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Thread: Water Tech Blaster Pool Max Reviewed

  1. #11
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    Thumbs up Re: Vacuuming sucks...

    Well, I know a year hasn't gone by, but it's been over 2 months now and, I have to say, I love this thing. I haven't used my hose vacuum once.

    To answer the waterproofing question: it seems to be waterproofed very well. It's a pretty clever design, although I have to say the first time I used it I was a little apprehensive about plunging a piece of electrical equipment into a pool of water!!

    As I say, I love it, but here are a few tips that I've discovered:
    1) The filter bag is small. VERY small (which makes sense, bearing in mind the size of the device). It takes about a minute to empty the bag and re-fit it, and I recommend that you do so before (or after) every vacuuming session. Starting with a clean bag can help performance (especially if you've vacuumed up a decent amount of fine particulate matter) and it also allows you to unclog anything inside.
    2) The manual says to recharge the vacuum after every single use for 8 hours. I've found you don't need to do it this often, but it IS important to maintain a decent charge on the vacuum or you'll find yourself just pushing dirt around the pool (I discovered this by experience!!). I've found that you can use the device for about 30 mins on a full charge (not necessarily in one go - perhaps 3 ten-minute sessions), and then it really benefits from a charge of at least 4-5 hours.
    3) Leaves - forget it. Any leaf larger than, say, a quarter (or 10 pence piece to you fellow Brits), the hole in the bottom of the vacuum just isn't large enough to suck the leaf through. It's probably a good thing, too, as it wouldn't take many leaves to fill up the bag. I simply skim them off the bottom with the net once I've finished vacuuming.
    4) The first few times I used it, when I lifted it out of the water at the end of my session, and held it over the pool to allow the water to fall back from the vacuum while I turned it off. DON'T DO THIS! I wasn't paying attention the first few times, but I eventually noticed that you get some previously-vacuumed matter fall back into the pool. It seems that the vacuum only operates under water - once it is in air, there's no suction so all of your dirt falls back into the pool!! I now move the whole thing away from the water, put up with the fact that I lose a few litres of water, and turn it off.

    I'm very happy with this purchase. Even if the thing breaks every 6 months (and I'm not saying it will), it's worth the $150 to buy a new one each time, in my opinion.

    On a similar topic - I have just returned from Home Depot, and noticed that in their pool section they now have a vacuum system that you plug your garden hose into. It has its own bag and, apparently the water pressure from the hose creates a vacuum, and it sucks up the dirt into its own filter bag. It doesn't use the pool filter. I've never used it, I have no idea how much water it gets through, or how effective it is, but it's only $25 in case anybody wants to try a cheaper non-pool-filter vacuum.

    Cheers,
    Matt.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Vacuuming sucks.....Water Tech Blaster Pool Max

    Hi. I got the Pool Blaster Max in August of this year after seeing it on display at Leslie's pool store (although they were selling it for over 200 dollars, whereas I picked it up on Amazon for about $140 or $150). It worked very well for me during the swimming season for daily pool cleaning.

    I have a large in-ground that's surrounded by vegetation too, so pulling out the vacuum every other day wasn't fun, to say the least. Getting large leaves with it was easy, and on most days I could clean the entire 40x20 pool without cleaning the filter bag, or only cleaning it once. Of course, I cleaned out the filter bag thoroughly after every use so it was always empty when I started cleaning everyday (it strikes me as a bit odd that some people wouldn't preform such easy maintenance on a fairly expensive product, all you have to do is knock the leaves out and spritz it with the hose for a few seconds). I also charged it after every use, but that said I had no trouble with the PB Max losing charge during clean up. To be fair to the people who don't clean their filter bags though, I did accidentally leave it on the charger overnight a couple of times (the manual says not to charge it in excess of 12 hours, if I remember correctly), though as far as I can tell this didn't have any negative effect on it.

