The Truth About Pool Cleaners: What Your Pool Store Isn’t Telling You

Pool Cleaner
Fifteen years into the 2000s, the landscape has changed in the world of retail. Where we used to have to go to visit a specialty store to purchase any given item, the presence of the internet makes essentially any searchable product a click away. Traditional brick and mortar stores are becoming less and less viable, particularly those that service niche markets. Change is difficult and small businesses have to be comfortable embracing an “adapt or die” philosophy with the emergence of competitively-priced web stores who fill a similar need as a physical store.

This can be difficult because web stores operate with lower overhead and can typically offer lower price points on the exact same products. Ailing stores have implemented many tactics as a means to compete, like preaching “our store provides superior service,” which often falls on the ears of a generation to whom that is no longer a top priority. Another tool is price matching. Providing a price-match guarantee can be risky, but instead of losing the sale, the retailer sees it as better to have a loss of revenue rather than have that money walk out of the door altogether. However, price-matching can have its negative long-term effects that result in stores not making the kind of money necessary to be successful. As a result, retail stores have turned to a few new tactics including branding products that are exclusive to their store.

This common struggle among specialty brick and mortar stores has manifested itself in the pool industry and many pool supply stores will brand their own chemicals and everyday products to be distributed exclusively on site. This tactic has also been used on more expensive products, specifically pool cleaners. As a way to compete with the ease and convenience of e-tailers, some pool stores will partner with product manufacturers (pool cleaners in particular) to sell products that are only available through them. But here is what your pool store isn’t telling you.

Manufacturers will private label pool cleaners for different dealers and distributers with whom they have partnered. These products are essentially the same as existing models of cleaners already on the market and widely available through a number of online retailers, with maybe a few minor cosmetic changes (colors, etc.) and accompanying accessories (remote control or carrying caddy). Under a private label, pool stores will sell pool cleaners for a premium to unsuspecting customers who have no idea there is a less expensive alternative. In reality, there is usually a comparable model available from an e-tailer at a significantly lower price point.

Because we want to find ways to best serve our customer base, we decided to make a list of all of these private label pool cleaners and their less expensive equivalent. Let’s take a deeper look at a few specific examples:

Private label pool cleaner:

Aquabot Breeze XLS

The AquaBot Breeze XLS is a robotic pool cleaner that has some nice features: power washing jets, fixed scrubbing brushes, 1 & 2 Hour Timer Settings, etc. It requires a 120VAC/60, consumes 180 watts of powers, and has a 60’ long cable. It features a warm cream exterior that gives it a clean and expensive look.


Comparable pool cleaner:

AquaBot Rapids XLS

The only differences here are the colors, availability, and price point. The Aquabot Rapid model is available through a number of reputable online retailers. Featuring a grey and blue plastic exterior as opposed to the cream, all the other features are the same or nearly the same. The private label cleaner, however, will cost you more.


Private label pool cleaner:

Polaris P955

The Polaris P955 is another robotic pool cleaner with many impressive capabilities. It runs a 1.5 hour cleaning cycle, cleans the floor, walls, and steps of your in-ground pool, and has neat features like four wheel drive. It comes with a motion sensing hand held remote and a caddy with easy lift options. The exterior plastic color is a clean white with black and grey wheels.


Comparable pool cleaner:

Polaris 9550

The Polaris 9550 is basically the same pool cleaner as the Polaris P955 except it is blue instead of white. It too comes with a caddy and remote and has the same features described above. The major difference (aside from the color) is in the price. While the P955 is sold exclusively as a private label product through one particular company, the 9550 is available through many retailers and ecommerce and is gentler on your wallet.


Private labeling a particular pool cleaner is a surefire way to upsell the customer. It seems exclusive and custom, when it’s usually only a color away from the same product at a lower premium. Manufacturers change the colors and the name as a way to convince you to pay more money. Because potential buyers in today’s day and age are looking cross-reference and price match, changing the name of the product altogether limits the buyer’s ability to search for and find a competitively priced product. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of private label cleaners vs. more affordable products with essentially the same capabilities. If you find any more duplicates we have not included or have any questions about products that are the same or similar to pool cleaners already on the market, please let us know and we will research and get them added to the list. Today’s consumer is the most informed they have ever been and they should be wary of being tricked because their brick and mortar store or exclusive online brands have private-labeled pool cleaners as a way to make a few extra bucks.

