My wife and I have owned a pool with and without a robotic vacuum cleaner.
Whether you go with the Dolphin Premier or not, we would not recommend being without some kind of robotic vacuum. These waterproof Roomba-esque machines are extremely helpful when it comes to owning a pool, and they dramatically reduce your workload.
However, we are going to focus specifically on the Dolphin Premier.
This is my full Dolphin Premier robotic pool cleaner review, based on actual use and ownership of the device.
Read more: Are pool vacuums worth it?
You can browse the most recent version of the Dolphin via the Amazon link below:
How does it work?
Since we bought our Dolphin used, we didn’t have to unbox it or set it up. It came ready to go in three parts:
- Dock/platform with electrical cord
- Waterproof connection cable (connects Dolphin to electrical dock)
- Vacuum unit (the actual Dolphin)
First, we plug the docking unit into a power source (we have several isolated outlets near our pool), then we run the water proof cable from the dock to the Dolphin Premier cleaning unit.
There are two filters in the Dolphin (I’m planning to add photos of these later) that need to be assembled and placed in the unit, but that’s pretty easy and doesn’t take long to figure out. It’s not something you need the manual for.
Once you have everything hooked up, you simply drop the unit into the pool in the shallow end and let it sink to the bottom.
While there are different settings you can use, I simply turn the unit on – from the power dock – and then press a button with dice next to it, which I assume means the unit cleans randomly.
From there, your work is done. The get up-and-running process takes less than 10 minutes.
You have to clean the filters, but I just use a hose to spray them out, which needs to be done maybe every two or three cleanings and only takes a few minutes. Otherwise, you just plug the unit in and throw it into the pool whenever you want to clean things up.
Cleaning ability/finish product
But how does it perform? What is the finished product like?
I’ll be honest – when my wife bought this thing, I was skeptical that it could do the job. We had been manually vacuuming for awhile, which was difficult and never got the pool fully clean. Could a robot do the job better without physical strength behind it?
Boy, was my skepticism poorly placed.
The Dolphin Premier cleaned our pool better than I ever could have hoped to do with the manual vacuum.
Dirt and grime that had never come off was gone and the floor looked cleaner than I ever thought would have been possible. After about 30-40 minutes of cleaning, there was little if any visible residue on the floor of the pool.
The unit got dirt, leaves, grime, and any sort of residue that rested on the pool’s floor, leaving it cleaner than I had ever seen it.
Our pool is a bit old and needs a new liner, which means the floor is a bit dirtier than most, but the Dolphin get it close to the point where it looked new without any obvious blemishes.
Another nice surprise about the Dolphin is that is actually scales and cleans the walls of your pool.
Our pool has a diving board with a deep end, which means the pool is slanted before going into a vertical climb. The Dolphin easily scales the slanted section, but then also scales the vertical wall and scrubs the walls near the perimeter of the pool.
This keeps the walls extremely clean, negating the need for manual scrubbing or vacuuming.
Other Benefits of the Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner
There are some other benefits that were unexpected.
1. Floating Residue Reduced
While the Dolphin isn’t designed to skim or clean the floating residue of your pool, it does reduce it by keeping the rest of the pool cleaner. We noticed less floating leaves and bugs the more we used the unit.
2. Easier to Keep Chemicals Balanced
We also noticed that as we used the Dolphin, it was easier to maintain chemicals and keep the pH of our water balanced. Not sure if that’s directly related, but keeping the pool cleaner certainly shouldn’t hurt the process.
How we bought our Dolphin
As I alluded to earlier, we bought our Dolphin pool vacuum used. A lady in our neighborhood was selling one on Facebook classifieds, which we picked up for around $700. That was roughly half what a new one costs, though this was also a slightly older version than what is current.
But after using the Dolphin, I would have been willing to pay full price.
It just saves you so much time and energy, all while doing a better job cleaning your pool than I could do with a hand-held pool vacuum.
If you can luck out like we did and get one used, I highly recommend it. If not, going new isn’t bad either.
Read more: Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner Price
Concluding our Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner Review
For in-ground pools, or even larger above-ground pools, I’ve come to believe it’s critical to have a cleaning tool like this one. And while there are other robotic pool vacuums out there, the Dolphin Premier seems to be a cut above and the best available in its class.
Our experience has certainly been a positive one, so we’d recommend the Dolphin to other pool owners as well.
If you have questions, feel free to drop them in the comments section below and I’ll talk to you there.
I installed my inground pool 3 years ago and after 1 summer of trying to manually keep up I purchased the Dolphin premier. Instantly impressed BUT I just today had a pool guy inspect for a leak and he found many wear areas some leaking that he said is caused by this pool cleaner. He called it out by name without seeing it. Have you noticed anything like that? I am now too good for manually cleaning my pool any suggestions would be appreciated.
He thought the Dolphin was causing that?? I’ve never heard that and it definitely hasn’t happened with ours. We have an older model, but still. How bad are the leaks?