Automatic Pool Cleaner Repair

Whether you own a suction side or robotic cleaner, regular maintenance will help keep it in good shape. Common problems are easy to identify and fix.

Whether you own a suction side or robotic cleaner, regular maintenance will help keep it in good shape. Common problems are easy to identify and fix.

Start by examining your owner's manual. If the problem is described in the manual, follow the troubleshooting steps.

Getting Stuck

A cleaner that gets stuck in the middle of a pool is going to cause a lot of unnecessary wear and tear for both the drive tracks and robotic cleaner motor. If this happens regularly, it can even damage the wheels.

An excess of hose can also prevent a cleaner from moving properly, so make sure the hose is trimmed to the proper length for the pool. A full leaf bag can also hold back the cleaner, so it’s important to empty it frequently.

Manufacturers know that many repairs for a robotic or suction-side cleaner fall into the realm of the professional, so they try to design their products with upkeep in mind. For example, Zodiac’s Polaris robotic line of cleaners has a filter canister that is easy to access and empty. The company also minimizes hardware in order to keep the cleaner easy to repair.

Poor Suction Power

If the cleaner is moving around the pool, but it doesn’t seem to be picking up any debris or climbing the walls as well as it used to, then there may be a problem with its suction power. This can be caused by a clogged vacuum hose or an air leak at the return wall-fitting, which should be bled off to restore suction.

Another cause of poor suction is a hose that is too short. The hose should be long enough to reach from the wall connection to the furthest corner of the pool, with a few feet left over.

If the hose is too long, it may create tangles, especially if it’s been stored incorrectly. Bleeding off excess pressure at the thrust jet, located on the back of the cleaner, can help to reduce tangling. It can also be helpful to adjust the cleaner’s pattern and speed, if necessary. These adjustments will allow the cleaner to climb the walls more effectively.

Not Cleaning the Pool

If the cleaner is unable to complete its entire cleaning cycle or misses spots in the pool, it may be due to air leakage within the system. Using a garden hose to disconnect the cleaner from the return wall-fitting and checking for air bubbles at each joint can help pinpoint the location of the problem.

This type of problem can also be caused by too much sand in the cleaner’s filter. The best way to resolve this issue is to drain the cleaner and wash its wheels, axles, and brush gears with a pool-safe chemical.

Suction and pressure cleaners are more complex than robotic models and require regular upkeep by a professional to ensure proper operation. That’s why Zodiac makes it a point to provide training on these units for professionals in several formats, including in-person technical service schools, webinars and online and video instruction. The goal is to keep these products as functional as possible for the longest amount of time.

Not Moving Around the Pool

When a robotic pool cleaner turns on but just sits in one place and doesn’t move, it could have gotten stuck on an obstacle. Establishing what kind of obstacle it is will help determine the proper method to fix it. This is usually a very simple task of inspecting the area to make sure nothing is caught up on, like a ladder or steps, and adjusting the positioning of the hose to avoid this type of problem.

Diaphragm suction cleaners can also get stuck on obstructions that are creating an imbalance in the vacuuming power. If this is the case, bleed off excess pressure at the return wall-fitting to slow down the cleaner.

Ravi Jha

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