WaterTech (Pool Blaster) VOLT - Right choice for you?

Tcadwall0

Gold Supporter
May 19, 2021
137
Charlotte, NC
Pool Size
12900
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-20
I have not seen many recent posts about this product line here, but during my research, I did find enough here that showed progress on the product line and I felt that the product might fit my needs and that newer models might be more reliable. Now that I have had one for a few weeks, and used it over a dozen times, I thought I might give back to this community a little with what I have found. Warning - this may be a little lengthy - we will see. The "Old Forester" may add some verbosity to my review.

Let me start by saying that I don't consider myself an expert in this field. I also don't review products very often, and never scientifically, so don't expect too much here. Also - don't expect me to repeat the product specifications that you can get yourself by going to the retailer or manufacturer's site. These things change over time anyway. This review is more practical than anything.

Why and what was I looking for?
  • I have 2 dogs that are almost daily swimmers, and they both shed.
  • Don't want the dog hair going directly to the filter
  • Lose the hoses and get to the therapeutic part.
    • So yes, my day job is about software architecture, design, corporate politics, and way too many conference calls. I like menial tasks at times that feel rewarding. Vacuuming the pool is one of those. You have to do it slowly and methodical to do a good job, but it requires no real attention. I can be on a conference call, and still be doing this. I could be trying out a new bourbon and still do a good job at this - as long as I don't lose my balance and fall in!
    • I had previously purchased a leaf catcher (and an additional length of vac hose) along with adding a skimmer sock in the leaf catcher to catch the dog hair before going to the filter.
      • My manual vacuum was suction side, but I could not find a plate to fit my skimmer basket and had to remove the basket (with skimmer sock) to reach the suction
      • Because of the leaf catcher's lack of perfect design, I had to weigh it down while using so that it would not suck air. (a rope tied to it, and the other end a bucket of river rocks)
      • This worked quite well, but meant set-up and tear-down (not therapeutic) was quite time consuming
  • I just wanted to plug-n-play vacuum every other day or as required.
  • Pool is Fiberglass 36'x16' including a tanning ledge so it takes about 40min to slowly vacuum
  • I wanted something that would be powerful enough to clean the dog-hair and other debris from my pool to at least reduce the number of times I would have to hook up the hoses for a full clean
  • Reasonably priced. I mean - if I am going to spend too much - why would I not just get a robot? --- I'd have to find another therapeutic outlet maybe.
  • Do not want my filter to take the load of all the hair. This is why my skimmer has an incredible mesh filter built into it.
  • Enough suction to do a decent job
What did I get?
I purchased the Water Tech VOLT FX-8 Li. It is from the Pool Blaster family. It is really their in-between line. Between consumer and professional. It targets the "Pro-sumer" area. Built like a professional model, but intended for consumer so it sports a better warranty than either consumer or professional products and performs more on the professional side.​
What do I think?
  • Design
    • I have read plenty of reviews (general product line) that reported immediate and persistent issues with the charging connections
      • This model does seem to have a similar if not exactly the same charger based on descriptions I read.
      • The connection to this model is likely newer than some of the older (and maybe even existing consumer) designs.
        • See attached picture that shows the connection posts with the power button
        • While connecting the charger is VERY awkward the first time, it becomes a no-brainer afterward. Let's just say I have never seen a charging connection this weird.
    • I have read plenty of reviews (general product line) that reported immediate and persistent issues with the power button/switch
      • This model has a button that is quite recessed into the body of the vacuum, with the above-mentioned charging posts framing it.
      • The button has a red rubber cover that seems well protected and very flexible. I expect it to last.
    • I have read plenty of reviews (general product line) about O-rings that need to be lubed and can cause issues (this may overlap the above)
      • I don't see how this applies to this model. I believe the design improvements have eliminated this need altogether.
      • The only place that might ever need lubed is possibly the actual filter bag seals. That said, it does not appear that this would ever be an issue. Just replace the filter bags when they age? TBD
  • Battery Life
    • Don't expect to do a pool much larger than what I have(~600sqft). I think the battery is rated to last an hour, and that is about it. I finish with about 15-20 min to spare.
    • If I do a full pool vac on day 1, and then allow the dogs to swim later in the day, I can only hope to get the few clumps of hair and debris by spot vac the next day if I did not recharge.
  • Filtering
    • The first time I used it, I was all gung-ho. I had to put the "good" fine filter on - instead of the "mesh bag" filter. Both come with this model.
      • Negative. I had to go pretty slow with this filter, because it does reduce the suction power of the motor.
    • The second time I used it, I tested out the mesh bag filter. Most of what I was going to vacuum was dog hair and it seemed more than capable. ... and it was, and I could go faster because the suction was more powerful
    • The next 6 or 7 times I used it, I did the same thing, until..... well I am going to put the rest of that into the What I have learned section, because it is not the product capabilities as much as the lessons learned.
  • Weaknesses/ Concerns
    • Water Depth requirements
      • The manual tells you that you need to keep this puppy submerged. I am sure that the motor cooling depends on it being fully submerged.
      • I have 96 sq' of tanning ledge.
        • The vac is USELESS on this area.
        • I had hoped, that the INCLUDED hose attachment would allow me to hook up a hose , with the head unit at the end of the hose so that I could submerge the vac, but use the hose to cover this area. But I was wrong. The head unit cannot be attached to the end of the hose. It is only good for crevasses. Well, I have no use for the hose, because the head unit does great in corners...
        • I do not get much accumulation on my tanning ledge, because I have a return jet pointed at it. But I do sometimes brush any debris off the ledge and wait for it to settle somewhere else, before vacuuming.... so that is working for now.
    • Suction vs Water disturbance.
      • When using my manual vac head - the water is sucked out. It is not immediately returned to the pool.
      • When using the VOLT the water flow is discharged about 15" outward and upward from where the vacuum head is.
        • This requires you to really think about things like working your way down from higher surfaces to lower surfaces. Otherwise you disturb debris on the higher surfaces.

