Did not last
The machine worked hard but after two years the handle broke in two completely (I fixed it myself), then after two more years the motor and the cable packed in. These are very expensive devices and if they cannot provide reliability and durability for that price then I am not going to purchase this brand again. Disappointed.
Purchased in December 2014 for $2,599.00.
Great Product an Service
We had the robot for more than two years and it served our pool devoted. Recently we had a breakdown with the robot but unfortunately was out of warranty. Nevertheless, when Maytronics was contacted for help they committed to cover the repairs under warranty free of charge so I can get my robot back into the pool.
If only I’d bought this years ago!!
Eventually decided, after years of fighting with useless pool cleaner after pool cleaner, to spend a large amount of money to buy this cleaner! My pool had a layer of grime and leaves on the bottom and heaps of leaves floating on top! No kidding, within 25 mins, the pool bottom was close to perfect and all the floating leaves were floating into the skimmer box, which is now free of tubing attached to creepy crawlers that get stuck in one spot, leaving it open to do its actual job!
Often after a heavy downpour, my water would go cloudy and I’d have to flock and vacuum. Not now I have this nifty cleaner. It is filtering the water through it’s own bag while it cleans and following a day of heavy rain and wind, my pool was still sparkling, and leaf free. It IS expensive, which is why we never looked at buying one before, but had I known how it would free up my time and energy trying to keep my pool clean, I would have bought it years ago!! The filter is easy to clean using a hose or bucket of water or you can throw it in the washing machine for a good clean, and then off it goes again. It can be set to come on every day or every second or third day and runs for a few hours at a time, soundlessly!! Absolutely love it!
Amazing cleaner and time saver
I did a bit of research on the best robotic cleaner and still could not decide as there was not much info out there. I ended up just going into local shop and this was on special. It cost $1400 and more than I wanted to spend on a cleaner. I realized it was worth it after first use.
This has a twin motor and works so well. I haven't been able to fault it.
My pool had not been cleaned for 3 years as my old suction cleaner stopped working due to aging filtration system.
I cam home and assembled unit and put in straight into pool. I bought this type as it had a fine filter bag. It took about a week of running everyday and my pool looks amazing. It would have cost $400 for a pool man to bring it up to this quality.
I have seen a few reviews here about faults and not lasting as long as it should. I am happy to trust in the Australian Consumer law if mine turns out to be not durable or of acceptable quality.
I recommend this item due to being a brilliant and thorough cleaner and less strain on your pool hydraulics system.
I have not found any negatives to report as yet.
Three months later still cant fault it. I loaned it to my neighbors and they both loved it.
The worst pool cleaner you will buy.
Purchased cleaner in 2017. Started working ok but a few month later it wasnt cleaning thoroughly. Spoke to dolphin/maytronics technician and they advised to check pool pH and chemical which we did over a period of time but still wasn't cleaning well but we preservered thinking that this is best the machine can produce. The machine kept isolating in one area and would not clean the rest of the pool. Some 6 months later the cleaner started tripping from our electricity switchboard. We took it back to dolphin. Maytronics advised that there was water in the controller. Since the controller sits externally in the weather it is supposed to be waterproof so they didn't know why this was failing and the manager began stipulating that machine must have been submerged which is clearly not the case. The manager at maytronics would not honour the repair under warranty and insisted that water had somehow gotten in to the controller but they didn't know how. We are no experts in these machines but you would think that if the controller was not watertight then maybe it wasnt built correcltly as these things can often happen. We just want the thing to work. The technician advised that they have similar machines to ours that sit outside for years with no problem. So clearly there was a problem with ours and it wasnt out of neglect by us but rather in our opinion the poor buuldability of the machine. The manager from maytronics was very rude, arrogant and couldn't care less about us writing a bad review of the company and their product. He showed no care or sympathy in our agonising experience and just simply wasnt interested in honouring their obligations to their customers. We also have spoken to two local pool shops and they advised that maytronics is quite terrible in customer service very slow in repairs and there machines are overall too pricey and not reliable and if you have a warranty issue then Good Luck. So we will be looking at seeking fair trading or tribunal and we paid a fortune for this cleaner and we are sick of being bullied and treated like we are the bad people. I urge all BUYERS to be aware and rethink in purchasing any machines from Maytronics because with our experiences if there is a problem they will try to get out warranty repairs and they couldn't care less about the customer or assisting. Their are much better systmes out there for a cheaper price.. This was also advised to us by others. Very disappointing and disgusting to treated this way by an Australian company.
