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Thread: The Zodiac "Barracuda" MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

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    The Zodiac "Barracuda" MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

    Anyone here have one? How is it performing?

    From what I can see, it looks to be well built, and seems like a good climber. My pool has a large-area shallow end, and an 11' deep end with a steep drop-off transition; the problem with most cleaners I have owned or borrowed to try out is that they always wind up spending the bulk of their time circling the deep end...
    38,500 gallon free form pool, Gemstone finish by Burkett's, FNS Plus 60, Pentair Intelliflo Pump #011018, Solar, 12 4x12 panels w/Compool LX220....Soon to be adding automation.

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    Re: The Zodiac "Barracuda" MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

    Best Sweep made yet. I've installed several MX8s and i love these things. The large wheels and tracks allow it to move smoothly and not get stuck on main drain covers, it climbs walls, and the hoses which come with the MX8 are better quality and interlocking at each cuff. They seem to be built well with less moving parts to replace than other sweeps. Zodiac really made a great sweep. It beats any Navigator or Kreepy anyday.

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    Re: The Zodiac "Barracuda" MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

    Thanks Ninja. I was also checking replacement part costs on the MX8, and they seem very reasonable. (Example, a pair of new tread tires/belts, $10).

    When you say "interlocking at each cuff" do you mean that these are the swivel points?
    38,500 gallon free form pool, Gemstone finish by Burkett's, FNS Plus 60, Pentair Intelliflo Pump #011018, Solar, 12 4x12 panels w/Compool LX220....Soon to be adding automation.

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    Re: The Zodiac "Barracuda" MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

    Wonder how it stacks up against the Poolcleaner.
    Completed: June 2011
    18' X 38' IG Vinyl, 3' - 8' depth ~ 24K gallons
    2 skimmers, 2 wall suctions, 3 returns, 1.5" piping

    Hayward Equipment: 1HP Tri-star 2-speed, Aqua-Plus SWG,
    Star-Clear Plus 175 sqft cartridge filter, Colorlogic 4.0 LED

    The Pool Cleaner 4X(suction)
    2011 Jacuzzi J-280 Hot tub

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    Re: The Zodiac "Barracuda" MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

    Quote Originally Posted by mx702
    Wonder how it stacks up against the Poolcleaner.
    Well, on the replacement parts side...four replacement tires for a "ThePoolCleaner" cost ~60 clams.
    38,500 gallon free form pool, Gemstone finish by Burkett's, FNS Plus 60, Pentair Intelliflo Pump #011018, Solar, 12 4x12 panels w/Compool LX220....Soon to be adding automation.

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    Re: The Zodiac "Barracuda" MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

    I have a couple cleaners from "The Pool Cleaners", and they perform well. Almost identical design. But something about the MX8s makes me think they're more durable and cheaper to replace parts on/repair.

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    Re: The Zodiac "Barracuda" MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

    Ninja, Just curious, why do you say "almost identical design"?

    Those two cleaners (at least to me) appear significantly different in almost every way...
    38,500 gallon free form pool, Gemstone finish by Burkett's, FNS Plus 60, Pentair Intelliflo Pump #011018, Solar, 12 4x12 panels w/Compool LX220....Soon to be adding automation.

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    Re: The Zodiac "Barracuda" MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePoolNinja
    I have a couple cleaners from "The Pool Cleaners", and they perform well. Almost identical design. But something about the MX8s makes me think they're more durable and cheaper to replace parts on/repair.

    Thanks for the recommendation PoolNinja, I was sold on "The Pool Cleaner" until I read your comparison.
    The MX8 is also on sale for $389 - $100 Visa rebate = $289. (no tax, and free shipping) PoolSupplySales.com
    Just ordered mine.

    Thanks again,
    John
    "Experience is what you get, just after you needed it."

    Owner DIY build, steel/liner kit, 18x36 Deer Creek, sport depth, approx 17,500 gal,
    Aqua Plus SWG, 1 1/2 hp, 2 speed, 300# sand filter and twin Color logic 4.0s, MX-8 Cleaner.
    My DIY Pool Build

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    Re: The Zodiac "Barracuda" MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

    Received mine today and can report the following, after having it running just the last few hours.

    This is my first suction-side cleaner, I am coming from using a pressure-side Letro Legend, with no booster pump.

    1- Overall build quality seems to be very good. Plastic components on the quality level of a Dyson vacuum cleaner. They look like they could have been made in the same manufacturing plant.

    2- Comes with plenty of hose, enough for a 40K gallon 40x20 pool. Hose quality and connections very good.

    3- Comes with a flowmeter type of (spring resistance) device in order to dial in the level of suction at the end of the hose, before you attach the cleaner.

