If you have had your above ground pool for a while, you spend 2-4 hours weekly checking filters, flushing, adjusting chemicals and cleaning. Hiring outside pool maintenance is costly, often $100 per hour or more.
However, the right tools can cut your work time by half and give you the lovely sparkling water you want. A robotic cleaner can reduce your cleaning by half, cleaning in 1-2 hours automatically, even an above ground pool.
So, if you're searching for the best above ground robotic pool cleaners then, we can help you find the right one.
Is a Robotic Pool Cleaner Worth It?
If you balance the cost of a robotic cleaner against the cost of a service, it is certainly worth the price. It will pay for itself in less than 20 weeks. In addition, these will do a better job cleaning than you can and will also catch things that would usually go into the skimmer or pool filters.
Most can be set for automatic cleaning on a schedule. Even saving your own time at your usual pay level would be covered within one season.
These handy helpers work like the robot vacuums on floors, but in your pool, and they also filter the water as they go. They are scrubbers rather than suction side, and they do vacuum even leaves and twigs, so they clean better. They do not use your pool filters and reduce or eliminate the needs for backwashing.
None will climb the walls of your above ground pool as that could damage your liner, so scrub your sides with a spin cleaner, especially at the water line, before you set the robot to clean, so it can pick up that debris too.
Finally, the automatic pool cleaners are easy enough to use and so efficient at circulating the water that they will prevent algae growth and save on pool chemicals and softeners.
Best above ground robotic Pool cleaners Reviews:
1. Dolphin Nautilus CC: Best For Large Above Ground Pool
- Cable length: 50 feet
- Cleaning Cycle Time: 2 hours
- Cleaning Coverage: Floors and Walls
This guy costs less than its big brothers, but may need more than one pass to get to your standard of clean. It scrubs up to 33 feet and can also clean inground pools. You can program automatic cleaning daily, every other or every three days. This efficient energy saver has a high-speed scrubber on a continuous track like a tiny battle tank.
The cable will not tangle, and it automatically shuts off when the cycle is complete, so cleaning is set and forget. The top access easy clean filter traps things as small as pollen. You can also add the ultrafine filter (that comes seperately) for capturing more tiny particles like-sand.
It puts no strain on your pump or pool filters and requires no hoses. Just drop it in and it sinks slowly and does all the work. It is light at 14 lbs. and easy to use and comes with a 2 year warranty.
The lower reviews were for in ground pool use because the traction is not always enough for climbing and a few users thought it was a bit slow.
However, this dolphin pool robot is one of the top rated automatic pool cleaners for above ground pools. Highly recommended for pool owners who love to save times, and simplicity in pool maintanance.
2. Dolphin E10 Automatic Pool Cleaner: Best For Smaller Pool
- Cable length: 40 feet
- Cleaning Cycle Time: 1.5 hours
- Cleaning Coverage: Floor only
The Dolphin E10 was custom made for small above ground pools up to 32 feet. It uses no hoses or pumps to scrub your pool crystal clear in 90 minutes flat for the princely sum of 7.5 cents.
The two tank-like roadwheels power this little giant forward and also help turn the two perfectly matched scrubbers between them that scour your pool bottom until it sparkles.
The oversized filter will catch things as small as pollen. Its fine craftsmanship allows the E10 to outlast its 2 year warranty by a significant amount of time. The extra large filter box should accommodate the whole operation unless you have a dead forest and a few insect colonies in your pool. This dolphin robotic pool cleaner is easy to handle and a breeze to clean.
Most of the user reviews are positive, and raved about its longivity (more than two season). This simple user friendly pool cleaner is your best bet if you want to remove both small and large size debris from the pool bottom.
3. Dolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaner: Best For Oversized Debris
- Cable length: 40 Ft
- Cleaning coverage: Floors only
- Cleaning Cycle Time: 1.5 hours
What you escape with the Dolphin Escape is hours of drudgery for a pool up to 30 feet. It delivers high performance at a low energy cost. The oversize debris cartridge holds 60% more than most, eliminating any need to empty mid-cycle. It's one of the best robotic pool cleaners for leaves and large debris.
Two separate motors power the tank-like hyper grip tracks to pull the wide active scrubbing brushes to scour even the most difficult scum.
The gapless double scrubber misses nothing and Smartnav technology eliminates double scrubbing. The tank like crawlers with the gripping scrubbers work like posi track on a Cadillac, yet it pops a wheelie to turn efficiently.
This smart pool bot is 14 lbs. and easy to use, but leaves your pool sparkling in 2 hours or less for 5 cents per hour.
One reviewer torture tested it after a winter of no maintenance attention to the pool, and it passed with flying colors. Another said it misses nothing, but it might need the superfine extra filter to get the tiniest debris or pollen and dust. You probably won’t need the two year warranty.
4. Paxcess Cordless Robotic Pool Cleaner: Best Budget
- Cleaning coverage: Floor only
- Charging Time: 4-6 hours
- Cleaning Time: Max 1.5 hours
The easy to see difference with this robotic pool cleaner is the missing cord. This little bot works for 90 minutes of continuous use on a rechargeable battery that is carefully sealed off to prevent water damage.
You have no cord to tangle and no need for an outlet near the pool. Best if all it is well below $500. It is a speedy and powerful cleaner with two large suction doors and a strong brush that gets debris, leaves and even sand.
