Top 10 Best Robotic Pool Cleaners 2021 – Reviews & Buying Guide
If you have a dirty pool and limited time to deal with it, you probably need a robotic pool cleaner. These great machines take the hassle out of keeping your water crystal-clear and help make your pool like those you see on TV.
Shopping online is supposed to be equally easy, but the truth is it’s no longer the fast, simple process that it used to be. Misleading product descriptions make it harder than ever to get a good feel for a product, and with an investment as important as a robotic pool cleaner, you don’t want to go into the deal with less than full knowledge.
We think that it shouldn’t be that way. Our reviews of the best robotic pool cleaners of 2021 are designed to show you the upsides and downsides to every model, as well as help you find the one that’s right for your pool. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide, which will help you understand the buying process, even if you’ve never owned a robotic pool cleaner before.
Top Picks For Best Robotic Pool Cleaner
Last update on 2022-01-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Robotic Pool Cleaners of 2021 – Ratings & Reviews
Don’t forget to check out our experts review for each Robotic Pool Cleaner that we’ve listed.
Last update on 2022-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Basic Robotic Pool Cleaner maintenance
Once you find the best robotic pool cleaner for your needs, make sure to take good care of it! Always ensure basic care and checks are performed on your pricey investment to ensure it will give you years of enjoyment and a sparkling pool.
- Take the cleaner out of your pool once its cycle is complete. It’ll help preserve the motor and make your pool a safer place to swim. Don’t leave the cleaner sitting in the chemically treated water.
- Keep an eye on the wear of your brushes, tyres and other common wearing parts, replacing them when they are worn down.
- Store your cleaner in a shady area, any parts left in direct sunlight will fade and become brittle.
Why buy a robotic pool cleaner?
When it comes to pool cleaning, you have several options. Most depend on your time and budget. Of course, for those who can afford it, hiring someone to keep your pool clean is the easiest option. But since most pool owners can’t shell out that kind of cash, they need to invest in some good pool cleaning tools. Robotic pool cleaners are a big investment, but for most people, they’re worth it.
The cheapest options are manual brushes, nets and vacuums, but they’re also the most labor and time intensive. A happy medium lies in automatic pool cleaners, including suction-side, pressure-side, and robotic cleaners.
Robotic cleaners tend to be the most expensive, but not always. They are also the least labor-intensive of the automatic cleaners. Here are a few reasons to invest in one:
- You don’t have a lot of spare time. If you’re working full time and raising a family, you’d rather be in the pool when you get some time off rather than cleaning it. We get you.
- You have health issues. Manual cleaning can be good exercise, but all that reaching and scrubbing can be a nightmare if you have a bad back or other physical limitations.
- You want a healthier pool. A good robotic cleaner has just the right scrubbing and filtration power to remove things you can’t see with a regular pool vacuum. Those with smart navigation ensure every part of the pool gets a good cleaning.
- You want to prolong the life of your pool pump. Many pool cleaners and vacuums rely on your pool’s pump to power them, which puts extra strain on it and your pool filters. A robotic cleaner uses its own power source and filters, which prolongs the life of your pool system.
- You care about the environment. A clean pool means fewer chemicals are needed, plus robotic cleaners are very energy efficient.
What are the drawbacks to robotic pool cleaners?
As nice as they are to have for saving time and effort, there are a few cons when it comes to pool robots.
- Price – Pool robots are usually the most expensive type of automatic cleaner. The cheapest ones may be about the same price as a mid-range pressure or side-suction cleaner, but the cheapest ones don’t have nearly as many features and tend to break more often.
- Maintenance – With all the moving parts, there’s more to break and replace on a pool robot. The most common complaints are about the machines breaking down. Hint: Look for machines with good warranties, and purchase extended warranties if available!
- Filter cleaning – Unless you want to waste money on disposable filters, you’ll need to clean out the filter bags or cartridges after every cycle. If you have a big, busy pool with lots of debris, you may have to clean them a lot.
- Tangled up cables – Swivel cables help, but don’t always work. There’s always a chance your cable can get tangled on something or be a trip hazard. It’s a good idea to watch it the first few cycles to see if it will be a problem.
- Can damage some vinyl surfaces – If you have a vinyl-lined pool, make sure the cleaner is compatible with it. Some of the brushes can scratch the ink or remove the patterns on the vinyl. Always make sure your vinyl’s in good shape before using a pool robot with brushes.
- Can’t swim with it in the pool – All pool robots are grounded with GFCI plugs that are supposed to shut off at the first hint of any electrical imbalance. However, there’s always a risk of electric shock any time you have electricity and water together. So, while it’s running, you should play it safe and keep everyone out of the pool.
How Does a Robotic Pool Cleaner Work?
As mentioned, the pool cleaner moves on a set of wheels or tracks, guiding itself around the pool. When you start the machine, the intelligent software scans to pool, calculating the optimal cleaning path. Therefore, you get a clean pool in the fastest time possible.
Older models of pool cleaners that work on suction operation are notorious for getting stuck in corners and by the steps in your pool. These new robotic models don’t have any issues with navigating the nooks and crannies in your pool.
The motor in the cleaner pulls water through the base of the machine. It clears any leaves and debris from the bottom or sides of the pool. The suction is so powerful that it holds the machine to the sides of the pool while cleaning.
You’ll need to ensure that you keep the filter bags clean for best performance. If the filter bags clog, then it disrupts the suction power of the machine. As a result, it may start falling off the wall during operation. Make sure you clean out the filter box at least once a week, especially during the fall.
At the base of the machine, you get scrubbing brushes that aggressively clean away any algae growing on the pool’s walls.
After cleaning, you can leave the robotic cleaner in the pool and set it up on a weekly cleaning schedule. The smart software allows you to program your cleaning times into the machine, keeping your pool sparkling clean all-year-round.
However, if you remove your robotic pool cleaner between cleaning sessions, you’ll save the weathering on the plastic and rubber components of the cleaner. Finding replacement parts for your cleaner is easy online. However, why go to the extra expense if you can prolong service life by removing the cleaner from the pool?
Frequently Asked Question
No, it’s not necessary to remove it from your pool after each cleaning session. However, prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays weathers the plastic and rubber components on the machine. If you have a pool shed nearby, it might be a better idea to pack it away after use.
Robotic pool cleaners are relatively low-maintenance machines. Provided that you empty the basket and keep the hoses clean, you should have five to 10-years of service life out of your cleaner.
However, the rubber parts on the machine, like tracks and seals, may weather due to sun exposure. You can pick up spare parts for all Dolphin models online and in pool shops around the country.
Yes, your robotic pool cleaner will suck up the largest leaves and debris in your pool. However, the performance of the pool cleaner depends on the maintenance of the machine. The only maintenance you need to make on your robotic pool cleaner is to dump and clean the waste collection basket before it gets too full. Clean the basket once or twice a week, depending on the season.
To prolong the service life of your robotic pool cleaner, think about getting a pool skimmer for the surface. This device connects to your pump jet. It creates a circulating motion in the surface water, collecting the leaves before they saturate and fall to the bottom of the pool.