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Thread: Polaris 280 backup valve issues

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    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    Polaris 280 backup valve issues

    Yesterday my cleaner was not moving at all and had water shooting out the backup valve. I took the valve apart, cleaned the internal mechanism, hooked it all back up and it seemed to work fine after that.

    Today the cleaner is moving (no water shooting out the valve) but it does not backup at all. It continues to run but does not cycle through backups. As a result, it keeps getting stuck in certain spots.

    I'm thinking the internal mechanism for the valve needs to be replaced. I noticed a few of the gears were kind of wobbly. Before I buy a replacement, I just wanted to make sure it's the mechanism and not something else I should be looking at.

    As a note: I've already replaced the valve casing itself back at the beginning of the summer because it had a crack in it. I just swapped out the old mechanism.
    13,500 Gallon Plaster IGP
    Hot Tub w/Waterfall
    Aqua Rite SWCG
    A.O. Smith 1.5HP Motor
    Hayward Sand Filter
    Polaris 280 with Hayward 3/4HP Booster Pump

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: Polaris 280 backup valve issues

    It just so happens I have my manual out today to do something else.. LOL!

    TROUBLESHOOTING - POLARIS DOES NOT BACK UP
    From the manual:
    1.Verify the back-up valve is cycling
    2. Check the wheel RPM
    3. If the bag is full, empty it
    4. If the float has water in it, replace it
    5. Make sure feed hose is floating

    Good luck! If you need me to scan that page I will - I'm just running out the door right now.
    Helen
    Dallas Area, 16,000 gal IG, Easytouch 8 computer, Intelliflo 3HP Variable Speed pool pump, Pentair Smart Pump 4x160, Pentair 3/4 HP Booster Pump, FNS 60 DE 60, Mastertemp 400, Rainbow 320, Dual Timer w/ freeze protection, Intellichor SWG, TF100 Test Kit, POOL FILLED AUG 3, 2012, ORDER YOUR TF100 KIT FROM http://tftestkits.net
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/under...ie-t49936.html

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Polaris 280 backup valve issues

    Oh, to check the RPMs.. mark the side of the wheel, turn on the pump. Dip the unit below the water and COUNT how many times the wheel completes a full revolution for 1 minute. Should be between 28 and 32 RPM..

    ok - I'm really leaving now.
    Helen
    Dallas Area, 16,000 gal IG, Easytouch 8 computer, Intelliflo 3HP Variable Speed pool pump, Pentair Smart Pump 4x160, Pentair 3/4 HP Booster Pump, FNS 60 DE 60, Mastertemp 400, Rainbow 320, Dual Timer w/ freeze protection, Intellichor SWG, TF100 Test Kit, POOL FILLED AUG 3, 2012, ORDER YOUR TF100 KIT FROM http://tftestkits.net
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/under...ie-t49936.html

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Polaris 280 backup valve issues

    Thanks.

    The backup valve was not cycling yesterday. The day before it was stuck in backup mode with water shooting out the valve constantly. I took the valve apart again today, reinstalled it and now the cleaner is working fine again. Everything else is in good shape too. This leads me to believe that it's a failing backup valve mechanism.
    13,500 Gallon Plaster IGP
    Hot Tub w/Waterfall
    Aqua Rite SWCG
    A.O. Smith 1.5HP Motor
    Hayward Sand Filter
    Polaris 280 with Hayward 3/4HP Booster Pump

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Polaris 280 backup valve issues

    Well good luck with it... I'm still trying to figure out how all this works myself.
    Helen
    Dallas Area, 16,000 gal IG, Easytouch 8 computer, Intelliflo 3HP Variable Speed pool pump, Pentair Smart Pump 4x160, Pentair 3/4 HP Booster Pump, FNS 60 DE 60, Mastertemp 400, Rainbow 320, Dual Timer w/ freeze protection, Intellichor SWG, TF100 Test Kit, POOL FILLED AUG 3, 2012, ORDER YOUR TF100 KIT FROM http://tftestkits.net
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/under...ie-t49936.html

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Polaris 280 backup valve issues

    Does anyone know if there is supposed to be a continuous leak at the pressure relief valve? When I put my hand near the quick disconnect I can feel water (or is it air?) shooting out the sides of the valve. Is this normal? I never noticed it before.

    The cleaner still appears to be working fine though.
    13,500 Gallon Plaster IGP
    Hot Tub w/Waterfall
    Aqua Rite SWCG
    A.O. Smith 1.5HP Motor
    Hayward Sand Filter
    Polaris 280 with Hayward 3/4HP Booster Pump

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
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    Mint Hill, NC
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    Re: Polaris 280 backup valve issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevink
    Does anyone know if there is supposed to be a continuous leak at the pressure relief valve? When I put my hand near the quick disconnect I can feel water (or is it air?) shooting out the sides of the valve. Is this normal? I never noticed it before.