    Larger jobs are a bit much for the Max, though. After big storms, and during the very end of the season when lots of leaves were falling, the jobs became too much for the Pool Blaster and I still needed to pull the vacuum out. I also still used the vac every couple of weeks to get out larger particles, like sand and dirt, that the blaster wasn't so great at picking up. I didn't have any algae issues between when I got the Max and the end of the season, but I don't think it would be much help cleaning up a major algae problem (like a bad spring opening, for instance). But, hey, I guess if you have an extra pole to attach it to you could get a buddy to man it while you take on the vacuum; every little bit would help in that situation I guess!

    So, sorry if I've been a little long-winded, but I saw this thread and figured I should weigh in since I have a Max and had a good experience with it. It seems like an expensive tool at first glance but I'd say it's worth it, especially if your pool has a lot of vegetation around it like mine does and you find yourself pulling out the vacuum more than you'd like. Plus, it's pretty cheap compared to an aquabot, and easier to use (at least compared to the last aquabot I had to deal with, which was from the early 90's).

    Oh, and many of the negative reviews at Amazon seem to be saying that the Max would poop out in it's second season on the job. I've only had it for part of one so I can't comment on that. However I am keeping it's box indoors, not in the pool shed with the other supplies.

  3. #13
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    Talking Re: Vacuuming sucks.....Water Tech Blaster Pool Max

    Well, folks, the day has finally come. I have had my Pool Blaster for 10-ish months, and it has finally given up the ghost. HOWEVER, I only have myself to blame for this.

    To turn on the vacuum, you screw in a little plastic waterproof cap that completes the connection to the battery and fires the thing up. To turn it off, you unscrew it half a turn but, obviously, this breaks the waterproof seal. A few months ago we had a torrential rainstorm, and I totally forgot that I'd left the Pool Blaster outside (ironically to allow it to dry off!). The next day when I saw it, my heart sank, and when I picked it up, water poured out of the part where water really shouldn't be - inside the electronics. A few days later I could see the green corrosion begin to appear around the charging socket, so I gave it as good a clean as I could, and gave it a blast with some WD-40. It was reluctant to start the first few times, but I have to give the build quality some credit - it continued to function for over 2 months after this. A few days ago, however, it just could not be coaxed back to life after it conked out halfway through me vacuuming. I've re-charged it a few times, but still no luck. Peering inside, there is a lot of corrosion and rust, so I figure it had a good run, but is now pushin' up the daisies.

    The interesting thing, though, is that I am just about to order another one. I have no qualms about it at all - it was incredibly useful over the past year (and I used it a lot). My only decision now is whether to go for the same one, or the slightly more expensive 'professional' one (I think it's called the CG) on the basis that perhaps the bag might be a bit bigger or perhaps it's more powerful, or something, but I've noticed a few threads with that exact question, so I'll have a read and see what people think of each. Anyway, I digress!

    I hooked up the good ol' hose vacuum today to give the pool a quick once over (the first time since I bought the Blaster) and, I have to say, once the hose was hooked up, the actual vacuuming part is much quicker with the hose vacuum. There's less size to it, for one, so it glides through the water much easier, the surface area vacuumed at any one time is larger, and the wheels really help mobility. I got the sense that the suction was better than the Pool Blaster, too.

    So, I figure, moving forward, I will probably now use both: the hose vacuum for when there's a lot of muck to pick up, and the Pool Blaster for spot cleaning when needed. To make a very long and waffly post short: there's room for both in my pool equipment! :-)

    I hope this has been useful to anyone considering buying a hoseless vacuum. I promise not to mention the subject again! LOL. :-)

    Cheers,
    Matt.

  4. #14
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  5. #15
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    Default Re: Vacuuming sucks.....Water Tech Blaster Pool Max

    I'm gonna have to update my post as well. My PBM conked out just a few days after taking it out of storage this year. I'm a bit torn on what I'm going to do; on the one hand, it is a great tool for day-to-day cleaning and my pool looked much nicer because of it. On the other, I'm not completely sure that I want to support a company that makes a product that won't last more than a year in many cases...but, it is true that I miss not having to pull the vacuum hose out once a week. Like Matt said above, the hose vacuum is better at vacuuming, if you ignore the setup time involved, but at the same time the Blaster also keeps a lot of junk out of the filter. I treated it well, and stored it properly, yet still it broke. I'm thinking I might open it up and see if I can't replace the battery, since I think that's what bit the dust.

