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How to Troubleshoot and Repair a Polaris 65 or Turtle Vac-Sweep Pool Vacuum

Updated on August 16, 2016
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Tune up That Polaris Turtle!

The Polaris “65” Turtle above ground pool cleaner is a great little device for those of us who don’t want to spend lots of time vacuuming out the pool when we could be swimming or sunbathing instead. The Polaris Vac-Sweep “65” is well worth the price because of the great cleaning job it does on round and oval shaped above ground pools.

But like all other machines with moving parts, it will eventually need some maintenance and repair to keep it in perfect working condition. There are several common problems you may be confronted with after you’ve had it for a season or two.

This article is intended to help owners of this model to perform maintenance, troubleshoot problems, and do repairs on both the Polaris “65” and the Polaris Turtle above ground pool cleaning units. They both have identical mechanisms using the same parts.

The Polaris Turbo Turtle doing what it does best,  keeping your pool clean while you relax.
The Polaris Turbo Turtle doing what it does best, keeping your pool clean while you relax. | Source
Made to last a long time by the most trusted maker of robotic pool Vac-Sweeps!
Made to last a long time by the most trusted maker of robotic pool Vac-Sweeps! | Source
The Polaris "65" model Vac-Sweep has the same cycling mechanism as the Turbo Turtle
The Polaris "65" model Vac-Sweep has the same cycling mechanism as the Turbo Turtle | Source

Polaris "65" or Turtle Operation

Using the water pressure from the pool’s return, the Polaris uses the water pressure to activate a simple piston and water turbine device to alternately go forward and backwards as the trailing sweep forces water into the collection net.

The Vac-Sweep’s water pressure also forces leaves, sand, and other debris into the collection net where it will be emptied after the complete cycle. Its trouble free design allows you to leave it to clean the pool while you relax or do other things.

The Vac-Sweep also scours the sides of the pool while the jets loosen any debris which may be clinging to the surface of the vinyl liner. The randomizer inside the unit assures all parts of the pool bottom are scoured clean.

The time needed to completely clean the pool depends on the size and depth of the particular pool. From 2 to 4 hours should clean most sizes of above ground pool.

There are several things which may affect the performance of your Polaris Vac-Sweep, with some being simple to remedy, but other problems may require going into the cycling mechanism itself.

Only these 2 screws require removal to access the inner workings.
Only these 2 screws require removal to access the inner workings. | Source
This float has small holes near the inlet which allowed water to seep in and capsize the unit.
This float has small holes near the inlet which allowed water to seep in and capsize the unit. | Source
This unit needs cleaning, as evidenced by the  pine pollen from last season coating the mechanism.
This unit needs cleaning, as evidenced by the pine pollen from last season coating the mechanism. | Source

Disassembly

Because of the corrosive nature of many pool chemicals, chlorine for one, very few metal parts are used in the Polaris Turtle. A total of 6 stainless steel screws plus a spring-reinforced seal total the metal parts in the entire mechanism.

As shown in the photo, only 2 screws are used to attach the cover to the float.

In some cases the screw are stripped out and fail to tighten properly. Replacing the old stainless steel screws with slightly larger ones will usually work well.

It may be necessary to operate the unit with the cover removed in order to view the inner workings of the unit and determine the cause of some problems. You may notice if the piston isn't cycling back and forth or if the actuator is not turning properly.

By removing the 2 cover screws, after detaching the supply and sweeper hoses, the complete unit may be removed from the float, making it easier to disassemble the unit. All that remains is to remove the 4 screws on the piston assembly itself to service the replaceable parts.

After the 4 screws on the cylinder and chamber ends are removed, the cylinder and actuator covers are simply turned counterclockwise and come apart easily. At this point, all inner parts are accessible for repair or replacement.

Troubleshooting the Turbo Turtle or "65"

The swivel connector on the Polaris and on the other end of the supply hose should move easily or the unit may tip over in the water.
The swivel connector on the Polaris and on the other end of the supply hose should move easily or the unit may tip over in the water. | Source
The drain plug and rubber seal.  If the float leaks it may be due to a bad drain seal.  Any rubber washer will do for replacement.
The drain plug and rubber seal. If the float leaks it may be due to a bad drain seal. Any rubber washer will do for replacement. | Source
The float may eventually need repairing where it strikes the ladder or other objects.  I use a good quality epoxy cement made especially for repairing plastic materials.
The float may eventually need repairing where it strikes the ladder or other objects. I use a good quality epoxy cement made especially for repairing plastic materials. | Source

Troubleshooting and Repairing the Turtle

Problem: The Turtle has a tendency to sink lower in the water on one side or turn bottom-side-up.

Solution: The supply hose connecting the pool return may not be swiveling freely. Check each end of the connecting hose to ensure they turn easy in the connecting joints. As the unit makes random turns, the swivel connectors should keep the hose from developing the kinks which may cause the unit to upend.

