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Q&A: Automatic Pool Cleaner Tune-Ups

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Automatic pool cleaners take much of the back-breaking hassle out of pool care, but even these workhorses need a little TLC every so often.

To shed some light on the topic, we’ve put together answers to your most common questions about maintaining an automatic pool cleaner. Whether you have a suction-side pool cleaner like the Zodiac MX8™ Elite, a pressure-side cleaner like the Polaris 3900 Sport, or a robotic cleaner like the Polaris 9650iQ Sport, routine tune-ups during the busy swim season will help ensure your pool cleaner runs smoothly and your pool water stays clean and clear.

Commonly Asked Automatic Pool Cleaner Questions

  1. Why do I need to bring my automatic pool cleaner in for a tune-up?

    Like a car, proper maintenance is the key to a long-lasting pool cleaner. Instead of waiting for problems to crop up, a tune-up can reveal whether drive belts or tracks are wearing out. Even a suction-side pool cleaner with few moving parts can use a good inspection. This is because parts like the foot pad and diaphragm can wear out or become damaged, making your cleaner less efficient.

    A trusted pool professional (if you don’t have one yet, find a pool pro here) has the experience to identify issues before they happen and can help you decide what maintenance needs to be done now and what can wait.

  2. When should I bring my pool cleaner in for a tune-up?

    There are two main scenarios when you should bring your automatic pool cleaner in for service. The first, which is a general rule of thumb, is every year before opening the pool for swim season (although it may be a busy time to do so in some areas). For many pool cleaners, the time spent out of the water can be tough on the rubber drive belts and brushes. Yearly maintenance can help you catch problems before they begin.

    The second scenario is to bring your automatic pool cleaner in for diagnosis when it isn’t running properly. If your robotic pool cleaner is sluggish or not moving at all, for instance, you can bring it to a qualified professional who can quickly pinpoint the problem using the proper diagnostic equipment. In the end, this will save you time and money on needless repairs.

  3. What exactly does automatic pool cleaner maintenance include?

    While the exact maintenance checklist will vary depending on the type and complexity of your pool cleaner, the primary goal of maintenance is to proactively determine whether any past wear and tear could possibly be leading to operational problems and address them before they occur.

    Common areas of wear and tear include the belts, tracks, brushes, and foot pads that help drive the pool cleaner. Other typical maintenance items include parts that affect the circulation of water, including the filters and canisters that catch the debris.

  4. Where should I go to take my automatic pool cleaner in for a tune-up?

    There are many options for companies that can do basic diagnostics and maintenance on your automatic pool cleaner. But before bringing it in, make sure that the company is qualified to work on your brand of cleaner.

    If you have an automatic pool cleaner from the Zodiac family of brands, use our handy Find a Dealer page to search for a qualified pool professional near you.

  5. What can I do to keep my automatic pool cleaner operating at its peak?

    First and foremost, understand how your pool cleaner works and what its limitations are. Familiarize yourself with the operating instructions to learn how to properly operate your equipment. Not all automatic pool cleaners are the same when it comes to day-to-day use.

Regularly cleaning your automatic pool cleaner is also encouraged. When you take it out of the water, you should rinse your pool cleaner off in fresh water to remove any debris and chemicals. Keep an eye on filters and leaf catchers—empty and clean them early and often. These parts can affect the circulation of your whole system, so keeping them free-flowing helps avoid putting a strain on your pool’s filtration system.

Maintaining Your Automatic Pool Cleaner

Your automatic pool cleaner is an investment that needs to be protected with regular maintenance. Always choose a qualified pool professional to maintain, diagnose, and repair your equipment for maximum functionality.

On the hunt for a new automatic pool cleaner? Start with our simple guide to find the best one for your needs. Have more questions? Reach out anytime to connect with a customer service specialist.

About This Blog

Includes all the latest information, tips, and expert advice from Zodiac Pool Systems, Inc. on owning the healthiest, safest, most enjoyable pool possible.


Zodiac is a leading global manufacturer of differentiated pool and spa products. With our rich heritage of innovation excellence, we develop some of the world's leading products that afford our customers a better life.


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