Polaris pool cleaner tips.
I want to share some Polaris pool cleaner tips and tricks. The Polaris automatic pool cleaner is a time-tested good product. I have serviced hundreds of these units over the years and I could probably rebuild one in my sleep. They are not that complicated inside and the average pool owner could easily rebuild their own cleaner if necessary.
Suction or Pressure?
There are two basic types. One is a suction operated model that works off suction of the main pool filter pump through a large vacuum hose that is usually plugged into the skimmer or sometimes a dedicated suction port on the pool wall. The big disadvantage of this type is that it takes a skimmer basket out of service while it is being used. Also it just does not work all that well overall.
The other type is a pressure operated model. This is by far the most common one in use as it does a great job and it does not interfere with the pool filter pump or strainer ports when in use.
How does it work?
The pressure model uses it’s own dedicated pump that pushes high pressure water through the hose and into the cleaner. From there inside the cleaner the water is then pushed through various ports and gears which operate the drive mechanism that drives the cleaner around inside the pool. Water is also forced upwards into a small debris bag which creates a suction area under the cleaner and this sucks up debris into the bag for storage. The whole thing is actually pretty simple in design.
Now some tips…
If your cleaner constantly gets stuck in the corners and stays there your backup valve is probably clogged with debris. This is the acorn shaped device located on the supply hose just above the cleaner. Unscrew it and carefully check for crud and make sure the gear paddle wheel operates smoothly.
Sometimes the cleaner will just go into tight circles constantly. This is usually due to worn wheel bearings. This lets the drive wheel(s) wobble and skip teeth. You can get replacement bearings and pop them in and make sure the wheels turn freely without excessive side wobbling.
The cleaner goes too fast and squirts a lot of water out the tail when at the surface. Inside the quick disconnect fitting on the pool wall is a plastic threaded adapter screwed into the pool wall fitting. Behind this should be a red or blue plastic disk with a small hole. This disk will reduce the water pressure going to the cleaner and thus slowing it down. Sometimes they get removed for whatever reason, so check to make sure that you have a pressure regulator disk in there. If the tail is still squirting too much water there is a small adjustment screw where it goes into the cleaner body. Using the appropriate allen wrench adjust this for a little less flow out the tail hose.