Finding the best commercial pool cleaner can be a daunting task. The best commercial pool cleaner is not the same as purchasing a residential robot pool cleaner. The requirements are different when it comes to a commercial application, as I’m sure you already know.
This article will help you understand what factors you need to consider when deciding upon a commercial pool cleaner. We cover a few excellent commercial robot pool cleaners that we think you should consider, including : Dolphin PROX2 (9999399X-BL), Dolphin 3001 (9999326-BL), Hayward TigerShark2 (RC9956GRCC), Dolphin HD (9999389-HD), and the Dolphin Commander (9999359-BL).
Intro | Best commercial Pool Cleaner
There are over 400,000 commercial pools in the USA and all of them need to adhere to strict standards of cleanliness in order to ensure the that the public is not put at risk through unhygienic conditions. Whether a pool that is used by the public is privately owned, like in hotels or run by institutions like schools or city authorities, the people tasked with the responsibility of managing these facilities have a mammoth task.
You have to maintain health and safety standards without disrupting the normal use of the facility, all whilst keeping within a reasonable budget. It’s a tricky balance but it’s possible to achieve even with a smaller budget.
Video | Dolphin PROX2 Best Commercial Pool Cleaner
If you’re in the position where you have to manage a swimming pool that is open to the public, you are probably well aware of the advantages of a robotic pool cleaner. It saves on labor costs, can be put work at any hour of the day or night and offers the highest level of filtration. So to help you in your endeavor toward having the perfect pool, we’ve looked for the best commercial pool cleaners available.
We’ll take a look at a few of the top contenders and provide you with the information you need to make your own decision, along with our opinion on which of these really deserves the title of best commercial pool cleaner .
Before we take a look at the options available to you, let’s take a trip through history to discover how we got to where we are today. Some more other topics that may be of interest to you is the development of health and safety requirements over the years and the standards required for public pools in the US.
Finally, we’ll give you some valuable tips on what to look for when choosing a commercial pool cleaner that is best suited to your specific working conditions and give you our suggestions on the best commercial pool cleaner with a review of several great options — more on those later.
Let’s start with…
History of the Pool Cleaner
In the early days of swimming pools, the only way to clean your pool was by draining it and then scrubbing the walls and floor, after which the debris had to be removed manually before the pool could be re-filled. This took time and meant that the pool was out of action while being cleaned. Furthermore, regular cleaning of your pool resulted in a large amount of water being wasted every time it was drained. It was little wonder then, that people desperately wanted a better way of keeping their pools clean.
The very first pool cleaner was invented in 1912 by John M. Davidson, a citizen of Pennsylvania and was patented in November of that year. This early design did not make use of suction and it wasn’t until 1937 when Chicago local, Roy Everson invented the suction-side pool cleaner, which he called, quite aptly “Swimming Pool Cleaner”. Nothing much came of this idea and it took another 19 years before the pool cleaner was to become a reality when Joseph Eistrup introduced his model in San Matteo, California.
After the suction-side pool cleaner came into being, it didn’t take too long before the first ever automatic pool cleaner was invented. When a famous resident of Greenbrae, California, and founder of Jandy Corporation, Andrew L. Pansini introduced his product “Automatic Pool Cleaner” in 1958, two years after the suction-side pool cleaner became available. This type of automatic pool cleaner became very popular with private pool owners over the years.
The suction-side pool cleaner would never be a perfect solution for public pools because they make use of the swimming pool’s existing pump and filtration system. They, therefore, don’t provide sufficient filtration to fully meet health and safety standards.
The need for an automatic commercial pool cleaner led to Robert Myers filing a patent for a robotic pool cleaner in 1967 and the patent was published in 1969. The patent describes a guided machine that is able to move along the bottom and sides of a pool and will change its direction when it encounters an obstacle. The machine will be able to move forward or backward through a transmission to the driver wheels.
