With a good robot, how much additional cleaning is needed?


Active member
Dec 31, 2019
Houston, Texas
First post ever on the forum. I'm at the beginning stages of getting a pool and had our first builder come over yesterday. We don't have a bid yet, but it was a lot of information to process.

One thing I'm trying to figure out is how to keep the pool clean. The builder said in floor jets are nice if you have the budget but not necessary, they don't clean the walls, and a robot cleans very well.

Assuming I went with a robot and used it on a consistent basis, how much additional cleaning of the pool do you typically do? I'm trying to get a handle on how much labor is involved on a week to week basis to clean a pool. Thanks for any feedback!


Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
Northern NJ
Welcome to TFP.

An in floor cleaning system (IFCS) adds a lot of complexity to the pool plumbing with extra valves and pop up jets. It eventually becomes a maintenance headache and is often abandoned as the pool ages.

How effective your robot is at cleaning party depends on the robot you get, the shape of your pool, and the type of debris your pool gets - dirt, leaves, etc. A big storm with a pool in a wooded environment can overwhelm what a robot can handle.

Post the design of you pool when you get it and pics of your property where the pool will go and people in similar situations can comment.


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

I have a saltwater pool and probably spend about an hour a week on pool maintenance.

That includes cleaning two skimmers, water tests, adding any necessary chemicals, sticking the robot in the pool, cleaning the robots filters, sweeping off the steps, scooping any leaves off the surface, and adding water, etc..

If you can't spend an hour a week, then there is no sense in trying to maintain the pool yourself..

Once every six months, I spend 4 to 6 hours doing things like cleaning the filters, inspecting my salt cell, etc.


Jim R.


Gold Supporter
Jun 28, 2017
Fresno, CA
Welcome to TFP.
My system is simple and besides the robot and pump, all manual.
During peak summer I am adding bleach each day, netting the surface and random leaves and worms on the bottom each day and quickly inspecting the skimmer net and pump system. Maybe 10 to 15 minutes tops each day.
I am running the bot once a week on average and I like to brush the steps, corners and walls up to a day prior if I can. Time spent maybe 15 to 20 minutes a week brushing pool and cleaning bot.
I test the FC and pH a minimum of every 14 days. I test the CYA and dial it in the spring in preparation for summer. In the spring I breakdown and clean my DE filter and can do that in an hour. Add in buying, transporting and stocking chems once a month.

Now when the wind blows the work ramps up and requires more netting, brushing and bot use.
I tried a pool cover net which trapped the leaves but the small debris and dirt found the water and eventually the bottom. I can see the advantage of an pool auto cover in helping keep the pool clean.

This is probably more info than you wanted but following the TFP protocol and the detail above I have a beautifully clean and safe pool year round for what I consider to be a very reasonable amount of time, effort and expense.