LIST GUIDE: Search our compiled list alphabetically to find your prospective cleaner and see if there's a non-private label version equivalent. Please let us know if there are any pool cleaners you're researching that should be added to the master list.

AQUABOT

AquaStar

    DOHENY'S

    • Doheny's AWD = AquaBot Breeze 4WD = AquaBot Rapids 4WD = AquaBot X4
    • Doheny's Jet Drive IG = AquaBot Pool Rover S2-50 = AquaBot Pura 5X
    • Doheny's Kleen = SmartPool NC22 = Smart Pool PT4i = SmartPool SmartKleen = Nitro NC22
    • Doheny's SWSmartPool Scrubber60-PLUS Robotic Cleaner = SmartPool 9i Robotic Pool Cleaner
    • Doheny's SW with Remote = SmartPool 11iRC Robotic Pool Cleaner = SmartPool Direct Command-PLUS Robotic Cleaner
    • Doheny's XLS = AquaBot Breeze XLS = AquaBot Rapids XLS = AquaBot i2
    • Doheny's Saturn Dolphin S200 = Dolphin Cayman = Dolphin Nautilus (2017 and Later) = Pentair Prowler 920 = Dolphin Proteus DX3 = Dolphin Active 20
    • Doheny's Discovery = Dolphin Proteus DX4 Dolphin Triton (2017 and Later) = Dolphin Quantum
    • Doheny's Mercury = Dolphin Active 30i = Dolphin S300i = Dolphin Triton Plus (2017 and Later) = Pentair Prowler 930 = Dolphin Proteus DX5i 