It pushes itself along its way as it blows out the water it sucked in with the trash, thus saving energy too. You can adjust the nozzle to make the tracking efficient and not overlapping. It will dock at pool’s edge when it’s done or low on power. The floating handle lets you easily pull it out, and it charges completely in 4-6 hours This may be all you need for an above ground pool, and it is a bargain.
5. Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior: Best For Fine Particles
This gets best bang for your Buck dues to its versatility and its many features at a low price point. It covers up to 60 feet for both inground and above ground pools. It is the best for all shapes, especially modern art, as it maps the pool floor before cleaning. However, seats can cause a problem.
Energy efficient dual pumps vacuum and push while scrubbing and circulating 85 gallons of water per minute. Its 4-wheel drive traction is great for navigating slopes and promoting super scrubbing. High-capacity filters and debris storage allow completion of a sweep before emptying the baskets unless your pool has a forest in it.
This highly efficient pool robot is capable of trapping dead algae, and large leaves of your above ground pools bottom. It's very fast and suitable for all kinds of pool surfaces.
One user said: The fiber filter looks a little fragile, so don’t use pressure to clean it. It will take a bit of time to do and maybe you want to buy an extra filter for it just in case. It is the best I have owned, so I hope it outlasts the two-year limited and one year total coverage warranties.
6. Hayward RC9742CUBY SharkVac
This cleaner is great for above ground or flat bottom and slightly sloping inground pools. It uses smart steering to clean every square inch of the bottom, but does not climb walls. It does not need the pool’s filtration system, and has an easily cleaned top access filter trap, reducing the need for backwash.
This energy efficient pool robot performs very well for the price tag. It can pick up small to large size of pool debris. However, it doesn't shuts off itself (after each cleaning cycle). You'll need to do that manually as it comes with a on/off switch.
Fewer bells and whistles means fewer problems and few were reported, but one reviewer was especially poetic,
“He did his job - and did it quite well – until about the dozen times mark.Then he resigned immediately, and without warning, leaving me in the lurch. I'm still in therapy.”
Most reviews were good. It comes with a necessary caddy, as it is not a lightweight.
7. AIPER Cordless Robotic Pool Cleaner
This tiny bot brings a lot to like, including the ability to do both inground pools to 17 feet and above ground pools up to 35 feet diameter. Its small footprint fits into odd turns nicely. There are no hoses or cords. It cleans up to 16 meters per minute for 90 minutes on one charge and it charges in 4 hours.
It engenders either love or hate in users, as it can be a boon to tired users or a total loss to even more tired users. Test it out while your warranty is good. However, at this price level it is a good buy for an above ground pool or a flat inground one.
It does not climb, and it does use your above ground pool pump to scoot around, but it is a good cleaner. With an upgraded basket you won’t have to clean before it is done and self-parked at your pool’s edge. It also parks if low on power.
What to Consider When Shopping for the Best Above Ground Pool Robotic Cleaner:
1. Pool size and shape
This matters, because some robotic cleaners cannot navigate odd shapes, slopes or seats. Also, each has a limitation on how far it can go due to the need for power or the charge of its battery. Do not buy one that is too small for your pool.
2. Efficient filtration system
This is critical. If the robot cannot capture or filter the invaders in your pool you will not get a sparkling healthful pool. Your place may have towering trees that shed leaves and twigs, while others places have fine pollen or sand in the air. The filters in your cleaner determine how large or small matter is treated.
Some robotic cleaners offer upgrades for finer particulates. Some filters are easy to clean and some are much more work, but even with that these save you a lot of time and trouble.
Be sure your choice can go where you need it. Some robotic cleaners cannot navigate certain shapes well or make corners. Others need to be dragged to the edge to retrieve, and some park themselves for easy removal.
4. Power consumption
Most of these robotic cleaners are efficient and consume truly little power due to their design, using the movement of the water to move the bot. However, there are a couple of dinosaurs out there. Therefore, read users reviews online to know about the energy consumption of any pool bot.
5. Setup & maintenance
Be sure that you are ready for the type and amount of maintenance your bot will need. It is far less work than manual cleaning, but it does take some time.
6. Warranty and longevity
None of these are dirt cheap, so the warranty should fit the investment. Check the reviews for too many failures and see if the warranty was honored and the service was quick and easy. Frankly, for a purchase this size you should put the robotic pool cleaner through its paces enough to see how stable it is when you first get it. I would not buy one too long before pool season so that you get the best testing out of it.
These six models were the best we could find for above ground pools. They range from a few hundred dollars to more than a thousand, and each has its own special characteristics and features. Be sure to match your pool with the best above ground robotic pool cleaner for size and construction materials. Also make sure you will be able to carry it.
Q1: Can you use a robotic pool cleaner in an above ground pool?
Yes, all of these can be used in above ground pools, but not all available models can.
Q2: Can you use a dolphin pool cleaner in an above ground pool?
Absolutely, most of their models do both. Check the facts before you buy.
Q3: Can you use a robotic pool cleaner in a vinyl pool?
Yes, but not all of them. Some models are too rough for vinyl or they cannot get enough traction to move around. Check the product details.
Q4: How long do robotic pool cleaners last?
This varies. They should last past their warranty, but some do, and some don’t. Check reviews to see how many people complain of short serviceability. Also look for comments on the service offered by the company.