Published on October 24th, 2020 | by Roger Corbinetti0
Hayward AquaVac 6 Robotic Pool Cleaner Review
DISCLOSURE: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
It’s been some time since we saw any major innovation in the robotic pool cleaner market. It’s mostly been incremental improvements over old features like smart navigation.
The new AquaVac pool cleaners have changed that. They come loaded with innovative features that improve cleaning performance and make it easier (and more fun) to operate the pool cleaner.
The most notable feature is actually what’s missing – filters.
Read on for our full review of the features, cleaning performance, and ease of use of the AquaVac 6 Series robotic pool cleaners.
If you are looking for a different or cheaper pool cleaner, check out our reviews of the best automatic pool cleaners.
There’s a lot to unpack, so let’s get straight into the best features of the AquaVac 600 and 650.
1. Filter-less, No-touch Canister
We start with the biggest and most surprising feature – no filters.
The canister where the AquaVac 6 cleaners collect debris does not contain traditional filters that you need to clean.
Instead, debris is trapped behind netting that doesn’t need cleaning. Emptying the canister is easy, and you don’t have to touch the debris.
Once you lift the canister out of the cleaner, press the quick-release button and the bottom of the canister open to release the debris and little water in the canister.
You’ll often find it necessary to rinse the canister with a hose to get any remaining bits of debris out.
The filter-less design makes maintaining the AquaVac cleaner much easier and eliminates the messy work of touching debris.
2. Superior Suction
The lack of filters has one big advantage; the cleaner can generate higher suction.
However, AquaVac cleaner is not powerful simply because they lack filters. They have additional technology that further boosts suction. Hayward calls it SpinTech™ filterless technology.
It consists of a series of eighteen hydrocyclones (they look like tapering tubes) that spin fast to separate debris from the water and maintain suction.
The high suction allows the AquaVac cleaners to clean the pool faster and pick up more debris. In fact, they pick up so much debris you may need to empty the canister midway through the cleaning.
The powerful vacuum, combined with the cleaner’s aggressive scrubbing action, leaves your pool sparkling clean.
The increased suction also improves the cleaner’s traction and mobility. AquaVac 6 cleaners move in the pool like no other robotic cleaner we’ve seen.
They rarely get stuck and have an easy time scaling the pool wall.
3. Six Variable Speed Rollers
Another reason AquaVac 6 cleaners can move so easily in the pool is what’s underneath them. They move on six rollers, more than in any other robotic pool cleaner.
What’s even more interesting is that the robotic cleaner can move the rollers independently at variable speeds.
This allows the cleaner to engage adaptive traction to suit the cleaning surface. It also gives the cleaner more flexibility when turning, scaling walls, and navigating tricky pool features.
4. Caddy Cart
For your convenience, the AquaVac 6 robotic pool cleaner comes with a caddy. The caddy provides a safe place to store the power supply, cable, and robotic pool cleaner. It also makes it easier to move the cleaner to and from storage.
Hayward AquaVac 6 Model Options
As we mentioned earlier, the AquaVac 6 series has two models: the AquaVac 600 and AquaVac 650.
Both models share the main features we’ve explained above. Cleaning performance is also similar between the two.
Differences between the two models come down to a few extra features. Let’s look at each model.
AquaVac 600 is the base model. It offers all the above features plus the following extra ones:
White light display- handy for spotting the cleaner when it’s cleaning the pool at night. You cannot adjust the display in any way.
Two cleaning modes- you can select a floor-only mode that runs for about 90 minutes (perfect for quick cleaning or cleaning a pool with a cover) or a standard full cycle mode that runs for about 150 minutes.
One scheduling mode- you can set the AquaVac 600 to clean every 48 hours. It’ll automatically clean at the same time every two days. Obviously, you need to leave the cleaner in the pool.
Control panel indicators- the control panel on the power unit will display various indicators to let you know what’s happening. There are indicators for standby, sleep, error, fault, and no power.
The biggest difference between the AquaVac 600 and 650 is that the 650 has WiFi. Importantly, the cleaner generates its own wireless network, so you don’t need to worry about your router’s range.
