How To Repair a Hayward Navigator or Pool Vac Ultra Pool Cleaner

Written by:  Danny Rhodehamel
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 (3.85 OUT OF 5 STARS ON 20 RATINGS)

If your automatic pool cleaner is not operating efficiently, it may be time to replace the parts that are designed to wear. If you see significant wear on your cleaners shoes, wings or flaps, replace these parts to improve performance, and to prevent damage to the more costly components.

Tips & Warnings

Video

Step by Step

Step 1

Turn your Navigator/Pool Vac Ultra pool cleaner over and look at the cleaner's shoes. The picture at left shows an example of badly worn shoes. When the shoe is pushed up against the end of the pod, the shoe should extend above the surface of the pod or the pod will start to rub against the pool floor. This shoe should have been replaced before the surface of the shoe had worn below the surface of the pod.

Step 2

This picture shows a Navigator/Pool Vac Ultra with new shoes. Note how far the shoe extends above the pod surface.

Step 3

Next inspect the Navigator/Pool Vac Ultra's wings for wear and cracks. There is a wear line on each of the wings. When you can no longer see this line, replace the wings. The picture at left shows an example of a badly worn and broken wing. At 1, the wing has worn through by the peg that holds it in. At 2, the hole in the wing has worn to the point of breaking. Not shown - the tip of the wing has worn beyond its replacement line.

Step 4

Now inspect the Navigator/Pool Vac Ultra's flaps (rear and front) for wear and cracks. The picture at left shows an example of a worn rear flap that needs to be replaced.

Step 5

When replacing Navigator/Pool Vac Ultra parts, consider purchasing a pool cleaner tune-up kit. If one set of parts requires replacement, it's probably a good time to replace all of these parts. This kit includes a set of 4 shoes, a set of 2 wings, a set of 2 flaps (front and rear) and a screwdriver and brush to install the parts. When you purchase this kit, check to make sure you purchase the kit with the correct shoes. Shoes for concrete or gunite pools are different than shoes for fiberglass of vinyl pools.

Step 6

For ease in replacing these parts, disconnect the pool cleaner from its hose. Pull the hose straight off to avoid breaking the internal gears.

Step 7

To replace the shoes, first turn the navigator on its back. Then insert a screwdriver between the shoe and the pod to pry the shoe off.

Step 8

Next dip a new shoe in the water for lubrication and press it onto the holes in the pod. Note, the two plugs on the shoe fit into two different size holes, one bigger that the other. This ensures that the shoes are properly attached. Press until you feel it snap into place. Repeat for the other three shoes.

Step 9

To remore the wings, first remove the plug above the wing from the pod.

Step 10

Remove the old wing by bending it slightly and lifting it off their hooks on the pod. Note: If any of the wing hooks are broken, you will have to replace the pod. See other "How To Guides".

Step 11

Place a new wing onto the pod hooks. There are markings for "R" or "L" on the wings and each pod. Make sure these match up.

Step 12

Replace the pod plug and tap then into place with the screwdriver handle. Repeat this process for the other wing.

Step 13

To replace the rear and front flaps, insert the screwdriver between the flap and the lower body, near the pivot point of the flaps. Gently pry the flap pivot point out or the hole in the body and slide the flap out. Repeat to remove the other flap.

Step 14

Note that the new flaps are marked "Rear" and "Front". Make sure to install the proper flap in the front and real of the unit. The rear of the unit has the screen in it. When installing the front flap, be sure that the extended leg of the spring is inserted into the notch on the front of the lower body. Push the flap in place so that the pivot nibs engage the pivot holes in the body. Fold the flap in towards the bottom of the cleaner. There will be some resistance until the flap snap into place. Check that the spring is in place and that the spring action works freely.

Step 15

When installing the rear flap, make sure that the spring leg is placed on the cam on the rear flap adjuster. As the rear flap is pushed into place, it will snap into its normal operating position. Check that both flaps move freely and that they both spring up.

Step 16

Turn the Navigator/Pool Vac Ultra right side up and look at the lower left side of the unit. Look for the blue rear flap adjuster, a round knob about the size of a pencil eraser with an arrow slot. You will see the Roman numerals I, II and II around the adjuster. With a screwdriver turn the slot so that its arrow points to the II. This is the normal operation level for the cleaner. I setting slows the Navigator/Pool Vac Ultra down if it's climbing the walls or sticking in corners; III setting speeds the Navigator/Pool Vac Ultra up if it can't climb the slopes.

Step 17

Use the long-handled brush from the kit to clean the screen at the rear of the Navigator/Pool Vac Ultra. This screen allows water to flow into the Navigator/Pool Vac Ultra's steering mechanism. If the water flow is obstructed, the Navigator/Pool Vac Ultra steering cannot function properly.

Comments (1 to 40 of 75)

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User: Inyopools

dancepidemic - That may be your problem. I would also check the bearings on the main turbine. They often go bad and will also shut down the cleaner. See out guide on "How To Service the Inside of a Hayward Navigator Suction Cleaner" for the location of the main turbine.

