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How to Troubleshoot a Zodiac Baracuda G3 Pool Cleaner

Zodiac Baracuda G3 Pool Cleaner

The Zodiac Baracuda G3 is one of the hardest-working, most dependable suction side pool cleaners available, earning its place as one of our more popular pool cleaners over the years. As with every automatic pool cleaner, eventually the wear and tear of daily cleaning will take its toll. To keep your Baracuda G3 in prime working condition, you'll need to do some routine maintenance. If you notice any odd behaviors, or your cleaner just isn't performing the way it used to, it's important to troubleshoot the issue to get to the root of the problem with your Baracuda G3 pool cleaner.

Troubleshooting Common Baracuda G3 Problems

Check out these troubleshooting techniques to see if it will help your Baracuda G3 start cleaning again. Some issues may require a simple adjustment, while other problems may require replacement parts.

Problem Solution
Cleaner does not move or moves slowly. Confirm the main drain is closed. Use the flow gauge to ensure proper flow. In water temperatures of 60°F or less, it may be necessary to increase flow to compensate for the reduced flexibility of the hose and diaphragm. Backwash the filter and empty your pump strainer and skimmer basket. Check the cleaner diaphragm for damage or wear, and check for air in the system. If the water level in the pump basket drops, or if you see excessive air bubbles in the pump basket or coming from the return lines, there is air in the system. Check hose connections, tighten all fittings at the pump, and check the pump lid O-ring for wear.
Cleaner patterns do not cover entire pool. Use the flow gauge to verify proper flow. Increase flow to improve climbing ability, or reduce flow to move the cleaner off the walls. Ensure return fittings are directed down, and add a return diverter if necessary. Make sure the cleaner hose is not kinked or coiled, and if needed, lay the hose in the sun to straighten. Verify correct hose weight positioning. You may need to move the hose weight away from the cleaner slightly. Or, for deep pools, add a weight. Finally, confirm proper hose length.
Cleaner gets stuck at steps. Use the flow gauge to verify proper flow. Confirm proper hose length, and shorten if necessary. Use return jets to guide the cleaner.
Cleaner stays on walls or edge of pool Using the flow gauge as guide, reduce flow to the cleaner. Verify correct hose weight positioning, and try moving the hose weight away from the cleaner slightly.
Cleaner won’t climb walls. Using the flow gauge as guide, increase flow to the cleaner. Verify correct hose weight positioning. Keep in mind that climbing ability may be limited in some vinyl pools, as well as pools with safety ledges.
Cleaner is not flat to floor surface. Check that the hose weight is positioned properly. A well-balanced hose will create a 45º angle to the cleaner and the bottom of the pool. For pools greater than 8.5' in depth, an extra hose weight may be necessary, placed 5–8' away from the cleaner.
Flow gauge showing 0–2. Check the pool filter, pump strainer, and skimmer baskets, and clean as necessary. Then verify that the valves controlling the suction lines are in the correct position.
Flow gauge showing 4–6. Verify that the valves controlling the suction lines are in the correct position. Lower the flow setting on the FlowKeeper™ valve. If applicable, open the main drain slightly to further reduce flow through the cleaner.

flow gauge for Baracuda G3 pool cleaner

How to Test and Adjust for Proper Flow on a Baracuda G3 Cleaner

On your cleaner, there's a small device known as the flow gauge. As you may have noticed in the troubleshooting table above, the flow gauge has an important role in the function of your Baracuda G3 pool cleaner. A setting of "3" indicates proper flow in most scenarios. If you notice the flow rate is too high or too low for the cleaner to function properly, you may need to adjust pool equipment valves to optimize the flow. You can find more information on how to do this in the Zodiac Baracuda G3 Owner's Manual.

Routine Care and Maintenance for Your Cleaner

The better care you take for your automatic pool cleaner, the longer it will last. To get the most out of your Baracuda G3, follow these tips:

  • Don't coil up the hose. A kinked or coiled hose will directly impact cleaning performance. When the cleaner is not in use, lay the hose out straight in a safe storage area.
  • If your hose does get kinked or coiled, you can usually fix the issue by warming and reshaping it. Submerge the hose in warm water, or leave it out in the sunshine.
  • Always store your cleaner in a way that doesn't bend the head or disc. A warped cleaning disc won't be able to work well in your pool.
  • Keep an eye on the different cleaner parts. If you notice wear or damage, replace those parts. The diaphragm, finned disc, foot pad (also known as a foot flange), and hose sections are the most commonly replaced parts on the G3.
  • Don't forget to routinely check and clean out your pump strainer and skimmer baskets, and clean or backwash your pool filter as necessary.
  • ALWAYS disconnect the cleaner from the pool wall or skimmer before cleaning or backwashing the filter. Once you're done cleaning the filter, let the filtration system run for at least five minutes before attempting to reconnect the cleaner.
  • Don't forget to take the cleaner out of the pool before adding water balancing chemicals or shock to the pool. Wait at least four hours before returning the cleaner to the pool to avoid chemical damage.
  • When storing for winter, store the Baracuda G3 out of direct sunlight. Drain all water from the hose and cleaner, and lay the cleaner with the finned disc flat and the disconnected hose sections straight in a non-freezing area.

Repairing a Baracuda G3 Pool Cleaner

Need replacement parts for your Baracuda G3? Leslie's all kinds of hard-to-find parts for many pool cleaners, including the Zodiac Baracuda G3. Buy your parts online, or stop by your local Leslie's. If you're not comfortable making repairs on your own, our in-store service department can help! Leslie's offers free in-store pool cleaner inspections, and you won't pay a penny for our repair labor — the only thing you'll cover are the parts needed to fix it.



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