Pentair Racer - Stuck in a straight path?

Jun 27, 2015
37
Katy
#1
Hello,
I've had great success getting help on this site -- and thank you in advance for any advice.

I have a Pentair Racer for my inground pool. It is just over 3 years of age. I've probably had to spend 50-100 in repairs over the past 3 years, which hasn't been too bad. Now, the Racer seems to be stuck in a straight path -- it goes forward, backs up, and eventually rests right close to where it began. Unless I go out there and play with it (straight the line, move it manually and drop it elsewhere) it seldom actually does what it use to do -- which was run around the pool in an unpredictable pattern, but eventually tried to get all of the surface area and tried climbing the walls, etc. Have never been "in love" with it's cleaning ability but it's been acceptable. With that, I have two questions :

1.) What might be wrong with it? What can I check? <Note - we did change our EasyTouch control board … so not sure if this has anything to do with the issue>
2.) People seem to like robots. Do y'all recommend them? If so, what's the brand of choice with a good warranty - and are there any places that are known for selling them at reasonable prices?

Thanks,
Mike
 

TXRay

New member
Jul 3, 2017
1
Magnolia, Tx
#3
I'm assuming you are no-longer covered under warranty, after 3 years. If you are file a claim with Pentair.

I live a few miles north of you in Magnolia, Tx and our cleaner runs a couple hours every day. Our pool was built in June 2015 and included a 3 year warranty on the Racer cleaner. Thank goodness for the warranty, because this cleaner is not Pentair's finer work . Our Racer was replaced twice and rebuilt twice in that three year period. The last rebuild was in June 2018 and the Racer already needs a new drive axle and front wheels. While under warranty, I got to know the local warranty guy really well. A couple of things I learned about the Racer:

If you are a DIYer:
1) Check your feedline wall screen for debris
2) Check the Feedline Wall Connector valve for leaks and that the valve is open. The valve is a fragile and tends to break after a few years of UV exposure. If it is leaking, you will not have enough pressure to run the cleaner.
3) Open the cover and check for passageway plugs. I recommend watching this video (
) before opening the Racer. The video is not great, but he does a good job of explaining how it works, and where to look for clogs or issues.

During the last visit, just before the warranty ran out on mine, Pentair installed an additional inline prefilter because they found the reverse and side thrusters were susceptible to small debris plugs. You could simply have a passage plug for the reverse water jets.

Bottom line, these cleaners were "value engineered" to death and have major reliability issues. The bummer is, they clean really well, when they work. They simply were not made for the long haul, and I would not put much money into it. That money is better spent with a company that values their customers and does not pawn off low quality cleaners to their customers. (Yes, bit of a rant, but I hate wasting money and am not happy with Pentair. I hope they are listening because I will not purchase another Pentair cleaner).
 
OP
OP
N
Jun 27, 2015
37
Katy
#5
I'm assuming you are no-longer covered under warranty, after 3 years. If you are file a claim with Pentair.

I live a few miles north of you in Magnolia, Tx and our cleaner runs a couple hours every day. Our pool was built in June 2015 and included a 3 year warranty on the Racer cleaner. Thank goodness for the warranty, because this cleaner is not Pentair's finer work . Our Racer was replaced twice and rebuilt twice in that three year period. The last rebuild was in June 2018 and the Racer already needs a new drive axle and front wheels. While under warranty, I got to know the local warranty guy really well. A couple of things I learned about the Racer:

If you are a DIYer:
1) Check your feedline wall screen for debris
2) Check the Feedline Wall Connector valve for leaks and that the valve is open. The valve is a fragile and tends to break after a few years of UV exposure. If it is leaking, you will not have enough pressure to run the cleaner.
3) Open the cover and check for passageway plugs. I recommend watching this video (
) before opening the Racer. The video is not great, but he does a good job of explaining how it works, and where to look for clogs or issues.

During the last visit, just before the warranty ran out on mine, Pentair installed an additional inline prefilter because they found the reverse and side thrusters were susceptible to small debris plugs. You could simply have a passage plug for the reverse water jets.

Bottom line, these cleaners were "value engineered" to death and have major reliability issues. The bummer is, they clean really well, when they work. They simply were not made for the long haul, and I would not put much money into it. That money is better spent with a company that values their customers and does not pawn off low quality cleaners to their customers. (Yes, bit of a rant, but I hate wasting money and am not happy with Pentair. I hope they are listening because I will not purchase another Pentair cleaner).
I agree with your sentiment on pentair. They are an atrocious company to deal with that simply places no value on their customers. I've had thousands of dollars of failures in the past few years. For me, I was not smart enough to get it covered under warranty. What brand/model cleaner do you recommend?