The Polaris 280 Pool Cleaner is one of the best underground pool cleaners available on the market today. Although it is an older model, it consistently outperforms the newer models of Polaris pool cleaners. It also requires less maintenance and is easier to troubleshoot and fix when problems start to occur. Like all pool cleaners, with age the cleaner will eventually start to wear out and work less efficiently. A common symptom that can appear is when the Polaris 280 just stops moving and doesn’t do the cleaning it normally does so well. The following troubleshooting tips will help identify why the cleaner has stopped moving.

Clogged wiper wheels – First things first, turn off all pool equipment and remove the cleaner from the pool. Inspect the wheels and make sure they turn freely and there is nothing to prevent them from turning. It is very easy, and very common, for a pool toy, small branch or other type of debris to get stuck between the wheels, preventing them from moving. When this happens, everything else could be working just fine, just the wheels can’t turn. Once the toy or debris is removed, the Polaris 280 will get back on track to keep the pool clean again.

Is there enough water pressure? – then make sure that sufficient water pressure is supplied to the cleaner. Since the Polaris 280 is a side pressure pool cleaner, it needs a sufficient amount of water pressure to function properly and without the necessary pressure it will not move. Turn on the pool equipment and visually confirm that the pool has good circulation. If there is not a good flow of water, the following are the most common reasons.

1 – The main filter of the pool is dirty – If the main pool filter has not been cleaned recently or the filter gauge has an unusually high pressure reading, the main filter needs cleaning. After cleaning the filter, retest the pool cleaner to see if that solved the problem.

2 – The wall filter screen is dirty – The Polaris 280 Cleaner is equipped with a small filter located inside the wall attachment that can become clogged with debris. If this screen is clogged, there will not be enough water pressure in the cleaner.

3 – Booster pump malfunction – Turn on all pool equipment, including the Polaris 280 booster pump. If the pump does not turn on, this is obviously a problem. If it does come on, check the pressure of the water reaching the cleaner by slowly and carefully lifting the cleaner to the surface of the water and reaching into the water to feel the water pressure. Make sure to keep the cleanser under water and hold the glue so it doesn’t splash water on your face. It is a good idea to wear glasses or goggles when doing this test.

Cleaner wheels need repair – If the cleaner wheels are not clogged, all filters are clean and there is good water pressure reaching the cleaner, the wheels may need repair. Three components of the wheels commonly wear out and need to be replaced over time.

1 – Wheels – the wheels have grooves that are coupled to the transmission shaft. Any of the three wheels that have broken or worn grooves will need to be replaced. Wheels can easily be visually inspected for faulty grooves.

2 – Wheel bearings – each wheel has two wheel bearings that will wear out over time. Indicators that bearings need to be replaced are excessive horizontal play and / or wheels that will not rotate freely. If you suspected that the bearings are bad, remove the wheels and it will be obvious.

3 – Tires – If the tires have excessive or uneven wear, or have been stretched to where they do not fit well on the wheels, they need to be replaced.

After following the troubleshooting tips above, if the Polaris 280 still won’t move, you may have a more complicated internal mechanical issue. Call a pool service professional or local pool store for help.