The Hayward SharkVAC XL comes in a couple different models, which we cover both of in this article. A lot of robotic pool cleaners come and go but Hayward SharkVac XL is engineered to be reliable, efficient and affordable, making it a popular choice among homeowners who need a dependable automatic pool cleaner for their residential pool.
Later in the article we also go into great detail in our comparison among the different types of pool cleaners available.
History of Swimming Pool Cleaners
Swimming pools have been around for about 5,000 years and I’m sure they’ll be around for as long as there are people to use them. From the earliest of times, keeping the pool clean and hygienic has been an important task. In those early days, people weren’t as knowledgeable about the importance of hygiene as we are today, none the less, they had to keep their pools or public baths clean.
Up until fairly recently, the only way to clean a pool was to drain it, then scrub the walls and the floor of the pool, remove the debris manually and then fill it with clean water. Without the use of modern chemicals, this had to be done on a regular basis. But then again, people weren’t as pushed for time back then, and labor was cheap.
Today we live by the motto (with good reason) that time is money. We would never go to those lengths to keep the pool clean. We now rely on technology to do it for us. So where did it all begin?
Ancient Roman Bath | Pool History
Up until the early 20th century, there wasn’t any way to clean a pool, but manually. There was the cistern cleaner, that came about during the industrial revolution, to be exact 1883 saw the invention of the “Cistern Tank Cleaner” by John E Pattison. The idea for a cistern cleaner went back as far as 1798, but no patent was issued until Pattison’s invention. This was a large device and would never be a practical solution for residential or commercial swimming pools.
Things really began to change when electricity started to become more common in cities around the world in the early 1900’s. This was an exciting time for innovative thinkers. The introduction of electricity into ordinary homes opened up a world of new possibilities. Machines were able to do tasks around the home and garden that people once did manually.
During this time many inventions began to change our lives the vacuum cleaner and the washing machine. This creative period would also lead to the invention of early swimming pool cleaners.
It has been an interesting journey from early pool cleaners to automated pool cleaners and eventually robotic technology. (Learn more on Wikipedia)
Video | Hayward SharkVac XL
Now, let’s take a closer look at the two different SharkVAC XL models. We know that it can be confusing sometimes with all of the different robotic pool cleaner models that you have to compare and decide which one is best for you. We try our best to sift through all the data and present it in an easy to understand manner.
We hope you find this article useful in helping you decide if the Hayward SharkVAC XL is right for you.
Hayward SharkVAC XL | RC9740WC
- Top-access filter allows quick debris removal and easy cleanup. Rinse with a garden hose.
- Calculates your pool size & programs itself for the most time and energy efficient cleaning path.
- Runs separately from the pool’s pump and filter system.
- Cleans all residential pool surfaces, gunite, vinyl or fiberglass up to 20 x 40 ft.
Hayward is one of the top brands when it comes to robotic pool cleaners. They’ve been in the business for about 40 years, which makes them one of the pioneers of robotic pool cleaners. This means that you have the backing of experience and you can be pretty sure they’re going to be around for a long time to come. So you know that you’ll always have access to dealer support and spares.
When it comes to buying a new machine you want to know that you’re buying something that you can depend on and a warranty says a lot. Well the Hayward SharkVac XL comes with a two-year warranty. If you go through the fine print you’ll see that the warranty covers virtually everything, so if you’re using it properly and follow the instructions you will be covered. That’s a good starting point.
The Caddy Package is worth the extra cost | SharkVAC XL
It’s a well-built piece of machinery, which is to be expected from a manufacturer like Hayward. It’s capable of cleaning pools up to 20 X 40-feet and works well on all surfaces – gunite, vinyl or fiberglass. It cleans both the walls and floor of pool effectively.
It’s designed for maximum energy efficiency and uses about 97% less electricity than a pool cleaner that runs off your pool pump. The computerized system will scan your pool and calculate the most efficient way to work over the maximum 3-hour cleaning cycle. Sensors will detect when it is out of the water and this makes it a good option for beach entry pools because it will back up into the water if it moves above the water line.
The Hayward SharkVac XL has two fine porosity filters that offer a high level of hygiene and water purity. What’s best about the filters is that they are probably the easiest of all the robotic pool cleaners to keep clean. The filter cartridges slot into place via a top opening that lifts up on hinges. There’s no need to turn the machine around or fiddle with bag filters.
It’s well balanced and won’t flip over like many of the cheaper models and high traction wheels make it a good climber. There is one thing that I have to point out, quite a number of users have complained about the cord tangling. Fortunately, the newer model that came out late in 2016 has overcome that problem.
Hayward SharkVAC XL | RC9740WCCUB
- Smart technology steers SharkVac cleaners along the most efficient cleaning path possible.
SharkVac XL is designed to deliver a fast, total clean. SharkVac is dedicated to cleaning the pool floor only.
- Cleans floor, walls, coves and waterline in just three hours.
- Engine protection technology : Out-of-water and beach-entry sensors stop SharkVac XL from running out of the water while cleaning the waterline.
- No hoses, hookups or extra pumps required.
