Swimming Pool Guides & Reviews by Certified Pool & Spa Operators

The Easy Guide to Troubleshooting Your Polaris Pool Cleaner

Here’s Everything You Need To Know

There is no better investment for your swimming pool than a pool cleaner. You can save so much time since you won’t need to skim and vacuum the water anymore. Instead, you can just release the pool cleaner into the water and let it suck up the debris and contaminants for you automatically.

Polaris is the best brand when it comes to pool cleaners. People know this brand for its reliability, great functionality, and attractiveness. However, that doesn’t mean this mechanical device is incapable of malfunctioning. Like anything mechanical, it can stop working at any unexpected time.

Don’t just return to manually cleaning your pool if this happens. You can troubleshoot your Polaris pool cleaner to see what the specific problem is with the device. Once you figure this out, you can fix the problem.

Troubleshooting Suggestions for Polaris Pool Cleaners

Your pool cleaner can malfunction for many reasons, especially from damage caused by animals, UV rays, and tree limbs. These things are more likely to happen if you leave your pool cleaner outside when you’re not using it. Try storing the cleaner in your garage or shed instead. 

What do you do if your pool cleaner stops moving without getting damaged by anything? Maybe it was busy vacuuming your pool and then stopped out of the blue. Normally, it will restart automatically after a couple of minutes. If it does not restart, then you’ll have to investigate the possible causes of the problem. 

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Bad Booster Pump

Your pool cleaner has a return line connected to it. This line should provide a strong amount of pressure for the device. If you don’t get this pressure, there could be a problem with your filter, pump, or booster pump.

See if the filter and pump are to blame. If you’ve verified that they’re not the problem, then the booster pump is what you must focus on. Repairing the booster pump will cost a lot of money and take up a lot of time. You’re better off replacing the booster pump because it’ll cost less money and you’ll save more time.

When searching for new Polaris parts to purchase, you need to look for the name “Zodiac.” This is the parent company that owns Polaris. Also, make sure the parameters of the new booster pump match the parameters of your old pump.

Clogged Screen or Damaged Quick Disconnect

The quick disconnect is a small component which attaches the hose of the pool cleaner to the return jet. There is a screen within the quick disconnect which collects debris and particles from the filter. That way, these contaminants won’t go into the pool cleaner. But if the screen is clogged with debris, it’ll cause the pool cleaner to halt.

If you suspect this is happening, inspect the screen of the quick disconnect to see if it’s clogged with debris or sand. If it is, then disconnect it from the return jet as well as the hose. Rinse the screen thoroughly to remove the debris.

Meanwhile, see if you have a damaged quick disconnect too. If you do, then it is probably leaking water and reducing pressure for the pool cleaner. If the cleaner doesn’t have enough pressure to move, then it will stall. The only thing that you can do is replace the quick disconnect if it is broken.

Float Hose Leak

Pool cleaners pull debris and water out of the pool. The filter bag collects the debris, while the clean leftover water goes back into the pool through a float hose. This is a hose which is connected to the pool cleaner and return jet.

If the float hose has a leak, then your pool cleaner won’t receive a lot of pressure. This will cause it to stop. You can remedy the situation by using waterproof tape to seal the leaks. This is a temporary solution, though, so you should prepare to replace the float hose when you notice leaks.

Back-Up Valve Leak

The Polaris hose has a huge, white-colored device called a back-up valve. This valve has a nozzle which releases bursts of water at high pressure in order to move the pool cleaner. This is how the cleaner gets around the pool and cleans the water. But if you have a leak in the back-up valve, it’ll end up spraying water out of it. Then, you’ll have no other option but to replace the valve.

Bad Belts

A Polaris pool cleaner is similar to an indoor vacuum cleaner because it needs to drive belts to turn its wheels. Once the drive belt snaps or breaks, the pool cleaner will no longer move.

You’ll know if you have a broken belt because the wheels won’t turn. Meanwhile, your back-up valve will remain functional, and the tail will wave around. Under these conditions, you definitely have a broken belt issue.

To verify this, take the cleaner out of the pool and see if the wheels all turn. Open the cleaner if the wheels don’t turn. Find the belts and look for any damage to them. If you see damage on the belts, then you must replace them. They cannot be repaired.

Internal Tubing Disconnected

The water tubes of the Polaris pool cleaner provide pressure to every area of the device. If the tubes are disconnected, then there will be less internal pressure in the device. As a result, the cleaner won’t move anymore.

Inspect the inside of the cleaner and check out the connectivity of the internal tubing. If it looks disconnected, then you can easily reattach the tubing to fix the problem. But if the tubing doesn’t stay connected, try holding them in place with hose clamps.

