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Thread: Polaris wheel rpm: pressure or drivetrain? Was: 'Debugging' Polaris 380

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    threecheese's Avatar
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    Polaris wheel rpm: pressure or drivetrain? Was: 'Debugging' Polaris 380

    The wheels on my Polaris 380 (w/ 3/4hp booster pump) do not turn at all (0RPM) when I hold it out of the water (causing it to get stuck climbing). The bag, propulsion, and tail jets all work very well. I have removed the outer shell while the unit was under pressure and observed that, when submerged, very little water appears to be coming from the jet that powers the turbine (not nearly as much as the other jets), though I don't know if that's a problem or just the way it's designed. The jet is not clogged.

    I have tried the following, with no success:
    1. Replaced both bearings in two of the wheels
    2. Tightened the belts driving those wheels
    3. Replaced the pressure relief valve
    4. Removed the backup valve (just to test, it changed nothing)
    5. Fixed all hose leaks (a few bad swivels)
    6. Cleaned the entire interior, checked for interior hose leaks and cracks, made sure all jets were unclogged and there was no debris inside.
    7. Bored the turbine jet a little bit

    I am wondering what my next steps should be.
    As far as I can see it, either:
    1. The water pressure is good, but there is resistance in the drivetrain (bad bearings?) preventing the turbine from spinning
    or
    2. The pressure is too low, and the other jets provide less resistance and so get all the power

    Hoping that someone with more experience can help me debug this.

    btw the original problem that started this is the polaris gets stuck trying to climb the walls/get from the deep end to shallow end.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by threecheese; 08-10-2015 at 10:29 AM. Reason: Some text was deleted
    30kgal in-ground/steel with vinyl liner, aluminum bullnose coping || 1 H.P. superpump || Polaris P9550 robot|| Hayward 48sq ft DE filter || Taylor K2006 kit

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    stev32k's Avatar
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    Re: 'Debugging' Polaris 380 (lack of) wheel RPM - next steps?

    Put your hand around the relief valve and see if you feel water coming out. Polaris has a lot of trouble with these valves. I had the same problem as you have and found the relief valve was passing so much water the cleaner was moving very slow. I called polaris and they sent me a new valve, but it also leaked badly. I finally removed the valve and replaced it with a plug. That cured the problem.
    20' x 40' IG with vinyl liner volume approx. 35,000 gal.1.5 H.P. main pump, Polaris 280 cleaner W/ 3/4 H.P. booster pump
    Hayward sand filter, 3.14 sq ft, 62 gpm. Stenner 45 MPH10 chlorine feed pump. 1 micron final filter bags (home made and very effective)

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    threecheese's Avatar
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    Re: 'Debugging' Polaris 380 (lack of) wheel RPM - next steps?

    Quote Originally Posted by stev32k View Post
    Put your hand around the relief valve and see if you feel water coming out. Polaris has a lot of trouble with these valves. I had the same problem as you have and found the relief valve was passing so much water the cleaner was moving very slow. I called polaris and they sent me a new valve, but it also leaked badly. I finally removed the valve and replaced it with a plug. That cured the problem.
    I just put a new one in yesterday, some water comes out of it but not very much. Can I just knock the black piece out and put a rubber plug in it's place?

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    stev32k's Avatar
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    Re: 'Debugging' Polaris 380 (lack of) wheel RPM - next steps?

    The whole valve will unscrew and come out. Then just screw in a 1" PVC plug. I doubt a rubber stopper would stay in place very long.
    20' x 40' IG with vinyl liner volume approx. 35,000 gal.1.5 H.P. main pump, Polaris 280 cleaner W/ 3/4 H.P. booster pump
    Hayward sand filter, 3.14 sq ft, 62 gpm. Stenner 45 MPH10 chlorine feed pump. 1 micron final filter bags (home made and very effective)

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    threecheese's Avatar
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    Re: 'Debugging' Polaris 380 (lack of) wheel RPM - next steps?

    OK, done. It helped a little bit, but the wheels still barely move. Do you know how I might test the pressure coming from my booster pump? It's either that or get a factory rebuild kit and replace it all...


    Thanks!
    30kgal in-ground/steel with vinyl liner, aluminum bullnose coping || 1 H.P. superpump || Polaris P9550 robot|| Hayward 48sq ft DE filter || Taylor K2006 kit

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    Re: Polaris wheel rpm: pressure or drivetrain? Was: 'Debugging' Polaris 380

    My Polaris 380 will climb the walls just fine, but when it encounters a ledge or the edge of the bottom step it gets stuck and just sits in a diagonal position until the backup valve kicks in. I've also noticed that my 380 prefers to stay in the deep end and rarely makes its way into the shallow end. So far I've had to replace a backup valve (it was stuck open) and I just replaced the pressure relief valve (PRV). I wish I had seen this thread before I purchased a replacement PRV, b/c I would have just put in the 1" PVC plug as stev32k mentioned. Also, the new PRV leaks a little bit I've noticed.
    15,000 gal kidney-shape IG gunite, PAC-FAB Triton TR60 sand filter, PAC-FAB Challenger 1 hp pump (single-speed 3450 RPM), Praher 1.5" SM 10-3 Multi-port Valve, Polaris 380 with booster pump.

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    stev32k's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris wheel rpm: pressure or drivetrain? Was: 'Debugging' Polaris 380

    Have you checked all the tubing and swivels for leaks? Whenever my polaris stops moving as fast as it should there has always been a leak somewhere or the filter needs backwashing. It does not take much of a leak to slow it down. I've had leaks in the back up valve housing, swivels, PRV, and the wall connector had a crack. The inlet strainer can also plug off or leak.
    20' x 40' IG with vinyl liner volume approx. 35,000 gal.1.5 H.P. main pump, Polaris 280 cleaner W/ 3/4 H.P. booster pump
    Hayward sand filter, 3.14 sq ft, 62 gpm. Stenner 45 MPH10 chlorine feed pump. 1 micron final filter bags (home made and very effective)

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    threecheese's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris wheel rpm: pressure or drivetrain? Was: 'Debugging' Polaris 380

    @stev32k, are you saying that your filter can affect the pressure to Polaris even with the presence of the booster pump? I am having some filter issues (torn grid/s, letting DE and debris through the returns).
    30kgal in-ground/steel with vinyl liner, aluminum bullnose coping || 1 H.P. superpump || Polaris P9550 robot|| Hayward 48sq ft DE filter || Taylor K2006 kit

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    stev32k's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris wheel rpm: pressure or drivetrain? Was: 'Debugging' Polaris 380

    Yes, the booster increases the pressure coming in by a fixed amount. So lower pressure on the inlet means lower pressure at the outlet. If you are getting DE and debris from the filter the polaris inlet screen is likely plugging up and reducing flow to the cleaner.
    20' x 40' IG with vinyl liner volume approx. 35,000 gal.1.5 H.P. main pump, Polaris 280 cleaner W/ 3/4 H.P. booster pump
    Hayward sand filter, 3.14 sq ft, 62 gpm. Stenner 45 MPH10 chlorine feed pump. 1 micron final filter bags (home made and very effective)

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    threecheese's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris wheel rpm: pressure or drivetrain? Was: 'Debugging' Polaris 380

    The booster pump impeller might even be clogged. I am going to fix the filter before I move any further with the polaris. Thanks!
    30kgal in-ground/steel with vinyl liner, aluminum bullnose coping || 1 H.P. superpump || Polaris P9550 robot|| Hayward 48sq ft DE filter || Taylor K2006 kit

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