parts price and installation time and effort go up.

some people prefer to see a calm surface and therefore like the lack of a cyclical product disturbing the surface - not sure thats a feature, but definitely in line with some peoples preference.

All that said I still prefer a suction side cleaner to a robot as the ability to run independently of the pump is not a benefit to me because I run a 24x7 pump anyway. I can get a G3, or T5 run on 200 watts which is the same as normal skim speed.
I get great performance out of them, and they only have a one or 2 moving simple cheap parts to replace and are half or less what a good robot costs.

I wouldnt leave ANY electronic device I wanted to keep forever "in" the water 24x7x much at all, but you could.
A Robot (or any stay in the pool cleaner w a bag) left in the pool 24x7 for a few days or more will ultimately stop actually cleaning and start putting out the captured debris in the form of decayed matter and your bags /basket will become a green tinged disgusting mess of decaying organics, where a suction side cleaner gets the debris out of the pool and into the filter.

That said I dont "dislike" robots I think they are cool expensive toys that are fun and have their benefits but low cost, and ease of maintenance are their strong points.

Thing is many pools just wont work for whatever reason with one or the other combinations of steps,, angles flows, these problems seem to flummox suction cleaners a bit more often, but robots fall prey to the same issues including cord tangling, and flipping upside down seemingly a little less often.


UD
 

tfpusername

Well-known member
Apr 23, 2017
74
Las Vegas
Well I am having second thoughts about the kreepy krawly - I am considering upgrading to a variable speed pump (heard they dont work well with those), plus the CLICKING noise seems kinda annoying.

So back to looking at robots again... decided to go with the low end aquabot s20 for my first bot. Only 260 on amazon, plus i got the 4 year protection plan for 35 bucks. Now I will feel better about leaving the thing in the pool 24/7 (I will still of course clean the bags as often as I can).
 

Davegvg

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 30, 2008
326
Well I am having second thoughts about the kreepy krawly - I am considering upgrading to a variable speed pump (heard they dont work well with those), plus the CLICKING noise seems kinda annoying.

So back to looking at robots again... decided to go with the low end aquabot s20 for my first bot. Only 260 on amazon, plus i got the 4 year protection plan for 35 bucks. Now I will feel better about leaving the thing in the pool 24/7 (I will still of course clean the bags as often as I can).
Cool congrats on your new toy - let us know how it works for you!

UD
 
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