Robotic pool cleaners only started to make their appearance in public swimming pools during the 1980’s. The main advantage of the robotic pool cleaner is that it makes use of a filtration bag or cartridge, the same as you’ll find in a vacuum cleaner. This meant that these machines were able to offer a high level of filtration and remove very small particles that can contain harmful pathogens.
Using an electric motor that controls both the driving wheels and rotating brushes meant that the robotic pool cleaner could work faster and more efficiently. The incorporation of a programmable chip also allows the robotic pool cleaner to work smarter, like programming it to delay it’s time cycle when near the water surface, where there is a greater concentration of floating debris.
Over the years there has been a great deal of progress in computer technology, making the robotic pool cleaner even smarter. Remote control, which can now also be operated with a smartphone, gives the user much greater flexibility with less effort.
✓ We review these Dolphin commercial pool cleaners later in the article.
Health and Safety for Public Pools
The quest to regulate health standards for pools in the US goes back more than a hundred years. The debate started in 1912 and in 1918, the American Public Health Association (APHA) realized the need to look into the dangers associated with unhygienic public bathing areas. To accomplish this goal, they set up a committee to provide suggestions to the more than 3000 bodies that regulate the use of public swimming pools around the country.
Over a period of 66 years, they issued numerous reports and guidelines in an attempt to introduce a universal aquatic health code. Their efforts were not highly successful because they lacked any form of power to enforce their recommendations. Many of their guidelines were adopted by local authorities, however, it remains at the discretion of these authorities which they choose to follow.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has taken over the task of coming up with a uniform code. Funded by a grant from the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF), they will soon be publishing the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) which includes proposed legislation to be implemented by local governing authorities.
Let’s take a look at the evolution of health standards for public swimming pools and what you should aware of when maintaining your pool. When the APHA first began to realize the need to look into pool safety in 1912, little concern was paid to keeping the pool clean. In 1921, three years after setting up a committee dedicated to pool safety and hygiene was established, they released a report in which a short reference was made to pool cleanliness.
The report stated that a pool should be emptied twice a week and the surfaces scrubbed with a brush using soap. The pool then had to be rinsed down and drained before clean water was to be added. It went on to add that no pool should be opened to the public if any dirt was visible in the pool and that floating scum should be present at any time. Fortunately, advances in technology now make it possible to keep a pool clean without going through this tedious procedure.
In 1926 the APHA published its most comprehensive set of guidelines in the Journal of the American Public Health Association. In this report, the first mention was made of suction cleaners as the only effective way to remove items like dirt and hair from the pool. Here’s an excerpt:
“E. Suction Cleaner: In the opinion of the committee the only satisfactory method of removing the dirt, hair, etc., settling on the bottom of a pool is by means of a suction cleaner. As such cleaners are commonly operated by the circulation pumps; they may be classed as an adjunct to the re-circulation system. When a suction cleaner is to be operated by the re-circulation pump, a gate with graduated stem or other registering device should be provided for throttling the flow…”
In 1964 they went further, stating that all public pools should be cleaned using a vacuum cleaning system at least every 24 hours.
Since the CDC has taken over the task of regulating the requirements of public pools in terms of health recommendations, some major strides have been made toward better health regulations being implemented by local authorities. Though they are still some way from implementing a uniform standard in all states.
In 2005 the CDC was alerted to a possible epidemic from the Pathogen — Crytosporidium. This prompted a large-scale investigation into filtration and cleaning methods used in public pools. Following numerous conferences attended by leading scientific minds, we should see much stricter legislation being introduced in near future.
All these factors have led to the importance of using a high-quality robotic pool cleaner to ensure the best levels of pool hygiene are obtained and maintained on a daily basis.
Water Tech | Blue Diamond Pro
The impressive Blue diamond Pro has been engineered to thoroughly clean even Olympic size swimming pools with ease, speed and efficiency. Built with commercial grade components this is one of the best commercial pool cleaners capable of handling the constant abuse and stress from repeated industrial usage standards.
