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The Dolphin Nautilus is a lightweight, easy-to-use robotic pool cleaner that can be used to clean all pool surfaces of in-ground residential pools up to 50 feet in length. However, it does have its drawbacks as we shall discuss below.
Note: This review is for the standard Dolphin Nautilus. For the Nautilus Plus model, please see this review.
Features At A Glance
- Lightweight pool cleaner weighing 18.75 lbs
- Plug and play operation
- Cleans the floor, cove and walls of in-ground pools no more than 50 ft. in length
- Cleans most pool surfaces up to the water line
- Cleans all pool shapes including round, rectangle, kidney, oval and L-shape
- Highly efficient operation with a 3 hour cycle time and a suction ability of 4,233 gallons an hour
- 60 feet long floating power cable with patented swivel mechanism that prevents it from tangling or coiling
- Uses easy-to-clean cartridge filter to trap the dirt and debris.
- Its brush system inhibit the growth of algae and bacteria by scrubbing the surface
The Dolphin Nautilus cleans on its own. All you need to do is plug the cable into an outlet, put the cleaner into the water and switch it on and it will set about cleaning the pool. It does not need the swimming pool pump or a booster pump to work.
The device operates quietly and efficiently, easily going over those bumpy drain covers scattered over the pool floor. After it has completed its cycle, which should be in about 3 hours, you switch off the power and pull the cleaner towards you by pulling on the power cord slowly and gently.
When it is close to the surface, you reach down and grab the handgrips on both sides and lift it out of the water. Never lift the device out of the water using the cord as this could damage the mechanism.
Instead of the typical filter bag, the Dolphin Nautilus has a filter cartridge located at the bottom of the vacuum. The cartridge captures the dirt and debris from the water via 4 screens. These can be easily removed after each cycle, rinsed under running water and replaced so the device is ready for whenever you need to use it next. .
With its low weight of 18.74 lbs, most users find the Dolphin Nautilus relatively easy to maneuver.
However, the weight of the cleaner when lifting it out of the water will be more than its dry weight of 18.75 lbs. This is because of the debris collected in the filter as well as some amount of water that is still in the device. Not everyone finds this additional weight a problem but some users have complained about struggling to lift the device out of the water after it has completed its cleaning cycle.
This model does not come with a caddy so if you find it difficult to move the Dolphin Nautilus around, especially after you have just taken it out of the pool, you will have to invest in a caddy for easier maneuverability.
Does it clean as well as everybody says it does? From all accounts it looks like it does.
The Dolphin Nautilus does a pretty good job of cleaning the pool. It climbs the walls all the way up to the waterline, cleaning the walls as it climbs. When it reaches the surface, it goes back down.
The cleaner climbs the walls easily if the pool floor and walls come together at a gentle angle. However, it will struggle and often give up if there is a sharp right angle where the pool floor meets the wall. A dirty filter is another
When it comes to its cleaning ability, the Dolphin Nautilus has a few limitations. It does not clean hard-to-reach places so you will have to work on cleaning corners and little alcoves manually, using a brush attached to long pole. When the filter is full, the additional weight tugs on the device and prevents it from climbing the walls.
- Cleans all surfaces including the walls & irregular surfaces
- The plug-n-play operation means there is no pre-installation required
- Self-sufficient device with its own internal pump system and filter – no connections to pool system
- Will climb the wall up to the waterline if your pool has a gradual floor-wall angle
- Operates quietly so you can sit and relax by the poolside while you wait for it to finish cleaning the pool
- Energy-efficient with estimated cost of only $0.15 per cleaning cycle
- Filters are easy to remove, clean and replace
- Large sized objects such as leaves, twigs and acorns can get stuck in the vacuum and jam the drive
- Cannot climb the walls of pools that have sharp angles where the wall meets the floor
- Does not clean the pool steps
- Can be quite heavy to pull out of the pool and lug around after the cleaning cycle
- Does not come with its own caddy – caddy is an additional investment if you need it
- Replacing the motor can be expensive
What Others Are Saying
The Dolphin Nautilus has mixed reviews from users. Most users are happy with this pool cleaner. Features that have received special positive mention in the majority of reviews include the long tangle-free power cord, easy plug-and-play operation, easy to clean filters and its above-average suction power. Some users have claimed that it did a great job of cleaning up the algae that had built up in their pool from a long period of disuse.
Most negative mentions are about the cleaner’s inability to pick up larger objects from the water and the lack of a caddy.
Is The Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Pool Cleaner For You?
The Dolphin Nautilus has all of the features that you would want in a robotic pool cleaner. It’s a great choice if you are looking for a quick, quiet and efficient device that will ensure you have a clean enough pool to dive into after it is done cleaning.
However, you should only consider the Dolphin Nautilus pool cleaner if your pool floor and wall meet in a gradual curve. If your pool floor and wall meet at sharp angles, you’ll find yourself having to do a whole lot of manual cleaning before you can use the pool.
The lack of caddy can also be a serious handicap if you suffer from back problems or do not have the strength to lift heavy objects. You will then have to buy a caddy separately, which will add to the cost of the unit.