Why No Love for WaterTech/AquaBots?

thadius65

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 30, 2011
389
Bloomsburg, PA
I just had my 7 year old Water Tech Blue Diamond pool robot break down this year (my fault). The cord and the power supply/circuit board were fried. My fault for leaving outside all summer last year and UV causing leaks. Over it's 7 years of use, it didn't cost me anything to maintain. All tracks, bag and misc parts stayed in really good shape. I came here looking for advise and most of what I read was Maytronics this, Dolpin that.... with little else about others. Maybe a bit of Polaris, but I am confused why no love for Aquabots/Water Tech. So I ordered the S300i and have for 30 days. I have a mountain pond type vinyl liner pool, so my transition from flat upwards to the walls is very curvy. My Blue Diamond never had any issues, but the S300i left significant areas of no cleaning on these sloped walls. Even after brushing, the next cleaning and it would miss 30-40% of the sloped sides in the deep end. After talking to Maytronics, the indicated that they most likely had nothing that would work for me. Upon hearing that, I returned the S300i for a refund. I then began my search again, this time focusing on the family of robots from the Water Tech / Aquabots lines. I found a steal of a deal on an older model, the PB4000. Though the tech on this is of the same generation of the Blue Diamond, guess what? I tossed it in the pool and in one long cycle it took care of 100% of the pool, just like it's Blue Diamond predecessor.

Very pleased with my find and back to a cleaner that works for me and my pool, and at a $500 clearance price with 3 year warranty (or 400 cycles). The S300i works for most, even in my neighbors pool that we tested in (flat everything), but if you have some oddities, you have other options, so look around a little deeper.

Now if we could only have a stop in the rain in PA!
 

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Divin Dave

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 2, 2013
5,532
Longview, Texas
Hi Thad,
No doubt, there are lots of good robots other than Dolphins. But people like to recommend what they know works, and in the case here on TFP, its predominately Dolphins.

Hayward and Aquabot and others Im sure make fine robots, but you'll be hard pressed here to get a review or recommendation on them.
 
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JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,685
Tucson, AZ
An M Series Dolphin with melamine foam rollers probably would have been a better choice for your style pool. The S series seems to work well on plaster pools and fiberglass pools but needs a little bit of modification to make it work in vinyl pools (foam instead of rubber). Also, east coast pools tend to be the deeper type of diving pools with significant slopes and less vertical drops. Those pools seem to be more compatible with M series robots that have the higher HP motors and third center brush. And they look exactly like the Aquabot you posted pictures of.

We had a cleaner repair technician on here last year and his opinion based on his experience fixing robots of all kinds is that the Aquabot has far more problems then any other unit. Perhaps older models were better built than the newest generation but his recommendation was that Dolphin was the better investment. That can always change with time as manufacturers change models and cut costs. So only time will tell if Maytronics remains a fan-favorite on this forum. As the old saying goes, “it’s Maytronics’ game to lose...”
 

thadius65

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 30, 2011
389
Bloomsburg, PA
I guess my confusion is I talked to front-line Maytronics, as well as their tech support and Marina's. Neither offered a roller change as an option. And I do agree, the PVA rollers do seem to work much better for me. My Blue diamond had full PVA on front and back. The PB4000 has dual front and back PVA.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,685
Tucson, AZ
I guess my confusion is I talked to front-line Maytronics, as well as their tech support and Marina's. Neither offered a roller change as an option. And I do agree, the PVA rollers do seem to work much better for me. My Blue diamond had full PVA on front and back. The PB4000 has dual front and back PVA.
I’m pretty sure you can only do a roller change on the M series. I don’t believe the S series allows for a different roller material. We do have vinyl pool owners with S series that work just fine so it seems to be hit or miss when it comes to the S series and deep vinyl pools. To get the cleaning performance you’re after, the S300i does allow for other cleaning options and the “Ultra Clean” Mode (slower movement with higher suction rate) sometimes works better than the standard clean mode. As far as Dolphins go, when in standard clean mode, the unit will stay on the floor 80% of time and climb the walls and do tile line scrubbing 20% of the time. Since the S series has fixed cleaning times (1.5, 2, or 2.5 hours depending on the model), a standard clean mode in a larger pool may not get every part of the pool clean. This is why M series are sometimes more effective as they have longer cleaning cycles, move faster, and work better in larger pools.

Robots are definitely complicated and do require much more trial and error to see if they are right for your pool. I bought locally because the shop I worked with was willing to loan out demo models for customers to try and they offer those same demos to use if a robot needs to be in the shop longer than a day. It’s good that you took advantage of the 30-day return policy so that you could demo the unit.
 

thadius65

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 30, 2011
389
Bloomsburg, PA
I tried not only running about 5 or 6 cycles (cleaning filters after each), but I also ran on Ultra the one time I could get Bluetooth connected. None of this addressed the missed spots with much impact.