What to Look for in a Commercial Pool Cleaner?
As are you probably aware by now, a commercial pool cleaner is an essential part of maintaining any public pool. In order to make sure that you have the best commercial pool cleaner, here are some tips on how to go about determining what you require.
Pool Size | Commercial Pool Cleaner
The size of your pool will be the first factor that you need to consider. Robotic pool cleaners have different cord lengths depending on the maximum size pool that they are rated for – up to 150 feet. When you calculate the length that you require, be sure to account for the length from the nearest electrical outlet socket to your pool and add this to the distance to the furthest most point in your pool (include length and depth into your calculation).
Cleaning Floor and Walls
Some robotic pool cleaners only clean the floor of the pool and don’t climb walls. Most of the better models are climbers, in which case they will be able to scrub and clean the walls of your pool. However choosing a model that doesn’t climb, means that cleaning the walls will have to be done manually.
Number of Cycles
Many commercial pool cleaners have only one cycle, typically around 5 hours. Others have multiple cycles between 3 and 8 hours. Multiple cycles enable the cleaner to stop for a period and resume cleaning after a pre-programmed delay. The advantage of having multiple cycles is that it allows dirt to settle before continuing. As the pool cleaner moves about it churns up dirt that becomes suspended in the water instead of being sucked up, in time the dirt will sink back to the floor – so it’s beneficial to return to these areas later.
Video | Dolphin PROX2 Commercial Pool Cleaner
This is not an essential factor, but having a remote control can help in several situations, especially when you want to direct the pool cleaner to an area that it has missed. Smartphone remote control gives you the added benefit of controlling the pool cleaner from anywhere.
A commercial pool cleaner will use either a bag or cartridge filter. Both are equally effective and will need to be replaced at some point. The only thing to know about these filters is that they need to be cleaned regularly, which requires removing and replacing them. It seems as though most users prefer cartridges because they are easier to clean. This could make your life a little easier, but shouldn’t be a major deciding factor.
Whether using either a bag or cartridge filter, different filter porosity will affect the level of filtration. A good quality filter will remove smaller particles from the water more effectively. A greater level of filtration will ensure a better hygiene standard.
As the robotic pool cleaner maneuvers around the pool, the cord can become entangled, which will require someone to untangle it before it can continue working. It’s highly advisable to choose a model that has a swivel cord, as these don’t get tangled. You want to be able to leave the pool cleaner unattended and not return hours later to see it stuck in one position.
Large commercial pool cleaners can weigh up to 150 lbs, though most modern commercial pool cleaners weigh less than 40 lbs. They can be quite heavy for some people, so you might need to look into how you’re going move it about and getting a caddy can help for this. The size and weight of the machine might require more than one person being available to place it in or remove it from the pool.
Through normal use, you’ll need to replace the filters occasionally and there are other parts may need replacing like brushes or drive belts. This emphasizes the importance of working with a reputable brand to ensure that whatever spares you need in the future will be readily available and that you can get reliable service whenever needed.
Recommendations | Best Commercial Pool Cleaner
Having done the history lesson and gone through the buying tips, it’s time help you make your decision. So here’s a review of what we consider to be the best commercial pool cleaners available today.
Dolphin PROX2 Gyro CleverClean | Commercial Pool Cleaner
For large pools up to : 15m to 25m (49-82 ft.) in length.
This could very well be the best bang-for-your-buck when it comes to commercial pool cleaners. the Dolphin PROX2 deserves your serious consideration as one of the best commercial pool cleaners for the money. All things considered, it quite cheap. And by “cheap” I mean price, not quality. Don’t confuse the two.
Specifications and features:
- Cable length: 30M (98 ft)
- Cycle time : 4/6/8 hours
- Weight: 24 lbs.
- Cleans floors, walls and the pool waterline.
- Dual-level filtration for both fine and rough dirt
- Active brushing efficiently removes algae and bacteria, enhancing water quality.
