How To Choose The Best Robotic Pool Cleaners

Are you an employer?  A supervisor?  Maybe a manager?  Do you have employees working for you?  Would like an employee or co-worker that never complains, is always on time, never asks for a pay raise, and does the job perfectly the first time?  Then look no further than a robotic pool cleaner!!

How To Choose The Best Robotic Pool Cleaners

What Is A Robotic Pool Cleaner?

Simply put, robot pool cleaners are an electrical pool cleaner that is put in your pool to clean it when the pool gets dirty.  Many people would love to have a nice swimming pool, but they really don’t look forward to the cleaning part of it.  Back in the day, pool cleaning was a chore, but with new advances in cleaner technologies, your cleaning time can be cut in half.  Pool owners can benefit from this new technology and invest in vacuum robots to do the cleaning job for them.

And a real bonus about robotic pool cleaners is they don't use your filtration system to do the cleaning.  They use suction to collect dirt and debris and deposit that in its own filter bag inside.  It's basically its own self-contained all-in-one cleaning unit.  

A robotic vacuum cleaner runs on low-voltage sources through ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets that automatically shut off power if there are any electrical imbalances.  Power sources can be purchased separately. 

But how do you go about choosing the best robotic pool cleaner?  What features do you need?  Here are the answers.

What Are The Different Kinds Of Pool Cleaners?

We mainly have 3 choices when it comes to pool cleaners and they are: 

  • Suction-side
  • Pressure-side
  • Robot pool cleaner

The first two have been around for many years and have done a wonderful job.  But there's a new kid on the block and he's really good.  Robot pool cleaners have the advantage of not being tethered to your pool.  This means it's free to go about its business cleaning almost every inch of your pool.  I can't tell you how many times I've walked into someone's backyard and have seen the suction-side or pressure-side cleaner on its side, the wheels spinning, kicking and fighting to get back!!  Like a turtle on its back.  Not a pretty sight.   

What Is The Best Robotic Pool Cleaner?

That's really like asking what's the best vehicle.  It all depends on some factors and variables.  We wouldn't get a Toyota Prius if we're in construction.  And forget about getting a Chevy Silverado 3500 HD or Ford F-350 Quad Cab for commuting 100 miles per day.  We need to understand their features, functions, and price.  Only then we can make an informed decision that's best for our pool and our situation.  Here are some robotic pool vacuum features you may want to consider: 

Efficient Cleaning

Of course this will be #1.  We want a robot pool cleaner to clean our pools and remove dirt and debris.  All the while doing it as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Durable and Reliable

You have many from which to choose.  A robotic pool cleaner can get a little expensive, ranging in price from $250 all the way to $2500.  You’ll want one made from high-quality materials that will last and give you value for your money, but not break the bank.

Lightweight

A too heavy robotic pool cleaner can be a chore trying to get it out of your pool.  While one that's too light won't clean properly.  Size doesn't matter as much in this scenario, but weight sure does!!  Make sure the one you choose is big enough to properly clean your pool, yet light enough that you can easily take it out of the water.

Swivel Cord

This is one of the most over-looked areas of purchasing a robot pool cleaner.  Make sure you get one that has a 360 degree swivel cord.  The cleaner will be moving around your pool and climbing walls.  The cord might get tangled.  A swivel cord can help prevent tangles to give your pool cleaner the proper area and range to clean your pool. 

Quality Brushes

Make sure your robotic cleaner's brushes can handle the amount of dirt and debris in your pool.  Hard-bristle brushes or rotating rubber brushes are recommended.

Great Traction 

A robotic pool cleaner can’t do its job if it's slipping and sliding all over the place.  What's recommend is wide traction made of quality rubber, or four-wheel-drive wheels made of rubber.  This is to ensure your robotic cleaner has the traction it needs to do its job of cleaning and is able to navigate slippery pool surfaces.