It takes very little water leaking into the float to cause it flip over or run sideways. Your unit may be slowly taking on water.

  • Check for water inside the floating part and empty it out. After several seasons of use, it may develop holes from bumping into the ladder or the sides of the pool.
  • Be sure the rubber washer around the removable drain plug is sealing the float. Check for cracks or other holes in the float and seal with a good quality plastic adhesive to prevent future leaks.
  • Also, be sure all jets are working properly, as one clogged jet may allow the unit to tip over. Understand that the randomizer ball will block one of the jets in its chamber as a matter of course. It is supposed to do this for a short period of time during normal operation.

The piston with rubber valve seals removed for cleaning.
The piston with rubber valve seals removed for cleaning. | Source
The o-rings on each end of the chamber body will need replacing occasionally for a proper pressure seal.
The o-rings on each end of the chamber body will need replacing occasionally for a proper pressure seal. | Source
The disassembled unit in the order they go together.
The disassembled unit in the order they go together. | Source

Problem: It Only Goes in One Direction

Causes: Badly worn or cracked rubber o-rings which seal the water chambers may allow the water pressure to escape and therefore not move the piston inside the cylinder. The smaller rubber and plastic seals inside the chambers may also be worn to the extent of losing pressure.

Solutions:

  • The large o-rings may be found in a local auto parts supply store or machine shop. I prefer to make my own with an o-ring kit with many thicknesses of material included.
  • Super glue (cyan acrylic) adhesive is used to join the ends of the o-ring, with the bond being very strong. Otherwise, you may order them from the links on this page, or buy a larger o-ring and cut and glue it to the correct size.
  • If the seals are fine, it may be that the piston is stuck inside of the cylinder. Remove the piston and clean the outside compression rings to ensure there is nothing beneath them to prevent them from making a tight seal.
  • Use a flat, dull piece of wood or plastic to gently pry or stretch the compression ring out from the piston in order to make it seal better. These rings sometimes get stiff after sitting idle during the winter months.

How to Repair the Turbo Turtle Piston Assembly

The black cylinder has a crack which allows water pressure to escape.  This may cause erratic piston action.
The black cylinder has a crack which allows water pressure to escape. This may cause erratic piston action. | Source
The piston and repaired cylinder assembly, ready to reinstall.
The piston and repaired cylinder assembly, ready to reinstall. | Source

Replacement Piston

Zodiac 6-411-00 Piston Assembly Replacement
Zodiac 6-411-00 Piston Assembly Replacement

This is a replacement Piston and rod assembly for the Polaris Turbo Turtle and 65 Vac-Sweep.

 

The Polaris 65 Piston and Rod Assembly

The unique piston is the heart of this little unit. There are 2 internal one-way valves with one on each side of the piston. If you blow through the pipe, only one hole will allow air to escape.

  • Blow through the other hole and only the pipe will allow air to pass. If this doesn’t happen with your piston then a new replacement part is called for.
  • The black rubber seals on each end of the piston are easily removed, cleaned, reinstalled, and seldom need replacing.
  • The piston rod may be grooved from contact with the worn spring seal. It may be sprayed with a plastic paint, sanded smooth, and repeated until it is smooth again. However, a replacement piston assembly is not very expensive.
  • If you cannot find the spring seal locally from a specialty seal supplier, you may find them through the ads links on this page.
  • Any of the Amazon product ads on this page will take you to all of the other repair parts for the Turbo Turtle and the Polaris 65 Vac-Sweep units. If you do not find the replacement parts on this page, look though the other parts' ads.
  • The replacement pressure chamber shown comes complete with new seals, both spring reinforced and/or plastic, already installed.

Center Chamber Repair and Replacement

This center chamber seal is worn down with the metal reinforcing spring showing.
This center chamber seal is worn down with the metal reinforcing spring showing. | Source
Source

Polaris Turbo Turtle "65" Center Chamber

Zodiac 6-400-00 Mechanism Replacement
Zodiac 6-400-00 Mechanism Replacement

Replacement 65/165 mechanism for the Polaris Turtle or "65" model.

 

Polaris Turtle 65 Center Chamber Assembly

Unless the chambers are cracked, or the seals worn down too much to properly seal off the water pressure, they will not need replacing for several seasons. Even then, simply replacing the seals should be all that’s required for maintenance and repairs.

  • The black spring reinforced seal on the piston rod end has a tendency to wear out quicker than the plastic seals used in the other end and the middle seal positions.
  • The black rubber spring reinforced seal will also scar up the piston rod when it wears down to the steel spring, as shown in the photos. Replacing the center chamber assembly is easy and really not too expensive.
  • If the chamber is merely cracked, it may be repaired with a good quality plastic repair epoxy or cement. Make sure the product used is especially for plastic repairs.
  • It may be possible to replace the rod seals if you are near a bearing or seal company or feel confident in measuring and ordering them online. This will depend on your DIY skills and the time required for repairs. Most simply buy the new center chamber every few years.

