50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2013
I'm an Arizona resident and have been a pool owner for over 10 years. With the extreme heat, and high use of chlorine, I've gone through a fair amount of pool equipment over the years. In general most pool gear is over-priced and not constructed well, which is why I think the iRobot Mirra 530 needs to be considered in that context.
I've now used this pool cleaner for over a month (in swim season) and arrived at the following conclusions;
(1) It is constructed well and seems to be made with quality materials. It looks and feels better than most plastic-y pool equipment I've had in the past. It also just looks better than some of the garish robot cleaners I've seen in the pool store.
(2) It is fairly easy to set up and get operational out of the box. For the most part the only assembly is putting the tires on the wheels.
(3) It is thorough in it's cleaning and it was picking up stuff my previous cleaners never could.
(4) Coverage is good-to-exceptional, climbing walls and steps unlike previous cleaners.
(5) It is easy to clean and no pool debris has clogged it yet (and I have a swimming golden retriever so that is saying something!).
(6) It does a great job of aerating the water and moving the chlorine around. The output points directly up so it seems to circulate from bottom to top, rather than clockwise (sideways) as the normal pump/filter does.
Weaknesses, Areas for Improvement, Observations and Recommendations:
(1) The setup instructions are limited to getting the device into the pool and turned on. I think they could have done a better job explaining operation, run-time, etc.
(2) There are foam inserts (4 total) that you need to use in order to get the robot to turn 90 degrees. You may need 1 of them or all 4. You have to kind of figure this out and experiment with it - if you don't work this out you will not get full coverage.
(3) At times I thought coverage was limited as the robot would "focus" on one section of the pool, however I realized the run-time on this is just longer than I anticipated and it will eventually move around. Also, again, play with the foam inserts.
(4) It is expensive, but if I can get 6+ years out of it I think it ends up being a good value. Replacing $400 gizmos every few years, that weren't as effective, isn't particularly useful.
In conclusion if this product holds up over time, and proves to be durable (rare with pool equipment), then this is probably a 5-star product. For the price it really needs to last. Makes rating a bit tough after only a month, but hope this review was helpful anyway.
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2013
WARNING: Do not run the robot and the pool pump at the same time! See bottom of review.
- Brushes all the way up to the tile line. Pool is cleaner than ever before.
- Low power consumption (power supply rated at 180W)
- Climbs steps
- Doesn't tangle its power line
- Large filters
- High filter volume and powerful pump. Noticeable water currents on the surface even when it's on the bottom.
- Interesting, robotic appearance; feels like something lives in the pool. Creates whirls and releases bubbles. Makes noises when it climbs partially out of the water.
- Replaces vacuum driven cleaner, so the mandate to run the pool pump at least part time in high speed mode goes away. Potentially big overall power savings.
- High Price ($1,200).
- No instructions on how to use this thing besides turning it on. Daily, once a week, leave it in the pool all the time, etc? How much to reduce the main pump cycle?
- Assembly instructions said to adjust the robot's turn angle to 90 degrees using float parts that came with it. However after turning it on, it doesn't do any turns. Only later in the program, there are turns. That was very confusing. I had to add both floats.
- During the first couple of minutes, the robot only goes up the wall a foot, then goes back down. Only later it climbs all the way up. That is nowhere explained and caused a bad first impression "They advertise it cleans all the way up to the tiles but it can't climb up the walls".
- Instructions say, power supply can't be in the sun and in the rain. Well, do I have to build something around it? Store it when not in use? How is that supposed to work?
- The unit is relatively wide and the brush is straight and short haired, thus the center portion of the brush doesn't touch the wall in small radius bends. Eventually, it gets those spots as it sometimes will run along the wall more horizontally.
- You are supposed to adjust the gap between the surface and the suction inlets. However they don't stay in place when the robot climbs steps where the edge occasionally touches his underbelly.
Update after one week:
- Still very happy with the cleaning result.
- Since the robot turns on when plugged into 110V, I now run it off a timer and that makes it clean every day automatically.
- The filters are not as easy to clean as thought. There are several unreachable gaps/pockets where spiders, bugs, gravel and small leafs collect. This is very annoying as the debris is visible through the transparent green top enclosure however you can't get to it.
- It does climb up the stairs all the way.
- Had to contact support today since the bottom brush is already broken in two. The shaft of the brush is made of three plastic parts that snap together and those joints are already worn out and so the shaft came apart and then one of the bushings fell out as well. Hope they reinforce that part and send free upgrades. The brush is kind of an important part as it is also the drive shaft for the wheels on the other side. It needs to be much stronger.
