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Zodiac MX6 vs. MX8 vs. MX8 Elite Comparison Review

Zodiac MX6 and MX8 are two household names when it comes to suction side pool cleaners. Right now, we also have the Zodiac MX8 Elite.

The three models are quite confusing, and often, many buyers get caught in a dilemma.

Today, we want to strip down the three models, highlighting the key similarities as well as the differences.

After that, we will give our verdict on what’s the best suction side pool cleaner in this Zodiac MX6 vs. MX8 comparison review.

Let’s begin with a short introduction about the brand, as well as the highlights of each Zodiac model.

Why Zodiac

ZodiacZodiac is a household name when it comes to pool cleaning solutions.

Since its establishment over 100 years ago, the company has maintained a reputation of reliability and durability.

When it comes to pool cleaning solutions, some of the other names under Zodiac is the Baracuda G3 and the famous Polaris series of pool vacuums.

Zodiac MX6 In-Ground Suction Side Pool Cleaner, Blue/Gray
Zodiac MX8 Suction-Side Cleaner
Zodiac MX8 Elite Suction Side Pool Cleaner MX8EL
Pool Type
Inground & Aboveground
In-Ground
In-Ground
Cleaner Type
suction cleaning robot
Inground suction cleaning robot
Inground suction cleaning robot
Connection
Skimmer or 1.5" Vacuum Line
Skimmer or 1.5" Vacuum Line
Skimmer or 1.5" Vacuum Line
Hose Type
Advanced Twist Lock Hose
Advanced Twist Lock Long life
Advanced Twist Lock Long life
Traction
X-Drive Technology with X-Trax
maX-Drive Technology with X-Trax
maX-Drive Technology with X-Trax
Pool Surface(s)
Concrete, Tile, Vinyl and Fiberglass
Concrete, Tile, Vinyl and Fiberglass
Concrete, Tile, Vinyl and Fiberglass
Cleaning technology
Cyclonic Suction
Dual Cyclonic Vacuum
Cyclonic Scrubbing Action
Flex Power Turbine
Power Turbine
1
2
2
Hose length
32″ Twist Lock Long-Life hose
39″ Twist Lock Long-Life
39″ Twist Lock Long-Life
Cleaning path
10-inch
15-inch
15-inch
Navigation
X-Drive Navigation
maX-Drive Technology
maX-Drive Navigation
Easy-Grip Handle
Quick Connect
Warranty
1 Year
1 Year
1 Year
Zodiac MX6 In-Ground Suction Side Pool Cleaner, Blue/Gray
Pool Type
Inground & Aboveground
Cleaner Type
suction cleaning robot
Connection
Skimmer or 1.5" Vacuum Line
Hose Type
Advanced Twist Lock Hose
Traction
X-Drive Technology with X-Trax
Pool Surface(s)
Concrete, Tile, Vinyl and Fiberglass
Cleaning technology
Cyclonic Suction
Flex Power Turbine
Power Turbine
1
Hose length
32″ Twist Lock Long-Life hose
Cleaning path
10-inch
Navigation
X-Drive Navigation
Easy-Grip Handle
Quick Connect
Warranty
1 Year
Check Price
Zodiac MX8 Suction-Side Cleaner
Pool Type
In-Ground
Cleaner Type
Inground suction cleaning robot
Connection
Skimmer or 1.5" Vacuum Line
Hose Type
Advanced Twist Lock Long life
Traction
maX-Drive Technology with X-Trax
Pool Surface(s)
Concrete, Tile, Vinyl and Fiberglass
Cleaning technology
Dual Cyclonic Vacuum
Flex Power Turbine
Power Turbine
2
Hose length
39″ Twist Lock Long-Life
Cleaning path
15-inch
Navigation
maX-Drive Technology
Easy-Grip Handle
Quick Connect
Warranty
1 Year
Check Price
Zodiac MX8 Elite Suction Side Pool Cleaner MX8EL
Pool Type
In-Ground
Cleaner Type
Inground suction cleaning robot
Connection
Skimmer or 1.5" Vacuum Line
Hose Type
Advanced Twist Lock Long life
Traction
maX-Drive Technology with X-Trax
Pool Surface(s)
Concrete, Tile, Vinyl and Fiberglass
Cleaning technology
Cyclonic Scrubbing Action
Flex Power Turbine
Power Turbine
2
Hose length
39″ Twist Lock Long-Life
Cleaning path
15-inch
Navigation
maX-Drive Navigation
Easy-Grip Handle
Quick Connect
Warranty
1 Year
Check Price
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Zodiac MX6 Automatic In Ground Pool Cleaner


This is the first generation Zodiac MX6 pool cleaner and has been designed for small pools.

