A Polaris pool cleaner constantly reversing and backing up prevents it from properly cleaning your pool. This stuck behavior is typically caused by a simple issue with the internal flapper valve.
By examining the flapper assembly and testing cleaner operation, you can easily troubleshoot and fix a Polaris trapped reversing.
With a few basic maintenance checks and part replacements, you’ll have your Polaris back to scrubbing the full expanse of your pool in no time.
Common Causes of Reverse Movement
1. Backup Valve Malfunction:
Issues with the backup valve, responsible for initiating reverse movements, may lead to the cleaner getting stuck in reverse.
- Inspect the backup valve for any obstructions or malfunctions. Clean or replace the backup valve as needed.
2. Hose Tangling or Knots:
Tangled or knotted hoses can impede the cleaner’s movement, causing it to remain stuck in reverse.
- Untangle and straighten the hoses to ensure they are free from knots or kinks.
3. Imbalance in Float or Wheels:
An imbalance in the float or wheels of the cleaner may cause it to veer into reverse unexpectedly and remain stuck.
- Check for any imbalance or misalignment in the float or wheels. Adjust or realign these components as needed.
4. Restricted Movement Due to Debris:
Debris, such as leaves or small twigs, may be restricting the movement of the cleaner and causing it to reverse.
- Clean the cleaner thoroughly to remove any debris that may be obstructing its movement.
5. Issues with Drive Mechanism:
Problems with the drive mechanism, including wear or malfunctions, may affect the cleaner’s ability to move in the correct direction.
- Inspect the drive mechanism for signs of wear or damage. Replace any worn parts and ensure the mechanism is functioning correctly.
Step-by-Step Solution to Fix Polaris Pool Cleaner Stuck In Reverse Issue
Step 1: Flapper Assembly Inspection
The flapper is a critical part that regulates water flow direction to control cleaner movement. Problems here lead to reverse stuck mode.
Remove the Polaris cleaner head and locate the flapper valve inside. Check for debris obstructing flapper movement or a detached flapper.
Also check the condition of the flapper valve itself. Cracks in the flap material or stiffness could prevent proper valve action.
Step 2: Testing Cleaner Operation
Check if the Polaris operates normally when not submerged to isolate issues:
- Lay cleaner upside down and turn on pump so wheels spin.
- Unit should move forward until flapper triggers, then reverse.
- If movement stalls in one direction, flapper needs servicing.
Step 3: Flapper Valve Replacement
If visual inspection reveals an obstructed, detached, or cracked flapper, replacement is needed.
Purchase a new compatible flapper valve or rebuild kit for your specific Polaris model. Carefully remove old flapper and install the new replacement part.
Reattach cleaner head and test operation above water to ensure new flapper fully corrects reversing issues.
Step 4: Wheel Inspection
If flapper replacement doesn’t resolve reverse-only movement, check cleaner wheels and axles:
- Examine wheels for obstructions like small rocks or debris.
- Ensure wheels spin freely without friction or stiffness.
- Inspect axles for damage or binding that could impair wheel rotation.
Debris in wheels or sticking axles leads to one-way reversing as cleaner resists rolling forward.
Step 5: Wheel Replacement
Damaged cleaner wheels, stiff axles, or worn hub bearings will require replacement of affected parts.
Buy new compatible wheels, axles, or rebuild kits for your specific Polaris cleaner. Carefully replace the failing components causing the sticking in reverse.
Step 6: Debris Obstruction
Even with a functional flapper and wheels, small debris can lodge under the drive motor sprocket, forcing cleaners into constant reverse.
Carefully flip your cleaner to check sprockets for pebbles, sticks, leaves, or similar debris stuck under the drive mechanism. Remove anything obstructing the sprocket.
Step 7: Drive Motor Inspection
Intermittent reverse issues can also stem from failing motors. Power problems may make motors struggle turning forward.
Listen for odd grinding or sluggish sounds from the drive motor. If detected, replacement by a technician may be required.
Step 8: Technician Service
For cleaners stuck reversing after you’ve replaced the flapper, cleared wheels, and inspected for obstructions, internal issues likely need professional diagnosis.
Pool service technicians have the expertise to troubleshoot drive motors, gears, bearings, and other components that could cause a stuck reversing cleaner.
Preventive Tips and Maintenance
Keep your Polaris free of reverse problems by:
- Regular Cleaning: Clean your Polaris pool cleaner regularly to prevent the accumulation of debris that can affect its performance.
- Inspect Hoses: Periodically inspect the hoses for signs of wear or tangling. Replace any damaged hoses promptly.
- Check Float and Wheels: Regularly check the condition of the float and wheels to identify and address any imbalance or misalignment issues.
- Maintain Backup Valve: Keep the backup valve in good condition by inspecting it regularly and cleaning or replacing it as needed.
Proactive care keeps your Polaris effectively cleaning the full pool without annoying reverse issues.
While a Polaris stuck in reverse mode can be bewildering, a bit of troubleshooting will typically uncover flapper valve problems, debris jams, sticking wheels, or failing drive motors as the culprit. Replacing worn parts and professional service when needed will get your Polaris back to effortlessly gliding forward as it scrubs your entire pool clean.
You Asked, We Answered
What is the most common cause of a Polaris stuck reversing?
Issues with the internal flapper valve like debris clogs, detachment, or cracks typically cause the reverse-only behavior.
How can you diagnose cleaner issues out of water?
Lay the unit upside down and run it to observe if the wheels exhibit smooth forward/reverse motion and if the flapper triggers properly.
Why would a Polaris reverse with new flapper valve?
If reversing persists after flapper replacement, debris jams under the drive sprocket or sticking wheels/axles could be the culprit.
When do drive motor problems cause reverse issues?
Failing drive motors that lack power in the forward direction will lead to reverse-only movement. This requires professional service.
How can small debris obstruct the sprocket?
Pebbles, acorns, bark, and other tiny debris can unexpectedly lodge between the sprocket and chassis forcing reverse.
Can tangled hoses cause a Polaris pool cleaner to get stuck in reverse?
Yes, tangled or knotted hoses can impede the cleaner’s movement, causing it to remain stuck in reverse. Untangling and straightening the hoses can resolve the issue.
How often should I inspect and clean my Polaris pool cleaner to prevent issues like getting stuck in reverse?
Regularly inspect and clean your Polaris pool cleaner at least once a month, or more frequently if you notice performance issues. Regular maintenance helps prevent problems and ensures optimal performance.