Update after five weeks:
- Good customer service by the Florida manufacturer (which is not iRobot btw). They immediately sent out two spare brushes/drive shafts. Both variants are much stronger than the original one. The brushes are also thicker so they work better in bends. Thank you. I changed my rating back to 4 stars!
- Likely cause of the early failure is the robot getting over the bottom drains which - now that the vacuum driven cleaner is gone - have very strong suction. The rubber brush / drive shaft gets sucked out of the robot. I now have the pool pump and the 110V timer for the robot run on a distinct schedule to completely avoid that problem.
- Still very satisfied with the cleaning result.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2013
I got this robot yesterday and only used it once, last night. So these are my initial observations.
The robot was very simple to set up out of the box: just put the tires on the wheels, drop it in the water, and push the clean button. Very easy. It also worked perfectly with no tuning needed (unlike previous reviewer, my robot does 90 degrees turns without a problem and without me having to modify anything). Mirra has gyros which allows it to know which direction it is going. Thanks to those it can traverse the pool in various directions, ensuring that it does cover all the pool area and not just the same spot over and over. While at first it did look like the robot was cleaning the same strip of my pool over and over, I later realized it is just doing a diligent job and given time, it adjusted its path and ended up cleaning my entire pool, capturing every single debris on the ground and leaving it spotless. When I cleaned the 2 filter canisters this morning, I found both small debris (leaves, small branches), larger ones (bigger leaves and branches), and very small particles (mud). So it definitely did a great job cleaning. Cleaning the robot was also very easy.
Now the reason why I don't give it 4 stars is the following. First, I agree with the previous reviewer that the user manual could be vastly improved. For example, I could not find any information about how long the cleaning cycle lasts. So I wasn't sure whether I was supposed to stop it manually by pressing the clean button again once the pool is clean enough, or if it was going to stop on its own. So I went to bed deciding to check in the morning if the robot was still cleaning the pool. It turns out it did stop on its own. When that happened, the LED blue light of the clean button, which is very bright, started blinking. While I realize the goal of this design is probably to indicate that it is time to take the robot out of the pool and clean it, it may be a bit annoying for people who have their bedrooms close to the pool and are trying to sleep, as my backyard looked a bit like a night club disco :).
Second, while the robot did a good job at climbing the walls of my pool, it wasn't able to climb all the steps. It had no problem climbing the large ones, but couldn't climb the small ones of the main stairs. This is because the height of the step is just about the length of the robot so Mirra ends up in a vertical position with the top wheels just above the top of the step so that it does not get enough traction to heave itself up. So it ends up just brushing the side of the step, and never made it to the other 2 steps. That's unfortunate...
Third, this robot cannot be programmed at all, as far as I can tell. So you can't set a scheduler and have it automatically clean your pool, say every day for a given duration. You have to be there, and push the clean button manually every time. I don't think this will be a huge deal for me as I doubt I'll need to use the robot more than once a week to keep my pool clean. However, using a robot like this is also a cheaper alternative to running the pool pump as it filtrates the water as well, and it would have been nice to have a scheduler to allow for the robot to replace some of the daily filtration the pump does. I think a lot of the other robots in this price range have that capability, and so do some of the other iRobot products (e.g. Roomba will clean your floors automatically on a programmable schedule), so I am surprised that Mirra lacks that feature.
