Blog Troubleshoot pool cleaner

Published on May 19th, 2020 | by Roger Corbinetti


How To Troubleshoot Your Robotic Pool Cleaner: 8 Easy Fixes

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Today’s pool professionals have learned to integrate robotic, automatic pool cleaners into their service routines, and retailers are continually selling the devices to their pool owner clients. With several pool cleaners on the market, pool professionals should be versed in how to troubleshoot common issues and user mistakes while using the product.

Like any robotic thing, there are sometimes-faulty components and a few user mistakes that make an automatic pool cleaner to fail. This report provides troubleshooting solutions for pool retailers and pool professionals when automatic pool cleaners are not working correctly.

What are a few of the causes of automatic pool cleaners that “turn” upside down or do” wheelies?”

Troubleshoot Pool Cleaners

The water level in a pool is among the most frequent causes of an automatic pool cleaner to turn over. If the water level on the skimmer is too high, the water line is also near to the coping.

When the cleaner begins to climb up the pool, it strikes the performance and flips onto its rear. This is genuinely very harmful to the engine (s) on the cleaner since the engine is no longer in the water but exposed above the water.

The water cools the motor of this cleaner, so having it run out of water allows it to get hot and fail. Based upon the temperature of the day, the engine could fail as quickly as within an hour. (If it is really hot, say 90 degrees, it only takes a matter of moments).

When a homeowner uses a cleaner, they forget to remove all the air in the unit before starting the machine. Not only can this cause wheelies and flips, but besides, it keeps the cleaner from performing accurately. This happens the first time they use the device, but even after clearing trapped air, if a few remain, the device will ‘float’ occasionally only an inch above the ground — so it seems like it may be functioning as it goes ahead. Yet, it is not touching the floor to clean.

It can take around 30 minutes to extract all of the air. An individual must hold the device under the water and shakes it from up and down and left to right — seeing the water bubbles appear. Then one must thoughtfully see that the device hits the shallow end floor.

Remember that there’s the chance that the pump motor is turning slowly or weak, so the solution may be to replace the engine.

Here are some similar, specific complaints:

PROBLEM: Robot doesn’t lay flat on the pool floor

Most likely, the PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) brushes haven’t absorbed the water. This is a universal call and simple to fix. Just let the automatic pool cleaner remain in the pool for a minimum of 30 minutes or till brushes are soft. The device will lay flat after the brushes are soft.

PROBLEM: Robotic cleaner won’t climb walls

Sometimes the solution for this problem can be as straightforward as ensuring that the pool water is not too cold. For the cleaner to operate, the water has to be at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Water may enter the handle, which might cause the device to lift brushes and break the suction, which makes the device to fall into the bottom.

Users should try to set the handle at an angle to raise the water so the unit can climb the wall, or if that doesn’t work, check to see if the handle requires to be replaced. If the temperature is over 60 degrees Fahrenheit and the handle doesn’t have water in it, then there is also the chance that the pump motor or propeller is faulty. If this is true, you will possibly see an early shut down of the device, and the pump motor will have to be replaced.

PROBLEM: Robotic cleaner falls behind the pool wall

The possible cause is water in the handle of the device. If the handle is broken, water will leak in and interrupt regular operation. To know if there is water in the handle, just remove the device from the pool, put it on the pool deck, and push the handle back and forth while listening for sloshing water.

PROBLEM: Robotic cleaner won’t or moves in short, jerky moves

Though it’s obvious, make sure the power supply is connected to the power socket. If the device moves, in short, jerky movements, the device could have a decayed drive belt, which can be easily replaced to solve the problem.

Replacing the pedal is just another simple solution if the teeth are missing or filled. Additionally, it is essential to look at the wear and tear of brushes and drive tracks, which may become worn with use and have to be replaced.

Finally, check to see if the bottom lid assembly is well secured, as it could be dragging on the pool floor and making irregular movements. Just turn over the device and tighten the lid. Worse case: the device may require new lock tabs.

What suggestions can you give to ensure the full life of the cleaner motor? What are the common causes of engines that burn out prematurely?

Troubleshoot Pool Cleaners

Overheating the engine is the main problem. Numerous factors can cause this.

Pools with beach entry should use an automated cleaner with a pump engine with a “beach boy” (or similar) feature — it is a sensor that detects zero-depth water also prevents the cleaner from leaving the water.

An automatic pool cleaner can easily travel out of the pool and down the deck or the street. The motor is sure to fail due to overheating, as motors need the water to cool the electrical motor. Some units feature “air sensors” that often fail because they use additional wiring, which will corrode from moisture exposure, or the mechanical components become clogged and stuck.

Try to pick a cleaner with a drive motor that detects voltage draw from the pump; the drive engine assumes the machine is out of the water and flips its direction. This way, there is no possibility for the motor to get out of the water, overheat, and fail.

What are the most frequent technical difficulties and solutions that users and pool experts will possibly find themselves troubleshooting daily/weekly?

This time of year, the calls come from parts of the country which are warm enough NOT to close the pool for the winter — but swimmers are not using their pools, so the water is the cold! As stated previously, water under 60 degrees Fahrenheit will keep a cleanser from working correctly.

If any of these issues turn out to be problems that fall under warranty or need repair, make sure to check with the product manufacturer as they likely will have a certified service center where the devices are sent in for repair.

Ultimately, automatic pool cleaners are here to stay and benefit our industry. For service specialists, incorporating robotic cleaners into your work system means you can spend less time cleaning the pool and more time doing beneficial service repair job or cleaning more pools in less time.

For merchants, selling automatic pool cleaners is a wonderful way to ensure your customers are spending more time swimming in their pools rather than maintaining their pools.



About the Author

I’ve owned a pool for over 20 years. During that time, I have owned and reviewed dozens of pool cleaners, especially robotic pool cleaners. I created RoboticPoolCleanersCompared to help other home owners leverage my experience to select the right pool cleaner, pool heater, pool cover and modern pool appliance for their needs & budget.

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