If we’re going to be talking about automatic pool cleaners, the name Hayward needs no introduction. These guys were among the first to bring us the suction side automatic pool cleaner and have gone on to become one of the leading manufacturers of robotic pool cleaners. Along with the Maytronics Dolphin range, Hayward TigerShark robotic pool cleaners are among the most sought after pool bots in the world. Neither of these brands are cheap but, when making an investment of this nature, going too cheap is a recipe for disaster. A robotic pool cleaner is a sophisticated machine and, if you want a quality item, you should be prepared to pay for it.
This review is going to take a deep look into the Hayward TigerShark RC9990GR. Admittedly, this is not the top model in TigerShark range, but it’s up there with the best. This also means that you aren’t paying as much as you would for the premier models and are still getting a great robotic pool cleaner from a manufacturer with a solid reputation.
It does the job superbly and you’re not losing out on much. You won’t get a remote control, for that, you’d have to pay more and go one model up (TigerShark Plus). Beside this, I can’t see much reason why the TigerShark RC9990GR shouldn’t hold its head high amongst the more expensive robotic pool cleaners.
Although the TigerShark RC9990GR is the older design and has been replaced by the RC9990CUB, they are technically the same pool robot with the same spec. The newer model has a redesigned body and is actually cheaper and some think it looks cooler. Despite this, there are a lot of people who prefer the older design, saying it’s more robust. So in effect, it’s the same pool cleaner, it just shouldn’t break as easily as the newer model – and that’s a good thing.
This model is suitable for pools measuring up to 20-feet by 40-feet, it has a 55-foot cord. The Quick Clean (QC) model costs a bit more than the standard version and, for busy pool owners, this function may be worth paying for. The standard cycle for the TigerShark RC9990GR is 3-hours. Though you can shorten this cycle for those days when you want the pool cleaned in a hurry. When in the Quick Clean mode, the TigerShark will clean your pool in half the time (90-minutes) Obviously, it won’t clean as thoroughly in this mode, but it will get the pool presentable when there isn’t too much debris.
As one would expect from an advanced robotic pool cleaner, the TigerShark scans the pool and calculates the most effective cleaning path. This maximizes its power usage, which is already extremely low, thanks to the super-efficient 24V electric motor. It also allows the Bot to clean the walls, sides and steps of your pool thoroughly with each cleaning cycle. It will clean right up to the waterline. When the TigerShark has completed a cleaning cycle, it will shut down automatically.
The TigerShark has excellent filter cartridges. They remove fine silt with ease and are super easy to remove and clean. While these filters are a vast improvement on the older bag technology used in many robotic pool cleaners, the TigerShark won’t hold as much debris as those that use a bag. This is fine for regular daily cleaning. But after a storm, you’re likely to be cleaning out the filters a few times during a cleaning cycle. Adding to its great cleaning abilities, the rotating plastic roller brush does an excellent job of scrubbing away algae and other stubborn debris.
The TigerShark doesn’t make use of a swivel cord. This is something I have mixed feelings about. Swivel cords do eliminate the problem of a tangled cord, but they don’t last. It doesn’t take long for a swivel cord mechanism to take in water and short out the circuitry. Personally, I’m not a big fan of swivel cords for this reason. I see that many manufacturers agree with this and are reverting back to the fixed cord setup. Hayward have, however, come up with a way of averting the tangling problem (which doesn’t happen too often with the TigerShark). When the cord does become entangled, you simply need to push the handle at the top to the opposite side and the bot will move in the opposite direction, thereby detangling the cord. This means some human intervention. But if the cord tangles, the TigerShark will stop so no harm can be done. It will then resume its cycle when you make the simple adjustment.
If you’re already a fan of the Hayward brand, you probably need no convincing and are likely to add this item to cart in an instant. For the non-converted, I’d really recommend this fantastic robotic pool cleaner. It’s a quality product and has a 1-year warranty – backed by a name we’ve all come to trust.