    Does anyone know if Pool Blaster has any competitors I could look into?

  6. #16
    dansdad is offline *Subscribed* Widget Weaver dansdad 0
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    Default Re: Vacuuming sucks...

    I got the catfish because its rechargeable. I was really skeptical but I had 2 loose 1 " tiles on my steps and it sucked them up!!!!! I'm tired of my MX8 breaking down and needing new expensive parts. I don't know of another better vacuum cleaner. If you do please let me know. I guess I will clean manually. I can count on me! because I have to clean it
    13000 gallon fiberglass, variable speed pump, cartridge filter, chlorine sanitized ,k-2006, also daily 5 item check ( ch, ph,ta,)
    I only trust the k-2006 titration is better for me

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Vacuuming sucks...

    @Racker: I don't know of any competitors. The other units I looked at had REALLY bad reviews.

    What broke? Did it just stop running?

    =====================================

    @DansDad: What's an "MX8"? Are you saying your Catfish broke? Because of the tile?


    I think I can ask Water Tech to take a look at this thread, if I can get more specific info.

  8. #18
    dansdad is offline *Subscribed* Widget Weaver dansdad 0
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    Default

    Ben, an MX8 is a suction side cleaner its a Barracuda made by Zodiac. It runs on a track system, but several times it comes off and the unit even broke internally needing several parts. I totally trust the business I bought it from, and after paying 400.00 originally for it , they were able to get parts for it but it was still around 250.00 and I know I wasn't charged the full amount as they felt bad. The tiles just worked loose , nothing knocked them off but I was surprised the catfish was able to pick them up! My zodiac is still working but it doesn't work as well as I think it should. It runs daily for 3 hours and still leave junk in the pool

    =================================

    BTW Ben, no the catfish (water tech) didn't break. As a matter of fact I am going to see if they make a larger model
    Last edited by PoolDoc; 08-14-2013 at 08:42 PM. Reason: merged posts
    13000 gallon fiberglass, variable speed pump, cartridge filter, chlorine sanitized ,k-2006, also daily 5 item check ( ch, ph,ta,)
    I only trust the k-2006 titration is better for me

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Vacuuming sucks.....Water Tech Blaster Pool Max

    Thx -- I'm hoping this thread will reveal whether we should recommend the Water Tech products or not. Right now, they seem to be the best available alternative to manual vacuuming.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Water Tech Blaster Pool Max Reviewed

    @PoolDoc: My brother was using it at the time that it broke. He said that it was getting poor suction for a bit before it completely conked out, which could be either a motor or battery problem, but I believe it is more likely to be the motor (which, I've read around the 'net, is what usually goes kaput on these units). Either way, I'm unfortunately not very handy and didn't have much luck tooling around with it.

    I did end up buying another Pool Blaster not long after making my last post in this thread. So far so good, but if it only lasts the season like the last one, I'll be done with Water Tech. I did some research into alternatives, which mostly consist of various pool 'robots', which I'm not too fond of and are comparatively very expensive. At the moment, it seems, Water Tech is indeed the only game in town when it comes to non-robotic vacuuming alternatives.

    I appreciate your hesitance to recommend the product, Pooldoc. I'm a bit torn myself. On the one hand it has made caring for my pool much more of a pleasure. On the other, the manufacturing quality is questionable at best. I'll have to see how my new PBM makes it through the off-season before giving my final verdict. Hopefully Water Tech is listening and tightens up their manufacturing process; I'd gladly pay a few bucks more for a more reliable product.
    Last edited by Orca; 08-19-2013 at 05:57 PM. Reason: clarify title

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