I got new seals at a local bearing and seal company instead of replacing the entire piston assembly.

Cleaning the Filter

The filter must occasionally be cleaned for the unit to operate correctly.
The filter must occasionally be cleaned for the unit to operate correctly. | Source
With the filter cleaned and replaced, snap the randomizer tube into the end of the piston rod to check for ease of rotation.
With the filter cleaned and replaced, snap the randomizer tube into the end of the piston rod to check for ease of rotation. | Source
Reassembled and ready to go back into the chamber assembly.  Or you may snap them together from each end of the chamber.
Reassembled and ready to go back into the chamber assembly. Or you may snap them together from each end of the chamber. | Source
A quick and inexpensive fix for the piston rod and filter tube wear grooves.
A quick and inexpensive fix for the piston rod and filter tube wear grooves. | Source

Filter/Randomizer Tube and Other Parts

The filter connector/randomizer tube is really a small water turbine which will turn freely when the cycle requiress it to slide through the chamber seal.

The small filter in this tube needs to be kept clean for the unit to cycle correctly. Simply snap it out, clean it with soap and water, and replace it back into the filter tube.

Notice how the filter tube snaps into the end of the piston rod when reassembled. It should turn easily with no rough or tight places.

This part will also become worn over several seasons with replacement of both it and the filter being required at some point. You may prolong the life of the filter tube and piston rod by using white epoxy spray appliance paint to fill in the grooves which eventually form on these parts due to the to and fro movement of the mechanism.

  1. Begin by masking the filter opening on the filter tube and the rubber piston seals so no paint can clog the filter or damage the piston seals. Use very thin coats of epoxy paint until the grooves are filled in properly.
  2. Be sure to allow the paint to dry a short time in between coats and also give the paint to dry for several days after you've finished painting with epoxy. This process worked well for me and is worth a try before purchasing new parts.

Covers, sweep hose parts, and other less required parts are also available through the Amazon ads with lower prices than buying from a pool repair and service dealer.

With proper maintenance and care, the Polaris Vac-Sweep will last for years and give you extra time to enjoy the water. Always store the unit inside out of the sunlight when not in use.

Comments

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    • debugs profile image

      debugs 5 years ago from Odessey777, Umbris

      Great hub and very informative Randy... how are things going? Lost your email !

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks, Bugsy! Things are going great at the moment! I hope the same for you too! Thanks for the comments and the visit!

      Randy

    • Lalulinho profile image

      Lalulinho 5 years ago

      Randy, great hub--very useful and, I get the sense, unique in that you're not likely to find this info in such detail anywhere else out there; I kind of wish my parents had had one when I was growing up--it would have saved me what I thought were endless hours using the old fashioned vacuum to get all of the crap off the bottom of our kidney-shaped pool. (Of course, since no one uses that pool now, it's completely filled with dirt, but that's neither here nor there...). Great job.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks Lalulinho! I've spent quite a bit of time in the past doing the same! Glad you stopped by and thanks again for your time!

      Randy

    • Ginger Gordon 5 years ago

      I have a polaris turtle which I have had for about 2 weeks. At first it worked fine. But for the last few days it winds itself up by the water jet and just stays there. I go and unwind it and it runs for about 30 minutes and does the same thing again. Also its a brand new pool as well. What can I do to fix this or do need to contact company I purchased from?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Your Polaris Turtle appears to be not cycling properly, Ginger! This could be due to the filter being stopped up at the pool inlet or the filter inside of the unit itself.

      Try operating the Turtle with the shell removed in order to see if it is cycling at all. The small turbine should spin alternately and cause the unit to change directions.

      Since the Turtle is new, I would contact the company if unable to find the problem. If you cannot fix it, feel free to ask me for more info.

      Randy

    • Ginger Gordon 5 years ago

      Thanks Randy will try that!

    • Ginger Gordon 5 years ago

      Randy thanks so much I took filter out and cleaned with soap and its working great. Thanks for all your help. I gave my friend this site so you can help her as well.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Great, ginger! I'm glad I was able to help you with your Polaris Turtle repairs! And thanks for recommending my articles to your friend too!

      Randy

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 5 years ago

      Way to go! Our family will definitly try this out, once we get our pool. Great details and resources. I appreciate the info. :-)

    • meg01 5 years ago

      I love my turtle, but lately he is only going in reverse. Where does the randomizing ball go?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      @Jo_Goldsmith--Thanks for stopping by and for the kind comments, Jo! I appreciate your time!

      Randy

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Meg! The randomizer ball goes into the first closed chamber from the main inlet point. It rolls freely and will eventually plug one or other of the jets which makes the pressure greater and causes the mechanism to turn and to change directions.

      Not the chamber next to the black piston cylinder, but the sealed chamber where the turbine slides in and out.

      Be sure to check the filters, both in the pool inlet hose and inside the randomizer tube.

      I hope this helps!

