Little Giant Manual Pool Cover Pump PCP 550

Little Giant Manual Pool Cover Pump PCP550 Review

Pool cover pumps are an important part of pool maintenance for above ground pools as well as inground pools.  Keeping the pool cover free of excessive water and debris will greatly enhance the lifespan of your expensive pool cover tarp.

It’s also necessary to remove water when opening the pool in spring to avoid the cover being ripped and damaged.

While it is possible to remove water just with a garden hose this can take days if it’s just being siphoned off. Sooner or later most pool owners purchase a pool cover pump for this purpose.

In this review, we’ll have a closer look at the Little Giant PCP 550.


What buyers have to say about the PCP 550

Above ground pool cover pump

The PCP550 is a manual pool cover pump with a capacity to pump 550 gallons per hour. It’s not overly fast but it does the job in time without clogging. It will definitely remove water a lot faster compared to just siphoning it off.

The pump can be easily connected to a bog standard 3/4-inch garden hose. It is then placed and submerged on the cover, plug into a socket and it starts pumping away.

Buyers keep being impressed by the high quality at this budget price. High quality means the pump is very reliable, the housing is sturdy and durable and it doesn’t get clogged up thanks to a cone-shaped cage at the intake. Especially great for above ground pool covers with tarp style covers. 

What I don’t like

Mainly it comes down to two things: Sometimes buyers aren’t aware that this is NOT an automatic pump which means the user has to decide when to plug the pump in and when to switch it off. If you want a complete set and forget pump have a look at the Little Giant APCP-1700 here.

Secondly, they would sometimes wish the pump would have a bigger flow rate for faster water removal.

So, as long as you expect a plug in and pump away device with a decent flow rate and know that the pump needs to be plugged in and off manually this is for you, especially considering how well it is made and lasts for this price.

Features and Tech Spec of the PCP550

Feature Note
Type: Manual Pool cover pump Manual means that it is not an automatic pump but needs to be manually plugged in or off to operate. It does require power for the pump
3/4-inch garden hose connection A 3/4 inch is the most common diameter for garden hoses. No extra fittings required.
Flow rate of 550 GPH A flow rate of 550 gallons per water is one of the best values for pumps under $70 and it’s by far faster than siphoning.  To give an example of what to expect:

draining 6″ off the cover of an 18 ft round pool takes 4-5 hours

8 foot shutoff It is unlikely that your pool cover will ever be under that much water. 8 feet is a very generous limit considering the purpose of the pump.
Removable intake screen Little Giant PCP 550 Intake Leaf ScreenThe cone shape of the intake screen does a brilliant job of preventing leaves and bigger debris to get stuck and clogging up the pump. Easy to remove and clean if required when the pool is full of leaves or big debris.
25 foot cord Enough length for most pool owners if a socket is nearby. Otherwise, an extension might be needed.

FAQs about the Little Giant PCP550

To what water level does the pump work?

The pump is designed to pump water while the intake is submerged in water. Once it starts to be exposed to air it will still pump water until there is about 2-3 inches of water on the cover.

If laid on its side it can pump to a slightly lower level.

After it is unplugged, the pump will continue to remove water until it drains below the cone-shaped intake screen as it acts as a siphon when the power is turned off provided the end of your hose is lower than the pump. This is useful when you want the water to drain without supervision and don’t want it to burn through once it has reached the minimum water level.

As the remaining water and the pump are pushing the cover down the pump will sit at the deepest bit of the cover. This means 2-3 inches in that area isn’t very much overall and is little enough for you to pull the cover off.

Can you leave the pump on the pool cover in freezing temperatures?

If the pump is submerged UNDER ice it will just pump normally. However, it is not recommended to leave the pump out in wintry conditions where it might freeze in. 

The manual states: “Remove pump when conditions will cause water to freeze. Freezing water may result in rupture to pump and could result in possible electrical short.”

Do you need any other accessories for it to work?

A standard ¾ inch diameter garden hose is required. It needs to be long enough to bridge the distance from the pump to where you want to drain the water.

No other parts or accessories are necessary.

How well is it made?

Even though the housing including the elbow for the hose is made of plastic it is very durable and solid.

Does it switch off automatically?

No, the pump will keep operating until it is unplugged. It is a very robust pump people have reportedly let it run dry without damaging it. However, it is highly recommended to unplug it as soon as it starts to suck air i.e. at 2-3 inches water left.

Review summary – is it a good buy?

It’s a definite yes. It’s one of the best manual pool cover pumps in its price range.

Small, easy to use, and effective, it’s a great pump to keep that water off your pool cover in the winter. Not suitable for extreme amounts off water as that would take too long.

It needs to be switched on and off manually.

It’s a great choice! Head over now and  see the current price and great buyer reviews for the Little Giant PCP550 at Amazon.

Additional reading

If you need a pool cover pump that removes water you definitely should check out my review of the best pool cover pumps including automatic models.

Little Giant APCP-1700 pool pump review featured image

Great Buy: Little Giant APCP-1700 Pool Cover Pump Review

Regardless of whether you winterized and covered an above or in-ground swimming pool or a spa tub, used a flexible or automated solid pool cover, you want to make sure you keep the pool cover free of excess water and debris. Failing to do so will not just look ugly but greatly reduce the lifespan of your expensive cover.

There are a handful of pool cover pumps available but not all live up to expectations. Pool owners are often frustrated when an expensive pump fails after a short time.

Others want to make the switch from manual pumps to automated but aren’t sure which one to go for.

This review looks at the Little Giant APCP-1700, an automated pool cover pump that has proven to be a very reliable and valuable piece of winterizing kit.


Good things to know about the APCP-1700

People often buy this after their previous pool cover pump of a different make has died much sooner than expected. The APCP-1700 offers high quality at this price.

It’s being used everywhere where there is a need to drain water out of the pool when it rains or have a melting snow situation. It certainly does well in frequent freeze/thaw regions in the winter. Intake screen APCP 1700

This pump doesn’t clog up and on the rare occasions that it does it can be easily cleaned.

It’s popular on different kinds of pool covers: on above ground Intex pools, in-ground pools with a tarp or automated covers, saltwater in-ground pools on mesh cover and spas, even sitting on the second step to keep water levels in check.

The pump rate is impressive. It does pump a lot of water and does so very quietly. It is designed to do well when submerged.

To give you an idea how quickly it pumps imagine a 6″ of rainwater on a 50’x25′ electric automatic roll-up pool cover, and this pump with a 15′ garden hose attached to it, evacuated all the water in about 3.5 hours, leaving just a thin layer of water that is no problem to open the cover.

More features you’ll like

It’s great not having to worry about switching it on and off. The integrated float switch operates very reliably and turns the pump on or off when the water level reaches about 2”.

This pump weighs in at a solid 12lb. Despite the weight, it’s easy to move around thanks to the built-in handle. Most people find it easy to put this on their pool cover and move to the right spot – see video below.

When it is sat on a pool cover it stays upright and doesn’t fall over. Some above ground pool covers might be an exception when sagging so much causing the pump to tip over when angled too much. A solution could be to find a crate or similar for the pump to sit in and have a wider base.

