Polaris 9550 Sport Robot In-Ground Pool Cleaner Review

Swimming pools are amazing, right? It’s all the more fun if it’s sitting in your backyard! In a perfect world, subtract all the maintenance required and what you have is object of joy, just waiting to be jumped into. Unfortunately, our world is far from perfect and the pretty little pool you have there is sure to get contaminated with dust and rogue leaves. Cleaning a swimming pool is undoubtedly the most difficult and frustrating aspect of owning one. While automatic pool cleaners are exorbitantly expensive, they do get the job done rather conveniently. Zodiac System’s Polaris 9550 Sport Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner is one such product.

Polaris 9550 Sport Robot In-Ground Pool Cleaner Review
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Zodiac’s flagship model, the 9550, packs in a lot of features for its $1000+ price tag and it makes sure you get what you pay for.


  • The Polaris 9550 is boosted by a back-end propulsion system which makes it easier to clean tight areas and remote corners.
  • It’s powerful vacuum technology maintains steady suction at all times to facilitate cleaning of bigger debris.
  • Its 4WD system allows it to move smoothly on any pool surface.
  • The Polaris 9550’s water expulsion mechanism makes lifting the caddy out of the water easier.
  • The dirt canister is well-designed to allow its cleaning without manually touching any debris.
  • It provides exclusive programmable cleaning cycles.


  • The mobile remote control offers slower response time.
  • The head unit does not provide speed control for the caddy.

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Features and Benefits of the Polaris 9550 Sport Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner

Polaris 9550 Sport Robot In-Ground Pool Cleaner
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The Polaris 9550 sports a 16.9X18.9X10.6-inch all-plastic chassis and weighs about 21 pounds. The entire assembly consists of a head, powder-coated alloy caddy and a 70-foot long cable connecting the cleaner to the head unit.

The overall build looks a lot like a sports car, with signature Aqua-Trax wheels by its side and a streamlined body. The cable is tangle-resistant, which helps in fitting it nicely within the caddy after cleaning the pool. The head unit measures 8X7.5X4.5 inches and features an LED numeric display to indicate cycle timings and a support to hold the remote.

The control panel hosts a number of buttons to control the functionality of the machine, like start/stop, clock, a dirty filter sign and a lift indicator. The operating system also features settings to set the level of cleaning power and an option to choose the nature of pool surface terrain.

Debris Canister:

The debris canister in the Polaris 9550 sport is designed to not only contain collected debris, but also to provide convenient cleaning of the storage. It is nicely housed in the cleaning unit and can be conveniently extracted after opening the lid of the body. The canister also consists of a fine filtration system that accepts the contaminated water, filters out the impurities and expels the clean water from the back of the robot by a water-jet system, signature to the Polaris 9550.

Cleaning Technology:

The 9550 sport robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner boasts of ActivMotion Technology that makes controlling the cleaner in the pool easier. It can service pools that are up to 50-60 feet in length, whether they are free-form or rectangular in shape.

The enhanced navigation features let you clean even the tightest areas and remote corners. The machine dons two rotating dusters in the front that free up the debris stuck to the surface. Polaris’ exclusive Vortex Vacuum Technology sucks in the loose contaminants, filters the water and expels it back into the pool. The 4WD and Aqua-Trax wheels give the 9550 enough agility and traction to move efficiently and scour the entire surface for dirt.

Automatic Operation:

This Polaris 9550 robotic pool cleaner features a control panel on the head unit with an LED display screen to indicate cycle and clock timings. In an unprecedented move, Polaris has provided its latest model with a 7-day cleaning programmable schedule to execute autonomous cleaning. It also remembers past cleaning cycles which can be set for further use.

Easy Lift:

The Polaris 9550 weighs a hefty 21 pounds and so, naturally it is very difficult to lift it right out of the water with all the extra hydraulic payload. When you’re done cleaning, the press of a command button tells the cleaner to terminate its current operation and orders to come to the side of the pool, where it will start climbing the wall.As soon as it reaches the waterline, with the help of a handle, you can yank it out just as it starts getting rid of all the extra water from its filter which makes the entire assembly a lot lighter.

As soon as it reaches the waterline, with the help of a handle, you can yank it out just as it starts getting rid of all the extra water from its filter which makes the entire assembly a lot lighter.

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Why Polaris 9550 sport is the best?

