Question about Hayward Phantom Pool Cleaner Complete with Booster Pump

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Spin of death

My third Phantom is now going through the "spin of death" cycle wherein it just spins on its own axis forever. This is the third Phantom I have had in two years that has done this. My most recent one only lasted 20 hours before doing the spin of death.

Brilliant concept for a product, poor execution.

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Mine had this problem too 6 months ago and I successfully fixed it . I will try to describe the remedy as best I can. I will use the same part names that Hayward does on their diagrams (easily found on google). The unit has 2 pistons that are attached laterally to the manifold. They move in and out slowly to direct the flow of water for the "turn around" function. They seem to be the root of many problems that long term phantom owners are all too familiar with.

Essentially, the pistons get bound-up or stuck over time or the cylinder caps on the ends leak water. First remove the cam cover on the top of the unit (while the pump is running) and determine if your turn around cam is working. If it's not turning, then the gearbox may be broken.

To lubricate the pistons, you will need to remove several components so that you can remove the manifold assembly. If I recall, you can do it without disconnecting any rubber hoses. Once you get to the manifold, tilt it up so you can get to the cylinder caps on the left and right side. Very carefully remove one of the caps by gently prying the plastic tabs. Inside, there is a plastic piston with a rubber seal. Mine were stuck and difficult to move. The pistons should slide easily. I lubricated the indide of the cylinders with pool and spa lube from Lesl***. I pressed the cylinders back and forth until they began to slide freely. I reassembled everything and it worked like a charm! No more "death spiral". On one of my phantoms, a cylinder cap tab broke off and was leaking. I used a large zip tie diagonally to hold the cap on. It held permanently.

The Phantom is not a trouble free unit by any stretch, but I do think pool stores have taken advantage of the situation by often unnecessarily replacing major components. I'm basing this on some of the posts have read in pool foums. It reminds me of German car dealerships!
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Posted on Feb 26, 2011

  • dudy36 Aug 02, 2011

    You are a genius. Ifollowed your instructions and my Phantom is running like new.


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You should be sure to check you line swivels to be sure they turn freely and don't leak water from them.

Posted on Dec 12, 2009

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