Why Does My Polaris Cleaner Go In Circles? Find Out

Why Does My Polaris Cleaner Go In Circles? Polaris pool cleaners are industry leaders in the pool cleaning business. Whether you pick up the robotic rollouts or pressure-side vacuum design, they can save you a lot of time and effort, working hard at your pool to keep the water clean and sparkly. But like all machines, a Polaris pool cleaner may malfunction; one complaint is that the machine goes around in circles all day doing zero cleaning. ‘Why does my Polaris go in circles?’ we hear you ask.

The wheels may not be rotating properly. One reason why this occurs is because of a damaged drive belt. Since the machine relies on belt drives to move around, it will not move as it should when the belt breaks. It is most likely that your Polaris pool cleaner is moving in circles because only one wheel is turning. 

Finding out the cause of your pool cleaner’s circular movement is only half the battle. If you suspect that the machine’s drive belt is faulty, you may need to open the machine to see if the belt is truly damaged. If it is, there’s only one thing you can do: order new belts for your Polaris pool cleaner. Otherwise, check that the valve is working properly. 

Why Does My Polaris Vacuum Run On Its Side?

If you have a pool vacuum, you might want to investigate how to stop it from running on its side. 

There are several reasons for this, but they all boil down to one thing: the cleaner may be set on the wrong level. You should try to adjust the settings and see what happens. The pump in each model is different, so you may need to experiment with it to find the proper setting. If you cannot solve the issue, you can also try changing the cleaning process to a manual mode.

First, make sure that the filter and pump are functioning correctly. If you have a telescoping pole, you may be able to manually adjust its position in the water, but this can be a tricky process from a deck. The cleaner’s head can get stuck if the suction is too strong, so it’s important to make sure the vacuum is on the correct side to avoid this problem.

In some cases, the cleaning process may be too intense; too much pressure on the pump. Bleeding the excess pressure at the wall fitting can solve the problem. Alternatively, you can also try adjusting the thrust jet in the 9 or 3 o’clock position. If not, the thrust jet will create a circular pattern and this will cause the cleaner to run on its side.

Why Will My Polaris Not Stay On The Pool Floor?

To clean your pool properly, your Polaris pool cleaner has to maintain solid contact with the pool surfaces: floor or walls. However, when your unit starts to float, it will do nothing to clean your pool. Certain anomalies can allow your Polaris pool cleaner to float: leaky hose, damaged backup valve, or thrust jets positioned inappropriately. Below are quick fixes for a floating Polaris cleaner:  

Cleaner Hose Leaks

If your Polaris pool cleaner has trouble staying on the pool floor, leaks in the hose are a major suspect. To inspect for leaks in the hose, pull the hose gradually out of the water while the vacuum is working. By so doing, you will be able to detect air leaks in form of bubbles emanating from the troubled spots. If you find holes in the hose, it’s probably time to change it. Furthermore, make sure that the different sections of the hose are tightly connected to avoid air leaks. 

Damaged Backup Valve

The backup valve is an acorn-shaped piece of the hardware situated at the front of your Polaris cleaner. It helps to propel the unit into the water by ejecting water under high pressure. This helps the cleaner to navigate obstacles and corners around the pool. In the event of a malfunction, the backup valve may constantly eject high-pressure water so that it is no longer able to stay on the pool floor. To be sure the problem is a broken backup valve, turn the unit on and lift it out of the water. If it continuously shoots out a jet, then the backup valve is faulty and needs to be changed. 

Inappropriately Positioned Thrust Jets

Fortunately, you may not need to change any components if it’s the thrust jet that’s in a horrible position. The thrust jet sits at the back of your Polaris cleaner and ejects a continuous stream of water to push the unit across the pool surface. It is adjustable and can easily be positioned correctly. When the nozzle turns the wrong way, the water pressure may flip the unit over or even lift it off the pool floor. To fix this, adjust the thrust jet nozzle so that it’s positioned between the 7 o’clock and 5 o’clock positions of the unit. Test the positions until you’re happy with the results. 

