Polaris 380 - Asleep at the wheel

iceflow

Well-known member
Jul 25, 2010
162
Folks,
I was getting 12 rpm, changed the bearings and the paddle wheel assy, now 19rpm but something is wrong. It seems to have good pressure to the bag in that it will pick up debris. There is no tail sweep, the thrust jet will spurt about 16 to 17 feet. I removed the paddle wheel cover and probed the jet with a piece of wire, seemed fine. I ran it with paddle wheel cover off, looks like there is a good jet of water but it's difficult to see really what is going on plus I have nothing to compare it with. I ran it without the back up valve, no change.
I guess one thing I'd like to know is the thrust jet distance on one that works? If that is about 16 feet or so then there must be something wrong in the water delivery to the paddle wheel. It can't climb, it's as weak as a kitten.

Thoughts appreciated!

Thanks
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
11,847
Northern NJ
Polaris Manual says wheel RPM should be 28-32 so something is not right. You need to open it up and look at part 28 the Water Management System. Chances are a hose broke.

You change all the part number 5 bearings?

 

iceflow

Well-known member
Jul 25, 2010
162
yep thanks. I pulled the WMS out of it and seemed to wash a load of grit out of it. Pipes look good. Thought I'd cracked it but I still think it is running about 19 to 20 rpm. Will clean the pool but will not climb. Belts are tight. I'll get the better half to help me get a more accurate RPM reading but the fact it won't climb regardless of where I position the thrust jet suggests there is still something wrong. I replaced 6 of the 8 bearings in the machine. With that said the remaining two are part of one of the turbine gear wheels but seemed to turn fine and were a pain to get at so I left those alone.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
11,847
Northern NJ
With that said the remaining two are part of one of the turbine gear wheels but seemed to turn fine and were a pain to get at so I left those alone.
Water power is not very powerful. The slightest friction in the bearings slows the cleaner down. I would replace the two bearings you missed. Your hand cannot feel the level of friction that slows down the cleaner.

Look at the parts that come in the tune up kit and see what you have not yet replaced.


 

millerwd

Member
Aug 5, 2013
6
Also check the water delivery upstream of the cleaner:
1. Check inlet filter. It must be free of debris
2. Check the pressure control valve. The black or red vale that tees into the pool connection. This valve fails open every few years.
3. Check the pump for leaks or a clogged impeller.

I'm also dealing with a weak cleaner. The tail is not sweeping. I suspect that my leaking pump is the issue.
 

iceflow

Well-known member
Jul 25, 2010
162
OK this turned out to be a bit of a saga but I'll post findings or 'guestimations' as to what happened in case it helps someone else. The grid filters had holes in two grids so I think that played into the issue by way of shooting DE into the cleaner and gumming up the WMS. After I'd replaced the grids it was still not running right but as I'd monkeyed around with the cleaner so much and already had the WMS stripped and cleaned prior to grids replacement with no improvement I just decided to buy a new WMS. I noticed that the old WMS had a hairline crack where the two jets on the solid assembly mate to the body. I don't know whether I caused that the first time I pulled it apart or if that was the problem all along. Anyway now it is an animal and would get out of the pool if it could. One problem? two problems? who knows.