The Aquabot Elite truly is an innovative robotic pool cleaner that has been engineered to clean your pool quickly and efficiently. We’ll review and discuss the AquaBot Elite in this article so you can decide if it’s the right pool robot for your needs. You should know that it comes with an impressive 3 year warranty so you can have peace of mind. It’s also a strong indicator that AquaBot stands behind their products.
Automatic pool cleaners
In the days before the first automatic pool cleaners arrived, I spent many hours next to a pool, not enjoying it, but cleaning it. The Aquabot Elite was not even a dream then, not even for a computer maintenance engineer, the technology did not even exist. A robotic pool cleaner like the Aquabot Elite would, in any case, not solve my biggest problem at the time – the pool pump basket filling up with debris. So, instead, I devised a sensor that would warn me that the basket was full. It was straightforward but effective and would reminded me if I were to notice the little warning lamp.
Today, we have full fledged computer driven pool robots doing the job. The Aquabot Elite is one of the leaders in the field and it is one of the robots we will discuss.
In this review we consider three updated robotic pool cleaners:
- Aquabot Elite : 1 to 2 hour cleaning time. 60 foot cable.
- Dolphin Premier : 2.5 hour cleaning time. 65 foot cable.
- Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler 830 (360032) : 1 to 2.5 hour cleaning time. 60 foot cable.
I’ll conclude the article with some tips under the heading: Making the Best of Your Cleaner
In this modern age of artificial intelligence, autonomous cars, and robots, what we need is a truly autonomous pool robot. A robotic pool cleaner that gets out of the pool when the filters are full; then empties the filters, washes itself out with water and gets back into the pool to continue cleaning the pool. Now wouldn’t that be great? Combine that with a pool filtration system that automatically senses that the filter needs a backwash and then promptly does so. Only then, will you have a pool that you can leave to itself while your family enjoys those blissful days next to a crystal clear pool.
Oops, I forgot about the chemicals that must be attended to and the wire basket that needs emptying. The point I’m making is that the pool remains a wonderful leisure to indulge in, creating excellent family memories. But it still requires a lot of attention.
While the Aquabot Elite, the Kreepy, and the Dolphin may not provide the trouble free pool that some ads promise, they will do a great job of cleaning the pool.
One of the best in-ground robotic pool cleaners for the money thanks to its sophisticated engineering and smart design.
- TripleClean Scrubbing Brushes : Three powerful brushes: two that spin to power scrub the pool surface and a third CleanSweep brush that rapidly oscillates back and forth to dislodge stubborn contaminants.
- 360° Anti-Tangle Swivel : Delivers peace of mind that your new pool robot will do the job without suffering from the dreaded spaghetti cord tangle.
- EverGrip Rubber Tracks : Pliable, water-optimized tread improves directional control and force to eliminate slipping while traveling over obstacles and up walls.
- AquaSmart 2.0 Microprocessor Control : Pool-mapping system that eliminates wasted energy, minimizes overlapping cleaning paths, and avoids obstacles for ultimate cleaning efficiency of pool walls, floors, and waterlines.
- Programmable Timers & External System Compatibility : In addition to full compatibility with external timers and automation systems, the Elite comes with its own built-in, programmable timer for 1, 1.5, or 2-hour cleaning increments every 2, 3, or 4 days.
- JetForce Filter with QuickDraw : Maintains high suction by separating debris from water while the dual, extra-large QuickDraw cartridges boast a capacity of 300 sq. inches and easy removal in or out of the pool.
- Ergonomic Lightweight Design : Equipped with an ErgoGrip handle to make its 30% lighter frame even easier to remove from the pool.
- Included Storage & Transportation Caddy : Easily attach or detach the Elite when you are ready to store it or use it.
- 3 Year Warranty
Something you don’t immediately realize when you think about robotic pool cleaners like the Aquabot elite is that they save water. The Aquabot Elite is a self-contained pool cleaner. It does not rely on the pool filter, but works as an additional filter and cleaner which doubles the cleaning power in the pool. With double the cleaning power, the need to backwash the pool filter is drastically reduced. So the benefit is less backwashing and meaningful savings in backwash water.
