Product Reviews

Best Pool Suction Cleaner Review: Is the Zodiac MX8 Worth It?

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Published: Apr 8, 2021 | Last Updated: Jul 28, 2021

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Summer is just around the corner, and as pool owners, you already see the writing on the wall. The swimming pool will be busier than usual, and along with it comes the daunting task of tidying up the pool. We have all been there, but some of us are a step ahead in finding the right solutions. One such fix is an automated pool suction cleaner.

A lot of brands and choices are available in the market, but is it truly a need? Let’s examine a popular choice among home pool owners– the Zodiac MX8 pool suction cleaner.

Zodiac Pool Solutions Company Overview

In a very specialized niche like pool cleaning and sanitation, products are often judged first through their manufacturer’s reputation. The MX8 pool suction cleaner is no exception.

Fortunately, Zodiac Pool Systems is considered the leading manufacturer of pool equipment with a robust global presence. It merged with the Spanish company Fluidra in 2018 to create a two-headed monster in the pool product industry. Therefore, when you see the name Zodiac in a pool cleaning brand, you know that it can be trusted.

The only question that remains is, would the Zodiac MX8 fit your specific swimming pool needs? Let’s take a closer look.

Zodiac MX8 Features and Specs

  • The whole unit weighs only five pounds with a 5-inch x 9-inch x 14.75-inch dimension.
  • It is a suction-side pool cleaner, the type that operates like a vacuum cleaner that takes in water with the help of your pool’s pump. All the dirt is imbibed by the pool’s filtration system, where you can retrieve and dispose of it.
  • It is best for in-ground pools and may not work quite as well for the above-ground variety.
  • It can be used on various pool surfaces such as vinyl, fiberglass, tiles, or concrete.
  • The Zodiac MX8’s X-factor is the X-Trax mobility system. This technology gives the MX8 the superior capacity to climb walls and clean every nook and cranny.
  • It cleans a wider area in one go, thanks to the dual cyclonic suction system.
  • It has a convertible debris inlet that handles debris of any size — from fine sand and pebbles to leaves and grime.
  • Its hose system is 39 feet long and quickly connects and disconnects with a twist-lock system.
  • The Zodiac MX8 delivers maximum cleaning performance no matter the pump used by a pool.

Zodiac MX8 Product Review

If there is such a thing as a perfect automatic pool cleaner, then the Zodiac MX8 should be really close to it. It is a high performance pool suction cleaner with all the characteristics and capabilities to cut your usual pool-cleaning time in half.

All its features, especially the dual cyclone system, work well to ensure an exceptional cleaning performance. It collects dirt as quickly as any machine could and is devised to perform its job without noise while being easy to maintain. What’s more, the Zodiac MX8 is almost unparalleled in its capacity to climb walls and navigate sharp corners without experiencing hang-ups. You don’t need to literally give this robot a hand– it does everything itself!

Here are more advantages in using the Zodiac MX8:

  • Other cleaners take too much time in the process since they can’t move very well. Not the Zodiac MX8! It has a cutting-edge navigation system that allows it to clean the area in significantly less time.
  • It comes in two modes — the default factory setting that cleans away sand and dirt and the other mode that manages bigger debris like twigs and leaves. As you see, the MX8 doesn’t leave anything to chance!
  • Considering its power, the Zodiac MX8 is incredibly energy-efficient. You see, sometimes a pool-cleaning machine expends too much energy, especially when the pool flow pump is set at the highest level. With the MX8, it doesn’t matter! The electricity consumption stays virtually the same, thanks to its powerful Flex Power Turbine!

Zodiac MX8 Basic Maintenance and Other Things to Keep in Mind

The Zodiac MX8 is an excellent pool suction side cleaner, possibly one of the best on the market right now, but it’s not perfect. Don’t expect it to be a miracle worker, especially if you’re not doing your due diligence.

To keep the MX8 in tip-top shape and working, here are things to keep in mind:

  1. Do not let the hoses get bent and never coil them. There are reports where owners habitually left the hoses bent and coiled, causing the unit to malfunction and move around in circles.
  2. Clearing the pump basket of waste should be part of the routine. The unit does not clean itself, so you should do that for the unit.
  3. Do NOT leave the cleaner in the pool all the time. Use it only when cleaning. After cleaning, unhook the hoses and put them in the box where they came in. Doing simple maintenance and care will add years to the Zodiac MX8’s service. Considering that the unit itself is in the upper pricing echelon, that’s a small amount to pay.
  4. Its tank-like tracks will wear out usually in about 4-5 months of use, so you’d have to replace them. It is relatively cheap and takes only two minutes to install.
  5. Long narrow debris such as palm fronds and pine needles could interfere with the cleaner’s operation and may stop it if stuck in its tracks.

Should You Buy The Zodiac MX8 Cleaner?

If you satisfy the following conditions, then feel free to purchase the Zodiac MX8 cleaner:

  • Your pool is an in-ground pool and not the above-ground variety.
  • The $500 unit price is well within your means
  • You know your way around assembling and disassembling parts.
  • You have a medium to large-sized pool.

Zodiac MX8 Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does it work?
A: The Zodiac MX8 is what’s called a suction side pool cleaner. It is the type that takes advantage of your pool’s own filtration system to scoop out debris. Simply fasten the hose to the skimmer, select the settings, submerge the unit in the water, and let it do the rest.

Q: How does the MX8 compare to the MX6?
A: The MX8 is the bigger cousin of the MX6 and comes with a longer hose, newer technology, and overall better performance. The MX6 is $100 cheaper but is best only for smaller pools.

Q: What if my unit is not moving at all?
A: Make sure that the main drain has been closed and refer to the Owner’s Manual, specifically in the “Proper Flow” section. If it doesn’t work, empty the pump basket or check if anything has caused the unit to jam. Also, examine the flow regulator valve if the pool pump is providing at least 20 GPM of flow.

Q: What if my Zodiac MX8 gets stuck in the stairs and does not clean the entire pool?
A: If it’s stuck in the stairs, the hose length is probably not the right one for your pool. Check the Owner’s Manual for the proper hose length. The same can be true if it’s not cleaning the entire pool area. Also, check if the hose float is nine inches from the cleaner head. If not, adjust the distance accordingly.


The Zodiac MX8 is an effective all-around cleaner for in-ground pools.

For example, the unit offers dual cyclone cleaning powered by a twin-turbine, has 39 feet of hose length, max-Drive technology that allows superior pool navigation, and can function at suction flow as low as 20 gallons per minute. It has also been lauded for its quiet operation and low electrical consumption.

On the other end of the spectrum, the unit may need to be frequently cleaned since waste that gets stuck in it could impede its operation. Long, narrow things such as pine needles and twigs could also cause the machine to jam. What’s more, the gears in its traction system are not the most durable and may need occasional replacement. Still, while it may have its share of drawbacks, its overall reliability and advantages far outweigh the negatives.

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