Thursday, September 29, 2022

Aquabot Junior 2018 Review – Robotic Pool Cleaners

This week is all about the Aquabot line. I have taken an in depth look at every product they make, and they all seem to have a specific niche. That is always a good thing, means I can recommend  different products to different consumers. I would argue that some of the lower end products might lack overall utility, their mid range pool cleaners tend to be fantastic. Today I’ll be taking a closer look at the Aquabot Junior, a mid range pool cleaner designed for in ground pools. The machine comes with a few added features above the rover series, greatly increasing its utility.

So let’s dig deep and see if the Aquabot Junior is worth your money.

Aquabot Junior Design and Build Quality

Junior beneathAquabot has made a name or itself in the robotic pool cleaner business with their high quality builds and wide range of products. They really do have something for everyone’s needs and budget, and always maintain a high build quality. The vanilla Junior is no different. It feels sturdy, if you buy truly low end import products you tend to feel a slight rattle from parts not fitting together flush, but that is never the case with an Aquabot cleaner, and if you find you cleaner to be less robust than you expect then by all means make use of you warranty, it is what it’s there for after all. In saying all that, the look of the Junior leaves a lot to be desired. I do love the propulsion system, the Junior series marks the shift in Aquabot’s design philosophy away from wheels and on to high traction cylinders. But the overall look pales in comparison to the Breeze series, in my mind their best looking robotic pool cleaner. Not that important, but I find a company that pays attention to all aspects of the build process to be one slightly more deserving of trust.

In all, Aquabot’s trademark high build quality, but lacking a little in the looks department. If you are after a robotic pool cleaner that looks a bit like a tank though, you are in luck.

Aquabot Junior Features and Specs

The first thing that has to be said regarding any robotic pool cleaner is what kind of pool it works in. The Junior is an in ground pool cleaner, so if you have an above ground pool you would be best looking elsewhere. Another major caveat to buying into the Junior is it’s lack of wall cleaning. Not many mid range pool cleaners can clan the whole wall, most managing the lower sections just fine, so if that is a major need for you then again, better to look at my other reviews. I am happy to say that the lower pool wall cleaning function in the Junior is not limited to pool with a curved bottom, a 90 degree incline is easily navigated by this machine. Onto the positive side of things now, it is very light, 16.5 pounds out of the box, and somewhat petite too, 17 x 14.5 x 10 inches. It can process 4200 gallons of water per hour, tend to be the standard these days though. The small size of the Junior does mean that an normal deep cleaning cycle will last 4 hours. The cable is 40′, so bear the size of your pool in mind when you are shopping. It uses a bag filtration system, and the bags are easy to clean and reusable, though I would still advise you buy a few spares.

Overall, a bare bones experience that seems to be selling itself on its size. for such a small machine it somehow manages to clean deep and well, might be the added brush at the base that does that. If you are looking for something basic, that still provides a top notch cleaning experience then the Junior might be the robotic cleaner you are looking for.

Aquabot Junior Ease of Use

All robotic pool cleaners that I recommend are super easy to use. there are options on the market that require an external pu8mp, usually your own pool pump system needs to be connected to the bot, but I find those solutions to offer only a slight increase in cleaning power at the expense of a lengthy set up time. The Junior is a plug and play solution. It already has all it needs to clean your pool under its hood. It does use a bottom loading bag, which I am not a fan of, but changing bags is not excessively difficult as a result. A nice firm handle on either side is good to see, but seen as the thing is so light it hardly seems necessary.

The usual applies here. Very easy to use, no real differences in terms of operation between this robotic pool cleaner and any other in the Aquabot range, at least until we get to the cleaners that cost a few grand at the very least.

Aquabot Junior Pricing

Junior UnderwaterHere’s the section that will make or break your decision. If the product does what you need and the price is right then fantastic. If you look in the right places online you can find it for under $500 a fair amount of the time. Generally the cheapest we’ve found online is at Amazon.com and you can get it with all discounts automatically applied by clicking here. The thing that needs to be considered is how much you value your time. Sub $500 is a great price of a pool cleaner, and it is guaranteed to save you time and effort, I would then argue that it will have paid you back the money in under a year. Add in the warranty, a slightly better one than usual here. A full years coverage, unlimited. Most of the lower end Aquabot cleaners come with a limited warranty, and the exceptions included in that document are a little ridiculous. The final price to think about is the electrical price. It varies from pace to place, that is you need to know the price per kilowatt hour in your area, and the power consumption here is 230W, so a little more power hungry than the lower end models too. Bear in mind that there is free shipping on all Aquabot products.

I think the value on offer here is easy to see. while I might want a few extra features, i also realize that they are not useful to everyone. If you see this machine doing everything you want out of a robotic pool cleaner then by all means buy away. If not, then I’m sure I have an article on one that would suit you  better.

Aquabot Junior Conclusion

In all I was somewhat impressed by the Junior. If you do not mind the restrictions this can be a great buy, and is certain to save you time and long term effort. But I feel a lack of features in certain areas limits its utility. Can’t recommend this one as strongly as I can others I’m afraid.

Pros:

  • Automatic, requires no supervision.
  • Works out of the box, no need to connect it to a pool pump.
  • Silent
  • Built i brush for deep clean
  • Can at least clean the lower wall

Cons:

  • Cannot clean the upper wall
  • In ground pools only.
  • The cable is not tangle resistant.

To check out the current online prices for the Aquabot Junior and see all the features click here! 

Barry W Stanton
Irish born writer who drinks too much caffeine and reads too much Terry Pratchett. I enjoy long walks on the server and Korean cuisine.
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