You connect your phone directly to the cleaner. On the downside, even though there’s an app to control the cleaner, you cannot do so away from home since there’s isn’t an actual internet connection. It’s what’s called a peer to peer connection.
So if you were hoping to clean your pool from your office or integrate the AquaVac cleaner into your smart home, you are out of luck.
Once you are within the range of the cleaner, the wireless feature works smoothly. Our favorite feature is spot cleaning.
If the cleaner has missed a spot in the pool, you can manually navigate it using the AquaVac app. And unlike Bluetooth-enabled pool cleaners, WiFi is very responsive with virtually no lag.
The app has lots of features. All the settings and modes available on the power unit are also available on the app. That means you can set a cleaning mode and program an auto-cleaning schedule right from your phone.
In addition to WiFi, here are other notable features present in the AquaVac 650.
Programmable color themes- instead of white light like the 600, you can select various light colors and themes, including twilight, USA, and more. These options are available on the app.
Three cleaning modes- in addition to the floor-only and full-cycle modes available in the 600, you can also select a waterline only cleaning mode exclusive to the 650. It runs for about 90 minutes.
Two scheduling modes- the 650 has the same 48-hour scheduling mode as the 600. Also, it has programmable weekly scheduling through the app. You can select the cleaning days and set a different time for each.
Type: Robotic pool cleaner
Pool type: In-ground pool up to 20′ by 40.’
Filter-type: Top-access filter-less canister
Weight: 19.3lbs plus 4.5lbs for the power supply
AquaVac 600 vs. 650
We’ve already discussed the differences between AquaVac 600 and 650 above. Below is a quick summary in table form.
|AquaVac 600||AquaVac 650|
|No WiFi||WiFi with app control|
|Cleaning modes:Full and floor-only||Cleaning modes: Full, floor-only and water-line only|
|Scheduling: Every 48 hrs||Scheduling:Every 48 hrs + Programmable weekly schedule|
|Non-programmable white display light||Programmable display light with multiple colors and themes|
|Caddy: yes||Caddy: yes|
|Manual spot cleaning: no||Manual spot cleaning: yes (via app)|
As you can see, the differences between the two models are in the extra features. If you opt for the cheaper 600 models, you’ll get the same excellent cleaning performance as the 650.
We recommend the pricier AquaVac 650 for pool owners who like the idea of controlling the cleaner from their phone or tablet. The weekly scheduling also makes it a great choice for pool owners who want more control over when the pool is cleaned.
Both models are ideal for busy pool owners who spend a lot of time away from home. With either model, you can set a 48-hour recurring schedule that will keep your pool clean when you are away.
Issues & Limitations
Considering all the new and innovative features, we are not surprised that the AquaVac 6 pool cleaners are expensive. If you are shopping for a budget robotic pool cleaner, neither of the AquaVac models are ideal.
The filter-less technology is great, but it comes with a downside. Both the AquaVac 600 and 650 models struggle to pick up fine debris. Even the manual tells you to expect this limitation.
After you lift the cleaner out of the pool, you may still see fine dust and particles suspended in water.
In most cases, this is not a problem, as your pool filter will take care of the fine particles. However, if wind constantly blows a lot of dust or sand into your pool, consider finding another robotic pool cleaner with traditional ultra-fine filters.
Another issue and this one is specific to the WiFi model, is the peer-to-peer connection.
As we explained, the AquaVac 650 does not connect to your home network. Instead, it broadcasts its own network that you use to link up your phone.
In some cases, this is good. For instance, if your pool is too far from the house, it is out of your router’s range.
But it is also a big limitation if you’d like to control the cleaner when you are away from home or add it to your smart home functionality (imagine a smart routine where the cleaner automatically goes to work after it rains to remove debris).
Pros and Cons of the Hayward AquaVac 6 Robotic Pool Cleaners
- Excellent cleaning performance – they clean better than most other robotic pool cleaners.
- Easy mobility and powerful suction.
- Easy to maintain.
- Wireless connectivity in the 650.
- Multiple cleaning modes and scheduling options.
- Caddy cart included.
- Struggles to pick up fine debris.
- Struggles to clean steps, similar to most robotic pool cleaners.
- Limited wireless functionality.
Where to Buy the Hayward AquaVac 6 Robotic Pool Cleaners