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Thread: Polaris 9300xi wheels breaking off

  1. #1
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    Polaris 9300xi wheels breaking off

    I bought a Polaris 9300xi in July 2011 to clean my 16x32 vinyl-lined pool. I've used the cleaner every 2-3 days since then and it does a great job cleaning the pool. Near the end of August one of the wheels broke off where it attaches to the hub leaving about a 1 inch hole in the center of the wheel. I called Polaris and had to drop it off for repair at a service center about 45 min away. They had it for about 2 weeks. I used it for a few weeks after I got it back and this evening another wheel broke off (same thing - about a 1 inch hole lefy in the center of the wheel). I called Polaris and they are sending me another wheel which I will have to take to the service center for repair (they said if I repair it the warranty will be void). The representative said they have had this problem with some of the units. Has anyone else experienced this and has it happened more than once?
    27,000 gal vinyl pool. Hayward S244S sand filter. Polaris 9300si cleaner. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit.

  2. #2
    Senior Member XsAllOverIt's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris 9300xi wheels breaking off

    Don't know if I have a xi and don't think I do since it's a plaster pool, but I do have a 9300 and no problems with wheels yet. Used it about twice a week throughout 2011.
    18 x 36 Inground Gunnite, White Plaster 21K gallon
    18" raised spa, 8' Diameter (620 gallon)
    Triton II Sand filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG
    Pentair Pump, Max-E-Therm 400 BTU
    Lamotte ColorQ PRO 7-Plus test kit
    TFT-100 test kit

  3. #3
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    Re: Polaris 9300xi wheels breaking off

    Quote Originally Posted by callea
    I bought a Polaris 9300xi in July 2011 to clean my 16x32 vinyl-lined pool. I've used the cleaner every 2-3 days since then and it does a great job cleaning the pool. Near the end of August one of the wheels broke off where it attaches to the hub leaving about a 1 inch hole in the center of the wheel. I called Polaris and had to drop it off for repair at a service center about 45 min away. They had it for about 2 weeks. I used it for a few weeks after I got it back and this evening another wheel broke off (same thing - about a 1 inch hole lefy in the center of the wheel). I called Polaris and they are sending me another wheel which I will have to take to the service center for repair (they said if I repair it the warranty will be void). The representative said they have had this problem with some of the units. Has anyone else experienced this and has it happened more than once?

    depending on how difficult it is, I would repair it myself and save the broken wheel, then if it breaks again, just put the broken wheel back on and no one will know you repaired it.
    12000 gal diamond brite pool with 400 gal spillover spa, 1 1/2 HP pump and Hayward 1100 cartridge filter, Hayward Heatpump.

  4. #4

    Re: Polaris 9300xi wheels breaking off

    I can tell you right now that your warranty won't be voided if you attempt the replace the wheels yourself. If you are hesitant on doing this, by all means bring it in to a servicer, but we can provide instructions on how to replace the wheels. A lot of customers are located in remote areas and don't have any servicers for several miles and prefer to do it themselves (depends on the type of repair or replacement). See the attached file for instructions.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  5. #5
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    Re: Polaris 9300xi wheels breaking off

    Hello callea,

    I just happened to see your post about the 9300xi wheels breaking off. I just purchased one in mid april --- started using it in May. So far, the right back wheel broke off, I waited almost 2 weeks to receive the new one. Just replaced it myself (time consuming) and during the second use after installing the new right wheel, the left back wheel broke off. I was wondering if you are continuing to have problems with the wheels breaking off. What issues have you had since this post & what type of resolution? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Thx


    Ugh...

  6. #6
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    Re: Polaris 9300xi wheels breaking off

    I highly recommend letting a pool store replace the wheel. Mine broke off in June , took 2 weeks to get the parts from Polaris!! No local pool store had them in stock ?? Thankfully Polaris sent 2 wheels because while I was repairing the broken one , the second one broke off ! Definitely a major design flaw on the wheels , the plastic is thin where the wheel hub is. I know I put it back correctly and followed the directions exactly, but it's just not working properly. Sure it's under warranty , do I send it back now and get it returned after my pool is closed for the season ??
    I am so unhappy with this cleaner and am actually upset I bought the extended warranty because I would have rather put that money toward a different company's machine. My power supply broke last year and it took the pool store over a month and a half to get the replacement from Polaris . My neighbor bought one this summer on my recommendation ( before my problems started). He returned it after having issues as well.
    33,000 Vinyl Liner IG Pool, Hayward Sand Filter,Hayward Superflo Pump,Auto Pilot Dig 220 w/RC-52 cell, Polaris 9300xi cleaner. 4 wheel Pressure PoolCleaner.

