Wednesday, April 27, 2016

How to Maintain and Service A Swimming Pool: A Step By Step Guide

In this article I go over the Step by Step procedure I take when I service a swimming pool. This is a basic video guide on how to maintain a swimming pool for either a homeowner or pool service professional. I walk you thru the steps I take on a pool from beginning to end.

For sake of time this is an overview video, however at every second mark in the video I have links to other videos that go into more detail for the item or procedure in each clip. That way if you need more detailed help on something I show or wish to investigate a product in the video you can do itby clicking on the link in the description at that time mark.

The very first thing I do is scan the pool for anything unusual. A dead Gopher on the pool floor would be something noteworthy. I also can assess the pools clarity level by just eyeballing it and can pretty much tell if there is a chemistry issue – like no Chlorine or Combined Chlorine.

I do all these steps in order so not to forget to do something. Doing this over and over on a pool route puts your brain in robot mode and you can't think back two stops previous and try to remember if you added chemicals or not. So if you do the steps in order chances are you won't forget anything.

Step One: Check the Chemicals

The first thing I do is check the water chemistry. There are several test factors that you need to be aware of and not all of them need to be done weekly. Each week you do need to check the Chlorine level – if you have the right test kit you can also check for Total Chlorine. But at a minimum you need to get the Free Chlorine level. You should also check the pH each week, or how acidic or alkaline the water is. If the pH is too low or too high it can have some significant effects on the pool water quality and the pool surface itself.

I check the Alkalinity level once a month as a rule. Since the Alkalinity level is tied into the pH it normally does not move dramatically in one direction or the other. For a new pool plaster it can move more so in that case I check it every week for the first three months. But once the plaster cures or if you have another surface type like Vinyl or Fiberglass the Alkalinity is pretty stable.

The Calcium Hardness level also does not move much so I check that every three months. Again, for a new pool plaster you will need to check it more often but for an established pool it is pretty stable.

I check the CYA or Cyanuric Acid level at the beginning of the season – here that is in April and maybe again if I notice any water issues like low chlorine each week.

If you have a Salt Water Pool I check the salt level also at the beginning of the season and then again if problems arise. Since the salt in the water does not evaporate it stays pretty stable all season long

Here are the Ideal Ranges for the Test Factors:

FC – Free Chlorine 1.5-3 ppm
CC – Combined Chlorine 0.5 <
BR – Bromine 4-6 ppm
PH – Acidity/Alkalinity 7.4-7.8
TA – Total Alkalinity 80-120
CH – Calcium Hardness 220-350 *
CYA – Cyanuric Acid 30-70 ppm
SALT 2800- 3100 ppm > **

* Levels may be lower in a Vinyl or Fiberglass Pool
** Depending on the salt system brand

Step Two: Check the Equipment and Empty the Baskets

Keeping the pump basket and skimmer basket clean and empty each week is the most critical thing you can do for water circulation purposes. You can have a clean filter but still have a cloudy pool or a pool with algae because of a clogged pump basket.

So it is essential to empty both the pump basket and skimmer basket each week of service. I also do a general check of the equipment including checking the filter pressure and listening for any motor noises that will indicate a problem. I also check the timer or automated system for any issues. Last, I scan for any water leaks around the equipment area. Part of the job is making sure everything is running good each week.

Step Three: Clean the pool

Keeping the pool clean each week helps to make the pool look good and also reduces chemical use and prevents equipment failure. So a weekly cleaning is important. If you are pressed for time you can also invest in a good automatic cleaner to help with weekly maintenance. But manual cleaning still works well. Basically you want to skim all of the leaves off of the top and bottom, clean the tiles, vacuum the bottom and brush the walls and step areas. All of this will keep the pool looking good as well as prevent algae and possibly staining of the pool.

Step Four: Add Chemicals

It is important to do these steps in order. You can add chemicals if you want after testing the water but keep the same routine at each pool. That way later in the day you won't be trying to think back and ask yourself, “Did I add acid twice at that account?” Or, “I think I added some chlorine at the Smith residents, right?” I can't remember what I had for breakfast on a good day, so do yourself a favor and do things in order.

Basically you add chlorine in some form to sanitize the water, add Muriatic Acid to lower the pH, add Borax or Soda Ash to raise the pH and you add Baking Soda to raise the Alkalinity. This is all you need in most cases. Pretty simple.

I don't spend a lot of time on treating algae as I have several videos on my YouTube Channel that goes over that in great detail.

Here is the video that shows all of these steps for you. I also have a list of other videos that you can refer to in more detail below.

So if you follow these simple steps each week at your own pool or on a service route, you should be good to go.

