To resurrect “Flubber” or not...

JamieP

Platinum Supporter
May 16, 2011
1,149
TX (~30 miles south of Dallas)
Pool Size
28000
Surface
Plaster
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Our Dolphin Z5 robotic cleaner, affectionately named “Flubber“ by the kids, is in need of repair and I would like advice as to whether it would be worth it? It has lasted 5 years (of year round use) and currently needs both the motor and cable replaced to the tune of ~$600+. The repair technician mentioned we might also be looking to replace bearings soon and that would only make the expense go up. Not to mention that the tables are currently out of stock at Maytronics and it is uncertain when they will come back in stock (which would give me a warranty on it.) The technician quoted me $179 for the cable from Maytronics, but I am currently seeing it online for $300 if I bought it myself so as not to have to wait. He is advising switching out to a supply side cleaner which he says would last longer (Our robot cable‘s connection corroded and he says that is common with salt water pools and we would just be facing more of the same if we were to opt for a robot again - either by repairing this one or buying a new one.)

I had the pool plumbed with a dedicated suction port so I could easily do a suction side cleaner. I understand that I would need to use a return for a supply side cleaner. The way my valves are set up in the plumbing is that I can manually separate the skimmers and main drain from the suction side port if necessary, but the returns are all connected to one another.

Do you have any advice as to what direction I should go? Resurrect Flubber/buy a new robot or change directions and look into other types of cleaners? If I should ditch the robot, does a suction cleaner or supply side cleaner make more sense in my situation? Finally, does anyone have particular models they would recommend?

Thank you for your help!

PS: I should mention that I originally went with a robot because I was persuaded that was more cost-effective on electricity. In the summertime I pretty much have to run my pump all day to have the SWG create enough chlorine, but I doubt whether the regular pump speed would be enough to run the plumbed cleaners. I’m still interested in weighing electricity use, but I guess that’s not as big of a deal to me anymore. I’m just hoping to get a working automated vacuuming system in before fall hits in full force!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
23,559
Bedford, TX
Jamie,

Robots seem to last 5 to 7 years... Once they get that old, I would not be investing much money in repair.

Robots are not for everyone, but in my case I love them.. I have three pools and three robots... If (when) one of them goes bad, I will have another one on my porch in a couple of days.

For me, it is just the cost of owning a pool.. It is also why my robots have no fancy bells and whistles.. I don't want to talk to them, or name them, I just want them to clean my pools.. :mrgreen:

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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Oly

Gold Supporter
Jun 28, 2017
2,345
Fresno, CA
Pool Size
27000
I used a suction side cleaner and upgraded to a robot for three reasons,, it removes dust and debris from the pool system, is less $ to operate for me and easy to put in and remove rather than living in my pool. If you liked your bot then a new one makes sense over the repair although the supply situation is changing now. A suction side unit would be less $ and your system is set up for it. More choices, more better. :cheers:
 

JamieP

Platinum Supporter
May 16, 2011
1,149
TX (~30 miles south of Dallas)
Pool Size
28000
Surface
Plaster
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Jamie,

Robots seem to last 5 to 7 years... Once they get that old, I would not be investing much money in repair.

Robots are not for everyone, but in my case I love them.. I have three pools and three robots... If (when) one of them goes bad, I will have another one on my porch in a couple of days.

For me, it is just the cost of owning a pool.. It is also why my robots have no fancy bells and whistles.. I don't want to talk to them, or name them, I just want them to clean my pools.. :mrgreen:

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thank you Jim! We did like the convenience of the robot and we never used the remote to direct it. What would you consider a decent robot with no bells and whistle‘s that might be available right now? I’m not really sure I want to deal with manually turning valves to get the pool cleaner to run.
 

JamieP

Platinum Supporter
May 16, 2011
1,149
TX (~30 miles south of Dallas)
Pool Size
28000
Surface
Plaster
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I used a suction side cleaner and upgraded to a robot for three reasons,, it removes dust and debris from the pool system, is less $ to operate for me and easy to put in and remove rather than living in my pool. If you liked your bot then a new one makes sense over the repair although the supply situation is changing now. A suction side unit would be less $ and your system is set up for it. More choices, more better. :cheers:
You make some good points, Oly. I think I may be leaning towards getting a robot again. I guess I should do some research on what’s out there and the cost. I don’t think I need anything fancy but I do want it to do a good job. Any suggestions?
 

JamieP

Platinum Supporter
May 16, 2011
1,149
TX (~30 miles south of Dallas)
Pool Size
28000
Surface
Plaster
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Just a brief search of this site shows that

Pentair Warrior SE Robotic Pool Cleaner by Maytronics Dolphin – $799​

from marinapoolandspa might be a good economical option. That’s definitely less than what I paid for our first one. I already have the Caddy, so I’m assuming it would work with this one, too. Are there any others I should consider?
 
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markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
3,605
Atlanta Ga
Just a brief search of this site shows that

Pentair Warrior SE Robotic Pool Cleaner by Maytronics Dolphin – $799​

from marinapoolandspa might be a good economical option. That’s definitely less than what I paid for our first one. I already have the Caddy, so I’m assuming it would work with this one, too. Are there any others I should consider?
That’s the one I have an like it. You can put it in automation mode ( although not “supported “ ) and turn it on or off using a smart plug. I have mine running from 1am till 2:30am then again from 5:30 to 7:30. My dog thinks it’s a monster and goes nuts when it cleans the tile line
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
23,559
Bedford, TX
Jamie,

I like the S200 style of robot.. My first one cost me about $600 and the last one was about $725 or so... All you get is the robot and power supply. No remote, no WIFI or blue tooth..

I currently have three of them in operation.. I buy them from Margaret at Marina Pool and Spa..

The Warrior SE is just a different color S200 with Pentair's name on it.. I actually have two S200's and one of the Warriors...

The downside to buying a robot right now is the supply chain issues... It has driven the costs up.

I have been very pleased with Marina's service.. My last robot came with a bad (intermittent) power supply button. They just sent me a new power supply. They ship their robots using free 2nd day shipments and no tax.

You have to call them to place an order.

Thanks,

Jim R.

 

JamieP

Platinum Supporter
May 16, 2011
1,149
TX (~30 miles south of Dallas)
Pool Size
28000
Surface
Plaster
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Thank you for the tips! It sounds like I should call Marina and see what they can do for me. I really don’t need anything fancy because I never used it when I had it. I do like the idea of putting the robot on a smart plug timer (Never used one of those before though!) I wonder if that would have worked with my Z5? I had to physically press the power button off and then on again to make it run another cycle.
 

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