    The cleaner still appears to be working fine though.
    I have this same symptom on my 380. It doesn't appear to cause any issues and it is very slight leak not a gusher so I assumed it was OK.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: Polaris 280 backup valve issues

    My woes with the Polaris continue. It was moving slow and not backing up again. I carefully inspected the hose and found a gusher leak at one of the swivel ball bearings. It was between the swivel and the feeder hose. A fully tightened nut does not stop the flow of water.

    I didn't discover this earlier because it only gushes when the hose and swivel are curved such as when coming out of a corner. Sometimes it quits gushing when it straightens out but I took it apart, tried to re-tighten it and now its gushing more than before even when its straight. I tried a new nut and that didn't work either. Is there a trick to fix this without buying a new feeder hose?
    13,500 Gallon Plaster IGP
    Hot Tub w/Waterfall
    Aqua Rite SWCG
    A.O. Smith 1.5HP Motor
    Hayward Sand Filter
    Polaris 280 with Hayward 3/4HP Booster Pump

  9. Back To Top    #9
    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
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    Re: Polaris 280 backup valve issues

    You can buy just the swivels. http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B001BLG6HI


    - Sent using Tapatalk
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Apr 2009
    Location
    Northern Virgina
    Posts
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    Re: Polaris 280 backup valve issues

    I just purchased a Polaris 280 and the back up valve was defective out of the box. The cleaner would just keep going forward and never back up. I replaced it with the back up valve from my old Polaris 180 and everything was fine. I've seen other posts mentioning problems with the back up valve, wheels falling off, etc. I wonder if Zodiac is having a quality control issue at their factory?
    22k gallon IG Anthony free-form pool and spa with PebbleSheen finish, Pentair WFDS-8 WhisperFlo Full Rated Dual-Speed 2HP pool pump, Sta-Rite S8D110 System 3 Grid D.E. 53 sq. ft. pool filter, Raypak R406A 399K BTU cupro-nickel propane heater, Polaris 280 pool cleaner with 3/4 HP PB4-60 booster pump, Goldline Aqua Plus controller and SWG, Inter-Fab G-Force pool slide.

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Polaris 280 backup valve issues

    I received a replacement backup valve from Polaris so I disassembled the original valve to see what was wrong. It turns out there was no gear attached to the impeller (the paddle wheel that is turned by the water) so none of the other gears could turn!
    22k gallon IG Anthony free-form pool and spa with PebbleSheen finish, Pentair WFDS-8 WhisperFlo Full Rated Dual-Speed 2HP pool pump, Sta-Rite S8D110 System 3 Grid D.E. 53 sq. ft. pool filter, Raypak R406A 399K BTU cupro-nickel propane heater, Polaris 280 pool cleaner with 3/4 HP PB4-60 booster pump, Goldline Aqua Plus controller and SWG, Inter-Fab G-Force pool slide.

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Polaris 280 backup valve issues

    My Polaris 380 backup valve cycles but has a very week stream not strong enough to pull the vacum. I replaced the backup valve but didn't fix the problem. Any suggestions? The vacum works ok. and all wheels turn at the correct RPMs, and has a strong suction, but the backup valve when it cycles is very week.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Polaris 280 backup valve issues

    JimM01, How did you take it apart? Mine is jammed shut & won't unscrew. I tried warm water around the edge of thread, but still it won't budge.
    20' X 40' Rectangular Gunite Pool with Spa
    28,000 Gallons
    Sand Filter
    Rainbow Chlorinator
    Penair Pump
    Polaris 280

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Polaris 280 backup valve issues

    Also, as soon as I removed the Backup Valve. I turned Polaris On & Polaris runs Perfectly Without the Backup Valve.
    It actually moves all around Pool & does not get stuck on Stairs or Ladders.
    So my next question, is Why Do I Need The Backup Valve, When It's Working Better Without it?
    Can you harm the Polaris or Booster Pump by Running Polaris Without a Backup Valve?
    Does anyone know ?
    20' X 40' Rectangular Gunite Pool with Spa
    28,000 Gallons
    Sand Filter
    Rainbow Chlorinator
    Penair Pump
    Polaris 280

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Apr 2009
    Location
    Northern Virgina
    Posts
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    Re: Polaris 280 backup valve issues

    I was able to take the valve apart by using two strap wrenches. This worked for my old 180 valve (ten years old) as well as a brand-new 280 valve.
    22k gallon IG Anthony free-form pool and spa with PebbleSheen finish, Pentair WFDS-8 WhisperFlo Full Rated Dual-Speed 2HP pool pump, Sta-Rite S8D110 System 3 Grid D.E. 53 sq. ft. pool filter, Raypak R406A 399K BTU cupro-nickel propane heater, Polaris 280 pool cleaner with 3/4 HP PB4-60 booster pump, Goldline Aqua Plus controller and SWG, Inter-Fab G-Force pool slide.