Long Term (3 Year) Proper Review of Dolphin Swash TC (Bonus Swash CL minor info)
Model : Dolphin Swash TC - Twin motor, PVC brushes for non slippery surface, remote control for cycle type (e.g. floor only, walls only, floor and walls etc), delay start/immediate start and length of cycle (e.g rapid, slow, default etc.). There are 3 Cycle options on power supply e.g. start every 2 days, every 3 days etc.. Current equivalent in Australia probably a Dolphin M500. Cleaner was purchased in January 2015, it is currently January 2018 and has been out of warranty for 1 year. I think I paid $1899 for it new.
I thought I would write a long term review of this product as a lot of the reviews I read on here just seem to be complaints with no valid justification or hint at lack of operator experience/pool knowledge.
Pool situation. Elevation 75m, North facing directly above Sydney's middle harbour e.g. high salt area, prevailing NE wind which can be very strong with sea breeze and storms. Pool built in the 80's, painted concrete (needs a total makeover), freshwater with chlorine (I have an auto-dosing chlorinator, so PH and chlorine PPM stays pretty constant). Some areas of pool generally the south facing sides at the deep end gather some algae growth if not cleaned for a while. Pool is BIG, approximately 5m width by 15m length, deep end is 2.1m and shallow end approx. 1m. Pool is rectangular with curved edges at wall to base and curved corners, volume is over 90,000 L. I have 2 sets of tiled steps, one at each end, the shallow end has 3 steps, the deep end has one step. Waterline is tiled with pebblecrete above.
Pool is in a bush fire zone, i.e. surrounded by native trees. Also on the property is 1 large gum (30m) directly above pool to the East, another eucalyptus to the West within 3 m, and a couple of Jacaranda's within 3m of the pool. There is also a palm type thing at the northern end of the pool which has long leaves, approx. 3cm wide by 50cm long.
Debris in the pool is huge and constant, winter and summer. This includes but not limited to; large gum nuts, massive amounts of gum tree pollen, branches (big and small), bark from the paper bark tree, gum leaves of all shapes and sizes, Jacaranda flowers, Jacaranda pollen, dirt and grit wind blown from surround garden, I could go on.....
My options when I bought this house were to go with a normal pump style cleaner (creepy crawly), install a seperate pressure pump and go with a water pressure style cleaner (we already had plumbing for this), or try a robot. This is my 3rd pool in a bush zone, so I went with the robot for a number of reasons; primarily the cost effectiveness to run, not putting load on the existing pump and not having to clean out the pump filter/backwash all the time.My previous experience with dedicated pump type motors is that they are very expensive for parts (10 years ago they cost be $100 for a set of wheels) and require constant emptying in this type of environment and generally can't cope with the debris volume nor do they filter to such a great degree as the Dolphin. I also did not want to be constantly maintaining pool, messing with hoses and vacuums or using up the skimmer boxes which would be required with a creepy crawly.
Performance - To say this cleaner is good would be an understatement, it is a true beast. It climbs, it removes algae, it is effective on the water line and it picks up everything. Did I say everything? Yes it gets pretty much everything with the exception of large branches and the aforementioned palm leaves which are just too big for it's openings, but I normally scoop these up manually before/after putting the cleaner on (although there are usually new ones back the minute I start it!)
I will generally have to empty the bag after 1 cycle (winter or summer, I really should get a pool cover!). Sometimes if the pool is fairly clean I can get away with 2 or 3 cycles, but I like to empty after each cycle anyway. Why is this you ask? Well the beast will be full and I mean FULL. I use the filter bag (not the filter cartridges) and the capacity is very large, but as you can tell from the above, I get a lot of debris in this pool and when the bag is full it will be carrying maybe 1+kg of debris and not just leaves and large gumnuts, the bag will be filthy. It will be covered in grime, algae and debris i.e. all the stuff I do not want in the pool. The pool will be sparkling, the floors and walls very clean and even a single cycle of a filthy pool on default settings produces these results.
