While there are different types of pool cleaners on the market, only the best ones can clean the floor, the sides, the steps and the corners of a pool. A good pool cleaner should be able to remove any type of dirt and debris from any type of pool material, even fiberglass.
We try to make our reviews as comprehensive and as easy to understand as possible, so that you can easily compare different types of pool cleaners. When analyzing a pool cleaner, we focus on a few key features: performance, energy efficiency, easy of use, convenience and durability.
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Top 2017 Robotic Pool Cleaners Comparison
Specifications to Look for While Buying a Automatic Pool Cleaner
When buying a robotic pool cleaner, convenience must be your first concern. You want a device which can get the job done with as little intervention from your part as possible. In order to find that cleaner, there are several aspects that you must consider:
Choose a cleaner specifically designed for your type of pool
When looking at a certain pool cleaner, you must first check to see for what type of pool it is designed. In-ground pools and above ground pools differ greatly, particularly when it comes to the materials from which they are made. However, you needn't worry as we have reviewed pool cleaners for both types of pools.
Check the recommended pool size
Your next concern should be the recommended pool size. Do not be fooled into thinking it is OK to buy a small pool cleaner for a big pool. You may think that it can handle the task, even if it takes it longer to finish the job. However, the recommended pool size is based not only on the pool cleaner's performance but also on its cable length. Ideally, you should find a pool cleaner with a cable that it is at least 10 feet longer than the length of your pool.
The GPH (gallons per hour) is another important technical specification that you need to consider. This specification refers to the filtration rate. The higher the filtration rate, the more gallons per hour the cleaner will be able to filter. A pool cleaner with a high filtration rate will also have a large debris holder capacity, thus being able to handle a bigger pool.
Cleaning cyclesDifferent automatic pool cleaners come with different cleaning cycles that last a specific amount of time. While the more efficient models can get the job done faster and with better results, there are models that last more so you will have to wait longer for it to be done cleaning the pool.
As we mentioned, automatic pool cleaners must be as convenient as possible, so the more features they have, the better. Of course, there is no need to pay for a pool cleaner that can climb steps, if your pool doesn't actually have steps. However, some features can save you a lot of troubles. For example, deflecting features are very useful as they prevent the cleaner from getting stuck in corners. Impurities don't gather only on the pool floor so you will need a cleaner that can handle the entire pool surface. The ability to climb walls is also very useful, as it will allow for a thorough clean of the whole pool, not just the floor.
The best pool cleaners can climb the pool walls all the way to the top and can even clean the waterline to remove the nasty film that is usually formed. Also, the best models come with and advanced technology, such as the sensor technology. Thanks to this technology, most devices are capable of avoiding obstacles. They are able to recognize the walls of a pool, which form the borders of their workspace. In term of navigation and coverage, these units follow similar strategies to those floor cleaners. The newer models use some heuristics and strategies in order to perform some forms of localization and exploration of the pool.
A programmable timer is one of the features that matter the most because it will make the robotic pool cleaner more self-sufficient. Just set it to work and it will start the cleaning cycle without needing your presence. A remote control and an automatic shut-off feature are just a few of the many convenience features that can make your life easier.
You want your pool cleaner to be made of quality materials in order to last a long time. Its size doesn't really matter, but its weight is very important. Obviously, for a larger pool, you will need a bigger pool cleaner, which is bound to be heavier, but consider how you will get the cleaner out of the pool. Pick a model with a solid handle so you can easily pull it from the pool after it has finished cleaning. Things are a little more problematic for heavier cleaners. If you are not in the mood of getting in the pool to manually pick up the cleaner, consider getting a pool cleaner with a lift system. Smaller pool cleaners can be pulled up by the cable. If they are lightweight, this shouldn't be a problem, but if they are over 20 pounds, pulling them by the cord could eventually deteriorate the cord. If the item you chose is heavy, you might want to look for a caddy to ease storage and transportation.
The design of the wheels is also very important. We recommend four wheel drive systems (4WD) and extra wide wheels so that the cleaner can easily roll over bumps. The wheels should be made of an adherent material such as rubber so that they will not have troubles moving on a slippery surface. The brushes are as important because they are responsible for removing stubborn dirt from the pool surface. Therefore, look for hard bristle brushes or rotating rubber brushes that scrub off the dirt and algae even from corners or hard-to-reach places. Last but not least, get a pool cleaner with a swivel cord, in order to avoid a tangling fiasco.As you probably know these devices turn all the time and sometimes climb vertical walls. This process can tangle the power cord unless a 360-degree swivel cord is in place. Without this accessory, a tangled cable will frequently impair the cleaning ability and will become a mess to untangle.
In terms of energy efficiency, for a small pool, invest in a pool cleaner that doesn't consume more than 200 Watts per hour. This equals the energy consumption of a light bulb, which translates into a 5 cent per hour operating costs. For more powerful pool cleaners expect a higher energy consumption, but anything that consumes more than 1,000 Watts per hour is unacceptable. Larger models might use a little more energy during a cleaning cycle, according to the size of the motor.
Aside from the actual energy consumption, there are a few features which can make a pool cleaner more energy efficient. For starters, an intelligent navigation system will allow it to scan the pool size and determine the most efficient cleaning routes. If the pool cleaning route is operated by an intelligent navigation software, it's important to know that it will take less time to clean the swimming area and reduce energy consumption. The navigation will actually eliminate energy waste by going multiple times over the same cleaned area.
Rubber tracks can also make a pool cleaner more efficient, as they have a better wall adherence, which means that the cleaner will spend less time cleaning the walls, and it won't slip on horizontal surfaces either. This design will minimize slippage on horizontal surfaces. A variable timer is also very useful. With this accessory installed, your device will only turn on when needed and not every day. This is the single feature that can triple your energy efficiency. Keep in mind that many units feature only a day-to-day time, but the best models have a variable time installed.
Most of the convenience features presented above contribute to a pool cleaner's overall ease of use. User-friendly options like an intuitive control panel, a remote control, a lift system and a swivel cable are the main characteristics that make an automatic cleaner easy to use. Given the advanced technologies used by these units, it's important to get the hang of them without many complications. Maintenance should be performed with ease, meaning the filter bag should easily come out for emptying it.
As far as durability goes, it is related to the quality of the materials and sometimes the brand and model. More expensive units tend to be of a higher quality and will last more in time. Moreover, a cleaner's warranty is a good indicator of its durability. Getting such a device repaired will cost a fortune. You will eventually have to change the motor and this factor can be a real jolt for pool owners as some replacement motors can cost as much as a new one. However, there are two simple ways to minimize this risk.
The first option is to look for cleaners with a replacement motor that costs less than $500. The second solution is to purchase a device that comes with at least a 24-month non-prorated warranty. The most expensive cleaners feature a 3-year non-prorated warranty. If a manufacturer offers a good warranty coverage, that means that they are confident of their product's sturdiness and durability. If a manufacturer offers a good warranty coverage, that means that they are confident of their product's performance and durability.
The Robotic Pool Cleaners Reviews
Our pool robot reviews cover all the points presented below. Moreover, each review is accompanied by performance, energy efficiency, convenience and durability ratings. The ratings are meant to help you compare different products.
Pool Maintenance Guide & Tips
Choosing the right pool type and taking care of it in order to maintain it in the best condition are important parts of owning a home swimming pool. You must pick the right cleaning solutions and devices that are suitable for the material of the pool and you need to constantly check the water quality. Our tips and tricks will help you make the best choices in what regards pool maintenance and will keep you in touch with the latest and most reliable systems and products designed for cleaning the pool and the water in it.
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