Here are some videos based on when the product or procedure appears in the video:

00:03 Color Q Pro 7:
00:07 Purity Pool Red Baron Leaf Rake:
00:14 T Dula Service Cart:
00:20 Remington Solar Sun Shock:
00:34 Tracer Salt TDS, Temp PocketTester:
00:35 Taylor K-2006 FAS-DPD Kit:
00:35 Pocket Pro Salinity Tester #9531600 by Hach®:
00:38 5-Way Test Kit:
00:43 Color Q Pro 7:
01:31 Pocket Pro Salinity Tester #9531600 by Hach®:
01:46 How To Clean Out Your Pool Pump Basket:
02:00 Pump Lid O-ring, Pool Pump not priming Part 3:
02:06 Intermatic Pool Timer, tips & troubleshooting:
02:14 Basic Training Part 3 (A) Salt Water Systems Overview:
02:20 Pool Equipment Overview for beginners Part 1 of 2:
02:25 D.E. Filter Tips, Tricks & Troubleshooting:
02:38 How to Clean Your Pool Skimmer Basket:
03:08 Basic Training Part 1: Skimming & Brushing:
03:39 Purity Pool TSQC Tile Scrubber with Quick Connect:
03:49 Pentair R201276 Pro Vac #214 Commercial Vac Head:
03:54 Hayward W530 Large Capacity Leaf Canister:
04:02 Basic Training Part 2 (A): Vacuuming the Pool:
04:10 Basic Training Part 2 (B): Vacuuming the Spa:
04:22 Power Vac PV2100 Portable Pool Vacuum Cleaner:
04:41 SweepEase® AquaDynamic 18" Pool Brush – Review:
05:24 Nitrile Coated Work Gloves by Wells Lamont:
05:28 BBB method - Using Bleach, Baking Soda & Borax:
05:30 Liquid Chlorine Pool Sanitizer:
05:32 Muriatic Acid, pH Down:
05:36 Borax to Raise the pH in your Pool - How much Borax to Add:
05:39 Baking Soda to Raise your Swimming Pool's Alkalinity:
05:45 Kem-Tek Super Shock Quick, Trichlor Shock:
05:48 Trichlor 3" Chlorinating Tablets:
06:06 Algae in a pool & How to Treat and Prevent It:

Related Videos from video Outro:
Homeowner Guide to Pool Cleaning tools and equipment:
Advanced Pool Guy (Gal) Tools, Testers & Equipment:

Monday, April 25, 2016

Hayward SharkVac Robotic Pool Cleaner - Review

This is the Hayward SharkVac Series robotic pool cleaner. There are two different models available, the standard SharkVac and the SharkVac XL. The SharkVac is a mid-range priced robotic cleaner and Hayward has packed it with some great features for the price.

I will touch on the differences between the two models since this video features only the standard version. The SharkVac XL comes with more features such as a beach entry sensor and the ability to climb the walls and clean the waterline. The XL also comes with a 3 year warranty. The standard SharkVac only cleans to the coves or partial walls – about 3 ft up, and does not have a beach entry sensor and comes only with a one year warranty. But the price point of the standard version is great.
These are the only differences with the two models. You can also order a caddy cart with both models if you choose. The new models for 2016 come with this really nice blue, black and white color scheme. 

I like the SharkVac for many reasons. It is a top loading cleaner which makes it very easy to maintain. The entire debris chamber comes out and you simply hose it down. The debris chamber is flanked by two cartridge filters that can filter down to 5 microns – think D.E. Filter quality. It has a low profile and moves well in the pool and it doesn't have any issues with the step areas of the pool nor does it flip over.

The SharkVac uses a micro processor which will allow the SharkVac to clean the pool in a pattern that will be efficient and effective. It is no blindly moving back and forth in the pool but uses a program to turn and pivot in the pool, allowing it to really clean the pool instead of covering the same areas over and over again.

The SharkVac is a hefty cleaner coming in at 22 lbs and you can feel the quality build of this thing. They are assembled right here in the USA and Hayward uses only high quality plastic and parts. So the build quality is top notch in it's category.

It works really well in picking up dirt and debris and has a program run of 2 hours since it only cleans mainly the floors and partial walls. The SharkVac XL has a 3 hour run time since it cleans the walls and waterline.

As the SharkVac is running in the pool it is also filtering the water. It pumps 70 gallons of water per minute as it is running so it is also filtering the pool water as well as cleaning the pool. A nice added bonus when using a robotic pool cleaner.

I filmed this video in a fiberglass pool and the SharkVac had no issues with the pool surface. It will work in all pool types which is a plus. I mention it only does partial walls so depending on the slope of your pool will determine how high it goes before reversing. In my testing it goes up about 3 ft and then comes back down to the floor.

If you are looking for an affordable and reliable robotic cleaner the SharkVac would suit you well. It has a great price point, works really well and is built to last.