      Randy

    • Web World Watcher profile image

      Web World Watcher 5 years ago

      Used to clean pools in college. I could have used a device like this let me tell you

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I used to do it the hard way too, WWW! Yep, things are easier now than when we were younger! Isn't it always that way?

      Thanks for your time and comments!

      Randy

    • Doug 5 years ago

      Is the cylinder suppose to have a small hole in it on the closed end? Thanks

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes Doug, this is so the water can escape when the piston is moving to the rear of the cylinder.

      Thanks for the question!

      Randy Godwin

    • Kelly 5 years ago

      Randy, my turtle isn't functioning right and I am lost without it! The randomizer ball will not rotate to the other jet, causing it to always turn one way, leaving the turtle to eventually wind up in the hose and hang out by the filter. I have replaced the randomizer tube, ball and piston. I think the seals look good. Both filters are clear. I am going to clean the two center chamber o-rings just in case. Otherwise, do you have any advice for me?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Kelly, you might check the jet which the randomizer ball isn't rotating to. If it is crimped almost closed, as they sometimes are because of the sharp bend required. there may not be enough water being ejected to allow the ball to stick to the opening.

      Or there may be something blocking the jet hose itself. Please let me know what you find out in any case.

      Thanks for reading my article and for the question.

      Randy Godwin

    • goforitkj 5 years ago

      Randy,

      I checked the jets and they aren't crimped or blocked and the jet hose isn't blocked. I must be doing something very wrong - would you care to review a video of the turtle running? I am hoping you could see something I am not.

      Thanks for your hub. It is the most direction I have found. Much appreciated. Thanks, Kelly

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I will be glad to view the video of you think it would help, goforitkj! In the meantime I will check for other causes.

      Randy

    • goforitkj 5 years ago

      Randy,

      I went ahead and ordered a new center chamber. This just has to be the problem. At least I hope!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I hope so too, Kelly! Let me know how it works out and good luck on the fix. :)

      Randy

    • a hague 5 years ago

      How do you take apart the randomizer/piston rod

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      @a hague-the randomizer simply unsnaps from the piston rod where the filter is located. I hope this is what you mean!

      Randy Godwin

    • Ken 4 years ago

      My new Polaris 65 is tilting on it's side and will flip over spraying water every where. Never had this problem with the old one. I have emptied water out of it and I continue to have the same problem. Any suggestions?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Ken! Be sure the supply hose is swiveling easily on each end or eventually the tension may cause it to flip over. This is especially true if there is water seeping inside the body. Hope this helps!

      Randy

    • Larry 3 years ago

      Can't keep the sweeper hose on the unit. Seems very secure & won't come off by hand. Once in the water the hose slips off the threaded end on the floating unit. Any ideas?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Larry, I've not encountered this problem with any of my units, but I suppose the sweeper may be rotating slowly counter clockwise when the net flips over. Check to see if all of the swivels are turning freely on the sweeper hose.

      There are 2 places the hose should swivel freely on the sweeper. Where the hose connects underneath the unit, and where the hose connects with the sweeper net. These should turn easily. If the hose still comes loose, you can try placing a few blobs of clear silicone on the connection beneath the unit but only on the exterior of the coupling, not on the threads. This will enable you to remove the hose in case of needed repairs or maintenance.

      Thanks for the question and good luck with your Polaris Vac-Sweep. :)

      Randy

    • john 3 years ago

      How do you change the chamber seal.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello John. The seal should pop right out using a screwdriver. I assume you are speaking of the seal pictured in the above photo and not the O-rings?

    • John 3 years ago

      Can you buy just thecenter chamber seal or do you have yo get the whole chamber. I haven't seen a schematic that has the seal in it.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I assume you have to order the center chamber if you can't find a replacement generic seal, John. I found one at a bearings and drive company which specializes in all sorts of seals also. If you can get a precise measurement you may be able to find one online. I'll see if I have an old seal tomorrow and will look online. This would be good info to place in my article. I'll tell you what I find out.

    • Jody 3 years ago

      Hi there, I have an issue with my Polaris 65.... It cleans one end of the pool fine, but never gets all the way to the other end, it just sort of wraps up in its' hose. I checked the little filter on the end, and clean it out. But it seems to be a continuous problem. It was okay last year, the first year I had it. Any ideas?

      Thanks, Jody

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Jody, have you cleaned the secondary filter inside the mechanism itself? If this filter gets clogged your Polaris 65 will not cycle properly and may cause the problem you are experiencing.

      Do you mean to say the metal filter is being clogged often and you're having to clean it out? If so, your sand filter may be allowing sand to clog up the screen in the hose connection. A bit more info may help me advise you.

      Randy

    • Jody 3 years ago

      I haven't cleaned the filter inside the mechanism - I was talking about the filter at the end of the hose where the water comes from the sand filter into the hose. I'll take apart the machine itself and look for the filter. That could be it... I was also thinking that it might be a hose problem - maybe the floaties are water logged, cuz parts of the hose is under the water and the machine just glides right over it. Do those go bad so quickly? As I mentioned, I've only had it a year!

