Hayward Phantom stuck in top mode

orthofish

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 21, 2009
562
Northern Middle Tn.
I always run my cleaner in bottom only mode and manually skim the top. Worked fine yesterday. This morning it only runs on the top no matter what I change the setting to. I checked the pressure and it is 24psi. Changed the cam. Cleaned the inline filter. Nothing. Still runs top only. Any ideas??? I think the warranty just expired :grrrr:
 

orthofish

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 21, 2009
562
Northern Middle Tn.
If I take it apart, should it be upright when I take out the screws :?: I don't want a lot of stuff falling out and not knowing how it goes back together. :scratch:
 

orthofish

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 21, 2009
562
Northern Middle Tn.
I've got the owners manual and have looked at it. Pretty useless. Their troubleshooting says if it's stuck on top or bottom to move the switch :?: Duh :? Their website had some other things to check which require taking a look inside. Just didn't want to take it apart in a way that things fell out. ie right side up or upside down.
 

Rescue30

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 6, 2008
63
New Jersey
Turn it upside down on a towel laying on a table . The screws are easier accesed that way , nothing will fall off except the roller wheels, but you'll see those are easy to put back in place when you are ready to close it up. I'm thinking the switch on the machine is not flipping the lever inside part # AX6000SWA Top / Auto / Bot Switch, look in the manual it's part #27 in the diagram. Don't hesitate to cantact Hayward even it's out of warranty , they sent me the entire insides for the Phantom as a courtesy , send them a nice email to customer service , should do it .
 

BluesBrother

New member
Oct 5, 2010
1
I have a Hayward Phantom and it works great -- when it works. As has been mentioned here and elsewhere, it's fragile and subject to periodic failure.

Among other problems, mine has failed in "stuck in top mode" twice, now. If you remove the top of the cleaner and inspect the mechanism inside, the key component is a manifold assembly. This has an internal piston that moves laterally in a chamber that is capped at either end (side) by two snap-on plastic caps. These caps have to withstand the pressure of the booster pump, and eventually, they crack and the cap no longer seals tightly. As a result, the cleaner can stick in one mode or another. In my case, the same cap failed twice, and the cleaner was stuck in top mode, which is pretty much useless, as you really need it to clean the bottom of the pool, rather than the surface.

The first time this happened, I ordered a replacement manifold assembly (it's sold as a single component - you can't just replace the failed cap, of course) at a cost of $110.00 and installed it myself. Problem solved.

Last week (after only one year), the cleaner was stuck in top mode again, and upon disassembly, I found what I expected -- the same cap had cracked and wasn't sealing. Well, that's it for this cleaner. As I said, it does work very well and does what it claims to do, but the upkeep is both expensive and time-consuming.

So, I am going to replace it with most likely a Polaris 280, which seems to come highly recommended by both pool owners and pool technicians alike.
 

Poolschoolgrad

Well-known member
Oct 4, 2010
317
Georgia
Our first automatic pool cleaner was the Hayward Phantom. We chose this cleaner because it could clean the built-in steps and the swim-out area of our pool that many other cleaners could not. Our pool collects a lot of leaves in the Fall and the Phantom did a great job of cleaning up those leaves before they reached the skimmers.

The disadvantage of this cleaner was that it needed frequent repairs. Within 3 years of use, we spent almost as much on replacement parts as the cost of a new unit.

We replaced this unit with a Polaris 280. In two seasons of use, the only part we have replaced is the sponge on the end of the tail. The Polaris 280 does not clean the steps or the swim-out area, but it does a great job on the pool floor and lower walls. It will pick up large debris such as leaves, sticks and pool toys; as well as fine silt and sand. It takes only a couple of minutes to manually brush the steps and the swim-out area. I do this each time I clean out the skimmers.

The Polaris 280 would sometimes get stuck in the ladder so we added the Polaris ladder guard G21 kit. The guard works and it is barely noticeable as it attaches below the waterline.
 

zamazing

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2015
115
Bergen County, NJ
I know this an old thread but I'm posting this in case someone has this problem and is looking for a possible solution. A previous poster (BluesBrother) has identified the source of the problem. Namely, that one of the snap-on plastic caps on either end of the manifold chamber cracks and causes the cleaner to stick in one mode or another.

If you remove the top of the cleaner and inspect the mechanism inside, the key component is a manifold assembly. This has an internal piston that moves laterally in a chamber that is capped at either end (side) by two snap-on plastic caps. These caps have to withstand the pressure of the booster pump, and eventually, they crack and the cap no longer seals tightly. As a result, the cleaner can stick in one mode or another.
In my case, the cap itself was still OK, but it was actually the plastic tabs that secure the cap in place that had snapped (cracked). Without the plastic tabs, the cap could not retain a good seal. Since the caps are not sold independently and the entire manifold costs around $100, I decided to permanently bond the plastic cap to the manifold chamber using a two-part adhesive. Frankly, I can't see any reason for the cap to be removed so I see no harm in making the bond permanent. The repair is working flawlessly so far.
 

Kebabian

Member
Oct 18, 2016
21
Glen Mills
In my case, the cap itself was still OK, but it was actually the plastic tabs that secure the cap in place that had snapped (cracked). Without the plastic tabs, the cap could not retain a good seal. Since the caps are not sold independently and the entire manifold costs around $100, I decided to permanently bond the plastic cap to the manifold chamber using a two-part adhesive. Frankly, I can't see any reason for the cap to be removed so I see no harm in making the bond permanent. The repair is working flawlessly so far.
HUGE THANKS!!!!! I had taken the thing apart 3 times, disassembled the gearbox etc and was on the verge of taking the plunge for a Dolphin S300i when I came across this post. Some WATERWELD/EPOXY has fixed the issue. When I first took it apart, I too noticed the cracked clips on the caps, but had assumed that they were broken during assembly and had always been this way. Thanks so much. My old Phantom Turbo will live to see another day. :)
 

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