Usually, though, it sits like a rock.

Users also like that it doesn’t have rusting parts that would stain a pool cover and a standard 3/4“ hose can easily be connected to, no custom parts requiring special accessories.

Features and Tech Spec of the APCP 1700

Features Notes
Type: Automatic Pool cover pump Submersible pool cover pump Little giant float switchAutomatic means the pump switches ON/OFF depending on the water level. The pump can be set and forget and will operate when needed. No supervision required.

Switch ON water level: 2″
Switch OFF water level: .50″-1.50″

3/4-inch garden hose connection A 3/4 inch is the most common diameter for garden hoses. No extra fittings required.
Sideways discharge The output on the side greatly reduces the chance of kinks in the discharge hose. 
Flow rate 1700 GPH Flow rate 1700 GPHSkip this if you don’t like…numbers, numbers, numbers… The APCP 1700 instructions explain: ‘ Using a 3/4″ garden hose 50′ long reduces this performance to approximately 500 gallons per hour due to friction losses in the hose. If your area frequently has heavy rainfalls, (1″ – 2″ per hour), it may be necessary to use 1″ tubing. This should be available in most pool supply stores. ‘So what does that mean for your pool?

According to Little Giant, a 16′ x 32′ pool cover would COLLECT 319 gallons (16 x 32 x
.6234 = 319) in 1 hour, in 1″ per hour rain.
A 20′ x 40′ pool cover would collect 499 gallons (20 x 40 x .6234 = 499) in 1 hour, in 1″ per hour rain.

So even with reduced capacity due to a 3/4 inch hose the pump would still pump water out as quickly as it comes in during an average rainfall – if there is such a thing. A pool user reports: ‘6″ of rainwater on a 50’x25′ electric automatic roll-up pool cover, and this pump evacuated all the water in about 3.5 hours’

Removable intake screen Works well preventing leaves and bigger debris to get stuck and clogging up the pump. Easy to remove and clean
25 foot cord Counts as an extended cord, for easy household use.

FAQs about the Little Giant APCP-1700

How much water does it leave before turning off?

The pump is set to switch off when the water level has reached .50″-1.50″. This means it leaves only very little water on tarp covers as the pump sits in a little valley due to its weight. It pumps enough water away to make opening the pool a cinch.

On solid automated pool covers enough water is drained to let the rest of the water on the cover be pushed out when opening the pool.

Will it be too heavy on an in-ground pool cover that is secured by 4X4′ timber and bricks or waterbags?

Even though this pump ways in at a quite hefty 12lbs you should be fine. Many users have reported they are using the pump successfully on a pool cover secured by waterbags.

How does the pump handle leaves?

Lots of leaves will be sucked towards the pump. Eventually, this will reduce the flow of water quite a lot although the pump itself is known for doing a good job of NOT clogging up.

That’s because the holes in the bottom screen most of the debris.

If there are many leaves to deal with you could place the pump into a crate or vessel with holes in to keep the leaves away from the pump but let water in.

How do I safely get such a heavy pound pump to the center of a cover?

Get the pump ready by attaching the discharge hose. To make handling easier attach a rope on the handle. The rope should be long enough to reach the opposite end of the pool.

Place the pump on edge of pool then use rope, hose and electric cord to pull the pump to where you want it to be, ideally with two people. You’ll find that the pump slides quite easily despite its weight.

For shorter distances, you could use the rubber end of a pool brush pole to guide the pump where you want it to sit.

Is this pump ok to be outside in freezing temperatures?

Even though there are plenty of reports where users have let their pump run through the winter with no problem, it’s not recommended to let the pump run in freezing conditions.

Not so much because the pump doesn’t work but because the discharge hose will freeze up with ice. When the pump keeps running under these conditions it will burn out.

Will it stop automatically when the water is drained?

Yes! The built-in float switch causes the pump to start when water levels reach about 2″ and to stop when the water is down to about half to 1.50″.  A great set and forget feature.

Is this pump fully submersible?

Yes, it is perfectly fine to use when fully submerged.

Review summary – is it a good buy?

My honest opinion? Yep, it’s a good choice and well worth the money spent.

An automated, set and forget pool cover pump that can remove water quickly and is well suited for larger pool covers makes your life much easier. It’s also proven to be reliable, durable, and spare parts are readily available.

In my opinion, the 3 year warranty really seals the deal and gives you that extra peace of mind you need.

Don’t waste any more time – get started today! Head over now and see the current price details for the Little Giant APCP-1700 at Amazon.

More to read

If it’s not the one you need, don’t fret! Check out my article on the best pool cover pumps here too.


Kreepy Krauly Great White Pool Cleaner

Kreepy Krauly Great White Pool Cleaner In-depth Review

Sometimes, even the most trusted pool cleaner device just doesn’t do the job anymore and you need to find an equally trustworthy and economic alternative machine. Could the Kreepy Krauly Great White GW9500 by Pentair be your next best pool cleaning friend?

Many pool owners have found their faith in affordable, automatic cleaners restored thanks to this particular pool vacuum. It doesn’t look particularly flashy. In fact, the gray and white boxy look is rather dull compared to other, more imaginatively styled products. But don’t let this fool you. This is a great suction-side cleaner.

>> In a rush? Check out the lowest price here at Amazon.

Pentair chose to put the message in the name. The Great White is indeed a mean machine with rotating bristles for teeth and a large opening to swallow or rather suck in large quantities of pool debris. Before looking closer at its ability to clean let’s check whether this cleaner could be right for your pool.


Is it right for your pool?

Do you have a vinyl, fiberglass, gunite pool? Then the answer is yes. It is equally suitable for surfaces like modern aggregate finishes (for instance Pebble Tec), tiles or quartz/plaster.

The bristles are hard and powerful enough to dislodge stubborn stains and algae but leave vinyl surfaces intact.

The cleaner will move around and cover all pool shapes – be it kidney-shaped or angular or free-form. It can climb walls provided there is a round transition from bottom to pool sides but not steps. Please note that it is not suitable to use under solar covers.

The standard installation is via the pool skimmer. Optionally you can use your pools vac port if you have one (a spring loaded vac port safety cover is included).

Flow rate is paramount for the Great White to work properly. This can easily be adjusted with the included flow gauge and valve. However, if you have a pool with a variable speed pump you will have to repeatedly change and adjust the flow rate or, alternatively, program the pump to run at just one speed.

Does it get stuck?

Not on main drains if the water pressure is adjusted properly and your pool filters are clean. The mechanism works so that the unit easily navigates around pool obstacles. Should it find itself in a tight spot its design allows it to turn and spin, free itself and move on.

Why the Great White is special and how it works

The usual way to move a pool cleaner is with wheels or rollers. This cleaner is smoothly propelled by a bristle drive. It’s a unique mechanism and together with the oscillating vortex design allows for effective and thorough cleaning of bottom and sides.

This unit is designed to cover the whole pool floor, from deep to shallow end provided the flow rate from the pump is properly adjusted. If the flow rate is too low or if the pool filter is full the device may become less mobile, not able to climb walls and not leaving the deep end.

