Robotic pool cleaners offer a number of advantages for commercial pools. They reduce the labor and cost of manually cleaning a pool and are available 24/7 for pool maintenance. Commercial pool robotic cleaners also provide additional filtration of pool water, improving water clarity and taking some of the burden off of the main pool filter. They also help to circulate pool chemicals. There are many commercial pool robotic cleaners to choose from so it's important to know your pool and the features most important to you in a cleaner.
Your pool size will probably be the most crucial factor to consider. Each commercial pool robotic cleaner is rated by its manufacturer for a maximum pool size and the cord lengths will vary accordingly. The longest cord length we've seen is 150 ft on the Hayward KingShark2 commercial cleaners. The Dolphin 2x2 comes in a close second with a 131' cord and in third place, some of the Aquabot Aquamax models featuring a 120' cord. Keep in mind a couple things regarding the necessary cord length for your pool. First, you will need to factor in the distance between the pool and your electrical source for the cleaner's power supply. For example, if you have a 100' cord on your robotic cleaner and need 40' feet of cord just to get from the electrical outlet to the bottom of the pool, you will only have only 60' of cord left for the cleaner to maneuver in the pool. You want the cleaner to be able to reach all corners of the pool. Another consideration is the position of the robotic cleaner's power supply; most manufacturers require a minimum distance of 10' from the edge of the pool so you will need to factor in that distance as well.
Depending on the manufacturer's design, a robotic cleaner may or may not be a wall climber, meaning one that is able to climb and scrub the vertical surface of the pool wall. Some models are floor cleaners only which means manual brushing of the walls would still be necessary. Wall climbing models from Maytronics include the Dolphin HD Commercial Cleaner, Dolphin 3001 and 3002 Commercial Auto Cleaners, Dolphin 2x2 and Dolphin Dynamic Pro X. Aqua Products offers several Aquabot wall climbers including the Aquabot Aquamax, Aquabot Aquamax Bi-Turbo and Aquabot Ultrabot. From Hayward, the TigerShark 2 and TigerShark 2 Plus will cover both the pool floor and walls. This is not an exhaustive list of wall climbing units so we recommend checking the specifications for the robotic cleaner you are interested in.
Commercial robotic pool cleaners typically have one or more cleaning cycles programmed into the cleaner. These cycles determine how many hours the cleaner will operate before automatically shutting off. Some cleaners have a single cycle, such as the TigerShark 2 which is set at 5 hours. Other robotic cleaners have multiple cycles typically ranging from 3 - 8 hours depending on the brand of cleaner. Some examples of cleaners with multiple set cycles are the Dolphin Dynamic ProX, Hayward KingShark 2 and Aquabot Magnum. Other commercial cleaners, like the Dolphin 2x2, have a programmable cycle that allows the operator to set a cycle time.
Remote controls are available on some commercial pool robotic cleaners. While not necessary, a remote does offer the convenience of being able to direct the cleaner to a particular area of the pool for a quick clean-up. It also helps to move the cleaner out of a tight spot if it gets stuck in a corner or on steps - without anyone having to get into the pool.
All commercial robotic cleaners feature internal filtration to filter the pool water and collect debris. The filter will either be a bag or cartridge depending on the brand and can be cleaned and reused; eventually either style of filter will need to be replaced. Most Dolphin cleaners use a filter bag while the TigerShark robots use a cartridge. Both styles offer comparable filtration however we have heard from customers that the cartridges are easier to clean.
The cords on robotic pools cleaners tend to get tangled due to their extended length. Some models, like the Dolphin Dynamic ProX 2 and KingShark 2 pool cleaners, feature a swivel cord to help prevent this problem.
Commercial pool robots range in size and weight. Some units designed for very large commercial pools weigh close to 150 lbs so you should take into account the physical abilities of the person operating the cleaner, particularly if you are not using a caddy. You may also want to consider the overall cleaner dimensions if storage space is limited.
As mentioned above, the filter bag or cartridge will need to be replaced periodically due to wear and tear. Other common replacement parts include the impeller, handle, drive belts, brushes and bearings. Many robotic pool cleaner parts are readily available but it is a good idea to check on parts before deciding on a cleaner. Particularly for commercial pools, where there will be greater demand on the cleaner and down time is costly, you will want to get replacement parts quickly. You might also consider buying some of the most common parts when you purchase a cleaner so they are on hand for repair.