Robotic pool cleaners are expensive. They are probably the most expensive of all the swimming pool cleaning equipment you are likely to own. So it is essential to know how best to look after it correctly and whether it can be left in the pool.
Most manufacturers of robotic pool cleaners do not recommend that they be left in the pool for long periods. Going on vacation can be left in if it has a weekly timer function while you are away (assuming the power supply is protected against possible rain).
I have noticed on the pool forums that while many pool owners leave their robot pool cleaners in their swimming pool for much of the time, most pool owners remove them from the pool water between cleaning cycles. In my view, that is the sensible option.
How long can you leave a robotic pool cleaner in the pool?
Although robotic pool cleaners are designed to spend much time in the water, most manufacturers do not recommend permanently leaving them in the pool.
Maytronics, who manufacture the very popular range of Dolphin pool cleaners, state the following:
“Although it is safe to leave your Dolphin cleaner in the water when not in use, we do not recommend leaving the Dolphin in the pool for extended periods; remove the Dolphin when adding chemicals to the pool until proper chlorine PH and salinity balances are achieved.”Maytronics.com
Taking the robotic cleaner out of the pool when it finishes its cleaning cycle, cleaning the filter and storing it away from direct sunshine will, without doubt, extend its working life.
If you have a cleaner with one of the weekly timers function built-in, and you are going away on vacation for a week or two, it will do it no harm to leave it in the pool while you are away to keep it clean. You should ensure that the power supply (the transformer) is not in a position where it may get wet should there be rain while you are away.
Can you leave pool vacuum in pool overnight? I regularly do this as I often run my robot pool cleaner in the evening after the pool pump switches off. I then remove it and clean it in the morning.
Pros and cons of leaving robot pool cleaners in the pool
There are certainly more cons than pros!
If your robot pool cleaner has a weekly timer function to schedule when it should clean automatically, then this can only happen if you leave it in the pool with the power still attached. Not every robotic cleaner has this feature, though.
- You must remove the robotic cleaner from the pool to empty and clean the filter. Ideally, this should be done after every cleaning cycle, so why put it back in the pool afterward? If you leave the cleaner in permanently, this task will likely be forgotten so the filter may become clogged and less effective.
- If you use a swimming pool cover to keep the heat in your pool, then if you leave the cleaner in the pool while this is on and the cleaning cycle begins, there is a chance that when the pool cleaner climbs the pool wall to the pool surface and cleans the waterline this may damage the solar pool cover or even the pool cleaner itself.
- If robotic pool cleaners are left in a pool constantly, there could be a possible safety issue when swimming, particularly if the power cord is floating across much of the pool, which may get tangled with a swimmer.
- Although they are designed to spend much of their time in pool water, the chemicals in the water will likely, over time, corrode parts of robotic cleaners, particularly if they become out of balance.
If you don’t leave it in the pool where should you keep it?
You may have a cart that the robot pool cleaner sits on that enables you to wheel it around, wind up the cable, and store that, too.
Whether you have one or not, ideally, you should store your pool cleaner in a shady spot away from direct sun, as UV light is never good for any plastic item. I keep mine in my pool’s pump “room.”
To prevent the electrical connection from getting wet, undercover in a shed or a pool house would be ideal.
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What I do with my robotic pool cleaner
Although I may not remove my Dolphin pool cleaner from the pool immediately after it finishes cleaning, and I sometimes forget it and leave it in overnight, I always remove it within 24 hours.
Then I perform the following quick tasks, which I believe will extend the life of my Dolphin:
- I take out and clean the filter using a hose to remove all of the large and small debris
- I use the hose to rinse off the pool water from the cleaner itself
- I coil up the power cable
- I put the cleaner in a small storage unit I have located under cover close to my pool.
If you have a bad back, then you may find this post helpful to lift a robot pool cleaner without straining your back.
Are robotic pool cleaners safe?
Many people worry about the possible dangers of electrocution when using or swimming with a robotic cleaner in the pool. Although a robot pool cleaner is powered by mains electricity (110v or 220v), it passes through a transformer, which reduces this to just 24v before powering the cleaner.
Maytonics states the following:
“The power supply unit (22 to 29V) sends a low voltage current. There is no major risk of electrocution. Make sure that an earth leakage circuit breaker or an earth leakage switch protects the electrical outlet.
Ensure the power supply unit is always positioned at least 12ft (3.5m) from the pool. Keep the power supply away from any stagnant water.”
Can you swim with a robotic pool cleaner in the pool?
You can swim with the pool cleaner still in the pool. However, I wouldn’t recommend swimming while it is cleaning and Maytronics does not recommend swimming while a Dolphin cleaner is working either.
Apart from potential safety concerns, when you swim, you will inevitably stir up any dirt, debris, and dust there may be on the bottom of the pool. This will remain suspended in the water for quite a while before resettling on the pool floor.
While a robotic pool cleaner removes much of the debris in a pool from the bottom, sides and the waterline, it does not remove debris that is suspended in the water. This means that any dirt that you disturb will resettle on the bottom later, after the robotic cleaner has finished its cleaning cycle, so you will have to clean again.
Can you leave a robotic pool cleaner in the pool overnight?
Although it is not recommended to leave robotic pool cleaners in a pool permanently, leaving one in a pool overnight will do it no harm at all.
What is the difference between an automatic pool cleaner and a robot pool cleaner?
Automatic pool cleaners are generally either a suction side cleaner or a pressure side cleaner, both of which use the swimming pool filtration system as a means of power. Robotic cleaners are electrically powered and operate completely indepèndantly from the swimming pool filtration system.
Can you use a robotic pool cleaner on a vinyl pool?
Robotic pool cleaners are safe to use if you have a pool with a vinyl liner. They will do no damage at all.
I have had hot tubs for over 20 years and a pool for the last 10 years. I had to learn how to clean, maintain and fix them the hard way. Since then I have helped many friends and neighbors with their pools and now I want to share everything I have learned with you. About Me