This Kreepy Krauly also comes with a handle telepole adapter to guide it. This is useful when you want to speed up the process of cleaning and move the cleaner over stubborn spots or if the cleaner has missed a spot.

Pentair’s engineers have built a pool vac with few moving parts, which means if something does wear out it’s easily replaced. The device doesn’t have to be sent back to the manufacturer or a pool service company. All parts are available to purchase and can be replaced by the pool owner.

How well does it clean?

This machine scrubs and vacuums all at the same time and its ability to scrub away algae is quite impressive. The suction power is big enough to swallow leaves and twigs as well as clean effectively sand and grit and debris. Everything is being moved to the pool’s filter basket. Smaller bits will be filtered out in your pool filter.

It has to be said though that it does take time for the cleaner to get around the whole pool area. It easily travels across any slopes and shapes of the pool bottom, leaving behind a debris-free path 15” wide.
If you have a shallow and a deep end it will very likely stay more in the deep than the shallow but given enough time it will clean it all.
Cleanability also depends on whether your pump filter is clear and how well you adjust the water flow.

Which areas of the pool does this machine clean – bottom, sides, steps?

The Great White vacuums and brushes the bottom and sides of the pool provided there are smooth rounded transitions. It’s not the greatest cleaner when it comes to steps because quite often it struggles to get there,

This great helper usually does a good job for several years. Many pool owners are so pleased with it they often simply replace the old unit when it wears out.

What is included?

  • Cleaner
  • Swivel assembly
  • Handle adapter
  • Reducer cone
  • Twelve 4’ lengths of hose sections
  • Vacuum regulator
  • Regulator cap
  • Vacuum Port Fitting (for optional installation)
  • A flow gauge

Is it noisy?

The noise that can be heard when everything is very quiet comes from the oscillator, moving back and forth, but it’s neither intrusive nor loud.

Are there any parts prone to early wear and tear?

This is a very reliable pool cleaner. Naturally, there will be wear and tear over time, usually after a few years. Fortunately, it’s a simple mechanism and replacing parts (usually the gears) is easy and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and there is no need to send it back to the Pentair or a pool service company.

Important: How to ensure peak performance of the Great White?

There is one vital piece of information you need to know when buying this Pentair cleaner. The pressure range where the cleaner performs properly is quite small, it is very sensitive to changes in pressure. If the pressure isn’t right the oscillator will not move at optimum speed and the cleaner doesn’t climb well or goes above the waterline.

Here are a couple of pointers how you can make sure you get the pressure right quickly.

  • Put everything on your line that you intend to use, i.e. include the leaf catcher (highly recommended to ease the burden on your pump and make backwashing easier) if using, the correct length of hose for your pool (20’ of hose have a different effect on the pressure than 40’).
  • Then put the pressure meter on the very end and adjust the pressure on the pump until the dial is in the correct zone.
  • Keep in mind that the pressure is bound to change at the pump filter over time which means you will then have to slightly adjust again to maintain the peak performance level of the cleaner.

In time, you will get a feeling for when it performs well or is outside that zone for instance by observing how well the vacuum climbs the walls and adjust the pressure accordingly.

Who is this suction cleaner for … and not for?

It’s for you if you…

  • like a unit that doesn’t require any assembly, just connect the hose to the dedicated line and ready
  • need a cleaner that can dislodge tough dirt and stains with its bristle drive
  • like a set and forget machine with pressure adjustment every now and then
  • like everything you need in the box (hose, adjustable regulator valve, flow gauge
  • don’t mind that it takes hours to go everywhere
  • like a simple device easy to repair yourself if need be
  • never had an automatic pool cleaner before and want to make sure you buy a cleaner that will last

This is not for you if…

  • You want the cool to be clean faster and more efficient
  • You would like a stand-alone product that collects debris on-board instead of moving it to your pool filter.
  • Have a pump with varying speed and want to avoid having to set it to one speed only

In summary – the bottom line

This is a well designed powerful suction cleaner, one that doesn’t pretend to be something else but cleans and scrubs reliably, if slowly thanks to its simple design. It also means it is an economic choice when buying and in terms of maintenance.

It’s easy to connect and use and allows you to utilize your existing pool filter to trap debris. You also have the option to use the leaf catcher to ease the burden on the filter basket. As long as you adjust the pressure correctly you will find this to be a worthwhile purchase.

Purchase options

Pentair offers a $100 rebate on the Kreepy Krauly Great White when purchased at $399 or above between April and September. This might vary but, usually, comes as a debit card. It is also worth checking the expiry date on the rebate to avoid disappointment.

You will have to look for a genuine retailer to qualify for the manufacturer’s rebate. Amazon even provides a link to the rebate form on their site, making it really easy for you to profit from that option.

 Head over to see the current price, offers, and great reviews at Amazon.

Pentair Kreepy Krauly Racer 360228

Pentair Kreepy Krauly Racer 360228 Review

It looks like it wants to go places – fast. The body shaped like a vintage race car, the debris bag like a sail on a sail sand buggy, big front wheels suggesting powerful drive. Does all of this translate into powerful cleaning in the pool?

Pentair only entered the pressure side cleaner market fairly recently compared to its well-known competitor Polaris. I reviewed their racy looking cleaner to help you decide whether this could answer your pool cleaning needs and if it’s worth the money.

>> Short on time? Click here for a quick price check at Amazon.

What do you need to use it? Will it work with your existing booster pump?

The Pentair Racer needs its own dedicated line and to be connected to a booster pump which means it will not run on the main pool pump. You do need a booster pump.

The kit includes a pressure sensor to connect to the wall outlet allowing you to adjust the outward pressure. The higher the pressure the faster the cleaning. This is also useful if you want the cleaner to climb or not climb the sides. The adapter of the flow valve is Pentair Racer specific but a Polaris one should work as well.


What’s in the box? Are hose and bag attachments included?

Yes. The kit includes all attachments necessary to connect the cleaner to the booster pump and start cleaning:

  • Racer Cleaner unit
  • Instructions
  • Feed Hose Assembly (3-10 ft)
  • Wall outlet connector kit (wall adapter, adjustable pressure valve and flow gauge)
  • Debris tail bag
  • Sweep Hose (not needed in most pools)

If you have a chlorinator, solar system, ozone generator or air inducing equipment installed you are advised to contact Pentair customer service. Basically, these are air inducing devices that can cause the unit to pick up air and float.  

Is it easy to install and get working?

Yes! Everything’s user-friendly and the instructions are very clear and helpful. Before lowering the vacuum into the pool you will need to do the initial installation, which should take you 20 to 30 min, including reading the manual.

  • You will need to cut the feed hose according to the instructions to fit your pool size -easy.
  • Install the wall fitting adapter, valve and flow gauge – easy.
  • Adjust flow pressure so the machine receives the right pressure for best speed and cleaning
  • Connect the feed hose to the cleaner – easy one-click.
  • Fit the large debris bag on top of the cleaner

How fast does it clean the pool?