Related Videos:
Hayward TigerShark® Robotic Pool Cleaner:
Hayward Robotic Pool Cleaners: TigerShark® Series, AquaVac® 500 & SharkVac Series:
AquaVac 500 Robotic Cleaner – Review:

Thursday, April 21, 2016

How to Become a Pool Guy or Pool Gal

In this article I will cover some tips on how to become a pool guy or pool gal. If you are looking to change professions or just want to make some extra money part time, I will go over some points on how to get started. This is an overview video so if you have specific questions feel free to contact me.

I start with the basic four qualities you need to be successful in the business. The first is you need to be a hard worker. This job is not for everyone. There is weather to deal with, wind, rain, heat, humidity , snow. You are doing physical labor all day long. I did a calorie count test and input the amount of weight I lifted all day and added in a rowing machine which is close to skimming the pool all day, and found I burned over 2000 calories per day. It can be rigorous. So if you don't like hard work or working in 100 degree weather, this job might not be for you.

A book I read years ago helped me and it might help you also is called The Go-Getter: A Story That Tells You How To Be One by Peter B. Kyne. It was first published in 1921. This book will give you a good lesson on what it takes to be successful.
I focus on not being lazy because this is one job that if you cut corners it will come back to bite you. A pool can turn from clear blue to a nice shade of green within a week in the Summer time. So if you don't do things with diligence you will be doing twice the work later. When I was formally trained way back in 1988 at the age of 16 the guy that taught me everything would say to me all the time that “You can't be lazy out here” - and it has stuck with me. So many problems can be avoided with hard work and attending to things right away. 

You can learn the trade by watching my YouTube videos and by taking courses in your local area if they are offered. A great way to make sure you are qualified and ready is to get CPO certified. This National certification teaches pool professionals how to properly maintain their pool in accordance with state regulations and industry standards. You can get CPO certified through NSPF – National Swimming Pool Foundation. They also offer Online programs.

Here is their website for more info:
You can also call them for more info: 719-540-9119

People skills are essential because you are running a service business and are providing a specific “work” in return for payment. You are not selling a product, the product is you and the service you provide. So you will make mistakes and customers will get mad and you will need develop good people skills.
Christmas gifts for my customers

I take the trash cans in for some customers, drop off the newspaper in the driveway at their front porch, watch their house and feed their dogs when they are on vacation. Customers trust me so much that they will leave their house unlocked so I can enter and reprogram their automated system when they are at work. There are even customers that wait for me each week so we can chat. Every Christmas I give them a Christmas card and a gift. So remember you are providing a service and not just doing a job.

Good solid business skills are essential. You are in business to make money and you are not just out there “spinning your wheels.” So you need to learn how to draw up a business plan which includes charging enough per pool so that you actually turn a profit. Prices for service vary from region to region so it is up to you to set the best price for your area. It is not smart business practice to undercut your competition because they are probably charging what is needed to turn a profit and if you charge less... instead offer better service for the same price.

Getting your personal finances in order is a great way to get your business finances in order. A great resource that I used successfully was the Dave Ramsey plan to become Debt Free myself. Learning how to run your finances is critical and if you can't manage your personal finances you certainly won't be able to manage your business finances.

Learn more on his website:

The last point I make is being an Honest person. Being a person of Integrity takes a lot of effort. I was never taught as a youngster the value of being honest, so I had to learn it as an adult. If you lie to your customers and they find out, your reputation will be damaged. And in the service business your reputation is everything. I was going to put a pool light in for a customer and discovered that the breaker was simply off. I could have charged the $180 and they would not be the wiser. But I sent them a text message informing them of the good news. I've charged up a D.E. Filter and left the backwash valve open, resulting in 5 lbs of D.E. going back into the pool when I corrected the mistake. I could have told the customer there was a torn grid, instead I told them of my mistake. It took two weeks to get rid of all the D.E, but they respected me for being honest even though their pool was a mess. Honesty is the best policy.

So how do you get started in the business? You can get a truck, open an account at POOLCORP the parent company of SCP and Superior Pool Products and get your equipment and chemicals. Then you can solicit for accounts to service. This is a hard way to get started but doable if you start part-time and build up a route while working at another job. Over time you can build up a good business.

You can also work for a pool company for a year or two and learn the trade. This is also a good method and you can learn a lot that will help you later when you are on your own. Typically you sign a non-compete clause so you will have to get accounts out of the area you are currently working in. This is also a good way to see if you actually like the work and typically I say work a complete season so you know for sure. You might even like working for a company long term and it can provide a very good income.

You can also purchase a full or partial pool route from a Pool Service Broker. You basically purchase pools in your area. If you have the money to invest this is a great way to do it. Look at it like purchasing a business. If you started building a pool route from scratch and already know the trade, this is a great way to make your route bigger and bring in more income. In many cases buying pools makes sense.

