Author: Maurice Savaryego, M.Sc.Eng. (Learn More)
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Compare Inground Pool Cleaning Robots: Dolphin Nautilus CC, Hayward TigerShark or Polaris F9450?
If you have an inground pool or you’re about to build one in your backyard, it's quite important that you take care of your investment and clean it regularly to prevent accumulation of dirt and debris on the floor and scale on the walls. If you don't want to spend hours doing the job manually, a robotic pool cleaner is something you might want to consider. The best robotic pool cleaners today scrub, vacuum and filter both the pool floor and the walls.
These robots are equipped with a powerful on-board pump that sucks up dirt, debris and scale while roving the bottom, walls, inclines and steps. Some, like the ones that will be compared in this article, are completely independent from the pool equipment and do not need any connections or any booster pumps. All they need is to be connected to a standard electrical outlet using the very long cable they come with.
They are also equipped with their own filter system. They do not use the pool's filter and they do not use any bags. Everything these robots clean up stays inside the robots. When cleaning is done, you simply open the unit, dump out dirt and debris, and clean the filter. And when these filters are cleaned after each use, they last for years!
This article will compare robotic pool cleaners Dolphin Nautilus CC 99996113, Hayward TigerShark RC9990CUB and Polaris F9450. These were not just the most popular among Amazon customers at the time this article was written, but they had also received excellent reviews from most Amazon buyers (average ratings of 4.5 and 4.0 stars out of 5 stars!).
Comparing the Dolphin Nautilus CC 99996113, Hayward TigerShark RC9990CUB and Polaris F9450 Pool Cleaners
Polaris comes with a caddy. The shipping weight with the caddy is 43.6 lbs, but the robot itself weighs only 16 lbs.
- Dolphin Nautilus CC: Though you can not program manually how the robot will clean, it is pre-programmed for optimal pool scanning and cleaning. The memory board creates a schematic of the pool and follows that scheme in cleaning.
You can schedule the Dolphin Nautilus CC to automatically clean your swimming pool each week using 3 settings- every day, every other day, or every 3rd day.
- Hayward TigerShark: Though you can not program manually how the robot will clean, the robot calculates the size of the pool and programs itself into the most time and energy-efficient cleaning pattern for a spotless pool. It also gives you the choice of choosing between a standard long cleaning and a quick cleaning.
- Polaris F9450: It has a 7-day timer that can be programmed for different cleaning cycle times for each of the 7 days (see Note 3 below for further info).
- All Hayward TigerShark models can clean the pool floor, walls, coves and waterline in just 3 hours. But TigerShark RC9990CUB can also perform a quick 90-minute cleaning cycle.
- Polaris F9450 allows to set the cycle time. The shortest cycle it can be set to is 1.5 hours, and this can be incremented in 30 minutes, the maximum to be set being 3 hours.
Note that the this robot also has the ActivMotion Sensor feature that allows the cleaner to automatically sense its position in the pool and adapt its path for optimized cleaning while reducing cord tangling.
- With Dolphin Nautilus CC the cycle time is fixed and equal to 2 hours.
All three robots considered here have their own filter system. They do not use the pool's filter and they do not use any bags. Everything these robots clean up stays inside the robots. When cleaning is done, you simply open the unit, dump out debris and clean the filter. Don't forget to clean filters after each use so they may last for years!
You will find in the Amazon section below replacement filters/filter cartridges for the three robotic pool cleaners. But, as mentioned, if you clean the filters after each use they should last for a very long time.
All three pool cleaner robots considered here are completely self-contained. No pre-installation needed, no connections to pool system and no need of booster pumps. They just need to be connected to a regular 110/120 volt electrical outlet.
Note that Polaris F9450 allows you selective cleaning. You can select to clean just the floor, just the walls, or both the walls and the floor.
With Dolphin Nautilus CC and Hayward TigerShark you always clean both the floor and the walls.
Polaris 9450 also includes a lift system. With the touch of a button the robot surfaces to a desired location and waits for you to grab it, then automatically evacuates water for effortless removal from the pool.
With Dolphin Nautilus CC and Hayward TigerShark, if you're outside the pool, you can pull the cord gently until the unit gets to the surface, then grab it and pull it out. But be careful not to pull it out of the water by just pulling the cord. Use the cord only to make it float to the surface. Of course, if you are inside the pool anyway, you just lift it up and take it out to the edge of pool.
If your pool is concrete and tile, sometimes scale and oil can form on the tile at the water line. Most pool cleaning robots do not come out of the water to scrub the wall at the tile line. Polaris F9450 is one of the few that actually scrubs tile line with a pleated scrubbing brush.
Though the product specification for Dolphin Nautilus CC and Hayward TigerShark do not specify that the robot cleans the tile line, some Amazon customers have said that their robots have come out of the water and climbed the walls a bit above the water line.
If your robot does not clean the tile line, you can always use a sponge and pool cleaner to address the water line scale and oil on the tiles.
Only Polaris F9450 comes with a caddy included. A caddy is not really necessary to have, but it keeps things neatly stored when done.
Though Dolphin Nautilus CC and Hayward TigerShark do not come with a caddy, if you find out after some use that you really need one, a compatible caddy can be purchased separately on Amazon.
For price information for these three robotic pool cleaners, please click below:
Selected Robotic Pool Cleaners on Amazon
So which of the three robotic pool cleaners to buy?
Now, if you don't mind paying more in order to get some advanced features, you might want to consider the Polaris F9450. Here are some of the more sophisticated features not found in the other two robots that you would get with a Polaris F9450:
- 7-day programmable cleaning cycle: The shortest cycle the robot can be set to is 1.5 hours, and this can be incremented in 30 minutes, the maximum to be set being 3 hours.
- Selectable cleaning: You can select to clean just the floor, just the walls, or both the walls and the floor.
- Easy Lift System: With the touch of a button the Polaris F9450 surfaces to a desired location and waits for you to grab it, then automatically evacuates water for effortless removal from the pool.
- Tile line cleaning with a pleated brush.
- ActivMotion Sensor feature that allows the cleaner to automatically sense its position in the pool and adapt its path for optimized cleaning while reducing cord tangling.
- Polaris also claims that their Vortex Vacuum Technology captures more than four times the debris load of other cleaners.
Compared Robotic Pool Cleaners on Amazon
Please Note: For non-US customers, when you click the links below, you will be provided with the Amazon links for your country (such as Canada or UK), if the product is available in your country.
Dolphin Nautilus CC
Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus
The Dolphin Nautilus CC PLUS shown here is the big brother to the Dolphin Nautilus compared above. It comes with the same great features found on the Nautilus, plus some upgrades:
Dolphin Nautilus CC Robotic Pool Cleaner
With Universal Caddy
Hayward TigerShark RC9990CUB
Robotic Pool Cleaner
Robotic Pool Cleaner Bundle
- It can clean pool lenghths up to 60ft and comes with a cable that is 70ft long.
- It comes with a Motion-Sensing Remote: Now you can have responsive cleaning control in the palm of your hand.
- Dirty canister indicator: No more guess work. Know immediately when it's time to empty the filter canister.
- Waterline only cleaning for isolated tile line scrubbing.
Robotic Pool Cleaner Bundle
Replacement Filter Cartridges for Dolphin Nautilus, Hayward TigerShark and Polaris F9450
Do you also need a Pool Heater?
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