How do I use it - I have experimented with moving the handles, but due to the dual motors, this is not necessary in my pool. It does a full pool clean with walls including steps regardless of handle positions. I have never really used the remote or the cycle options as I need to empty regularly so they are a bit redundant, but they may suit a cleaner pool. Also I had pretty much forgot I had these options until a recent issue (more about that in a second) when I started playing with the remote this week. You can set it to do just floors, walls and floors, just walls etc. and although I have not used these modes extensively, they all work as advertised. I have time lapse videos of the pool in action many times over a complete cycle (yes I'm a nerd), which I'm happy to share if anyone doubts the performance of the beast.
Issues and replacement costs/parts - Apart from regular cleaning of the unit I have only had one issue, the RCD unit stopped working. This was easy to diagnose by plugging a straight though power cable to ensure it was not the power supply at fault. The existing RCD is a cheapish Chinese made unit which I did not try to replace from Maytronics, instead opting for a Bunnings sourced HPM unit and cable which is IP rated the same as the power supply and has the same residual current spec as the original. I think this ended up costing me about $30 all up. The power supply and RCD are located behind a wall at my house and are not exposed to wind/rain etc. so the electrical side of things is very safe/dry.
Other spares - I purchased an additional filter bag and cradle, so I could do a quick hot swap of the bag and then clean the dirty one later. From memory this was approx. $120 but was not a mandatory purchase.
Ease of maintenance - I will admit I am quite technical/handy, but still this unit is a breeze to take apart/maintain. In most of the last 3 years I have done nothing except wash the bag (hose every time and 20 minute washing machine cycle every month). I occasionally clean the impeller, and sometimes remove long palm leaves tangled round the tracks with a knife and pliers (I now realise I've been doing that incorrectly).
It has only been recently that I have actually disassembled the entire unit to troubleshoot an issue (again more on that in a second) and now realise I could have done this earlier to easily remove leaf litter and gum nuts from inside the track mechanism. To fully disassemble the unit, just remove 4 screws on the top cover, and 2 screws on each side cover and the whole unit is then accessible to clean or repair as required.
Total usage - We are at now at 3 years of usage. Maytronics/Dolphin recommends removing the cleaner from the pool after use. I have never really done this, even when people are swimming I move it to one end and power down rather than remove. This cleaner has literally been in the pool for 3 years, winter and summer in full Northerly Sydney sun including recent and previous heatwaves over 40 degrees. Due to the recent issue I have taken the unit to a service centre in Hornsby, happy to provide name if required. They plugged into their diagnostic machine (I have a picture if anyone wants) and downloaded the usage data. It has completed 862 full cycles and 256 part cycles for a total use time of 2855 Hours and 37 Minutes as I write this review. There is other data relating to motor use and impeller etc. but I'm not sure how to interpret that data. In summary, this unit has averaged approx. 2.6 cycles per day for 3 years (sometimes I run it multiple times a day as required). I may calculate the power costs one day, but suffice to say this machine using a low voltage 24vdc power supply is very cheap to run and would be a vast saving from running a dedicated pressure pump or using the pool pump motor. Not to mention the time savings from manual vacuum, reduced loads on motors and other savings in chemicals that are pretty well document. I run my auto-chlorinator on a very low setting all seasons and only have my main pool filter on for 2.5 hours total per day.
Current external condition - The unit has faded, i.e. the yellow on top is now dull as are the grey sides, there are some scratches on the sides (note I am not gentle with the unit, I literally throw it in the pool and I am probably to blame for the scratches etc.). The plastic condition is however excellent, there is no breakdown or brittleness of any external areas with the exception of the original filter cradle which has a small crack on the bottom, again probably my fault.
