A & A In-Floor Cleaner Not Stepping to Next Section

tucsontico

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 30, 2014
256
Tucson, AZ
I have an A & A In-Floor cleaner installed in 2013. Has been working great until a week or so ago. I noticed there were larger than normal bubbles in the 6-port actuator and the impeller was not moving smoothly, e.g., it would rotate then stop, restart slowly, then stop, etc. Of course, this lead me to notice the cleaner pop-up heads were not sequencing. It was stuck on one area.

I assumed it was a broken or worn gear on the impeller so I dismantled the actuator. All the gears look fine and move smoothly as do the t-cup distribution valves. I relubed everything, tested it by manually rotating the impeller and all seemed fine. I put it all back together and ran the system. It worked for about one cycle then began the "stuttering" motion noted above. I checked all the inbound pipes for blockages, etc. but nothing obvious. Any ideas as to why this is suddenly occurring? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
1,782
Chandler AZ
Have you checked the small gear on the underside of the impeller? It can get rounded off near the end - and since the impeller can move up and down slightly, this can lead to skipping and the symptoms you describe. Inspect the impeller gear closely.

Are you the original owner of the pool? If so, you are covered under the manufactureres lifetime warranty and can get a replacement gearset free from A&A.
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,457
Tucson
If you are the original owner, contact A&A. They provide a lifetime warranty service (original owner only). They are based in Phoenix and can have a tech help you with your problem. They aren’t real quick to respond, but have always been helpful when I had a problem.

In case you weren’t aware, the position of the lid controls the length of the cycle within each zone. Try making adjustments to it, and see if that makes any difference In your problem.
 

tucsontico

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 30, 2014
256
Tucson, AZ
Have you checked the small gear on the underside of the impeller? It can get rounded off near the end - and since the impeller can move up and down slightly, this can lead to skipping and the symptoms you describe. Inspect the impeller gear closely.

Are you the original owner of the pool? If so, you are covered under the manufactureres lifetime warranty and can get a replacement gearset free from A&A.
The small gear under the impeller was fine. I removed all the gearing and tested it dry to be certain everything was meshing and moving properly. It appeared to be fine.

I am the original owner of the pool. I was unaware that A & A had a lifetime warranty. Thanks!
 

tucsontico

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 30, 2014
256
Tucson, AZ
If you are the original owner, contact A&A. They provide a lifetime warranty service (original owner only). They are based in Phoenix and can have a tech help you with your problem. They aren’t real quick to respond, but have always been helpful when I had a problem.

In case you weren’t aware, the position of the lid controls the length of the cycle within each zone. Try making adjustments to it, and see if that makes any difference In your problem.
I am the original owner of the pool/equipment. I was unaware that A & A had a lifetime warranty. I'll call them tomorrow.

I was aware that rotating the lid position will change the cycle speed of each zone. The one area I di not inspect closely was the lid itself. Is it possible a crack or deformation in the lid would not allow water to flow correctly over the impeller?
 

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
1,782
Chandler AZ
Great - give them a call on Monday and see what they recommend. Usually they will sent you parts - after they charge your credit card - and after you send the old parts back will credit the cost back to you.... or you send the old parts first and they send replacements after that.

Do you have a top feed or side feed water valve?
 

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
1,782
Chandler AZ
A crack in the water valve lid would cause water to leak out when under pressure (pump on) ..... ask me how I know - LOL. I had that replaced under warranty also.

You mentioned something about bubbles in your original post. If you are getting air bubbles you have a suction side air leak. Most likely place is the pump basket o-ring or the leaf vac lid o-ring (if you have the leaf vac).
 

tucsontico

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 30, 2014
256
Tucson, AZ
A crack in the water valve lid would cause water to leak out when under pressure (pump on) ..... ask me how I know - LOL. I had that replaced under warranty also.

You mentioned something about bubbles in your original post. If you are getting air bubbles you have a suction side air leak. Most likely place is the pump basket o-ring or the leaf vac lid o-ring (if you have the leaf vac).
I have the low profile side-feed, 6 port valve. I don't have a leaf vac. A small amount of air bubbles have always been visible in the valve lid. I did clean and relube the pump basket o-ring yesterday thinking there could be a small suction side leak also. No other bubbles appear in the pool through any of the returns (floor or wall).

There are no water leaks at the valve lid (or any other area of my pool equipment). I'm going to open the valve again today to carefully inspect the lid for deformation or cracks around the funnel that focuses water onto the impeller. Only thing I can think of for the next troubleshooting step. Thanks!
 

tucsontico

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 30, 2014
256
Tucson, AZ
Contacted A & A via email (phone call went to voicemail). They sent me a PDF with troubleshooting steps to follow. Already did everything they mentioned. The impeller is still not moving in a smooth, consistent manner and it stops after about 1 minute regardless of the pump speed.

Because the impeller isn't moving, I cannot see how worn gears would play any part in this issue. If the impeller were rotating and the valves weren't stepping through the floor cleaner pop-up zones, then I'd believe the gears were worn/broken.

I'm at a loss to explain why, all of a sudden, the impeller stopped rotating freely with the same pool pump speeds, etc.. I cleaned the cartridge filter today, re-inspected the in-floor cleaner valve (for the 4th or 5th time!) and varied the pump speeds from 1800 rpm to 2500 rpm (in 100 RPM increments) to see if any of that made a difference. No joy. :mad: I also rechecked all the exposed plumbing for cracks, leaks (air and water) with nothing found.

Any ideas from the experts?
 

tucsontico

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 30, 2014
256
Tucson, AZ
chiefwej, Thanks for the offer. I'm gonna work with A & A to fix this. I have a robot cleaner so the in-floor is not truly needed. I'm going to ask A & A for a rebuilt kit to replace the entire gear assembly and washers. Thanks again.
 

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
1,782
Chandler AZ
If the impeller is stopping while running at the same rpm, something in the gearset is probably binding. Or it could be an issue with the mechanism that opens the T-valves. Does your gearset have one or two gears that are in contact with the gear teeth in the lower housing?
 

tucsontico

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 30, 2014
256
Tucson, AZ
My gear set has two gears in contact with the teeth in the lower housing. I had no luck with A & A so I ordered a rebuild kit (Part # 540277) out of pocket for the replacement impeller, gears, washers, o-ring and shaft.

I removed the old gear set this morning and compared it to the new one. The new impeller has longer teeth on the bottom (about ⅛" longer). The new t-valve cam has a square-shaped nylon washer in the bottom (that washer has a circular hole in the center of the square to keep the shaft aligned) that was missing from my old one. (See attached photo of old cam)

I suspect that missing washer (or it may have been molded into the t-valve cam) was causing binding of the entire impeller/ planetary gear set. After installing the rebuild kit, I tested it at my normal pump speed (2000 rpm). It works fine! I then began reducing the pump speed to see when the impeller would stall from lack of water pressure. I got all the way down to 1000 rpm and it was still running smoothly. I'm going to stick my neck out an say the problem is solved–no thanks to A & A.

Thanks for all your help and guidance.
 

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