What have I learned?

Big Scare!​
After my initial couple of runs, I abandoned the fine filter for the faster, and seemingly equally effective mesh filter. After a couple of weeks, and then a sudden increase in bather load, my water got cloudy. Well, being a new but dedicated TFP pool owner, I went into hyperdrive about "what is going on chemically here!?" Balance was good. Pool was clear when looking to the bottom, but, if you put on goggles, you could no longer clearly see the other side of the pool. You couldn't see the individual dog hairs on the bottom of the pool, etc.​
I cleaned my filter. Slight change, but not enough.​
I went to vacuum after a heavy day of grandkids, dogs, and pollen, and realized almost immediately that the fine particles (mostly pollen and bather deposits) were pretty heavy. It dawned on me.... I have been using a mesh filter in this thing. I stopped what I was doing and changed back to the fine filter, and slowed down my vacuuming. The pool was 90% clearer that very day.​
I had been removing dog hair, and larger debris / particles and feeling great by the amount in the filter bags... but had been missing all those tiny particles.​
Lesson learned, the mesh bags are great for large debris and quick hits... but not routine cleaning!​
Good part, is that the fine filter bag is very effective! I may not need to hook up the hose system (which I had forgotten was part of the original plan) for the more thorough vacuuming.​
Is it right for you?

Well - you can decide that. But here is where I think the market is for this product..
  • You want a quicker way to vacuum
  • You either like to vacuum or you are willing to compromise by reducing the setup, tear-down side of the manual work with the cost of a robot.
  • You don't mind the manual part, but do not want the debris going to your filter. (there still is the lower cost, best performance option that I mentioned above with the leaf-catcher.)
  • You have swimming dogs, don't want the filter maintenance, and do not want to spend the money on a robot
I am sure that there will be times that I want the most thorough cleaning and I will hook up the hoses, and the leaf catcher with the skimmer sock and the weights to keep it from sucking air... But now that I am fully understanding the capabilities of this product with both filter bags, time-wise, and thoroughness, I am quite satisfied with this purchase.
 

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e_sully

Gold Supporter
Dec 23, 2013
31
White Plains, NY
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
This is a great write up. I bought this as well (on sale for $230). Agree with all you have said. I have trouble vacuuming leaves, but does well with everything else. Fortunately, I don't get many leaves. I do have to brush the top step since it can't reach there. Otherwise, I like it as a great spot cleaning tool.
 
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