  7. #7
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    Re: Polaris 9300xi wheels breaking off

    I had the same problem. I have steps and one day last week I went out and one of the back wheels was lying on the bottom of the pool and it was hung up on the bottom step. Then with my usual style and grace, I dropped it and broke the other back wheel off as I was trying to balance everything to bring it into the house to try to fix it. having a heck of a time taking it apart right now. gonna try that pdf for disassembly

  8. #8
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    Re: Polaris 9300xi wheels breaking off

    Same thing here. Wheel broke off and after inspection the other three have hairline cracks. Not too happy, I am picking up a cheap vacuum in the meantime as the pool is getting quite dirty.

    J
    23K gal, in ground gunite, 2 HP Jandy pump, 200 sqft Jandy cartridge filter, Jandy SWG, Gulf Stream heat pump, Jandy Aqualink RS, 1HP air blower

  9. #9
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    Re: Polaris 9300xi wheels breaking off

    Got the whole thing apart but can get the broken wheel stubs out the directions say you're supposed to use an allen wrench to depress a lcking mechanism to release them but i can figure out what they are talking about. Help please

  10. #10
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    Re: Polaris 9300xi wheels breaking off

    Taftag,

    The Polaris instructions leave a lot to be desired. You really dont need to take anything apart. All you need to do is use an allen key (or anything that will fit in those holes) and push while pulling from whats left of the wheels. I used a phillips screwdriver. I realized nothing had to be taken apart once I had taken it all apart, lol.

    I spoke to Zodiac about my problem on September 6th, just today I got a box from them! ... It was the wrong part. I tried calling but the wait was 45 minutes, unbelievable. I left a message and of course no one called me, i had also sent an email this Monday and also no reply to this day.

    Needless to say, I was extremely happy with this robot until I saw their customer support and how bad it is. Whenever I buy what I consider a high price item, the most important thing to me is their customer support. Zodiac/Polaris fails at customer support, they should have airfreighted the parts to me ... **** if I knew it was going to take this long I would have paid for the shipping.

    As it is right now, I will send another email (probably pointless) and call again tomorrow. In the meantime I am buying a new pool cleaner from the pool cleaner shop. My pool is like a swamp thanks to Zodiac and their poor wheels/customer service.

    J
    23K gal, in ground gunite, 2 HP Jandy pump, 200 sqft Jandy cartridge filter, Jandy SWG, Gulf Stream heat pump, Jandy Aqualink RS, 1HP air blower

  11. #11
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    Re: Polaris 9300xi wheels breaking off

    How do I get access to the instructions? Both of my wheels broke off after 1 season. Trying to find instructions on replacement on the web.

  12. #12
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    Re: Polaris 9300xi wheels breaking off

    Quote Originally Posted by hello
    How do I get access to the instructions? Both of my wheels broke off after 1 season. Trying to find instructions on replacement on the web.
    The zodiac guys emailed them to me. Call their 1800 number and ask for that plus the parts. Sit tight and wait, I still bave not received my replacement parts.

    J
    23K gal, in ground gunite, 2 HP Jandy pump, 200 sqft Jandy cartridge filter, Jandy SWG, Gulf Stream heat pump, Jandy Aqualink RS, 1HP air blower

  13. #13
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    Re: Polaris 9300xi wheels breaking off

    Just replaced the second rear wheel in one week. As an engineer it is my duty to determine the root cause. It is clear that the design of the wheel hub is inadequate. It appears that the rear wheel is catching while falling down from the top of the wall and the excess lateral stress (90 degrees from the plane of rotation) snaps the hub at the weak point (bad design). However since does not seem to happen to everyone all the time there is a different root cause. Below are two for consideration and it may even be a combination of both:
    1. My wheel failures so far have been with lower pool temperatures in the 50 degrees range. The plastic may have brittle characteristics at this temperature. This is the least like of the two.
    2. My wheel failures have been when there are a lot of leaves in the pool. Last time was not the first run but the third run. Each time the basket was very full. The added weight of the full basket may provide the additional mass to make an impact with the wall on the way down sufficient to snap the hub. When the cleaner has a lower mass it will bounce off the wall unharmed.

    I would be interested if anyone has a similar experience with the conditions when your failures occurred. Of course Zodiac/Polaris could fix this by adding just a little bit more plastic into the wheel. Maybe if we can provide a better explanation that "bad luck" then may see that there is a fix needed.

    Mike

  14. #14
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    Re: Polaris 9300xi wheels breaking off

    Lol, I am a mechanical engineer too but I just changed the **** things when they broke. Its obvious the plastic becomes brittle over time. Check your PH, it might contributing to the problem.
    I just decided to change them once a year and be done with it.
    Btw, mines broke when the pool temp was about 85-88.