      Thanks for the tips, Randy.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes Jody, I understood that you were referencing the metal filter on the end of the hose. Are you getting sand in this filter which clogs the screen? I had trouble with this myself when my sand filter was blowing sand into the pool.

      The inside filter is comprised of a cloth material which will get clogged if the metal filter isn't catching everything. I don't believe the "floaties"--as you call them--will get waterlogged although they will occasionally break apart.

      Let me know if cleaning the inside filter doesn't solve the problem and we'll try something else, Jody.

      --RG

    • Chelle 3 years ago

      Hey I have a polaris 65 and only 2 jets are working what do u suggest?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Chelle. The piston isn't cycling properly so the 2 jets aren't working as they need to. Check to see if the filter inside the unit it clogged.

    • scott 3 years ago

      Can you please tell my why the ball in my unit stays on the first jet it blocks? everything else seems to be working, except the ball stay put, until I unhook the untll and then hook it back up. thanks

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Scott, your unit is obviously not cycling correctly if the ball continuously blocks one jet. Is the piston moving back and forth and therefore moving the unit forward and backward?

    • scott 3 years ago

      Thanks for the quick reply. Yes the piston moves freely, fully forward and back, and the randomiser tube spins for a bit when as reaches and leaves the hose end. The ball is always in the rear chamber so it moves backwards fine, but the when it moves forward the same jet is always blocked so it ends up truing in the same direction, coiling up the hose. As soon as I disconnect the house form the jet, the ball release form the jet its blocking.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Okay Scott, check to see if one of the black tubes which propels the unit is crimped. This will prevent the ball from blocking it as it should.

    • JamesV 3 years ago

      I recently got a polaris 65. It works great but the release valve near the pump is shooting water everywhere. I tried pressing the button on it but no results. Its very stiff. Is anyone else having this problem?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      This valve is meant to do this, James. Too much pressure isn't good for an adequate cycling action. This is normal in most cases.

      Thanks for the question, James.

      Randy:)

    • attasway 3 years ago

      I can't adjust the flow coming out of my pump. At the same time My back yard would be flooded after about 10 mins. It's spitting ALOT of water. Do you know any other way to damper the flow? I don't want to throw it out.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Have you removed the valve from the hose to be sure it's sealing properly? I just went out and removed the valve assembly from one of my vacs to see how hard the water pressure had to be to make the valve release the excess pressure. It's fairly hard to press the spring down on mine so there may be something allowing the valve to stay open in yours. Have you cleaned the filter in the piston assembly to be sure it isn't clogged and is making the water pressure on the valve too strong to stay closed?

    • atlbpy 3 years ago

      Randy I am having the same issue Scott did. Tubes aren't crimped. My suspicion is that the seal between the front and rear chamber is worn because water never completely stops coming out of all four jets, thus possibly keeping the rear chamber slightly pressurized, maybe enough to keep randomizer ball locked in one jet. Your thoughts?

      I thought about grooving the ball for a temp fix

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      You are probably correct, atibpy. I can't advise you on a temp fix as I've not tried grooving the ball. Sorry.

      Randy

    • atlbpy 3 years ago

      Can I just replace the center chassis,with new seals, or should I replace the entire mechanism? Do you think its just the seals or could the shaft be worn enough where it would still leak if I only replaced the chassis? thanks for your help.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      It's hard to say for sure and I'd be afraid to advise you as I can't examine your parts. I'm looking for some more affordable seals for the center chamber than is now offered and hope to have them available by next summer.

    • JamesV 3 years ago

      Hey Randy, I fixed the leak at the pressure valve. I super glued it shut. Works like a champ now.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello again James. Whatever works well for you. lol! Thanks for relating your solution.

      RG

    • MCSLEW2 3 years ago

      Randy: I formerly had a H2O collection problem in the base of my

      Turtle, which meant that I would have to take it apart after several days and let it drain. The problem was a couple of wear holes in the base that were causing it to take on H2O. The fix I came up with might help others with a similar problem. A can of the new rubberized sealer spray (the one you see on TV) did the trick. The spray I used was black, which was the only color it came in at that time, so I painted the entire base black. I understand that they now have a clear color which should make it even easier. Thanks for your web site.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks for the tip, McSlew! I wondered about that stuff and how versatile it would be. Leaks appearing in the body of the Turtle and the ordinary 65 vac-sweep are a common problem. :)

    • Debbie 2 years ago

      Turbo turtle hose will not connect to the wall of the pool. The hose will not fit. Is there a piece that will adapte to it?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I was supplied with an adapter on my vac-sweep. Debbie. I suggest using the Amazon link on this page to enter the Amazon section where the vac-sweep attachments are sold. You should be able to find one there. Thanks for the question, Deb! :)

      Randy

    • DAVE S 2 years ago

      MY BRAND NEW POLARIS ONLY SQUIRTS WATER OUT OF THE RIGHT REAR JET WHEN THE REAR JETS ARE INGAGED CAUSING IT TO WIND UP GOING IN A CIRCLE AND CURLING UP AT THE SKIMMER. THIS IS NOT MY FIRST P65. I POPPED THE TOP AND RAN IT AND THE BALL INSIDE KEEPS BLOCKING THE LEFT REAR PORT.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Dave, check the black flexible hoses connecting the assembly to the jets. The ball should make both rear jets propel the unit when it blocks the front ones. These flexible hoses often get crimped and won't allow the water to propel the unit properly.

