The Dolphin Primal X3 is a basic robotic pool cleaner by Maytronics. It uses all of their core technology but it doesn’t have the advanced capabilities and features that you’d find on the top-of-the-line models like the Triton Plus or the Oasis Z5 model. Don’t get me wrong, the Dolphin Primal X3 is an excellent robotic pool cleaner but for example, it doesn’t have the ability to clean the tile line, nor does it include a caddy or remote control.
We’ll cover all of the details throughout this article but first let’s begin by discussing the advantages of a robotic pool cleaner.
Welcome to the Age of Robotic Pool Cleaners
One day they will invent robot servants with the ability to swim through the water while holding a tray perfectly still. They’ll be able to bring you delicious cocktails to drink as you’re sitting on your swimming pool steps with the sun beating down on your face. Once this becomes a reality you’re going to feel like the most relaxed human on earth during summer, but we’re still a few years away from enjoying those types of experiences right now.
Fortunately advanced technology has made its way into your swimming pool, and even though a robotic cleaner can’t mix a mean frozen margarita it can certainly produce a little magic of its own. Surprisingly, there are still some doubters out there. Some people still don’t see what all the fuss is about. Before we move onto the main things you should look for in a robotic pool cleaner, let’s clear up why you should have one.
Dolphin Primal X3 | Featured Robotic Pool Cleaner
We’ll get into the details of the Maytronics Dolphin Primal X3 later in the article — but for now let’s delve into some background information on robotic pool cleaners.
Dolphin robotic pool cleaners are powered from a standard electrical outlet and use their own pool filtration system. They freely to move around the pool, controlled from their internal computer system to guide them. The only limitation is the length of its cable, which is 60 fee. Dolphin robots remove dirt, debris, and dust from the water while simultaneously scrubbing the pool floor, walls and waterline with its advanced pool brushing technology.
There’s a lot of technology packed into the Primal X3, enabling it to run completely independent of human interaction. In other words, you don’t have to babysit it. Just turn it on and come back in a few hours to a sparkling clean pool.
Three Reasons Why Everyone Needs A Robotic Pool Cleaner
You already know a frozen margarita delivery service isn’t going to be one of the reasons, and there are a few minor ones we’ll skip over too. Ultimately, there are only 3 reasons why owning your own robotic pool cleaner makes complete sense. Once you’ve read and understood the value each of these things can bring to your life, you’ll be wondering why you’ve waited so long to jump aboard the automatic pool cleaner bandwagon.
You’ll Free Up A Lot More Of Your Time
A robotic pool cleaner only needs to be plugged into a socket and it’s ready to go. It will also know how to clean your entire pool without you needing to lift a finger. We’re going to look in detail at specific technologies involved later on, but those sentences alone should tell you everything you need to know about how much free time you’ll have on your hands once you own an automatic pool cleaner. Time is one thing we’re all running low on, so it’s in our best interest to do everything possible to claim back as much of it as we can.
Video | Placing the Dolphin in your Pool
You’ll Actually Save Lots Of Money
Money isn’t as important as time, but unless you’re a multimillionaire with enough saved away to retire it’s still high up on the list of things we need. Yes, robotic pool cleaners will cost you more when you’re at the store, but over the years they will save you a considerable amount of money. The Primal X3 we’re going to discuss in length costs roughly 15 cents to run, which is probably less than the change dangling around in your pocket right now. There are other factors involved, but who cares as long as you’re saving money?
You Won’t Damage Your Swimming Pool
Swimming pools are complicated creatures, and you need to do everything you can to look after them so they don’t get sick. Have you ever had to call someone out because there was a problem with your pool pump or filtration system? Suction and pressure pool cleaners are nice, but they will only work when they have some help from your pump or filtration system depending on the pool cleaner you choose. This will shorten the lifespan of vital swimming pool components, but if you use a robotic pool cleaner it will bypass all of them.