    4- The instructions indicate that you should adjust flow so that you get a "3" on the flowmeter (right in the middle of its range)

    5- When configured at "3", the MX8 will not climb walls much, if at all.

    6- Checking the manual, under troubleshooting, there is an item "does not climb walls". Answer: Increase suction.

    7- When configured with full suction, MX8 climbs walls well.

    8- I will be replacing my pump in the nest week or so with an Intellifo 011018 and then see "how slow can I go" on pump speed, and still get good wall climbing/cleaning action.

    9- Weakness: Be aware, any fibrous, stringy materials from palm trees such as Queen Palms or Mexican Fan Palms, gets "wound" into the mechanism and will stop the MX8 dead in its tracks. I have already had this happen twice in the last couple hours, however, there was quite a bit of this stuff on the pool bottom after the wind/rainstorms we have had during the last week or so.

    I will provide additional updates as I gain more experience with the MX8, but, so far I am pleased with it.
    38,500 gallon free form pool, Gemstone finish by Burkett's, FNS Plus 60, Pentair Intelliflo Pump #011018, Solar, 12 4x12 panels w/Compool LX220....Soon to be adding automation.

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    Re: The Zodiac "Barracuda" MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

    I had run mine for about a month now.

    It does indeed get stuck sometimes on fibrous stringy materials. Sometimes it will be able to "chew it up" into smaller pieces, and sometimes it will just get it stuck. My work around for now is to run the skimmer at two different times of the day to catch the big stuff before they sink. Works out okay.

    I run it with a zodiac in line leaf catcher, and so far it only failed to catch 3 small pieces of debris (that ended up in the pool pump basket).
    18'x40' (est. 20K gal) Kidney shape pool // Pentair Intelliflo VS-AU // Pentair Suntouch // Raypak RP2100 Digital // 48sqft DE filter // Stenner 85MHP17 peristaltic pump // Dolphin Deluxe 4.

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    Re: The Zodiac "Barracuda" MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

    I would also add that the cleaner is doing a good job in terms of coverage / wandering about the entire pool. The MX8 unit itself is very light. My Letro Legend II pressure side sweep, is very heavy and I think that this is what tended to make it spend most of its time in the deep end.
    38,500 gallon free form pool, Gemstone finish by Burkett's, FNS Plus 60, Pentair Intelliflo Pump #011018, Solar, 12 4x12 panels w/Compool LX220....Soon to be adding automation.

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    Re: The Zodiac "Barracuda" MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

    I ordered one today from PoolSupplySales.com for $389 plus the $100 rebate. Thanks for the tip rv4hess!

    If it will get the junk off the bottom of the pool now that I have to use the manual vacuum for I will be thrilled.

    Sean
    17x35 Inground Vinyl Liner
    26,000 Gallons
    Nautilus DE Filter
    Pacfab Challenger Pump

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    Re: The Zodiac "Barracuda" MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

    Decided to take a chance on a new product and just received my MX8. Default setting provided level 3 on the supplied gauge (actually closer to 2.8). The MX8 had no trouble climbing the wall (vinyl IGP) up to the water line. For a while I was thinking it was spending too much time on the walls. After 2 hours coverage seems very good.
    DIY IGP 14'x28' freeform. Sand filter. 3/4HP Pump. Zodiac MX8 cleaner.

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    Re: The Zodiac "Barracuda" MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

    I just ordered one of these based on recommendations here. Thanks for the tip! This will be my first step toward firing the pool guy (who I can't stand!).posting.php?f=80&t=31224&mode=reply&d=390# Here's to hoping this will help do this trick. Next up, variable speed pool pump, salt water chlorinator and automation unit.posting.php?f=80&t=31224&mode=reply&d=390#
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Re: The Zodiac "Barracuda" MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

    My robot died and I'm looking for a new cleaner. I checked the owners manual but still have a question. Where does the fine dirt/soil go? The manual mentions emptying the pump basket. Do fine particles get trapped in the barracuda or end up in the pool filter?

    Years ago I had Polaris and Letro cleaners. How does the MX-8 compare?
    Plaster pool inground 22,000 gallons with spa. Pentair Intelliflo, IC40 salt generator, WiFi control/Easy Touch.
    Hayward 1.5 HP pump on 750 gallon spa. Sand filters. Auto chlorinator on spa. Auto water level. Dolphin M500. TF100 XL with Speed Stir

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: The Zodiac "Barracuda" MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

    DigitallyChallenged, the MX8 is a suction side cleaner, so, it connects to either a dedicated suction line connection @your pool wall for a suction side cleaner, if your pool has one or, connects inside the bottom of one of your skimmers. The MX8 comes with a well designed "universal" fitting to make this connection.