    DOLPHIN

    • Dolphin Active 10 = Dolphin S50 = Dolphin E-10 = Dolphin Echo (Sunbelt) = Dolphin Escape = Pentair Prowler 910 = T15
    • Dolphin Active 20 = Dolphin S200 = Dolphin Cayman = Dolphin Nautilus (2017 and Later) = Pentair Prowler 920 = Dolphin Proteus DX3 = Doheny's Saturn = T35
    • Dolphin Active 10 = Dolphin Zenit 10 = Dolphin Smart Active
    • Dolphin Active 30 = Dolphin S300 = Dolphin Quantum
    • Dolphin Active 30i = Dolphin S300i = Dolphin Triton Plus (2017 and Later) = Pentair Prowler 930 = Dolphin Proteus DX5i = Doheny's Mercury
    • Dolphin Active 4 = Dolphin Zenit 20 = Dolphin Comfort Active
    • Dolphin Active 5 = Dolphin Zenit 30 = Dolphin Delux Active
    • Dolphin Active 5 Liberty = Dolphin Zenit Liberty = Dolphin Delux Liberty
    • Dolphin Active Classic = Dolphin Zenit 15 = Dolphin Easy Comfort
    • Dolphin Advantage = Dolphin Advantage Plus RC = Dolphin DX5
    • Dolphin Advantage Plus RC = Dolphin Advantage = Dolphin DX5
    • Dolphin Advantage Pro RC = Dolphin DX5 Plus
    • Dolphin Apollo Dolphin DX4 = Dolphin Apollo Plus = Dolphin Neptune Plus = Dolphin DX4s
    • Dolphin Apollo Plus = Dolphin DX4 = Dolphin Apollo = Dolphin Neptune Plus = Dolphin DX4s
    • Dolphin Atlantis = Dolphin Endeavor
    • Dolphin C3 = Dolphin Sigma
    • Dolphin Cayman = Dolphin Active 20 = Dolphin S200 = Dolphin Nautilus (2017 and Later) = Pentair Prowler 920 = Dolphin Proteus DX3 = Doheny's Saturn
    • Dolphin Comfort Active = Dolphin Zenit 20 = Dolphin Active 4
    • Dolphin Delux Active = Dolphin Zenit 30 = Dolphin Active 5
    • Dolphin Delux Liberty = Dolphin Zenit Liberty = Dolphin Active 5 Liberty
    • Dolphin Deluxe 4 = Dolphin Discovery
    • Dolphin Deluxe 5 = Dolphin DX5+S
    • Dolphin Discovery = Dolphin Deluxe 4
    • Dolphin DX2 = Dolphin Hybrid RS1 = Dolphin Hybrid Platinum
    • Dolphin DX3 = Dolphin Primal = Dolphin Supreme M3 = Dolphin Neptune = Dolphin DX3s
    • Dolphin DX3s = Dolphin DX3 = Dolphin Primal = Dolphin Supreme M3 = Dolphin Neptune
    • Dolphin DX4 = Dolphin Apollo = Dolphin Apollo Plus = Dolphin Neptune Plus = Dolphin DX4s
    • Dolphin DX4s = Dolphin DX4 = Dolphin Apollo = Dolphin Apollo Plus = Dolphin Neptune Plus
    • Dolphin DX5 = Dolphin Advantage = Dolphin Advantage Plus RC
    • Dolphin DX5 Plus = Dolphin Advantage Pro RC
    • Dolphin DX5+S = Dolphin Deluxe 5
    • Dolphin DX6 = Dolphin Triton (2016 and Prior) = Pentair Prowler 830 = Dolphin Premier = Dolphin Edge = Dolphin Thunder 20
    • Dolphin E-10 = Dolphin Active 10 = Dolphin S50 = Dolphin Escape = Dolphin Echo (Sunbelt) = Pentair Prowler 910 = Dolphin T15
    • Dolphin Easy Comfort = Dolphin Zenit 15 = Dolphin Active Classic
    • Dolphin Echo (Sunbelt) = Dolphin Active 10 = Dolphin S50 = Dolphin Escape = Pentair Prowler 910 = Dolphin E-10
    • Dolphin Edge = Dolphin Triton (2016 and Prior) = Pentair Prowler 830 = Dolphin DX6 = Dolphin Premier = Dolphin Thunder 20
    • Dolphin Endeavor = Dolphin Atlantis
    • Dolphin Escape = Dolphin Active 10 = Dolphin S50 = Dolphin E-10 = Dolphin Echo (Sunbelt)
    • Dolphin Explorer Plus = Dolphin Triton Plus (2016 and Prior) = Dolphin Oasis Z5