What To Look For In A Robotic Pool Cleaner
Robotic pool cleaners might reign supreme compared to the alternatives on the market, but like anything else they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. You’ll be lucky if you find one particular model with every single feature you want, and it’s more than likely you’ll need to pick the one that ticks the most boxes. That said, there are quite a few important features to look out for and we’re going to discuss them now. Keep your favorite ones in the back of your mind for when it’s time to buy your robotic pool cleaner.
Hayward TigerShark Plus | RC9955CUB
It Has The Ability To Clean Your Entire Pool
We’re going to assume the robotic cleaner you choose is capable of handling the overall size of the swimming pool in your garden. What we’re talking about here are the actual areas of your pool, which fall into a couple of different categories. The first category includes basic areas like the floor, walls, and waterline. The second category might include special areas, such as funny-shaped coves and steps. In an ideal world, your automatic pool cleaner would be advanced enough to clean your entire pool.
Video | Cleaning your Dolphin Filter
A Short Cleaning Cycle Is A Good Thing
The time it takes your robotic pool cleaner to make the floors and walls shine will obviously depend on numerous things, but ideally you’ll want the cleaning cycle to be anywhere from 2.5 to 3 hours for a large residential pool. Remember it will be connected to a plug socket, so you’ll have to unplug it when you’re done. If it’s good enough to clean your pool within a few hours you won’t have to wait around too long for it to finish. Each model will tell you how long it will take, so you can start your stopwatch as soon as you drop it into the water.
It Will Be Able To Navigate Its Way Around The Pool
We’ve only just talked about dropping it into the water, but what will it do once you’ve let it go? Any robotic pool cleaner should be able to make its way around the pool cleaning every area until there is no debris left. It can do this thanks to the advanced technology built into it, which does seem to be getting better and better. Some of the more expensive models will even be able to learn the most effective way to tackle your pool, which means it will be able to do it quicker over time. It will do everything itself allowing you to kick your feet up and relax.
Controlling Your Robotic Pool Cleaner With A Remote
Do you remember when you used to visit the local pond to play with your remote control boat as a child? Maybe these days it’s easier to imagine playing with a drone. Some robotic pool cleaners will let you do the same thing, but instead of flying them high in the sky you’ll only be able to control the areas of the pool they clean. On the plus side, at least you can do it while chilling by the pool. It’s a great way to guarantee your pool is completely spotless without the need to scrub anything yourself, because depending on how dirty your pool is automatic cleaners aren’t always capable of getting everything.
It’s Able To Clean Your Pool As Thoroughly As Possible
This can also be split into a couple of different categories, with the first one being completely obvious. It needs to be powerful enough to clean the floor and walls of your pool. It also needs to have an excellent built-in filtration system, because it won’t be connected to the one on your pool. When the water is sucked into your robotic pool cleaner the filtration system should be able to catch large and small debris. The ideal automatic pool cleaner will get rid of as much dirt, dust, and debris from the pool as possible.
The Cable Won’t Get Twisted While In Use
If you’ve used a normal vacuum cleaner, you’ll know it’s hard not to run over the cable while you’re using it manually. How long do you think it will be before a robotic pool cleaner gets tangled up when it’s responsible for cleaning your entire pool on its own? Luckily the best models on the market have found ways to circumnavigate their way around this problem, which usually involves some kind of swivel technology built into the cable. Although you can’t expect it to never get tangled up, an automatic pool cleaner should state clearly how it intends to stop it from happening.
A Multi-Year Warranty Is Absolutely Essential
When you’re spending money on anything technology-related it always helps to have a multi-year warranty, and when it’s an expensive product it becomes essential. You won’t be surprised to find out they’re not cheap to repair, and if you needed a new motor it would take a chunk out of your wallet. Your robotic pool cleaner is going to outlive any multi-year warranty you happen to pick up, but at least you’ll have peace of mind for a few years. It should also allow plenty of time for faults to become apparent, which you would be left to deal with on your own if you didn’t make sure you were covered.
- Weekly timer – preset cleaning cycles throughout the week!
- Patented swivel cable helps prevent tangling
- Incredibly efficient – costs less than 15 cents to clean the pool.