The Polaris 9550 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner comes with an ergonomically designed dirt canister. It is housed perfectly in the cleaning unit and can be popped out for removal of dirt by just lifting the lid. The canister has been designed such that you can clean it without making your hands dirty. The containment opens easily with the push of a button and can be sprayed with a water jet for removal of its contents.

Polaris 9550 Sport Robot In-Ground Pool Cleaner
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This feature, coupled with the device’s Easy Lift technology is what really stands out compared to other pool cleaners in the market. You can recall the unit by just the press of a button. It climbs up the side of the pool and can be easily withdrawn from the water as it reaches the waterline. The Polaris 9550’s strong vacuum performance too, is unmatched in the industry and is capable of maintaining steady suction even for larger particles.

User Opinion about Polaris 9550 Sport Robot In-Ground Pool Cleaner

Polaris 9550 Sport Robot In-Ground Pool Cleaner
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Most users found the Polaris 9550 Sport rather expensive but for the features and functionality it packs, they did not regret their decision of buying one. The users were particularly impressed with the 9550’s superior cleaning ability. Its ability to move and clean discrete corners of the pool surface was something they could never get their previous cleaners to do.

Some customers complained about a sluggish remote response, but soon became used to controlling it efficiently for optimal performance. The easy lift feature also gained its favor among users. The one aspect of the Polaris that users were disappointed with was the programmable 7-day cleaning schedule.

If the Polaris 9550 powers down during operation, the entire program is deleted and has to be reset from scratch. There have been numerous instances of an ‘error; occurring which erases all existing programmed data for good.

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Comparison between Polaris 9550 and Dolphin Quantum

Both flagship models of their respective manufacturers, Polaris’ 9550 and Dolphin’s Quantum, weigh almost the same at 21 and 22 pounds. They both come with a cable 60 feet long too. While the former is powered by ActivMotion Sensor Technology, the latter’s enhanced motion control is due to its SmartNav 2.0 navigation system.

Dolphin Quantum Review
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Both models boast of programmable cleaning cycle routines courtesy to a tech-savvy head unit. The dirt canister of the Polaris 9550 consists a fine mesh filtration system to capture dirt particles whereas the Quantum uses a two-micron nano filter for the same purpose.

The 9550 expels the water sucked in and cleaned of impurities from the back of the robot, generating an effective propulsion system. On the other hand, the Dolphin Quantum Robotic dispenses the vacuumed water from its sides. The former uses an alloy caddy with two rotating dust scrubbers in the front of the robot to free up dirt stuck to the pool floor, whereas the Quantum comes with a single rotating scrubber for this purpose.

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My Experience of  Polaris 9550 Sport Pool Cleaner

Personally, I have been trying out different automatic pool cleaners ever since I built a swimming pool in my backyard. Almost all pool owners realize the painstaking efforts to be taken to maintain a healthy pool.

Before I bought the Polaris 9550 Sport (about this later), I have tried all major manufacturers in the market but it just wouldn’t suffice. None of the machines were able to scrub out adhered impurities on the pool floor, let alone cleaning up the dirt accumulated near the stairs and other tighter regions.

Polaris 9550 Sport Robot In-Ground Pool Cleaner
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The 9550’s superior cleaning mechanism rid all these difficulties and is capable of scoring out dirt from even the smallest of areas. The cord connecting the cleaning unit and head more often than not, used to get entangled during operation. With the Polaris 9550 sport’s tangle-resistant cord and handy carry case, it has become effectively easy for me to fit the cord back in comfortably.

What’s even more frustrating than operating a sluggish machine? A cleaning method that makes my hands dirty! The ergonomically designed canister can be easily detached from the system and water-sprayed clean without getting any dirt on my hands!

Best feature ever! All in all, the super-friendly programmable settings coupled with a powerful vacuum technology effectively solved all my problems.

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Final Verdict

Automatic pool cleaners are pretty expensive, but they do get the job done. With a bit expensive but affordable price-tag, you might have your doubts regarding the Polaris 9550 but rest assured, that this robot’s stellar underwater performance delivers the best cleaning and optimal value for money.

My name is Ron Walsh. I’m an industry expert, certified pool technician, and avid lover of all things aquatic. In my beautiful homeland of Florida, where I still reside today, pools are everywhere. Needless to say, I learned to love water at a young age. With my love of water, and pools in particular, it was only natural that I follow a career path in the swimming pool industry. If there’s someone to learn about above ground pools, pool cleaners and maintenance from, it would definitely be me. If you have any question just let me know.

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