- Top-access filters with two fine-porosity filter elements allow for quick debris removal and easy cleanup — remove the filter cartridge and rinse with a garden hose.
- Runs separately from the pool’s filtration system.
The Hayward RC9740WCCUB SharkVac XL is the upgraded version and, from I can tell it’s very much the same as the previous model, with one main exception, the new model has a swivel cord that prevents it from tangling. It also has a better-designed carrying handle and, for what it’s worth, looks a bit nicer.
The Hayward SharkVac XL is one of the best on the market and is very well priced, making it excellent value for money. It could well be worth spending the extra money on the more current model, if only for the convenience of the swivel cord. Either way, you’ll be getting a quality piece of equipment that is sure to provide you with many years of hassle-free service.
Evolution of the Automatic Pool Cleaner
The earliest known pool cleaner patent was granted to John M. Davison of Pittsburgh, Pensylvania in 1912. Though it would be some time before a working idea would come about for an automatic pool cleaner.
Suction-side Pool Cleaner
The door first opened to the possibility of an automatic pool cleaner when Roy B. Everson, a Chicago resident, invented the suction-side pool cleaner in November of 1937. It then took 19 years before Roy B. Everson invented and patented the first truly automatic suction-side pool cleaner in 1957. Everson suffered from polio and because of this disability, he found it difficult to keep his pool clean at his home in Mateo, California. (Read/view the original patent)
This new invention was set to change the way we look at pool cleaning for decades to come. So many of us are familiar with the sight of these automatic pool cleaners chugging laboriously around the pool all day long. Probably every pool owner in the US has, at some point, or still does own a suction-side automatic pool cleaner.
A suction-side pool cleaner is powered by the pump that circulates the water in your pool. The suction of the pump acts like a vacuum cleaner to suck up dirt and debris from the walls and floor of your pool. Rollers on a diaphragm cause pulse in the suction that moves the pool cleaner around the pool, creating the familiar clicking sound that we all know too well.
The suction-side pool cleaner moves around the pool in a random pattern and does so pretty slowly. This means that it can take many hours, sometimes days to clean the pool properly. Even after a lengthy cleaning cycle, there can be small areas that remain uncleaned. I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s jumped into the pool to move the cleaner after getting frustrated at watching it repeatedly passing the same dark spot too many times.
Another drawback of the suction-side pool cleaner is that it takes some time to set up. You need to connect up the pipes and then bleed the air from them. Because of the tedious set-up process and the fact that they take so long to completely clean the pool, many people leave them in the pool permanently, which is not an ideal situation.
When the pipes remain exposed to sunlight day in and day out, they deteriorate and crack. This causes them to suck air into the system which retards the cleaning action or even stops them from working. Another problem with leaving the pool cleaner in the pool permanently is that we are constantly negotiating our way around coils of pipes whilst swimming.
A suction-side pool cleaner requires regular checking and maintenance. The orifice at the bottom of the machine is not able to suck larger leaves or similar items, resulting in it becoming blocked quite easily. Larger hard items like stones or twigs can get caught in the diaphragm, which causes the pool cleaner to stand still until the obstruction is removed.
Suction-Side | Poolvergnuegen | The PoolCleaner — 2 & 4-wheel Drive
While there have been a number of ways that manufacturers have tried to prevent the pipes from becoming coiled up, they have never been completely effective. When the pipes coil up, it restricts the movement of the pool cleaner and it will circle around a small area until the situation is corrected.
Most of us have become accustomed to these problems and, as frustrating as it may be, we live with it. After all, it beats standing for hours moving a pole driven manual cleaner up and down the pool to keep it clean. The big advantage of the suction-side pool cleaner is that they are really cheap. Though, then again, it’s a case of you get what you pay for.
Pressure-side Pool Cleaners
The pressure-side pool cleaner was invented to overcome some of the problems associated with suction-side pool cleaners. They make use of greater pressure, either by utilizing a booster pump or installing a more powerful pool circulation pump. The extra suction causes a venturi effect, which creates turbulence that dislodges dirt and debris.
The pressure-side pool cleaner works more effectively and faster than their suction-side counterparts. They do, however, use considerably more energy as result of the extra suction from a larger or auxiliary booster pump. The extra purchase price and higher electricity bills don’t really outweigh the benefits and as a result, suction-side pool cleaners have remained more popular as the most economical solution.
Sleek & Sophisticated | Polaris 3900 Sport | Pressure-side pool cleaner
Both these types of pool cleaners make use of the pool’s filtration system and are limited to the particle size filtration that this offers. So neither option offers the best hygiene standards. Engineers and inventors are constantly looking for ways to improve technology and offer us better ways of doing things and so there has been a quest to create the perfect automatic pool cleaner.
Robotic Pool Cleaners
Many might say robots are the future. Well, we could say that the future is already here, it’s becoming more common to see robots taking over household chores from robotic vacuum cleaners to lawn mowers. Pool cleaners are no different, it’s possible that robotic pool cleaners will soon make the old fashioned suction-side pool cleaner obsolete.