User: dancepidemic

Thanks! It will work for a few mins and then stop. The suction is fine. I took it out and took off the bottom piece and it seems like one of the bearings is pretty tough to turn. Would this keep it from moving all together? Or would that just stop one side?

User: Inyopools

dancepidemic - There should be no correlation between your pool vac ultra and a salt water pool. Check the changes you made to your system when adding the new SCG to see if they created new problems - leaks, blockages, valve settings.

User: dancepidemic

My pool vac ultra will work for about 5 mins and then stop. We recently made a change to a salt water pool and it stopped soon thereafter. Are theses two things related?

User: Inyopools

Tamra Lynn Smith - You don't say what RPM your VS pump running at when using cleaner. In order to have enough suction to drive your cleaner you have to set you pump to run at least 2200 RPM or higher. If you are running at that speed and your cleaner still does not work, check for suction leaks around the newly installed pump.

User: Tamra Lynn Smith

Help me please???? We had a hayward vacuum and the thing didn't work very good. Last year we replaced it with a new one. I wasn't going to buy a another Hayward because I didn't think the first one worked that hot. It worked with the old pump but not that good. We replaced the pool pump system and put a new variable speed pump and ever since then, my vacuum just sits. It has suction, the parts move and everything looks right but again just sits. I've tried adjusting the valve handles to increase or decrease suction but no help? The shoes are good? Any suggestions ?

User: Inyopools

shoe prong - Try drilling the prong out. Use a drill that is smaller than the prong hole to avoid making the hole larger. Drill about half way into the prong, then use the embedded drill to pull the prong out. If the prong is glued in, drill all the way down through the prong to create a hole in the center of the prong, then try scraping the edges of the remaining part of the prong into the hole.

User: 

My shoe's came off but the 2 prongs that hold them in are still in their holes, how do I get them out?

User: 

Great video, I am now confident to troubleshoot and replace parts as necessary.

Thanks

Reye

User: Inyopools

mark - Yes, a Hayward Ultra will work on a pebble tec surface. Be sure to get the model with the foot pads for concrete.

User: mark

Looking at the Hayward Ultra for my pool, which is pebble tec. Will this vac work on pebble tec? Any other thoughts/issues i should know? Have never used an automatic pool vac before.

User: Inyopools

Joe - You may have to replace the bearings on the main turbine. See our guide on "How To Replace the Navigator Pool Cleaner Main Turbine Bearings". Then check to see if there is any blockage in the internal mechanisms. See our guide on "How To Service the Inside of a Hayward Navigator Suction Cleaner".

User: Joe

Hi Dear,
I have an ultra vac which I had replaced the A Frame kit which make it work for a few days , but now it just stop, eventhough I can feel the suction when I check the suction hole underneath the Vac, any idea what may be the issue?
Thanks

User: Inyopools

oldschoola - You may be able to move the pods/feet out of the water but in operation they may still bind up and stop. To correct this problem you may have to replace the bearings on the main turbine. See our guide on "How To Replace the Navigator Pool Cleaner Main Turbine Bearings". Also you may not have enough suction to move the cleaner. Try shutting down the main drain or the skimmer to put more suction on the cleaner suction port.

User: oldschoola

i have a pool vac ultra. And if i have it in my hand the feet and everything move, i stuck my finger in it and i feel the rudder inside spinning. but when i place it on the floor of my pool it doesn't move at all. any ideas? i feel it sucking pretty good too.

User: Inyopools

jhaughn - I couldn't find your model numbers, but I have a couple of old Navigators myself and they take the shoes listed on our parts page. Most of the changes to the Navigators have been external to the covers. The basic operating pieces like the shoes have not changed.

User: jhaughn

We have and older Navigator, Model 905VUHB and another # 2F43010
Are the shoes listed on your page for repairing the Navigator, the ones that would fit this model?

Your help appreciated

J. Haughn

User: 

The wings on my Hayward Navigator wear out quickly in my pebble-tec pool.
I discovered that I could extend their life considerably with a simple modification.
- Fill in the holes in the bottom outside edge of each wing with hot glue.
- Another more effective choice is to use plugs cut from your Navigator's old shoes (a leather punch works) - cut the plugs to fit and hot glue them into the holes - trim the plugs flush with the bottom of the wing.

User: Inyopools

tcccac - Unfortunately we do not sell the springs separately. You would have to buy a pod that contains the spring or you might see if your pool shop has some extra springs from other broken units.

User: tcccac

in slide 7 i am missing one of those springs. what is the cheapest way to find a replacement for it. i actually had the pool shop do a full tune up on it at the end of the 2011 season so it's only been running for one fully season. i don't thinkk i need to do another tune. thanks

User: Inyopools

SC- Your detached spring may be the one attached to the base of the plastic part that hold the shoe. Click the picture in Step 7 of this guide. I've changed it to give you a much bigger picture so you can see the spring better.

User: SC

Hi I have one spring that looks detached. Any ideas how & what to attach it to inside the shoe?

User: Inyopools

nichboy - If you store your hoses coiled, they will coil in operation. To get the coil out of your hoses, lay them out straight in the sun for a day. Also check that the top tube on the Ultra rotates freely. You should hear the gears turning as you rotate it. If this tube is stuck, see our guide on "How To Service the Inside of a Hayward Navigator Suction Cleaner" for more information.

