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

Written by:  Danny Rhodehamel
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 (3.77 OUT OF 5 STARS ON 21 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 115)

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User: Inyopools

Vicki-Lynn - Base on your description, I think that the part you are looking for is the Lower Body of the Hayward Navigation.

User: Vicki-Lynn

I guess the technical term is "Pivot Hole" on the left front is gone. There is no place to put the "Pivot Nib" into.

User: Inyopools

Vicki-Lynn - I'm not sure what part you are referring to. Do see your broken part in this Hayward Navigator Part List?

User: Vicki-Lynn

The front plate on my Pool Vac has broken off. The part where the hole is to fit the peg on the left is gone. Now what do I do???

User: Inyopools

maggiemae - try replacing the cleaner's shoes with cork shoes for better traction on a vinyl surface.

User: maggiemae

"Kenny", our Navigator cleaner for our vinyl in ground pool get stuck in different corner places and will not move. What could be the problem

User: Inyopools

MEL - See our guide on "How To Replace a Pod on a Hayward Navigator or Pool Vac Ultra".

User: MEL

Where are the screws to tighten up the rocker arms on the Hayward Pool Vac XL? I would like to try and do this.

User: 

My Hayward was extremely slow also. I replaced gear box, pods, etc. It was still just as slow. Finally I popped off the cap on each side of the rocker arms and tightened the 1/4 inch screw on each side. This completely solved the problem. The rocker arms had become too loose because of the continued movement.

User: Inyopools

Terri - I don't know what to tell you at this point. As a last resort, you might take the clearer completely apart to check inside for cracked parts or debris in the mechanisms. See our guide on "How To Service the Inside of a Hayward Navigator Suction Cleaner".

User: Terri

Got new shoes. Still no go. If I hold it up in the water, everything seems to work. It turns around, feet move, suction seems fine. Little blue button on II (though I tried I and III) and no luck. I am just stymied. Short of a new frame (which looks fine), not sure why it's not working. As soon as I let it fall to the bottom of the pool, it just sits there. :-(

User: Inyopools

Terri – Try holding the Navigator just under the surface and see if the feet actually move continuously. If not, something is binding inside the Navigator and it’s generally the A-frame wheels or the bearings on the turbine. If you just replaced both, check them again to make sure they were installed correctly and move freely outside the water.

User: Terri

Thanks for your prompt reply - that's awesome. :-) So, here is what I have replaced:

Wings
Flaps
Pod Kit
AFrame/Turbine Kit
Gear Box Assembly
Shoes

The whole thing seems to work find until it touches the bottom - then doesn't move.
Going to order another pair of shoes even though they don't look worn. Other thoughts appreciated!

User: Inyopools

carmela - See our response to Terri below. Your problems seem to be the same.

User: Inyopools

Terri - You might have to go inside the Navigator. As the Navigator ages, the four wheels on the A-Frame Assembly wear and lock up. See our guide on "How To Replace the Navigator Pool Cleaner A-Frame Assembly". Also you might have to check the bearings on the Main Turbine. See our guide on "How To Replace the Navigator Pool Cleaner Main Turbine Bearings". And finally see our guide on "How To Service the Inside of a Hayward Navigator Suction Cleaner" for other related problems.

User: carmela

I have the same problem replaced the shoes played around with the 1.2.3 seems to work fine then once it is in the water inground vinyl it does not move...checked preassure everything

User: Terri

I have pretty much replaced every moving part except the housing/frame. The unit works, has suction, etc. But when it's on the pool floor (fiberglass pool), it doesn't go anywhere. I have tried increasing and decreasing the pump pressure but nothing. Shoes are new-ish (cork). Should I try another set of shoes or could the frame or spring loaded flaps be the issue? They are the only parts not new. :-(

User: Inyopools

nastaran - Not sure what you are referring to when you say plc controller. If you are suggesting a digital control board, the Navigator is entirely mechanical. It has no digital control system. You may have something jammed in one of the control mechanisms. Try taking the hose off of the suction port and connecting it to a return port. This will push water backwards through the cleaner and might dislodge any debris struck in the system. If this doesn't work, you will have to take the cleaner apart. See your guide on "How To Service the Inside of a Hayward Navigator Suction Cleaner" for detailed instructions.

User: nastaran

Thank you for guiding me.i have another question.if there is no problem in bearing, is it possible the plc controller have problem.becuase it move at first in 5 second then stop and dont move.