- In-store repairable right at your local Dolphin retailer!
- Filter Type— Cartridge
- Weekly Timer—Yes
- Filter Access —Bottom
- Cable Length— 60 ft
- Cycle Time —3 hours
- Warranty—24 Month Bumper-to-Bumper
- Suction Rate—4,233 gal/hr
- Model: 99996333-PRI
View the online user manual of the Primal X3.
Maytronics have been pushing every other pool company to their limits for over two decades, because they continually break boundaries in their pursuit of the ultimate swimming pool technology. They’re not recognized as pioneers in the industry for nothing, and I think their Dolphin Primal X3 robotic pool cleaner sums up how advanced all of their products actually are. Take a look at some of the amazing features they’ve packed into the Primal X3, and decide if it’s the right model for you.
You’ll Have The Option Of Using A Weekly Timer
This is a revolutionary piece of technology, which will let you set up a schedule for the Primal X3 to go around cleaning the pool all by itself. I was going to include this in the list of features to watch out for, but the majority of people spending so much on a robotic pool cleaner don’t want to leave it submerged in chlorinated water 24/7. Still, you always have the option of using it should you wish to do so, plus you can’t deny the technology involved doesn’t help score some extra points.
Please Note: if you do decide to take advantage of the weekly timer, be aware you should only use the Dolphin Primal X3 in certain water conditions:
- Chlorine – max 4 ppm (parts per million)
- pH – 7.0 to 7.8
- Temperature – 43-93 F
- NaCl – max 5,000 ppm
Special Patented Maytronics Swivel Technology
We’ve already talked about the benefits of having a cable that won’t end up getting into a tangled mess, and Maytronics have went one step further than using a simple swivel device to achieve this. They actually went out and patented their own special swivel technology, so you’ll only end up with a tangled cable in the most extreme circumstances. As long as you remember to read your instruction manual before using the Primal X3, you’ll know the very first time you use it the cable needs to be completely stretched out to get rid of any kinks.
The Dolphin DX3 is very similar to the Primal X3.
It’s Programmed To Scan Your Pool Upon Entry
The Terminator is one robot you surely know a lot about, and you might remember it was able to scan any location to get a good idea of what was going on. Okay, so your Primal X3 can’t save the world, but it will scan your swimming pool once it enters the water. Once it knows the exact size and shape, it will be able to come up with a plan to cover each area in the most efficient way possible. It won’t miss anywhere out, plus it’s smart enough to know not to go over the same areas it’s already tackled to make sure it cleans your pool quickly*.
*It Will Clean Your Pool In 3 Hours – I realize ‘quickly’ doesn’t mean much, so you’ll be pleased to know your entire pool will be completely cleaned in only 3 short hours. Additionally, each cycle will cost as little as 15 cents.
VIDEO | Getting Started
Getting Rid Of The Most Stubborn Dirt
You’ll notice the Dolphin Primal X3 has 2 different brushes, with one of them on the front and the other on the back. Sometimes a robotic pool cleaner might not be powerful enough to clean every single bit of dirt from your pool, and it will find it hard to make your tiles shine if you’ve not taken care of the pool in a while. The extra brush will help make sure if the first one doesn’t get rid of the dirt, the second one most certainly will. This model is already very powerful, so the brush at the back will hardly be necessary anyway.
It Comes With A Large Self-Contained Filter Bag
Where do you think all the dirt is going to go? It will end up in the same place as all the large leaves and the small particles like sand. Everything will be thrown into a large, self-contained filter bag big enough to handle anything your swimming pool will be able to throw at it in a single cleaning cycle. Please remember to clean your filter bag out after every use, and every once in a while it would also be very beneficial to throw it inside your washing machine on a gentle spin. Every time you clean your filter bag in the washing machine, you should hose down the brushes we talked about too.
The Primal X3 is one of the best models available in the Dolphin range when you consider all the features you get for an unbelievable price, but let’s compare it to the Polaris 9550 Sport which is more than double the price. There is no denying some of these features will blow the Primal X3 out of the water, but you’ll have to ask yourself how much you’re willing to spend before you get too excited. Here is a quick rundown of the wonderful technology you’ll get to experience.