User: nichboy

What causes the ultra to coil up the hose? Everything seems to be operating properly, i have 8 links of hose and pressure is around 7 or 8. After about 10 minutes of cleaning the hose is all coiled up.

User: Inyopools

Blanche - If you haven't seen our guide on "How To Service the Inside of a Hayward Navigator Suction Cleaner", take a look at it. This guide shows you all the parts inside the navigator that may need replacing. One part that commonly fails on these cleaners is the set of bearings on the main turbine.

User: Blanche

When do you need to change a gear box in a Hayward Navigator for a concrete pool? I changed the A-frame/turbine in October, everything was working fine for a while but now my navigator won't move again. I check the pressure with the valve and it was good. Then I took the Navigator apart again and all seemed fine inside. When I pick it up and bring it to me the little feet seem to be moving like mad? Not sure what else it could be, that seems to be the only part I haven't replaced, or should I try the A-frame again? Thanks for any advice!

User: Inyopools

RandMart - The difference is in the shoes. For concrete you use a plastic looking shoe. Vinyl pools use a cork shoe. Here's the link for the CORK SHOES. If you just bought this cleaner, you might see it the store will swap out the shoes for you.

User: RandMart

This may sound really stupid, but what is the difference in a Pool Vac Ultra for a vinyl pool and for a gunite pool? I ask this because I think the pool store that I bought mine from sold me one for a gunite pool and I have a vinyl liner in my pool. Is it an easy switch to make sure I'm using the right one?

User: Inyopools

KC - Yes a pod can go bad. That would be the easiest fix. See our guide on How To Replace a Pod. If that doesn't solve your problem, look at our guide on How to Service the Inside of a Navigator. There are other turbines and bearings inside the Navigator that may be damaged or clogged.

User: KC

My Navigator's right pod moves like crazy the left barely at all - so it goes in circles. This is after changing out the A-frames and the gear box because it was only going in straight lines and getting stuck on the sides of the pool. Do the pods go bad? What can I do.

User: Inyopools

Confused - Sounds like you have a worn or broken part inside your Navigator. If it was clogged, I doubt that it would just start working again. Look at the bearings on the Wheel Assembly first, and then look at the bearings on the Main Turbine. See our guide on How To Service the Inside of a Hayward Navigator Suction Cleaner for more detailed instructions.

User: Confused

My ultra will work well for about 5 minutes and then just stop moving. Sometimes after about 5 minutes it will start moving again. Sometimes it slows down drastically. Sometimes it moves quickly. I have no debris in the pool. Just basic sediment. It's completely sporadic.

User: Inyopools

John C - Inside your Ladybug cleaner is another turbine that controls its direction of travel. This part may be clogged or related parts may be broken. See our guide on "How To Service the Inside of a Hayward Navigator Suction Cleaner" for instructions on repairing this part.

User: John C

My Hayward Ladybug will not turn; it constantly goes straigh, then just sits against the wall. The vacuum is two years old. How do I fix that? The shoes look good. The filter in the back is clear. When there is no vacuum I can turn by hand, but once a vacuum is applied I can not longer turn, nor does it turn its self.

User: Inyopools

LindaLee - Try gently rocking the hose back and forth as you are pulling it straight up. That generally helps free up the hose.

User: LindaLee

I have a problem not addressed here. My navigator has a bunch of leaves sticking out the back from a recent wind storm here, I need to clean it, but we can not get the hose off the top of the unit. We have tried pulling it straight off - no good. Twisting the hose - we hear the sound of the gears. What do you think? Thanks in advance. Linda

User: Inyopools

Trying to fix - These are hard to press on. Try putting them in the sun to soften them up. I have used a pair of channel lock pliers to press then on.

User: Trying to fix

I am trying to replace the shoes on my cleaner. I know this sounds silly but I genuinely cannot get then to snap on! When I push really hard it seems like I'm going to break the plastic on something because I'm squeezing tight. Any ideas besides saliva and water in the shoes? Can I use a pool lubricant?

User: Uweara

I almost had to hire a pool service to clean my pool. Thanks for helping me out with a simple, easy, repair!
http://www.groupesima.ca/en/page/entretien.html

User: InyoPools

Tune-Up Kit - The part numbers for the Tune-Up kits for the Navigator or Pool Vac Cleaners are: for vinyl pool - AXW321; for concrete pool - AXW350.

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Tips & Warnings

Check the hose periodically to ensure that there are no leaks in it.

DO NOT use the Navigator to clear excessive amounts of leaves and debris from the bottom of the pool - for example when it's first opened in the spring. Clean the pool manually and then use the Navigator/Pool Vac Ultra to maintain it.

DO NOT coil the hose when storing it. If the hose maintains a bend from coiling it will not allow the Navigator/Pool Vac Ultra to work properly and must be replaced.


Please Note:

Inyo Pool Products is not responsible for any injury or damaged equipment
while using our guides. Using our guides is doing so at your own risk.
These guides are suggested use of your pool or spa equipment and may vary
depending on which product you are using.