Dophin moves forward, backward and stops


New member
Feb 17, 2018
Weston, FL
This is my first post. I have a Dolphin Cayman (same as Active 20 or S200) and it has around 18 months of use. When I try to start it, it will move forward for about 2 feet, move backwards for about 1 foot and then it will stop completely. When I remove it from the pool and run it upside down, I can hear some clicking coming from the brushes. Anyone ever experienced the same behavior and can perhaps shine some light on the problem here?


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
Bedford, TX

Welcome to TFP... a great place to find the answers to all your pool equipment questions... :shark:

Dolphins go through a self test routine every time they start up.. if the little computer inside detects a fault, it will stop after the self test is over..

On the older ones the suction fan can get jammed and needs to be cleared.

The older power supplies can go bad and when they don't regulate well, they cause the motors to draw too much current, which causes the self test to fail.

Sorry, I have no direct experience with the newer ones..

Let's hope one of our new Dolphin owners can chime in..

Jim R.


In The Industry
Jul 16, 2017
Massapequa, NY
Yup, it's failing the startup test cycle. Obviously check that the basket is empty and that it sinks all the way to the bottom and if free of air pockets inside the machine first. Some initial troubleshooting you can do is make sure the impeller is cycling on and is intact. If the impeller has no fins, or is missing a few, it thinks it's out of water and will shut down. I've also seen debris in the impeller cause similar issues.

Beyond, that Dolphins are a bit hard to troubleshoot, especially over the internet. It may be worth bringing or shipping it to an authorized repair shop to have it scanned and diagnosed properly.


Bronze Supporter
May 8, 2014
Charleston, SC
I have a Dolphin Premier that just started this. I've cleaned out the filter screens and removed the white plastic screen covering the locked-up innards. No leaves can be seen. Any ideas?