Speed is one of the strengths of this cleaner. It claims to be 30% faster than any other side pressure cleaner on the market. As a rule of thumb, Pentair recommends a one-hour cleaning cycle for a pool of about 15’ x 30’. And there are many pool owners happy with the result after one to two hours. 

This means you can spend your time doing something else, gaining 2 to 3 hours per week and enjoy your pool more. Not only that, but this little machine could potentially do the cleaning faster than you.

Pool owners who had experience with Polaris products will often point out that it cleans faster than similar pressure cleaner models.

Within that time, the Racer should cover most of the pool floor. By alternating the pressure jets on the sides, front and rear the unit is being steered along, following its own unique cleaning path cycle, turning left and right as well as reverse every couple of minutes for maximum coverage no matter what shape of the pool has. It keeps vacuuming regardless of the direction it goes, forward or backward, which is how it gets the work done faster than other models.

This should also help it to get unstuck should it maneuver itself into a tight corner, but unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work like that all of the time and might need the odd push and encouragement to move on.

Sometimes, when it gets stuck it will climb up a wall a bit and flip around thanks to its four wheels.

It is not really designed to climb stairs and won’t clean the sides or waterline. How well it climbs depends on the steepness of slopes and water flow.

How well does it clear the pool?

This cleaner features a wider than usual feed hose, a larger opening on top between debris bag and cleaner body (you can almost get your hand in there) and a large inlet opening for vacuuming leaves, seed pods, twigs and moving them into the impressively big debris bag without difficulty. The bag stays upright throughout thanks to its own floatation device. This and the 4 venturi jets ensure that all debris can make it to the top to be trapped and removed later.

The rotating front brush does a good job in picking up sand and dirt provided the cleaner is adjusted to optimum speed.  

The unit is easy to remove from the pool and the bag with its wide opening easy to empty and then clean with a hose.

Are the brushes safe to use on vinyl liners?

Yes. The bristles do a good job in brushing up debris but not too stiff and harsh to damage your pool. Overall the cleaner has no sharp edges or parts. The wide wheels are made of soft rubber as well. As long as your vinyl is in good shape and doesn’t have any pebbles under the surface or cracks etc there is no need to worry.

Can it be used in a saltwater pool?

Yes, it works great.

Are there any parts I will have to replace regularly?

Unfortunately, this cleaner seems to have more than its fair share of breakages. Even though it looks tough, powerful and made for speed, there is a tendency for wheels to come off and attachment points to break. However, it is possible to obtain fairly priced spare parts. Hopefully, Pentair will address these issues soon.

What are the LED lights and sweeping tail for?

There are two blue LED lights on the side of the unit, a somewhat unusual feature on a pool cleaner. It’s indeed interesting to sit and watch the lights moving about in the dark. It could also be useful if you do most of the cleaning at night and like to have a quick peek every now and then to check its progress.

I found them to be more of a gimmick than anything else. It certainly doesn’t add to the main function which is cleaning.

I was also not overly convinced by the sweeping tail that can be plugged into the rear end of the cleaner. It tends to shift the balance of the vehicle making it a little unstable to the point that it can flip over. The instructions even state that it is not necessary for most pools anyway leaving us wondering how it could possibly enhance the cleaning. The unit certainly runs more stable without it.

Who the Pentair Kreepy Racer is for

It’s a great choice for you if…

  • already have a booster pump installed
  • would like to replace your weekly pool cleaning chore with an automated device
  • would like to have the fastest side pressure cleaner on the market
  • like the added blue LED lights and racy design to add a bit of fun and novelty to pool cleaning
  • want to try out an automatic pool cleaner instead of paying someone else
  • like a cleaner to pick up mainly bigger bits of vegetation like leaves and seeds and most of the sand and dirt

It’s pool cleaner is NOT for you if you…

  • don’t have a booster pump
  • like a pool cleaner that cleans the sides reliably as well
  • prefer an item with a longer warranty

Summary & final thoughts

The Pentair Racer is a noteworthy side pressure cleaner ready to gain its share of a market dominated by Polaris. It does so by introducing better looks and a speedier cleaning cycle. However, it would benefit from more reliability and more durable plastic parts rather than flashy LED lights.

Thankfully, all parts are available for purchase, if needed, making it a really good buy for pool owners.

What’s the best place to buy from?

The Pentair models are first and foremost less expensive than the competitor. The Racer retails for well under $600. However, be prepared to add replacement parts fairly frequently.

When shopping around online do make sure you check return policies before making your purchase. I also strongly recommend ensuring you are buying from a genuine Pentair dealer.

Amazon has proven to have convenient and reliable return and warranty policies. They also have genuine customer feedback making them a perfect place to either do more research before you spend a dime.

Head over now for the lowest price and great buyer reviews at Amazon.

Aquabot-Turbo-T-jet review

Aquabot ABTTJET Turbo T-Jet Robotic Pool Vacuum Review

It  looks like a Lego model of a lunar vehicle from the 70s. Could the  Aquabot Turbo T-Jet be an option for you?

It is in many ways simpler than other automatic pool bots. But when we reviewed it we found this machine is, at least in some ways, better than it looks.

We considered what kind of pool this unit is best for, how well it cleans, how reliable it is and what to look out for.

In a hurry? Head over now to check the price and find out more.


What kind of pool is this for?

This Aquabot model is designed for in-ground pools of any size, shape and surface. There is no need to change to different wheels for different surfaces because the bot merely rolls over the area.

The cleaner is great on smooth as well as rough surfaces because it doesn’t scrub. Instead, it whirls up the dirt on the pool floor to be sucked into the filter bags.

It will roll randomly all over the bottom of the pool (note: not the most efficient but effective way) and vacuum any loose dirt and debris. The big, extra wide wheels happily ignore obstacles. It’s especially good in navigating raised main drains, a place where more expensive pool cleaners can often get stuck on.

It should also climb easily any steeper slopes and even walls up to the waterline provided it is adjusted correctly. However, its ability to climb largely depends on the right level of floatation and might require you to play around with the float kit (four pieces of foam) usually included in the pack.

(For more information see “Does it climb walls?” further down.)

The cleaner is designed in a way to work around most common features found in a residential pool. There are of course always exceptions to the rule and should your particular pool design give issue and cause the T-Jet to get stuck or caught you will probably find out quickly and in that case either talk to Aquabots very supportive help desk or return it if it seems unsolvable.

How does the Aquabot work?

The engineers at Aquabot seemed to have had simplicity in mind. Basically, the bot houses a strong suction pump, a filter cartridge, four free wheels and a power cable plugged into a safe 24 V/ 110V transformer (power supply box) which in turn is connected to a standard power outlet.

Two downward directed streams of water power wash the pool surface. They whirl up the debris and direct it towards the inlets on the bottom of the unit. It’s a clever way to reach crevices. Everything is being sucked in, pushed through the filter where the dirt is trapped, and the filtered water travels to the jet unit on top of the cleaner.

There the water shoots out and pushes the cleaner forward or backward. How long the unit moves in one direction can be set to anything between 20 and 90 sec to allow for different pool shapes and sizes.

It’s one of those things some people love to play with and others don’t have the patience for, but it is worth doing to increase the likelihood for the cleaner to reach all areas.