    • Dolphin Hybrid Platinum = Dolphin DX2 = Dolphin Hybrid RS1
    • Dolphin Hybrid RS1 = Dolphin DX2 = Dolphin Hybrid Platinum
    • Dolphin Nautilus (2016 and Prior) = Pentair Prowler 820 = Dolphin Quest = Dolphin Thunder 10
    • Dolphin Nautilus (2017 and Later) = Dolphin Cayman = Dolphin Active 20 = Dolphin S200 = Pentair Prowler 920 = Dolphin Proteus DX3 = Doheny's Saturn
    • Dolphin Neptune Dolphin DX3 = Dolphin Primal = Dolphin Supreme M3 = Dolphin DX3s = Dolphin DX3
    • Dolphin Neptune Plus = Dolphin DX4 = Dolphin Apollo = Dolphin Apollo Plus = Dolphin DX4s
    • Dolphin Oasis Z5 = Dolphin Triton Plus (2016 and Prior) = Dolphin Explorer Plus
    • Dolphin Premier = Dolphin Triton (2016 and Prior) = Pentair Prowler 830 = Dolphin DX6 = Dolphin Edge = Dolphin Thunder 20
    • Dolphin Primal = Dolphin DX3 = Dolphin Supreme M3 = Dolphin Neptune = Dolphin DX3s
    • Dolphin Proteus DX3 = Dolphin S200 = Dolphin Active 20 = Dolphin Cayman = Dolphin Nautilus (2017 and Later) = Pentair Prowler 920 = Doheny's Saturn
    • Dolphin Proteus DX4 Dolphin Triton (2017 and Later) = Dolphin Quantum = Doheny's Discovery
    • Dolphin Proteus DX5i = Dolphin S300i = Dolphin Active 30i = Dolphin Triton Plus (2017 and Later) = Pentair Prowler 930 = Doheny's Mercury
    • Dolphin Quantum = Dolphin Triton (2017 and Later) = Dolphin Quantum = Doheny's Discovery
    • Dolphin Quest = Pentair Prowler 820 = Dolphin Nautilus (2016 and Prior) = Dolphin Thunder 10
    • Dolphin S200 = Dolphin Active 20 = Dolphin Cayman = Dolphin Nautilus (2017 and Later) = Pentair Prowler 920 = Dolphin Proteus DX3 = Doheny's Saturn = Dolphin T35
    • Dolphin S300 = Dolphin Active 30
    • Dolphin S300i = Dolphin Active 30i = Dolphin Triton Plus (2017 and Later) = Pentair Prowler 930 = Dolphin Proteus DX5i = Doheny's Mercury
    • Dolphin S50 = Dolphin Active 10 = Dolphin E-10 = Dolphin Echo (Sunbelt) = Dolphin Escape
    • Dolphin Sigma = Dolphin C3
    • Dolphin Smart Active = Dolphin Zenit 10 = Dolphin Active 3
    • Dolphin Supreme M3 = Dolphin DX3 = Dolphin Primal = Dolphin Neptune = Dolphin DX3s
    • Dolphin Thunder 10 = Pentair Prowler 820 = Dolphin Nautilus (2016 and Prior) = Dolphin Quest
    • Dolphin Thunder 20 = Dolphin Triton (2016 and Prior) = Pentair Prowler 830 = Dolphin DX6 = Dolphin Premier = Dolphin Edge
    • Dolphin Triton (2016 and Prior) = Pentair Prowler 830 = Dolphin DX6 = Dolphin Premier = Dolphin Edge = Dolphin Thunder 20
    • Dolphin Triton (2017 and Later)Dolphin Proteus DX4 = Dolphin Quantum = Doheny's Discovery = Dolphin T35
    • Dolphin Triton Plus (2016 and Prior) = Dolphin Oasis Z5 = Dolphin Explorer Plus
    • Dolphin Triton Plus (2017 and Later) = Dolphin S300i = Dolphin Active 30i = Pentair Prowler 930 = Dolphin Proteus DX5i = Doheny's Mercury = Dolphin T45
    • Dolphin Zenit 10 = Dolphin Active 3 = Dolphin Smart Active
    • Dolphin Zenit 15 = Dolphin Active Classic = Dolphin Easy Comfort
    • Dolphin Zenit 20 = Dolphin Active 4 = Dolphin Comfort Active
    • Dolphin Zenit 30 = Dolphin Active 5 = Dolphin Delux Active
    • Dolphin Zenit Liberty = Dolphin Active 5 Liberty = Dolphin Delux Liberty

