Pool Care Pool Troubleshooting

Why is Your Dolphin Pool Cleaner Not Working?

Dolphin Pool Cleaner Not Working properly

Like any other machine, Dolphin pool cleaners are prone to some problems in their owners’ hands. There is a long list of capable faults that could happen when operating such a cleanser.

And to keep you armed with factual knowledge on how to deal with the problem, here is a step-by-step guide on Dolphin pool cleaner troubleshooting.

If you follow every step in this guide, you should troubleshoot your Dolphin pool cleaner without any problems.

Your Dolphin Pool Cleaner Won’t Turn On or Turns Off Immediately

Imagine this; it’s a beautiful morning; you’ve woke up with a happy face, and you plan to clean your swimming pool. You take your manual skimmer, remove all the debris and leave for the storage to take out your Dolphin pool cleaner. You plug in its power supply to a wall socket, but when you try to start it, NOTHING.

It doesn’t start, or it starts, and then it shuts off automatically. The frustration hits you, and you start asking yourself, what might be the problem with this thing?

The fact is, it’s a common problem that you might think. So, what might be the cause, and how do you troubleshoot it?

The problem’s leading cause is a primarily electrical issue in the power outlet, power supply, cleaner motor, the cable itself, or Amphenol plug.

The following are the steps you can take to troubleshoot these parts and determine the specific section causing your cleaner not to start or shut down abruptly without warning.

What do you need?

  • Multimeter
  • Nose pliers
  • Philips head screwdriver
  • Amphenol plug (if found faulty)
  • Electrical Gloves

What’s a Multimeter and How Do You Use It?

One of the things you will need to troubleshoot electrical issues in your Dolphin pool cleaner is the multimeter. Do you what it is? Can you operate it?

If you know what a multimeter is and are comfortable using it, this section isn’t for you. You can jump to the first step. But if you don’t know the device, you better read this section.

A multimeter is an electrical measuring device designed to help electrical engineers troubleshoot electrical devices during repairs.

You can use it to measure the amount of voltage or current passing through a point and check for continuity between two points. You can also use it to check for resistance, temperature, frequency, and more.

Here you will be using it to check only the basics, voltage, and continuity. So, how do you use it?

The multimeter comes with two red and black leads that you will be inserting or touching to check for continuity and measure the voltage.

How to use a multimeter to measure voltage

You can use the multimeter to check for both AC and DC voltages. However, the settings for the two are different, but the procedure is the same.

1) DC voltage

Let’s use a car battery as a training tool to measure its DC voltage. With a typical car battery being a 12-volt battery, you’ll need to set the multimeter knob to DC voltage and pick the voltage above the 12-volt mark.

Insert the leads to their corresponding color-matching points on the multimeter and use the shiny ends to touch the battery terminals. The red probe goes to the positive (+) terminal while the black goes to the negative (-) terminal.

Check the reading on the multimeter. What does it read? If your battery is fully charged, it should read around 11.0 volts. If faulty, you will get zero voltage or low voltage, about 1-5 volts.

2) AC voltage

Let’s use the 120-volt wall socket in your home. As you can see, there 3-prong, with the short port being the live, long for neutral, and round for ground.

Start by setting the multimeter knob to AC voltage setting and pick the voltage label above 120 volts.

Insert the black multimeter probe to the long port first and then the red one to the short port. This prevents you from energizing the black probe, increasing the risk of electric shock.

The reading for a functional wall socket would be around 110 and 120 volts.

How to Use a Multimeter to Check for Continuity

Pick any electrical wire in your garage and use it to measure for continuity. Set the multimeter to the continuity setting with a sign (something that looks like a diode or an arrow).

Place the red probe on one end of the wire and the other on the other end. Here you want to make sure you’re using one wire.

The multimeter will produce a beeping sound if the wire continuity is proper. If there is a gap inside the insulation, the continuity test will fail.

How to Troubleshoot Electrical Issues in Dolphin Pool Cleaner? (Step-By-Step)

Now familiar with the few basics of using a multimeter, we can jump into troubleshooting your dolphin cleaner.

Step 1: Test the Wall Outlet

Start from the primary power connection and work your way to the cleaner itself. As you did before, take your multimeter and set it to AC setting and pick the voltage label above 120-volts.

Pick the black probe and insert it into the long plug on the wall socket. Take the red pin and insert it into the short plug.

