The 10 Best Robotic Pool Cleaners
Why Opt For A Robot Instead Of A Human?
If you're of the mindset that robots are taking over the world, you may not like the idea of a little robot cleaning your pool. But while you may be too attached to your friendly pool cleaner to replace him with a machine, you're probably paying too much for the services of a human pool cleaner.
Professional pool cleaners charge you not just for the time they spend working on your pool, but also the time they spend driving to and from your home. You don't need to pay a robotic cleaner to drive to your home; it lives there permanently. Robotic pool cleaners can also reach areas that a person cannot. When was the last time you saw your pool cleaner standing in your pool, with goggles on, scrubbing grime off the walls? Likely never.
A robotic pool cleaner can cover every nook and cranny of your pool, scraping algae and grime buildup from the floors and walls. Robotic pool cleaners also have much better dirt-catching systems than the professional pool cleaner, who typically uses a large mesh bag attached to the end of a pole to clean your pool. A robotic pool cleaner can also use finer mesh filters to pick up minuscule debris that cannot be seen by the human eye.
Possibly the biggest benefit of having a robotic pool cleaner is that it works on your schedule. You don't need to share it with other clients, as you do with a professional cleaner. And if you want, you can clean your pool every single day with a robotic cleaner.
More Ways Robotic Pool Cleaners Save You Money
Let's discuss how these units operate. A robotic pool cleaner uses two motors: one runs a water pump that sucks dirt and debris into and through a filter, and a second drive motor propels the cleaner around the pool. The entire system is powered by a transformer that plugs into a standard wall outlet. These units run on a low-voltage circuit especially designed to be safe for water usage.
Robotic cleaners do not plug into your pool system, but use their own, separate receptacle to hold all the dirt and debris they collect. This means your pool's pump basket can work less, potentially prolonging the life of your pool's pump system and filter in the process. This helps maintain the proper water chemistry, reducing the opportunity for algae growth, which not only results in a better looking pool, but also reduces the human effort needed for pool upkeep.
While robotic pool cleaners seem expensive, their energy efficiency can lead to significant savings in the long run. Compared with the annual energy consumption for pool pump filtration, robotic cleaners save up to $500 in energy costs. For pools running a separate booster pump, those savings can increase to $800. The upfront expense of a robotic pool cleaning system is no small investment, but it's possible to make that up in energy savings in the first year of ownership.
How To Choose The Right Robot For You
There are hundreds of models available, but not every robotic pool cleaner will be right for you. One major consideration is the size of your pool, which should determine the filtering capacity of your cleaner. If the filter reaches full capacity before your pool is entirely clean, then your robot is just wasting energy, dawdling around the pool without picking up any more dirt.
One very popular feature is smart navigation. Most of the newer robotic pool cleaners have smart navigation that learns about your pool and figures out the quickest, most efficient route to pick everything up in the least amount of time. Older models just send the robot aimlessly around your pool, doing several laps and wasting your money.
Another very helpful feature is a built-in timer. While old models would turn your robot on at the same time every day, whether your pool needed cleaning or not, current versions let you customize the days and times cleaning is desired. Built-in timers can ensure you're making the most of your robot, by putting it to work at peak dirt and debris times. There's no point in running your robot when your pool is clean, after all.
You should also consider the type, layout and lining of your pool. Is it above-ground or inground? Are the floors and walls smooth, or are the surfaces bumpy? Is your pool rectangular, with 90-degree angles in the walls, or is it more curvaceous? These characteristics should play a part in helping you choose the type of wheels or rollers your robotic cleaner uses. Some don't even move on standard wheels, but on a contact adhesive drive that can stick to just about any type of pool surface.