My name is John and I’m one of the service techs for repairing robotic pool cleaners here at pelican's Morris Plains NJ Location (pelicanshops1.com). I wanted to provide some helpful tips to help you keep your investment looking like new and working for a VERY long time. I can safely say I have seen it all when it comes to pool cleaners and What to do and NOT DO when owning one. Here are my tips for you!
1. TO LEAVE IT IN THE POOL OR TO TAKE IT OUT: This is common debate amongst any automatic pool vacuum owner. On one hand you have the argument of “well it made for the pool it should be in the pool”. This is a common viewpoint some people have, especially if they are coming from a suction side pool cleaner which was ALWAYS in the pool. This argument makes sense if you don’t account for anything else. The biggest Killer of automatic pool cleaners is long exposure to chlorine (ESPECIALLY HIGH LEVELS OF CHLORINE). The longer its in it the longer it has time to eat at your vacuum. It causes a tangling cord and it slowly dries out the o rings that keep the water out of the important spots like the motor and the cable detangler. So, when you take into account these facts, the argument of “it is made to be in the pool it should be in the pool” falls apart. It might be made for water but its not designed to withstand chlorine all the time. I’ve seen cleaners that are a year old come back looking like they are 10 years old and I’ve seen the opposite.
So, on the other hand, my suggestion is, take it out when not in use OR at the very least take it out when you shock the pool. So, for example, if you shock the pool (or super chlorinate it if you have a salt generator) on a Sunday night then leave the pool vacuum out until Tuesday night. Giving that high chlorine level to come back down to normal levels. DOLPHIN suggest to only run their robots in chlorine levels lower than 4ppm. This is a bit strict, personally I would say 6 or 7ppm should be the limit.
A common question that arises from this suggestion is “what’s the point of the scheduling feature if you want to take it out after each use. My viewpoint is that the scheduling is a double edged sword, although convenient its not the best for your cleaner as its in the pool most of the time. It also depends on how much you need to use the pool vacuum. Some pools only need it 1 or 2 times a week, some need more. So if your only using it 1 or 2 times there is really no need to use the scheduling feature in my opinion as the benefits of taking it out and potentially getting years more in life far outweigh the benefits of the scheduler.
See the photo below of a cleaner only 1 year old and it looks like its 10 years old. this is what chlorine exposure looks like. Its normal after 10 years but 1 YEAR? Not so much.
2. BE GENTLE WITH THE CORD: This is pretty straightforward but often overlooked…. When you yank of the cord like a cowboy it puts stress on the connection in the cable detangler which could eventually cause water to get into that connection. So be gentle or use the manual drive mode on capable models to drive it to the waterline so you can grab it.
3. THE TOPIC OF SPRING CLEANING: For context on this topic, most warranty claims and repair work occurs in April and May usually stemming from this issue and tip #4 which both can easily be avoided. Being in NJ most people will close their pool in the winter. Depending on when its closed it can either be REALLY DIRTY or decently clean. A common thought process is to throw the cleaner in and have the pool be clean within 2 hours. This is not the case obviously. When the cleaner is overworked like that with the number of debris shooting up into it at the same time it can often lead to things getting past the filters, getting stuck in the tracks or impellers causing motor overloads and eventually making the motor wear down MUCH FASTER. My suggestion when you open the pool is do these 2 things. Number one is getting any obvious piles of leaves or insanely large debris out with a deep net. Doing this significantly helps the robot out. 2nd BRUSH THE WALLS OF THE POOL before using the robot. There is a very good chance your pool will have some sort of micro algae on the walls that cant really be seen. This makes the walls slippery which can often lead to the vacuum slipping and not being able to climb the wall. Doing these two things will reduce any chance of long-term damage. YOU SHOULDN’T NEED TO USE A MANUAL VACUUM. Just don’t expect the robot to do everything during spring openings. (Also, it will probably take a few cycles to clean the pool if there is a lot of dirt so don’t be worried if the pool doesn’t look spotless after the first run). For example if your pool looks like the one below you should probably brush and net first, and dont expect it to be clean in 1 cycle!
4.CHECK THE IMPELLAR OFTEN: The Impeller is what is connected to the pump motor. This fan provides the suction/vacuum effect. If this gets blocked either by a rogue tree twig, or long hair tangling and binding it up your cleaner wont past the self-check it does every time it starts a cycle. Which leads to this symptom “my cleaner moves for 5 seconds then stop”. This almost always means there’s something in the impeller. NO MATTER HOW CLEAN your pool is this can still happen. Especially if someone has long hair or if your dogs swim in the pool. The instructions mention to check this often but is often overlooked. Here is a picture of a tangled impeller for reference below. There are tons of videos on YouTube showing how to check this. Its also visible from either the vent on top or by the basket If you have a basket model.
5. KEEP THE POWER SUPPLY SHADED AND OUT OF THUNDERSTORMS: The power supply is in its own right a computer. Think of it like your phone. Your phone over heats in the sun if it’s left out to COOK. Same thing will happen on a hot sunny day to your power supply. Try to run it in the morning or evening and try to keep it covered from any CRAZY rain or really hot sun. This will help prolong its life and help you avoid bad power supply issues.
CONCLUSION: So that’s pretty much it. Those 5 tip's will help your cleaner stay in tip top condition and help avoid the issues that arise from neglecting these topics. Also do not forget that the manual also has certain topics you will want to be aware of so I suggest reading over that as well. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us at pelican! Once again thanks for Choosing Pelican!
WE CAN NOT STRESS ENOUGH AVOID USING OR LEAVING YOUR ROBOT IN REALLY HIGH CHLORINE LEVELS We cannot guarantee Dolphin excepts warranty claims if they deem it was caused from any form of neglect (which with this particular issue is easy to detect).