Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hayward Navigator Repair FAQ

What to check first if your pool cleaner stops moving:
  • Check the main pump basket for any debris.
  • Check the filter pressure to see if the filter needs to be cleaned.
  • Check the valve located in front of the main pump that controls the amount of suction for the pool sweep (if one exists).
  • Check the leaf canister in the pool sweep line (if one exists).
If none of the above present a problem, it is now time to troubleshoot the Navigator. 

Check to see if anything has jammed the turbine or A-Frames. To do this, remove the single screw directly underneath the Navigator. Then pull the access cover straight out. Look for rocks, nuts, twigs or any other small items that could jam the system.

Check the Navigator feet (shoes). Look for worn downed, or hardened feet. If the feet are worn down, the Navigator will not be able to get enough traction to move. If the feet are hardened (think of old hard pencil erasers) the feet will just slip on the pool surface.

To check the A-Frame and pods, hold the back side of one of the pods down and move the other pod up and down. There should be very little movement of the free pod. The more movement there is the more the turbine will spin and the pods not move.  Be sure to check both sides. This is a very common problem for Navigators. 

The unwanted movement of the pods can be caused from variety of reasons:
  • The connecting parts of the A-Frames to the pods over time become worn out,  letting the pods to wiggle without moving the A-Frames.
  • The bearing in the A-Frames become loose or, in extreme cases, come apart, causing lots of free unwanted movement of the A-Frame.
  • The turbine can wear out around the contact points of the A-Frame, allowing the turbine to move and have little effect on the A-Frames. (see pic below)
  • The bearing that hold the turbine allowing it to spin over time become loose and fall apart. (see pic below)
If any of the above has occurred with your unit it is best to replace the pods, A-Frames, Turbine and shoes since all are directly related and wear together.

If the Navigator does not turn:
There is a gear box in the rear side of the Navigator. It is common for hair or other small thin items to get pulled in to it via the back vent, either reducing the unit's ability to turn or preventing it from turning. 

To check this, the Navigator will need to be opened to expose the gear box. 

Once the box is visible, it can be pulled straight up and out.

Now the top of the box can be pulled up and off, exposing a set of gears. 

Take out the gears one by one, keeping them in order as you place them down. It is crucial that they go back in to the box in the same order they came out. 

This is the only method for clearing any items out form the gear box.

If the gear box is clean, the top of the Navigator where the hose connects called the Cone Gear should turn. There are gears connected to this cone (completely separate from the rear gear box) allowing the Navigator to turn slowly underwater. If you turn the cone by hand, the movement should feel like it is resisting; this should not be loose nor easy to move. (See video below of a working cone gear speed and sound)

It is rare that this set of gears is the problem but if you have already checked the rear gear box and it had no issues, then check the cone gear and its associated gear set.

Why bent hoses are a problem:
The hoses, once separated, should naturally lay straight. Often, when the cleaners are removed from the pool, the hoses are rolled up in a neat little circular pile. This causes the hoses to have permanent and unrecoverable bends in them. Once they are reconnected to the sweep, they will causes the cleaner to be pulled in different directions as well as cause the Navigator to not sit flat on the pool surface for proper floor suction. The hoses will need to be replaced to correct this issue. When removing the cleaner from the pool, the hoses must be laid out straight to prevent this problem.

The hoses should float and should not have cracks in them. If the hoses do not float on the top of the water, they will pull on the Navigator in all directions, reducing its cleaning area.  Cracks in the hoses cause air leaks; these air leaks reduce the vacuum created in the pool pump, leading to a decrease in suction and a reduction in the power to the pool sweep.

Too much or too little suction:
Having either too much or too little suction can hurt your Navigator. Too much suction causes the pool sweep to move quickly around the pool, causing all the moving parts to wear prematurely. Too slow and the pool sweep may not move at all or move so slowly that very little area is covered during its normal cleaning cycle.
Note: It is common and expected for the filter pressure to drop when increasing suction to the pool sweep.

Note that changing the flow of water to a pool cleaner commonly changes the sound coming from the pump while it is on. This is caused by a change in the amount of water flowing though the pump.
All Navigators are shipped with a vacuum gauge and they are available for purchase separately. To measure the suction a vacuum gauge is needed.
How to control the amount of suction depends on how the Navigator is connected to the pool. If the pool was built for a sweep, there is a control valve in front of the main pool pump (usually next to the control valve for the pool and spa flow). If the pool was not built for a pool sweep, it may be plugged into a pool skimmer suction opening. If this is the case, use a regulator valve to manage the level of suction to the sweep. 

