Zodiac MX6

Zodiac MX6 Pool Cleaner Review - How Does It Stack Up?

👍The Good:Quiet operation, can clean well when working properly
👎The Bad:Gets stuck on typical debris, clogs easily, gets damaged by sand, poor tyre tracks
🔍Verdict:A cleaner to be avoided
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Product Comparison Table - Zodiac MX6

Before we dive into the review, let's take a look at the main specs for this product, and how it compares to other similar models.

NameZodiac MX6Baracuda Manta
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Zodiac MX6 Pool Cleaner Review - How Does It Stack Up?

The Zodiac MX6 is a suction-side powered pool cleaner with a mid-range price point. Zodiac is a popular name in the pool cleaner market, making a variety of cleaners suited to a variety of pools and customer needs.

Despite the popularity of the manufacturer, how does the Zodiac MX6 stack up to other cleaners that are available?

In this article, we’ll review the main pros and cons of this cleaner while comparing it to other models in terms of its cleaning performance, build quality, manufacturer warranty, price point, and more.

Pros & Cons


  • Quiet operation
  • Cleans well when it works


  • Clogs and stalls easily even with typical debris
  • Tyre tracks may get caught on edges or fall off
  • Struggles with leaves of most sizes
  • Ballrace degrades quickly
  • Can get damaged if sand is present in pool
  • Gets stuck on steps, ledges, or in corners
  • Sucks air into pump when climbing walls
  • Hose is prone to tangling


The Zodiac MX6 is a suction-powered pool cleaner designed for pools no larger than 9 x 5 metres.

This model is compatible with both inground and above ground pools, and is also compatible with most pool surfaces, including the trickier ones such as tile and pebblecrete. This cleaner connects to your pool via a skimmer box adaptor which is included with the machine.

This cleaner comes with one stretch of hose that is 10 m in length, and will not be suitable for larger pools unless additional segments of hose are purchased. However, rather than doing this, it is recommended that you purchase a machine intended for larger pools, such as the Zodiac MX8.

This machine uses your pool’s pump to generate cyclonic suction, swirling debris around underneath it as it draws water up through the hose. This cleaner does not have its own filter basket; all debris collected by the machine will be handled by your pool’s main filter unit.

An add-on known as the Zodiac leaf catcher can be purchased to keep larger debris from entering your pool’s pump system.

Cleaning Performance

When the Zodiac MX6 is working properly, it has adequate cleaning capabilities. When looking at positive consumer reviews about this product, some users state that they are satisfied with the cleaning process, even if they have to intervene manually on occasion to help the machine move along.

Unfortunately, positive reviews such as these are far and few between. Most reviews of the Zodiac MX6 come from dissatisfied customers who are frustrated that the machine becomes clogged very easily, even on what would be considered typical pool debris.

Indeed, many reviews state that this machine gets clogged even on small leaves, not to mention larger ones or debris that is more dense in nature.

This issue with the cleaning performance is due to the debris intake port on the machine being too small for most debris to pass through.

Zodiac MX6 Underside
Zodiac MX6 Underside

If you do not have trees near your pool area, this machine may still be adequate as it is able to capture smaller particles such as soil and lawn trimmings much more easily.

One final note about the cleaning performance of this machine is that it struggles with sand.

This cleaner will often pick up sand from your pool with success, however, according to many customer reviews, this sand ends up lodged in certain mechanisms of the machine, leading to jammed parts and stalled cleaning cycles.

Power Specifications

This machine operates based on the suction produced by your pool’s pump. To calculate the total power used by this machine in one cleaning cycle, multiply the wattage used by your pool pump per hour by the duration of the machine’s cleaning cycle in hours.

Build Quality & Warranty

Zodiac MX6 Problems

There are other problems experienced by the Zodiac MX6 aside from the problems mentioned in the cleaning performance section. Most of these are related to the build quality of this piece of pool equipment, which has a number of flaws.

Poor Quality Tyre Tracks

To begin, the tyre tracks of the machine are of poor construction. Many users mention the edges of these tracks getting caught on ledges or steps, while others mention these treads getting stretched out and falling off of the machine completely after as little as a few months of use.

Zodiac MX6 Tyre Tracks
Zodiac MX6 Tyre Tracks

Replacement tracks can be purchased for your cleaner, but it is not ideal for them to have such a short lifespan relative to the rest of the machine.

Ballraces Wear Out Quickly

Another vital component of the machine also experiences quick degradation during use: the ballraces. If you are not familiar with ballraces, these components are intended to be friction-reducing mechanisms consisting of a plastic ring which houses many small, free-moving ball bearings.

