Robotic cleaner vs self-cleaning system This is a well debated topic and many people have differing opinions.

Self-Cleaning System approx. $10 – $18K depending on size of pool

Some pool companies have a big marketing push to sell their “secret weapon” – the below ground cleaning system, advertised as the carefree way of keeping your pool clean and water circulated to minimise evaporation and chemical consumption. However, this is no secret weapon and the original design has been around for some 50 years. Narellan pools have supplied and installed these systems for many years, and if you wish, Green Gables will review your Geotech report to give you advise on running the system on your property. In our experience people are generally happy with the self-cleaning system, although there are also some clients who have negative feedback to report in the years after installing their pool.

One of the main concerns with these systems is how they are constructed – here in Northland we face some of the highest levels of expansive soil which warrants serious consideration when installing a pool. Narellan pools have engineer specifications to mitigate the risks placed on a pool shell due to expansive soils. An engineer will specify the soil type once the pool excavation is complete, then we are able to follow the Narellan pools structural report as a solution to the risk. These risks also apply to pipework around your pool, and in the self-cleaning system it applies to the large amount of exposed pipework for jets below the floor and steps of the pool. Imagine the weight of a pool locked down on the pipework while soils are expanding and contracting through wet and dry seasons. Then imagine the job to repair an issue below the pool.

Although the jet system does a good job removing most of the debris in the pool there is always some ledges and steps that will gather dust which still needs to be swept.

Higher filtration pressure is required in the self-cleaning system. Generally speaking, the filtration system will not last as long when running at higher pressure, you will also have higher power costs to run high pressure.

If you ask any experienced pool builder about drilling holes in a fiberglass pool, they will say the same thing – the least amount of holes, the better! Each time a hole is drilled for extra jets and pipework you create an opportunity for problems in the future.

Water circulation – research has shown that pools will consume less chemicals and retain heat when the body of water is circulated sufficiently. The self-cleaning system very effectively circulates the pool water. A standard return jet system will also circulate the pool water as long as the jet eyeballs are set correctly. Circulation is also improved when coupled with regular use of a robotic cleaner.

Water retention – self-cleaning systems trap debris in the leaf canister and glass filter. Glass filters are cleaned regularly by way of backwash. While backwashing, most pumps waste approx. 250L of pool water per minute. This is then replenished by adding fresh tap water which dilutes the pool chemicals. The robotic cleaner on the other hand picks up debris directly into its own filter which is taken out and cleaned with a garden hose using approx. 2L of water.

Robotic cleaners approx. $1900 – $2800

Other than the comparisons above, the price of the Robotic cleaner is a real advantage. The warranty is usually 2 years on the robotic cleaners but we have some clients getting 5 years of use before a replacement is required.

The robotic cleaner has a tumbler which cleans the surface of the pool as opposed to only blowing water to remove debris.

It takes 2minutes to quickly do a circuit of the pool to broom the debris that collect on the steps and ledge. Then the robot can be started by the push of a button for its 2.5hr cycle before turning itself off.

The latest DX4050 model has WIFI connectivity so you can start or stop the unit remotely, you can also control and steer the robot from your smartphone. Also, available now is the cordless FreeRider Robotic cleaner running a lithium-ion battery which can be connected to WIFI.

Lastly, water retention being a major benefit as mentioned above. The robotic cleaner has an internal filter system which is easily removed and cleaned using a very small amount of water (approx. 2L) compared to the self-cleaning system backwash using approx. 250L of pool water per minute.

Green Gables Limited are offering a special beginning 1st April 2023 – “Every Narellan pool being installed by GGL comes with a free DX4050 Robotic Cleaner”.