If your wall socket is working correctly, then you should get around 110-120-volt reading. If you get zero, there is a problem.

Check if the breaker is off, check for faulty wiring, or hire an electrician for the job.

Step 2: Check for Continuity in Power Supply Cable

Unplug the power supply from the wall socket and unhook the power cord connecting it to the power socket.

Set the multimeter to the continuity setting as guided in the ‘how to use section. You want to test each of the three wires in the power cord to pass power correctly.

Pick one wire and touch the red probe from the plug end and the black probe from the receptacle end. If the multimeter produces a beep sound, the wire is good. Repeat the same with the neutral and earth wires.

If one, two, or all doesn’t produce the beep sound, you have to replace the cord. You can get one here.

Step 3: Test the Power Supply

If your wall socket works properly and the power cord is functional, the problem now might be in your power supply.

Does the power on lights light when you start it? If they do, do they stay on or shut down after some time.

If your power supply had electrical issues, the same problem would directly affect your Dolphin pool cleaner’s functioning.

Suppose your power supply doesn’t start at all. The issue might be out of your hands. You will need to take it to a reputable electrical repair shop or ship it to the Dolphin service center.

If you’re using the old model, the issue could be a dead fuse that you will need to replace. Check the power supply bottom. If it has a screwed cover, unscrew it and replace the fuse.

Step 4: Test the Power Panel Amphenol Plug

The Amphenol Plug that connects the power supply to your cleaner power cable on the other end of the power supply.

If faulty, your pool cleaner won’t enjoy the power supplied by the power supply. If the plugs are loose, your Dolphin cleaner will be starting and shutting off without warning.

The best way to troubleshoot this part is to use your multimeter to check for voltage and continuity.

Set your multimeter to DC voltage since the power supply converts AC power to DC. With the power supply unit delivering around 29 volts, turn the knob to the voltage setting above 29-volts.

Place the probes on the two live and neutral plugs in the Amphenol plug. Check the voltage readings. If they are between 28 and 29 volts, then your Amphenol plug is okay.

Take another test while trying to shake the plugs. If they’re shaky and the voltage fluctuating from 29 volts to zero and vice versa, then you have to replace them.

Replacing the plug is easy. All you need is a Philips head screwdriver to remove the faulty set. Unscrew the wires. Remember to take a picture to make sure you return the cables at the proper position.

Take the new Amphenol plug and screw the wires the right way. The labels should match. Screw it back to the power panel and retest it. If okay, move reconnect the cleaner and see if it’s operational again.

If you tested the voltage and got zero reading, then you have to test the wires individually. Remove the Amphenol plug using a Philips head screwdriver and pull it out to have a clear view of the wires.

Touch the multimeter probes to the wire tips and see the voltage reading. If you get anything between 29-29 volts, your power supply plug is faulty. Remove it and check for continuity.

Place probes on each end of the plugs one at a time to make sure all the terminals are working correctly. If not, replace the Amphenol plug.

If you got zero readings when you tested the wire tips, you have a problem with your power supply. Possibilities are it is faulty, and you need a new Dolphin power supply.

Step 4: Test the Pool Cleaner Cable

If everything up to the power supply plug seems to be working right, the next point you need to test is the cable connecting the Dolphin cleaner to the power unit.

Remove the top cover where the wire enters the cleaner using the Philips head screwdriver to see the motor’s connector.

Using nose pliers, remove the connector out and repeat the procedure you use to check for the power supply cable’s voltage and continuity.

If the voltage is standard and the continuity is alright, then the problem is the pool cleaner motor. However, if you did not get any readings or the continuity test failed. There is a problem with the connector or the cable itself.

Remove the connector and check for continuity. If it’s okay, check for continuity and voltage in bare wire tips. At this point, you already know how to check for these two things, so there is no need to repeat the process.

If the cable voltage is zero or the continuity test failed, then you have got to replace it. If it works okay, but nothing is working on the pool cleaner, the best guess is, your unit’s motor is dead.

The sad news is, getting a motor replacement is almost impossible, or it’d be reasonably expensive that a better solution is to get a new cleaner.

But if your unit is still under warranty, you could ship it to the Dolphin warranty service center for repair. If it’s a manufacturing defect, they will repair or replace the unit for free.

But if it was your negligence, then you will have to pay for the repairs and replacements.

How do you prevent future electrical problems on your Dolphin Cleaner?

