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What Filters Should a Robotic Pool Cleaner Have?

Robotic pool cleaner filters have a finite lifespan of, on average, two to three seasons. But the main problem most users have is not knowing when to replace the filter but rather, what filters should a robotic pool cleaner have? In this brief guide, we’ll cover the basics—cartridge filter types and which parts to replace.

Cleaning a Robotic Pool Cleaner Filter
Cleaning a Robotic Pool Cleaner Filter

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Filter Cartridge Types: Spring Cleaning vs. Ultrafine

Generally speaking, users can decide between two filter cartridge types: one for spring cleaning and another for ultrafine particles.

Spring-Cleaning Filter Cartridge

This type of filter cartridge is designed to trap large particles—i.e., dead leaves, twigs, acorns, flower petals, and so on. The large gaps in the mesh grid measure between 150 and 300 microns, allowing large quantities of water to move more freely through the cartridge. However, the holes are small enough to trap most, if not all, large contaminants.

As its name suggests, this type of filter works best in the springtime, where your pools become littered with the remnants of dead foliage. This is also the generally accepted filter type for pools installed underneath large trees or nearby plants.

Filters of the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus
Filters of the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus

Ultrafine Particle Filter

An ultrafine particle’s mesh grids are made to trap tiny contaminants with near 100% effectiveness. The 30-micron mesh grid will come in handy for general-purpose cleaning. This filter will come in handy when dealing with algae, sand, dirt, silt, and broken-off bits of large debris.

What robotic pool cleaner owners tend to do is use a spring-cleaning filter at the start of the swim season. Then they’ll swap the spring-cleaning cartridge out for an ultrafine particle filter to keep their pools swim-ready throughout the swim season.

Doing this ensures twigs and rocks don’t break through the ultrafine mesh grid while preventing algae and other fine particles from escaping the large pores of the spring-cleaning cartridge.

Robotic Pool Cleaner Filter Cartridges
Robotic Pool Cleaner Filter Cartridges

Replacing Cartridges vs. Replacing Grids

Now, users have two options when it comes to swapping out worn-out filter cartridges for new ones, regardless of what filter type they have. There’s option A) Replacing the entire cartridge, and B) replacing the mesh grids. Let’s go over their differences.


The mesh grids need to be replaced a lot more frequently the cartridge filter. These are filter “sheets” or “trays” that slide in and out of the cartridge filter.

The mesh grid, which can have either a spring cleaning or an ultrafine filter, has a maximum lifespan of around one season, though your mileage is dependent on how often you run your robot, how long you let it run for every cleaning cycle, and what sort of debris your robotic pool cleaner has to deal with.

As for the filter cartridge, it can be good for up to two seasons on average, though you can squeeze an extra season or two based on how clean your pool is.

Robotic Pool Cleaner Filter
Robotic Pool Cleaner Filter


In terms of convenience, users typically find that swapping out the entire cartridge—mesh and all—is a lot more convenient. Instead of meticulously shopping for compatible grids for your robotic pool cleaner, it’s a lot easier to find cartridge replacements with built-in spring-cleaning or ultrafine particle mesh grids.


While it can be more convenient to replace the entire cartridge every two swim seasons, it’s also a lot less cost-efficient. Mesh grids are cheaper than filter cartridges, so if you’re looking for ways to save money on pool maintenance, replacing the individual mesh grids is the better route.

Robotic Pool Cleaner Filters
Robotic Pool Cleaner Filters

Our Recommended Robotic Pool Cleaners

Affordable Option The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus is perfect for all pool types. From gunite to tile, and everything in between; you name it and Dolphin will clean it.

Best of the Best The Dolphin Dolphin Nautilus CC Supreme is equipped with a center scrubbing brush, this cleaner pushes the limits for wall and waterline cleaning.

Popular Option Smart Nav software delivers highly optimized scanning and coverage for a new level of clean. Advanced algorithms clean 100% of the pool floor, wall & tile/waterline and pool floor.

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About the author

Hi I’m Alex, founder of HouseholdMe.com and I’d like to say thank you for dropping by. Like most of you, the first thing I look at before buying something online is reviews or buying guides. By reading what other people say will help me gauge whether or not a product is good or not.  I am trying to help people find answers, solve problems, and get inspired.

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