- Remote Control : Allows you to set/adjust parameters and cleaning programs.
- Two Operation modes – Automatic mode and Manual mode.
- Powerful 27 VDC dual-drive motors are both safe and offer great performance: suction rate of 17 cubic meters per hour and cleans an area of 225 square meters per hour
- Easy to maintain yourself and can be repaired by the dealer
- Complete Pool Cleaning : Highly advanced gyroscopic pool scanning with intelligent computing power to maximize cleaning ability and efficiency
- CleverClean is an advanced scanning system that will ensure your pool is systematically cleaned from top to bottom.
- Thorough Cleaning : Active brushing efficiently removes algae and bacteria, enhancing water quality.
- Advanced, high-capacity filtration – Two-level filtration system leaves the water clear and free of hair; dust, insects and other debris.
- User-friendly : Fully automated, plug & play, with optional parameters to suit every pool type. Easy to use and maintain throughout its life-cycle.
- Includes caddy making it easy to move around and keeps it organized when put in storage.
Overview | Dolphin PROX2
This one is the favorite of the lot and deserves the title of the best commercial pool cleaner.
We discuss several Maytronics Dolphin models in this article and they all use the patented “CleverClean” system. So, you may wonder “What is CleverClean?” Here’s the answer straight from Maytronics:
“The unique CleverClean Scanning system, powered by intelligent software, helps the robot optimize its scanning capabilities by learning the various parameters of the pool and adjusting its patterns accordingly. This guarantees complete coverage of any type of pool during each cleaning cycle, including shaped pools and pools with obstacles.”
Dolphin is manufactured by Maytronics, a company specializing in robotic pool cleaners since 1983, making them one of the industry leaders. This means that you can be sure of backup service and parts from an established brand. Dolphin is preferred by many pool owners for their high-grade value for money pool cleaners
PROX2 is Designed with Many Practical Features
Now let’s look at some of the features that make the Dolphin PROX2 such a winner. Firstly it has dual drive motors, giving it superior performance and reliability. The advanced gyroscope scanning system is one of the Dolphin’s biggest selling points. It scans the pool to make sure that it cleans perfectly and effectively.
The unique gyroscopic system scans the floor, walls, and waterline. It then calculates the most efficient way to go about cleaning the pool. It has both floor and wall cleaning, so there’s no need for you to do a thing. It also features a swivel cable, so won’t end up with the nuisance of a tangled cable.
It has one of the best hygiene control systems which includes a dual filter system — the ultra-fine filtration ensures that the pool is free of dirt, dust or any other form of debris. For added convenience, it has a full filter indicator. The PROX2 has highly effective brushes, that thoroughly clean the walls and floor of your pool, removing algae and bacteria. The Prox2 offers about the best pool hygiene of any pool cleaner on the market.
Although it only weighs 24 lbs., it comes with a caddy to make it even easier to transport around. You have a remote control for ease of use and the machine comes pre-programmed, so it’s ready to be plugged in and set to work.
The remote control makes it easy to set up more advanced parameters and program cleaning cycles. This gives you the most effective and energy efficient way to utilize the pool cleaner. Of course, if you’re not too fond of technology and programming, there’s no need to worry, because as I mentioned earlier, all the basic programming is done for you. So you can plug it in and it will get work right away.
To offer the most thorough cleaning ability the Dolphin PROX2 has multiple cycles (3/6/8 hours) and for complete peace of mind, you get a 2-year warranty on all parts.
The Dolphin PROX2 offers everything you could possibly want from a robotic pool cleaner for use in hotel, campground, and school pools.
Tech Specs (Dolphin PROX2):
- Filter Porosity : Dual-level – for rough and fine dirt
- Weight : 11 kg (24 lbs)
- Suction rate : 17m³ per hour
- Warranty : 24 months on all parts
- Moving Speed : 15 meters per min.