Current general state and internal condition and issues- I have had no issues with the unit in 3 years except for the last few days where it will intermittently start going in circles during a normal cycle and then stopping with an error light on the unit. I thought I was done for and up for a couple of thousand in new equipment, presuming the motor was dead. So this is where I learnt how easy it is to dismantle and self-service (everything except the electrics obviously).
I completely stripped the machine, i.e. removed the top and side covers (8 screws total and less than 1 minute with an electric screwdriver). There was wear on the belts, the timing tracks that actually drive the unit, but this is to be expected after 3 years in water and who only knows how many kilometres travelled on rough surface). I just bought a new set of tracks (from the place below that diagnosed my fault) for $66 total and replaced the old ones, a 2 minute job and has provided a noticeable increase in traction again. The scrubbing brushes look OK, but again could probably do with a refresh at some point.
I dismantled the belts and brushes, this took seconds, and inspected everything. I took out the bearings from the motor drive (these are a sealed unit and just come out without pulling) and did the same with the guide bearings on both sides of the machine. Everything looked fine, in fact I would describe all components as 'as new' condition, bearings were shining bright, no signs of wear on anything internally, the rollers spun like a new bike wheel etc. I am very impressed with the overall condition considering how we have all become used to disposable items of technology.
I reassembled, again very easy, fired it up and everything was looking good until half way through the cycle, then it started spinning again. This time I thought I was really done for, I didn't know a decent dealer/service centre as I imagined these were considered a disposable item when they reach end of life. My original supplier of the machine and another local supplier who were both useless, and have still not got back to me with a price for parts that I suspected I may need. I ended up calling Maytronics yesterday and while they couldn't sell me parts, they suggested a qualified service centre in Hornsby. I was skeptical, but phoned them this morning and they said bring it in and they could run diagnostics on the machine. I went straight up there, we plugged it in and the diagnostics came up instantly, with the hourly information detailed above. It also showed some 'Drive Under Load' readings for the last few cycles which whilst not conclusive, showed that there was an issues somewhere. I left the machine with them, anticipating a $xxx quote for repairs for a new motor. Instead, I got a call 2 hours later saying they'd fixed the beast and were currently cycle testing the machine, it would be ready in an hour, total cost, parts and labour $101. It turns out one of the bearings I had removed and inspected was in-fact worn on one side and slightly off centre, something I didn't know about without experience. They had replaced this item and the shaft for the bearing and it is now sitting in my pool having completed it's first perfect cycle again since returning.
As I thought my machine was dead, I had turned to Gumtree and ended up getting an as-new, unused 2 year old Dolphin CL for $600 to act as a replacement while I worked out what to do. I have used this machine for 3 days and whilst it is not as versatile as the TC (It only has a single motor so turning and corners are not as precise), the results on the pool are very similar. I will now store this newer machine as a back up, or may even strip it for parts for my TC, as things like the top cover, impeller etc. look like they are straight replacement parts. I may do a write up on the CL at some point if I end up using it a lot.
The manuals need re-writing with more detailed explanations for operation of the remote, positioning of the filter bag ( I worked this out after watching one of the instruction videos in slo-mo), and generally more detailed maintenance operations. Also finding the parts list online was relatively easy, but this should be included with the machine for those who can complete their own minor maintenance and repairs. Also an easier, more cost effective way of ordering parts would be appreciated. I regularly travel to the US and am actually in the process of purchasing some spare items there for at least half the price of Australian retailers. e.g. a set of 4 brushes is $43 AUD versus an Australian quote of $105 for the same items. I can get free shipping in the US and someone can bring them down for me on regular work trips. This is not suited to everyone obviously but it works for me for non critical spares.
These machine, whilst perfect for the lazy/time poor like myself, are not a replacement for a decent pool maintenance cycle. You will still need to remove large debris, empty your skimmer boxes, back flush as required etc. however they significantly reduce this effort. I only back-flush maybe 4 times a year as the pool filter itself is only dealing with the skimmers, not the additional waste form a creepy crawly. I almost never have to empty the filter into the main pump as the Dolphin gets almost all the debris, i just let surface leaves sink and it gets anything the skimmers miss.
