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Robotic Pool Cleaner and Where to Buy Online?

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[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Oct 6, 2007
8818 posts
5782 upvotes
Kootenays

Robotic Pool Cleaner and Where to Buy Online?

I'm thinking it might be time to bite the bullet and buy a robotic cleaner for our 16' x 32' inground pool. The consensus at troublefreepools seems to be the Maytronics made Dolphin S200 or Active 20, which are the same machine, just rebranded. It runs just over $700 USD. It does not come with a caddy and I'll just use it daily, then remove it. Unfortunately, it's not possible to ship to my box in Montana and go pick it up because of the border closure. The only place I found it locally, in Calgary, wanted $2800 for it! I've also looked at the Polaris 945, which does come with a caddy. It can be had for $1249 + shipping and tax, so around $1450 through Amazon.ca. Seems I've read here though that Polaris units are not nearly as well built. Any recommendations from those that have used a robotic cleaner of either a unit of choice or a supplier?
TIA
33 replies
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Oct 6, 2007
8818 posts
5782 upvotes
Kootenays
marksmithy69 wrote: Not sure if they have the models you are looking for, but I've used Pool Supplies Canada in the past, and they have been great. Their prices are lower than what I can find locally...

https://www.poolsuppliescanada.ca/equip ... -cleaners/
Thanks. I haven't had much luck with them:

"Due to COVID-19 we are experiencing extremely high email volumes. To ensure we are able to assist customers who have already placed an order we are only providing after care at the moment."
Deal Addict
Jun 11, 2010
1370 posts
801 upvotes
ottawa
smacd wrote: So I pulled the trigger and bought the lower Maytronics model that is available in Canada, the Dolphin Encore https://maytronicsus.com/product/residential/encore/
$799 + tax & shipping = $915. https://www.poolsuppliescanada.ca/dolph ... eaner.html
Hopefully it's decent.
Are you able to reply here when you get it! I was eyeing this model, would be curious to hear your review after you receive it.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Oct 6, 2007
8818 posts
5782 upvotes
Kootenays
barqers wrote: Are you able to reply here when you get it! I was eyeing this model, would be curious to hear your review after you receive it.
Certainly. It does receive good reviews on the poolsuppliescanada website, including this one that is probably for a pool exactly like mine:
"Very satisfied! Not perfect, but for the price, I am very happy with the result. Light, easy to clean and to use. My pool is rectangular 16x32, 2 levels, and it worked great!

Review by xxxxx on July 8, 2020"

Funny though, she just gave it 4 stars :facepalm:
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Oct 6, 2007
8818 posts
5782 upvotes
Kootenays
We got the robot on Tuesday, so this is the third day I've used it. It's a very easy set-up...plug and play, really. A full cycle is 2 hours. It does a reasonable job, getting 80% or so of the debris. If it was my kids vacuuming or our summer helper, I'd make them go back and get the bits they missed, but I think I can live with it. We're on 100+ acres on the edge of the forest, so we get lots of bugs in the pool and a very dirty birch tree that sheds its seeds in it, so even when the pool is 100% spotless, within an hour or so, there's a few bits and pieces in it. The Encore looks durable enough, but we'll see. It does come with a 2 year warranty, despite the warning stickers that state the warranty is void if bought online. A call to Pool Supplies Canada assured me that's for US sales only, as they're an authorized dealer.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Oct 6, 2007
8818 posts
5782 upvotes
Kootenays
After a week of usage, I tried something new today that I read about in another forum. I ran the robot a full 2 hour cycle without turning the pool circulation on. This time, it worked very well, picking up almost everything. That's definitely the ticket for our pool. I'd highly recommend it now. I never saw it happen, but I wonder if it was blown over as it climbed the wall with the jets and that caused it to miss spots. With a savings of an hour per day over manual vacuuming, it'll pay for itself in one season.
Sr. Member
Dec 25, 2006
609 posts
475 upvotes
Ottawa
Regin8r wrote: We have this one:

https://interpools.com/product/polaris- ... l-cleaner/

It was on sale for $900 and they had and $100 off promotion in June.

It's pretty similar with 2 hour run times. If the pool is really dirty or not to your standards, just run it twice. Polaris ones have a caddy.
Sorry for digging up an old thread, but do you think the Polaris p825 is worth the extra $100 over the Dolphin Encore? It is currently out of stock, but the Polaris is $899 at PSC:

https://www.poolsuppliescanada.ca/polar ... eaner.html

The Dolphin is $799

https://www.poolsuppliescanada.ca/dolph ... eaner.html

Thanks a lot.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Oct 6, 2007
8818 posts
5782 upvotes
Kootenays
marksmithy69 wrote: Sorry for digging up an old thread, but do you think the Polaris p825 is worth the extra $100 over the Dolphin Encore? It is currently out of stock, but the Polaris is $899 at PSC:

https://www.poolsuppliescanada.ca/polar ... eaner.html

The Dolphin is $799

https://www.poolsuppliescanada.ca/dolph ... eaner.html

Thanks a lot.
Two brushes vs one will probably mean it's more efficient. I store mine in a deck box when not in use, so a caddy doesn't really matter to me, but if I was wheeling it into a garage or pool shed, that would help. The research that I did last year steered me to Maytronics because of durability issues with Polaris, but I have no experience with them. My Dolphin looks brand new.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Apr 21, 2004
858 posts
77 upvotes
Pickering
I don't really have the Dolphin to compare efficiency, but some of the Polaris selling features include:
  • dual brushes (so it will clean forward and reverse)
  • ability to see how full the wastebasket is without removing it
  • cyclonic vacuum technology (buzz word most likely, but Dyson seems to make it a thing)
  • caddy
Debatable if those things are worth $100.

