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The truth is that pool cleaning robots are expensive and don't always work well.
In this guide, we've decided that the best way to help you wade through all the options is to show you what features to consider before making a purchase.
So, here's everything you need to know about how to choose a robotic cleaner that will work well with your swimming pool.
Here are popular automatic pool cleaner brands:
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before purchasing a robotic pool cleaner:
Note: If you have a saltwater pool, make sure the robot is equipped for this type of environment. Salt is extremely corrosive and will damage most robots.
Robotic pool cleaners can range anywhere from several hundred to a few thousand dollars. It really depends on the features that you are looking for and what type of machines are available. Keep in mind that the demand is not as strong as other, cheaper, pool cleaning tools.
Some robotic pool vacuum cleaners use wheels to move around the pool, while others have threads that allow them to climb walls. Both types of robots can be a good choice.
Wheeled models are more affordable if you don't have ladders, stairs, or a complicated layout in order to clean the entire surface area of your pool.
However, we prefer having a robot with treads because it provides easier access for cleaning all surfaces including simple ledges, stairs, and walls where dirt and algae accumulate.
Robotic pool cleaners come with various types of brushes, which are designed to perform specific tasks.
For example, a caddy brush is used for removing debris on the floor and walls of the pool; an air-driven suction side cleaner has small blades that cut through algae and other floating matter; while a straight drive robotic cleaner uses bristles or microfibers to scrub dirt from tiles and grout lines in tile pools.
More brushes are usually better, but the type of brush is also important. Make sure that your brushes are compatible with your pool's surface type to prevent damage and so that they work efficiently.
Wi-Fi is a great option for keeping tabs on your machine or giving it new commands.
The downside of this feature is that there will always be some spotty connectivity when using Wi-Fi versus being wired directly to the device with no interruption.
As long as it's only on occasion then it won't really make much difference but if you want a constant reliable connection then choose one that has the cable built into the power cord so that nothing gets interrupted while cleaning the floors and walls of your pool.
Some robot pool vacuum cleaners require hoses to be connected to your pool's filtration system or skimmer box while others have a self-contained water pump.
If your pool area is somewhat cluttered then you will want to ensure that the hose is long enough for you to maneuver it around obstacles.
Most robotic pool vacuum cleaners have a retractable hose and some may even wrap neatly on your robot's back like an extra arm!
Some models come with hoses that are pre-fitted with connectors for use in different types of pools, while others can be connected using standard garden hose fittings.
Robot pool cleaners may require extra accessories for cleaning specific types of surfaces. Some will need a scrub brush and vacuum attachment to clean textured floors such as tile or vinyl, while others have an all-in-one surface coverage that cleans most types of flooring without attachments.
Your robot should also come with a set of filters and bags so you can change them out once they're spent. There are two main styles: disposable (usually made from fabric) or reusable (often machine-washable/dryer safe). We suggest using the latter if possible because it saves on costs in the long run by making it less likely you'll buy replacements too often.
To protect your investment, we also recommend only buying accessories designed specifically for use with your model.
Some robotic pool vacuums are hardwired while others can be easily installed and removed, depending on your needs.
If you don't have the time or expertise to wire a robot vacuum for a continuous power supply, then an easy installation is key. That will make it easier when moving the robot around from one area to another without having to unplug and plugin again. However, you will need to be mindful of the battery life.
Make sure to factor in installation costs when comparing robotic pool vacuums.
Make sure that you understand what the warranty covers and how long it lasts. If something goes wrong during use, do they offer support? Do they stand by their products? Find out what type of warranty comes with your machine.
The robotic pool cleaner should come with a warranty for at least one year covering any manufacturing defects that may arise during this time period unless otherwise noted in the specifications.
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when choosing the right pool cleaning robot for your needs.
The most important thing is that you find one that will work with your swimming pool size, shape, and surface type. You also need to make sure it has enough power to clean all areas of your pool within its limits.
And finally, you want something that won’t break down after just a few uses!