Amongst other benefits of robotic pool cleaners, manufacturers also claim savings on pool chemicals. With the Aquabot Elite, it seems highly likely. The Aquabot has three powerful brushes: two that spin to scrub the pool surface and a third brush that rapidly oscillates back and forth to dislodge stubborn dirt. This new ability to scrub the pool’s surfaces makes for a much cleaner pool. This immediately reduces the need for chemicals to remove stubborn contaminants stuck to your pool’s surfaces. Algae blooms and chlorine-resistant contaminants like biofilm and other forms of algae are now attacked by the Aquabot Elite.
The filters on the Aquabot elite remove dirt down to 2 microns, so the filtered water is crystal clear. The easy to remove cartridges boast a capacity of 300 sq. inches. The pool cleaner can power through dirt while the filter lasts for a full cleaning cycle. Should the cycle be interrupted by dirty filters, the controller will alert you to the fact that the filters need cleaning. The filter cartridge has a V-shape which means debris is forced downward to the bottom of the cartridge. It improves water flow through the cartridge because there is always a clean surface toward the top to provide the needed filtration.
The vacuum path of the Aquabot Elite is 10 inches wide. The intake ports were also increased in size and depth to one inch wide by about 10 inches long. The wider ports enable the Elite to handle larger debris. The unique shape of the filter cartridge aids in filtering dirt and debris from your pool water and also maintains higher suction levels as the cartridges fill up.
You only need to glance through the Clearview panels to determine if the cartridges are full. The Aquabot Elite cartridges are removed with one hand in a few seconds. It has one access door that swings open so you can remove the cartridge for cleaning. You can clean out the insides of the pool cleaner by spraying it with tap water.
The new Aquabot Elite (39.6 pounds) is claimed to be 30% lighter than previous models, and it’s powered by two energy-efficient 24 Volt stepping motors. The combined advantage of its lightweight frame and efficient motors enables it to run on only 180 watts—a fraction of the 1800 watts used by AC pumps used in previous automatic pool cleaners. Selectable cleaning cycles allow it to run only when needed and conserve even more energy. It’s fully compatible with external timers and automation systems so you can easily integrate it with the home automation system.
The Aquabot Elite cable now weighs 40% less than previous cables and is aided by a 360º anti-tangle swivel. Cable tangling is almost eliminated. Robotic pool cleaners change direction over 300 times per day in a typical swimming pool. Even if the robot turns left and right alternately, the cable still tends to twist and tangle. The 360-degree anti-tangle swivel of the Aquabot Elite helps to keep things straight. The 60’ extra-long cable enables the robot to clean a pool of up to 60’ long.
The pool bottom and sides do not afford much traction, and some pool surfaces are more slippery than others. Now imagine the Aquabot Elite with its lightweight construction trying to find traction in the pool. That’s why the Aquabot is equipped with rubber tracks to maximize the traction area. Slippage reduces energy efficiency and causes the device to wander off the path and drop from the pool sides. The tracks provide better weight distribution, traction, and balance, eliminating slippage over obstacles and up the pool sides.
The convenient mobile storage and transport caddy that’s included in the Amazon deal makes storing and transporting the Aquabot Elite a breeze.
The Elite’s 3-year limited warranty makes this robotic cleaner a reliable and worry-free investment.
The AquaSmart 2.0 microprocessor controller minimizes overlapping of cleaning paths and avoids obstacles to clean the pool sides, bottom, and waterlines efficiently. The Aquabot Elite now has improved directional controls, and it literally maps the pool size and shape. By detecting and mapping its environment, the controls dramatically improve its ability to clean any pool regardless of size, shape, or design. It also has an improved ability to avoid pool features like stairs and ladders.
Engineered with obstacle avoidance programming logic
Compared to the Prowler 830, I prefer the Aquabot Elite. It’s more of a robot, and its 3-year warranty is way better than the Kreepy Krauly’s one year warranty.
More Features : This is why you should seriously consider investing in this robotic pool cleaner.
