How To Set Up the Zodiac T5 Suction Cleaner Through Your Skimmer


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Your Zodiac T5 Suction Cleaner can be installed into your pool two different ways: into a dedicated suction line; or directly through your pool's skimmer;. This guide will show you how to install and operate your Zodiac T5 Suction Cleaner through your pool's skimmer. For instructions on installing through a suction line, see our guide on "How To Set Up the Zodiac T5 Suction Cleaner Through Your Suction Liner".

Step by Step


Step 1

CHECK PARTS - This picture shows the parts you should have received to install your Zodiac T5 Suction Cleaner through your pool's skimmer: 1- QUICK CONNECTOR, 2- FLOW GAUGE, 3- WEIR ELBOW, 4- HOSE WEIGHT, 5- WHEEL DEFLECTOR, 6- FLOWKEEPER VALVE & VALVE CUFF; 7- TWIST-LOCK HOSE (12 pack). Click on each name for a link to the part.

Step 2

ADJUST RETURN LINES - Adjust the return lines to blow downward towards the opposite wall.

Step 3

TURN PUMP OFF - Always turn your pump off at the pump circuit breaker.

Step 4

CLOSE MAIN DRAIN - For best cleaner results, shut off your main drain and vaccum line at the diverter valves

Step 5

ASSEMBLE HOSE SECTIONS - Push and twist the connectors on each hose section until they lock into position with a clicking sound.

Step 6

MEASURE HOSE LENGTH - Connect enough hose to reach the farthest point of the pool from the suction port and then add two more sections.

Step 7

ADD HOSE WEIGHT - Position the hose weight at the end of the first hose section, about 39 inches from the Cleaner.

Step 8

LOCATE FLOWKEEPER VALVE - The Flowkeeper Valve regulates flow to ensure the pool pump and Zodiac T5 Cleaner run properly. It is pre-set at the factory at "2" to optimize the performance of the Cleaner. Two other settings are offered. The lower the setting number, the lower the flow. To adjust, pull the handle and move setting up or down. The red tab can be used to open the valve and stop the Cleaner.

Step 9

REMOVE SKIMMER BASKET - Remove the skimmer cover and lift out the skimmer basket.

Step 10

ATTACH VALVE CUFF - Place the Valve Cuff on the bottom of the Flowkeeper Valve. The arrow on the valve points to the bottom.

Step 11

INSERT FLOWKEEPER - Insert the Valve Cuff and Flowkeeper Valve into the bottom of the skimmer with the arrow pointing down.

Step 12

ATTACH ELBOW - Slide the 45 degree elbow over the FlowKeeper valve. If there isn't room for the elbow, or the port is lower than normal, skip this step.

Step 13

ATTACH HOSE - Feed the male end of the assembled hose through the skimmer door and attach the hose onto the elbow. This skimmer has a low port so the hose was connected directly to the FlowKeeper valve - the elbow was not installed.

Step 14

ATTACH QUICK CONNECTOR - Attached the Quick Connector to the other end of the hose that will be connected to the Cleaner.

Step 15

FILL THE HOSE - Push the hose down under water to fill it completely.

Step 16

ATTACH FLOW GAUGE - With the hose under the water, attach the Flow Gauge onto the Quick Connector until it clicks.

Step 17

TURN PUMP ON - With the hose and Flow Gauge under water, turn the pump on.

Step 18

READ GAUGE - GOOD - Look at side of the Flow Gauge. If the red indicator in the gauge is on the Number 3 setting, the water pressurethrough the slimmer is at the proper level.

Step 19

READ GAUGE - LOW - If the red indicator in the gauge reads below 3 (0-2), you do not have sufficient water pressure to operate the Cleaner. Make sure the valve settings are correct:  the suction line is fully closed: the skimmer is fully open; and the main drain is closed.  Then turn the pump off and move the flow setting on the FlowKeeper valve from "2" to "3". Turn pump back on.

Step 20

READ GAUGE - HIGH - If the red indicator in the gauge reads above 3 (4-6), the pressure in your skimmer port e is too high for efficient cleaning. Open the main drain slightly.

Step 21

TURN OFF PUMP - Once you have the correct pressure reading, turn off the pump.

Step 22

REMOVE FLOW GAUGE - Remove the Flow Gauge by squeezing the levers on either side of the Quick Connector

Step 23

ATTACH WHEEL DEFLECTOR - With the hose under water, feed the end hose through the Wheel and snap the hub of the Wheel on to the end of the hose below the Quick Connector.

Step 24

CONNECT HOSE TO CLEANER - Connect the hose to the Cleaner by pushing the Quick Connector onto the outer extension pipe until it clicks.

Step 25

RELEASE CLEANER TO BOTTOM - Shake the Cleaner from side to side to purge the air then allow the Cleaner to drift to the bottom of the pool.

Step 26

ADJUST WEIGHT - With the pump off observe the Zodiac T5 Cleaner. If it does not rest flat on the pool floor, adjust the weight 1" at a time up or back as required until the Cleaner rests flat on the floor.

Step 27


Step 28

OBSERVE CLEANER OPERATION - Your Zodiac T5 Cleaner should be moving along the bottom and sides of your pool.


(1 to 14 of 14)

 Posted: 3/7/2023 

When I put the valve in skimmer, what should the filter be on. ?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 3/10/2023 

If you mean what setting the filter's multiport or slide valve should be on, the setting shouldn't matter.

 Posted: 7/20/2021 

Should I close main drain when in use

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/21/2021 

If your cleaner doesn't have enough suction power, closing the main drain will help that.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 9/25/2016 

Steve - It sounds like your system is building up back pressure in the top of your filter tank. If your filter has an air breather going up the center of your filter tank, make sure that tube is not clogged. Then check for air suction leaks that let air into your filter. See our guide on "How to Identify and Correct Air Leaks".

 Posted: 9/22/2016 

When my filter turns off my house disconnects for the 45 elbow. I have to reconnect each time. why is that happening??

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/1/2016 

Jamie - The flow keeper cuff is designed to fit most skimmer suction ports but you may have one of the exceptions. You may have to buy an adaptor/ reducer fitting at a local HW store to jerry rig a fit.

 Posted: 7/31/2016 

The flow keeper cuff doesn't seem to fit in my skimmer suction port.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/30/2016 

soflomom - There is a red tab that is used to open the valve and stop the Cleaner. Make sure it is in the right position to close the valve.

 Posted: 6/29/2016 

My flow keeper valve seems to get sucked into the "open position." If I manually close the cleaner starts moving; when I let go, the valve opens and cleaner stops moving. what went wrong?

 Posted: 5/17/2016 

Very good and useful article

 Posted: 8/4/2019 

Any idea why the pool Cleaner stays in the deep end 90% of the time.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/7/2019 

The cleaner may not be able to get out of the deep end, is the footpad or disc needs replacing. The pump's flowrate may be compromised if your pump strainer basket is full or your filter is dirty.

Anonymous  Posted: 3/31/2015 

that was helpful ,Thank you