You probably know by now that it’s very difficult to find a premium pool clean robot for much less than $1,000. Fortunately, however, some particularly good deals come by now and again that offer great quality for a relative bargain. A good example of this is the Hayward RC9742 SharkVac Robotic Pool Cleaner. For more information about this relatively inexpensive offering from Hayward, and what the consensus of users have to say about its value, please continue reading.
Hayward RC9742 SharkVac Specifications
The SharkVac is designed to clean residential in-ground pools up to about 40 feet in length and is equipped with a 50-foot power cord. This 24 volt robot uses a top-located filter bag that makes filter cleaning much easier. It’s a good thing too, since this unit is quite heavy and can be challenging to move around. For this reason, we’re also happy to see this model come with the pull-caddy!
The filter bag uses a material with dual porosity for coarse and fine matter, which is a good thing if you are often plagued by cloudy and/or green water resulting from fine silt, pollen or algae. The SharkVac can handle just about all common pool surfaces, such as gunite, fiberglass and vinyl.
This robot is designed primarily for covering pool bottom and sloped areas, and is not intended to climb 90 degree walls. In practice though, many users report that the SharkVac does in fact climb pretty well, or at least partially up the walls – although it’s hit or miss. It’s performance in this regard is largely going to be dependent on the particulars of your pool and severity of the wall slopes.
The SharkVac scans and optimizes its sweep pattern based on your particular pools size and shape, and with it’s “QuickClean” technology and heavy-duty scrubbers, is reported to complete work with 90 minutes or less for most pools. Nevertheless, many users report sending the robot through for multiple passes for more complete coverage.
As far as energy efficiency, this robot is very inexpensive to run, and is comparable to the electricity consumed by a light bulb.
Operating this robot is straightforward, simply plug it into a standard wall socket and let it go to work. Beyond the power cord, no other attachments, hoses, booster units, or anything else is necessary.
Hayward RC9742 SharkVac Reviews
The SharkVac currently holds an average user satisfaction rating of 3.8 out o 5.0, based on a solid record of 39 reviews to date, most of which are 5-star. Users generally note that this model performs very well and meets or exceeds expectations. And while this unit is not technically a “wall-climber,” many users happily noted that it would venture out onto the walls, albeit to varying degrees. Also mentioned quite frequently is how well this robot cleans for the price – many users stated they opted for this model after considering others that cost hundreds more.
Among the negative remarks, the most common issue was that it sometimes leaked some debris back into the pool when removing the unit to clean the filter. Also, a few people complained that it had trouble picking up leaves. Other remarks focused mainly on product failures/defects, some of which appeared to have been addressed satisfactorily by Hayward customer service.
Concluding Thoughts and Opinions
The Hayward SharkVac is a very solid, higher-caliber in-ground pool robot that, at it’s current sale price of about $550, is particularly affordable when you compare it to other “top-shelf” robotic pool cleaners out there. As a result, we think it provides outstanding value for someone looking for a better-than-average robot, but who’d rather not shell out $1,000 or more on some of the more “elite” models. The big sacrifices as we see them, however, is that this robot has very limited climbing ability (to the extent this matters to you), in addition to being a bit quirky – for example, struggling to picking up leaves in some cases for some users.
Nevertheless, overall, the vast majority of users find this cleaner to be very effective and a good buy, especially for the price. We agree! In our view, perhaps the only other robot right now that provides better value and more functionality (although it is a bit more expensive) is the Dolphin Nautilus.