- Cleaning area : 225 M² per hour
- Cable Swivel : Prevents cable tangling
- Motor Voltage: 27 VDC
Learn more on the Maytronics site.
Dolphin Diagnostic 3001 | Best Commercial Pool Cleaner
Features (9999326-BL4) :
- Cleans pool floor, cove, walls and waterline.
- CleverClean : Intelligent software enables efficient cleaning and maximizes pool coverage.
- Cable swivel prevents cable tangling.
- Automatic shut off at end of cycle time.
- Cable length: 98 ft.
- Weight: 52.9 lbs
- Warranty : 18 months
- Includes: Remote control and caddy.
- Fine porosity filtration system
- 24 VDC motor, with automatic shut off. Includes motor protection for overload and out of water running.
- ✓ View or download the MANUAL for the Maytronics Dolphin 3001.
- ✓ View or download the BROCHURE comparing the commercial blue line of pool cleaners.
Overview | Dolphin Diagnostics 3001
For a bit less cash than you’d have to fork out for the Dolphin Prox2, you might want to consider the Dolphin 3001. It comes with the same backing of a reputable brand and also has a 24-month warranty. As you’d expect, you won’t get as many features from the smaller model and it won’t cover the same area. This means that it’s only capable of cleaning smaller pools, though the 78 ft cable isn’t exactly short, it is 20-feeet less than the larger Dolphin PROX2.
Before we go into what you don’t get, let’s take a look at what you do get. The Dolphin 3001 has “CleverClean” scanning technology which is similar to that of its bigger brother but without the gyroscope. It also has the same thorough brushing and cleans both wall and floor. In addition to these features, it has a swivel cable and you get a caddy.
Video | Common Information for Maytronics Dolphin 3001 & Other Models
The Dolphin 3001 is ideal for pools with beach entry and has an obstacle escape system. As part of its energy saving capabilities, the Dolphin 3001 will shut down at the end of its cycle. This makes it a highly versatile and economical commercial pool cleaner.
What you won’t get, however, is multiple cycles, the 3001 only has a single 6-hour cycle. You also won’t get the dual filtration system, however, it does offer a high level of fine particle filtration. Other downgrades on this model are that it doesn’t have dual drive motors or remote control.
What it is, is a reliable machine from a respected manufacturer, for smaller pools without some of the bells and whistles of the larger, more sophisticated PROX2.
Recommended Pool Chemistry for optimal operation of the Dolphin 3001:
- Chlorine Max : 4 ppm
- pH 7.0 – 7.8
- Temperature : 6 – 34°C (43-93°F)
- NaCl Maximum = 5000 ppm
Hayward TigerShark2 | Best Commercial Pool Cleaner
- Cable length: 100 ft
- Weight : 44 lbs.
- Cleaning Speed : 55 sq. ft./minute
- Gallons circulated : 4500 GPH
- Motor: 24 VDC energy efficient motor. Non-oil filled with microprocessor.
- On-board pumps suck up dirt and debris, while scouring pool bottom, walls, inclines, and steps.
- Automatic shut off at the end of the cleaning cycle
- Easy-clean removable cartridge. Rinse clean with your garden hose.
- 7-hour cleaning cycle
- Sophisticated software and pool scanning for effective and efficient operation
- Pre-set work cycle
- Includes caddy
- TigerShark2 Plus has same specifications as TigerShark 2 plus wireless remote control
Overview | Hayward TigerShark2
Another winning name among commercial pool cleaners is Hayward who have also been manufacturing robotic pool cleaners for around 40 years. The TigerShark2 is one of their premium models and offers a high level of specifications and reliability. Like the Prox2 the TigerShark2 comes with some of the most advanced technology available.
One of if it’s leading characteristics is an astounding 150 ft cable length, which is the longest you’ll find. This makes the TigerShark2 capable of cleaning particularly large pools.