- Front and Rear HyperScrub rotating brushes
- Center CleanSweep reciprocating brush
- AquaSmart 2.0 Microprocessor-controlled intelligent cleaning
- JetForce Filter Cartridge Technology maintains high suction
- Extra Large dual filter cartridges offer debris capacity of 300 square inches
- EverGrip continuous rubber tracks
- 360° Anti-Tangle Swivel for more cleaning and less frustration
- Extra-wide 10” vacuum path for faster and more efficient cleaning
- Extra-wide suction ports handles oversized debris with ease
- QuickDraw cartridges can be removed in just two seconds
- In-pool filter access – no need to remove robot from water
- Ergonomic lightweight design for easy handling
- ClearView Panel for easy filter inspection, even in the water
- FeatherLight extra-long 60’ cable
- Programmable Smart Timers control schedule and duration
- Fully compatible with external timers and automation systems
- Selectable cleaning cycles conserve energy. Runs only when needed.
- Adjustable Intake Ports for Powerful Vortex Suction
- 100% Coverage: Cleans Pool Floor, Walls and Waterline
- Includes Convenient Storage and Transport Caddy
- Full Cartridge Indicator at Power Supply
- Pool Type: Inground Pools
- Pool Size: up to 60 ft.
- Shape: All
- Surface Type: All Types
- Method of Propulsion: EverGrip Rubber Tracks with Industrial Strength Drive Motor
- Wall Climbing: Partial with 6″ Radius
- Filter Loading: Top Loading with ClearView
- Filter Type: 2 Ultra-fine Cartridge (2 Micron)
- Cable Length: 60 ft.
- Timer – Auto Shutoff:
- Warranty: 3 Years
- Gallons Per Minute: 70
- Cost of Operation $0.05 (per cleaning)
- Cleaning Time Programs: 1-2 Hours
- Filter Capacity: 190 (2×95) Cubic Inches
- Voltage Power Supply: 24 VDC
- Watts: 180W
Learn more by visiting the dedicated site for the Aquabot Elite. It’s packed full of information.
Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner
- Microprocessor controlled SmartNav
- Calculates optimal pattern for faster cleaning & improved effciency
- HyperGrip rubber tracks improve power delivery and control
- Vacuums leaves, debris, pollen & green algae
- Reduces energy costs up to 90% over AC powered cleaners
- Power scrubs and vacuums floors, steps, walls, and water line
- Delivers superior agility, maneuverability & climbing performance
- 2 micron – removes the smallest particles, even green algae
- Learns water line elevation for superior water line cleaning
- Micro filters 75 gallons per minute for remarkable water quality
- Dual 24 volt brushless DC energy-efficient, long-life motors
- Twin micro-filter cartridges included. Optional debris bag available
- It’s the world’s only true cable swivel, a patented Dolphin exclusive
- Direct drive means no belts to replace, ever
- Dual power rotating, scrubbing brushes for aggressive cleaning action
- Vacuums even when in reverse for superior efficiency
- Plug and play. Simply plug into a wall outlet and you’re done.
- Integrated multi-function timer allows daily, 3x or 2x per week cycles
- Lets you know when the media should be emptied
- No installation required. Simply plug in and turn on.
The new Dolphin Premier can accommodate up to four types of filter media in one robot. Dual filter cartridges and an oversized bag are included in the deal. Maytronics manufactures the Dolphin Premier. The current listing is only for the unit, you have to purchase the caddy and remote separately, but the purchase includes both the normal internal filters and the bag filter.
A really clever and useful idea is that you can use different types of filtration media with the Premier. If you find you have to clean out fine debris and algae that passes through your filters, then you simply switch to micro-filters. But in the fall when you need to pick up a bushel of leaves, you can use an oversized debris bag. The ability to switch, depending on your needs, is really a great feature.
One customer found that the machine is so good at cleaning, that its bag was full in 30 minutes. He says this thing is amazing and managed to clean out things that are barely visible.
The latest Smart-Nav software delivers highly optimized coverage of the pool surfaces. The 2018 Dolphin Premier microprocessor calculates the optimal pattern so that it does not need to cross areas that it has already cleaned.
