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Thread: Why didn't I switch ages ago! Zodiac MX8 content

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    Cyclonic's Avatar
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    Why didn't I switch ages ago! Zodiac MX8 content

    So far I'm very pleased. This cleaner does a superb job and cannot escape my pool like a Kreepy Krauly does.

    I gave it a "service" yesterday when I added chemicals to my pool: fresh water rinse, debris removal, track inspection and wipe down. LoL! I would never bother with a Kreepy type cleaner.

    I sent my mom a few pics and she thinks I'm crazy...putting a spaceship into the pool. Bwahahahaha









    I've noticed a bit of wear on the centre part of the shaft where the paddles join...I will enquire with the manufacturer if this is normal. Luckily, there is almost 2 years warranty left as it's only a couple weeks old.


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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Why didn't I switch ages ago! Zodiac MX8 content

    This cleaner is on my short list to try after my robot appears to have died.

    Debating between the MX-8 and the Pool Cleaner 2X .... from what I have read, both get pretty good reviews.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Cyclonic's Avatar
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    Re: Why didn't I switch ages ago! Zodiac MX8 content

    The support here in South Africa is rumoured to be very good. Any niggles and they come out, replace parts and go away. Very happy about that.



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    Re: Why didn't I switch ages ago! Zodiac MX8 content

    Trying to decide on this, a kreepy krauly, or a polaris 360 and can't make up my mind. The reviews on Amazon don't really come off as super positive, especially with the gearbox issues (that seem to be resolved).

    I wish this decision was easier!
    16 x 32 Vinyl IGP ~22000 G

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    Cyclonic's Avatar
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    Re: Why didn't I switch ages ago! Zodiac MX8 content

    Yeah here in South Africa we're on a Revision 2, supposedly.



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    Re: Why didn't I switch ages ago! Zodiac MX8 content

    We've had the MX8 for two years, so I guess we have the original unit. Overall, my impression has been positive. The unit does require regular maintenance, but that comes with the fact that our pool gets lots of leaves blown into it. Here are some tips that I've found have really helped:

    1. I find that our unit requires a bit more suction than Zodiac recommends. We have a dedicated cleaner line, so I've adjusted the flow rate between the skimmer/drain and cleaner line to get a good vacuum for the MX8. This also required dialing in the pump speed on the Intelliflo. This slightly higher suction reduces the opportunity for the "motor" inside the pump from getting clogged with small leaves.

    2. Get an inline cleaner basket, but not the one from Zodiac. If you have a fair amount of debris getting into the pool, I recommend the large Hayward unit. You will need to find some adapters to fit the MX8's hoses onto the Hayward unit, but they can be found.

    3. If you have a plaster pool, you may find that the tread belts do tend to get worn down over time. I figure replacements are needed about every 1-2 years. These are about $10 each online, so not a huge deal.

    4. Check the unit every few days. If you find it is not moving around, take it out of the pool and clean for debris. Removing the drive shaft is easily done with a Philips screwdriver, and allows a thorough cleaning of the drive shaft and motor impeller. Zodiac did a good job by using brass screw bushings, so stripping the screw holes is unlikely.

    5. If you find that the unit loses its ability to turn, it may not be due to a defective turn control mechanism. There are two of these on the MX8. Instead, as was posted here on one of the threads, the fix is to add stainless washers on the drive shaft to extend the drive gears out on each end about 1/16th of an inch. This may not be necessary on newer units.

    6. Don't expect miracles. Our unit does an excellent job of keeping the bottom and sides of the pool very clean. However, it doesn't really reach the steps and obviously doesn't do anything to the attached spa. Occasional brushing or manual vacuuming is sometimes needed, especially after excessive leaf drop or heavy winds overwhelm the functionality of the MX8.

    Overall, we're happy with the unit. It is considerably cheaper than a good pool robot with a much simpler design. There are some improvements it could use, but I think it does a good job for the price.
    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: Why didn't I switch ages ago! Zodiac MX8 content

    Great feedback, CraigMW. I also believe one may widen the mouth by removing the yellow fitting? This is supposed to help with leaves.

    I've done a few services so far and only removed grass or grit. I rotate the paddles underneath and spray out the inside.

    I can't remember how much the replacement tracks are here. It's good to know they can be ordered online!



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    Re: Why didn't I switch ages ago! Zodiac MX8 content

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonic
    Great feedback, CraigMW. I also believe one may widen the mouth by removing the yellow fitting? This is supposed to help with leaves.
    Ah, I didn't know that. I may just give it a shot, especially before the fall! Thanks.
    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: Why didn't I switch ages ago! Zodiac MX8 content

    My MX8 is 4 weeks and 1 day old today. It is working like a pro. Once or twice a week I open her up to remove bits of grass etc in the paddle assembly. I'm not sure if it's the chlorine or just being in the water but the Zodiac bubble labels have frosted over. I hate dull badges. :P My Audi badge always sparkles!

    Chlorine level still super low and pH too high...so the badge can't be dull due to those factors.

    Still very pleased!

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    Re: Why didn't I switch ages ago! Zodiac MX8 content

    My MX8 is approximately 13 weeks old now. This weekend I gave it a maintenance service and removed it from the pool to clean out twigs, leaves and general dirt. I usually clean it by rotating the paddles while the unit is under an outside tap. I'm only doing this once a month now.