There is no separate motor drive to power the wheels, no additional seals, drive train, belts or cogs that could fail. This set up is simple and great as long as it works.

The downside is that the speed of the cleaner depends on how clean especially the fine filter bag is. A full filter reduces the speed of the outgoing jet of water causing the vehicle to go slower and slower until it stops completely. After the filter has been cleared the cleaner continues at full speed.

Power supply and cable

The 50’ floating cable from the cleaner unit plugs into a 24 V transformer. This power supply also has the digital timer to set the reverse cycle times and program buttons. The transformer itself is connected to a normal 3-prong power outlet.

Unfortunately, the cable can get quite twisted and coiled up when the Turbo T-Jet runs for longer periods of time because the machine is intentionally set to turn the same direction all the time.

The engineers seemed to be aware of this and offer the E-Z swivel device either as an add-on or sometimes included in the kit.

How well does the Pool Vac clean?

The pool cleaner comes with two filters, one for picking up rough stuff like leaves and seed pods but not fine debris like sands and pollen. Naturally, there is an upper limit to what it can pick up, too. If you have really large bits like palm leaves or sticks you will need to remove these manually first.

Otherwise, sticks may rip the filter bag and even if the unit can suck pieces in, the bag would be full very quickly and would stop moving and cleaning.

Sand, loose algae and any other tiny particles will be collected when you switch to the second filter bag. It catches everything down to an amazing size of 2 microns. It’s the finest filter in the industry, most of which settle for 5 microns. What difference does that make?

There is a noticeable difference when the water has been filtered with an Aquabot fine filter, it’s like a difference between washed and polished thanks to more microscopic particles being removed from the water.

As a result, pool owners don’t have to use their main filtration system that often, use fewer chemicals and energy and don’t have to do as much backwashing.

You will have to take good care of the fine filter, though. Finer pores mean they can clog up more easily. Most filters in other robots only have to be washed with a hose. This one needs a regular wash in the washing machine for efficient cleaning and continued speed of the unit.

Most of the cleaning action will be done at the bottom of the floor.

If the flotation is adjusted properly it will also climb and do the sides. However, it’s worth remembering that dirt tends to settle on the bottom, not the pool sides anyway. So the floor is where you want the cleaner to do most of its job and that’s where it will be most of the time.

It’s a good idea to use the old pool brush on the sides of the pool. The Turbo T then does the cleaning of the pool as the debris is moved from the upright walls to the floor and less steep curves of the pool.

The robot seems to be programmed to follow a random pattern which of course we can neither confirm or deny because it is and looks…random.

A 2-hour cycle may not cover the whole area but you can nudge the cleaner towards the areas it missed and still be finished within this fairly short amount of time.

Alternatively, leaving it on a continuous cycle for several hours gets the job done completely. Just don’t expect the T-Jet to be fast.

Is it easy to operate?

Yes. Take it out of the box, familiarize yourself with the comprehensive instructions, plug it in, lower it into the pool, switch on and then watch the robot leaving a clean random trail on the bottom.

Once it has picked up clearly visible larger debris like leaves and seeds, little rocks and sticks, take the mesh filter bag out to empty and clean, pop in the fine mesh bag and let it pick up all the finer debris.

Come back after a few hours (if left on the continuous cycle) and you’ll have a pristine pool.

That’s the best-case scenario. However, this cleaner is prone to slowing down when the filter bag gets full. We found the standard two hours not to be sufficient to clean. It’s especially true if your pool is very dirty.

In that case, you’ll have to check on it more frequently in the first two hours and then let it run until your pool is as clean as you want it to be.

Does it climb walls and steps?

This varies from pool to pool. The pool cleaner should follow any rounded transitions from bottom to the wall as well as slopes and climb all the way to the waterline.

However, this depends on the buoyancy of the robot which mainly depends on two variables: the number and size of floats in the housing and the amount of dirt in the filter bag. When it gets too heavy or clogged up the cleaner either doesn’t climb as high or doesn’t go up at all or gets stuck in the lower part of the pool.

This model doesn’t climb up steps. It’s best to sweep these first so debris can settle on the pool floor to be picked up by the machine later.

Cleaning & use questions and answers (FAQs)

How reliable is it and how long is it going to last?

Out of the box, with filters still clean it can last at least a couple of years and most pool owners use this for much longer than that, especially when taking care to clean the filter bags properly, replacing the filters at least once a year and rinse it after using it in a saltwater pool.

There is a trend though for this pool robot to lose speed and cleaning power over time.

Does this need a caddy?

Unlike other pool robots, this one rolls on wheels and can be stored upright as is. No extra caddy required.

Can I use the Aquabot in a saltwater pool?

Yes, no problem at all. Just remember to rinse everything with fresh water after each use to ensure a long lifespan.

What’s the warranty?

A 100 % warranty in the first and limited warranty in the second year.

Who it’s for…and who it’s not for

In my opinion, it’s NOT for pool owners who…

  • Want not just the pool bottom but also the sides and steps cleaned and scrubbed thoroughly
  • Are looking for a completely hands-off product
  • Hate having to adjust and fiddle with floatation pads for best buoyancy or find the best reverse cycle times
  • Would like a fast cleaner.

The Aquabot is for pool owners who …

  • Would like to replace their weekly pool cleaning chore with a machine
  • Would like to reduce backwashing and ultimately cleaning by having this unit trapping dirt and fine debris in the on-board filter bag
  • Would love to save up to 40 % on the running cost of their pool’s main filtration system (Note: manufacturer’s data, how much you can save will depend on how often and how long you let the Aquabot run)
  • Are happy to do a couple of adjustments and experiment with the floatation pieces and guide the cleaner to areas it may have missed on the 2-hour cycle
  • Would like to have even microscopic particles filtered out for that extra sparkle and reduction of dirt filling up the main filtration system.
  • Want a machine that can navigate raised drains

Review summary & verdict

The “revolutionary design” (manufacturer website) of the Aquabot T-Jet is an interesting, economic attempt to solve common problems of other automatic pool cleaners. It’s basically a vacuum that sucks water through a fine filter bag as it moves around.

It does away with separate parts, especially motors for moving the bot about.

This greatly reduces costs for maintenance and repair because there are fewer parts that can fail.

The simpler design means it’s easy to figure out how it works and how it can be adjusted which will appeal to people who like doing that but not for those who prefer to take it out of the box and expect it to work in their pool perfectly right away.

The 2-micron filter bag is top-notch and provides unrivaled water quality and save pool owners much time on backwashing as well as on chemicals.

This pool robot is a good entry model if you want to get rid of your weekly time-consuming chore of manually vacuuming your pool and experience what it’s like to have the work done for you.

Even when taking into account that you might have to direct the unit towards spots it might have missed, especially on the two-hour cycle, it’s still a step up from cleaning the bottom of your pool yourself, saving you hours each week.

Where’s the best place to buy one?

There is now a range of hands-off, plug-n-play type robots on the market, ranging from just under £300 for entry-level models to high-end machines at $5000 for commercial pools. From that perspective, the Aquabot is priced in the lower range.

