Question about Polaris 280 In - Ground Pool Cleaner with Booster Pump

1 Answer

Front wheels don't turn

There's enough water pressure that the Polaris will fly around the pool, but when it lands it does nowhere because the front wheels are not turning at all.

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  • Anonymous May 21, 2009

    I have a similar problem. The wheel on the side with only one wheel turns while the wheels on the other side do not. there is a small metal gear which is supposed to make contact and drive the wheel which doesnt make good contact and makes a clicking sound.

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  • Master
  • 1,489 Answers

It's probably a damaged drive gear. Polaris was at one time giving out free repair kits for this problem because of the poor design of the original.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009

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What is causing my polaris 180 to float more than its on the bottom of the pool?


The cleaner could be getting too much pressure from the return line, causing it to lose suction and fly off the bottom. Confirm that the blue restrictor disk is installed in the UWF to decrease water flow. If it is installed, try installing the red restrictor disk that came with your pool cleaner to decrease the flow even more. You should also check your wheel RPM. If it is higher than 32 RPM, unscrew the pressure relief valve to decrease the water flow to the cleaner. It is important to note that the pressure relief valve should only be adjusted when a restrictor is installed.

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My Polaris 3900 that I bought today is not moving fast enough. There is no blue restrictor cap in the wall.


Check your filter, pump, and debris baskets for excessive waste that could decrease the pool cleaners water flow. Check the hoses, hose connections, and swivels for leaks that could cause loss of water pressure. Check your wheel RPM. If it is below 30, you will need to incease the water pressure. If you have an adjustable return valve, make sure it is open all the way. Also, make sure that your pump is working properly.

May 28, 2011 | Polaris 3900 Sport Pool Cleaner ()

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My polaris 380 does not move in the water at all. all lines are claer, I took the unit apart to check the belts both belts are on the axles, the large belt seems to be loose looking to me.should the belts...


The belts need to be "snug" but not over tight. If your debris screen is clean and you are getting good flow through the cleaner with water, but it is still not moving, this is a drive issue. It appears you are confident in understanding the mechanics of your pool cleaner, this should not be a difficult task. Lets first troubleshoot the cleaner:
  1. With the Polaris turned off, spin each of the wheels. All wheels should turn together. If not, replace the Drive Belt.
  2. Check the filter screen in the Quick Disconnect and clean if necessary.
  3. Clean the skimmer basket, pump basket, and pool filter.
  4. Check the hoses, connections, and swivels for leaks that could cause loss of water pressure.
  5. Check the wheel RPM.

Lets Replace the Belts: (You'll need a screwdriver and replacement belts before you get started) OR you can take your cleaner into a local pool supply store and have them install the belts for you!
  1. Remove the bag from the pool pump. Disconnect the collar of the bag from the feed house on the pump. Push in on the metal prongs to release the bag.Find and remove the four screws that are used to secure the frame to the base of the unit with a screwdriver.Lift up on the frame while pulling back at a 45-degree angle. Lift the frame off the base and set it aside.Push on the front belt while turning the wheel to disengage the belt from the pulley. Repeat this process for the rear belt. Take the belts out and set them aside.Place the new belts over the axle block shafts.Push the front belt onto the pulley while turning the wheel to put the front belt back on the pump. Repeat this step for the rear belt.Set the frame back in place on the base of the pump. Secure the frame by tightening the screws with the screwdriver.Attach the bag onto the pool pump and connect it to the collar to complete the project.










Dec 06, 2010 | Polaris 380 In Ground Pool Cleaner

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My polaris 3900 moves across the pool with the front wheel of the bottom, the wheel on the 1 wheel side and the back wheel are on the bottom.


Check your wheel RPM. If the pool cleaners RPM is over 32, reduce the water flow so that the cleaner makes proper contact with the pool's surface. Verify the back-up valve is cycling. Lift the valve out of
the water and watch the jet. It should come on and go off. You might also need to adjust your thrust jet if it is causing the cleaner to lean too far to one side.

Oct 11, 2010 | Polaris 3900 Sport Pool Cleaner ()

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My polaris280 runs in circles and the tail does not want to stay behind the polaris


there are several things that may cause the unit to run in circles. #1 never roll the hose when the unit is out of the water. Infact every year you should remove the entire unit from the pool and lay the hoses straight on the deck in the warm sun light. 1 to 3 days is usually enough use rocks if you need to in order to force th hose to stay straight. the hoses have memory and when you roll them up and lay them outside the pool this starts the problem. you also need to see if all three wheels turn in sequence. you can grab ahold of the single wheel on the left side and be sure it spins forward and backward without resistance. additonally the right front wheel should spin at the same time. there is a gear that runs between both front wheels and when the booster pump runs the gears spin and turn the front wheels. the back wheel turns from the tension placed on it by the small wheel between the two tires on the right side. over time the metal gears can wear out the plastic grooves inside the large wheels. if there is too much wear on one of the wheels you can remove one of the front tires and swap it with the back tire since it does not need the gear or grooves to turn. another issue is the directional jet located under the fitting the whip hose attaches. this uses the water pressure to direct the unit in different directions if the nipple is pointed to 12 noon this causes the unit to climb more 6 am will limit the climbing the urge. when pointed to the left it cause the unit to vere to the right and vice verse. 808-871-POOL

Aug 29, 2010 | Polaris 280 In - Ground Pool Cleaner with...

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Wheels are not turning. water is spraying from back up valve continually so not enough pressure to put machine into action


If the pool cleaner is not running properly (too slowly or not at all), you will want to check the following things. Make sure that your wheel RPM is not less than 30. If it is, you will need to adjust the wheel RPM to make the cleaner have enough power to move properly. First check your filter screen and the debris baskets in your pump, filter, and skimmer. They could have a blockage that is causing the loss of power. Next, if you have an adjustable valve on the cleaner line, open it completely so water can flow freely to the cleaner. If that does not work, remove the blue restrictor disk from the UWF. Also, check the hoses, hose connections, and swivels for leaks that could cause loss of water pressure. If you think that it is simply your backup valve that is malfunctioning, you might need to replace it. The backup valve kit is part number G52.

Jun 12, 2010 | Polaris 3900 Sport Pool Cleaner ()

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Pool polaris 280


If the cleaner is going too fast then it is likely that there is too much water flow at the drive turbine. Is there a pressure relief valve in the water supply line (at the edge of the pool)? If so then change the tension on the spring to allow less water to get to the cleaner's drive turbine.
The speed of the Polaris is probably the cause of the front wheel lifting as well, however if (after adjusting the water pressure) the front wheel still won't stay on the pool bottom, then perhaps adjust the little jet at the back of the casing. Mine points a little "down" towards the pool floor and this tends to raise the bac k wheel (or alternatively keeps the front wheel in contact with the pool bottom or wall).

By the way, if you want to see how the cleaner works, then search for eHow and lookm at the repair/overhaul of the Polaris 180............. the mechanism is similar.
Good luck.

Feb 12, 2009 | Polaris 280 In - Ground Pool Cleaner with...

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