Damaging if auto pool cleaner gets clogged?

Nov 15, 2019
5
Johannesburg RSA
Hi.

A common experience I have is that tough leaves lying on the bottom can get stuck in the pool cleaner's intake mechanism, causing the thing to stop moving and remain stationary on the pool bottom while the pump is still running. The solution is simply to turn over the cleaner and remove whatever leaf is causing the blockage, after which movement resumes. Unfortunately, particularly after heavy rains, the pool is so full of leaves that this situation becomes unavoidable, and the intake needs to be unclogged a few times a day.

Now, my question: certain people have insisted to me that the cleaner must never be stationary while the pump is running as it might damage the pump. To my mind, while the cleaner isn't moving and before anyone unclogs it, the pipe is merely sucking water from the same place and can in no way damage the whole pump mechanism. However, is it true that damage can occur in this way?
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
43,377
Tallahassee, FL
Let me ask you this.............does ANY part of the cleaner move when the pump is running? Is the wheels or anything moves then it COULD cause damage to the plaster just sitting there on the same place over a period of time.
 
Nov 15, 2019
5
Johannesburg RSA
Let me ask you this.............does ANY part of the cleaner move when the pump is running? Is the wheels or anything moves then it COULD cause damage to the plaster just sitting there on the same place over a period of time.
No part moves. This is a very old-fashioned thing with a thin rubber disc and a rubber ball-type valve that actuates it when running. When that valve gets a bit of leaf in it and stops going, it turns into a pipe sucking water out of the pool. Hence my bafflement when someone says it will damage the pool or pump somehow.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
43,377
Tallahassee, FL
Maybe THEIR cleaner had moving parts so that is what THEY know and they wanted you to be safe based on their knowledge. Go with your gut and move forward.
 

DanF

Active member
Mar 17, 2019
28
Chandler, AZ
To my mind, while the cleaner isn't moving and before anyone unclogs it, the pipe is merely sucking water from the same place and can in no way damage the whole pump mechanism.
When that valve gets a bit of leaf in it and stops going, it turns into a pipe sucking water out of the pool. Hence my bafflement when someone says it will damage the pool or pump somehow.
As long as water is circulating through the pump, I don't see any way that the pump could be damaged. Whether the pool/plaster could be damaged from a stationary cleaner, I can't answer.