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Thread: Hayward Navigator Problems-Solved

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    pragmatic's Avatar
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    Hayward Navigator Problems-Solved

    Hello,
    My new Hayward Navigator pool cleaner (PB provided) cleans really well when its running, but is driving me crazy with how often the thing stops. The slightest bit of debris clogs the impeller. I can deal with this (seasonal acorns and leaves). But, whats really upsetting me is how the slightest bit of sand jams the A-frame and impeller bearings (both bearing-sets are open style). Increasing pump vacuum does not help (when its jammed, its jammed good).

    With a slowly-recovering backyard, kids and my water-loving Labrador, keeping sand from the pool is not realistic. Im not going to trash a new cleaner just yet, so Im wondering if anyone knows of a fix. My thoughts are to change the cheap bearings to a sealed style. Maybe Hayward offers this? If not, Im sure I could find something from a bearing supply house. Looking at the design (Im now an expert Navigator mechanic), this problem is definitely not isolated!

    Anyone have any other ideas? I will update if I find a fix or post a video of me destroying it if I cant!
    Dave My Pool Build, ODK Build
    22X42 Gunite Freeform 23K Gal, 10X12 Spa
    Diamond-Brite midnight blue, 1800sq. ft Kool Deck
    Pentair Easy-Touch 8, 2-2hp Pentair, 500lb Sand Filter, 400K btu Pentair heater

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    pragmatic's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward Navigator Problems

    Just an FYI for those interested~Hayward technical support said they are aware of the "sand in the bearing" issue. They have already tried switching to sealed bearings; he explained that the sealed bearings also clogged and created more customer problems. They chose to stay with the open bearing type; he claimed this allowed water to flush sand from the bearing (OBVIOUSLY NOT WORKING). In other words~I surmize the Navigator is basically not suited to clean pools I still think a bearing exists that will prevent this from happening. I'm a glutton for punishment Have a nice weekend!
    Dave My Pool Build, ODK Build
    22X42 Gunite Freeform 23K Gal, 10X12 Spa
    Diamond-Brite midnight blue, 1800sq. ft Kool Deck
    Pentair Easy-Touch 8, 2-2hp Pentair, 500lb Sand Filter, 400K btu Pentair heater

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    Christian's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward Navigator Problems

    If you want a better cleaner for sand try something along the lines of a Baracuda G3 or a robotic with a fine micron bag (Blue Diamond, Aquabot, etc.). The navigator is not very well suited to sand and unfortunately there is no real fix that I am aware of.

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    pragmatic's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward Navigator Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian
    If you want a better cleaner for sand try something along the lines of a Baracuda G3 or a robotic with a fine micron bag (Blue Diamond, Aquabot, etc.). The navigator is not very well suited to sand and unfortunately there is no real fix that I am aware of.
    Yeah, I'm afraid you're right. But, it's really sad that a reputable company like Hayward has not engineered around this problem. It's really pretty, but if it can't clean a light dusting of sand, whats it good for?
    Dave My Pool Build, ODK Build
    22X42 Gunite Freeform 23K Gal, 10X12 Spa
    Diamond-Brite midnight blue, 1800sq. ft Kool Deck
    Pentair Easy-Touch 8, 2-2hp Pentair, 500lb Sand Filter, 400K btu Pentair heater

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    pragmatic's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward Navigator Problems

    Well, after a few months of...i'll call it break-in, the Navigator seems to have improved. Might have been the anger-fueled tosses across the yard (my temper-tantrums), but more than likely, it was the A-Frame bearings loosening-up (allowing water to rinse the sand out). Cleans like a champ and sucks up everything but the largest leaves and twigs. Sand definiteley not an issue at this point. Wish the Hayward Tech would have mentioned to me that time would help..ol blue barely survived.
    Dave My Pool Build, ODK Build
    22X42 Gunite Freeform 23K Gal, 10X12 Spa
    Diamond-Brite midnight blue, 1800sq. ft Kool Deck
    Pentair Easy-Touch 8, 2-2hp Pentair, 500lb Sand Filter, 400K btu Pentair heater

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward Navigator Problems-Solved

    I can just picture the poor navigator flying through the air!!!

