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For many swimming pool owners, the path to researching and buying new pool equipment can be a frustrating experience. If you don't know what to expect with your new purchase you may find that you are unpleasantly surprised with how it works out for you. In an attempt to help you understand what to expect with your new robotic pool vacuum, consider this article as a strategy guide to walk you through the stages of life for your new piece of expensive swimming pool equipment.
The research stage either involves a year-long exhaustive search for all information pertaining to the robotic vacuum you are considering buying — consumer reports, robotic vacuum reviews, manufacturer recalls, testimonials from other buyers — or more commonly, you buy a new robotic vacuum within five minutes of deciding that you want one with zero research or comparison shopping.
Once you commit to the purchase of a new robotic pool vacuum, you begin down a path that is filled with both ups and downs. Researching and buying are the easy parts when it comes to pool equipment. Once you bring it home from the store, that is when the stages of ownership really begin. You just bought a massively expensive, computer-controlled robot...to throw into your pool. It goes against all logic, and yet here you are, new owner of a robotic pool vacuum.
The vacuum is so new, and so expensive, and so complicated...you are never to use it! This massively expensive piece of cutting-edge pool and spa technology is for looking at only. You can never risk using it as you have no idea how it works, or even what it is capable of doing, but you know for sure that you can't afford to replace it and it looks expensive as hell to fix if something goes wrong. Better to leave it in the box...at least for now.
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Now, from all of your day-to-day toiling keeping the pool clean manually, you have been reminded why you invested in this piece of new pool equipment. You wanted help cleaning the pool, and to spend less time manually vacuuming, and this desire now overrides your fear of the expense of replacing the robot. It has been securely protected in the manufacturers packaging for a few seasons now and the relative value of the vac has dropped to where you are ready to risk losing it.
You loved it at first, and everything was going really well for about five minutes. Now it is broken. Nothing seems to be working and according to the warranty information you were able to dig up, the warranty expired either five minutes after you bought it, or yesterday, whichever is more painful. Currently you are standing on your pool deck holding a $1,000 boat anchor and crying.
We can fix this...we have the technology. You scour the internet for information. You pour through technical resources, spending multiple nights up until dawn sifting through archived forum discussions about issues that might relate to your product failure. In total you take four days off from work in order to vet each potential avenue to fix your problem. In the end you give up and call the 1-800 number printed on the side of the unit and they explain how it works. Success! You are up and running once again!
You thought it was fixed but it is not. It's frigged. Frigged right up. It's so freaking frigged you frack bastard frig flipping piece of effin garbage...just flip the friggin switch frick you frickin' think I didn't try to put the flippin' switch in the "on position" because it won't. Oh...wait. It was off. Nevermind!!
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Reborn again...for the second time. But this time, it's deja vu. THE SEQUEL! Everything is working. You are feeling good. The pool is clean. Life is grand. Why didn't you start using this thing sooner? The pool looks good and you feel good because life is good and good things happen to people who put good out into the world.
In an ultimate leveling of karmic balance you now find that your robotic vacuum cord has tied itself permanently into a knot from which there can be no escape. It defies all logic how knotted the "tangle free" cord is, and it would appear that some minor surgery may be required before this robot will be back vacuuming pools again. It feels like you barely got this robot working and now it requires new pieces to work again.
You never really understood how to work your new piece of pool equipment, but time passed by all the same. It doesn't really work 100% any more, or at least it doesn't work as well as you seem to remember it did when it was new. But then again you find your memory isn't what it once was, and you fart when you pee, which doesn't really relate except that it takes away from your overall credibility. The pool is mostly clean most of the time and nobody seems to complain.
It's all over. There were good times and there were bad times...once you were bright and shiny but now you are dull and gray and oxidized with age. You remember when your robotic vacuum was brand new and you were too afraid to even use it. That...was a long time ago now. If you thought you could beat another season of use out of it with a hammer, you would. But alas, all the flogging in the world won't bring your pool robot back.
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Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to...oh cool! There is a sale at Leslie's this weekend on pool cleaners.
In reality a robotic pool vacuum is a great investment if you have priorities like having a clean pool, minimizing your manual workload, and energy efficiency. The defining benefit of a robotic pool vac is that it is not tied to the filtration system of the pool. The pumps used for filtration system (suction cleaners) as well as booster pumps (for pressure side cleaners) both require the operation of a highly inefficient and oversized electric motor driven pump.
By using a pool vac that is completely self contained you save both the wear and tear on your other expensive equipment as well as the electrical costs to run those pumps.
Whether you're an independent service technician or CEO of a major manufacturer, whether you sell to directly to the consumer or to the trade, it hurts to see customers leave. Because staying in business largely means retaining the business you’ve fought so hard to win, understanding why your customers decide to take their patronage elsewhere is critical, if not at times a little painful.
When customers say goodbye in the pool and spa industry, there are plenty of reasons to assign...
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