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Owning a swimming pool can come with considerable costs for pool owners. Maintaining the pool to keep it clean and clear can be a monumental task that may involve hiring professionals. Fortunately, robot pool cleaners can help with the amount of work and costs associated with owning a swimming pool. They are mostly “hands-off” units that can almost completely remove the drudgery one experienced in constantly needing to remove leaves, dirt, and grime from your pools. Furthermore, robotic pool cleaners can save money as they are cheaper, over time, than hiring a company to maintain your pool. The initial investment for these machines can be seen as steep, but if they are taken care of (see Maintenance Tips for Robot Pool Cleaners), they can pay for their self in just a few months. Below you can learn what to expect when buying a new robot cleaner.
The price of an automatic pool cleaner varies depending on the model you select. As a general guideline, expect residential cleaners to cost from $400-$ 1,300, with some premium models going for around $2000. Robot pool cleaners are normally more expensive than their suction and pressure-side cousins due to their advanced technology and ability to clean the entire pool, including the steps and walls. Some of the best-selling brands you can expect to come across while researching are AquaBot, Polaris, and Dolphin (see our highest rated robot cleaners). As with most products, the brand is good indicator of what you can expect to pay in addition to the level of quality you can expect. Below are some benefits you can expect from purchasing a robotic pool cleaner:
• No more spending hours manually removing leaves and debris
• No chemicals are involved
• Minimal utility and pool maintenance cost
• Many models include strong warranties
• Simple and easy installation and setup
• Climbs and scrubs walls and steps
• Almost completely self-automated
• Can last up to 8 years with proper maintenance
These pool cleaners are technically advanced machines. Many repairs should be done by professionals due to the nature of the tools. Additionally, some repairs can cost almost as much as buying a brand new cleaner (i.e. motor burns out). A strong warranty saves you from the cost and hassle that could appear. Most manufacturers will offer a warranty for a predetermined amount of time, largely depending on the brand an model. Extended warranties are also available to give you peace of mind for longer. Ensure that the warranty you get will cover most repairs that aren’t of the “wear and tear” variety.
As technology has progressed, robotic cleaners have become more energy efficient and can do more with less (see How Do Robotic Pool Cleaners Work). The older models of pool cleaners are still in use and some are even available for purchase. If you are looking to save some money by buying an older model, be aware that they can consume significantly more energy than recent models. The current models often use 24-volt DC motors that use 80% less energy each hour when compared to AC forerunners. Moreover, many newer models only use about as much power as a light bulb. Before buying, ensure you take a look at the potential cleaner’s energy efficiency ratings to determine how much you are likely to spend on electricity.
The walls and steps of your pool can easily be problem areas for some pool cleaners. Fortunately, most models have the ability to climb walls and steps to get them as clean as the rest of the pool. Ensure that you know the model’s wall climbing capabilities as some models are simply better than others. In particular, some cleaners are “4-wheel” drive models that are particularly adept at getting these hard to clean areas.
Finding the perfect robotic cleaner also requires that you take into account the size of the pool that needs cleaning. Some models are rated for in-ground pools, above-ground, or both. Additionally, the cord/cable that is attached to the cleaner is at a fixed length that will limit the amount of space that can be cleaned. If you have multiple outlets around the pool, you may need to switch outlets to ensure it cleans the entire pool if the cord isn’t long enough. The recommended pool size is normally easily found on the cleaner’s documentation.
Robotic pool cleaners are a great time-saver in reducing the amount of manual labor needed to keep your pool clean. As these are technically advanced tools, their cost is quite high for the initial cost. Expect to pay anywhere between $400 – $2000, depending on which model you need. The lower cost options often have technical or pool size limitations, but are options for those not looking to spend a ton of money. The best value is often found in the mid-grade models that cost around $800 – $900 dollars. These models suit a general purpose that can clean most residential pools in an efficient manner. If you have a large pool, you may need to look at the premium models. While they can cost significantly more than a budget cleaner, they have all the tools available to properly clean almost any pool.