Robots VS Pressure cleaners - leave in pool?

RC4G

New member
Feb 3, 2017
2
New Caney, Tx
With entry level robotic cleaners now hitting the high end of pressure cleaner price points the immediate response when it comes time for a replacement is to go with a robotic cleaner for the improved performance and the fact that cleaning cycles no longer require you running filter/pumps.

However I'm not wild about the fact of having to lug the robot in/out of the pool for every use where the Polaris 280 stays in the pool basically non-stop.

Am I the only one who thinks that the ease of use of the pressure cleaner outweighs potential cleaning performance (and increased cost) of the robotic?
 

Geebot

Well-known member
Aug 19, 2013
931
With entry level robotic cleaners now hitting the high end of pressure cleaner price points the immediate response when it comes time for a replacement is to go with a robotic cleaner for the improved performance and the fact that cleaning cycles no longer require you running filter/pumps.

However I'm not wild about the fact of having to lug the robot in/out of the pool for every use where the Polaris 280 stays in the pool basically non-stop.

Am I the only one who thinks that the ease of use of the pressure cleaner outweighs potential cleaning performance (and increased cost) of the robotic?
Not a chance. I've spent time with both and also had experience with older vs newer robots and the recent-generation robots (especially the ones without float handles that have top-loading baskets) are hands-down the best things out there. "Lugging" them in and out is not much of a chore. My S300 weighs about 16 lbs. Not especially heavy. I drag it to the surface by the power cord, then lift it out of the water to drain for about 15 seconds and then pivot about 90 degrees to place it on its cart. Another 30 seconds to wind the cord, 30 more to clean the basket and I'm done. Putting it in is even easier.

Although people will leave their robots in the pool, it's not recommended and you'll always get best results starting with a clean basket.
 

MarkTX

Bronze Supporter
Nov 15, 2015
342
Cypress, TX
As a first-time pool owner for about a year now, here is what I experienced with each type of cleaner. You can take away your own conclusions.

The PB included a pressure-side cleaner from a Tier 1 manufacturer (Pentair Racer) in the contract. The cleaner was hassle free. It did a good job picking up leaves, and even the small toys my kids tended to leave in the pool (like 5-inch long underwater torpedoes). This cleaner lived in the pool.

However, the Racer never climbed the walls, although we were led to believe it would. Not such a big deal. The biggest thing was that it simply would not pick up the 2-3 millimeter deep layers of fine red sand and grit that gathered around our drain covers (that I believe blew in before we had our sod replaced). Having said that, the Racer's ground clearance also meant it never got stuck on our drains. Ever.

I tried brushing the sand in the drains, it didn't work. And I wanted the walls climbed. So after four months of the Racer, we got a robot (in my sig, I believe). Worked like gangbusters. Climbed the walls, picked up the sand, never got stuck. The thing was incredible.

However, the robot was a REAL PITA in my case to put away. More like 30-35 pounds when wet, and getting it out of the water was just half the battle. Then I had to coil up the dreaded 50' cable, which refused to coil until the twists per foot in the cable were just right. Consequently, the robot soon started living in the pool, although the manufacturer says not to do this.

To make a long story short, after 2-3 months of 24-7 living in the pool, the robot quit climbing the walls, and started getting stuck on every drain we have. And now it is winter and there are big huge leaves that blow in from somewhere (I do not know from where) which are too large for the robot to pick up...and that's when it's not polishing its treads on a drain cover.

So soon, I will put the pressure-side cleaner back in for regular 24-7 habitation, order a replacement tread kit for the robot, and use the robot just once every few weeks or so, removing it (the robot) promptly afterwards, and putting the Racer back in. That's my story and my plan. I have a lot to learn still.
 

pooldv

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Moderator Emeritus
Aug 10, 2012
25,412
FL panhandle
I spent 4+ years with a Pentair Legend II pressure cleaner. It started out OK and got worse every year despite regular tweaking. I am a leave it in the pool guy too. I got a Doheny's Discovery Robot in September. It is WAY better, it does a much better job cleaning the pool. I took it out mostly when we were swimming but it has been in the pool for several months. It has a weekly timer that can be set to run daily, 2x or 3x per week and then isn't shuts off. More feedback from folks here, First Robotic Cleaner, Doheny's Discovery And there are pics and discussion in the link in my sig.
 

grottoguy

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 24, 2014
462
NJ
I have the Polaris 280 and leave it in the pool. It's on a timer and runs every day. I like the convenience and would be aggravated if I had to remove and put back a robot each day ( or every third day). I accept that a robot would clean a bit Better, but my Polaris does fine.
 

skylar18

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2013
299
Austin, Texas
I have both, keep the polaris in the pool all the time and let the robot run every couple of weeks. Polaris still does after 4+ years a pretty good job cleaning. I really use the robot to supplement my brushing. If I had to pick just one with the experience I have had with the Polaris and it lives in the pool, and tied to all my automation, I would probably pick the Polaris.