    Yes, large debris will be caught in your pump basket, and finer particles like sand/silt/dust will be trapped by your filter. No materials are trapped by / retained inside the MX8.

    In my case, I have a lot of wind-blown "farm dust" because I have farm fields across from our property. Running the suction side MX8, my DE filter loads up pretty quick and requires backwashing about every other day, when a lot of this wind-blown stuff is landing in the pool.

    But, after just using it these last few days, my pool is completely clean and I won't be vacuuming it by hand this weekend!
    38,500 gallon free form pool, Gemstone finish by Burkett's, FNS Plus 60, Pentair Intelliflo Pump #011018, Solar, 12 4x12 panels w/Compool LX220....Soon to be adding automation.

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    Re: The Zodiac "Barracuda" MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

    Once, again, thanks to all for the tip on this. As an auto-cleaner noob, I have more questions:

    First, our pool has a suction fitting on one side of the pool near the waterfall that I'm pretty sure is designed for a suction cleaner, though I can't seem to find a separate valve for it at the equipment pad. At the pump inlet, there are two 3-way valves, one is control intake from the spa vs. pool, but the second one seems to be between the drain and the pool (though the drain seems to be clogged since turning the valve to that position causes the pump to lose water and prime). There is also a 2-way valve in the deck that I have never played with. This might be for controlling the skimmer? In any event, what is the typical way one can control the flow between the skimmer and the auto-cleaner? In our case, there is no separate pump for the cleaner.

    Second, how often do you remove the cleaner from the pool? I would imagine pulling it out if we are going to have a big party, but does it need to be removed if my kids want to play in the pool? Is it a hazard (even if the filter pump is off)?

    Third, I play to add a salt water chlorine generating cell. Might the chlorine generated in the cell damage the cleaner? I see in their manual that they recommend removing the cleaner from the pool when adding chemicals. In this case, the chlorine would be continuously produced while the filter is circulating water each day. I would probably just have the cleaner running any time the filter pump is running. Is there a better way to do this?

    Thanks again!
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: The Zodiac "Barracuda" MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

    Hi Craig, The MX8 adapter fitting which connects to the skimmer has a built -in relief valve with three settings, which can be used to regulate the flow of suction to the cleaner. As long as you are getting good flow from your skimmer now, the cleaner will work just fine, when attached to it.

    As to removing the cleaner, I would not consider it hazardous, but probably best to take it out, kids can be amazingly creative.

    Your cleaner won't be influenced in any way by your chlorine generator, as it is on the suction side, pulling water FROM the pool. Chlorinated water from your chlorine generator will be coming back TO your pool, from the returns.

    Recommend that you download and read the MX8 manual, it may help to clarify how it all works:

    http://www.zodiac.co.za/cms/518.bara...8%20manual.pdf
    38,500 gallon free form pool, Gemstone finish by Burkett's, FNS Plus 60, Pentair Intelliflo Pump #011018, Solar, 12 4x12 panels w/Compool LX220....Soon to be adding automation.

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: The Zodiac "Barracuda" MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

    Thanks Rwhite. Quick reply! I'm going to try to get it working with the built-in cleaner line first, as it would be great to still have a fully functional skimmer along with the cleaner since we get lots of leaves in the pool (neighbor is a self-described "tree hugger").

    BTW, I also picked up the Zodiac leaf catcher. Given the number of leaves we get in the pool during the winter time out here, I'm hoping this reduces the need for a weekly pool guy. Anyone used that with their cleaner?
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: The Zodiac "Barracuda" MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

    I am in the market for a sweep for my new pool. I had all but made up my mind to purchase The Poolcleaner suction-side 4x mostly due to the rave reviews given here, but the MX8 has certainly piqued my interest. One thing that concerns me is that most of the comments on this board regarding the MX8(and the PC for that matter)seem to come from users with gunite pools that have gradual/gentle slopes at the wall to floor interface. I believe this is ideal in that the intake/suction area is always flush with the pool surface. My pool is a rectangular, vinyl with a traditional 8ft, hopper style deep end with sharp angles where floor transitions to wall. This is where 90% of the dirt + debris accumulates in my pool. I'm envisioning the sweep having a difficult time exracting dirt from these areas. Anyone care to comment or share any experience you might have? Thanks.

    The red line illustrates where dirt builds up in my pool:
    Completed: June 2011
    18' X 38' IG Vinyl, 3' - 8' depth ~ 24K gallons
    2 skimmers, 2 wall suctions, 3 returns, 1.5" piping

    Hayward Equipment: 1HP Tri-star 2-speed, Aqua-Plus SWG,
    Star-Clear Plus 175 sqft cartridge filter, Colorlogic 4.0 LED

    The Pool Cleaner 4X(suction)
    2011 Jacuzzi J-280 Hot tub

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