The robots are taking over – the cleaning of your pool, at least! Robotics has made great strides over the past couple of decades, and fortunately, we’re not looking at the dystopia of so many movies. Instead, these “intelligent” devices help make our lives easier. We send them to Mars – and we send them to the bottom of our swimming pools!
A robotic pool vacuum can keep the pool extra clean and save you a lot of work.
How Robotic Pool Vacuums Work
Three main elements distinguish robotic pool vacuums from other, more traditional types.
First, a robotic pool vacuum doesn’t need to be hooked up to your pool filter. Instead, it contains an internal filter! That means you don’t have to run a huge hose to it!
If you go for a corded model, you’ll still have to deal with a power cord. But that’s a lot simpler and easier than trying to manipulate a hose and cord together.
Most pool vacuums can also be programmed to run at certain intervals. This can make life even easier! Some people recommend taking the cleaner out of the pool normally
Finally, many robotic vacuums can create an internal map of your pool. That means they’ll be sure to cover every inch of the surface in the most efficient manner possible.
What You’ll Still Need To Do
Of course, you’re not completely off the hook just because you opted for a robotic pool vacuum.
You should clean your robotic pool cleaner regularly. That includes emptying its filter. This will help keep it in tip-top shape. Some people recommend taking your tool out of the water after each use, although we think that’s overkill. The device is perfectly capable of staying submerged for long periods. However, take it out every couple of weeks, at least, to give it a good cleaning.
Whether you leave your cleaner in the pool or take it out, you can at least take comfort in the fact that it doesn’t take up much space!
Key Factors To Consider
Within the realm of robotic pool vacuums, there are many varieties and options.
Above Ground vs. Inground Models
Robotic pool cleaners can even be specialized for above-ground or inground pools.
Inground models are generally more powerful than their above-ground counterparts. They climb pool walls and also need to crawl back up from the deep end to the shallow end of the pool. They also work faster, which is fine, since inground pools tend to be larger than their above-ground counterparts.
Top-of-the-line robotic pool cleaners will clean not only the pool’s floor but right up the wall to the waterline. Think of all the labor that can save you!
Tracks vs. Wheels
Some robotic pool vacuums have tracks while others have wheels. Tracks are generally better at climbing walls and steps. They can navigate the 90-degree angle transition from floor to wall with ease. Wheeled models use less energy but don’t do as well climbing. They can manage steep inclines up to 60 degrees.
You will have to consider the range of your cleaner. You can’t use an extension cord with one, so you have to rely on the length of the included cord. Don’t forget to subtract about 12 feet from the length, since your outlet should be at least that far from the pool.
Cost And Lifespan
You’ll have to invest a lot more money in a robotic pool cleaner than you would in a manual or automatic version. They are comparatively quite expensive. Is it worth it? That depends on how much time and energy you want to save. Robotic pool cleaners are fantastic for that!
Most robotic pool cleaners will last four to five years if taken care of. A good one can even make it eight years or longer! That, of course, has to go into your price considerations.
Fortunately, they’re energy-efficient. Their internal filters use less electricity than your pool filter does. The bag is also washable and reusable.
On the other hand, replacement parts can be expensive and hard to come by, especially in these early years of their availability.
Our Reviews Of The Best Manual Pool Vacuums
Looking to buy a robotic pool cleaner? Here are our recommendations for the best choices, taking into account functionality and price.
Dolphin is going to have two models in our top 5,and they deserve it. Let’s start with the wonderful Proteus DX5i.
This is still considered a mid-range option, but does a magnificent job taking care of any pool. It can clean pools up to 50 feet long in just two hours in standard mode. It also offers a one-hour “fast mode” that does a basic, but still acceptable, job.
It’s got a large filter tank that’s easy to access and clean out. And the brush system can handle all types of leaves, algae, and dirt too small to be seen with the naked eye.
The pool cleaner easily handles the sides of the pool, too. However, it has trouble right at the waterline. So you’ll still have to scrub that area by hand.
The swivel attachment for the power cord keeps it from getting tangled, and the tank-style tracks allow it to move over any surface with ease.
There’s even a smartphone app that will allow you to control your robot via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth!
The unit is pretty hefty at 28 pounds, but it’s a sturdy model that you can count on for the long haul.
