Question about Hayward Navigator Pool Cleaner

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Hayward Navigator gets stuck at wall

My Hayward Navigator gets stuck every time it reaches the side of the pool. It works fine until it meets the wall head on, but then just sits there flapping the paddles but will not turn and head off again. If you hold the hose, with the cleaner hanging underneath it (in the water) then it rotates around fine. Pressure is fine (set to 7 for 7 sections of hose) and have tried running it at higher and lower pressure. Any ideas please?

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  • steve925 Jun 01, 2009

    Yes, the cleaner has been great - it is a few years old now and during that time I have replaced the wings and feet and regularly check the pod screws are tight with no excess play. In the past when it has had a problem, it has not moved (or moved very slowly), this is the first time I have known it to move quickly along the floor of the pool (and up the sloped sides) but then get stuck at the wall. I don’t think it has anything I would call a bumper - just the plastic molding at the front that is part of the base.

  • steve925 Jun 01, 2009

    Happy to take it apart - have done so a few times over the last couple of years. Sounds like good thing to check, it would explain why it rotates when I hold it, but does not seem to have enough power to turn at the wall. Will give it a try later tonight. thanks.

  • steve925 Jun 01, 2009

    Took it apart, but no obvious signs of blockage. However, good news as I discovered there was a problem with the "cone gear" not meshing properly with the intermediate / spindle gears - it was enough to rotate the cleaner on the hose, but only if there was no resistance. After taking it apart and putting it back together gain it is all working fine. I guess time will tell if there is some wear that causes this, but it is not obvious to me if that is the case.

    Thanks for your responses, Steve.

  • Samuel Charles Spriggs May 11, 2010

    Please let me know what you find.



  • Samuel Charles Spriggs May 11, 2010

    There is a gear which opens a port inside the unit to divert the water to the mechanism which causes the cleaner to rotate.

    This could be clogged (causing to little power to turn the cleaner) or otherwise malfunctioning.

    Are you up to taking the cleaner apart?

  • Samuel Charles Spriggs May 11, 2010

    Has the cleaner worked well up to now? Does it have a bumper/bar on the front?


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I have had the same Navigator for many, many years. I have replaced it's guts, pods, feet and gears whenever things wear out. I have a vinyl pool and it works great. I had a problem with it charging into the wall and just sit there beating it's feet ..... now this was my solution, and I'm surprised that Navigator has not altered the design to deal with getting stuck against a wall. This will sound CRAZY but it works great!! Take a plastic lid for a 5 gallon bucket and cut out a round-nose for the front of your navigator. The curved shape is prefect and you can notch the plastic lid and it will snug right into the Navigator body. This gives your Navigator a round-nose and it will never get stuck against a wall again.

Posted on Aug 27, 2009

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Great!! That would be my "or otherwise malfunctioning" speculation. Glad you found the symptom at least -- time will tell if it's the problem.


Posted on Jun 01, 2009

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Related Questions:

1 Answer

Can the Navigator be adjusted for the speed?

The Speed of a Navigator is adjusted by water flow. There is no adjustment on the unit itself. The more flow through the unit the faster it will go. If the unit moves too fast or too slow proper cleaning may be sacrificed. The proper flow can be achieved using the flow meter that comes with the unit.

Many pools are set up with multiple shut-off valves in front of the pump. These regulate flow from bottom suction lines, skimmer suction lines, and vacuum suction lines. If you have these valves, make sure the valve on the line the vacuum is attached to is fully open and then adjust the flow by closing off the other valves slowly until proper flow is reached. This is where the flow meter is used.

If there are no valves and the Navigator is moving too fast, an in-line valve is also supplied with the unit and can be used to regulate the flow. This valve is installed between the vac hose and the port where the vacuum is connected to the pool (side port or skimmer).

Sep 11, 2014 | Hayward Navigator Pool Cleaner

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My Hayward pool sweep gets stuck when it goes over the drain at the bottom of the pool

It could be worn shoes on your pool cleaner causing the problem, but it is most likely just that you need to get a ring drain cover to cover your anti-vortex drain. It creates a smoother surface and is designed specifically to work with in ground automatic pool cleaners that are getting stuck on the drain.

Mar 19, 2011 | Hayward Navigator Pool Cleaner

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If it's an older Navigator and it just recently started to hang up on the drain cover, replace the throat assembly, part 29. The lugs or hold offs on the bottom of the assembly have worn down and are not breaking the suction as the Navigator travels over the top of the domed drain cover. Replaced mine and no longer have the "my navigator gets stuck on the main drain" problem.

Aug 06, 2010 | Hayward Navigator Pool Cleaner

1 Answer

My pool vacuum just goes in circles and my other one same make is getting stuck on the pool walls

With these automatic pool cleaners, if they are going in circles, it could be one of a few problems. First, your water flow might be functioning incorrectly. Check the water flow gauge and make sure that is coming out evenly. Adjust if necessary. Also, make sure that you do not have a worn shoe or wing on one side of the cleaner. Also, make sure the navigator throat is not obstructed on one side. The same problems could be preventing it from climbing, but for that problem, you will also want to check that the hose is not too short and that the tension in the rear flap is correct.

Jul 09, 2010 | Hayward Navigator Pool Cleaner

1 Answer

Sweeper does not reach end of pool

Check your returns. They may be getting a flo going in the pool that keeps the cleaner from getting to one end. Usually this is due to the current pushing the floating hose around pool. To fix this simply aim the returns down into the pool rather up on the surface. It sounds like you have enough hose. I hope this helps you good luck.

Apr 15, 2010 | Hayward Navigator Pool Cleaner

1 Answer

I am looking for the suction cap that goes into the pool wall, for the hayward navigator ingroung pool . The cap broke off the one I have.

This is called a Vac-Loc by brand name and any pool store should stok this. Before you can screw this out of the wall check for a small stanless steel alan screw that goes threw the flange and is a set screw into the wall fitting. Loosten or remove this and the old one will come out easer. Good luck.

Apr 02, 2010 | Hayward Navigator Pool Cleaner

1 Answer

Gets stuck on walls

turn down the suction if thats not the problem under the left rear pod on the body housing youl see a little straight slot for a screw driver theres 3 settings it actually shows images like a ladder turn the screw down to the first step that should solve your problem

Jul 17, 2009 | Hayward Navigator Pool Cleaner

1 Answer

Navigator only goes to steps and sides of pool

This could be from not enough hose or your pool returns are aimed in a way that creates a current in the pool that drives the cleaner into the steps and won't let it out. Change the angle of these first then ck the hoses.

Jun 28, 2009 | Hayward Navigator Pool Cleaner

1 Answer

Hayward navigator floats in pool.

Try setting it at 10 lbs of vacuum, see if that works.

Jun 27, 2009 | Hayward Navigator Pool Cleaner

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