Why Does My Pool Vacuum Lose Suction?

The first thing to do if your pool vacuum loses its suction is to inspect the hose. Clogged tubes will have poor suction power. Check the connection and length of the hose. If you haven’t measured your pool size correctly, this could be a problem. If it is, you can take the measurement yourself. Ensure that the hose is the correct length. Once you use the right length of hose, the vacuum should work as it should.

Another common issue is a clogged or air-filled hose. If you see a hole in the hose and you need to vacuum ASAP, you can use a pool putty to repair it. This will be a temporary fix, however. If this doesn’t work, you may need to buy a new hose. 

A sizable obstruction on the pool floor may be the culprit. The obstruction may be a twig or rock that was sucked up while vacuuming. In that case, your timely intervention may prevent damage to the machine and restore it to normal working order. You can disassemble the intake valve in the pump by using a screwdriver. The valve directs the suction from the skimmer or drain. If the valve is broken, it will leak water and prevent proper pressure.

Why Is My Polaris Not Picking Up Dirt?

Depending on your Polaris model, the reason why your unit isn’t picking up dirt may vary. For one, fine debris may have coated the cleaner’s mesh so that it’s can’t efficiently pick up dirt. To determine if, indeed, the mesh is blocked, perform the following steps: 

  • Take out the filter drum and run the pool cleaner. If the unit picks up dirt without difficulty, then the problem is a clogged filter. 
  • In that case, use a soft sponge or brush to clean the filter with a little bit of mild detergent. Scrub the filter lightly until it cleans out. 
  • Rinse the filter thoroughly under running water. 


  1. If your pool receives a high volume of debris, pollen, or leaves due to its location, you may invest in filters with larger meshes so that fine particles can pass through. 
  2. If your pool was newly made, vacuum it manually first to remove the bulk of the construction dirt. You can then use an automatic pool cleaner to remove the tiny debris. 

On The Polaris 9350/P935, 9450/P945, or 9550/P955 Model

Polaris 9350/P935, 9450/P945, or 9550/P955

If you have the robotic Polaris models, make sure that the filter canister lips extend out from under the unit. If it’s not properly installed, pull the canister out and reinstall it the right way using the grooves in the unit’s body as a guide. If you get it right, the canister will slide in smoothly without resistance; any other way means that it’s not sitting properly. If, however, the canister is worn out, you will need to change it before your Polaris cleaner can pick dirt again. 

Why Are There Flashing Lights(or Error Codes) On My Polaris Cleaner? 

Robotic Polaris pool vacuums come with a range of premium features like a communication system – not like they can talk, but lights and error codes to help you diagnose a problem with your unit in the event of it. If the light comes on and keeps flashing, you know something is wrong and your machine may not function properly. Here is what you can do to be it back to shape: 

  • If the indicator flashes just after you turn on your Polaris pool cleaner, press the on/off button on the unit to reset it and choose a new cleaning cycle. 


If this doesn’t kill the lights, then your Polaris cleaner is detecting a system problem. Here’s what you should do: 

  • Inspect the unit’s cable and make sure that it’s connected correctly. 
  • Ensure that there’s no space between the connection and the unit’s insert. If there is, make sure to tighten the connection. 
  • Make sure the unit is plugged in directly and not with an extension cord. Longer lengths may cause perceivable voltage drops which may affect the unit’s performance. 
  • Also, make sure your Polaris robotic cleaner is plugged into a GFCI power outlet. 
  • If the unit has trouble staying on the pool floor, hold it submerged below the water surface, then slowly shake it from side to side until you see air bubbles come out completely. Place it back into the pool – it should sink to the bottom now. 
  • If the flashing lights persist, you may need to check your propeller. You will easily find the propeller when you open your Polaris cleaner and take out the filter canister. Next, use a screwdriver to remove the small grate in the unit, then carefully remove the propeller. Remove any dirt clogging the propeller. 

Note: Do this carefully; the propeller is very sharp. 

Why Does My Polaris Sweep Cable Keep Tangling? 