      Randy

    • Mike 2 years ago

      My Polaris 65 keeps sinking, been working fine. Water is coming out of the jets just fine. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Have you checked to see if it is leaking water inside the floating body, Mike. I periodically have to repair small holes in mine to keep it afloat during operation. Remove the plug and empty out the water before sealing any holes with silicone or other such adhesive.

      Randy

    • Lisa 2 years ago

      Our Polaris turtle will only go forward. All jets seem to work but it won't go backward at all :(

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Lisa, does the randomizer ball move freely in the chamber? It should plug one of the holes and change the direction of the flow when the piston operates correctly.

      --RG

    • Lisa 2 years ago

      Thank you for the response. The ball is stuck in one spot and will not randomize... We replaced the piston assembly and the randomizer tube.... The 4 arms are not crimped or clogged. What's next? :(

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Do you have normal pressure to the vac, Lisa?

    • Jeannette Lassiter 2 years ago

      What is the name of the epoxy cement to repair the hole in the unit. I have a tiny pin hole in the gray part of the cleaner. Thanks

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Any type of epoxy made to repair plastic will work, Jeannette. Alternately, you can use a short screw to seal the hole.

      Randy

    • Jamie Mitchell 23 months ago

      Randy, I am having a continuous problem with my Turbo Turtle. I was having a problem with the jets not rotating, so I took it to my local Leslie's pool supplies store for certified repair. They said that they replaced everything that could be replaced inside of the turtle. Now, the jets rotate, but now it will work fine for about 15-20 minutes, then it coils up at the hose return and gets stuck. I have tried adjusting the pressure valve at the return several times, and have checked the two filters and they are clear. The filter in the turtle is new. I never had this problem last year. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Jamie, I've had this problem before and it turned out to be the hose not swiveling properly where it connects to the Vac-Sweep. I suppose it may also happen on the return end if it isn't swiveling properly.

      The hose should turn easily inside either connection to prevent the unit curling up as you've described it. Hope this info helps with the problem, but if not, feel free to ask for more help. :)

      Randy

    • Eddy Marsh 22 months ago

      Randy, I have a Polaris 65, This is the 3rd season using this unit. I opened my pool and put the unit in and it goes in circles. the piston is moving freely forward and back, the unit does go forward and backwards,

      but the ball always goes to the same port each cycle. Than makes the unit go in the same direction when it goes forward. So it eventually coils up at the skimmer. It worked fine the last time I used it last season. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks Eddy

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Have you cleaned the filter inside of the unit, Eddy? If not, then do so before anything else. Good pressure to the Polaris is essential as otherwise it will not work properly. Also check to see if all four jets are clear of any debris. Let me know if this doesn't help the problem. One more thing, Eddy. Check the hose connections to see if they are swiveling freely at the unit and the pool connection. If they don't turn freely the hose will coil in one direction.

      Thanks for the question.

      Randy

    • Eddy Marsh 22 months ago

      Randy, I checked everything you suggested and its fine. I took the top cover off and ran the Polaris. Looking at it from the top the ball closes the tube on the left side about 8 out of 10 times. and of course it turns left. Even the few times the ball closes the right tube it still goes left but not as much. within a few minutes it starts to coil up at the skimmer. The hoses move freely, body has no water in it, the filter is clean, and the piston moves freely forward and backwards. just the ball closes the left tube most of the time. I have no way of checking the water pressure but I did loosen the bleed cap at the water outlet quite a bit. I really appreciate you having this forum to ask questions. thanks Eddy

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Did you check to see if one of the black jet nozzles is bent or otherwise plugged in some manner, Eddy? I had this problem once and had to replace one of the black hose jets because it was badly crimped and prevented the ball from stopping up the correct directional hole.

      Otherwise, I really can't diagnose the problem for you Eddy.

      Randy

    • Eddy Marsh 22 months ago

      Thanks Randy, I will check it today. I have 2 older units that i could use as parts. Are the tubes hard to remove? Is there a trick to removing them, I don't want to break anything. Once again thank you for giving up your time and expertise in helping people like me. Eddy

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Eddy--The tubes are relatively easy to remove as I too have extra parts on an older model. I hope you can get your problems resolved and thanks for the question. :)

      Randy

    • fcruise 22 months ago

      Randy, my two rear jets on the Polaris 65 has no water coming from them. They are not blocked. I noticed the rear chamber is not filling all the way up with water. I'm sure this is not normal as i don't think its building pressure to shoot the water out. Front jets are working normally. What could be the cause of this? Thanks....

