Suction Pool Cleaner Parts, What they do and when to replace

Written By Timothy Te

29th October 2020

Suction Cleaners are the most common type of automatic pool cleaners and for good reason. They’re really affordable and they get the job done, saving you a lot of effort in vacuuming and cleaning the pool.

We don’t really give much thought about the parts of our suction pool cleaners until something seems wrong and then we Google the symptoms, trying to diagnose the problem and then buying the right replacement cleaner part for it. Let's go change that shall we? Let’s go over all of the most common suction pool cleaner parts so that the next time we run across a problem, we’ll know exactly which part to check and what to order online.

Note: The displayed products below are only a sample of the more common parts that are used/replaced on suction cleaners. If the model displayed doesn't match your specific cleaner model, be sure to check out the whole collection of suction pool cleaner parts to check for your specific model.

Baracuda Diaphragm

The Baracuda Diaphragm or just “diaphragm” is probably the most ordered pool cleaner spare part in our online shop. The reason for that is simple, it is THE most used and abused part in your baracuda-type pool cleaner. The diaphragm is what creates the suction and release action in your pool cleaner (if you look at the cleaner while it’s operating, it looks like it’s doing tiny jumps on your pool surface). It works very much like a heart valve, it builds pressure, then releases it, builds pressure, releases it and so on.

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Diaphragms come in three distinct designs, Cassette-type which is the most popular and is used on many suction pool cleaners like the Zodiac G2, G3, G4, Aquasphere, Contractor, Genie, Zoom, Pacer, Ranger 1500, Genius, Avenger, and of course the Water TechniX Rapid Automatic Pool Cleaner. It has a flat edge, making it very easy to remove and replace by just pressing it and popping it out. The other type of diaphragm is the Standard-type diaphragms which have a slanted edge and is used on the Classic, New Classic, Super G, Super Genius, Pacer, Best Above & Manta pool cleaners.

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The third and final type of diaphragm is the Duralife-type diaphram that is used for the T3, T5 and X7 Zodiac cleaners. All of these diaphragms are designed to function with specific types of suction pool cleaners so make sure to check your existing diaphragm (especially if you're using cassette or standard type diaphragms!) to make sure that you're ordering the correct one!

Your pool cleaner’s diaphragm opens and closes thousands of times every time you clean the pool so it’s only natural to get damage from wear and tear. Other things that may cause damage to the diaphragm are larger/sharp pieces of debris that get trapped within and cause tearing and rips in the material. Even though newer replacement diaphragms are made from chemical corrosion proof materials, some corrosion may still occur, especially if there’s a high concentration of pool chemicals and pool water is left to dry on your equipment. To extend the life of your pool equipment, give them a good rinse with a garden hose to remove residual chemicals on them.

When to replace your pool cleaner diaphragm: When you spot visible tears or when your suction cleaner no longer "hops" on the pool surface.

P.S. Not all “generic” diaphragms are built alike! Our Water TechniX Baracuda Diaphragms are made with tried and tested materials so you can rest assured that they will last as long as your genuine Zodiac Baracuda Diaphragms or even longer! It’s also a good idea to keep one or two as extras/spares so if your diaphragm gets damaged in the middle of a cleaning session, you can just pop in the replacement and you’re good to go again.

Pool Cleaner Skirts

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You know that funky-looking buzzsaw shaped thing at the bottom of your suction pool cleaner? That’s called a “skirt” and what it does is it keeps your cleaner flat against your pool surface so that it can create a good vacuum for your suction cleaner to operate properly. Since its the part that brushes up against your pool surface, we can expect regular wear and tear to happen. Next to the diaphragm, the skit is the second most popular replacement part on our online pool shop. As a safety precaution, when storing your suction cleaner skirt, always keep it dry and stored flat to avoid deforming.

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Another type of pool cleaner skirt that we have on our online pool shop is the Onga Hammerhead pool skirt. This skirt is designed specifically for use with Onga Hammerhead pool cleaners so make sure that you're getting this one if you have a Hammerhead and get the other type for all other Baracuda-type pool cleaners!

When to replace your pool cleaner skirt: When the bottom part starts to crack or is no longer flat (deformed).

Deflector wheels

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These are the round things that look like steering wheels that you attach to your suction pool cleaner. They keep the cleaner from getting stuck in corners, it also prevents the hose from getting stuck in ladders, and keeps the rest of the cleaner from rubbing up against your pool walls. These are pretty sturdy and they’re very rarely damaged. In fact, damage to deflector wheels usually occurs outside of the pool if the cleaner is dropped or banged on a hard surface.

