Editor Rating 4.4/5:
Things We Liked
- Large filter bag
- 2 hour auto shutoff
- Cleans steps
Things We Didn't Like
- Doesn't clean large debris
- Chord can get tangled
You want to save time. You want to save money. And If you're looking for a robotic cleaner then all I can say is great choice.
As the newest type type of cleaner robotic ones are the best because they don't rely on the pool pressure at all and just require an electrical outlet which means they are great for above ground pools (click here to see great top above ground swimming pool cleaners) and inground pools. Robotic swimming pool cleaners are also low maintenance and are truly "robotic".
The SmartPool SmartKleen won our award of "Best Affordable" this means that it gives a good clean for a great price and is the most cost efficient solution to your pool's needs. It may not be as great as the Dolphin Nautilus, but it is still a great pick for anyone - particularly those on a budget.
Read on to see what makes it great and why you might want to consider another product!
In Depth Review
Initial Set Up
One of the reasons why robotic pool vacuums are awesome is because they are almost always super easy to set up. The SmartPool SmartKleen is no exception and just requires less than half of an hour of time from box to pool.
Out of the box you'll see that you won't have to put together any parts and that it comes with a 40 foot electrical cord to plug into your GFCI protected outlet like in the image to the left.
However,even if you don't have a GFCI outlet it is worth buying one because they last a long time and you will always be able to use a robotic pool cleaner with them. In the long run you'll still save a bunch of time and money! You can check them out on here.
A 40 foot electrical cord is actually smaller than it sounds since your outlet may be 10-15 feet away from the pool. If it is, you'll want to use an extension cord that will allow the SmartKleen to move without the extension cord going into the water.
Even though it's easy to just plug it in and drop it off in the water you'll want to take about 15-30 minutes to read the manual. It comes with some helpful tips and information such as taking your cleaner out when you're ready to swim and being sure to not store it in the sun to preserve its life!
The biggest tip we have is to always start the cleaner in the same corner. Over time it adapts and learns your pool so just give it the same starting point every time for the best clean.
If you have trouble installing it follow this general guide which applies to all robotic pool cleaners:
Overall, the set up is really easy and the manual gives great advice. This earns the setup rating a 4.6/5.
Cleaning Ability: Types of Debris
The SmartPool SmartKleen robotic pool cleaner specializes in small and medium sized debris. Not only does it get rid of most of the small twigs and leaves, but it can easily get rid of the annoying grains of sand and fine dirt and does a pretty good job on them as well.
Unfortunately, it's not great with large debris. Sometimes it will be able to clean some large pieces of debris, but usually it'll just pass by over them. You may have to fetch your swimming pool pole to get the larger items out yourself unlike with the Dolphin Nautilus.
This renders the large filter bag not as useful as it may be on some other cleaners, but it is still nice to have because it requires less emptying out.
Cleaning Ability: Pool Shapes, Sizes, Materials
One of the things I liked about this robotic pool cleaner is that it is really flexible and adapts to all sorts of pools. Whether it is different pool shapes or depths its ability to learn and adapt to pools is one of the big reasons to get this cleaner.
Many other cleaners are able to get about 80-90% of the pool in one clean. However, if you follow the manual's directions and always start the SmartPool SmartKleen in the same spot it will adapt and get close to 95-100% of the pool coverage.
Because of its ability to learn and adapt there is no pool shape that it can't adapt to. It even can navigate pools with lots of tight corners because it is small and its wheel system gives it a lot of turning ability.
Because it has a low center of gravity and its wheels are widely placed it will never tip over. It can easily hang on to the walls of concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl pools and doesn't even need walls to turn or change direction once it runs a few times in the pool.
Because it is very small it is easy to clean pool steps and on the walls. It is usually able to clean up to the waterline of the pool after a couple of runs so if you have algae or anything else on the pool wall you can expect the SmartKleen to suck it right in!
For larger pools sometimes the cord will get stuck. It's not too bad and you won't have to adjust during the cleaning cycle, but when you are putting it away you will definitely want to untangle it.
Ability to clean various types of pools: 4.6/5
The product life seems to be okay - around 3-4 years. This is a little longer than average so there are some pool vacuums that will last longer and many others that will not last as long.
What's nice about most robotic cleaners (this one included) is that there are few moving parts that can break. However, the biggest mistake people make is when they pull the cord to get the cleaner out of the pool.
This will damage the socket and it could actually yank the cord out of its socket which will require you to buy a new pool cleaner since an electrical cord can't easily be replaced.
Don't make this mistake because some people do!
Product Life Rating:
The warranty used to be just half a year which was probably the worst out of most of the pool cleaners. However, after they bumped it up to a year, the average warranty for most pool cleaning products, there is much more of an incentive to buy it.
Feel free to call if you need your parts replaced as well. After a 3 months I had a small engine problem but they fixed it quickly without a lot of pain (I haven't heard of anyone else with a similar problem).
One person on Amazon said she couldn't get the warranty honored because she ordered online. However, myself and all of the other buyers who said something had no problem with this so they probably made a mistake on her part.
Full List of Pros and Cons
Pros: great for all pools, minimal set up, quick water drain, large filter bag, memorizes pool layout, will clean entire pool floor, gets small and medium debris, long power cable, great with cleaning steps
Cons: doesn't handle large debris, cord can get tangled, may miss spots on the wall (barely noticeable)
An affordable option for your pool cleaning needs you can't go wrong with the SmartPool SmartKleen. Its ability to clean all types of pools with ease is great since it only requires a GFCI protected outlet (they are also just cheap to purchase)!
It just requires a few minutes to set up and you'll be able to access a pool machine that will take out almost all of the small and medium debris from your pool.
Additionally its few moving parts means that they won't break down - so you have to do very little annoying repairs or call to customer support.
I highly recommend this robotic pool cleaner. It may not be as good as some premium ones, but for the price it provides a great clean and good functionality.
Is there anything about the SmartPool SmartKleen that you still have questions about? Let me know in the comments below so I can help you out!