A robotic pool cleaner uses a low voltage current, supplied through a transformer plugged into a regular electrical socket. The electricity is used to power a motor that drives wheels, moving the pool cleaner about and roller brushes that scrub the sides and floor of the pool. Another motor provides suction to remove dirt and debris in the same way that a vacuum cleaner does.
Early robotic pool cleaners made use of the pool’s pump for suction and filtration. This required one to connect pipes to the pump’s inlet which made setting up the bot quite tedious. Fortunately, they now have their own suction pump and internal filters which effectively remove small particles from the water. Setting up the pool cleaner is now minimal and there’s the added benefit of a higher level of filtration, providing better standards of hygiene.
Dolphin Nautilus CC : 99996113-US | w/ CleverClean Technology
The biggest advantage of using a bot for any task is that it can think for itself. Computerized artificial intelligence allows the pool bot to make decisions that we would if were doing the job ourselves. The robotic pool cleaner will scan the area of the pool and calculate the most effective way to clean the entire pool. A mercury switch makes it able for the bot to determine whether it is climbing or crawling. So it knows when it is cleaning the walls and when it is cleaning the floor, so the bot is able to act accordingly, like changing direction when it reaches the water line.
The robotic pool cleaner also has bump sensors that enable it to back up and change direction when it encounters an obstacle. Sensors will also tell the bot when it is out of the water and it will then change direction. Depending on the computing power that the pool cleaner is equipped with, it may have a number of other functions like multiple programmable cycles and some have a remote control system – operated either by using a handheld device or smartphone.
The robotic pool cleaner is the most advanced automated pool cleaner one can get and requires minimal setup time and maintenance. All this does come at a price, though. Robotic pool cleaners are considerably more expensive than other automatic pool cleaners. This may well leave some of you asking the question: are robotic pool cleaners worth the money? It would probably be a good idea to look into this before moving on.
Benefits of Robotic Pool Cleaners
There are quite a number of reasons why you might want to shell out the extra dollars on a robotic pool cleaner. Apart from saving you time, you’ll find that it also saves you money in the long term. Let’s look into this some detail.
Saves You Time
All of us seem to have less time available with each passing year. Between busy work lives, kid’s activities and any number of other duties, we seldom find the time to do what we actually want. The idea of having a pool is to enjoy it and relax with family and friends. We’ve already gone through all time-consuming factors of suction-side pool cleaners and I’m sure you’ll agree that life would be a lot better without all that fuss.
A robotic pool cleaner is a plug and play device. Connect the power cable, drop it into the pool and in a few hours, it’s cleaned the pool perfectly. The only regular maintenance that’s required is to rinse out the filters using a hose pipe. With a robotic pool cleaner, your time spent on pool maintenance will be reduced to a few minutes. Because the pool cleaner covers ever inch of the pool, even difficult steps and corners, there’s no need for you to brush areas that old your pool cleaner would not have covered.
Most Effective Cleaning
The rotating brushes remove all dirt and algae from the sides and floor of the pool, combined with powerful and effective suction, you get the most effective cleaning ability of any pool cleaner. The internal filters are capable of removing even very fine particles from the water providing unsurpassed hygiene and crystal clear water – particles suspended in the water can make it cloudy and irritate the eyes.
A robotic pool cleaner is the most effective way to keep your pool ultra-clean and hygienic at all times.
All other automatic pool cleaners make use of your pool pump to operate. This means that the pump has to run for much longer than is actually necessary. Robotic pool cleaners use energy efficient motors to drive the wheels and provide suction. The electricity used by a robotic pool cleaner is a fraction of that used by a pool circulation pump. It’s estimated that a cleaning cycle for a robotic pool cleaner costs about 15c in electricity usage.
Over the lifetime of the robotic pool cleaner, it will most probably pay for itself in energy savings.
Another factor that will save you both time and money, is that the pool bot requires very little maintenance. Apart from cleaning the filters, there’s no other regular maintenance. Occasionally, you will have to replace the filters or brushes. For the most part, you’ll be using it repeatedly, without giving a second thought to any real maintenance.
What to Look for in robotic pool cleaner
Having looked at the advantages of owning a robotic pool cleaner, you may well be considering buying one. They’re not particularly cheap, so take some time to find out a bit about them before making a decision. To help you do this here some things to look out for.
The most common complaint people have about robotic pool cleaners is that the cord can be become tangled and this hinders their ability to function. Fortunately, most manufacturers have solved this by making use of a swivel cord that prevents tangling. It’s advisable to buy one that has a swivel cord, even if it means buying a more expensive model.
Transporting the machine to and from the pool may be cumbersome for some people. If this might be a cause for concern, get one that comes with a caddy.
The last important factor to remember is the size of your pool and the distance between your pool and the closest electrical socket. Cable lengths vary, so check that you buy one that has a cord that’s long enough to reach every corner of your pool.
For the rest, there are options like programmability and the like, but this will be very much a matter of personal preference. If you keep to a reputable brand, you can be sure to get something that is of good quality and will offer reliable dealership service in the years to come. This brings us to the final, and probably most important part of the article: a review of a dependable robotic pool cleaner that’s worth spending your hard-earned cash on.