Robotic Pool Cleaners: Splurge or Save?

We all love using our spare time for pool maintenance, right? Not so much! But it’s a necessary evil if for that picture-perfect sparkling pool. A robotic pool cleaner offers an innovative solution for the lazy pool owner, and besides a slightly painful cash outlay, it requires very little of us. But, considering the expense, are robotic pool cleaners worth it?

Robotic pool cleaners offer significant advantages, including superior cleaning abilities, time savings, and energy efficiency. The advanced technology eliminates the need for manual labor, so it may come with a stiff price, but in most situations, robotic pool cleaners are worth the investment.

To decide whether robotic pool cleaners are worth it, it’s helpful to look at these intelligent pool assistants from all angles, including their technology, advantages, and limitations. After considering these and other factors, you can make an educated decision on whether to purchase a robotic pool cleaner and the model most suitable for your pool.

Is It Worth Investing In A Robotic Pool Cleaner?

Robotic pool cleaners are autonomous devices equipped with advanced technology to take the work out of pool maintenance for the pool owner. They use sensors, brushes, and suction to remove dirt, debris, and even algae from the pool’s surface and walls.

Understanding How Robotic Pool Cleaners Work

Robotic pool cleaners work independently of the pool’s pump and filter system, receiving power from an entirely separate source. Some are cordless and battery-operated, while others have long cords that plug into ground-fault circuit interrupter outlets. These outlets automatically cut the power if they detect any electrical imbalance, preventing shocking careless pool owners.

While everyone knows electricity and water don’t go well together, these intelligent little pool assistants run on an extremely low voltage, making them submersible. You drop them into the pool, and they happily set about cleaning.

Robotic pool cleaners have two motors. One draws in water through a filter bag and returns the filtered water to the pool. The other is a drive motor connected to the tracks or tires and brushes. These brushes, which sit on the back and front of the cleaner, remove dirt from the pool’s walls and floor and direct it back to the filter bag.

A programmed microchip controls the drive motors, signaling to change direction when it reaches the sides of the pool or water’s surface. Sensors also help to change the direction when it bumps into an object, like a wall or step.

The Advantages Of Robotic Pool Cleaners

Technology advances daily at a galloping pace, automatically making the latest robotic pool maintenance equipment more efficient than previous types like suction-side and pressure-side pool cleaners. But what makes these new kids on the block better than other types of cleaners?

  • They operate independently of the pool’s filtration system. The robot picks up the fine debris in the pool, taking the pressure off your pool’s primary filtration system and lengthening its lifespan.
  • Robotic pool cleaners save time and work. They do the work for you; you only have to pop them into the pool and fish them out when they’re done. This allows you to use your spare time for your own purposes.
  • Robotic pool cleaners filter your pool water while they work with their built-in filtration systems.
  • They are very energy-efficient, costing 90% less than running your pool pump. You can switch your pump off while the robot is cleaning the pool because it circulates the water while it’s busy.
  • You can save money on chemicals in the long run because your efficient little robot requires no chemicals to do its job. Its efficiency means you will have to balance the pH of the water far less often and reduce the amount of chemicals needed.
  • Robotic pool cleaners are user-friendly, with no need for set-up or disassembling procedures necessary before and after use. You turn it on, and it’s ready for work!
  • They are also super-efficient in their cleaning. Their programs ensure they cover every inch of the pool, including the waterline, scrubbing the surfaces with their brushes and drawing in the debris.

These advantages make for enticing reasons to purchase robotic pool cleaners, but it’s always a good idea to do proper research and consider other factors that might affect your purchase.

The Limitations Of Robotic Pool Cleaners

Even up-to-the-minute technology has its downside, and your robotic pool fairy also has some limitations and negatives.

  • Affordability can stand in the way of many pool owners buying robotic pool cleaners. Although the price has dropped recently, they are generally more expensive than suction-side pool cleaners. However, some of them now cost less than certain pressure-side cleaners. While many models can cost up to $1000, there are more affordable options with models under $500 now available.
  • Cable length for wired robotic pool cleaners can present a challenge: a short cable may limit the cleaner’s range, while an excessively long cable can interfere with its mobility and potentially become tangled.
  • Robotic pool cleaners can’t seize floating debris, so you will still need to rely on the skimmer or fish the leaves out manually.
  • A robotic pool cleaner’s capacity is limited by the size of its internal filter baskets. Compact models require more frequent emptying.
  • Tracks and wheels can get jammed by debris and leaves, but you can remedy this by scooping up excess leaves and debris before sending in the robot.

Other Factors To Consider When Buying A Robotic Pool Cleaner

If you’ve decided that a robotic pool cleaner is worth it, there are still some factors you should keep in mind when choosing a model.

  • Ensure the model you choose is suitable for your pool’s size and shape to guarantee optimal cleaning performance.
  • Different models are designed for in-ground and above-ground pools, so select a cleaner compatible with your pool.
  • The initial cash outlay is often higher than that of other cleaners, but remember that robotic cleaners will save on energy and chemical costs in the long run.
  • Some robotic cleaners offer advanced features like remote control operation, programmable schedules, or smartphone connectivity, so consider your preferences before buying.
  • Consider the robot’s weight compared to the amount you can lift with relative ease.


It’s a resounding “Yes!” Robotic pool cleaners are worth it. Although the initial outlay might be higher than for other pool cleaners, they eliminate hours of pool maintenance and save money, time, and energy. You may still have to fish the occasional leaf out of the pool or empty the skimmer basket, but ultimately your pool maintenance woes will end, making them worth the investment.