In conclusion I am very impressed with how well the robot cleaned my pool, with the exception of a few steps it couldn't reach, and I am a little bit disappointed at the lack of a programmable scheduler. Overall, it is a great product.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2014
I purchase directly from iRobot. I have had many of their products over the years and this is the worst. Our Verro 550 Pool cleaner was a great performer. We have a large diving pool in Arizona. The verro did a great job keeping our pool crystal clear , including the sandy dirt on the bottom of the pool. After 7 years, it was time to fix or replace it. We went with the Mirra. After trying to adjust it many times, talking to iRobot technical support who did not speak or understand English well-nor did they know anything about the product-I decided to throw in the towel and and return it back to iRobot. The unit would not clean the dirt and would twist and tangle cord, no matter how many times I changed the floats. I'm usually pretty good at figuring these things out, but this was too much for me and my $ 1,300. Because of their poor technical support, I may not purchase another iRobot product.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2013
We have a 16m x 4m pool (80,000 litres). I purchased this robot because we already have an iRobot vacuum cleaner (Conzuelda) and I love her - she makes my housework chores much easier. We could not be happier with our iRobot pool cleaner. It took a couple of goes before he had mapped out the whole pool - as it is large. We put him in the pool on a Friday night and wake up Saturday morning to a sparkling pool ready for the weekend. Easy to clean and use. It is a dream. Picks up sand and plant matter from the pool floor and it is amazing how he climbs the steps and the sides of the walls right up to the tile line and cleans everything. These machines are brilliant and I recommend them to you - both the vacuum cleaner and the pool cleaner. If you have trouble at first, be patient and give him a couple of tries to map out the area properly and you check that you have his buoyancy correct. I can't imagine that anybody will be anything other than pleased with the result. Thank you. Julie Mitcheson-Low, Western Australia.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2013
I'm really loving my IRobot Mirra 530 after a couple months of cleaning through the toughest time of year. This robot replaced my Dolphin Dynamic, for which I paid even a higher price 2 years ago. Bought the Mirra from Bed Bath & Beyond with a 20% off coupon - a great buy. The Mirra is far superior to the Dolphin in that it collects even the toughest leaf deposits of the Fall season, reaches all parts of my pool (the Dolphin wouldn't do steps or seats), never gets tangled, deep cleans even the fine dirt, is far easier to clean and is smaller and lighter. Besides that, it's smarter; targeting the dirtiest parts of the pool. To top it off, I had a difficulty with the IRobot Caddy (bought separately), and the company fully satisfied my issue. Clearly, I am really sold on this robot, and the company, and I'd recommend it to anyone.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2014
It's pretty good. Have a tendency to "miss" some areas of the pool and the constant unwinding of the coiled cord is very annoying. Why can't they put a swivel adapter on the thing. 3 stars is mostly the cord coiling mess. At least the wheels aren't falling off as on my Polaris P93 piece of $1000 junk.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2014
My initial review (see below) wasn't very kind. The second unit has been in use all season and has exceeded my modest expectations. I'm delighted by its performance. My original review follows:
Purchased a Mirra 530 directly from Irobot on May 19, 2014. Unit wouldn't start. It appeared to have a defective power supply (standby light would flash but when I pushed the button to start the blue light would flash
erratically for a second or two then return to the intermittent standby flash) Peformed the suggested troubleshooting drills without success. Contacted customer service by phone - they followed their standard script ("Did you soak the wheels for 15 minutes?"). I was then transferred to someone at Irobot who was willing to authorize an exchange or return. They weren't willing to send me a new power unit to see if that was the problem. It was all or nothing. They said I would receive my prepaid return label in a day or two and wouldn't ship a replacement unit they saw that the return package was in motion back to them. I've opted to return the unit with
the attendant repackaging and driving to UPS hassle. Rather than suffer further delays attendant on their exchange policy I'm going to roll the dice and order another one directly from Amazon today. I'll update upon receipt of the new unit.
13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2013
Probably should have anticipated that the Mirra 530 wouldn't live up to the hype, and assuredly, it doesn't. Let me preface this review by stating 1) our pool is not rectangular in shape so "your mileage may vary" and 2) I purchased the Mirra 530 directly from iRobot. The primary reason for the low rating is its inability to actually traverse (and thus clean) the entire pool. The manual claims it should turn 90 degrees on "the first turn of a new cleaning cycle". Nowhere in said manual is it ever defined what exactly a "new cleaning cycle" actually is. I eagerly watched the Mirra 530 for a half hour in hopes it would perform a turn and start covering a different part of the pool, but nothing changed. Its behavior was simply to go back and forth and after descending from climbing a wall, perform a couple wheelies (no exaggeration). Rereading the manual (which mostly consists of just pictures), I decided perhaps the "float block holder" configuration needed to be changed. Was a bit surprised to see that the configuration, as shipped by the manufacturer, was nothing as described in the manual. I adjusted the configuration and gave it another try. Turns out the adjustment did make a difference, but not enough so to actually turn it more than 20 degrees at most (and this was, according to the manual, the configuration to use when the Mirra 530 was severely under-turning). Such a low-tech means to have this thing properly turn will undoubtedly be a major cause of frustration.
On the bright side, for the area that the Mirra did cover, it cleaned it quite well (but certainly no better than what a much less expensive pool cleaner could do).
Perhaps I received a defective unit (and believe me, I'm going to contact iRobot), but really, for a ~$1,300.00 piece of equipment, I expected much higher capability and sophistication to actually traverse and clean the entire pool.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2014
Wheels have to be soaked before you can use, plan on an hour before you are up and running. Once running, it is simply a great cleaner; maps every area of the pool and picks up even pebbles. As with my last cleaner, lifting from the pool allows a very small amount of debris to drain back into the pool with the water. Had the deck sanded, and there must have been 15 lbs. of sand in the pool; the Mirra picked it all up in three sessions, and my pool looks great.