Maytronics covers this product with a two-year warranty.
This Polaris robotic pool cleaner is another fantastic option to get your inground pool clean.
It handles the floor and walls quickly and with ease. And most importantly, it requires very little of you – except, of course, a good-sized initial financial investment. But with the time you’ll save, it will quickly pay for itself.
Four-wheel drive is one of the most impressive features here. That helps it move easily even if you have a vinyl lining or embedded pebbles
It’s designed to clean pools up to 50 feet long. It will go up walls as well, although one of its flaws is that it can occasionally flip over and can’t right itself.
It does a great job cleaning and easily learns its way around the pool. It’s also easy to clean. It weighs only 16 pounds, making it easy to take out of the water, too.
The canister is easy to get to and to detach when it comes time to empty it.
Older models had an issue with the cord getting tangled. Fortunately, Polaris made a change so more recent productions have a swivel cord. This also cuts down on how often the cleaner falls off walls onto its back.
Overall, it does a great job picking up almost all debris, large and small, from your pool.
There’s a two-year warranty on this pool vacuum.
The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus is another clear leader in the field of robotic pool cleaners. It’s easy to use, reliable, and does a bang-up job of keeping your pool in pristine conditions! It’s great for all types of pool surfaces, both inground and above-ground.
This cleaner works great for pools up to 50 feet long. It handles any shape pool, too.
No real setup is required, which makes this device incredibly simple to use. All you have to do is turn it on and drop it in. It will do the rest. Scheduling is as easy as choosing from three settings: daily, every other day, or once a week. Of course, you’ll probably adjust that depending on how much use your pool gets. But again, you make that change with one push of a button.
There are filters for both leaves and for fine particles.
The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus can climb walls up to the water’s edge. It uses its brushes, rather than wheels, to propel itself. It can also make tighter turns than lower-priced models, which means it misses far fewer places on the surface.
It’s a breeze to clean, too. The filter is easy to remove and empty. Other than that, there isn’t much to do to maintain your unit. It’s best to keep the power unit out of the sun when not in use.
Running this pool cleaner will hardly make a dent in your electric bill, either. Even running it every day only added a few dollars to the bill.
The unit weighs about 19 pounds. A “standard” cleaning cycle lasts two hours, and 4500 gallons pass through it per hour. You can also buy it with a caddy for storage and easy transport to and from the pool.
A two-year warranty covers this product.
This model is designed for vinyl pools and is a popular choice because of its incredible ability to pick up all that junk that can end up in your pool.
It works quietly and learns every corner and wall of your pool. Its programming helps keep it from tangling the hose, and it runs quietly so it won’t really disturb your time relaxing poolside.
What sets this apart is its “wings.” Two sections of suction area extend to either side of the main body, helping them get the job done faster.
The Hayward is also easy to install. It only takes 15 minutes or so to set up.
A 40-foot hose is included.
The wings and shoes wear out after about two years but can be replaced. But considering the cost of the overall unit, you may want to think about replacing it every three years or so, anyway. It’s definitely one of the less expensive options.
We’ve seen a lot of issues with customer service from this company, so if you do have problems, it may be frustrating. It seems to work well, but of course sometimes there are lemons. And you may have to decide if it’s worth the risk. Yes, it’s not the highest-end model, but it normally does the job.
The Seagull 600 from Aiper can run up to 50 minutes on one charge and in optimal conditions, it can handle an above-groound pool 33 feet in diameter. Although some places specify that it’s for above-ground pools, others say it works well with both. Unfortunately we weren’t able to test it in an inground setup, but the manufacturer does say it works well on concrete. It’s even smarter enough to get near a wall when the battery is low, so that it’s easier for you to retrieve!
It scrubs and sweeps and works well on vinyl, concrete, and fiberglass. If the base of the pool is flat – that is, if the whole pool is a uniform depth – it does a great job navigating around and keeping everything today. However, it sometimes has issues if it has to climb a slope.
It can be a bit tough to clean this unit, though. It’s difficult to open the unit and access the filters.
Overall, it’s a good entry-level model at a reasonable price.
Robotic pool cleaners are the latest thing in swimming pool maintenance. They’ll save you loads of time and keep your pool in tip-top conditions. They may be costly, but they require little care and let you spend your timing relaxing in the pool rather than vacuuming it!