Opening your Hayward Navigator to replace the big 3(A-Frames/Turbine, Pods, Shoes):

1) Begin with removing the pod plugs on each side of the unit’s lower pods.
These can removed with a flat head screw driver or pliers and pulled straight out. If your Navigator does not have these, skip this step. Sometimes, these fall off or are removed and never replaced but it is recommended that they are put back as they help to hold the side wings (flaps) on.

2) Remove the wings; these are held on by overlapping plastic hooks on the pods.
These may be missing as it is common for users not to replace these. Although they do help the cleaners do their job, they are not required for them to work.

3)Unscrew the pods. Each pod is held on with one hex head screw.
A hex head screw driver is recommended for this step.

4) Remove the pods. The pods will pull straight out; however, they tend to get stuck on.

Sometimes a large flat head screwdriver is needed to pull each pod off.

5) Depending the age of your Navigator, there are either 4 or 6 screws that need to be removed with a Philipp’s head screw driver. Use it to remove the bottom bumper (bottom plate).

Once removed, the bumper can be pulled off.

6) If your Navigator only has 4 screws, then underneath the bumper will be two more Phillips head screws that will need to be removed.

7) With the unit placed cone side up, pull the top shell up and away from the cleaner.

8) There are 5 Phillips head screws that need to be removed in order to separate the base (the bottom section containing the A-Frames) from the top half of the Navigator.

9) The A-Frames are held in with one Phillips head screw.

Before removing that, first pull out the two green cylinder shells from the bottom of the A-Frames.

10) The new A-Frames should be inserted in the reverse order the old frames were removed. 
 Start by placing the small green base in to the bottom.
Place one of the new A-Frames into position. 

Insert a new green shell in-to the bottom of  the new A-Frame from the outside; the flat parts of the shell should be on the top and bottom.

Insert the second A-Frame and insert its shell just as you did with the first. 

Place the green cap on top of the two A-Frames where they meet in the middle. 

Screw in the included small Phillips head screw with the washer already attached. 

11) The turbine is in the top shell that was previously removed. Unscrew the 4 Phillips head screws holding the bottom of the top shell to access the turbine and bearings.

12) Insert the new turbine and bearings. The turbine is marked L for left side and R for right side. On most Navigators, the turbine will only sit in one position since there is a long pin on the left side that should fit into a grove. Some older units do not have this grove so the pin will need to be broken off for the turbine to fit. The bearings should be placed with the open side facing away from the turbine. Each bearing wheel has a single grove on one side that should fit in to a groove at the bottom of the frame that holds the bearing wheel in place. Often this groove is worn out; if it is and your bearings wheels slip, do not worry as this happens in many Navigators. 

13) Place the top shell on top of the A-Frame and turbine holder. Notice how the rear screen fits in to a groove in the back.   

Screw back in the 2 long Phillips head screws to hold these two together. 

14) Place the bottom bumper back on to the bottom of the Navigator and screw back in the remaining 4 long Phillips head screws. 

15) Set the top half of the unit back on to the base (with the A-Frames). This will only fit in one direction.  Screw in the 4 small Phillips head screws and the center access cover. 


Attach the shoes to the new pods before installing the pods. Double check the shoes before you insert them to make sure they are not installed backwards (see pictures). The shoes are pressed on and it is easier to press one side down first and then work on the opposite reaming side. 

17) When attaching the pods, they should sit almost completely underneath the Navigator. If they stick out in the front, they are being attached backwards. Each pod is pushed on-to the small end of the exposed A-Frame. If you cannot push it completely on, do not worry since when you screw in the hex head screw in to the pod it will pull the pod into the A-Frame. 

18) Reattach the flaps to the pods. Note the L is for left and R is for right on each flap. Insert the plugs in to the pods after each flap is placed. 

19) Your Navigator is now ready for use.

1 comment:

  1. Impressive article! This is my first time I saw this pool equipment and I really impressed. I will buy this for our swimming pool at home to maintain the structures of our pool. I will spend my time to check your blog for more updates. Keep sharing!.

    pool cleaners