    HAYWARD

    PENTAIR

    • Pentair Prowler 910 = Dolphin Active 10 = Dolphin S50 = Dolphin Escape = Dolphin Echo (Sunbelt) = Dolphin E-10
    • Pentair Prowler 920 = Dolphin Active 20 = Dolphin S200 = Dolphin Cayman = Dolphin Nautilus (2017 and Later) = Dolphin Proteus DX3 = Doheny's Saturn
    • Pentair Prowler 930 = Dolphin Active 30i = Dolphin S300i = Dolphin Triton Plus (2017 and Later) = Dolphin Proteus DX5i = Doheny's Mercury
    • Pentair Prowler 820 = Dolphin Nautilus (2016 and Prior) = Dolphin Quest = Dolphin Thunder 10
    • Pentair Prowler 830 = Dolphin Triton (2016 and Prior) = Dolphin DX6 = Dolphin Premier = Dolphin Edge = Dolphin Thunder 20
    • Pentair Rebel 360275 = Pentair Warrior 360302
    • Pentair Warrior 360302 = Pentair Rebel 360275

    POLARIS

    SMARTPOOL

    • SmartPool 9i Robotic Pool Cleaner = Doheny's SW = SmartPool Scrubber60-PLUS Robotic Cleaner
    • SmartPool 11i = Smart Pool PT9i
    • SmartPool 11iRC Robotic Pool Cleaner = Doheny's SW with Remote = SmartPool Direct Command-PLUS Robotic Cleaner
    • SmartPool Direct Command-PLUS Robotic Cleaner = Doheny's SW with Remote = SmartPool 11iRC Robotic Pool Cleaner
    • SmartPool NC22 = Smart Pool PT4i = SmartPool SmartKleen = Nitro NC22 = Doheny's Kleen
    • SmartPool NC52S = Smart Pool PT7i
    • Smart Pool PT4i = SmartPool NC22 = SmartPool SmartKleen = Nitro NC22 = Doheny's Kleen
    • SmartPool PT7i = SmartPool NC52S
    • SmartPool PT9i = SmartPool 11i
    • SmartPool Scrubber60-PLUS Robotic Cleaner = Doheny's SW = SmartPool 9i Robotic Pool Cleaner
    • SmartPool SmartKleen = Nitro NC22 = SmartPool NC22 = Smart Pool PT4i = Doheny's Kleen

    ZODIAC

    • Zodiac T3 = Zodiac TR2D
    • Zodiac TR2D = Zodiac T3
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    Comments

    Sunplay
    August 16, 2017

    I would go with the Dolphin Triton Plus over the Polaris 9550. We have had much better luck with the Dolphin Cleaners than the Polaris.

    Sunplay
    August 16, 2017

    The Dolphin Triton Plus weighs about 16 pounds. You may also want to look into the AquaBot Breeze IQ.

    Nick
    May 20, 2017

    Just looking for feedback on which cleaner is better Polaris 9550 or the maytronic dolphin Triton Plus. I’m looking for overall cleaning something that does good job with fine stuff as well as leaves , not to mention cleaning of walls and especially stairs. if someone could lead me in the right direction between the two I would appreciate it

    Denis
    May 28, 2017

    First thank you for your website. Very informative.

    Could you tell about the “Dolphin Premium Robotic Inground Pool Cleaner & Caddy Cart with BlueTooth Technology” sold here: https://www.poolsuppliescanada.ca/dolphin-premium-robotic-inground-pool-cleaner.html. Any equivalent product?

    Thanks,

    Denis

    Sunplay
    August 16, 2017

    This cleaner is the equivalent to the Dolphin S300i, Dolphin Triton Plus (2017 and Later), Dolphin Quantum and Pentair Prowler 930.

    EmptySmith
    April 21, 2017

    What is the difference between the Dolphin Supreme m500 and Dolphin Premier pool cleaners? Are they too heavy for use in a vinyl pool?

    Paul
    April 22, 2017

    Do you have any alternative brand names for the Aquabot Elite; trying to find it in Europe and specifically in France without any success!

    Jim
    May 1, 2017

    Aside from the Triton Plus, any other suggestions? The 162-pound weight is daunting.
    Charlotte area, 35,000 gal. vinyl pool. Thanks!

    Ines
    September 16, 2016

    What a find. Do retailers on and offline actually realize that they are doing their customers a huge disservice with these zillions of different labels for the same thing. Heck, it’s difficult enough coming to a decision just looking at the original number of models. We don’t need derivates and cousins!

    The list above clears up a lot of my confusion which not even digging deep into the Maytronics site could.

    For those of you still paralyzed by choice – there is only so much sensible research you can do. Personally, I read any feedback I can find for a couple of days to see whether any complaints interfere with what I absolutely need from my pool cleaner. Then, if the warranty is at least 2 years I go for it. These are little machines and there will always be an element of risk. And so far no pool cleaner has proven to be perfect for years on end for every pool. However, this page makes it so much easier to compare info on different websites – grand. Many, many thanks. I just wonder – how do you find all this info?

    Leela
    November 7, 2016

    I am looking automatic robatic cleaner for past few days and researching at-lisrt 2 hours a day but have no any idea to buy which product?, i have swimming pool of 9 × 4 meter ground pool. willing to spend between 1500 to 2500. please help me .

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