Troubleshooting Your Pentair Rebel Suction Cleaner

If you own the Pentair Rebel Suction Cleaner (360473), there may come a time when you have to do some troubleshooting due to issues the cleaner is exhibiting. Whether your cleaner is brand-new or has a few years on it, we have the tips and tricks to get your machine functioning again in no time. 

Issues Your Rebel May Be Experiencing

The Cleaner is Moving Slowly or Not Moving At All

Is your Rebel cleaner brand-new? If you have a new cleaner, your pump speed may need to be adjusted upward to compensate for the rigidity of the new cleaner. A breaking-in period is required; it will take approximately one week of usage for your new cleaner to behave similarly to your old one 

Check the flow rate with the included gauge (or by counting the revolutions per minute of the cleaner. Your cleaner should make a full rotation within six seconds). Turn your pool pump to full speed to see if you can get the cleaner to move, then go ahead and adjust the three-way valve to see what occurs (does the cleaner slow down or speed up?). If there is too much suction, the cleaner will practically be glued to the floor of the pool. 

If you don’t have a new cleaner, be sure to check for debris in the cleaner, specifically within the turbine (360293) and swivel assembly kit (360285). You will also want to ensure your pump has been primed and that there are no leaks in the system that prevent proper priming.

There remains the possibility that your filter may require backwashing or cleaning, and you will also want to be certain that the main drain and suction lines are closed (except the line to which the cleaner is attached). There may be obstructions in the pool system (for example, debris in the filter, pump basket, or pump impeller), so give your equipment a once-over if you’re still having issues. 

If all else fails, it is possible that your filter system or pump is too underpowered to suit your cleaner. 

Wheel Detaches

Occasionally when the cleaner comes from the factory, the wheels (360480haven’t been sufficiently tightened, leading to detachment of a wheel or two. If that is the case with your Rebel, simply take the screw and replace the wheel, making certain to tighten it as tight as you can when using just your hands as using tools may cause overtightening, leading to breakage. 

Cam Issues

Pull the buckle (360284) toward you, opening up the cleaner. The right drive shaft kit (360290) will be on the right side as you look down at the cleaner. As you may know, the drive kit runs the cam (360294). Occasionally the cam jostles loose and it becomes necessary to reset the cam. To accomplish this, pull the right wheel off, ensure everything is properly aligned, put the wheel back onto the cleaner, and then slip your cleaner back into your pool.

Cleaner is Climbing Walls Out of Water

It is never a good idea to allow your Rebel to climb the pool wall to the point where the cleaner can suck air into the system. Doing so may cause problems with your pool equipment from your pump to your filter. The knobs you see on the tires (360287) help ensure the Rebel will pull itself from the wall, but this only works unless your suction is appropriately calibrated. The Rebel will often climb the walls partway, but it is still important to brush your pool walls to get rid of the nasty buildup your cleaner cannot reach. Doing so weekly will keep your pool in top condition during swim season. 

Cleaner Remains in One Area of the Pool

If your Rebel doesn’t want to move away from one area of your pool, there are a few things to investigate. You need to be sure your cleaner has proper suction, so use your flow gauge or count revolutions to check. If that is not your issue, move on to check the return line flow and redirect the flow as necessary with the included eyeball diverter (41201-0236). You should also make certain your hose is long enough to reach every part of your pool and that the hose is properly placed. The final item to inspect is your swivel assembly kit (360285); if it does not rotate smoothly, debris could be building up in that area. Give that assembly and the turbine beneath a good clean; that may well solve the issue. 

Rebel Will Not Climb Pool Walls

Should your Rebel develop issues in climbing your pool walls, give the tires a once-over. A cleaner with worn tires will have difficulty gaining traction and climbing walls. Your next step should be checking the flow with the provided gauge or by counting revolutions per minute. You will also want to ensure the leader hose is in the proper position and that your hoses are accurately placed. 

Cleaner Falls onto its Side and Takes Awhile to Recover

Ensuring proper hose float (360300) and hose placement will be your first step if your Rebel keeps falling onto its side and has trouble recovering. If everything is good there, make certain your hose can reach the far end of your pool; if it cannot, the cleaner may be dragged onto its side when it reaches the end of the hose length. 

Get Your Pool Equipment at ePoolSupply

Whether you’re a new pool owner or have been enjoying your outdoor sanctuary for years, you’ll need the best in OEM parts for all of your pool equipment. For over 25 years, ePoolSupply has been the leading supplier of pool equipment and parts. Get everything from cleaners, filters, heaters, and more. We even have YouTube videos to assist you in getting to know your Pentair Rebel Suction Cleaner! Check them out when you have a moment.

With extensive experience in pool repair and maintenance, our experts are here to help walk you through the process of troubleshooting your cleaner. Give us a call at 602-274-7946 or send us an email at

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