So it comes as no surprise that many pool owners choose this device as their very first robot to test whether this kind of machine would be a worthwhile investment.

The manufacturer lists the official retail price for the Aquabot Turbo T-Jet at $699. It’s very likely that you can find this at a much lower price either at your local pool store or online.

If buying online make sure you buy from a trusted and genuine Aquabot retailer, have a look at their return and warranty policies. Amazon tends to offer very competitive prices for pool cleaners as well as hassle-free return and exchange options.

Head over now to see the current price and excellent buyer reviews at Amazon.

hayward-tigershark-qc-robotic-pool-cleaner review

TigerShark QC Robotic Pool Cleaner – Review

It’s great to own a pool. It’s also wonderful to be able to invite friends and family over, if only…it wouldn’t be such a hassle to maintain that sparkling fresh and inviting look.

Are you a new homeowner and realized pretty quickly what a time-consuming job pool maintenance is if done manually?

If you have trees close to the pool they do add a nice natural feeling to the pool area but with them come also a lot of leaves, petals and perhaps even seeds like acorns ending up in the pool. And you could think of more rewarding ways to spend your time than cleaning the pool bottom.

Over the years, the Tiger Shark models have earned a good reputation for fairly priced, reliable automatic pool cleaner. In this review, we are looking at which kind of pools these can clean, how long it takes, how good they are and what to look out for in this particular model.

Let’s find out if the Tiger Shark QC could become your new best cleaning friend.

>> In a rush? CHECK out the price and Shipping HERE


Is this cleaner right for your pool?

Designed for residential pools the manufacturer recommends this for pool sizes of up to 20’ by 40’. If your pool is slightly over this or has an irregular shape it will still work. It might mean, that you have to let it run twice for the best result.

If your pool is slightly longer than this make sure you let the robot start cleaning in the middle of the pool, ensuring the on-board smart computer can map it all and there is about 25’ worth of cable available for each side.

TigerShark happily cleans every kind of surface you would usually find in a pool: gunite, painted concrete, tiles, vinyl or pebble.

 Just make sure you use the foam instead of rubber rollers if you have a fiberglass or a tiled pool. That way unit has enough traction to climb walls and steeper inclines.

Vinyl pools sometimes have wrinkles on the liner bottom – if yours has those, don’t worry the machine will just roll over them.

A neat feature of the TigerShark is the smart on-board computer. Not only does it map the shape and size of the pool, but it also calculates the most efficient and fastest way to get everything cleaned, especially in full mode.

The computer also maps everything for the Quick Clean mode, but with less time available there is a chance that the sides or steps don’t get cleaned as well.

Does the unit clean pool steps?

Yes and no. The manufacturer Hayward doesn’t make any claims that the device will clean steps. However, the bot can certainly climb walls and onto steps, but results vary from pool to pool. It seems some combinations of step shape and size don’t work as well as others reliably.

The worst that can happen is that the cleaner misses a few spots or doesn’t climb to the top step, especially if the water is very shallow there. In that case, it’s best to spend a minute or two sweeping these and brushing debris and dirt into the pool before starting the machine.

Power Supply Safety – Important!

The power supply box (included) needs to be placed at least 10 feet away from the pool edge. So make sure you have a power outlet close enough to the pool, about 12 to 13 feet away would be ideal.
The length of the standard cleaner cable is 55 feet.

What’s in the box? Is the power supply included?

  • Pool cleaner with filters inserted
  • Transformer/ Power supply box
  • Two power cords (55’ and 3’ in length)
  • Manual
  • Quick start guide
  • Venturi restrictor plates (a simple plate or disk to regulate water flow out of the cleaner on top of the TigerShark;  goes underneath the Venturi Assembly)
  • High-velocity inlet adapter (as the name suggests this can be placed on the slots where leaves and dirt are being sucked in, increasing the velocity or speed of water flow in this area – to help keep the machine from getting stuck on raised main drains)

The box includes the transformer/ power supply. The cord of the cleaner unit plugs into the transformer/power supply and this is then connected to a 110V AC outlet. The cable between the power supply box and outlet is about 3’ long ensuring that the power supply box stays close to the power outlet, away from the pool.
The cord feeding the pool cleaner is 55’ long – long enough for most residential pools.

How does a Tiger Shark pool cleaner work?

This pool vacuum operates independently from your pool’s main filtration system. The robot houses everything it needs for its cleaning mission in the unit itself: the vacuum pump, filter cartridge, on-board computer, scrubbing rollers.

Once power outlet, power supply box (transformer) and cleaner robot are connected the vacuum is lowered into the pool and switched on.

You can now leave it unsupervised as it goes about calculating the most efficient way to clean the whole of the pool including the bottom, walls, coves, and the waterline. After either three hours of work in Full mode or 90 min in Quick Clean mode, the power supply is switched off automatically and the pool vacuum unit can be pulled to the surface to be taken out.

You will have to empty the filter cartridge and rinse the filters, which takes about 5 min, transport the robot to its resting place (caddy recommended) and you are done.

A true plug-n play device.

How long does it take to clean the pool?

This automatic cleaner has two operation modes: Full (and fast) and Quick Clean (very fast – for more info see below).

The standard Full mode cycle of the most recent model (as of 2016) runs for 3 hours. At the end it powers down, i.e. switches off automatically. If you find that your pool is clean before the three hours are up you can switch off the power supply manually.

During these three hours, the robot will have calculated and followed a cleaning path covering all of the pool bottom, sides and steps.

It is usually obvious where the cleaner has brushed and scrubbed dirt, debris, and algae.

Less obvious is that it also filters the water itself. The built-in pump moves 70 – 80 gallons per minute through the filters, meaning more than one-third of the water of a 30.000-gallon pool will have been filtered through this little guy.

A welcome benefit is a lot less work for your main pump and filtration system and much less backwashing and energy consumption.

What is Quick Clean technology?

The second cleaning cycle is only available on the TigerShark QC where “QC” stands for Quick Clean Technology, a feature in addition to the normal 3-hour complete cleaning mode. It’s a quick and light once-over 90 min cleaning cycle for normal days when there isn’t a huge amount of dirt and debris.

This is possible thanks to the built-in smart computer and mapping and scanning software. When you switch the quick clean setting on the unit measures the pool and determines the most efficient path to clean the whole area in the time available. It then switches the unit automatically off after 90 min. At which point you can pull it to the surface to empty and clean the filters.

Even though the Quick Clean mode doesn’t do as thorough a job as Full mode, mainly because it doesn’t do the walls and the waterline as well, this is a handy feature to keep the pool clean and inviting with little effort on your part. For the small difference in cost, it is absolutely worth having and you can be more spontaneous in inviting friends over.

Does this come with a remote control?

A remote control is included, at a price, in the TigerShark Plus (Item #RC9955CUB). However, that model doesn’t come with Quick Clean Technology.

Does it come with a caddy? Do I need one?

