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Tips for keeping pool cleaners going strong

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Other cleaner parts that require inspection, in addition to possible adjustment or replacement, is the cleaner’s bag or filter (pressure and robotic models), hoses, swivels and floats (pressure), weights (suction), drive belts (robotic) and the points of contact between the cleaner and the pool surface (e.g. feet, tires or pads).

During inspection, look for obstructions, such as lodged debris. Make sure moving parts, such as wheel bearings on pressure cleaners, in addition to gears on pressure and suction models, are freely moving. Check for general wear and tear, especially leaks in hoses and the treads on pressure cleaner tires. Furthermore, tires should be rotated or replaced when worn.

Robotic and pressure cleaners have bags that must be emptied and cleaned. For most robotic models, it is best to clean the bag after every cleaning cycle. To do this, remove the unit from the pool using the handle (not the cable) and allow as much water as possible to drain from the unit. Lay the cleaner on a smooth surface and remove the filter bag. Turn it inside out and rinse the dirt off with a hose or in a sink. Most bags can be machine washed in cold water without using detergent.

For pressure cleaners, the debris bag must also be emptied and cleaned periodically. If the cleaner is falling over, the bag may be too full. Various bag designs release differently, but all should be easy to remove and open. The bag may be easier to empty when it is dry, if that option is available. Pressure cleaners tend to perform better when their debris bag is less than half full.

Another pressure-cleaner tip is to check for a filter screen inside the wall fitting where the cleaner is attached. To clean the screen, simply pull it out, rinse and replace. If the screen is plugged or dirtier than expected, there may be problems elsewhere in the filtration system.

Pressure cleaners also have roller rings, which protect the sweep hose. These rings should be replaced or rotated if they show signs of wear.

Robotic cleaners typically have brushes or rollers that can also wear out. Worn out brushes should be replaced, as they can impede scrubbing, wall climbing and overall performance.

These cleaners also have a cable that can become twisted over time, similar to a telephone cord. Unlike a telephone cord, which can be untwisted by simply dangling the phone in the air, a robotic pool cleaner should be operated in the reverse direction to allow the cable to uncoil itself. This is a good practice to follow each time the cleaner is used to avoid the cable from becoming twisted. Some models also have a device on the coil itself that enables it to be manually straightened. Preventing excessive twisting and tangling is important, as this minimzes potential damage to the cord.

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