Cleaner getting stuck after years of no trouble

squirk

Active member
Sep 9, 2016
44
Southeast Louisiana
#1
In-ground gunite, 16.5k gallons, Nature2 system. Cleaner is a Pentair KK Legend.

We have had the pool for almost four years. For the first three years, the cleaner has given us no trouble, but over the last several months, it seems to have gotten really bad about getting stuck on steps, getting stuck where the hose couples to the pool wall, and getting stuck on a drain cover because the cleaner can't overcome the suction. I am getting aggravated coming home to find the pool not cleaned and the cleaner having been running for a few hours but stuck most of that time.

First and foremost, I wonder about the backup valve. I have taken it apart and the gearbox appeared to be working fine. It was, however, loose inside the valve housing, so that clearly indicated that the valve was not working as it should. I reseated the gearbox, put the housing back together and reattached the valve to the cleaner hoses. My problem persists.

So I also wonder if there is a pressure problem from my pumps - i.e., the backup valve and the cleaner itself are fine, but there is just not enough force coming from the pumps to allow the backup valve to work effectively or for the cleaner to break free of the drain suction. I timed the rotation of the cleaner's wheels and they seem to be spinning at the proper rate. I should also note that the cleaner tail is not sweeping like it used to. There seems to be a decent stream coming out of the tail, but it's just being dragged straight behind the cleaner like a rat tail.

A new backup valve is $50. A new cleaner is $600. A new booster pump is $600 as well. So it makes sense to start with the valve, but I still wonder if a bad valve would explain the cleaner's inability to get free of the drain suction.

Is there anything I am overlooking? Or any way to pinpoint the problem, even if just by process of elimination? I honestly don't want to waste even $50 on a new valve if I am not sure that is my problem.

Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated. Thank you!
 

Beachnut_pa

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 10, 2007
32
Valley Forge, PA
#2
I've had a similar problem with my letro legend 2. Every spring when I open the pool, the backup unit doesn't work and the cleaner gets stuck on the stairs (30 k gunite in ground). I open up the valve by removing the screws, pull out the gear assembly, rinse it out and make sure all the gears are turning. Keep turning the gear on the bottom until you see the unit go through several open and close cycles. That has always worked for me, I hope this helps you out.

I see I need to update my signature - always liked the ray-vac!
 

squirk

Active member
Sep 9, 2016
44
Southeast Louisiana
#3
Thanks. I have done the exact same thing with gearbox. The gearbox itself always seems to work fine, but it's always loose - as in, not seated properly on that little hole. I even tried to keep it permanently seated with some plumber's putty. Guess I need to crack it open again and see what's what. Thanks again!
 

CaptainCannonball

Silver Supporter
May 18, 2016
239
Woodland, Ca
#4
Sorry I can't help much in troubleshooting your cleaner, but at those prices you might consider a robot. When I'm in your shoes (3-4 years down the road and cleaner starting to fail) a robot is a done deal thanks to the kind folks around here.
 

Beachnut_pa

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 10, 2007
32
Valley Forge, PA
#5
For what it's worth, mine seats up tightly. Good luck, I know dealing with these things can be frustrating!

I also agree with the Captain, when I'm done with this thing, I'll look into a robot. Cordless would be nice and I believe the technology is close.