How to select the best automatic pool cleaner.

The best automatic pool cleaner will have aftermarket availability of disposable bags.

Selecting the best automatic pool cleaner to fit your specific pool and conditions may be easier than you think. Here are several points to narrow your selection.

The best automatic pool cleaner is lightweight, has available disposable bags and repair parts. This pretty much eliminates all Maytronics and Smartpool cleaners.

First, bag or cartridge? Cartridge models hold less debris because the cartridge filter takes more space. A bag holds more but disposable bags are available for the most popular bag sizes.

AVOID top loading robots by Aquabot such as the S2-40 and S2-50 that use 2 bags. NOT the best automatic pool cleaner.

Cleaning one bag is bad enough without adding a second and there are no disposables available for these top-loaders yet.

Refer to the two pool cleaner comparison charts for performance data.

Pool Cleaner Comparison Chart
Pool Cleaner Comparison Chart II

Climbing Stairs & Walls (climb or not to climb) Robots will climb stairs unless the stairs curve out. Most cleaners have low ground clearance and will get hung-up on outwardly curved steps. They will also hang on large main drains.

For many robots, climbing the wall is how a cleaning pattern is achieved. When the robot reaches the water line, the handle floats horizontally in the water causing the robot to tilt and creep sideways so it reverses down a new track.

MANY people complain that robots spend too much time on the wall instead of the bottom where the debris is.

A climbing robot is needed in pools that have graded deep ends as these areas will collect debris. Some people feel the need for a robot that will climb steps. My robot climbs steps but I ALWAYS brush the steps when I throw the robot into the pool anyway.

PVA or Rubber BrushesPVA for vinyl...rubber for cement

I Bought The Best Automatic Pool Cleaner On Ebay. Will It work With European 230v Electric Service? It may, but you need some information that is found on the power supply. Here is a photo from a Diagnostic. The Input specifies 115 volts at 60hz 150watts.

This is American line voltage and will not work anywhere else but the USA and other countries with 115volt 60hz electric. A stepdown transformer for the minimum 150 watts may be used. Available at electronic and hardware stores.

If the tag reads INPUT 115-230v, 60/50hz, then this unit may be used just about anywhere.

Again, the photo shows a 115v ONLY, robot

Dolphin Transformer

How Large Is Your Pool? Most all residential robots will have enough cable for swimming pools 20 X 40. Get only as much cable as you need. You will be rewarded after every use when you coil the wire for storage.

Does Your Pool have Heavy Sand/Silt Accumulation? If yes then the fastest robots are not the best automatic pool cleaner for you. They glide right over the weighty sand/silt with little time to suck it up. For heavy sand and silt a slower machine with a large volume pump works best. A sand problem eliminates Bravo/Viva/T2/T4.

If your pool fills with sand and silt, be more concerned with pump water volume and less concerned with robot speed, ie. Cleaning feet/hr.

Cartridge or Bag Filter A cartridge will have to be cleaned as well as filter bags. Disposable bags at (opens new window) are available to eliminate the disgusting job of hand washing the soiled filter bag. The disposable is merely thrown away after 2,3 or more cleaning cycles. A cartridge filter or top loading models eliminate the option of using a disposable bag.

Remote Control If spending an additional $500 is not an issue, then get remote control. Just remember, in most machines this creates added mechanical complexity often doubling expensive parts such as motors that can and will eventually fail.

This added hardware also increases weight. Do you need R/C? NO! The whole idea behind automatic pool cleaners; throw it in and walk away.

Weight Aquabot makes some of the lightest machines available. Light weight matters when the water filled machine is pulled from the water. Avoid buying a heavy machine.

Warranty The more expensive the robot, the better coverage you should have. 2, 3, 4 and 5 year warrantees are not always equal. Aquabot offers a prorated warranty for years 2 and later for all machines except Bravo/Viva.

Maytronics will not honor the warranty of any DX model purchased online. so never never take a warranty at face value. If you are buying a Dolphin, be certain to get a model with a minimum 3 year guarantee. Their robots are not easily or economically repaired. Maytronics Automatic Pool cleaners are heavier by design. The motors are encased in a heavy plastic box and extra steel weights are added to offset the buoyancy. Theses machines are heavy.

Will you be repairing it yourself? Check the availability of parts for the model that interests you.Do this BEFORE you buy.

Robots are machines and ALL machines break sooner or later. While manufacturers guarantee motors for 1, 2, 3, 4, or even 5 years, often the rest of the robot is only covered for the first year. Then brushes belts bushings etc become the responsibility of the owner

Speed vs Water Volume ALWAYS get the model with the biggest pump you can afford. Many complain the speedy machines are not thorough because the pumps can't keep up as the robot speeds around the pool. The best automatic pool cleaner will filter great amounts of water and will be relatively light weight.

Flat Bottom or Deep End? Several models are made for flat bottom pools. Pool Rover and Pool Rover jr. by Aqua Products are propelled by thrust from the on-board pump and will not climb a grade very well nor do they climb the walls.

Higher performance versions such as Aquabot Turbo T-Jet and Pentair Prowler 710 also work on water thrust to propel the robot and they will climb grades and walls. These cleaners do not have a separate drive motor.

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