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Thread: Dolphin pool cleaners

  1. #1
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    Default Dolphin pool cleaners

    We are going to buy a Dolphin pool cleaner. There are 2 that I see for the money we want to spend ($800 or so). There is a Dolphin Diagnostic and a Dolphin Pro. Anyone know what is the better choice for a residential pool that has a weird shape?

  2. #2
    CarlD's Avatar
    CarlD is offline SuperMod Emeritus Vortex Adjuster CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars
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    Default Re: Dolphin pool cleaners

    I was very happy with my Dolphin Diagnostic for 2 years. Then the 3rd year it started to give me trouble and I learned that they are rather grudging about the warranty. I shipped it to them twice. Twice they claimed there was nothing wrong. but it wouldn't climb the walls anymore and kept getting stuck. Their suggestion? That I tape raw lead weights to the handle. I said "No. I'm not putting raw lead into water my children swim in. Not happening." Eventually they sent me a new unit but it never worked very well, and I replaced it with a Blue Diamond.

    I have a grudge against Dolphin and would not buy one of their cleaners again.
    Carl

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Dolphin pool cleaners

    I just purchased a Dolphin cleaner (the Deluxe 4 - I think it's Leslie's variant of the Diagnostic) a few weeks ago after a lot of research here and comparison on various sites.
    A few things convinced me to buy it:
    - The folks at Leslie's admitted that they have had problems with support for previous Dolphin models but said that the vast majority of those problems were due to
    "outsourced" support - Maytronics had outsourced all support for the Dolphin to SmartPool. Recently, because of the all the problems with SmartPool, Maytronics
    is now providing the support themselves. I think CarlD's problems were mostly SmartPool's fault (Maytronics certainly bears part of the blame for outsourcing
    support to a lousy provider).
    - Leslie's performs some service themselves on the cleaners.
    - The Deluxe 4 comes with a full 3-year warranty (many others are either 1-year or prorated 3-year).
    - If it breaks and Leslie's can't fix it, they ship it to the nearest Maytronics service-center...which is ~40minutes from my house .

    So far it's worked flawlessly - but all cleaners do initially. This is actually my fourth try at a robotic:
    - the first Aquabot kept eating the floating cord; returned to Costco after 4 months;
    - the second Aquabot Pool Rover plus died with a motor failure after 1.5-2 years; ~$300 to fix - I decided it wasn't worth it;
    - the third was a RoboKleen; it lasted almost a month then just quit - I about expected this based on the reviews; returned to Costco

    I'm really, really hoping this one lasts. I like the idea of a robotic but I'm almost at the point of believing it's not possible to make a decent one that can withstand the
    environment at a reasonable price. Hopefully the Dolphin will change my mind...if it lasts 3 years and doesn't cost me an arm and a leg in parts/repairs then I'll
    consider it worth it.
    18K gallon free-form gunite pool, Sta-Rite S7D75 DE filter, 2-speed Sta-Rite Max-E-Pro pump, Pool Pilot Digital SWCG, Heat Siphon SX3.25 heat pump, Dolphin Deluxe 4 robotic

  4. #4
    CarlD's Avatar
    CarlD is offline SuperMod Emeritus Vortex Adjuster CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars
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    Default Re: Dolphin pool cleaners

    DEFINITELY it was SmartPool that made my life difficult. But I was further dismayed to learn that the 3 motors on my Dolphin Dynamic were 1/3 the size of the 3 motors in my Blue Diamond, which is probably why the BD can do the pool in 3 hours and took the Dolphin 8 hours.

    Still, if the Dolphin is working for you, go for it! It definitely has a better remote control system than the BD, far more flexible.

    Carl
    Carl

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Dolphin pool cleaners

    My neighbor has a Dolphin; don't know what model. But has worked very well for them for two full seasons. My Tiger Shark never did clime walls and I'll get a Dolphin next and hope it works well.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Dolphin pool cleaners

    I've had my Dolphin Diag for 6 years now, and it has worked flawless for me.
    I had to buy new clips last year that hold the bottom in the unit, and I bought another bag. My old bag is getting a little worn. It, by no means, is junk yet, but I liked the idea of having the 2nd bag.

    One thing to keep in mind w/ these units, in colder water temps (I think it is <60degree F) the unit will not climb the wall. I know the first year I ran it, it wasn't climbing the walls. I got a little nervous it was broke, Once the temp warmed up, it was scrubbing the water line.

    Only complaint I have is the cord twist problem. I change my handle directions, like instructed, but I have to untangle my cord almost everytime after I use it. The cable has some kinks in it now, which isn't helping the problem.

    I would give you a thumbs up on the dolphin, I love it, and wouldn't be without it.

    Blessings,
    Ted (TRHOD) North Canton, Ohio
    1974 Anthony 24,000 gal IG vinyl, Hayward sand filter/1hp superpump. (5) 2x20ft sungrabber solar panel roof mounted
    Acquired pool June 2006 Been BBBing ever since

  7. #7
    CarlD's Avatar
    CarlD is offline SuperMod Emeritus Vortex Adjuster CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars CarlD 4 stars
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    Default Re: Dolphin pool cleaners

    I'm glad to hear Dolphin has addressed the problems they had, especially with service. We spend far too much money on these things for them to be so problematic. In an ideal world, ALL the robotics would work as promised.

    Carl
    Carl

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