    Sounds like something I would do
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    pragmatic's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward Navigator Problems-Solved

    Dave My Pool Build, ODK Build
    22X42 Gunite Freeform 23K Gal, 10X12 Spa
    Diamond-Brite midnight blue, 1800sq. ft Kool Deck
    Pentair Easy-Touch 8, 2-2hp Pentair, 500lb Sand Filter, 400K btu Pentair heater

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    pragmatic's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward Navigator Problems-Solved

    I had no choice in acquiring my Hayward Navigator XL suction cleaner. It was PB provided; both he and I did a thorough job of bashing its performance (much like many on TFP). We certainly were not FANs! So, after about 18months of use (some of it harder than necessary ), I figured I owed Hayward another review and somewhat of a retraction.
    On average, it runs about 20 hours/week (more in winter/fall). Using the Hayward provided elbow-type suction gauge to measure vacuum pressure, it registers way between mid & high (drastic difference in performance / speed with this adjustment).
    Positives: In 18 months I’ve not replaced any moving parts. All bearings and gears are good and the wearing parts; mainly A-Frame, pod shoes and wings are well within limits. I’ve seen from a few posts that the complaints associated with this unit are “frequency & too many / expensive replacement parts”. As far as performance; it does a really good job of taking in everything but the largest bits of bark/mulch and an occasional acorn. Gobs and I mean gobs of Labrador fur pass through it with no problems. It easily climbs the walls if I choose; to the point of suspending itself at the top under the waterfall.
    Concerns: In the beginning, I had to run the unit at higher vacuum to keep it from stalling; trouble with sand in the A-Frame bearings/clogging. It seems once the bearings loosened up I was able to reduce the vacuum to normal levels. I even experimented with sealed bearings but eventually gave up on that.
    Overall: The problems I had in the beginning were about 15% quality and 85% lack of understanding (my learning curve). I don’t like the idea of a robot; mainly based on cost ($800+) and having an electric cord stretched across the deck. I’m sure there are better units available, but for $300 (with hoses), 16 months of trouble-free use and very cheap replacement parts, I think it’s a good unit and great $deal. I strongly recommend the in-line leaf-canister (Hayward W560 $35).
    Here is a list of replacement parts & pricing (pretty much a complete rebuild of all wearing parts for $120 w shipping):
    Hayward Pool Cleaner PoolVac/Navigator Gear Box Assembly AXV408P $15.57
    Hayward Pool Cleaner PoolVac Ultra Navigator A-Frame Turbine Kit AXV621DAT $42.20
    Hayward Pool Cleaner PoolVac/Navigator Wing Kit White AXV604WHP $9.99
    Hayward Pool Cleaner PoolVac/Navigator Pod shoes concrete 4 pack AXV414P $12.32
    Hayward Pool Cleaner PoolVac/Navigator Pod kit White AXV417WHP $35.21
    Dave My Pool Build, ODK Build
    22X42 Gunite Freeform 23K Gal, 10X12 Spa
    Diamond-Brite midnight blue, 1800sq. ft Kool Deck
    Pentair Easy-Touch 8, 2-2hp Pentair, 500lb Sand Filter, 400K btu Pentair heater

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    pragmatic's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward Navigator Problems-Solved

    Thought I'd give an update on the ole Navigator XL. Last month, after three-years of hard-use, one of the A-Frame bearings locked up. A close inspection revealed a slight indention/abrasion on the rubber surface. It was enough to occasionally catch. My guess is the bearing wore enough to allow debris to lock it up. I thought it was a good time for a complete A-frame & turbine replacement. I'm pleased to say it's back in action and performing well. At $50 with shipping to revive it, I'll argue that the Navigator XL is the best bang-for-$ for suction cleaners; both maintenance ease & cost and performance. After my learning curve in proper adjustments that sucker cleans and even climbs the walls and very seldomly hangs-up.
    Dave My Pool Build, ODK Build
    22X42 Gunite Freeform 23K Gal, 10X12 Spa
    Diamond-Brite midnight blue, 1800sq. ft Kool Deck
    Pentair Easy-Touch 8, 2-2hp Pentair, 500lb Sand Filter, 400K btu Pentair heater

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