Why Will My Polaris Not Stay on the Bottom of My Pool?

Polaris-brand automatic pool surface cleaners roll over most pool surfaces automatically, picking up leaves, dirt and other debris. The Polaris cleaner has a hose that connects to your pool's pump system, and it is powered off the pressure of pool water circulating through the plumbing lines and filter. It requires no electrical service or batteries in order to operate.

Pool cleaner
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A vacuum makes pool cleaning easier.

The Polaris system generally works well, but there are several specific problems that sometimes occur. Some of these problems can allow the cleaner to float to the top of the pool rather than staying against the surfaces it should be cleaning. A leaky hose, improperly positioned thrust jet, and damaged backup valves can all lead to trouble. Here's how to address each of these problems.

A Leaky Hose

Leaks in the Polaris hose cause the cleaner to lose pressure, allowing it to float above the pool bottom. To check for leaks, turn the system on and pull the hose out of the water one section at a time, looking for bubbles or trickles of water. These may indicate a hole in the hose; if you find any, replace the damaged hose. Remember that it is normal for a small amount of water to trickle from the connections made between hose sections. Slight leakage at these connection points is not cause for alarm.

A Broken Backup Valve

On the front of your Polaris cleaner is a plastic, acorn-shaped piece. This piece is the backup valve. It's job is to shoot a jet of pressurized water out of the unit once every three minutes to push it away from corners and ladders. When this valve malfunctions, it shoots water constantly, exerting enough ongoing thrust to lift the cleaner up to the surface of the pool. To check for a problem, start your pool cleaner and then lift it out of the water. If a constant jet of water shoots out of the backup valve, you'll need to replace it or ask a certified Polaris repair person to do so for you.

A Poorly Positioned Thrust Jet

On the back of your Polaris pool cleaner is a small, adjustable thrust jet nozzle. This nozzle emits a small but continuous stream of water to propel your cleaner across the bottom of the pool. This nozzle is adjustable and, if turned in the wrong direction, allows the water pressure to flip your cleaner over or lift it off of the pool floor. For a simple fix, turn the unit off and lift it out of the pool. Check the nozzle and make sure that it points somewhere between the five o'clock and seven o'clock positions. You can then return the unit to the pool and resume cleaning.