Pool Cleaner, whats reasonable?

I’m totally new to pool ownership. I saw the Choice review of pool cleaners and I bought a Maytronics Dolphin S150 from the pool guy that services my pool. I’ve done 6 full cleaning cycles and it isn’t doing what he indicated it would. Specifically, the bench seat is a third done and the shallow end isn’t getting done where the floor meets the wall. I can live with the steps not getting done but it doesn’t seem to me the other things are what I was expecting or advised would be the case. Its only a 7x3m pool and its doing a 2 hr cycle. I raised it with the pool guy when I popped into to see him on another matter. He advised to start it from the centre of the pool rather than at the shallow end. That helped slightly but not significantly. Given there’s some subjectivity around what a pool robot cleaner ‘does’, eg how clean is reasonable, how would you suggest addressing further? Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Have you tried the trouble shooting suggestions in the manual, including:

The other thing to try is to increase the cycle time greater than 2 hours, if possible to see if this improves the area of cleaning.

Stairs can be difficult as the design of the stairs can affect accessibility to the cleaner. Example being narrow stairs, wider than the cleaner, the cleaner is likely to get stuck or fall off.

thanks phb, yes good deas. I’ve tried and checked all of those. The bench seat is accessible but only does 1/3rd. The steps are more tricky, but it can reach the the floor/wall of the shallow area. I can’t increase the cycle time, thats a set time. I’m going to use a time lapse app and see where it goes.


Most pool cleaners I have seen follow a randomised type pattern as well, that being, when they reach an obstruction or the limits of their reach, they turn at a random angle.

It is possible that the cleaning head is hitting the wall at the bench causing it to when randomly change directions. Likewise the stairs. Possibly the only way for the whole of the bench to be done is if the cleaning head runs parallel to the direction of the bench/step, providing that it can fully fit on it. If it is on a slight angle, it will hit the wall, change direction and then fall of the bench/stairs. If the bench is at right angles to the wall below the bench, then the cleaning head will have difficulties going over the right angled edge, as they are unlikely to be able to do this otherwise the cleaning head might wander around on the ground outside the pool.

Possibly the pool cleaning company should have advised of the cleaning head limitations. But, they might not know this for your particular pool if the design is fairly unique, however, looking at the Maytronic’s website, they provide information on ability to clean stairs (which would also apply to the bench):

It is a known limitation of the model you have.

My experience of the Dolphin S100 was initially it didn’t do part of the pool. About then I thought I had another dud (it replaced a Zodiac which just didn’t work with our pump system) and before that a Hayward that only did the bottom.

Over a few cycles it seemed to work out the kidney shaped pool and did a good job. It does struggle to do the steps which have a curved area, and the spa bench where it would be best if it could turn 90 degrees and do most of it before falling off.

It does a really good job, uses minimal power and does not rely on the pump running, so the small areas that need me to brush over first isn’t an issue for me. It will blow dust up and onto the steps if the pool floor is dusty, I give it a quick brush while it is running. I run ours one to three times a day.

I drop it in at the same place each time, after I have serviced it. Ours is twisting the cord as the drive gears are wearing and it does about 10 turns clockwise during a cycle. If I leave it to continue twisting, that reduces the reach and parts don’t get done. I remove most leaves before starting. I don’t think there’s a robotic pool cleaner that can clean everything.

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