To talk to an expert in this field you can contact National Pool Route Sales at 877-766-5757 or on their website:

I also mention in the video that it is essential that you get a good Liability Insurance Policy. This will protect you from lawsuits if you do make a mistake that damages the customers property or person. For instance you add water to the customers pool and forget to turn it off. It floods their house and causes $30,000 in damage. They sue you for $30,000 and you are out of business. Instead , get a policy for less than $80 a month that will transfer the risk from you to the insurance company. It is just good business sense and you will sleep better at night. There are a few to chose from but I use SPPA, they are affordable and offer monthly payments. I highly recommend them.
Learn more at their website:
Or call them at 1-877-599-SPPA

No matter if you have 100 pools or 30 pools – get insured today.

So becoming a pool service professional is a great career choice and I hope you found this helpful. Start today and in five years you will be in a great place financially.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

D.E. Filter Complete Grid Assembly Installation

In this Article I go over a very easy way to replace your D.E. Filter Elements and your Top Manifold at the same time. The product is known by different names depending on the Manufacturer, Pentair calls it a Complete Element Assembly.  Hayward; Grid Element Assembly or Pool Filter Element Cluster. Jandy; Complete Grid Assembly Replacement or Grid Element Assembly.

Each one comes completely assembled and includes all eight Filter Elements or Grids, Top and Bottom Manifold, rods or rod depending and the Air Bleed Assembly. Simply tank off your filter lid, pull the complete old Assembly out and set the new one in. Simple and quick.

This would be perfect if you notice your Top Manifold has a crack and that you also need more than 4 new grids. It makes sense to just replace everything at once and have no more worries.

Of course if the grids are good and you only need a Top Manifold - don't order this product. And if you just need all 8 grids and the Top Manifold looks fine - order just the grids. This is just if you need both at once.

For a pool service tech this is a great product to pick up at your pool wholesaler - I use SCP or Superior. They may need to special order it for you or transfer it between stores.  A great time saver of you are doing a complete filter rebuild.

The life of the filter tank itself will outlast all of the internal filter parts so you may be doing this a couple of times over the life of the pool filter itself. Typically grids will last 4-6 years and the Top Manifold maybe 5-8 years - it really depends on the water pressure in the tank and the specific manufacturer. Pentair seem to be the weakest and crack easily, although their filter tanks are very long lasting. Jandy seems to be the best built but the most expensive to replace.

Here are some videos related to this one:
How Much D.E. (Diatomaceous Earth) do I Add?:
Replacing all Eight Grids in a Top Manifold Filter: THE EASY WAY:
Replacing all Eight Top Manifold D.E. Filter Grids THE HARD WAY:

If you wish to order a Complete Assembly I built a webpage with links for you:!completefilterassembly/w68v0

Monday, April 18, 2016

Aquabot Rapids 2000 Robotic Pool Cleaner

The Aquabot Rapids 2000 is the Next Generation of Robotic Cleaners for Aquabot. There are a lot of great innovations with the Rapids 2000 and Aquabot is moving in the right direction. The Rapids 2000 is a retail pool store cleaner only and is not sold online.

Aquabot has over 45 different robotic models and they are always upgrading and improving their models. The Rapids 2000 is chalk full of great innovative features.

T he video will detail them all but I think they deserve to be unpacked here also.

I will start with the Gyro Navigation System. This is a unique program that will allow the cleaner to stop and pivot, change direction and or reverse at times in the pool. The Gyro System will allow the Rapids 2000 to clean your pool in the most efficient pattern possible and it won't be covering the same areas over and over again. It is a really great innovative cleaning system.

The Rapids 2000 features Aquabot's Dual Drive Motors with a split brush configuration much like the T2 and T4RC. This increases the Rapids cleaning ability as the brushes are driven by separate motors. It is a great feature.

The Rapids is a top loading cleaner with two large fine filter debris chambers. This makes it easy to clean out and the debris and I like the top loading cleaners because it takes only a minute to rinse out the debris chambers making cleaning it out a breeze.

On the bottom is a vibrating brush that will loosen debris and dirt off of the pool surface. It is a pretty unique feature and a nice added touch to an already great robotic cleaner.

The remote works well and it is very responsive. Not the top of the line remote like the one that comes with the Aquabot T4RC but good enough.

The Power Center or Aqua Control is what sets this cleaner apart from the rest. You can program it for your pool shape and choose between floor cleaning only, floor and walls or floor, walls and waterline. You can control how often the cleaner turns in the pool making this a highly adjustable controller. You can also set it to come on every 2,3 or 4 days. There is also an external timer function and the Aqua Control will let you know when the debris chamber is dirty. It is very easy to use and the multi-functions are a great touch.

It comes with a very nice caddy that holds the Aqau Control nicely and this makes it easy to get the cleaner to the poolside. The Rapids, like all of the Aquabot cleaners, is light weight and easy to set in and remove from the pool.

The Rapids 2000 also comes with a two year bumper to bumper warranty.