Polaris sweep cable tangling is a common problem. If your cable tangles now and then, here’s what you should do: 

  • Each time after using the cleaner, take it out and lay the pool cable on the deck for a few minutes. Make sure you lay it on a level surface so that it strengthens out. 
  • When you upload the Polaris unit for storage, do not loop the cable too tightly on the caddy, if not it might get a memory and you would have to repeat step 1.
  • When the unit is in operation, try limiting the amount of cable you put in the water – just enough to reach all the corners plus three feet is enough. This way, the cable is less likely to tangle. 

What Is The Best Polaris Pool Cleaner For My Pool? 

Pools come in different shapes and sizes, and automatic pool cleaners have stepped up to the game. Whatever kind of pool you have: above-ground or in-ground, geometric or irregular, there’s a pool cleaner for you. Here’s what we recommend: 

Best Overall: Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner

This 280 Is a pressure-side pool cleaner whose It’s designed allows it to deliver high-quality cleaning. They usually require a booster pump to operate to keep the unit constantly moving. However, it requires more maintenance due to the presence of belts and other moving parts. 


  • Cleans fast
  • Easy to empty
  • Powerful intake takes up a range of dirt sizes
  • Large filter


  • High maintenance
  • Inefficient at picking fine up fine debris

Best For In-Ground Pools: F9450 Sport Pool Cleaner

The Polaris F950 is a robotic pool cleaner and It comes with a range of programmable features for your convenience. For example, you decide what days and times you want it to clean your pool. 

It doesn’t need to connect to your pool’s circulation system as they’re completely self-contained. After each cleaning cycle, the filter canister can be easily accessed at the top of the unit. 


  • Cleans the waterline and walls. 
  • Features 4WD technology
  • Vortex technology removes the suction loss
  • Easily navigates obstacles
  • Easy-to-access large canister


  • Remote control absent
  • Expensive 

Best For Large Pools: Polaris P825 Sports Pool Cleaner

If you plan on getting a robotic pool cleaner for your large in-ground pool, we recommend Polaris P825. The sturdy design allows it to deliver power suction force from its energy-efficient motor. Also, an integrated filtration system means that it’s contained. 

It can clean your pool using a single powerful front scrubber to clean pool floors, walls, and waterline. And thanks to Cyclonic vacuum technology, this unit makes light work of cleaning surfaces and trapping debris without losing suction.  


  • Cleans waterline, walls, and floor
  • Suitable for large pools
  • Includes pool caddy
  • Push N’ Go filter canister


  • Remote Control absent
  • Heavy
  • May get stuck on the exposed drain.
  • Great for deep pools

Why Is My Polaris Cleaner Not Climbing The Walls?

Your Robotic Polaris pool cleaner is supposed to clean the pool floor as well as the walls. If your unit isn’t climbing walls to clean it, check the settings. 

On the P550/P955, the problem is likely an incorrect setting. The cleaning options on these units include Floor and wall, Waterline only, and Floor only. If your unit is set to Floor only, it will not clean the walls. Toggle through the options using the button below the floor/wall indicator area. Another reason for the cleaner not climbing the walls may result from tiny debris blocking the filter canister. Simply cleaning the filter canister mesh should solve this problem. 

Note: When you turn off your Polaris P550/P955 pool cleaner, it will switch to your last selected settings. 

On the 9450/P945, P825, and 9350/P935, the cleaning cycle may not be selected. Choose a cleaning cycle by selecting either of the two images almost below the control unit. Choose Floor and wall. These settings should allow your Polaris cleaner to start cleaning walls. 

Wrapping Up on Why Does My Polaris Cleaner Go In Circles?

Frankly speaking, Polaris pool cleaners are one of the best money can buy. Many of the cleaner models have a 2-year warranty period on them, so you can rest assured that you’re in safe hands if things go sideways. However, it does go sideways(or rather, in circles) your first line of action should be to troubleshoot using the tips and tricks in this post. If you try everything and it won’t still work right, well, maybe it’s time to use the warranty clause. 

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