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Thread: Polaris 280 too buoyant?

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    Polaris 280 too buoyant?

    I'm having a problem with my Polaris 280.

    It seems to be too buoyant. When in operation, it tends to leave the bottom of the pool and swim around in the 'air'. When not in operation, it sits with the rear end off the bottom of the pool. If I take it out and throw it back in the pool, it sinks very slowly.

    The result is that it does not do a good job of cleaning the bottom, and almost every day manages to tie itself in a knot around the hose connection at the side of the pool.

    Now what this is not:

    * Air trapped in the unit. All air is out of the unit.
    * Air in the line. I can see it, there's no air going through the line.
    * Incorrect settings on the various adjustments and spouts. I've played around with the float, tail pressure, position of the rear propulsion control to no avail. In any case, the problem is evident when the unit is OFF.
    * Position of the hose floats. I've played around with this, and there no tension on the floats when the unit is on the bottom of the pool. I can hold the hose under the water while the unit is on the bottom, and it still doesn't have all wheels on the 'ground'.
    * The backup device. This is operating normally - no water flow when it's supposed to be between backup cycles.

    I've tried adding weights (took it apart and put them inside, hung weights on various appendages, etc.) but mostly this seems to throw the unit out of balance so it will either fall on its side or otherwise malfunction - it does stay on the bottom though.

    My last guess is the following: I have a salt water chlorinator, so there's a lot of salt in the water. I think that would make the unit more buoyant. But if so, I would expect to see some chatter on the internet from others with similar problems.

    Maybe I'm missing a part, though this is hard to imagine?

    Any ideas would be appreciated!

    Thanks,

    Jerry

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    Re: Polaris 280 too buoyant?

    the head float(big white ball on top of cleaner, part #A20) needs adjusted, make it about an 1" or 1.5 finger widths away from the feed pipe.

    It's what gives the unit balance.

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris 280 too buoyant?

    Quote Originally Posted by jerry100
    Now what this is not:

    * Air trapped in the unit. All air is out of the unit.
    * Air in the line. I can see it, there's no air going through the line.
    * Incorrect settings on the various adjustments and spouts. I've played around with the float, tail pressure, position of the rear propulsion control to no avail. In any case, the problem is evident when the unit is OFF.
    * Position of the hose floats. I've played around with this, and there no tension on the floats when the unit is on the bottom of the pool. I can hold the hose under the water while the unit is on the bottom, and it still doesn't have all wheels on the 'ground'.
    * The backup device. This is operating normally - no water flow when it's supposed to be between backup cycles.
    Quote Originally Posted by DBfan187
    the head float(big white ball on top of cleaner, part #A20) needs adjusted, make it about an 1" or 1.5 finger widths away from the feed pipe.

    It's what gives the unit balance.
    It appears the OP has already tried adusting the float. I'm frankly at a loss. When adding weight - very small amounts added where the float goes would be what I would try. My 380 hasn't ever done this.

    OP: How did you test for air trapped inside?
    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

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    Re: Polaris 280 too buoyant?

    I would also like to know the answer to this problem. I have a customer who's Polaris is doing the exact same thing, but it will work for a short time.
    This is what we tried:

    1) cleaned out the backup valve (it was stuck partially open all the time).
    2) Adjusted float, tail, etc...
    3) shortened the hose (it was a little long).
    4) replaced O ring on main pump, it was sucking air and sending it back through the returns and Polaris line.

    Next thing we will do in the spring is open it up and check for blockages in the jets, check the gears...etc... (we are at a loss with this one).
    24' round above ground, 13500 gallons, vinyl liner, 18" Sand Filter

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    Re: Polaris 280 too buoyant?

    I don't have a 280 but when my robot floats a bit, it is ALWAYS because air has been trapped.

    It comes from the factory heavier than water so it seems the only way to get it lighter than water is to put some air in it.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Christian's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris 280 too buoyant?

    This issue can be caused by water getting inside the head float. If there is any water at all inside the head float it throws off the buoyancy.

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris 280 too buoyant?

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian
    This issue can be caused by water getting inside the head float. If there is any water at all inside the head float it throws off the buoyancy.
    How does reducing the bouancy of the float make the entire device float more?
    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

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    Re: Polaris 280 too buoyant?

    there should be no water inside of it, if there is then throw it out and put a new one on

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    Christian's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris 280 too buoyant?

    Vanya water in the head float throws off the buoyancy which can cause the exact symptoms he is describing in the OP. I'm not sure on the exact physics of it I just know I've seen water in the head float cause this issue.

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris 280 too buoyant?

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian
    Vanya water in the head float throws off the buoyancy which can cause the exact symptoms he is describing in the OP. I'm not sure on the exact physics of it I just know I've seen water in the head float cause this issue.
    Funky... I am totally befuddled by that.
    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

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Polaris 280 too buoyant?

    Ok folks - thanks for all the responses. I found the problem - a pool sweep version of a 'kidney stone':

    There are two small vertical water jet spouts on the interior of the central shaft that apparently serve 2 purposes: Obviously, to cause a stream of water upward that will suck up debris into the bag, but also to cause downward pressure on the whole unit to keep it more or less rolling on the bottom of the pool.

    In my case, it turns out that one or more tiny pebbles had become trapped inside the plastic housing that routes the water to one or both of these jet spouts. When the unit was in operation, the pressure of the water would trap the pebbles up against the small opening of the spout(s), blocking the water flow. When the unit was off, these were just about impossible to diagnose because without the water pressure, then would simply fall back down the (internal) piping.

    Credit to my wife: removing the water-directing plastic housing and shaking it, you could hear the pebble(s) knocking around.

    It was difficult to remove the pebble(s) because just blowing on the spouts wasn't quite enough - the air pressure wasn't adequate to move the pebbles all the way back up their route and get them out. But a combination of blowing and turning the unit in various orientations eventually caused the pebbles to emerge.

    Quite a puzzle. The pool sweep is now working perfectly.

    I hope this helps other poor souls with floating sweeps!

    Jerry

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    Re: Polaris 280 too buoyant?

    take the 2 screws off the bottom cover, then also remove the 2 screws holding the jet onto the frame, then rinse/poke out the debris in the jets, then put it all back together

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