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi fcruise, and thanks for the question. Have you noticed whether or not the ball inside the mechanism is blocking the same hole every time, or is it alternating between the two holes?

      Randy

    • fcruise 22 months ago

      Hi Randy, it seems to block the same hole each time (left side looking down on it). Fred

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      That usually indicates a blockage to the jets of some sort, Fred. At the end of each cycle the pressure on one or the other holes causes the ball to stick to the one with the most pressure at the time. If a blockage of some sort occurs in either pair of jets then the ball will always plug the same hole. At least this is my experience.

    • fcruise 22 months ago

      It's the opposite chamber from the ball that is not filling up with water (the one closes to the black end cylinder). Would the ball impact that?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Have you cleaned the filter inside of the piston rod yet? Often this can cause problems with the unit cycling correctly by cutting the pressure down somewhat.

    • Donnie 21 months ago

      Hi Randy, My sweeper hose is acting crazy ,coming to the top of the water a lot and won't let the bag stay on the bottom much. It is shooting water out both holes by the bag....Why is it doing this????? Thanks

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Donnie, have you cleaned the filter inside the unit, as well as the wire screen on the other end of the hose where it connects to the pool outlet? And water coming out from the aforementioned holes near the bag is normal.

      Randy

    • Donnie 21 months ago

      Thanks Randy, I will check the one at the end of the hose . I have taken both my Polaris apart so many times and fixed them because of your very helpful instructions and pictures. These things sure hold their value! They still cost what they were selling for 10 years ago when I bought my first one ! So it's so nice to have someone help us repair them instead of replace...Thanks for your help and time !! I'm off to check that filter .....

    • Kim 20 months ago

      I have a Polaris 65 and the filter bag is staying hung up around the ladder. Most of the time it gets under the ladder and stays there. Any suggestions?

    • Cissie Fosse 19 months ago

      Can you cut some of the hose off if you think its to long on the Polaris ? mine seems to want to go around in circles till its up to the blue Polaris?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia

      A hose too long to the vac sweep will sometimes make it coil up, Cissie. I'm not aware of any method to shorten the hose, however.

      Randy

    • the grizz 19 months ago

      my polaris 65 keeps coiling up by skimmer i keep stretching it out and it just keeps coiling up and gets trapped any thoughts

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 19 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Grizz, make sure all of the swiveling connections on the hose turn easily. Any restriction at the these points will cause the vac-sweep to coil up. Also check the jet hoses to be sure they aren't crimped in some manner. Hope this helps you solve the problem. :)

    • Jill 19 months ago

      Dear Randy,

      Our Turbo Turtle works for about 10 minutes, then curls up by the inlet and stops. When it does that, the randomizer ball is just floating at the center -- it won't go into any of the 4 holes. If I mess with it a few minutes (tilting it around), then it will go into one and start working again. But will stop again in a few minutes. I tried cleaning the filters, including the tiny one inside. They were dirty, but cleaning it didn't seem to change anything. Any advice much appreciated! The turtle is only one year old so I hate to replace it all...

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Jill, check the flexible jets--the black hoses--to be sure they aren't crimped or clogged and causing the pressure to be lower than normal. Your problem is usually because of the lack of pressure inside the unit itself.

      Randy

    • Jill 18 months ago

      Thanks, Randy. The flexible jets seem fine - no blockages or crimps. Maybe I should try replacing the o-rings? I can't see any cracks or anything else that would be reducing the pressure. Thanks! Jill

    • Sherry Barber 18 months ago

      Please help... My turtle is brand new. Second one I've had. Disassembled it, took to pool shop, it's working properly. Undid house, no crimps... It all of a sudden will not go to left side of pool... Help please...

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Sherry, is the hose the right length for your pool? If it's too long it may tend to stay one side of the pool rather than randomly moving around.

    • sherry 18 months ago

      Thank you for replying... It's cleaned out until recently, so not sure... I'm having a huge party Saturday for my mom, recently diagnosed with lung cancer and trying So hard to get that side clean. Is there anyway i can make the hose shorter?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia

      I have a hose that is too long and I shorten it by using a piece of heavy-duty string--or a piece of rope-- and tie it about the length where the hose will barely allow the Vac to reach the other side of the pool. I tie the other end of the twine to the side of the pool. Hope this helps you get the pool clean before the party for your mom. I wish her well. :)

      Randy

    • EDDIE 17 months ago

      I just order a new sweeper hose for my 165 and the unit is tipped to the left and either goes below the water or flips over. There is a hole in the bottom of the unit whiche make me believe there should be a rubber gromet or something under the belly to plug that hole.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 17 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Eddie, the hole in the bottom is not the problem. Have you drained the water from the unit via the drain plug?