The Zodiac Polaris Sport is available in 3 models:
- Polaris Sport 9550 | 4-wheel drive
- Dirty canister indicator
- Pre-programmed cleaning patterns
- Easy Lift System
- Polaris Sport 9450 | 4-wheel drive
- 7-day programmable timer
- Easy Lift System
- Polaris Sport 9350 | 2-wheel drive
- -Dual-cleaning system.
- Motion-Sensing Remote – Responsive cleaning control in the palm of your hand.
- Easy Lift System – With the touch of a button the 9550 surfaces to a desired location and waits for you to grab it, then automatically evacuates water for effortless removal from the pool.
- Dirty Canister Indicator – No more guess work. Know immediately when it’s time to empty the filter canister.
- Vortex Vacuum Technology – 25% more vacuum power and 4x more debris capacity than other cleaners.
- Easy Clean Filter Canister – debris can easily be emptied with a simple shake and spray convenience.
- 7-day programmable timer – fully customizable set it and forget it cleaning modes.
- ActivMotion Sensor – automatically controls robot’s position at all times, allowing complete cleaning coverage without any hang ups.
- 4-Wheel Drive Technology – cleans pool floor, walls, and scrubs tile line with a solid-blade scrubbing brush.
- Waterline Only Cleaning Cycle – for isolated tile line scrubbing.
Easy Lift System
This cool invention lets you press a single button and the Polaris 9550 Sport will quickly rise up to the surface to wait for you to collect it. To make your job even easier, it can automatically flush out all the extra water it’s carrying.
Vortex Vacuum Technology
It claims to offer you 25 percent more vacuum power than the leading robotic pool cleaners. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also capable of collecting 4x the amount of debris so you’ll never be able to fill it up in a single cleaning cycle.
Compare all 3 Models | Click image for full chart
Easy Clean Filter Canister
If you thought it was easy to get rid of the debris from the Primal X3 filter bag, this canister is in an entirely different league altogether. You only need to give it a quick shake and spray then it’s ready to go again.
7-Day Programmable Timer
The programmable timer inside the 9550 is much more advanced than the one inside the Dolphin Primal X3. Although it sounds good, you have to ask yourself if you’re prepared to let an even more expensive automatic pool cleaner make its home under the water.
This is something we have covered before, and you’ll find a variation of it inside every robotic pool cleaner. It will control where the machine goes at all times and will make sure all areas of the pool are cleaned.
4-Wheel Drive Technology
The 4WD technology will allow the robotic cleaner to tackle any surface your pool can throw at it. The Polaris 9550 will be able to climb up steep walls, and it will roll over anything stuck in its path. It uses a solid-blade scrubbing brush for maximum cleaning power.
Waterline Only Cleaning Cycle
One of the main drawbacks of the Primal X3 is its inability to clean the waterline. Not only can the 9550 clean your waterline along with the floors and walls, but you can also program it to quickly clean only the waterline.
Dirty Canister Indicator
You might be tempted to avoid cleaning the canister due to its ability to handle so much more debris. This shouldn’t be a problem when you’re using the 9550, because the canister will actually tell you when it’s time to empty it.
Another area where the Primal X3 doesn’t fair so well is in the remote control department. The Polaris 9550 Sport doesn’t just offer you a simple remote, but the motion-sensing technology means you only have to point it to tell the robotic pool cleaner where to go.
Only One Thing Is Absolutely Clear
I’m sure you’ll agree, owning a robotic pool cleaner now seems like the only option if you have a swimming pool. The features are just too good to turn down. The only real decision you need to make is how much money you’re willing to spend, or maybe it’s better to ask yourself which features you’re able to live without. The Polaris 9550 Sport comes with almost everything you could ever need, but it’s not like the Dolphin Primal X3 is too far behind. Maybe it would be worth visiting Amazon to read the reviews, because the opinions of past customers can easily help you make up your mind.