Strangely enough, I have a pool. I live in Brooklyn, in an apartment, but I have a 10 foot by 8 foot above-ground pool sitting in my garden. We didn’t put it in, the folks we rent from did. And although it’s a nice little extra—especially with kids—it’s also a bit of a pain to take care of. So this year, as we prepared to “open” our little urban oasis for the season, we got a new gadget to help clean it up.
The iRobot Verro 100 ($400) pool cleaner is exactly what it sounds like, a robot that cleans your pool. It’s easy to set-up, not too heavy to carry and, best of all, it does all the work for you. The Verro includes a self-contained vacuum, pump and filter system which picks up all kinds of crud—like hair, pollen, algae and bacteria. And trust me, in the middle of Brooklyn, we need all the help we can get. Who knows what’s gotten in there over the winter! There’s no attached hoses or pumps, you literally plug it in to the nearest electric outlet and drop it in the pool. You can walk away and let it do its thing, no need to stand around and watch (though my three year old son totally did. He named it Wall-e).
We used the Verro 100, which is made specifically for above ground pools. Once it’s in the pool, it cleans the entire thing in about 90 minutes by sort of moving back and forth on its thick, rubber wheels in one spot until it’s clean and then moving on to another area. It also circulates about 70 gallons of water a minute and promises to remove debris down to two microns. I can’t vouch for that (since you can’t see that kind of dirt with the human eye), but I can assure you that my pool is the cleanest I have ever seen it.
Our one problem was that one of the wheels kept coming off. It was easy enough to stick back on—and when we looked at the manual, iRobot was classy enough to suggest that this does happen and it wasn’t something we did. So, although we did have to check on it a few times, it wasn’t a deal breaker. The 40-foot power cable is a good length and comes with a swiveling detangler just in case.