Friday, June 24, 2022

Aquabot Classic Review – Robotic Pool Cleaner

You know, whether it’s Coca Cola or Sonic the Hedgehog games, you tend to not do better than a Classic. The same can be said for the Aquabot Classic, an older model with top of the line specs. I’ve spent the last few weeks looking at the lower end of the Aquabot line, and while they have a whole ream of commendable products down there, the feature rich upper mid range is truly worth your money. For my money the big value came in the switch from wheels to cylinders, and I think you’ll be seeing that line at the bottom in the pros and cons.

So let’s dive right in, let me show you the value in the Classic.

Aquabot Classic Design and Build Quality

Classic BeneathThe Classic might have been superseded by the Platinum in recent years, but it is still a top of the line model from a company that specializes in high quality robotic pool cleaners. The thing you will find in cheaper pool cleaners is the difference in build quality. You can find far less expensive models online, and some that even profess similar function, but the way the machine fits together tells you a lot about the long term viability of the product. Aquabot’s cleaners fit flush, no rattle, and if yours does rattle then their is something wrong, either an ill fitted bag or an actual fault. Aesthetically, I’m not a fan. I love their Breeze line of poll cleaners, but the Classic, and by extension the Platinum and the Junior are not visually appealing to me. They kinda look like tanks, which may have been the design inspiration, but I prefer a sleeker build. The design of the cleaner should not weigh heavily on you though, it’s about personal preference as opposed to actual function. And in terms of function their are few robotic pool cleaners that can match the elegant simplicity at work in the Classic.

Overall I am impressed by the build quality, though less enthused by the aesthetic. I realize it is hard to make a cylinder based cleaner look good, but I have seen a few companies manage it. Not a major draw back, but in these reviews it may end up mattering.

Aquabot Classic Features and Specs

Finally I can rave about all the features included in the build. I started these reviews by looking at a Dolphin pool cleaner, and the features in a high end Dolphin skewed my perspective on what was considered standard in a mid range machine. Thankfully I am back looking at a machine that can do it all. Granted, we are still limited to in ground pools here, but that is pretty much the only downside to the Classic. It will climb your walls, it will scrub the waterline with a specialized scrubber, the brush on the underside of the Classic is powered, for a deep clean. I really cannot overstate how impressed I am with the range of features here. The Classic is a fair sized cleaner though, 21 x 18 x 19 inchesĀ  at 34.7 pounds, so expect to get a lot of use out of the handle. Water filtration speed is still 4200 gallons per hour, but the total cycle time is a little under six hours. That is a little longer than most, but considering the quality of clean on offer it is not unreasonable. The only folk who should not at least consider the Classic are those with an above ground pool, everyone else should at least be swayed by the value on offer here.

Impressive is the only word I can really use here. It really does do it all. High end machines set great stock by their remote control and alternative cycles, but they are pretty bells and whistles, nice to have but by no means required. The Classic has all of the required features to clean your pool well, and that is all that really matters.

Aquabot Classic Ease of Use

There are pool cleaners out there that are cumbersome to use, looking at you Nautilus, it does not mean they are bad, simply that a touch more though may have gone a long way. with the Classic there are essentially no issues in terms of use. You plug the machine in and dump it in the water. It will do the rest for you. I have stated in the past that i am not a fan of bottom loading filtration bags, but I realize this is not a major fault on the part of the pool cleaner. All of the robotic pool cleaners that I review are of the plug and play variety, there are some builds out there that need an external pump to function, and must be connected to your pool pump system, but I shy away from those simply due to their ease of use. The side mounted handles o the Classic were an odd choice, but getting it out of the pool is not that much more cumbersome than any other.

I would love to have seen the handle mounted on top, and I would have also liked to see the filter bags be top loaded, but they are minor issues overall.

Aquabot Classic Pricing

Classic in waterThis is where the choice is made. if the Classic does everything you want a pool cleaner to do, and I would say that it does, then the price of the machine is the only real deciding factor. $683.99 may sound like a heft price, but I have seen robotic pool cleaners go for as much as $4000, so you can see why I call this the lower mid range pool cleaner section. The thing we must all take into account is the value of our time. A pool cleaner frees up several hours our of your week. How much are those hours worth to you? I think it is easy to argue that the Classic would have paid you back in time within a year. The warranty is not bad, better than most actually. 2 years coverage, though it is only full coverage in the first year. The 2nd year is limited, but the terms are all spelled out in simple English. I am still critical of their limitedĀ  warranty, and oddly enough see limited value in it, but it is still better to have it than not. Finally you have to work out how much it will cost to run,. the price of electricity varies so find out out the cost per kilowatt hour is important. With a 230W power draw I do no expect the Classic to cost you all that much even in the long term. Bear in mind that there is free shipping on all Aquabot products.

A good price here. The amount of features you get are well worth $700. If you need a pool to clean your walls then this is the figure you will be mulling over I think.

Aquabot Classic Conclusion

The Classic is a great machine hampered only by handle placements and timescales. Those are not huge issues though, and I can still recommend this to those who need it. Does it all, well, and for a good price.

Pros:

  • Automatic, requires no supervision.
  • Works out of the box, no need to connect it to a pool pump.
  • Runs quiet
  • Cleans upper pool wall, fantastic.
  • Active brush, deep cleans.
  • Top mounted handle is great.

Cons:

  • Cable is a little cumbersome
  • In ground pools only.
  • Bottom loader, not a fan.
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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