Smart Technology

This means your robot pool cleaner can easily guide itself around your pool.  Many of them have what's called a "7-day program".  This allows you to program the cleaner so it can clean if you're away.  And some high end models can be operated with a remote control or an app on your phone.

Robot Pool Cleaner Benefits

Some advantages of robotic pool cleaners are:

  • A self-contained filter.
  • Nice coverage of the pool floor.
  • Some units are remote controlled.
  • Reasonably priced.
  • They’re not attached to the pool’s pump motor or filtration system.
  • Some have internal memory which means they remember the shape and size of your pool making the next cleaning better.
  • They work around drains, steps, and ladders.
  • It acts like a secondary filter for your pool.

A robotic cleaner is very productive and efficient, but there are many people who are still hesitant in buying one.  One of the main reasons is that they are a bit higher in price compared to a  normal pool vacuum.  As the years pass, the technology gets better.  More companies jockey for your business and you’ll see the prices come down and pool water maintenance becomes easier.  This is great news for you because it will save you time and money in the long run!!

How To Use Your Robot Cleaner 

  • Assemble your cleaner unit per the directions.
  • Plug the cleaner into a GFCI outlet.
  • Program your pool cleaning settings.  Common and popular modes are Waterline Only or Bottom Only.
  • Make sure any cables are free from tangles. 
  • At the half-way point of your pool, submerge the cleaner and shift it from side to side.  This allows the unit to fill with water and any trapped air to escape. 
  • Turn the pool cleaner on and allow it to sink to the bottom.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: Turn the pool cleaner on only after you've submerged it and allowed the air to escape.  Not doing this step could damage the unit.
  • Remember to turn it off before removing it from the water.  It's designed to pump water, not air. 
  • Watch as the unit cleans your pool, and make adjustments per the owner's manual.  You may need to do this during its first wall-cleaning cycle.  Also take notice of any cables or cords.  

After your robotic pool cleaner has finished cleaning your pool, remove it from the water and allow it drain.  Rinse your cleaner off with a hose, clean out the baskets, and store it away from direct sun and heat. 

Troubleshooting Your Robotic Pool Cleaner

Some of the easier maintenance and troubleshooting you can do yourself.  For the more complex matters, it's best to contact a professional

The Robot Pool Cleaner Doesn't Move

  • Check indicator light on the transformer.
  • Check to see if the transformer is on.
  • Check the 3 volt fuse.
  • Check the electrical outlet.
  • Inspect the cleaner while underwater.
  • Is the pump motor getting power?  Water should come from the top of the unit.
  • Check the pulley on the drive-belt.  If the pulley does not move, this could indicate a shorted out motor or a bad drive-T.  Both may require the replacement of the motor.
  • Check the drive belt to see if it’s in good repair.  Weak or stretched belts need to be replaced.
  • Check the wheels and make sure they are free of debris and are straight.
  • NEVER pull the unit by the power cord.  Reach into the water and lift the unit by the handle. 

The Robot Pool Cleaner Doesn't Pump 

  • If your cleaner moves but is not picking up dirt and debris, lift it to the surface of the water and see if water comes from the top.  If there’s no water, the pump motor might be shorted out.  Unplug the unit and place it on the deck.  Remove the vent cap on top and check for debris.
  • Also, check that the impeller is free from debris and spin by hand.  You can plug the unit in to see if the impeller spins.  If it doesn’t spin, the pump motor has probably shorted out.
  • If your unit doesn't climb the walls like before, the pump motor might be going out.

Are Robotic Pool Cleaners For Everyone? 

The short answer is absolutely YES!!!  Pool cleaner technology has come a very long way since I started with my pool route back in March 1999.  Very few pools had robotic pool cleaners back then.  Now, it seems as if half the pools I clean or inspect for homebuyers have a robotic pool cleaner. 

What a great investment!!  So let your robotic pool cleaner do the cleaning so you can do what you want to do in the summer, and that's swim!!