When you hear the words robotic cleaner what comes to mind? No not Rosie. I am referring to robotic pool cleaners. First be aware that there is a difference between a robotic cleaner and a suction side cleaner. The main difference is that robotic cleaner creates its own cleaning power, where a suction side cleaner depends on the pools pump to create the power to clean the pool. The easiest way to spot this is by looking at the skimmer of the pool. If it is a suction side cleaner then you will see a line going into the skimmer. This is what is doing the cleaning. With a robotic cleaner you will see no such line. Instead you will see a line going from the cleaner to its “caddy”. The caddy supplies the power and acts as storage for the robot when it is not in use. Lets take a look at the actual mechanics of each of these types of cleaners for a moment.
|Suction Side Cleaner|
A suction side cleaner utilizes the power of the pump to clean the pool. It basically crawls around the pool sucking up dirt and debris and depositing it into the skimmer basket or pump basket. Without the suction of the pump then the cleaner would just sit at the bottom of the pool doing nothing. A robotic cleaner does not require the use of the pump to clean the pool. It gets power from the caddy and uses a brush or brush like component to clean the pool. Any debris or dirt that it stirs up gets deposited into a net that is built into the robot itself. This aspect of the robot is enough to peak the interest of pool owners across the country. It is a major selling point for the robot due to the fact that pool owners won’t have the task of cleaning out their skimmer baskets, pump baskets, or backwashing their filters after cleaning the pool. You now see that there is an obvious difference between a robotic cleaner and a suction side cleaner. Now you should know that there are differences from one robotic cleaner to another. For me there is one brand of robotic cleaner that stands out from the rest. Polaris robotic cleaners are in my opinion at the top of the game when it comes to innovation. One reason is that they have redesigned the debris containment basket so that the cleaner remains highly effective even as the basket fills up. Polaris has developed a new line of robotic cleaners that I want to briefly talk about. These are the 9350 Sport, the 9450 Sport, and the 9550 Sport models. Obviously, being that there are three different models available you can assume that the higher the number the more features the robot will have. So lets look at the 9350 Sport.
9350 Sport – This model offers the fewest options. It is kind of like the base model with no bells or whistles. However it still utilizes the new design as far as the Vortex Vacuum Technology. This basically allows this line of robots to have 25% more vacuum power than other robots on the market. In addition to that this model offers dual cleaning cycles, which allow users to choose from a cycle of 1.5 hours, or 2.5 hours. Basically, if your pool is extra dirty then you can set the robot to clean for a longer period of time to remove more debris. It also offers floor, wall, and tile line cleaning. Out of the three new models this is the only one that has two wheel drive. To me this means that this model is ideal for smaller pools, shallower pools in which the robot will not have to work too hard to access all areas of the pool, and pools with gradual turns. The amount of cord you get with this model will accommodate a 50′ pool. Another feature that should be noted is that the brush on this model is pleated rather that a solid blade. The last thing is that the caddy is included. I am not sure why this point would need to be stressed so much unless with other brands you would have to buy the caddy separately. I just don’t know for sure. Anyway lets move on to the next one.
9450 Sport – This model is the next step up. It still offers the Vortex Vacuum Technology, but it also comes with a few upgrades. For instance instead of the dual cleaning cycles, you get a seven day programable timer. This model also offers the floor, wall, and tile line cleaning. Another difference is that this model is four wheel drive. This feature would be ideal for larger pools or pools with sharp corners. Again this model comes with enough cord to accommodate a 50′ pool.
9550 Sport – This model is like the fully loaded Cadillac of cleaning robots. It has options that are unique to this particular brand and model. One of which is a motion sensing handheld remote. Yes motion sensing! This is basically like the remote of a popular video game system in which the robot will move in the direction that you hold the remote. With just the tilt of your hand you can get you robotic cleaner to turn left, right, or up, and down. No other robotic cleaner has this technology to my knowledge. This basically changes cleaning the pool from a chore to a fun way to relax or interact with the kids. Another feature that is unique to this model is the dirty canister indicator light. This light will come on when it is time to empty the robots debris basket. In addition to that you can program the robot with cleaning patterns that are unique and specific to your pool. This makes for a very efficient cleaner. It is also four wheel drive and comes with a seven day programable timer. The caddy is again included. However this model is the only one of the three that comes with enough cord to accommodate a 60′ pool. It is also the only one of the three that has a solid blade brush, which means that there will be no debris escaping.
These are the features available with each model. I wanted you to know in case you happen to be thinking about getting a robotic cleaner for your pool and are unsure of which one to get. I would recommend getting a Polaris robotic cleaner, however it will be up to you to determine which model best suites your needs. One thing that I forgot to mention about all of these models is that they are equipped with an easy lift system. When you are ready to remove the robot from the pool you simply have to press and hold a button on the caddy and your robot will come to the surface and make its way to the edge of the pool where it will wait for you to remove it. Another thing is that each of these models is equipped to deal with being overturned. If your robot ever flips over then it will shut itself down and float itself upright again. For more information on swimming pool basics, please check out my other blog posts. If you have a specific topic in mind that I have not yet covered please feel free to mention it in the space provided for questions and comments.