    • Rick Driggers 16 months ago

      Great site on Polaris 165 trouble shooting, Randy!

      Question? 3 jets work and 1 doesn't. any ideas?

      Rick in Fort Worth

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 16 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Rick, more than likely the black ribbed hose going to the jet is crimped and not allowing water to flow through. The two jets on front operate from the same chamber, as do those on the back. Just remove the cover and you can easily check the obstruction or crimp. Feel free to ask more advice if you need it. :)

      Randy

    • Bob 15 months ago

      Randy- Thx for the great advice. This week my polaris 65 stopped moving. I checked all of the parts, gaskets, etc. and it all looks OK. Is it possible that the water has gotten so cold that the stiffness of the gaskets on the piston keep it from moving back and forth?

      Also, there is a hole in the bottom near the end of the black piston cover. Is there supposed to be a stopper in that hole?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 15 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Bob, and yes the cold will affect the gaskets and seal in the vac-sweep causing it mot to perform up to standards. The hole in the piston cover is supposed to be there to bleed excess water from the cylinder. Thanks for the questions and your time. :)

      Randy

    • Bob 15 months ago

      Thx Randy. The hole that I am referring to is not in the piston cover itself. It is actually in front of the black piston cover and goes through the bottom of the Polaris. It is about the size of the tip of a pencil eraser.

    • mgrimess1 7 months ago

      Hi Randy,

      Thank you for the consistent help to everyone! Did you get the information on the black center spring seal? I read all the post and did not see an update on where to possible purchase it.

      Thank you

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      @mgrimess--I found a seal at a bearing and seal shop called bearings and drives. Any pump repair servie should have one or can get one for you. :)

    • mgrimess1 7 months ago

      Hi Randy,

      Thank you for the rapid response. I'll Goggle that for my area and hopefully locate one.

      Thank you,

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Pleased to be of service, mgrimes. :)

    • mcp2100 7 months ago

      My unit is going in only one direction. The right back jet is not firing. I am taking it apart as you stated above but I cannot figure out how to get the white tube in the middle a part so I can get to the filter. It does look like there is some debris in there. how do you get it to separate so you can take it out to clean? Thanks!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      mcp-the tube with the filter simply snaps into the end of the piston rod. It should snap out easily and give you access to the filter for cleaning. Hope this solves your problem. :)

      Randy

    • Nik 7 months ago

      Great post! thank you for sharing! first time to see such a nice pool vaccum! my kids will love that! I want to know, how long does it last?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 7 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Nik, these vacs will last years if properly stored in the off season. They do a fine job for the cost of the unit. Thanks for reading! :)

    • Mike 6 months ago

      The ball inside keeps blocking one of the output jets, any solutions

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 6 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Mike, the randomizer ball is supposed to block one of the jets during the cycle. If you're having a problem with the vac-sweep only going in one direction then I suggest you check to see if the piston is moving back and forth. If not you can try the quick fix using a good epoxy paint or either replace the piston assembly.

      Randy

    • THBennett 4 months ago

      I've read through all the information and don't see my problem. My polaris is moving very slowly. I backwashed the pool, which used to take care of the problem, but not this time. I removed the shell to watch the action. It is reversing direction properly and does not curl up. The jets by the net are working properly too. The only thing I observed with the cover off, is that it appears to be riding low in the water, and there is water coming from around the black thing (sorry don't know the name) where it joins the clear portion. Any ideas? I need a diagram showing the names of all the parts, is there one of those anywhere on line? Thanks in advance!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      @THBennett--There's an o-ring which seals the area between the black and clear piston cylinder parts. I do believe you can find the parts on the Amazon ads on this page or simply make one yourself from an o-ring kit. It's easy and often making one o-ring pays for the kit.

      You're probably losing pressure through the damaged o-ring which would decrease the speed. Remove the drain plug and empty any excess water from the unit if you haven't already.

      Randy

    • THBennett 4 months ago

      Thanks Randy! Heading out for an o-ring kit.

    • Jim O 4 months ago

      The catch bag on my polaris fills with a air bubble and wont ride along the bottom of the pool..it goes straight up and doesn't catch any debri

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia

      It's probably a new bag and if so, it's coated with a preservative which will eventually wash out, Jim. In the mean time try washing it out with a mild detergeant ad see if that helps.

      Randy

    • polly 3 months ago

      Many thanks for this helpful how-to. Maybe I missed it but it helps to know, the slots on the black piston cap are different widths and the corresponding lugs on the lower body are different sizes. The cap has only one proper orientation, don't force it back on but try it half a full turn around. The fine previous owner didn't know this and jammed the cap on, making dis-assembly near impossible.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks for mention that, Polly. I didn't realize the lugs were different even though I've removed the black piston cap many times before during maintenance. I suppose I was simply lucky. :)

      Randy

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