You will need to work with the machine, understand it's patterns and nuances and if necessary, adjust the float handles to your situation. The machine works things out over a cycle, so I would do a test of any changes over a single cycle, do not expect immediate results when you make minor adjustments, there are so many factors at play with pools. Also realise that the float handles are not part of some magical sensing device, they just alter the angle of flotation at the pool surface/during operation, so they affect how the cleaner turns/straightens after coming down from walls or rotating on the floor.
In my recent self-diagnosis, I found it handy to record a 2.5 hour time lapse of the pool from my iPad and play back over one minute. This allowed me to truely understand the cycle pattern, when the machine had issues and what they were and/or if they were self-corrected. The machine is very good at detecting obstacles and obstructions such as being on a step an will reverse out as needed.
The marketing literature oversells the 'Intelligent scan' feature, as do all the pool robots on the market. These things do use some smart algorithms and do store some data, but certainly this model does not 'remember' your pools shape and dimensions. It has some minor sensors for current level and altitude in the water etc, but it is not doing a smart/laser type scan of your pool and working out the size and dimensions as implied by the icons on various brochures. Instead it is reacting to going vertical or stoppage events. and measuring the distance travelled. It is not mapping your pool and covering every square cm, it is using a randomised pattern and is not truely smart like a self driving car for example. However this is probably it's greatest asset, there are so many variables in a pool that it needs to react to each pool environment, PH, surface etc. I threw it in a rental house pool we were using which was filthy and again had the same results as above.
This particular model has less moving parts and less complex technology to go wrong. It is sitting in the water constantly and for me, the simpler and more robust the better. I have no need for bluetooth/gizmos, or really even a remote control as I am proactive and have to empty the cleaner often. Again in checking the diagnostics, 99.9% of my cycles have been "regular/default' cycles and this does the job perfectly. The really useful things for me are the dual motors (gives far better manoeuvrability) and the bag filter light so I know when to empty. Do not be sold on some fancy technology, you need long term, simple, serviceable equipment and this item serves that purpose for me.
I think I've said enough.
TLDR (Too Long, Didn't Read) - This particular unit (Dolphin Swash TC) is awesome, take the time to understand it and it's limitations/advantages and look after it (better than I have) and I have no doubt it will last a long time. As the moderator from Maytronics says on this thread, the motors are robust and are one of the less likely item to fail, although I'm sure they can and maybe I have just been lucky.
Pool equipment is abused, but I hope to be able to write another review in 3 more years now I know a lot more information about this model and have a good service contact and ready supply of spares at home! One last thing, the current models and other models made by Maytronics both here and overseas, seem to have a lot of common spares/components, this may be useful to you if you're looking for cheaper spares than are on offer in Australia. e.g I can replace some parts from the CL into the TC as required, the same goes for other models, do your research.
Also, I think these are quite a proven design/technology at this point, and while they may benefit from greater smarts in the future they serve their purpose extremely well today, our local pool uses the commercial models inside and out as do many pools I have visited in recent years through water polo, this is surely a good testament.
Great when it works but doesn't last long
We bought ours a couple of years ago and in the past few weeks it stops 5 minutes into it's automatic cycle. Blue power like flashes on the base unit and the impeller stops working. Would have expected a few more years out of such an expensive product. Not happy!
Didn't last 3 years
We have a dolphin cleaner and for the last 3 years it has been working well. We do not get a lot of leaves or mess in our pool so we only use it once a fortnight. Recently it stopped working. We took it to a maytronics dealer and spoke to a maytronics representative. Neither of them could tell me what was wrong except that it needed a whole new motor. The motor has cost us nearly half of the original cost. These cleaners are not cheap, however I would expect them to last more than 3 years. We are extremely disappointed in the longevity of this cleaner and for the money involved they are simply not worth it. I realise that we may have got a cleaner that may have just stopped working and that most others are still working, however maytronics have done nothing to help our situation. We would definitely not recommend these cleaners to anyone for the money involved and only just over 3 yrs maintenance. I should include that we regularly cleaned the dolphin cleaner and it is kept inside after each use.