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Suction Side Cleaner Stop Working?

Suction side automatic pool cleaners, Kreepy Krauly, Zap Vac, Dirt Demon just to name a few, do a really nice job keeping inground pools and above ground pools clean. However, we occasionally receive customer inquiries about a cleaner that just isn’t moving. Since a suction side cleaner (at least the ones I have personally worked with) only has one moving part, a flapper valve, that ultimately gives the cleaner its movement, a suction side cleaner that has stopped moving often has a problem with its flapper valve. Twigs or sticks are a common culprit and once removed, off the cleaner goes to do its job. But I have done this a long time and thought I would share a couple of my favorite stories for suction side cleaners that stopped moving.

True Story 1: Many years ago, when Kreepy Krauly’s were very new, I had a customer bring in their no longer functioning Kreepy. I took the cleaner out to a demo pool, hooked it up and could tell that the flapper valve wasn’t flapping. The question was why? A few minutes later I was holding a diamond wedding ring. The ring had been sucked up and it then stuck in the flapper valve causing the flapper to stop moving. Needless to say, the customer was happy that his wife’s wedding ring had been found. A double win! And I absolutely promise this story is true.

True Story 2: A few years later I am working the floor and a less than happy recent new pool owner brought in his automatic suction cleaner, a Zap Vac if I remember correctly, and proceeded to less than calmly tell me what he thought of his cleaner. I took the cleaner out to a demo pool and hooked it up, and just like in story 1, the flapper valve appeared stuck. The customer at this point felt even more compelled to tell me what he thought of the cleaner. About that time though, I dislodged the beer bottle cap that was stuck in the flapper valve and handed it to the customer. I calmly told him that I found his problem and then put the cleaner in the demo pool and showed him just how nicely the cleaner moved around when it wasn’t ingesting beer bottle caps! The customer didn’t act surprised that I found the bottle cap and I was just happy that his cleaner was now functioning properly. After all, I am a pool professional and I love a clean pool!

So in summary, if you have a suction side cleaner and it has stopped moving, always check the flapper valve. You never know. You just mind find a diamond ring!

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Written by chris