It comes with fewer hoses and only one turbine.

It can clean theL:

  • pool bottom,
  • walls,
  • stairs,
  • even the waterline.

It’s easy to install and doesn’t require a booster pump.

It’s also the most affordable among the three Zodiac inground suction side pool cleaners.


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Zodiac MX8 Ultra-efficient Suction Pool Cleaning Robot


This is a newer model and actually an upgrade of the Zodiac MX6.

This time, Zodiac included two large turbines for better coverage and propulsion as well as aggressive wall climbing.

It also has a wider cleaning footprint and notably, reverse gear.

Double cyclonic suction creates a wider cleaning path and larger debris consumption.

The hoses are longer, and that makes it ideal for a little bigger pools.


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Zodiac MX8 Elite Compact Size with Powerful Cyclonic Suction


The Zodiac Elite is the latest cleaner in the series.

The biggest addition it brings onboard is a scrubbing system for tackling pool stains.

Otherwise, it still maintains:

  • the same hose length,
  • two turbines,
  • maX-Drive technology,
  • the rest of the features.

It is also the most expensive of the three.


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Zodiac MX6 vs. MX8 vs. MX8 Elite: What are the similarities?

Zodiac MX6, MX8, and MX8 Elite are very similar obviously because they are in the same Zodiac MX series.

From the first model to the latest, we only see upgrades with much of the design and features intact.

Here are the similar things that Zodiac MX6, MX8, and MX8 Elite share in common.

Suction-side pool cleaners

The Zodiac Baracuda MX6, MX8, and MX8 Elite are all suction-side pool cleaners designed for inground pools only.

The main advantage is that they don’t require a separate booster pump; they work off your existing pump.

The three are also very efficient and work even with low-pressure pumps.

For the best efficiency, use them in two speed and variable-speed pumps.

Regarding usability, these Zodiac inground pool cleaners are ideal for small to medium sized pools. They will also handle the small to medium-sized debris only. Large leaves and twigs will remain behind or clog the cleaner.

Set up and installation

The three Zodiac pool cleaners have the same structure, as well as parts.

The setup and assembly is just the same for all models.

If you are shopping for an efficient pool cleaner with a simple installation, pick any of them.

They connect to the skimmer or any other 1.5-inch suction line and don’t require any plumbing or additional pump.

Cleaning orientation

There are pool vacuums that can clean the pool floor only while advanced models can also climb the walls and stairs.

All the three Zodiac pool cleaners will climb walls, and also the stairs. They will also clean all the pool surfaces including tile, concrete, pebblecrete, vinyl and quartzon.

Warranty and parts

After sales is also an important consideration when buying pool cleaners.

Here, you want to look at the warranty length and availability of parts.

All the three Zodiac pool cleaners come with a genuine one-year warranty.

As long as you abide by the Terms & Conditions, you shouldn’t struggle to get repairs or replacements. That’s one of the advantages of these top brands.

Parts and accessories are readily available. You can choose to buy from the local store if you’re in a hurry, and again, you’re sure it’s the right part and genuine of course.

As for the scheduled maintenance parts that can wait a few days, we recommend buying Zodiac parts online because the prices are fair.

So, as far as after sales is concerned, any of the three Zodiac cleaners is a great deal!
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What are the differences

Despite being from the same brand, and in the same series there are profound differences.

The M8X has a few upgrades that make it better than the MX6 while the MX8 Elite also has extras that make it superior to the MX8.

Now, it’s time to strip down their differences and see how each addition contributes to the overall pool cleaning performance.

Design and portability

The Zodiac MX6 is the smallest of the three Zodiac models. It weighs just 18lbs. and actually comes with a carrying handle.

The Zodiac MX8 and MX8 Elite are wider. This is to accommodate the two turbines that ensure nothing gets on the way of the cleaner.

Also notably, the Zodiac MX8 and MX8 Elite maintain a low profile design; the top handle has been sacrificed for this.

Vacuum technology

Pool cleaners work by sucking up the dirt and debris. The higher the vacuum power, the more effective the cleaner is in cleaning the pool.

Zodiac MX6 comes with advanced suction technology that is enough to suck up the dirt and debris and climb walls aggressively.

When it comes to the MX8 and MX8 Elite, we find premium suction technology which is more effective and works better on heavy dirt; for example sand pebbles.

Cleaning technology

Regarding the cleaning technology, the contest is between the Zodiac MX6 and MX8 vs. MX8 Elite.

The old MX6 uses Cyclone technology to pick up the dirt and debris. Cyclonic technology that delivers enough suction to suck up all kinds of small to medium sized dirt.

The Zodiac MX8 is a little more advanced and uses dual Cyclonic technology doubling the area the cleaner handles at a go.