The overall design of the Aquabot Rapids 2000 is eye catching. It looks like a sleek robotic cleaner, and  it is. It also comes with 60 feet of cable and Aquabot uses the old flexible cord verses the stiff cord found on most of their newer cleaners. The more flexible cable suits the Gyro system well and the Gyro system also helps prevent cable tangling.

The Rapids 2000 is an excellent and well designed robotic cleaner and a glimpse into the next generation of Aquabot Robotic Pool Cleaners. Worth driving to your local pool store to get.

Related Playlist: Aquabot Robotic Pool Cleaners -!aquabot-robotic-cleaners/cv8i

Friday, April 15, 2016

Remington Solar Chlorine-Free “Sun Shock” - For an Algae Free Pool

The Remington Solar Chlorine-Free “Sun Shock” uses lower power output from the Solar Panels on the unit to generate ions which will keep your pool algae free all season long. The Remington Solar is an effective way to prevent algae in your pool and as a side benefit the Anode also attracts calcium and iron which will soften the pool water.

For those opposed to using any copper in your pool for fear of staining the surface this is the safest method I have found thus far. It is very easy to control the Copper Ion output and if it reaches 0.5 ppm simply removing the Remington Solar will prevent any staining. Copper is an excellent way to prevent algae but it does have the one drawback of potentially staining the pool surface if the levels get too high. But in my testing the copper levels didn't approach anywhere near the 0.5 ppm mark in a 15,000 gallon pool.

The Remington Solar comes with everything you need in the box including 30 copper test strips. So you have enough test strips for a typical pool season. It is important to test the Copper levels every week. In my area of Southern California the well water is very hard so the Anode developed a lot of build-up over a week. So it is important to also check and clean the Anode every week if needed.

I like the fact that the Anode attracts calcium and iron. In my test pool I am actually treating the plaster for some roughness from Calcium build-up and I have noticed with the Remington Solar running the calcium problem has really improved. The Anode will slowly erode over time and they are rated to last one to two years. I am thinking in my area 12 months would be the lifespan due to the hard water.

So let me run down some of the benefits of the Remington Solar. With the Anode working at 0.3 ppm it will transform your pool to a Mineral Water which in turn will prevent algae and kill micro-organisms. This means that if you want you can lower the chlorine level down to 1.0 – 1.5 ppm and run your pool with a low chlorine level. You can still maintain your chlorine at 3.0 ppm if you chose and the Remington Solar will still have the same benefits.

I am not opposed to running your pool at a very low chlorine range and since the copper ions will keep algae at bay and also will kill any microorganisms. I just prefer a chlorine level of 3.0 ppm just to make sure everything harmful is killed. If you are sensitive to chlorine, then by all means lower it down to 1.0 ppm with the Remington Solar running in the pool.

If your pool has a continuous algae problem the Remington Solar would be perfect for you. The test pool has step areas that get no Sunlight all year round. In the Spring it would get some algae on the steps, but since putting the Remington Solar in, no algae. It works very effectively.
One unit is good for 22,000 gallons of water so if you have a larger pool you will need two units. If you have a very small pool you may need to remove the unit every few days. But for the average pool owner you can just leave the unit in the pool all season long.

The Remington Solar is easy to use and maintain and offers a lot of benefits. It does introduce Copper into the pool water in very low amounts so be aware of this fact. It would be a good investment if the benefits of the product are attractive to you. It is priced around $150.00 so it is affordable especially if you also plan on reducing your chlorine level.

Order with this coupon code and receive 11% off: spl2016:

To learn more:!remingtonsolarchlorine-freesunshock/msvea

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Hayward TigerShark® Robotic Pool Cleaner

The Hayward TigerShark Robotic Pool Cleaner has a proven track record of durability and reliability and is a top choice for many pool owners. The TigerShark has the typical robotic profile but don't let the exterior fool you, this is one solid robotic pool cleaner. There are three version of the TigerShark available and the one in this video is the TigerShark Plus - it comes with a simple three button remote.

The TigerShark Series consists of three versions:

The standard TigerShark RC9950CUB, the TigerShark Plus RC9955CUB and the TigerShark QC RC9990CUB. The differences are as follows:

TigerShark 1 year warranty
TigerShark Plus 3 year warranty – remote
Tiger Shark QC 3 year warranty – 3 hour cycle and 90 minute Quick Clean mode

All three come with 55 feet of cord, have a 3 hour cleaning cycle, clean the pool floors, walls, coves and waterline, weigh 21.5 lbs and are suitable for all surface types. The only differences between the three are as noted above.

What I like about the TigerShark is that it doesn't mess around – it gets right down to business. It is equipped with microchip technology to clean your pool in the most effective way and it does this very well. It effectively picks up dirt and debris on the pool floors and walls and will really scrub the pools waterline. I like the waterline cleaning because a lot of build-up from debris and pollen is usually at the waterline so the TigerShark will give your pool a complete cleaning.