  16. Back To Top    #16
    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris 280 backup valve issues

    Quote Originally Posted by dino1956
    Also, as soon as I removed the Backup Valve. I turned Polaris On & Polaris runs Perfectly Without the Backup Valve.
    It actually moves all around Pool & does not get stuck on Stairs or Ladders.
    So my next question, is Why Do I Need The Backup Valve, When It's Working Better Without it?
    Can you harm the Polaris or Booster Pump by Running Polaris Without a Backup Valve?
    Does anyone know ?
    I can see it hurtIng anything, I might take mine off.
    18'x43' Sport Pool
    19,000 Gallons Vinyl Liner 3'-3.5'-4'
    SWCG and D.E. Filter
    Test Kits - Pool Calculator - Chlorine/CYA Chart - Pool School

    Secret Weapon for Pool Chemistry Testing

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Polaris 280 backup valve issues

    Well after having mine off for a week, I got tired of running out & untangling it from the Stairs.
    So it's back on & today I also got a new Pressure Relief Valve. And as usual, the valve still has water spraying out of the side even when fully closed.
    I called Polaris & they say if it's tightly closed, then no water should be escaping. Well that has never been the case for me. New or old, Water shoots out.
    Water has ALWAYS leaked out of the Cap. And also water has always sprayed out of my backup valve, even when not backing up, regardless again of what Polaris says.
    I also found out that in their Polaris 280 Manual they have the Thrust Jet Adjustment listed opposite. The Instructions are wrong.
    In the manual it says point Thrust adjustment down, makes the Polaris stay low on Pool Floor.
    After I called Polaris, they told me the opposite. I told them it was wrong in the manual. She said "Oh I'll Let Them Know"
    What I would like to know is how after selling a Product for a good 14 years, how come it took me to tell them their Instructions are wrong in Manual.
    What would it have taken for them to correct their own manual or maybe Proofread it before creating it?
    So I believe only half of what Polaris tells me, because I really don't think they know their product at all.
    20' X 40' Rectangular Gunite Pool with Spa
    28,000 Gallons
    Sand Filter
    Rainbow Chlorinator
    Penair Pump
    Polaris 280

  18. Back To Top    #18
    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris 280 backup valve issues

    Wow, Dino, that's a lot of water escaping. You're only using that PB-4 3/4 horse Polaris booster pump, right? Not some hot rod souped up model?

    You might be a candidate for the blue or red restrictor washers that come with a Polaris. Might fix the backup valve constantly porting water if it's caused by extreme high water pressure.

    Good luck!
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
    1 hp Hayward Super Pump (new in 2012);
    Hayward S244T sand filter w/ Zeosand (both new in 2009);
    175K BTU LAARS Lite2 LG natural gas heater; Polaris 380;
    TF-100 test kit.

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Polaris 280 backup valve issues

    I currently am using the Blue Restricter. But here's the thing.
    I never ever used a restricter until now since I'm just trying new things to improve things.
    My Polaris does not have the momentum & drive it had 2 months ago without a restricter.
    I have never had a restricter & it always ran perfect.
    I have replaced 6 Wheel Bearings on all Large Wheels.
    I have replaced Pressure Relief Valve.
    I removed the Backup Valve & then after No Improvement, put it back on.
    Made adjustments & no real substantial improvements. It no longer has the get up & go it use to have.
    All wheels turn at a perfect 32 RPM.
    I have been using the same booster pump that I have always had.
    And I also had it serviced 5 years ago & they replaced the tail & 4 other parts.
    I'm at my wits end. I think I'm just going to have to have it fully serviced again, as I don't want to keep on replacing un needed parts.
    20' X 40' Rectangular Gunite Pool with Spa
    28,000 Gallons
    Sand Filter
    Rainbow Chlorinator
    Penair Pump
    Polaris 280

  20. Back To Top    #20
    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris 280 backup valve issues

    As for parts, have you replaced the drive belts? They wear, they may work OK during the RPM check, but they may slip under load. Pretty cheap, if ya wanna try.

    Keep in mind that Polari (Polaris plural???) are finely tuned, water powered machines. A small change yields big success or failure. I had 2 problems that were difficult to find, but when fixed, my 380 worked like new.
    One were cracks at the bases of the jet units at the base of the main debris tube. The cracks looked like seams in the plastic and ya couldn't tell they were leaks unless the 380 was "pressurized." Fixed them w/ putty.
    The other was a split tube & busted hose clamp (looked like a cable tie) in the water management system. The split was in the bottom of the hose, against the base, and the clamp looked OK from above. Again, I had to pressurize the 380 while out of the pool to find this leak.

    Good luck!
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
    1 hp Hayward Super Pump (new in 2012);
    Hayward S244T sand filter w/ Zeosand (both new in 2009);
    175K BTU LAARS Lite2 LG natural gas heater; Polaris 380;
    TF-100 test kit.

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