Wall brushing robot?

beemer

Well-known member
Mar 29, 2016
50
Spring, Texas
#1
Let me start by staying that I really can't complain (much) about our pool. We thankfully have a lovely in ground cleaner that I can't say enough good things about that keeps our pool 99.99% clean. And given we live in a forest (literally) that's really saying something. The one thing it does not do however, is brush the walls.

And I have discovered recently that I really do need to brush the walls. Otherwise algae likes to grow on said walls and it takes far more brushing to get rid of algae (not to mention bleach) than it would have if I had just brushed the walls in the first place... However, my aging elbows and back are in full revolt and about to go on strike. Someone please tell me there's a wonderful robot that will scrub the pool walls so well I never ever have to brush them again or at least not nearly as often...

Within reason, money is no object (those emergency room visits for tendonitis far outweigh the price of a cleaner, and hurt more, too... )

If there's a wall brushing robot you'd recommend, please let me know! Thanks!
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#4
If it is Algae you are having to brush, Chlorine is the answer. Make sure it is always good, and you will never have Algae on the walls, or anywhere else. Please don't rely on a Robot for this, or you'll never be satisfied.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,514
Bedford, TX
#5
beemer,

My "guess" is that your FC level is 1.5 ppm and your CYA is above 60... :p

What is your guess??? Or better yet... :testresults:

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

beemer

Well-known member
Mar 29, 2016
50
Spring, Texas
#6
Actually my FC is 21.5 and my CYA is 80. :)

My PH (pre SLAM) was 7.6, TA of 80, and CH of 240.

I suspect the algae might have had something to do with not brushing the walls for ... awhile? 2 months probably? And playing with <old> pucks in the inline chlorinator to bring my CYA up (intentionally) and having trouble adjusting the chlorinator. Though I never measured the FC below 6 I got close enough to decide to add bleach to bring it up faster than the chlorinator was doing more than once. It also had never been shocked or SLAM'd, or had algae in the 11 months it's been running.

And clearly it wasn't bad as I passed the SLAM in on the 2nd night with CC of 0, and OCLT of 0 to .5 depending on who you think can count better me, or a 9 year old with sparkling clear water.

I just HATE to brush the pool. And I've had 2 visits to the doctor, and 2 visits to the ER for serious tendonits flare ups. If there's something that keeps the walls clean without me having to brush the pool it's well worth the investment. :)

ETA: As I don't need the cleaner to actually "clean" the pool - as I mentioned, my inground cleaner keeps it spotless and I've never had a robot of any kind I have no idea what to look for other than something that absolutely climbs the walls as that's what it's primarly job will be and something with lots of scrub/brush power. So that leave me with just about every cleaner on the market assuming you believe they do what they really say they do. Based on review was I was considering some variety of Dolphin, but I'd love to hear from other folks regarding what they have and like, and just as helpful what they have and don't like and why.

To AnalogBytes, and pooldv - thanks for the suggestions I will check both of those out! Heaven help us my son is already thinking up names for it. :)
 

MarkTX

Bronze Supporter
Nov 15, 2015
337
Cypress, TX
#8
My take on this is humans are not infallible. There is no substitute for a good brushing now and then. I have found that even a decent pressure side cleaner will stir the water up enough to prevent algae in the presence of chlorine. But sooner or later you will need someone to brush.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,514
Bedford, TX
#9
Actually my FC is 21.5 and my CYA is 80. :)

My PH (pre SLAM) was 7.6, TA of 80, and CH of 240.

I suspect the algae might have had something to do with not brushing the walls for ... awhile? 2 months probably? And playing with <old> pucks in the inline chlorinator to bring my CYA up (intentionally) and having trouble adjusting the chlorinator. Though I never measured the FC below 6 I got close enough to decide to add bleach to bring it up faster than the chlorinator was doing more than once. It also had never been shocked or SLAM'd, or had algae in the 11 months it's been running.

And clearly it wasn't bad as I passed the SLAM in on the 2nd night with CC of 0, and OCLT of 0 to .5 depending on who you think can count better me, or a 9 year old with sparkling clear water.

I just HATE to brush the pool. And I've had 2 visits to the doctor, and 2 visits to the ER for serious tendonits flare ups. If there's something that keeps the walls clean without me having to brush the pool it's well worth the investment. :)

ETA: As I don't need the cleaner to actually "clean" the pool - as I mentioned, my inground cleaner keeps it spotless and I've never had a robot of any kind I have no idea what to look for other than something that absolutely climbs the walls as that's what it's primarly job will be and something with lots of scrub/brush power. So that leave me with just about every cleaner on the market assuming you believe they do what they really say they do. Based on review was I was considering some variety of Dolphin, but I'd love to hear from other folks regarding what they have and like, and just as helpful what they have and don't like and why.
Beemer,

I was just poking you, to get a response... :poke:

I have three pools and three robots.. Other than the steps, and when they were new, none of them have been brushed in about three years. I can't say if that means the robots are working, or I just got lucky.