Although it is traditional bottom loading cleaner, there is no bag. The bottom simply unclasps and you can remove the entire debris chamber. The Debris Chamber is flanked by two reusable cartridge filters that can filter down to 2 microns. Which means the TigerShark filters down about as good as a D.E. Filter. It also has some of the largest – if not the largest debris openings on any cleaner I have tested. It can pick up some good size leaves and debris with no problems.

New for 2016 is the enhanced color scheme which will be featured on all three TigerShark models. I really like the new color scheme myself and it gives the cleaner an updated look. Everything under the cover is still the same as the older model.

The TigerShark Plus in this video as I mentioned comes with a remote. The remote is basically for spot cleaning or to maneuver the cleaner into an area that may be hard to reach. It is really not designed to move the cleaner around the pool, and you shouldn't have to as it does a great job of getting the entire pool covered. Would I recommend the TigerShark Plus over the standard version? I think so. The remote is good to have and the TigerShark Plus also comes with a 3 year warranty verses the 1 year of the standard version.

The power control unit couldn't be any more basic. Simply plug it in and turn it on. The TigerShark will run for 3 hours and then stop. Easy.

A side benefit of the TigerShark is that as it is running it will pump 80 gallons of water per minute. This means that as the cleaner is running in the pool it is also filtering the pool water. Like a self-contained mini filtration system. Since the TigerShark is a self-contained unit, all the dirt and debris it collects will stay in the unit and not enter your pool's filtration system. This means that not only does your pool stay cleaner, your filter will too.

So if you are in the market for a reliable and easy to use cleaner, the TigerShark by Hayward is one you should consider.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Aquabot Turbo T-Jet Robotic Pool Cleaner with Power Washing Jets

The Aquabot Turbo T-Jet is a uniquely designed robotic pool cleaner. The Turbo T-Jet features power washing jets to scrub the pool floors and walls as it moves in the pool. The Turbo T-Jet is designed to clean both the pool floors and the walls to the waterline. One great thing about the T-Jet is that is it priced at most retail locations under $500.00

I really like this cleaner because it has a great price point and it is loaded with features. The jets on the bottom work exceptionally well at loosening up dirt, algae and debris. The high profile and non-marring wheels makes it perfect for all pool surface types. It picks up large debris as well as dirt and filters down to 2 microns.

The timer is also unique. The timer will run the Turbo T-jet for a 2 hour cycle or you can use the continuous run feature. What I really like is how the timer allows you to set in seconds how long the Turbo T-Jet will run before reversing.  This is a great feature and one that will allow you to set the Turbo T-Jet to clean your pool in the most efficient manner. It comes factory set at 30 seconds but you can program it to run forward for up to 90 seconds and as low as 5 seconds before reversing.  You can also adjust the front axle depending on the shape of your pool for a more custom cleaning.  So the Turbo T-jet can be set for any pool surface type and pool shape.

The Turbo T-Jet Power Washing Jets are a great feature. You can see it washing off dirt and debris as it moves along the pool bottom. It is like shooting a garden hose on the pool bottom and walls. Since it has a high profile and non-marring wheels it is great for a vinyl pools also, making the Turbo T-Jet highly versatile.

The Turbo T-Jet features Aquabot's NeverStuck™ System which means the T-Jet won't get hung up in the pool corners or on the pool step area. So no need to babysit this cleaner while it is working in the pool.

The Turbo T-Jet will also climb your pool walls to the waterline - in most cases. It needs a 6 inch slope from floor to wall, so it also will power wash the pool walls for you.

The Turbo T-Jet also pumps 75 gallons of water per minute so as it is operating for the two hour cycle it is also filtering your pool water.  This is a great bonus feature of robotic cleaners.  Since it is a self-contained unit and all the dirt and debris goes into the cleaner so your pool pump and filter stay cleaner all season long.

The Turbo T-Jet weighs under 11 lbs. making it easy to transport to the pool side and easy to remove it from the pool. Most robotic cleaners weigh at least 20 lbs so the T-Jet is not only efficient but slim,

The Turbo T-Jet is designed to use less parts so it is a very long lasting and durable robotic pool cleaner. I like the overall spartan design of the cleaner and the lack of belts and brushes will make maintenance of the Turbo T-Jet much easier than your traditional robotic cleaners.

It is a highly effective cleaner, well designed and with a great price point. The T-Jet comes with a 2 year limited warranty . A solid robotic cleaner and one worth considering.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Hayward Robotic Pool Cleaners: TigerShark® Series, AquaVac® 500 & SharkVac Series

Hayward Pool Products makes three Robotic Pool Cleaners. They make the AquaVac® 500 , TigerShark® Series and the SharkVac Series. The Hayward Robotic Pool Cleaners are well made and assembled here in the USA.