User: Inyopools

nastaran - Sounds like the cleaner's bearings may be binding, a common problem as the cleaners get older. Look at our guide on "How To Service the Inside of a Hayward Navigator Suction Cleaner" for instructions on finding and replacing theses bearings. There are two sets: the A Frame Bearings (Step 5); and the Turbine Bearings (Step 10).

User: nastaran

Hellow.i have a hayward sweeper to clean the pool but it dont work correctly.when i turn on it it move toward and backward for 10 second and stop and dont move.please guide me to find and correct its problem.thank you

User: Mike

I was tired of replacing Pod springs by having to purchase the whole
pod assembly, now I just go to Ace hardware and buy the stainless springs which work perfectly and only .85 cents each

User: Inyopools

jcrply - Click on the picture for Step 7 to expand it. The pic shows where the spring attaches to the shoe foot. I had another customer comment on how to get the spring in. Had some difficulty. He had to angle it in and work with it a while. Put the spring into the hole first before placing it on the nub of the shoe.

User: jcrply

One of the pods on my Hayward Pool Vac Ultra has lost one spring. A local pool store gave me a spring (They keep a "graveyard" of old vacs and parts!). However, so far I have been unable to install the spring. Can you please give me some instructions on getting the spring on? Thanks.

User: Inyopools

LuisVinOC - If, as you describe your cleaner is holding to the bottom of your pool by suction, it sounds like the suction on your suction port is too high. Try reducing the pressure on that line. If that doesn't solve your problem, see our guide on "How To Service the Inside of a Hayward Navigator Suction Cleaner".

User: LuisVinOC

Hi there - My Ultra seems to be sucking itself to the bottom of the pool. When held just under the surface, all parts move fine and there's strong suction. The I've followed your guide for tearing down and rebuilding and the bearings seem good. The pods are also new. Could it be the flaps?

User: Inyopools

step 17 - Yes, the Rear Screen can be replaced. See Step 9 in our guide on "How To Service the Inside of a Hayward Navigator Suction Cleaner".

User: step 17

Could the sreen at the rear be replaced and how to replace it?

User: Inyopools

granty - Unfortunately we do not see that part by itself. If you have a local pool store, some customers have found that spring in the store's discard pile.

User: granty

have lost a spring off one of the legs to the foot, where can I get a new one. am having trouble

User: Inyopools

Cris - If one of your pods is sticking, it's usually due to a bad bearing. Your cleaner has two sets of bearings, one in the A-frame and one with the main turbine. I don't know which of these you changed, but take a look at Steps 5 and 10 of our guide on "How To Service the Inside of a Hayward Navigator Suction Cleaner" for instructions on locating and replacing these bearings

User: Cris

My Navigator is having issues with one pod. The pod moves sometimes, but then it seems to get stuck and stop moving causing the vac to go in circles. The gear box and bearing were already changed. Any suggestions on what could be the problem? If I push the pod towards the vac it works again for a little then stuck again. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

User: Inyopools

Rebecca - If the feet aren't moving, check the bearings on the A-frame and the main turbine. See steps 5 and 10 of our guide on "How To Service the Inside of a Hayward Navigator Suction Cleaner".

User: Rebecca

my vacuum is sucking fine, but the feet wont move?? help!

User: Inyopools

Luis - You may have debris stuck in the turning mechanism. Try blowing it out by temporarily moving your suction hose from the suction port and placing it on one of your return ports. This will reverse the flow of water through the cleaner and may dislodge any debris in the mechanism. If this doesn't work, see our guide on "How To Service the Inside of a Hayward Navigator Suction Cleaner" for further instructions.

User: Luis

Hi I have a pool vac and is now in trouble. The cleaner works normally only when they get to a corner of the pool or near a stepping stone for him and no longer works. What is the problema?

User: Inyopools

fabio - You may have to change the bearings on the A-Frame or the bearings on the turbine. Or there may be debris caught in the gears. See our guide on "How To Service the Inside of a Hayward Navigator Suction Cleaner" for further instructions.

User: fabio

Hello I have my pool vac ultra moves only by turning and then it goes very very slowly, also the tube is twisted. I changed my shoes. but nothing has changed. could you help me understand what the piece to change?

User: Inyopools

jessme - Click on the picture for Step 7 to expand it. The pic shows where the spring attaches to the shoe foot. I had another customer comment on how to get the spring in. Had some difficulty. He had to angle it in and work with it a while.

User: jessme

My pool vac ultra was going in one way circles twisting up the hose. I finally noticed one of the springs in the feet was missing. My pool store saves used parts and gave me one at no cost. How do I reinstall it?? Thanks!

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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.