Cedar Grove, Nj — Robotic pool cleaners are helping fitness facility owners save staff time, money and energy.

At most club pools, a maintenance person scrubs and vacuums the pool, which can take 20 to 30 minutes per day for smaller pools and six to eight hours for larger ones, says Gil Erlich, vice president of sales and marketing for Aqua Products, a family-owned company in Cedar Grove, NJ. The company manufactures 20 models of robotic cleaners that can clean pools in less time.

Aqua Products is one of several manufacturers of robotic cleaners for commercial use. Because the robotic cleaners operate independently of the pool's filtration system, they do not connect to the main pump with a hose. Instead, the mobile units are self-contained filtration/circulation systems with their own pump motors and their own filters that recirculate filtered water. Smaller units from AquaProducts can filter about 4,500 gallons per hour while larger units can filter about 16,000 gallons per hour.

The robotic cleaners filter particulates as small as 2 microns, Erlich says.

Costs for these products, which work in chlorine and saltwater pools, vary, but the Aqua Products Max brands typically run from $1,000 to $7,000, a cost that club operators can recoup based on labor cost savings alone with three months of daily cleaning, Erlich says.

The robotic cleaning systems draw as little as one amp of electricity while a main pump can draw hundreds of amps. They also reduce chlorine costs by 20 percent to 30 percent because they redistribute the chlorine that typically concentrates on the bottom of the deep end of pools.

The water redistribution also mixes the cool water below with the warmer water above, moderating the water temperature and reducing water evaporation, Erlich says.