This robotic pool cleaner takes care of the most hated chore in my house
Can this robotic pool cleaner make owning a pool more enjoyable?
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While owning a pool can create happy memories, maintaining it generates extra housework for most people. In addition to monitoring your water’s pH, you’ll probably need to find the right pool vacuum cleaner to efficiently and effortlessly pick up debris and scrub the pool walls.
Of all the different types available, robotic pool cleaners are probably the best in terms of ease of use, as they don’t depend on being hooked up to an external pool pump, which in the long run may also save you some money. Curious about how it performs, I tried a robotic pool cleaner from Hayward at my in-laws’ house in Massachusetts—here’s how it went.
What is the Hayward AquaVac 6 Series 650 Robotic Pool Cleaner?
Hayward is known for creating the best swimming pool cleaning solutions on the market and their AquaVac 6 Series Robotic pool cleaner, a truly one-of-its-kind device, is no exception. This feature-packed gadget is made for people who want to maintain their pools with ease. Though you may need to go to a pool professional for the expert-line cleaners, you can find this similar model online.
The Spintech Filterless Technology gives the cleaning base 18-hydrocyclone suction power to pick up any small debris it detects, while the Hexadrive Adaptive Traction system can help it move easily over obstacles on its unique six-roller drive. What’s more, with gyroscope-controlled steering, the pool cleaner can cleverly navigate the pool surface and go up and down the walls while thoroughly scrubbing them.
My in-laws’ pool isn’t in a standard rectangular pool shape and it has curved ends and a small section cut out for an outdoor jacuzzi. The irregularity makes this pool ideal for testing robotic pool cleaners, as the geometry poses more challenges to test the cleaner’s true ability to detect stairs, climb up and down the walls, and make sure the bottom of the pool free of debris after a cycle of cleaning.
What we like
First, this AquaVac is easy to assemble. I put it together in under 10 minutes with the help of the instruction manual. The WiFi-enabled cleaner has an app for both iOS and Android devices, which was easy to set up. I like this feature as it allows me to monitor the robotic cleaner remotely. The app looks exactly like the interface of the control unit so we had no problem understanding how to give commands from the app.
Its ability to clean is impressive. Not only did it clean the entire 200-square-foot pool in three hours, but it also scrubbed the curved walls clean. Its strong suction power gives the cleaner the ability to pick up debris from the floor and its filterless system makes it extra convenient when it comes to cleaning up the robot itself.
If you want to have the pool cleaned by a particular time, you can even set up a cleaning schedule from your phone and expect the pool to be sparkling clean by the time you indicate.
The touchfree debris canister makes dumping the waste a breeze, as the simple quick release button lets you dispose of the debris without touching it. You can lift the handle of the debris canister and squeeze the red knob on the canister to open the bottom lid and flush out the waste.
What we don’t like
Though it’s solidly built, this pool cleaner isn’t without flaws. For a robotic vacuum for swimming pools, the control unit cord is a bit too short, as we only had outlets in the tool shed two yards from the pool. To get the cleaner going, the control unit has to be plugged into a power supply at all times, which resulted in losing two yards of cord length, limiting the cleaner’s reach in the pool. We ended up using an extension cord but this method isn’t recommended by the manufacturer. It's also not safe to swim in the pool while it's running.
Another minor annoyance was how difficult it was to retrieve the cleaner. We followed the instructions on the user manual that directed us to give the cleaner the “back” command by pulling the cord three times. However, the pulling did nothing for us so we had to manually drag the vacuum base back towards ourselves, which wasn’t a huge deal but was certainly more strenuous than the auto-return feature advertised.
Should you get the Hayward AquaVac Series 6 robotic pool cleaner?
If you own a wide and deep pool that’s prone to debris from surrounding shrubs and trees, then this robotic pool cleaner can be extremely helpful, as hiring a pool professional right now may be difficult. It creates a pleasant experience for customers who dread the hassle of connecting hoses and adjusting valves, as is required with some other pool cleaners, and requires minimal maintenance, as you won’t need to rinse or replace any filters. Additionally, since it doesn’t need to be connected to your water filter and pump, you may end up saving money on electricity and wear and tear in the long run.
Alternatively, if your pool is already set up with a pump, outlet, and valves for a suction- or pressure-type pool cleaner, cleaners of this variety can keep your pool similarly clean at a more affordable price point.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.