Why is My Robot Cleaner Acting Up?

A client asked about why their robotic cleaner wasn't doing as well as they expected?

Robotic pool cleaners are great.  In fact, they are more than great.  They are more effective than pressure cleaners and cheaper to operate.  

But, they do have their idiosyncrasies just like anything else. People sometimes think that just because it is robot, that it is going to leave their pool immaculate and that they will never need to do regular maintenance.  That's not the case.  In fact, robotic cleaners still do not replace the need for regular brushing of your pool.  Nor are they capable of getting your pool fully restored after a significant lapse in regular maintenance or if you have a bad algae problem.   

What they do provide is a cheaper and more effective way to keep debris out of your pool than pressure cleaners. Even still, there are a few things that you can do to help maximize your experience with a robotic pool cleaner.

1- Make sure the filter system is OFF before turning the cleaner on. This does two things.  First, it allows the dirt to settle to the floor of the pool for the cleaner to pick up.  Second, the cleaner doesn't work against the current of the return nozzles which will either knock it off the wall or confine it to a particular part of the pool.  

2- Never sit and watch the cleaner. Put it in the pool & go away. Let it do it's work and come back later.  It will eventually get the job done.  

3- Remember the cleaner is NOT a replacement for pool maintenance. You still have to brush the walls & steps etc occasionally, you just don't have to run that manual vac for hours at a time to clean the pool.