DOLPHIN Proteus DX4 Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner

I am going to review the dolphin dx4 pool cleaner and compare it against the dx3 dx5 and the Polaris 280. the dx4 comes assembled and ready to use in less than two minutes. Attach the blue cable to the power supply, plug it into a GFCI protected outlet, and get ready. Next, drop the robot into the pool; it’ll begin to sink and press the start button. It’ll run for two hours and shut off. You also can make it run every day, every two days, or every third day. after seven days, you’ll need to press the start button again to start another weekly cycle. I wish this were not the case, but the debris bag will likely be full after a week, so not a big deal.

The Proteus DX4 will spend the first 20 minutes scanning your pool to create the most efficient route, so no spots are missed. Then it will work its way up to the walls and eventually scrub the waterline. It has a soft rubber brush that mechanically removes algae and other buildups without scratching or damaging the pool finish. The debris is sucked up and transported into a large basket with two media types available. As you can see above, it comes with a fine particulate filter, but you can also upgrade it to an ultra-fine filter for around seventy dollars.

The robot comes with a 60-foot swivel cable. It is designed to work on concrete plaster vinyl and fiberglass in-ground pools up to 50 feet long. It pushes 4 000 gallons per hour through its filters, so it not only helps pick up leaves and debris on the bottom of the pool but will also filter out fine sand and algae before it even reaches your primary pool filter.

I found it did a fantastic job picking up leaves, small sticks, and sand, but it did struggle with large branches from a recent wind storm. I had to manually take those out so the robot would not jam its suction mouth against the two-foot-long thin branches. I’m not sure any robot would have handled the branches, though. the dx lineup of dolphins are neat. They create suction against the walls. They will climb effortlessly and stay attached even when the drive track stops spinning. They have side thrusters to push the robot left or right to continue scrubbing in different directions. This robot is fun to watch and will entertain your kids for hours. Anyway, after a two-hour cycle, it will shut off. You can retrieve it by gently pulling on the blue cord to bring it to the surface; then, you’ll grab the handle and pull it up onto the side of the pool and let the water quickly drain.

There’s an innovative basket design where the handle pops up the second you open the lid, allowing you to pull it out easily without any mess. I emptied the contents onto the driveway to see how well it did, and there’s an easy bottom clip that will release and drop the contents, and you can take a hose and spray from the outside to remove the sand and fine particles on the filter. These filters also pop out and can be replaced with the other styles I spoke about above, and you can also put new ones on there if they ever wear out.

I found the two-hour cleaning cycle plenty to clean my pool, and I wouldn’t need to run it any longer, but if you have a really dirty pool or it’s been a long time, you may need to run it twice to get caught back up. Some people are probably wondering about the mix of electricity and water. The dangerous 120-volt electricity that comes out of your wall goes into the power supply where there’s a transformer that converts it down to 30 volts dc. The 30 volts dc is considered safe, low voltage, and transported through the blue cable to the motors inside the robot. Should the robot leak, the voltage inside the blue cable should not be significant enough to be dangerous. With that said, do your research and understanding on this topic. If the control power supply were to enter the pool, that would be dangerous, and you should not be anywhere near the pool. You may want to secure it if you have kids, but even if it did enter the pool, your safety backup would be the GFCI protected outlet which should cut off power as soon as it senses water.

Before I got this cleaner, I relied on a Polaris 280. it’s a tremendous dumb cleaner. I like to say it’s easy to get parts and fix, but it does not scrub the walls. It would get stuck at least once a week. The cord tangled all the time despite following all the instructions from the manufacturer. After four years, I found myself fixing the Polaris 280 often. They do sell rebuild kits, but it didn’t seem worth the time and effort to keep replacing the parts.

I want to go through why I picked the Proteus DX4 instead of the DX3 or the DX5. The DX3 has a better price point, but it only has one set of brushes on the bottom instead of two, and it has no swivel for the cord; it also has a smaller basket and is made for small-sized pools. I immediately ruled out this robot because of the nose swivel on the cord and didn’t want to fight to untwist the cable every so often. The DX5 was attractive, but it didn’t seem worth the added cost for an additional $200 to have wi-fi and an app. The reviews for the app online are not very good, so I landed in the middle for the Proteus DX4, which I believe is a great price point at $899 and is considered a medium-grade model.

The pricing is okay. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of the Proteus DX4 versus something like the Polaris 280. the advantage of this electric robot is it uses significantly less power, only 120 watts versus the 700 watts by the pressure side cleaner. It’s much easier to empty the bin in my mind, and it does a better job collecting sand and fine particles. It will scrub the bottom and sides and the pool’s tile line, which the Polaris never did. It has a tangle-free swivel cable, and it quickly drains the water when you take it out for a lighter pickup. It comes with a two-year warranty and overall has just fantastic reviews online. The cons of the Proteus DX4, in my mind, is it appears not to clean the steps. I can’t find anywhere on the documentation that says it doesn’t clean stairs, but it barely ever would drive up on the stairs and clean them. Instead, I had to brush them off one or two times and let the vacuum pick up the debris in the bottom of the pool. Another con would be the blue cable that has to go across the concrete versus the nice clean installation of a pressure-sided vacuum where you don’t have that cable.

The documentation said not to leave the vacuum in the pool. Still, another piece of the dolphin document noted that it’s safe to leave in the pool 24/7 but be careful or take it out when you make strong chemical adjustments as shocking and adding large amounts of acid could potentially damage the plastics on the robot. The Polaris 280 has no problem staying in the pool 24/7, and it’s just made for that it’s made to stay in the pool all the time. They do make a nice cradle for the Proteus DX4 so you can take it out when you’re done cleaning and put it on the cradle and set it aside, and this is probably how I would say 60 or 70 percent of you guys would use it and then a certain percentage is just going to end up leaving it in the pool 24/7.

Your Proteus DX4 will last much longer if you take it out and keep it away from the sun as well. I wish there were more flexibility in the scheduling or the wi-fi features so I could connect via phone and turn it on and off and specify precisely when I wanted to run, and I didn’t realize that the next model, the DX5, for $200 more to had those features at the time. The Polaris 280, on the other hand, it must run when the pool is running, but I can also program it to run exactly what time of day and for how long, and that’s nice to have that control.