Friday, December 2, 2022

Aquabot Pool Rover Jr. – 2018 Pool Cleaner Review

Moving away from the Maytronic Dolphin series of pool cleaners to have a look at a few budget options. The Pool Rover Jr from Aquabot may be low on price, but it is no slouch in the water. Unlike the other robotic pool cleaners I have looked at this last few weeks, the Pool Rover Jr is an above ground cleaner, so if you have an in ground pool you will have to look elsewhere. In addition, this pool cleaner is best used in vinyl bottomed round pools, as the 40ft cable length would limit its effectiveness in larger pools.

Now that I have those issues out of the way, if you are still on board, let’s take a more in depth look at the product.

Aquabot Pool Rover Jr Design and Build Quality

Pool rover designI’m very used to the Dolphin design now, with its rotating cylinder propulsion system, so when I now go back to look at the more common design I am a little put off by it. The vast majority of robotic pool cleaners use wheels, they are an easy solution to he problem, but they all come with an unfortunate caveat. Wheeled cleaners are not quite as good at cleaning walls. Aesthetically the Rover Jr looks okay. Blue plastic is the order of the day here, with a wonderfully patriotic flag decal on the side. It weighs 26 pounds, so a sturdy device at the very least, but as the cheapest option in the Aquabot line, it lacks the flair seen in the more expensive models.

It will get the job done, but t is hardly a masterpiece in design. It looks like what it is, and inexpensive pool cleaning solution.

Aquabot Pool Rover Jr Features and Specs

Size wise we are looking at 21 x 18 x 19, so a compact little machine, but hefty enough at 26 pounds. Bear in mind that this is the budget option, and as a result it is a little feature lite, not only in terms of bells and whistles, but also in its core functions. It only works in above ground pools, and works best in the smaller circular pools. A 40 foot cable limits its utility, especially when compared to the 60 foot cable that comes standard with the Dolphin range. The cable itself is more than a little bit cumbersome too, not being an anti-tangle swivel cable seen in the more expensive Aquabot robotic pool cleaners. It cannot clean walls either, only floors, but the suction is impressive, able to cleanse 4,200 gallons per hour. Rather than the film filtration method used in the Dolphin line the Aquabot Pool Rover Jr uses the more common bag system. The bag is reusable to an extent, but I would still advise replacing it every so often. The standard cleaning cycle is 2 hours, though it does have a far faster 30 min cycle too.

Overall, for what you get this is great. It can do the bare essentials of pool maintenance and cut your weekly clean down to a few minutes. In order to maximize the effectiveness of the pool cleaning robot I would advise you give the walls a thorough scrub before letting the bot do its thing.

Aquabot Pool Rover Jr Ease of Use

As is customary in the world of pool cleaning robots, using the thing is easy. You plug it in, drop it in the water and you are good. Come back 2 hours later to a clean pool. Where the difficulty can arise is getting it out again, and in the case of the Jr, clearing the bag. I ma happy to say that removing it from your pool is quick and easy, 26 pounds is lighter than many pool cleaners after all. Clearing the bag takes a little getting used to, as the clasps can be somewhat difficult to figure out, but a quick read of the instruction should still be all you need. In this section a lack of features can be seen as a good thing. It might do less overall, but that just means there is less for you to figure out.

I have seen some overly complicated designs, thankfully this isn’t one. You would be hard pressed to find a robotic pool cleaner that is easier to use.

Aquabot Pool Rover Jr Pricing

Pool rover jr in poolThe price is where the decision is made for most of us. The average price of a robotic pool cleaner is in the half grand area, and some of the best go for in excess of $3,000. This though is marketing to those looking for a cheap and quick solution. I have found it online for under $300, making the least expensive option I have looked at thus far. Shipping is free, and the hour to hour running cost is low. The only long term expense would be replacement bags. I know, Aquabot claim that the bag is reusable, but I would never refer to such as infinitely so, best to look into replacements early. Replacement bags that fit the Aquabot Pool Rover Jr are quite cheap, around $20, I would recommend you just factor it into the initial purchase but it’s up to you. Shipping tends to be free, which is a big plus, but the warranty is a mere year. While it might be common for that to be the case, it is also a limited warranty, meaning it does not cover every eventuality. Reading through the warranty is a riot though, as they specifically claim that Acts of God, like an earthquake, would void it.

In all, an impressive price, excellent shipping, and a year long warranty that could be better, but is at least better than nothing.

Aquabot Pool Rover Jr Conclusion

You already know if this is the robotic pool cleaner for you. You must have an above ground pool of less than 30 feet in length, or 27 feet in diameter. You must not mind having to clean the walls yourself, and you must be able to afford $300. The Aquabot Pool Rover Jr is far from the best option out there, nor is it the most versatile, but for a select few clientele it can be exactly what you are looking for.

Pros:

  • Automatic, requires no supervision.
  • Works out of the box, no need to connect it to a pool pump.
  • Lowest price I have review thus far.
  • Ultra quiet
  • Specialized
  • A moderately light weight machine.

Cons:

  • Does not do walls.
  • Above ground pools only.
  • Short cable limits it further.
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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