Hayward Navigator troubles


Well-known member
Jul 6, 2008
Pflugerville, Texas
I recently went back to a Navigator after a very expensive experience with the Barracuda MX5.
I have plenty of slack suction line so it isn't restrained in any way. However, after about three hours it will be completely hung up, almost tied in knots.
I understand how the steering mechanism works and if it weren't so recently bought, I'd think it was broken.
What am I missing with this thing?


LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
Chandler AZ
You mention you have "plenty of slack suction line". Is it possible you have too much slack? If you take out a section or two, will it still reach everywhere it needs to?

Do you also have an in line leaf canister on the cleaner suction line? If so, what is its location?


Well-known member
Jul 6, 2008
Pflugerville, Texas
I have had some improvement from removing one section of hose, adjusting the back flap to position 3 and throttling back on the skimmer a bit. But it is still getting twisted up.
No leaf filter.


LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
Pacific NW
And you are using only the sectional hoses it came with right? not a long hose attached to the other hoses?

Try removing another and see what happens.

Mine works very well.,,I only use enough hoses that it barely reaches to each end of the pool.

Both Navigators I've had (one was for a gunite pool, the other for vinyl) might create one hose loop
after going for several hours but never more than that.


LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
Murrieta, CA
I know this is an old thread but I thought I'd respond in case anyone else has the same problem.

I had this happen to me several times with my navigator. The root cause of the problem was in the "gearbox". This is an internal component that uses water flow to slowly turn the hose connection left and right to steer the Navigator.

If something gets caught up in the gearbox, then the navigator will only turn in one direction. As a result, the hoses get all twisted up.

You can replace the gearbox, or you can easily take it apart. Just pull out all of the plastic gears and clean them make sure there's no debris. Something as small as a tiny pebble or blade of grass can cause the gears to bind.

One way to easily test the gearbox is to blow air into the hole where the water enters. You should hear the gears whir as you blow. If you can't get the gears to turn, then you'll need to take it apart.

Finally, the other thing that contributes to this problem is the plastic screen along the back of the Navigator. This is the area where the gearbox pulls its water. If the screen is cracked or has holes in it, then debris can more easily enter the gearbox.

Since I discovered this, twisted hoses are easy to fix, although it does take me 20 minutes or so to disassemble the entire unit and clean out the gearbox.

Hayward Pool

LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Oct 15, 2014
Before taking the unit apart do a turn test first. The twisting of hose can be two things. The unit turning in one direction or the hoses were stored coiled up. If they have been coiled up lay them in the sun to see if they will straighten out. If the hoses have not been coiled the problem is either the gear box being jammed or one of the pods have come loose from the a-frame. Do this test. Hold the cleaner by the hose just above where the hose attaches to the cleaner. Hold it under the water and turn on the pump. If the gear box is jammed it will rotate in one direction only. Watch for a few minutes. Correct action would be that the cleaner turns right stops for a while and then turns left. 3-4 turns on average both right and left. If the unit is working properly and the hoses are still twisting up one of the side pods is loose causing the unit to track in one direction. Replace both pods and aframes.