It also has an effective pool scanner that will determine the most efficient way to clean your pool. Like the previous two, it covers both wall and floor and also has a swivel cable. So you get hassle-free effective cleaning for the entire pool.
It makes use of cartridge filters as opposed to bags used in the Dolphin pool cleaners, which might be preferable to some people who want easier filter cleaning. The TigerShark2 doesn’t come with remote control, if this is important to you, you’ll want to consider the TigerSark2 Plus that does.
Like the other commercial pool cleaners in this review, the TigerShark2 comes with a caddy to make transportation an easy task for anyone.
While the TigerShark2 compares favorably to the Dolphin Prox2, it lacks some of the more advanced features that you’ll find on the top Dolphin model like multiple cleaning cycles, dual filtration, and a few other technically advanced features. You will have the benefit of a longer cable and easier filter cleaning. This one gets a well-deserved second place in the search for the best commercial pool cleaner.
Dolphin HD | Best Commercial Pool Cleaner
For small to medium sized pools up to 60 feet in length.
- Cable length : 78 feet
- Weight : 22 lbs
- Cleaning Speed : 63 sq. ft. per minute
- Energy efficient low voltage motor.
- 4-hour cycle time.
- Scrubs, vacuums and filters all pool surfaces
- For commercial Pools up to 60 feet.
- Cleans pool floor, walls and waterline
- Filters up to 4,233 gallons of water per hour
- Dual high capacity filter bags
- Includes caddy.
Overview | Dolphin HD
Finally, we get to a budget commercial pool cleaner, that stills offers great quality from a name that you can trust.
The Dolphin HD has a 78-foot swivel cord, so it’s meant for use in smaller pools (up to 60 feet). You get a good machine that will scrub and clean both walls and floors and has a single 4-hour cleaning cycle. It’s an easy to use plug and play pool cleaner. It is pre-programmed and doesn’t come with a remote control system. You’ll also get a caddy to transport the machine.
So if you’re looking for a basic, no-frills commercial pool cleaner that will get the job done at a very affordable price, the Dolphin HD will definitely appeal to you.
The Dolphin HD, Dolphin 3001 and Dolphin PROX2 (large pools) both belong to the Commercial Blue Line series, as summarized by Maytronics:
The Dolphin Commercial Blue Line of robotic pool cleaners offers a cleaning solution for every size commercial pool. Smaller pools, like those in many hotel or apartment complex environments, require the same care and attention as their larger counterparts. Dolphin has specifically engineered our line to include several options and price points that make them a perfect fit for these smaller commercial applications.
✓ View or download the BROCHURE for the Dolphin Commercial Blue Line.
Dolphin Commander — 9999359-BL
- Cleans pool floor, cove, walls and scrubs the waterline
- Recommended for mid-size to large commercial pools up to 120 ft. in length
- Double filtration and scrubbing power with adjustable pool parameters and choice of cycles
- Full bag indicator
- PRO Remote control : Manual navigation and cycle options
- Dual drive motors and double wide footprint
- Internal gyroscope for precise self-navigation
- Swivel cable helps prevent tangling
- Multiple cycle options — 4, 6, or 8 hours
- Includes caddy for portability and storage
- Large self-contained inner filter bags, collects dirt, debris and dust particles. Plug-n-play. No
- No pre-installation needed. You DO NOT need connections to your pool system.
- Self-programmed for optimal pool scanning.
- 18 month warranty – spare parts and labor.
- Cable length: 131 ft.
- Suction rate: 8,466 gal (USA) per hour
- Weight : 44 lbs.
Final Thoughts | What’s the Best Commercial Pool Cleaner?
Out these four quality products, you can surely find the best commercial pool cleaner to meet your needs. In terms of usability, they’re all great. The sizes vary, so you’ll want to take the size of your pool into consideration, before choosing one. In any event, you should find one to meet your budget and if you’re looking for the best features, then the number choice will be the Dolphin Prox2, with the TigerShark2 being a close second.