The problem with buying things online, is that it's hard to know the quality of something without touching and feeling it first. When I bought ours, I was able to touch the floor model, push buttons, see the quality of the snapping in of the basket and the lid. I was able to compare it to the more expensive Hayward model in person and determined the Polaris would be sufficient.
Deal Addict
Jun 11, 2010
1370 posts
801 upvotes
ottawa
Regin8r wrote: I don't really have the Dolphin to compare efficiency, but some of the Polaris selling features include:
  • dual brushes (so it will clean forward and reverse)
  • ability to see how full the wastebasket is without removing it
  • cyclonic vacuum technology (buzz word most likely, but Dyson seems to make it a thing)
  • caddy
Debatable if those things are worth $100.

The problem with buying things online, is that it's hard to know the quality of something without touching and feeling it first. When I bought ours, I was able to touch the floor model, push buttons, see the quality of the snapping in of the basket and the lid. I was able to compare it to the more expensive Hayward model in person and determined the Polaris would be sufficient.
Out of curiosity what is your schedule with the pool cleaner? We swim probably every 2-3 days so not daily, but I can't imagine it would be very fast to use this pool cleaner if we spontaneously decide to swim? Or do you just make it a habit of plopping the cleaner in every couple days?
Deal Fanatic
Jan 15, 2004
6606 posts
1144 upvotes
barqers wrote: Out of curiosity what is your schedule with the pool cleaner? We swim probably every 2-3 days so not daily, but I can't imagine it would be very fast to use this pool cleaner if we spontaneously decide to swim? Or do you just make it a habit of plopping the cleaner in every couple days?
I just put my robot in twice a week or so, depending on how dirty it is. It takes almost 2 hours for one complete cycle. I mostly swim in the later part of the afternoon, so no problem running the robot earlier to get it ready.
Sr. Member
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Apr 21, 2004
858 posts
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Pickering
barqers wrote: Out of curiosity what is your schedule with the pool cleaner? We swim probably every 2-3 days so not daily, but I can't imagine it would be very fast to use this pool cleaner if we spontaneously decide to swim? Or do you just make it a habit of plopping the cleaner in every couple days?
These units don't have schedulers, so I don't really have a set schedule. It varies with the weather since the pool is outdoors and we have a lot of trees surrounding the yard. Windy days reak havoc.

Last year and likely this year with WFH, this was my system:
  • run it in the morning on good weather days when I think the kids will use it
  • only remove only if kids actually use it
  • if not used, leave in pool (hence the clear basket cover is useful so I know how full it is) so I can run it again the next good weather days
  • remove it if kids use it and leave it out until morning of next good weather day
  • if bad weather, it won't run and robot will either be in the pool from day before or sitting on the caddy from when pool was last used
Deal Addict
Jun 11, 2010
1370 posts
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ottawa
golden wrote: I just put my robot in twice a week or so, depending on how dirty it is. It takes almost 2 hours for one complete cycle. I mostly swim in the later part of the afternoon, so no problem running the robot earlier to get it ready.
Regin8r wrote: These units don't have schedulers, so I don't really have a set schedule. It varies with the weather since the pool is outdoors and we have a lot of trees surrounding the yard. Windy days reak havoc.

Last year and likely this year with WFH, this was my system:
  • run it in the morning on good weather days when I think the kids will use it
  • only remove only if kids actually use it
  • if not used, leave in pool (hence the clear basket cover is useful so I know how full it is) so I can run it again the next good weather days
  • remove it if kids use it and leave it out until morning of next good weather day
  • if bad weather, it won't run and robot will either be in the pool from day before or sitting on the caddy from when pool was last used
Thank you both! I think I'll be taking the plunge into a robotic pool cleaner this year. I'm convinced.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 15, 2004
6606 posts
1144 upvotes
FYI, I never leave the robot in the pool. Just don't feel like have the cable lying around and the long term salt chlorine water exposure. That's why I don't use the scheduler.
Newbie
Sep 29, 2014
42 posts
15 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Just bought a dolphin encore (799 + tax). Was the cheapest inground cleaner at pioneer. Works great for my 15x30 IG. Actually works way better than I thought it would. I had some buyer’s regret not getting a more premium model initially but after some use in more than satisfied. The other version I was contemplating was the Polaris 8050, or Pentair warrior Se. both similar price points. Look at the power cord length as will be dependent on where your power outlet is and length of your pool
Newbie
Sep 24, 2012
39 posts
1 upvote
YORK
thanks for creating this thread– I was on the fence about buying the Dolphin Encore but this thread may have convinced me to do it.

how's the robot treating you in its second season? does it climb walls well?
Sr. Member
Dec 25, 2006
609 posts
475 upvotes
Ottawa
Crispers wrote: thanks for creating this thread– I was on the fence about buying the Dolphin Encore but this thread may have convinced me to do it.

how's the robot treating you in its second season? does it climb walls well?
I ordered the Dolphin Encore from Pool Supplies Canada, and received it last week. I am relatively happy with it. It gets most of the dirt out of the pool, but it certainly misses spots. It definitely isn't as clean as when I clean the pool manually, but it saves me a ton of time, so I can't complain too much. I like it. Takes at least 2 hours (I sometimes run it twice in a row). Mine only sometimes climbs the walls, but rarely. Mine does a lot of 'wheelies' in the pool, so it tends to miss spots. Does anyone else have this issue? Thanks.

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