The Zodiac Ranger, or Baracuda Ranger as it was previously named, is a suction-side automatic pool cleaner for above ground swimming pools that connects to the skimmer pipe.
The Zodiac Ranger has a flowkeeper valve that helps to regulate the water flow. This valve lets the pool cleaner and the pool pump run smoothly. It does not need an extra booster pump in order to vacuum the pool floor.
The Ranger has almost no moving gears or parts except for its diaphragm which reduces maintenance and audible noise to a minimum.
It does a good job even though it dislikes pool ladders and wrinkled pool bottoms. Be aware that it is not created for cleaning Intex or soft-sided pools. It is made for cleaning above ground swimming pools with firm sides.
Our Zodiac Ranger review examines its features and answers questions about components, pump sizes, connections and vinyl liners. We also list a few advantages and disadvantages before reaching a conclusion.
Zodiac Ranger: Features
- Model number: W01698 (also known as the Baracuda Ranger).
- Designed for cleaning hard-sided above ground swimming pools.
- It removes dirt, leaves and pebbles from the pool floor.
- Connects directly to the skimmer and pool pump system.
- Wheel deflector might keep it from being stranded by a step, ladder or corner.
- The diaphragm is the only moving part and it keeps the pool cleaner moving.
What is included?
The Zodiac Ranger pool cleaner manual lists the following components:
- 32-foot feed hose (in several sections)
- wheel deflector
- deflector adapter
- cleaner body
- flowkeeper valve
- valve cuff
- 4-1/2″ hose connector
- 45-degree elbow.
What size pump will run the Ranger?
It will work with almost any size filter pump, but a 1-horsepower sand filter pump is probably the average size. It will work just as good with a 1.5-horsepower pump. We are not sure, but a 1/2-horsepower pump might be too small.
How do you connect it to the pool pump?
Right, so you have assembled the cleaner and prepared the pool for cleaning.
First thing to do is to submerge the pool cleaner body beneath the surface of the water. Connect the hose to the cleaner when it is flooded with water and the air is gone. Flood the hose sections with water. Turn on the pool pump and hold the hose in front of a return outlet to do it quickly.
Turn the pump off after you have flooded the hose sections with pool water. Connect the submerged hose sections to the 4-1/2″ connector, the 45-degree elbow and the flowkeeper valve.
Remove the skimmer basket and insert the flowkeeper valve into the skimmer pipe (use the valve cuff). Keep the cleaner body and hose sections free from air at all times to prevent air from entering the pool pump system.
Safe to use for a pool with a vinyl lining?
The Ranger can be used for cleaning a vinyl pool surface. However, take a close look at the vinyl lining before you install the pool cleaner. Check the vinyl for brittleness due to age. There should be no stones, roots or wrinkles underneath the vinyl liner.
Get the liner fixed if there is a problem before you attach and use this suction-side pool cleaner. The limited warranty does not cover pattern removal or abrasion of a vinyl liner.
Does it get stuck on ladders?
The Zodiac Ranger seems to have a few hang-ups when it comes to pool ladders. It is best to remove the pool ladder from the above ground swimming pool.
If you want to keep the ladder in the pool, then you might buy a ladder guard and install it. Keep in mind that you might need two or three sets of the Zodiac G21 ladder guards if you want to cover the whole pool ladder with panels.
Can it be left in the pool 24/7?
This is not a good idea. You probably want to use the swimming pool for actual swimming and not just for cleaning. You should remove the pool cleaner from the pool when you want to swim. Take it out before you clean or backwash the pool filter.
Never leave it in the pool when you treat the water with chemicals. Wait a few hours after super chlorination before you use the pool cleaner again. It is common sense: harsh chemicals may cause damage to the plastic components.
Can the Ranger clean an Intex pool?
It is not designed for use with Intex pools or other soft-sided swimming pools. The standard pool pump that comes with an Intex pool is probably not strong enough to power this suction-side above ground pool cleaner.
- Quiet operation: does not make a flapping noise.
- Easy to install and use, but read the product manual first!
- Simple, cost-effective pool cleaner for above ground swimming pools.
- The pool filter will need to be cleaned more often.
- It sometimes fails to clean certain places in the swimming pool.
- It tends to get hung up on the ladder, so remove the ladder if possible.
- Big leaves might clog up the skimmer and cause it to function poorly.
Zodiac Ranger: Conclusion
The Zodiac (Baracuda) Ranger is made for cleaning hard-sided above ground swimming pools. Do not use the Ranger if your pool has a vinyl liner that is old, wrinkled or brittle. It might cause further damage which is not covered by its one-year limited warranty.
Owners think that it is a good suction-side pool cleaner for their above ground swimming pools and generally recommend it to other people. Its biggest issue is its tendency to tangle with the pool ladder, but you may remove the ladder when it is cleaning the pool or you can attach the wheel deflector to limit this problem.
|The Zodiac Ranger seems to be a simple and affordable pool cleaner that cleans most of an above ground pool without making a lot of noise. You may visit Amazon.com to buy this pool cleaner or to read more customer reviews.|