The Zodiac MX8 Elite, on the other hand, comes with a new approach besides the dual cyclonic technology. It is the first Zodiac in-ground pool cleaner that agitates dirt courtesy of the Scrubbing dual cyclonic technology.
There is an active brush maintaining contact with the pool surface. It spins very fast removing all the pool waterline stains, algae, and other stuck-on dirt.

Drive technology

What drives the pool vacuum? This is an important consideration as it determines maneuverability and coverage.

All the Zodiac pool cleaners use Flex Power Turbine technology that is efficient and helps the pool cleaner reach every corner of the pool, climb walls and even the stairs.

However, you will notice that at the bottom, the old Zodiac MX6 has one turbine but the MX8 and MX8 Elite have two turbines.

What this means is that the MX8 and MX8 Elite have better propulsion, and turnaround time.

Hose length

A good pool cleaner should have a long hose to ensure it covers all the areas of your pool.

Among the three pool cleaners, the MX6 has the shortest hose. It comes with a 32″ Twist Lock Long-Life hose included. This again limits the use of the MX6 in large pools.

As for the two MX8 series models, a 39″ Twist Lock Long-Life which makes them ideal for larger pools. The Twist Lock mechanism makes hose attachment and detachment easier, and when attached, it remains secure.

As far as durability is concerned, they are all the same.

The feed hose connection is also standard among the three; Skimmer or 1.5″ Vacuum Line.

Cleaning path

The three Zodiac vacuums have different dimensions and consequently, varying cleaning footprint sizes.

The Zodiac M6 is the odd one out here as it comes with a 10-inch cleaning footprint.

The real battle here is between Zodiac MX8 vs. MX8 Elite as they both come with wider 15-inch cleaning footprints.

Definitely, the Zodiac MX6 will take a longer time to clean the pool while the MX8 and MX8 Elite will be faster.

If you have a small pool, the MX6 will work just fine but for large in-ground pools, pick either the MX8 or the MX8 Elite.

Flow intake

The Zodiac MX6 comes with a fixed flow/throat intake which limits its use greatly to the small dirt.

As for the Zodiac MX8 and MX8 Elite, the throat intake is adjustable.

Debris intake

Another area the MX6, and MX8/MX8 Elite vary is the debris intake.

In the Zodiac MX6, the debris opening is located on one end of the cleaner and is negligibly larger than the MX8 and MX8 Elite debris intakes.

The debris intakes of the MX8 and MX8 Elite are also between the two turbines.

Definitely, the MX8 and MX8 Elite debris intakes work best because of higher suction power.

Navigation and maneuverability

Zodiac pool cleaners have the same maneuverability. They all come with two large wheels, and a track popularly known as X-Trax technology.

However, under the hood, there is a battle that pits two navigation technologies; X-Drive Technology vs. maX-Drive Technology.

Zodiac MX6 has X-Drive Technology, and the MX8 and MX8 Elite have maX-Drive Technology.

The difference between the two is that X-Drive has no reverse gear so when it gets stuck, it will just stop.

As for maX-Drive, there is a forward gear and a reverse gear as well so you won’t find either the Zodiac MX8 or MX8 Elite stuck. But they can all turn around.

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Winner; Zodiac MX6 vs. MX8 vs. MX8 Elite

Of course the latest Zodiac, the MX Elite is the winner in this contest. The scrubbing function, in particular, makes it the best choice as it deals with stains and algae satisfactorily. Being the latest model from Zodiac, it is the best Zodiac inground suction-side pool cleaner.

However, in the Zodiac MX6 vs. MX8 contest, it is the M8 that carries the day. We like it because it strikes an excellent balance between budget and performance and that equals great value for money.

In the event its performance starts dwindling, you can revamp it with the Zodiac MX8 Tune Up Kit that includes most of the crucial components including a new engine.

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FAQ

FAQ
1. How much does Zodiac Baracuda cost? It depends on the particular model you want.
The Zodiac MX6 is the cheapest and retails at around $100 while the MX retails at around $300.
The MX Elite is a little bit expensive.

2. Where to buy Zodiac MX6 and MX8 You have two options; online or at the local retail store.

If you choose a local store, make sure it is an appointed dealer. Just any other retailer may fail to honor their part when it comes to repair and replacements under valid warranties. You are also sure of getting genuine parts and accessories.

However, if you want the best deals, shop online. There are many sellers online offering competitive prices. You also get to enjoy the convenience of delivery.

3. What pool surfaces does Zodiac clean? Zodiac MX series will clean all types of pool surfaces.
This includes the tile pool floors, fiberglass, concrete, and even vinyl.