    J
    23K gal, in ground gunite, 2 HP Jandy pump, 200 sqft Jandy cartridge filter, Jandy SWG, Gulf Stream heat pump, Jandy Aqualink RS, 1HP air blower

  15. #15
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    Re: Polaris 9300xi wheels breaking off

    I'm back. I fixed my own wheels last year, so proud of myself. opened the pool this week, plunked it in, it moved 3 feet and crapped out and the lights started flashing. I reset a few times and gave up for the day figuring I did something wrong. the trouble shooting says make sure the wheels move if this happens and they do. tried plunking it in a again today and it doesn't short out or flash lights, just doesn't move at all. anybody who fixed their own wheels have this as a follow-up problem. I'm torn about trying to get it professionally checked out or buying something else.

  16. #16
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    Re: Polaris 9300xi wheels breaking off

    Yes in 2013 they still have the problem with breaking wheels. just three months of use I had a drowned, crippled 9300 in the deep end. Wheels are a joke!! very thin at the hub. I filled the outside hub with Marine Epoxy hoping to reinforce them. good so far. but stay away from this machine - poor poor design
    -recently purchased Intex Ultra Frame 26' x 52" round pool. Gorilla Pad, plan to get Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System as well. Mewbie / First Time Pool Owner!

  17. #17
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    Re: Polaris 9300xi wheels breaking off

    As much as I loved this thing, I bought the poolvergnuegen last week ... I am extremely happy so far. I had to call their customer service, its years ahead of Polaris.
    23K gal, in ground gunite, 2 HP Jandy pump, 200 sqft Jandy cartridge filter, Jandy SWG, Gulf Stream heat pump, Jandy Aqualink RS, 1HP air blower

  18. #18
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    Re: Polaris 9300xi wheels breaking off

    I would say it is not pool water temp at all. It is thin plastic material around the hub. I built models when I was 10 with more plastic. Any bump putting it away on the cart slowly cracks the wheel. I reinforced my own wheels - polaris could care less about my support calls.

    I took the wheel off. Marine Epoxy (white stuff) on the inside ring - needs to not go above the ring in order for the wheel to turn freely and also filled the concave outside hub. My hubs are now the strongest part of this cheap robot.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfJVkrUH ... e=youtu.be
    -recently purchased Intex Ultra Frame 26' x 52" round pool. Gorilla Pad, plan to get Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System as well. Mewbie / First Time Pool Owner!

  19. #19
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    Re: Polaris 9300xi wheels breaking off

    My motor just totally died and I would have to take it to someplace to be fixed. turns out the warranty covers parts not the labor. bought an aquabot rapids 4wd because I didn't want to shell out good money after bad. I take such good care of these things and in the end I get 2 yrs max. I've decided to view them as disposable and the cost to replace v. the cost of my time to manually vac for a season or 2 and buy accordingly.

  20. #20

    Re: Polaris 9300xi wheels breaking off

    Been meaning to join this forum for a while, to learn how to better care for our old pool which we flipped to salt water when we bought this house a couple of years ago.

    Anyways...doing a Google search for Polaris vacuums and broken wheels..this thread showed up.
    We're on our second year with the Polaris 9300 sport. Bought it end of June last year...ran great all year.
    This spring, about 4 weeks ago..took it out for our first spring cleaning...let it loose in the pool..checked on it about a hour later, saw the broken wheel in the pool. Noticed it sheared off right at the hub. Having a mechanical engineering background and lots of plastic modeling experience...thought to mysef "Jeeze..that plastic is mighty thin there around that hub...VERY WEAK...no wonder it snapped off!" And since it's the rear wheels...the lateral stress they receive (as another engineer noted in a prior post) when it bounces down on the bottom of the pool after climbing the walls...and slowly slips down, is enough to weaken them over time. Those rear wheels should have much thicker plastic, as well as ribbed reinforcements (like spokes)...beefing up the hub area. Probably softer tires too to absorb some of that shock upon impact.

    Submitted a request at their website for a replacement wheel...about 2 weeks later one arrived, put in on the vacuum....got to use it a few more times and then this past weekend I let her loose in the pool...checked on it about an hour later...and what do you know, the left rear wheel broke off. Same thing...right around the hub.

    Warranty expires in 2 weeks...none the less, I went to their website yesterday to submit another claim/request for another wheel.

    Our pool is in ground, and in the deep end, steep nearly vertical walls with a kiddie walk around the deep end. Unusual pool..hand shaped concrete, built in '74 I think. 2 years ago we put a custom pool liner in it.

    Someone in this thread mentioned beefing up the wheels with marine epoxy...I plan on doing that...scuff up the plastic with some sandpaper (so it will adhere well) and lay on a good thickness of epoxy.

    Only other complaint about these Polaris cleaners is they seem to be programmed to spend too much time on the vertical walls of the pool. Seems like they spend 75% of their time climbing them. My debris/leaves/worms are on the bottom of the pool vacuum..spend your time on the bottom!

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