The Hayward Robotic cleaners all feature a debris chamber that is screened in by two cartridge filters. These cartridge filters will filter down to 5 microns – better than most pool filters. The debris chamber is very easy to clean out and you can hose it off in less than a minute. Both the AquaVac 500 and SharkVac are top loading so it is even easier to access the chamber. I really like the cartridge based debris chamber, they are effective, easy and hold a lot of debris.

The power supply is very simple on the TigerShark and SharkVac. Plug it in and the TigerShark will run for 3 hours. The Sharkvac will run for 2 hours. The AquaVac 500 is a little more advanced as you can choose between floor cleaning, wall and waterline and also set a simple program time so the cleaner turns on again later in the week. But all three are very basic and easy to use.

One great benefit of Robotic Pool Cleaners are that as they are running they also filter the pool water. They act as a mini-filtration system for your pool. The Hayward cleaners pump between 70 and 80 gallons per minute as they are running in your pool. So your pool will look that much cleaner after the cleaner has run through the cycle.

All three models have an optional caddy cart that you can also order. It comes in handy when transporting the units back and forth from the pool side to your storage area.

Here is a brief summary of all three cleaners and the available models for each.

The TigerShark Series consists of three versions:

The standard TigerShark RC9950CUB, the TigerShark Plus RC9955CUB and the TigerShark QC RC9990CUB. The differences are as follows:

TigerShark            1 year warranty
TigerShark Plus    3 year warranty  – remote
Tiger Shark QC    3 year warranty  – 3 hour cycle and 90 minute Quick Clean mode

All three come with 55 feet of cord, have a  3 hour cycle, clean the pool floors, walls, coves and waterline, weigh 21.5 lbs and are suitable for all surface types. The only differences between the three are as noted above.

The TigerShark is a very solid cleaner. It moves around the pool like it knows what it is doing. It features intelligent microprocessor-based technology, it cleans the pool top to bottom extremely efficiently.

AquaVac 500 comes in only one model and it can be ordered with or without the caddy cart. The AquaVac 500 cleans the pool floors, walls and waterline. You can use either the 90 minute pool floor mode only or the 3 hour pool floor, walls and waterline mode. You can also schedule a cleaning cycle 1 time every 24, 48 or 72 hours. It comes with a 60 foot Kevlar reinforced cord with a swivel to prevent tangling. This is an intelligent cleaner that will find the most efficient way to clean your pool moving backwards, forward and sideways along the pool wall.  It is a top loading cleaner and comes with a 3 year warranty. It is a top choice for a Robotic Cleaner.

The SharkVacSeries comes with two different models. There are actually four different model numbers since you can order either the SharkVac or SharkVac XL with or without a caddy cart.

The standard SharkVac comes with 50 feet of cord, cleans the pool floors and coves (partial wall), has a 2 hour run time, is good for all pool surfaces and weighs 21.5 lbs. It comes with a 1 year warranty.

The SharkVac XL comes with 60 feet of cord, cleans the pool floors, coves, walls and waterline, has a 3 hour run time, is good for all pool surface types and weighs 21.5 lbs. It comes with a 3 year warranty.  It also features a Beach Entry Sensor and will reverse if the water is too shallow.

Both versions are top loading for the debris chamber. I like the SharkVac for a good entry level Robotic Cleaner or if you have a shallow pool and don't really need the complete wall climbing ability. It cleans very well and features a smart technology that guides it around for the best cleaning pattern.

All three Robotic Cleaners offers great features and are well engineered. If your in the market for a Robotic Pool Cleaner definitely consider one of Hayward's Robotic Pool Cleaners.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Aquabot Turbo T4RC Robotic Pool Cleaner

The Aquabot Turbo T4RC is a truly awesome robotic cleaner. The Turbo T4RC comes with a multifunction remote and for 2016 the Turbo T4RC will come with a Caddy for easy transport. The Turbo T4RC will clean most pools in one hour
The remote control is a great feature of the T4RC and it is very responsive and user friendly. You can change directions, pause the cleaner, make the cleaner climb the wall and adjust the speed of the cleaner. It works very well.

The T4RC will clean your pool floor, walls and waterline and it will leave your pool spotless. The dual drive motors makes this cleaner one of the most effective ones on the market today. This allows the split brush configuration which allows it to move rapidly on the pool bottom and walls increasing it's cleaning efficiency and allowing it to run smoothly and evenly. You can really notice the difference when comparing it to the single roller brush robots. The quad brush design of the T4RC makes this a top of the line cleaner.

The power washing jets that shoot water from the bottom also loosens up dirt and debris allowing the T4RC to collect more debris then other robotic cleaners. The bag in the T4Rc filters down to 2 microns which is better than most pool filters. It will pick up dirt, algae, leaves and other debris and the openings on the bottom are very large.

As the Turbo T4RC is running in the pool it pumps 75 gallons of water per minute. So it acts as a self-contained filtration system and will help to circulate and clean your pool water as it is running. A great bonus feature of robotic cleaners.