4. Why is my Zodiac pool cleaner not moving? Make sure that the hose connection is tight and secure.

Also, inspect the entire hose for air leaks. When it is too slow, there could be a clogged filter or intake. In the case of a very fast cleaner, the culprit is probably a more powerful pump.

Use the speed control valve to adjust the pressure and make sure it completes ten revolutions within 20 – 26 seconds.

5. What is the Zodiac MX8 Tune Up Kit? This is a set of the crucial parts of the pool cleaner provided by Zodiac.

If the performance of your Zodiac MX8 has dipped, maybe its time to give it a new life with the Zodiac Factory Tune Up Kit. It includes the MX8 complete engine, two MX8 drive shafts, two bearings, reversing assembly and two track belts.

These five components will give new life to your old and tired Zodiac MX8. You don’t necessarily have to spend much on getting the MX Elite.

6. Why is my cleaner not covering the entire pool? Most of the times, it is your pool that has unbalanced water flow. Make sure your water return inlets are pointed downwards.

You can then choose to direct them all towards each other or towards the pool’s center.
It could also be your hose that is too short, so you might need to purchase another longer one.

7. My pool cleaner is no longer climbing the walls If it is moving on the pool floor and the flow is okay, the track belts could have been worn out.

Check if the treads are okay and consider replacing them if necessary.

Another possibility is a wrong hose float position. In other cases, the pool might be very shallow.

8. My Zodiac keeps flipping over If your vacuum is constantly flipping for no good reason, check the swivel and ensure there are no obstructions or jams.

Another culprit could be improper suction flow; use the pool pulse to test this.

9. What is Zodiac MX8 rebate? This is a tiered incentive program by Zodiac to award its loyal customers.

To participate, you need to buy any of the models listed in the rebate program, and you will receive a rebate depending on higher net prices paid for Zodiac and Polaris cleaners.

In the Zodiac MX series, only the MX8 is eligible for rebates at the moment.

10. My Zodiac pool vacuum is not cleaning the pool Probably you have large debris in the pool, for example, large leaves, twigs and gum nuts.

Zodiac in-ground suction pool vacuums are designed to pick up small to medium debris. If your pool is under trees with large leaves, consider a Polaris pool vacuum.

11. Air bubbles on the return line This is a classic sign of air leakages either on the hose or the connections. Inspect the hose for any punctures.

If all looks fine, do a little bleeding by disconnecting the cleaner to expel trapped air.

12. How to install/assemble Zodiac pool cleaner Zodiac pool cleaners are not hard to set up. The most crucial part is identifying the individual parts and where they should go.

Several video resources will help you out there. But just as a quick overview of the process, here is how to assemble the Zodiac MX8 Elite, MX6 or MX8.

  • Before you start, make sure the basket and filter are both clean. Also, turn off the pool pump to avoid accidents.
  • The first thing to do is attaching the pool vacuum to the skimmer or a dedicated suction line.
  • Once you get the proper fit, temporarily disconnect the hose and turn on the pump.
  • Fill a better part of the hose with water, turn off the pump and reconnect the hose.
  • Now, put your cleaner in the pool and observe the speed. It should neither be fast nor slow.
  • Adjust the flow if need be using the Flow Keeper™ Valve.
13. What’s the right flow for Zodiac pools? The test is simple; estimate the time in seconds it takes the pool cleaners wheel to complete ten rotations (Use the yellow marker as reference). The right flow is when ten rotations take 20-26 seconds. Below 19 seconds means there is a problem with your Zodiac.

It may be possible damage but in most cases, decreasing the flow solves the problem. When it takes longer than 26 seconds, there might also be a problem and the culprit here again is the flow; increasing the flow works the magic.

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Wrapping Up

We’ve finally come to the end of this Zodiac MX6 vs. MX8 vs. MX8 Elite comparison review.

You will agree with me that the MX8 Elite is the best choice, especially if you constantly deal with algae and other kinds of pool stains because it comes with a scrubbing system. It is the best choice if you have a large pool and you have no budget limits.

However, if you are on a budget, you can still consider the MX8 Elite as it is also designed for large pools because of the longer hose and two turbines just like the MX8 Elite.

As for the small pool owners, the MX6 is still a bargain. It’s the cheapest Zodiac inground suction side cleaner but can climb walls and clean the pool to the waterline.

Zodiac MX6 vs. MX8 vs. MX8 Elite Comparison Review
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Summary
Zodiac MX6 vs. MX8 vs. MX8 Elite Comparison Review
Article Name
Zodiac MX6 vs. MX8 vs. MX8 Elite Comparison Review
Description
odiac MX6 and MX8 are two household names when it comes to suction side pool cleaners. Right now, we also have the Zodiac MX8 Elite.
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Markus Robertson
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