Kreepy not working when you get home from work? By Kreepy, we mean any automatic pool cleaner or APC.
Some call it a Baracuda or a Zodiac, but Kreepy is the generic name most use for an automatic pool cleaner.
Interestingly enough, we use ‘Kreepy’ mostly in South Africa because the first-ever automatic pool cleaner invented was named Kreepy Krauly. A Belgian engineer living in South Africa invented it.
There are three main reasons a Kreepy stops working, other than the usual scenario of a leaf, stone or berry getting stuck in the Kreepy’s ‘throat’.
The filter sand gets clogged.
There is a suction, air leak or pump-related problem.
The Kreepy itself (or other swimming pool apparatus) is faulty.
The filter sand gets clogged
The most common cause for a Kreepy to stop working is clogged filter sand. This is easy to diagnose because whenever you backwash the pool filter, you’ll find that the Kreepy works like a bomb for 10 minutes. Then it gets sluggish and slows down or stops again.
Your pump pumps around 100 000 litres of water through your sand filter every day. When you backwash the filter, only a couple of hundred litres of water removes the dirt from the sand. It’s never going to clean your sand back to its original status.
When the filter is set back to normal filtration after a backwash, the dirt that wasn’t loosened sinks deeper into the filter sand. This is why we need to change our filter sand from time to time.
We recommend changing this every one to five years, depending on the bather load of the pool and other (soil and foliage) conditions around the pool.
How do I test if the filter sand is clogged?
To make sure that clogged sand is the problem, switch the pump off and turn the multiport valve to the ‘bypass’ or ‘circulate’ position and then try running your Kreepy. If the cleaner flies around the pool like an ex on a broomstick for an hour without getting sluggish, then you’ve hit the nail on the head – it’s the sand that’s the problem.
If you’re not sure how to change the sand in your filter, rather get a pool company to do it – and make sure it’s a pool company registered with the National Spa and Pool Institute of South Africa.
There are some risks to doing it yourself, such as the fact that the bacteria in a sand filter can make you very sick. Also, you could inadvertently damage some of the plastic fittings inside the filter tank, especially if they are brittle.
Here’s a related article with some advice on an alternative to changing the filter sand: Kreepy not working? Swimming pool water green and cloudy? You could have clogged filter sand.
Check in again for the second part of this swimming pool blog, where we’ll talk about the possibility of a suction leak in your pool piping.
There is a suction, air leak or pump-related problem
The pipe between the weir (skimmer box) and the pump must be airtight in order for the Kreepy to work properly. If there is a break in the pipe, the pool return jet will blow bubbles back into the pool.
The leak doesn’t necessarily have to be underground. We usually ask our customers if the pool loses water when it’s switched off because this can indicate that the leak is underground.
The simplest of things could also be causing a suction leak, so check the following:
- Check that the pump lid O-ring is in place.
- Check that the pump lid is fitted on properly and is not cross-threaded. (Do not overtighten the pump lid.)
- Check the hand nut union or pump fitting to ensure it is secured with enough thread tape and silicone.
- Check the shaft seal underneath the pump isn’t leaking.
Related article: Pump loses pressure
The Kreepy itself (or other swimming pool apparatus) is faulty
You may find the if you’ve checked all the possible causes above and everything appears to be in order, the Kreepy itself could be faulty.
Check to see if there are any obstructions in the ‘throat’ of the Kreepy because sometimes a stone or leaves could get jammed in it.
There may be a worm or malfunctioning part on the Kreepy. A pool shop can usually help diagnose if this is the case.
A handy way of checking if the Kreepy is or isn’t the problem is by borrowing your neighbour’s or a friend’s Kreepy to test in your pool. If the substituted Kreepy works, then the chances are strong that your Kreepy is the problem.