    Being in the middle of winter here in South Africa, there is an uptake in wind and a lot more debris is blown into the pool. As such, I've done the mod on the MX8's suction intake by removing the yellow 'throat' to widen the intake. I noticed leaves became a bit of an issue but not any more. It's going like a Boeing and hasn't faltered a single day.

    Good stuff.



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    Re: Why didn't I switch ages ago! Zodiac MX8 content

    Ah man, at 17 weeks I've started to pick up issues. I think a gear or something might be stripped. Noticed my pool floor was quite dusty and then realised the MX8 had become lazy. Hauled it out, cleaned it proper and chucked it back in. Next day it was standing still. Checked everything again and no issues. Now it's working again.

    Seems I will be testing the warranty very soon.


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    Re: Why didn't I switch ages ago! Zodiac MX8 content

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonic
    Ah man, at 17 weeks I've started to pick up issues. I think a gear or something might be stripped. Noticed my pool floor was quite dusty and then realised the MX8 had become lazy. Hauled it out, cleaned it proper and chucked it back in. Next day it was standing still. Checked everything again and no issues. Now it's working again.

    Seems I will be testing the warranty very soon.


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    Sorry to hear that. I was doubtful on that design from the beginning. Reminds me of the Hayward Navigator with so many parts that can wear out. Good luck!
    ~15K gal, IG gunite with new Wetedge Satin Matrix Pebble Finish installed mid 04/14, 1 HP Pentair Challanger pump, Sta-rite System 3 300 sqft cartridge filter, G3 cleaner

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    Re: Why didn't I switch ages ago! Zodiac MX8 content

    Small update and an unfortunate one at that: it seems the MX8 is not at fault, something is wrong with my new pool. I've got an air leak somewhere and as a result, no suction power. I just pray it's not underground.


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    Re: Why didn't I switch ages ago! Zodiac MX8 content

    I just pray it's not underground.
    It almost never is. They're hard to track down sometimes. Once you locate it, the fix is normally quite simple.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Why didn't I switch ages ago! Zodiac MX8 content

    Right so I've procrastinated left right and centre but finally logged a service request. My pool installer did a pressure test and assured me the pool/pump are still 100%.

    It seems the gears inside the MX8 have stripped and this is causing the paddles/tracks to labour.

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    Not pleased with the MX8

    This cleaner started out great and has now really become an unreliable nuisance. For starters, it usually got hung up on the drain cover, which is a Hayward that happens to be very low-profile. I have not spent the (absurd) $50 to add a circular "ramp" and removed the drain cover. (We do not operate the drain so that code issue is not a problem and a new lining will go in this winter with a new drain design that will be closer to flush.)
    The MX8 went through $135 of replacement parts within 14 months of installation. The replacements have lasted longer but I'm still displeased at this expense. The suction hose is non-standard. Why? There is no reason to use a proprietary design other than to gouge me again when replacement pieces are required.
    The adapter fitting also ejects from the suction port when the pump shuts off. I finally screwed the pieces together to end that problem.
    Bottom line is that if I had to do this over I'd get another Hayward Navigator. It did a very satisfactory job and lasted ten years with minimal expenses.
    This entire suction cleaner experience has left me thinking that a pressure-side approach would have been better. But when the pool was designed I didn't know the pro and con of each and depended on my pool guy who did a very good job.
    Hindsight is 20-20.
    Pete
    15K IG, WetEdge technology lined pool, StaRite pump, Hayward DE filter, Hayward Navigator, Zodiac MX8 (junked).

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    Why didn't I switch ages ago! Zodiac MX8 content

    While my pool issues persist, it's become clear that the MX8 is best suited to a pool that has a pool cover. If anything other than dust or very fine debris has to be sucked up, the unit becomes completely disabled. I did not realise one needs to disassemble to clean properly.

    Cleaning the unit means having to remove 8 screws to get the 'lid' off which allows access to the rotor and shaft. I had to do this *twice* yesterday. Basically if stuff like Palm fronds or Pine needles get sucked up, they twist around the rotor shaft until the whole assembly seizes up.

    I need to get a pool cover ASAP!

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    Re: Why didn't I switch ages ago! Zodiac MX8 content

    Quote Originally Posted by pikeman
    The adapter fitting also ejects from the suction port when the pump shuts off. I finally screwed the pieces together to end that problem.
    Same issue. It also seems that whenever the pumps switches off the elbow turns the weir basket lid a few degrees until the whole thing comes undone. I've resorted to putting a brick inside the weir now.

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    Why didn't I switch ages ago! Zodiac MX8 content













    After 8 months this thing is really working on my nerves. An electric screwdriver is highly recommended. A darn chore to remove and replace 8 screws each time.

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    Re: Why didn't I switch ages ago! Zodiac MX8 content

    Those are great pictures and a very helpful post(s). It seems like you will have to manually net out the long stringy debris that wraps itself inside the cleaner......that would probably be quicker and easier than disassembly each time.

    Do you have a good quality leaf net that will allow you to scoop that debris out before running the cleaner?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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