Always run your Dolphin Pool Cleaner when your swimming pool is clear of any objects that might get lodged in it, like toys and small things that can cause the motor to burn up.

Keep the cleaner unplugged when you’re not using it. Power surges and lightning are mostly the culprits in the many power supply issues.

Your Dolphin Pool Cleaner Power on Right But Not Moving

If it’s not an electrical problem and your cleaner turns on the right, but it doesn’t move, this is how you troubleshoot it.

Step 1: Eliminate Cable Tangling

Check and make sure the power cable isn’t tangling around the wheels and tracks. There might be a knotting problem, a common issue with non-swivel cables. If that isn’t the problem, move to the next step.

Step 2: Turn the power supply off

Turn the unit’s power supply off and wait for 30 seconds before turning it back on. The issue might be a minor software issue.

Step 3: Check for Obstruction

If the wheels and track are clear, open the top impeller cover and check for any objects that might be trapping the impeller.

Step 4: Check for a Mechanical Problem

If there is nothing trapped inside the impeller cabinet, you might be dealing with a mechanical problem. It might be the motor, track or belt failure, or other parts of the cleaner’s movement.

Find one that might be broken. You can also try to listen if there are funny movement sounds that seem to be blocked.

Most times, it’s easier to DIY a replacement, but if you can’t get it fixed, you can send it to a repair shop or contact the Dolphin service center.

Your Dolphin Pool Cleaner Moves But Then Stops after a While

One of the common problems faced by most Dolphin Pool Cleaner owners is the cleaner moving and then stopping.

If your pool cleaner starts fine, start cleaning but stops after a while without warning; here is how to troubleshoot it.

Step 1: Check for a Mechanical Problem

If the cleaner is not moving, check an issue with the wheels, the motor, and the pump. The most common is the cord getting tangled in any of the cleaner movement parts. That’s why it’s best to buy a pool cleaner with a 360-degree swivel cord.

Step 2: Check for Cleaning Path Obstruction

If the cleaner moves but keeps getting stuck, especially in the same spot repeatedly, it might be getting stuck in that area.

Check what is obstructing it. If removable, remove it. But if it’s a part of your pool, assist the unit in getting clear of the object or getting a more-cable model.

Your Dolphin Pool Cleaner Cleans But Leaves Spots Untouched

If everything seems to go right and you leave the cleaner cleaning for over two hours when you come back, the pool still has some uncleansed spot; your unit might be skipping some areas.

Step 1: Make sure the cleaner has enough Reach

Ensure the cord is long enough to allow the cleaner to touch all the pool walls and corners. The brush system should also be able to clean uniformly and touch the surface properly.

Step 2: Clean the Filter Bag and Cartridge

Check and clean the filter bag and cartridge. While at it, check the cleaner brushes to make sure they aren’t obstructed or worn out.

Your Dolphin Cleans But Does Not Climb Walls

Another common problem faced by Dolphin cleaner owners is the cleaner not climbing the pool walls. If that is your case, it might be a manual problem.

Step 1: Check the Pump Functionality

Make sure the pump is working correctly. If it’s not, troubleshoot it. If it’s operational, move to the next step.

Step 2: Check for slippery walls

Your pool walls might be slippery, with a possible culprit being algae blooms. If your pool chemistry is out of balance or you stayed too long without cleaning, this could occur.

The best way to solve the problem is to use a pool brush right for your pool surfaces to scrub the grime off the wall and balance your pool chemistry.

Your Pool Cleaner floating

If your Dolphin cleaner floats instead of sitting on the pool floor, that’s a problem. How do you troubleshoot it?

With your pool cleaner submerged fully in water, squeeze the combined brush or the wonder brush and make sure it’s entirely water absorbent.


And that is how you can troubleshoot a Dolphin pool cleaner by yourself. Some steps might seem complex, but they aren’t. You also have the option of calling the Dolphin service and support center to guide through in case you get stuck. If you’re not a handy or DIYer, send the cleaner to a professional repair shop. If still under warranty, ship it to the Dolphin service center for a reliable fix. Visit maytronics.com for more on Dolphin troubleshooting.

About the author

Sharif Miah

Hi! I'm Sharif, the founder of Globo Pool® and I have been working in the pool & hot tub industry for the last few years. I love to share my experiences with people & hope you are enjoying my information and lessons!

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