When to replace your pool cleaner deflector wheels: In cases of cracking or visible damage.

P.S. Be sure to pick the right deflector wheel for your pool cleaner model! Also, not all cleaners use wheels, so if your cleaner didn't come with a wheel, there's probably no need to g

Wings

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Wings are used by turbine-type suction pool cleaners like the ones made by Hayward. These wings provide stability to the cleaning unit while it does its job and also makes sure that the pool cleaner doesn’t flip over if it gets detached from the pool service, much like what airplane wings do. Much like deflector wheels, wings don’t get much action and most of the damage that occurs to the wings will occur outside of the pool.

Tip: Always check the screws that are securing the wings in place as the vibration from the cleaner may cause them to become loose.

When to replace your pool cleaner wings: Cracked or visible damage.

P.S. Not all suction pool cleaners use wings and they're designed for use with specific types of cleaners so make sure to select the wing that you need.

Pod Shoes

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Pod shoes are exactly what they sound like, they’re shoes for the pods of your automatic pool cleaner. Again, these are used usually by turbine-type pool cleaners by Hayward. These shoes provide the traction needed by the cleaner to move across the pool surface properly. Common causes of damage is wear and tear. Don’t worry too much though, they’re designed that way, making them an actual consumable to be replaced easily, much better than having to replace the much more expensive pods themselves.

Tip: There are different kinds of pod shoes for different kinds of surfaces, so make sure to get the right kind for your type of pool surface.

When to replace your pool cleaner pod shoes: When the texture is "smooth" or when it is worn down to its attachments or down to the indicator line.

Tyre Sets

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Much like your pod shoes, replacement tyre sets are for those automatic pool cleaners that use wheels to move around the surface of your pool. Again, these are designed to be replaced after a while. Much better to just replace the rubber tyres as opposed to the whole wheel!

When to replace your pool cleaner tyres: When its tracks are worn smooth or when your cleaner starts to slip and slide around the pool.

P.S. Different Tyres for different wheels! Make sure to select the right tyre sets for your pool cleaner and not all pool cleaners have wheels

Tune up and Overhaul Kits

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These kits contain everything you’ll need to bring a suction cleaner to a relatively brand-new condition. Rather than being reactive and changing parts as they break, tune up and overhaul kits are proactive and will allow you to replace all the parts that will usually need replacing all in one go. The advantages to getting a whole kit is that they’re usually cheaper than buying all of the parts piecemeal and your equipment maintenance is done in one sitting, rather than trying to diagnose a problem and ordering a part for it everytime you run across an issue.

When to do a tune up or overhaul: Mr Pool Man recommends that you do a tune up or an overhaul at the beginning of every swimming season.

Hose Floats and Hose Weights

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These suction cleaner spare parts go on different ends of your hoses and they don’t really experience any wear and tear. They usually get lost or fall off somewhere, but sigh, that is a sad truth in life. Hey, if we can lose a sock in the washer, we can lose a hose weight or hose float in and around the yard! Hose floats are attached away from your suction cleaner, keeping excess hose lengths from sinking into your pool and tangling up your pool cleaner. Hose weights on the other hand are attached close to your suction cleaner to help them keep in contact with your pool surface and to prevent a floating hose from lifting your cleaner off the surface.

When to replace your pool cleaner hose floats and weights: When they join your socks in the magical world of missing stuff! (When they go missing)

Final Words

Now that you know what the parts do and how to tell if they need replacing, you should be one step to streamlining your pool equipment maintenance to minimize downtime and to keep your pool clean and sparkly the whole year round!

Now there may be some suction cleaner parts not listed on this page, but those parts are rarely replaced or are optional upgrades like the cyclonic leaf catcher or scrubber upgrades for your Zodiac MX6 or MX8 cleaner. To view our full collection of suction cleaner spare parts, click here.

Need a new suction cleaner? Check out our range of suction cleaners here. We also invite you to check out our spotlight on the Water TechniX Rapid Automatic Pool Cleaner, it's the best selling suction cleaner on our online pool shop and for good reason!

Do you have any questions about this topic or the featured products? No worries, we're here to help! Drop us a question down below and we'll get back to you ASAP.

Happy swimming :)

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Written By

Timothy Te

Pool Guru at Mr Pool Man

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