It comes with a huge amount of cable, 75 feet, so it is great for very large pools. The timer can be set from one to seven hours or set on continuous run if needed.

The T4RC is a very compact robotic cleaner and weighs only 20 lbs. The handle on top makes it easy to get it in and out of your pool. The handle also controls how long the cleaner spends on the floors verses the walls and waterline. By setting it at different angles you can set the T4RC to spend more time cleaning the floors or if you prefer more time cleaning the waterline of the pool.

The Turbo T4RC is loaded with features and it is also a very easy to operate robotic cleaner. If you are in the market for a top of the line robotic cleaner, the Aquabot Turbo T4RC is one of the top in that category. It comes with a three year limited warranty, year one 100% and year two and three parts but not labor.

The Turbo T4RC would be an excellent choice for a robotic cleaner for your pool.

Key Features & Performance

Product/Pool Features:

  • For In-Ground Pools
  • Shape: Rectangle, Lap, Kidney, L-Shape, Round, Oval
  • Surfaces: Vinyl, Gunite/Concrete, Fiberglass. Except Tile
  • Pool to Wall Transition: 90 Degree Angle


  • Electrical Requirements: 120VAC / 60 Hz
  • Power Consumption: 230W
  • Dimensions: 16" X 15" X 13"
  • Weight: 20 lbs
  • Cable Length: 75'


  • Power Washing Feature


  • Floor and Wall to Waterline
  • Never Stuck System
  • 1-7 Hour Programmable Timer or Continous Run Feature

Water Mixing Capability

  • 75 Gallons per Minute

Filter Type

  • Fine Bag (2 Microns)
  • Bottom Loading


  • 3 Year (1st Year 100%,
    2nd & 3rd Year Limited)


  • Wireless 4-way precision remote control guidance
  • Complete cleaning of ANY pool in as little as 1 hour
  • Self-contained; Works without pool’s filter, hoses or booster pumps
  • Quad brush system breaks down debris and loosens stubborn grime
  • Power washing jets clean what and where brushes and other cleaners can’t
  • Largest capacity reusable filter — most debris with least filter cleanings

Friday, April 1, 2016

Aquabot Supreme Robotic Pool Cleaner -Review

This is the Aquabot Supreme Robotic pool cleaner. It is designed to clean the pool floors, walls and waterline. This is a retail pool store only cleaner and as a bonus for purchasing it at your local pool store Aquabot is offering a 2 year 100% bumper to bumper warranty. That is a great warranty and one of the best offered in the industry.

I like these retail only robotic cleaners because the manufacturers, in this case Aquabot, load these cleaners with extra features to encourage you to purchase it from your local pool store. Many of which are Mom & Pop stores that are up against internet Giants like

Some of the other great features of the Supreme are that it filters down to 2 microns, it features The NeverStuck™ system which means it won't get hung up in the steps or corners of your pool. It also has a cord swivel to prevent cable tangling and comes with a 60 ft long cable. It also will pump 70 gallons per minute so as it is running it is also filtering the water. The timer can be set from 1 to 7 hours so if you have a very large pool you can set it to run longer.

The overall shape of the Supreme is very user friendly and it is very easy to get the cleaner in and out of your pool. I like the rounded shape of the Supreme and it does a superb job as it moves along in the pool. It does a good job of breaking up the time it spends on the walls and waterline with the time it spends on the floor. I would say it is a very balanced cleaner if you like having the walls and waterline cleaned also, the programming won't neglect one area over another.

It is a bottom loading cleaner with a debris bag and though not as convenient as a top loading cleaner, it really catches the dirt and debris. Filtering down to 2 microns means it can pick up algae dust and D.E. Filter element also. It has very large debris openings on the bottom and really picks up dirt and debris well.

I also like how it pauses and pivots in the pool to change direction so that it gets full coverage of the entire pool.

The S-Class cleaners are a well made and the Supreme would be a solid choice.

Key Features & Performance

Product/Pool Features:

  • In-Ground Pool
  • Length: 50'
  • Shape: Rectangle, Lap, Kidney, L-Shape, Round, Oval
  • Surfaces: Vinyl, Gunite/Concrete, Fiberglass, Tile
  • Profile: Sloped
  • Pool to Wall Transition: Curved


  • Electrical Requirements: 120VAC / 60Hz
  • Power Consumption: 120W
  • Cable Length: 60'
  • Non-Marring Wheels


  • Power Washing Jets
  • Rotating Scrubbing Brushes 


  • Floor and Wall to Waterline
  • NeverStuck™ System
  • Adjustable 1-7 Hour Timer or Continuous Run Feature

Water Mixing Capability

  • 70 Gallons per Minute

Filter Type

  • Fine Bag (2 Microns)
  • Bottom Loading


  • 2 Years 100%


  • Vacuums debris off floor, walls, and even grime off the waterline
  • 6800 square feet per hour
  • Works with out booster pumps!