According to customer reviews, these pieces wear out rather quickly resulting in restrictions on the movement of the cleaner. Additionally, these can be a difficult problem to diagnose and fix.

Sand Gets Caught In Mechanism

One more design flaw of the cleaner is that there are small gaps in the construction. These small gaps can allow sand picked up by the cleaner to enter the mechanisms of the cleaner, rather than staying contained in the suction and debris hose.

As these grains of sand work their way into the mechanisms, you will experience faster wear on any movable parts, including the gearbox and the ballraces mentioned earlier.

Zodiac MX6 Internals
Zodiac MX6 Internals
Cleaner Gets Stuck In One Spot

Consumer reviews often mention that this machine gets stuck in one spot. Occasionally, this is due to the debris spout becoming clogged by debris, but it can also be due to wear on the machine.

It is likely that in many of these cases, the ballraces or other vital mechanisms of the machine have become unknowingly damaged by sand preventing them from functioning correctly.

Unit Sucks Air Then Stalls

Finally, many reviews of the Zodiac MX6 mention that the machine climbs the walls too high and then sucks air into the pump system.

This can stall the cleaner or your pump unit, and must typically be fixed manually by emptying the hoses or pump unit of air before restarting the machine.

Hose Gets Tangled Easily

The hose of the machine also becomes tangled often, as is mentioned in a handful of reviews.

Zodiac MX6 Warranty

The Zodiac MX6 has a two year warranty, which is fairly standard among most varieties and models of suction pool cleaners in the industry. In saying this, the diaphragm, tracks and scrubbers only have a one year warranty.

Unfortunately, this warranty does not include particularly good customer service according to many users who have attempted to make warranty claims with the company.

Several reviews of this product mention poor warranty service, including receiving automated responses, failure of the warranty to cover known issues with the machine such as sand in the gearbox, and in some cases a complete lack of response by the company at all.

It is hard for us to hold either this product or its warranty in high regard when considering the number of flaws related to build quality that this machine experiences.

At the very least, consumers should be given an adequate channel of communication to seek resolution for these issues.

Zodiac MX6 Best Price

The Zodiac MX6 costs approximately $460, putting it at the mid-to-high range price point among other suction powered cleaners.

We do not consider this machine to be worth the money in any aspect, especially when considering the many build quality issues, the poor warranty service, and the unreliable cleaning process that most users experience.

Zodiac MX6 - FAQ

Does The Zodiac MX6 Climb Walls?

The Zodiac MX6 is intended to climb walls, but it has varying success in this area.

Some customer reviews state that it has difficulties climbing, while others suggest that it climbs too high on the walls of the pool, sucking air into the cleaner and thus your pool’s pump and filter system.

What Is The Difference Between The Zodiac MX6 and MX8?

While the Zodiac MX6 is for pools that are a maximum size of 9 x 5 metres, the Zodiac MX8 is intended for larger pools no more than 12 x 6 metres in area.

Additionally, because the Zodiac MX8 is intended for larger pools, it has a wider cleaning path than the MX6 and also allows for more powerful suction. This allegedly allows for the MX8 to suck up larger debris than the MX6.

The MX8 also has two gearboxes, as opposed to the MX6 which only has one. This allows for the cleaner to spin around and reverse, a feature that the MX6 does not have. Additionally, the mouth of the MX8 machine is adjustable, and the body of the machine is heavier overall.

How Long Does A Zodiac Pool Cleaner Last?

Zodiac pool cleaners have an average lifespan of 2 years; or approximately the length of the warranty period. Like all pool cleaners, Zodiac pool cleaners contain consumable parts, meaning that the more you use the cleaner, the more likely that it will wear out at a faster rate.

Please note that this is just an average lifespan. There are many users who have complications with their machine that prevent it from making it to even the one-year mark without significant repairs.

Conversely, reviews can be found that mention happily owning one of these machines for up to five years (although we expect that repairs would have been made during this time).

Final Thoughts - Zodiac MX6 Review

The Zodiac MX6 does not stack up well against other pool cleaners. While the features of this model sound great on paper, too many users experience a wide variety of problems with this machine, most of which are related to shoddy build quality.

Because of these flaws in build quality, combined with poor warranty service and an abundance of negative reviews from consumers, we strongly suggest that you avoid this cleaner at all costs.

Price Comparison - Zodiac MX6

Let's compare the top suppliers out there in Australia for the Zodiac MX6.