Tangled Cleaner

When your Polaris pool cleaner is moving in the water, it is susceptible to getting tangled up in the power cable or hose connected to it. The only thing you can do is untangle the cleaner from the cable or hose. 

Try to take preventative action to avoid tangles in the future. Here is how:

Reduce the Length of the Hose
Tangle troubleshooting for a Polaris pool cleaner first involves inspecting the length of the hose. You don’t want an extra-long hose, but rather just enough slack to give the cleaner some freedom. 

You can determine a good length for the hose by taking the hose and connecting it to the quick disconnect. Grab the free end of the hose and hold it. Walk with the hose to an area of the pool that is the farthest away from where the quick disconnect is attached to the pool wall. The hose should be long enough for you to reach that point, give or take around 6 inches.

If you have too much hose length, then it must be cut down to a proper size. Go to the deepest end of the pool and take a measurement of its depth. Now cut the area of the hose which is attached to the pool cleaner so that it matches the depth measurement. Walk with the hose away from the wall port like before until you reach the farthest spot. If you find the hose is still too lengthy, then you’ll need to cut portions out of the current hose segments. Make sure they’re equal portions.

Put the pool cleaner back together and release it into the water. 

Cable and Hose Stretching
Power cables and float hoses may get tangled too easily if they’re not flexible enough. The UV rays of the sun can assist in fixing this problem. 

When the sun is bright and shining down on your pool area, disconnect the cable and hose. Find a flat area on your driveway or grass and stretch out the cable and hose on them. Make sure there is enough room for their entire length. This will give you the opportunity to straighten them and untangle areas that need it.

Now just let them sit under the sun for a couple of hours. The heat from the sun softens the outer plastic material of the cable and hose, making them flexible again. Put the cable and hose back in the pool. You should notice them moving more freely in the water with the cleaner. 

Inspect the Connectors
The swivel connectors are responsible for allowing the hose to move around the pool freely. Within the connectors, there are tiny ball bearings which generate the necessary swivel action needed. If the ball bearings can no longer roll, it means no more swivel action for the connectors. This increases the likelihood of your hose getting tangled. 

Inspect the connectors to see if they’re freely moving or not. If the ball bearings do not roll, then add a small amount of waterproof lubricant to them. If the problem still exists, then replacing the connectors is the last option.

Measure RPM of the Cleaner

The revolutions per minute of your pool cleaner’s wheels are generally the same each time they move. But if the wheels ever lose their normal RPM, then it could cause the wheels to rotate quicker than normal. Under this condition, the hose can easily get tangled up. The cleaner may also lift away from the floor. Once that happens, it cannot vacuum the floor. On the flip side, if the wheels move slowly, the cleaner won’t do a good job of moving around and cleaning the pool water.

To fix these problems, you must adjust the RPM of each wheel and take action to prevent the hose from getting tangled.

  1. The owner’s manual of your cleaner will tell you what the normal RPMs are for the wheels.
  2. Grab a marker and draw a little line on one of the tires. This is the starting point.
  3. Activate the pool cleaner and place it under the surface of the water.
  4. Go to the timer and set it for 1 minute.
  5. Count each rotation of the marked tire by observing the mark.
  6. After 1-minute passes, take the RPM you counted and compare it to the recommended RPM in the manual.
  7. If the RPM is not close to the same range, then make the proper adjustments and do the test again. Repeat this process until the RPMs are closely matched.
  8. Look for wear and tear on the wheels and tires too. Anything that looks worn out or damaged should be taken seriously. Replace them if you see this kind of damage.
Watch the Weather Conditions

Don’t run the pool cleaner in cold weather because it’ll stiffen your cable and hose again. Then your cable and hose will end up in a tangling situation again. Any temperature under 70°F is considered too cold. But if you insist on running the cleaner anyway, then try to stretch out the cable and hose under the sun for a couple of minutes to get the most heat exposure possible. After you reattach them to the cleaner, watch the cleaner carefully as it moves around the pool. Pay attention to the cable and hose to ensure they don’t get tangled. If you notice they are getting tangled, quickly rush over to untangle them.

Extra Hose Floats

It is important that your float hose actually floats. If it does not float, then your hose will end up on the bottom of the pool while getting dragged around. This will result in the hose getting into knots.

You can solve this problem by using more hose floats to keep your cleaner afloat.

Conclusion

In some cases, there is nothing you can do to prevent your hose from getting tangled. A replacement hose will be required if all else fails. Make sure this replacement is compatible with your model of the Polaris pool cleaner.

After acquiring the new hose, lay it out on the ground and give it some heat from the sun for a couple of hours. Then it can be off to a good and flexible start in your water.

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