How to Troubleshoot a Polaris 280 Pool Cleaner

The Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 is a pool cleaner specifically designed to clean the walls and the bottom of any in-ground pool. The 280 operates on its own and typically requires no supervision. However, as with any automatic pool-cleaning system, the 280 does require periodic adjustments and cleaning. Determining which adjustments to make depends on what the pool cleaner is, or is not, doing. Fortunately, making the necessary adjustments is fairly simple.

Unit Hangs Up on Steps or Other Obstacles for More Than Three Minutes

Step 1

Check the proper wheel revolutions per minute, or "RPMs." Apply a piece of masking tape to one edge of the drive wheel. The tape will make it easier to count the number of RPMs. Turn the pump on and hold the cleaner underneath the water. Count the total number of times the wheel makes one full revolution within one minute. The wheel should revolve between 28 and 32 times. If the total number is less than 28, check the in-line filter, the skimmer and the pump basket for debris. Ensure that each hose connection is tight, as a loose connection will result in a loss of pressure. If the total number of revolutions is more than 32, replace the blue restrictor disk with the red disk. The restrictor disk is located between the pool's water return line at the fitting at the end of the cleaner's feed hose. Twist the fitting in a counterclockwise direction until it disconnects from the water return line, then replace the blue disk with the red disk.

Step 2

Ensure that the back-up valve is functioning properly. The back-up valve is the small canister located in the middle of the cleaner's feed line. Lift the back-up valve out of the water, then turn the pool cleaner on and observe the cleaner's jet. Water should exit the jet, and then the jet should turn off. If no water exits the jet, or if the jet does not turn off, the back-up valve must be replaced.

Step 3

Adjust the thrust jet at the back of the pool cleaner. The trust jet determines the direction the pool cleaner will travel. Rotating the jet upward and to the right will push the cleaner down and to the right. Rotating the jet downward and to the right will push the cleaner up and to the right. Positioning the jet upward and to the left will push the cleaner down and to the left. Rotating the jet downward and to the left will push the cleaner up and to the left.

Step 4

Remove any unnecessary pool accessories that the cleaner is getting caught up on.

Unit Operates Sluggishly

Step 5

Check the in-line filter for debris. The in-line filter is located within a plastic housing just behind the quick-disconnect fitting on the end of the cleaner's feed hose. Twist both halves of the housing in a counterclockwise direction until the housing separates to access the filter.

Step 6

Ensure that each hose connection is tight, as a loose connection will result in a loss of pressure.

Step 7

Check the skimmer basket, the pump basket and the pool filter for debris.

Step 8

Check the proper wheel revolutions per minute, or "RPMs," as described in Step 1 of Section 1.

Unit Travels the Pool Too Quickly, or Does Not Contact the Bottom of the Pool

Step 9

Ensure that the blue restrictor disk is installed between the pool's water return line and the fitting at the end of the cleaner's feed hose. If the blue restrictor disk is in place, replace the blue disk with the red disk. Twist the fitting in a counterclockwise direction until it disconnects from the water return line, then replace the blue disk with the red disk.

Step 10

Adjust the pressure relief valve to decrease the cleaner's thrust. The pressure relief valve is located along the length of the cleaner's feed hose. Twist the two halves of the valve in a counterclockwise direction to reduce the thrust.

Step 11

Ensure that the back-up valve is functioning properly. The back-up valve is a small canister located in the middle of the cleaner's feed line. Lift the back-up valve out of the water, then turn the pool cleaner on and observe the cleaner's jet. Water should exit the jet, and then the jet should turn off. If no water exits the jet, or if the jet does not turn off, the back-up valve must be replaced.