The pool cleaner unit, when dry weighs in at about 21 lbs, so it’s not very heavy to carry. So for most people,  a caddy isn’t strictly necessary to carry the robot. However, its additional benefits are worth considering for most people, 

The caddy has space for the power supply and the cleaner machine and therefore makes moving and storing so much easier, making the caddy a worthy purchase and you very likely will regret not having it, especially when you like things to be tidy.

Hayward RC9955CUB TigerShark Robotic Pool Vacuum (Automatic Pool Cleaner)
No extra hoses, hookups or pumps required; Built with an efficient 24-volt motor designed to use less energy and lower cost
Hayward RC9990CUB TigerShark Robotic Pool Vacuum (Automatic Pool Cleaner)
The Tiger Shark QC offers a fast 90-minute Quick Clean cycle; No extra hoses, hookups or pumps required
Hayward RC9950CUB TigerShark Robotic Pool Vacuum (Automatic Pool Cleaner)
The Tiger Shark is able to scour pool floor, coves, walls and waterline in 3 hours; No extra hoses, hookups or pumps required
Hayward RC99385 Premium Caddy Cart Replacement for Hayward AquaVac TigerShark Robotic Pool Cleaners
Premium caddy cart provides convenience for no hassle pool cleaning and durability to last
$106.25 −$6.26 $99.99

Cleaning and use questions & answers (FAQ)

Can this unit pick up lots of leaves?

Leaves are one of the biggest problems for most pool owners. This automatic pool cleaner has enough suction power to cope with leaves very well. The catchment slots on the bottom of the unit are a good inch wide, ideal for leaves, acorns, and small pebbles and rocks.

Bear in mind, though, that the filter cartridge space, as generous as it is compared to other robot cleaners, is limited. After longer periods of not using and cleaning the pool or after a storm it’s easier to get the bulk of leaves out with a net first. Otherwise, you’ll have to repeatedly surface the TigerShark, empty the cartridges and let it run again, not really saving much time that way.  

What about fine silt and sand?

Good news if you live in a desert area or have kids who keep running in from a sand-pit. Yes, the combination of a strong pump and a set of fine filters ensures everything is cleaned up as it should be. Even after a sandstorm this will clean the pool well but might need more than one cycle and emptying of the filter cartridge to get the pool completely clean again.

Can this cleaner unit help with algae?

A modest, i.e. barely visible build-up of algae is usually taken care of by letting the TigerShark scrub and brush over it.

For a bigger amount shock the pool once and let the cleaner sweep up everything.

Does debris fall back into the water when I take the robot out?

No. All the dirt and debris are trapped in the generously sized filter cartridge and stay inside until the cartridge is removed. You then remove the cartridge from the bottom, slide out the two filters and wash them with a hose.  

Can I use this in a salt pool?

Since this is essentially a vacuum designed to suck up solid debris salt water doesn’t make any difference in that respect. However, do wash the unit housing to rinse off all salty water before putting it away to ensure a longer lifespan.

Also, when you add salt to the water allow some time for it to dissolve (24 hours should do) before using the TigerShark to clean the pool.

Does it get stuck on main drains or in corners?

In most pools, as long as the main drains are either switched off or at least reduced by using main drain rings or similar the pool cleaner can do its job and move over it. When the robot is on main drains and can’t move on, the inner pump motor should temporarily switch off, allowing the machine to float away and resume its operation from there.

When it finds itself in a tight spot it usually keeps turning and righting itself until it can move on, no need to babysit, it’s a truly independent little helper. 

Does it flip over?

This pool vacuum is designed so that the water jet on the top keeps the unit fairly well planted. We have not had any reports of it flipping over.

Can I leave the robot in the pool?

No. Pool chemicals (chlorine, salt) and exposure to the sun can over time destroy sealants and casing materials, shortening the cleaner’s life span. So, remove it after it has done it’s chore and let it rest in a nicely protected space.

Does it come with a swivel cord?

No, it doesn’t and this is possibly the only feature that could be improved. The cord has a tendency to get twisted after just a few uses, even when switching the handles after each use as recommended by the manufacturer.

Let’s hope Hayward will address this in the future. For now, be prepared to have to uncoil quite frequently and/ or untwist and lay out the cable in the sun, so it can lose the twisted cord “memory”.

How long is the manufacturer’s warranty?

Hayward’s warranty usually one year on parts and labor, but this Tiger Shark QC has THREE years. You can easily register online on the Haywards website saving you filling in and posting a warranty card.

Who the TigerShark QC is for…

In-ground pool owners who

  • want an independent, reliable device they can set to work about once a week with minimal involvement on their part.
  • like a plug-n-play type robotic pool vacuum to the hours of weekly chores cleaning a pool
  • have a power supply outlet near the pool
  • don’t mind getting the majority of winter dirt and debris out with a net themselves
  • want to save 2 to 3 hours per week vacuuming the pool
  • want to continuously save energy and backwashing on their main filtration system

…and who it isn’t for:

If you absolutely hate twisted cords you might have to look for a robot cleaner with a swivel cord like the Dolphin Nautilus.

If you prefer to have a little more control in directing the cleaner, the TigerShark Plus with the remote control might be a better option.

Review summary & final verdict

This is one of the best robotic pool cleaners currently available. It allows you to have your pool cleaned well in just 90 min with minimal preparation time. Emptying and rinsing the filters is quick and easy.
The only drawback is the tendency of the cord to get twisted, meaning a little extra that needs taking care of.

The purchase is backed by a generous 3 years limited warranty making it a highly recommended product for years to come.

Where’s the best place to buy it?

As this is a slightly higher priced automatic pool cleaner It is worth comparing prices from your local pool specialists vs online retailers. In either case, make sure you buy from a trusted source and genuine Hayward dealer to ensure support and warranty for the device if needed. 

AMAZON has a convenient and FAST RETURN POLICY and often offer FREE SHIPPING.

CLICK HERE for the current price and availability at Amazon.


Dolphin Nautilus robotic pool cleaner

Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Pool Cleaner – In-depth Review

Tired of spending hours of cleaning the pool at 103 degrees? Has your previous, MUCH LOVED automatic cleaner now given up and repair would just be too expensive? 

At just under $600 the Dolphin Nautilus is placed in the lower price range of automatic pool cleaning devices but has proven to be an amazingly efficient and economic alternative for most users.

It might also be just the ticket if you are tired of spending hours vacuuming the pool and backwashing the pump. A robotic pool cleaner could be  a better way to clean your pool,  saving you  time and effort at a reasonable cost with clear results.

We have looked at the main considerations to help you make that decision.

>> In a hurry? Check out the current price and availability for the Dolphin Nautilus now at Amazon.


Power Supply – Important!

Before checking whether the Nautilus is right for your pool remember that the Dolphin Nautilus is electric and you need to make sure there is an outlet fairly close to your pool.

The power cord from the control unit is 10 feet long and the control unit itself should be at least 12 feet away from the edge of the pool. Somewhere in the middle of the longer side of the pool is fine.

The cord features a standard plug ready to go into a standard 115 V outlet.

Notice the caddy housing the removable control unit (power supply unit). Not all dealers include it in which case it can usually be purchased as an option.

Low power consumption is one of the charms of this pool cleaner. You will still need your pool pump to purify the water, but you will need to have it run much, much less, thereby saving on your energy bill.