This pool cleaner also uses an underwater swivel cable like the other cleaners in this review. The benefits of using a 360° swivel are easy to grasp, without it, every cable will ultimately tangle and limit the movement of the machine.
This pool cleaner uses the most advanced 3,000 RPM 24VDC motors to propel the unit. Compared to an AC booster pump that’s used with an outlet side automatic pool cleaner, the savings are great. The Dolphin only uses 180 watts, the same as the other units we’re looking at here.
You can set the timer for the Premier to run just when you need it: daily, twice per week or 3 times per week.
The 3-year warranty is not pro-rated, not limited to hours or cycles.
I rate the 2018 Dolphin Premier Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner as the best pool cleaner in this line-up with the Aquabot Elite coming in second.
Tech Specs (Dolphin Premier):
- Cost: Approximately 5 cents per hour
- 115 volts, plugs into a standard wall outlet
- 2.5 hours. Faster cleaning for improved energy savings
- 3 yr limited warranty -not pro-rated – not limited to hours/cycles
- 65 feet thermoplastic rubber cable reduces frictional drag
- Gunite, concrete, tile, fiberglass or vinyl-lined up to 55 feet long
- DIY serviceable in 10-15 minutes by the dealer or owner
- 180 watts
- Weight : 22 lbs.
Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler 830 (360032)
- Autoreverse feature helps prevent hang-ups in corners and by steps and ladders for uninterrupted performance.
- Remote control functions allow you to override automatic cleaning modes to perform quick spot cleanups.
- Its advanced design scrubs, vacuums and filters, cleaning most pools in just two and a half hours
- Includes a wireless remote for easy control and allows pool owners to schedule regular cleanings
- Integrated filter reduces run time of your primary filtration system, saving on pump energy costs and minimizing wear and tear.
- Includes convenient caddy for easy handling and storage.
- Weekly timer allows you to set cleanings to fit your schedule.
- Plug-in convenience; requires no installation, booster pump or hoses.
- Vacuums all types of debris and helps remove algae from water.
- Easy to maintain; filter cartridge is quick and simple to clean.
- Full cartridge indicator lets you know when your Prowler 830cleaner needs attending.
- Superior swivel design helps prevent cable tangling and keeps the Prowler 830 cleaner free to move throughout your entire pool
- Built-in weekly timer keeps your Prowler 830 cleaner working when you’re away
- Powered tracks keep unit on the move for the most thorough clean possible—even up slopes and walls
- Large self-contained inner cartridge collects dirt and debris (underneath)
Where I live, the first successful pool cleaner was the original Kreepy Krauly. It plugged into the suction side of the filtration system and did a good job of cleaning the pool. But what was immediately noticeable was that leaves easily became a problem. The leaves that floated onto the pool surface no longer gathered in the basket, but ended up sinking to the bottom and the Kreepy Krauly would get stuck when sucking them up. The blissful freedom I gained from the cleaner automatically sucking up dirt from the bottom was lost by the problematic leaves getting stuck in the cleaner’s throat. But we did enjoy many more trouble free hours than before. Playing in the pool was less of a dream and more of a reality.
The Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler 830 was introduced in 2013 with promises that you will spend less time maintaining your pool than swimming in it. It is recommended for in-ground pools, and its 60-foot cable ensures that it will cover a 20 x 50 feet pool. It’s not clear how the computerized controller manages the robot, but it should take the guesswork out of cleaning your pool. Because the Kreepy Krauly has an onboard filter, it aids in keeping pool water crystal clear all season long.
The Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler 830 has one 24VDC motor. I could not determine how the robot changes direction apart from a “track timer.” It uses the one motor to drive the machine and suck the water through the Prowler 830 and the filters. The manufacturer claims that it will filter 4,233 gallons of water per hour. Being driven by powerful tracks, the Kreepy Krauly will be able to tackle any pool surface and should provide outstanding pool cleaning power.
Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler 820 (360031)
Three weekly programmable cleaning cycles can be selected, after a week the Kreepy Krauly switches off. You will have a wireless remote for manual control and quick cleaning of missed spots. A full cartridge indicator on the power supply will let you know when the filter requires cleaning. To clean the re-usable filter, you need to remove it from the bottom of the Kreepy Krauly and then rinse it with a hose. All pool surfaces and the waterline are cleaned, and it should manage to clean any surface finish. Although it may get hung up on slippery tiles.
Regardless of some claims that the Kreepy Krauly will clean the pool in 2.5 hours, the manual indicates that it should clean a 20 x 50 feet pool in 4 to 6 hours. It will clean smaller pools in a shorter time. The manual also states that the cleaner will not automatically clean steps or swim-outs and that it will not work under a solar cover. They recommend that you assist the cleaner in doing an initial cleanup of a new pool. When you use your pool for the first time in the season, it also needs assistance.
Caddy Included to Keep Everything Organized
The Kreepy Krauly deal includes a caddy and remote. Since the machine weighs 45 pounds, the caddy will be appreciated when moving it around. The caddy is also great for storing the Kreepy Krauly.
Read our dedicated review of the Pentair Prowler 830 and 820.
Making the best of your robot pool cleaner
Although pool cleaners are provided with weekly timers, the user manuals supplied with those robots contain the following recommendations: “The pool cleaner cannot be in the pool all the time, it must be cleaned after use. Before removing the cleaner from the pool, you must turn the power supply “OFF” and unplug it from the power outlet. The pool cleaner must be fully immersed in water before you turn it“ON.” Operating the cleaner out of water will immediately damage it severely and void your warranty.”
Fact is, you cannot leave the robotic pool cleaner with its built-in filters in the pool for more than a day at a time. The leaves and mealy worms will rot, and algae will grow in the filters while the cleaner is sitting idle. If left to itself, working on a week timer, it could become hung up on the ladder and sit there for a week, cleaning one spot and spreading algae. Robotic pool cleaners are not autonomous yet and you have to tend to them daily. The filters must be cleaned, and the unit washed out at least every second day.
You will find that although the unit may be capable of reversing away from obstacles like the Aquabot Elite, it still may not clean steps and ladders. It can become dislodged every time it moves over pool lights and weirs and drop to the bottom. I’ve seen units that end up bottom-up when this happens, and then you have to flip it over.
To protect the plastic components and the water seals in the unit, the pool chemicals must be kept within range. Otherwise, the pool cleaner will deteriorate quickly. You must control the chlorine levels in the pool to a maximum of 4 ppm and also attend to the PH, keeping it in the 7 to 7.8 range. At times, the NaCl levels must also be checked to ensure that it is lower than 5000 ppm. Manufacturers also recommend removing your robot from the pool when temperatures go outside the 43°F to 93°F range.
Replacing components in the pool cleaner is something most owners will be able to do themselves. It will become necessary after extended use because the rotating brushes and tracks/wheels wear down on the pool surfaces and must be replaced. Be sure to have your manual handy when doing this for the first time.
During out of season and vacation times, the robotic pool cleaner must be removed from the water, thoroughly cleaned out, and inspected for wear and then stored away on the caddy in a protected area. It makes sense to have a pool cover for those times. It will keep most of the debris out of your pool, reducing the time and effort it takes to clean the pool at the beginning of the season. You may tend to forget about the pool during long winters, but it is still necessary to keep the chemicals at safe levels, and the pool filtration still needs a backwash from time to time.
In the Kreepy Krauly manual, it is recommended that the unit is pulled by its cable to within reach when removing it from the pool. I don’t like this suggestion, the unit weighs 45 pounds, and you may damage the cable or its connections whilst doing it. I recommend using the remote to steer it to the shallow end, close to the steps so you can easily remove the robot without handling the cable. When installing the pool cleaner, it should be inserted where the cable will allow it to reach all corners of the pool. For a rectangular pool this will be near the center point along the length of the pool. Do not drop the excess cable onto the water but keep it outside, it may tangle – the robot will drag in whatever length of cable it needs.