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6 Must-Have Robotic Pool Cleaner Features

6 Must-Have Robotic Pool Cleaner Features

Not all robotic pool cleaners are created equally.

What better way to welcome pool season than by treating yourself to a robotic pool cleaner? They suck up debris, improve the clarity of pool water, and do all the dirty work you don’t want to do… Usually.

Not all robotic pool cleaners are created equally. Buying one can be a great investment for any pool owner, if you buy the right one. As the robotic pool cleaner market becomes more and more saturated with products, it’s easy to get lost in the lists of fancy features and consumer-driven lingo. To make it a little simpler for pool owners, we’ve broken down the six top features to look for while shopping for a pool robot. Many premium models go above and beyond with even more advanced features, but these six make for the best robotic pool cleaners on the market today.

1. Gyroscopic Technology

Using gyroscopes in robotic pool cleaners is a relatively new practice. But it’s also a game-changer.

Gyroscopes are essential components in aircraft, ships, and even the Mars Rover. They detect the orientation of a robot by measuring linear acceleration and the angular rotational velocity. Sensors on the gyroscope monitor and control position, orientation, direction, and rotation.

In a robotic pool cleaner, that means the gyroscope provides constant and precise information to the cleaner’s microprocessor. Automated pool cleaners are notorious for wandering aimlessly, missing obvious spots or lingering for too long in one area of a pool. By providing this information to the microprocessor, a robotic pool cleaner fitted with gyroscopic technology offers more effective cleaning coverage and superior climbing and waterline cleaning.

2. Commercial-Grade Motors

Premium robotic pool cleaners can strike a balance between pure power and energy efficiency, thanks in part to commercial-grade motors.

Traditional automatic pool cleaners use power-hungry AC motors. Modern robotic pool cleaners that use commercial-grade DC motors require an impressive 87% less energy. Although these cleaners use far less energy, they don’t skimp on the power. Models with two or more of these motors onboard outperform lesser machines with exceptional efficiency. These motors are 20% larger than budget model motors, and they also move 20% more water. This increases the flow rate, leading to greater suction power. In turn, the greater suction power allows the cleaner to filter more debris out of the water than ever before.

Commercial-grade motors lead to better wall-climbing. Wall-climbing and waterline cleaning are some of the most desired features on a robotic pool cleaner, and these overachieving motors increase the climbing capability of pool cleaners exponentially.

3. Tracks, Not Wheels

Imagine the plastic wheel of a toy car. Now imagine it trying to traverse slippery surfaces, like a wet sidewalk or slick tile. It’ll skid like crazy, right? That’s what you get with a robotic pool cleaner that has the same kind of flimsy wheels. Water between plastic wheels and a pool’s surface make it impossible to gain traction.

Instead, look for a robotic cleaner designed with tracks. They look like a military tank, almost, with the low center of gravity and wide surface area they cover. Tracks fitted with grips can maintain constant contact with a pool’s surface, even when climbing the slippery tile coping of a waterline. They also lend themselves to better navigation in general, like climbing stairs, powering over drains, and traversing tricky underwater coves.

Greater traction also leads to greater efficiency. Instead of wheels spinning in place, a pool cleaner fitted with tracks can use the same time to actively clean without draining power.

4. Waterline Cleaning

There’s a reason the waterline is commonly referred to as the scum line. That’s where all of the grossest debris in a pool likes to accumulate. If this area is neglected, bacteria and algae growth will take over in a hurry.

That’s where automated waterline cleaning comes in. Robotic pool cleaners that can consistently reach the waterline and actively scrub it take some of the hardest work out of manually cleaning a pool. This feature isn’t on budget cleaners, and even some higher-priced robots that claim to have waterline cleaning capability don’t perform consistently. Our advice? Do your research and don’t skimp on quality. Because if you’re left to scrub the dirtiest part of your pool by hand, what’s the point of even having a robotic pool cleaner?

5. Multi-Media Filtration

Many robotic pool cleaners have one kind of filter media. But that one-and-done filtration doesn’t work for every kind of debris. That’s why we recommend getting a pool cleaner fitted with multi-media filtration.

With multiple media types to choose from, pool owners don’t have to compromise when cleaning their pool. Where a standard filter cartridge might leave behind fine debris like sand and dirt, a microfilter cartridge is more equipped to capture those tiny particles. Similarly, a pool that’s littered with leaves after a storm will fill up a standard cartridge in minutes, while the oversized leaf bag can gather debris for over an hour without needing to be emptied.

6. Anti-Tangle Swivel

If you’re new to pool ownership, you’re just going to have to trust us on this one. Because having an anti-tangle swivel on your robotic pool cleaner is a must.

Think about it. When an underwater robot traverses the entire surface area of a pool, that includes a lot of twists and turns that would naturally build up tension in its 60-foot-plus power cord. After a while, that tension transforms into tight knots and kinks that shorten the cleaner’s range of mobility and leave you, the pool owner, untangling the cord day after day.

The anti-tangle swivel is a handy little invention patented by Dolphin engineers. This device allows the robotic pool cleaner’s power cord to swivel as needed during cleaning jobs, even up 360 degrees, all while maintaining power and efficiency. Without it, the cord will turn into an impossible heap of tangles.

Don’t Compromise

When combined in one robotic pool cleaner, these six features form a symbiotic relationship of sorts, feeding off of one another to function at the highest, most technologically advanced level on the market – like the tough tracks providing superior wall climbing, the anti-tangle swivel leading to more thorough coverage, or the commercial-grade motors creating a higher flow rate for the multi-media filtration system to sift through.

You’ll find many models that have a combination of a few of these features, but not all of them. Don’t be enticed by budget prices and clever branding. Instead, do your research and commit to finding a robotic pool cleaner that tics all six of these boxes. Between trustworthy brands like Dolphin and Aquabot, you can find models with a range of prices and extra features to fit your needs. Once you invest in the robotic pool cleaner that’s right for you, you’ll wonder how you went so long without it.

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