Once plugged in the Nautilus is lowered into the water and you can turn on the power.

However, there is no start timer and the device can’t turn itself on. It is only able to switch itself off after 3 hours.

Robotic cleaners like this one move around a lot. The manufacturer has therefore equipped this unit with a 360-degree swivel cord to prevent tangling. Together with the floats on the cord, it’s an efficient setup for smooth operation.  

What kind of pools is it for?

Does it work well on vinyl liner, fiberglass or painted concrete?

green check markYes, the unit works beautifully with various surfaces of in-ground pools. Whether vinyl liner, fiberglass, gunite or painted concrete you will see a pleasant difference when using this robot.

Can you clean a free-form, kidney-shaped or round pool?

green check markYes. While this robotic pool vacuum doesn’t memorize or “learn” the shape of your pool it does get everywhere thanks to moving around in random patterns. That way it covers the whole ground, occasionally climbs walls and steps, too.

Is it safe for saltwater use?

green check markYes, it is. And it does a good job there, too. The Maytronics (manufacturer) warranty states that the pool cleaner is designed to work in salty water up to 5000 P.P.M.

However, just beware that usage in seawater pools will void the warranty.

Cleaning – what to know

How long does it take to clean the pool?

The Dolphin Nautilus is programmed to run for 3 hours. A regularly maintained 20′ X 40’ pool will take about 2 hours to clean without having to clean the filters in between.

Unless you switch the pool cleaner off manually it will stop after 3 hours thanks to the built-in timer. Whether that’s enough to get your swimming pool cleaned up completely will depend on the pool size and level of debris and dirt.

Naturally, if a lot of stuff has built up you might have to pull the robot out, clean the filters (takes about 5 min) and put it back in for another cycle and repeat until you are happy with the result. The good news is, that way you will get your pool clean even if it was really filthy.

As this isn’t a programmable robot cleaner you don’t have to spend any time setting it up. Plug in the power supply, lower it into the pool, switch on and presto the little helper does the chore of cleaning for you – easy.

How does it cope with leaves and sand, algae?

There are two kinds of standard filters for this pool cleaner model: fine and coarse. The filter pump is strong enough for this cleaner to easily suck up small leaves, bugs, and dirt, including sand and algae when using the fine filter.

The coarse or spring filter is suitable for, you will have guessed it, spring clean after the pool has been sitting there for months steadily collecting leaves, grass cuttings, insects and bugs.

Clearing the pool after winter with just the pool robot would be quite a challenge, though. Instead, on that occasion, we recommend scooping up most of the bulk with a net and then let the Nautilus do the rest. Otherwise, you will have to do a lot of emptying the screen filters as the storage capacity isn’t that big and would fill up quickly.

Maytronics Dolphin Nautilus slots

The slots on the bottom of the pool cleaner are about 6” by 1/2”. Pool debris is reliably sucked into these until the filter storage space is full. The robot may struggle with larger leaves, though, like oak or maple leaves.

The size of the slots means that most diving toys like sticks and larger disks will be left safely in the pool but and pieces of lego and hairbands will end up inside the cleaner.

Does the Dolphin Nautilus clean the waterline, walls, and steps?

Occasionally, the robot will get to parts of the water line but not reliably so. You will have to do this manually.

This unit does climb walls but covers these areas not as thoroughly. The robot climbs up and then simply falls down, moving somewhere else.

It sometimes makes it onto steps and cleans those but don’t count on it. It’s best to sweep those beforehand manually, let any dirt settle on the ground for the robot to pick up when it does its rounds there.

How well does it clean?

The Dolphin Nautilus is a vacuum, not a scrubber. This means it will suck up any loose debris from the floor and walls, but if you have any algae firmly attached to the pool surface you will have to do a bit of scrubbing yourself and/ or use chemicals to support the removal process.


How easy is it to take the pool cleaner out of the water?

At 17 lbs this is heavy, not a problem for healthy people, especially if the cleaner is just put onto the edge of the pool in a tilted position until most of the water has drained out.

Tilting like that prevents the collected debris from falling back into the water.

However, even then, this could be too heavy for someone with back or knee problems. Aside from that, as you can see in the video, it’s easy to bring the robot to the water surface by gently pulling on the cord, then grab it by the handles and lift it out.

Standard grid filters or filter bag?

Filter bags are available to buy as an add-on option. However, even though the filter bags are meant to take in more debris they are a little more difficult to empty.

Unless you are a big fan of filter bags we recommend keeping it simple, save yourself some money and just use the filters provided with the standard unit.

The filter unit is held in place by two levers and pops out of the bottom very easily for cleaning. They can then be hosed down and are ready to go back in, ready for work.

Does it pay to have a pool robot?

From a financial point of view, it makes sense to buy this pool cleaner instead of having to pay your pool service. It’s a one-time investment. Let’s assume you pay your pool service $100 a month. You get the robot for about $600 and after 6 months you will save money by not having to pay your pool service anymore.

You will also find that you will have to use your main pool pump much less reducing your monthly energy bill remarkably.

Having the robot pool cleaner could mean that you will have to only do some brushing once a week, use the pump much less than before and clean the skimmers every other day or two.

Pop the Nautilus into the pool once a week and you will have a sparkling pool throughout the season with much, much less effort, time and expenses on your part.

How long is the manufacturer’s warranty?

Maytronics gives 12 months warranty. Fill in and send back the card that comes with the pool cleaner and you are covered with a warranty for parts and labor during this time.

Who the Dolphin Nautilus is for…

People who…

  • Are Looking for an efficient, economic robotic pool cleaner for their in-ground pool
  • Want a stand-alone unit, NOT hooked up to the pool system
  • Are fit and healthy to be able to lift it out of the water and carry it over to its storage place (no caddy, can be purchased, though)
  • Are happy with a plug-n-play type robotic pool cleaner
  • Have a power supply outlet near the pool
  • Are happy to give the pool robot a helping hand with scooping out bulk of dirt after winter and spend a few minutes per week to sweep steps and the water line themselves
  • Want to save 2 to 3 hours per week vacuuming the pool

It is NOT for people who…

  • Don’t have a power outlet to plug the robot into
  • Struggle to lift a 17 lbs device out of the water
  • Like to have a multiple-year warranty
  • Want a completely hands-off device that handles even large bulks of debris and cleans steps and the waterline itself
  • Like to have a programmable robot

Final verdict – should you buy it?

My answer is a definite yes! I’m impressed with it and don’t really have any complaints worth mentioning. All in all, it’s a great pool cleaner for the money.

+++++ Amazing cleaning value for money

+++++ Cleans bottom of pool well

+++++ Set and forget type of cleaner

— A little heavy to lift out of the water

— Extra Sweeping on steps and sides required

What’s the best place to buy it from?

When looking for a place to purchase this or other robotic pool cleaners online make sure you buy from a trusted online retailer and genuine Maytronics dealers to ensure your warranty.

Amazon has a convenient and fast return policy and often offer free shipping.

Check out the current price and availability for the Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Pool Cleaner here.