All three robots are made by Dolphin. Two of them were bought used and are very old, one is about three years old. If one of them dies and I can't fix it, my next robot will be one with a large, top loading basket. Like the ones that Pooldv recommended above. Just make sure you get a model that cleans the waterline tile.. they all do not do this. This will ensure that the robot will climb the wall.

Thanks for posting a great rebuttal to my original post.. :D

Jim R
 

TxBwana

Silver Supporter
Mar 23, 2017
73
Plano, TX
#11
Like PoolDV, I recommend the Dophin S200 (same thing as the Doheny)... climbs the walls and cleans really well. Our westie pups think it is a monster and bark it like crazy, so if you have crazy terriers, it provides entertainment value as well...lol.
 

Nectarologist

Well-known member
Apr 3, 2015
493
New York
#12
Just a thought but are you sure it's algae? I got water mold on the side of my pool where there is no direct sunlight (and I hadn't brushed the walls). The wall was very slippery and it looked like tissue paper when I brushed it off. You'd still need to brush (or have a robot climber) but I figured I'd mention so you treat the correct issue.
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#13
If you get Algae, it happens when the Chlorine gets too low, for too long. Not brushing doesn't help, but that alone won't let you get Aglae.

I like the Dolphin M5/500, and the only downside may be the price. If mine quits tomorrow, I'll replace it with another as soon as I can get one. One of the things I like about it, is the bottom bottom brush that a lot of Robots don't have.
 

beemer

Well-known member
Mar 29, 2016
50
Spring, Texas
#14
Dolphin may make great robots, but their website really sucks. Even looking at the comparison table and brochures it's hard to tell the difference between the various models. Their comparison tables in particular just have blanks for more than half of the fields. Does that mean not supported? How frustrating.. :(

Anyone know the difference between the M series, S series, Active, and DX Series?
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
#15
The M series is top of the line, exclusive to independent dealers, and not "officialy" available online. Another one close to these is the Oasis Z5. They make too many models for too many dealer, store, and online sales options, which result in far too much overlap and confusion for the consumer. I think they make the best cleaners, but have a real problem with this end of their marketing.
 

bmoreswim

Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 16, 2012
4,309
Central MD
#18
According to the Maytronics, the M5 "absolutely sets the standard" for robot cleaners. Lesser Dolphin models merely "set the standard". Just think of it like mattress shopping and you'll have an instant headache.
 

beemer

Well-known member
Mar 29, 2016
50
Spring, Texas
#19
You already have your answer...
9-year-old + Whale-Tail + Allowance Money = Robot...
LOL. Don't think that hasn't crossed my mind! I bought the whale tail a couple of weeks ago. I am sure it's probably just learning the new technique, but the kids actually do better with the old brush!

Though it's kind of like when you first teach them to clean something and they get to do it "all by themselves!" And then you come along behind them and still have to re-do the entire thing just to make sure it's really clean. Thus far they aren't quite there yet, but it IS better than doing nothing!

They also passed on the $. Even offered to pay them the same amount of $$$ we'd have to pay a pool guy. Wasn't worth it to them to "have to" do it reguarly in addition to their other chores (which only take a whopping 20 minutes or so a weekend - so it's not like they are overburdened by any stretch of the imagination). And they don't get paid for anything else (we've persuaded them it's in their best interest to pitch in for general cleaning without financial reward). So you'd think they'd be all over the money angle. The oldest in particular is materialistic and highly motivated by $. He does a break point analysis at least once a year to decide if he'd like to change that bargain. He's decided every time he's still getting a great deal. :)
 

beemer

Well-known member
Mar 29, 2016
50
Spring, Texas
#20
According to the Maytronics, the M5 "absolutely sets the standard" for robot cleaners. Lesser Dolphin models merely "set the standard". Just think of it like mattress shopping and you'll have an instant headache.
Exactly! The M500 looks like it has the most check marks... Though I doubt I actually need even half of them... It's also $800 more than the M300i and there doesn't seem to be much difference! There's a retailer nearby so I figured I'd run by there this weekend if they are open and hear thier pitch/take on the various options.

In terms of what I actually need - sounds like just something with "waterline" cleaning. Those top load, dual filters look easy to maintain, and sound good at least. As does the quick water drain features so it's not so heavy carting it out.

What do you guys do for your spas? We have a raised spa, so I assume I'd have to drag the robot out of the pool and drop it in the spa. Several cleaners seem to just have 1 cleaning cylcle option that runs something like 3 hours. That'd be insane overkill for the spa. Can you just cut it off after 5 minutes or so? It's a tiny spa - 8' probably? But it has so many obstructions on the lower wall it's frustratingly hard to scrub with a pole brush.