How to repair a Hayward inground pool vac cleaner. Fix a Navigator vacuum that is not moving

The Hayward Navigator

A common pool cleaner is the Hayward Navigator which consists of many moving parts and occasionally those parts need to be replaced. If you’re like me, you like to save money. Many pool stores will repair these cleaners with no “labor” costs, but believe me, you will be paying more than enough for the parts and could save at least 50% or more by ordering the parts online and fixing it yourself and you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to repair it. If you take the time to read through this article and reference the photos, there really isn’t much to it.

Checking the feet or "shoes"
Checking the feet or "shoes"

Determining what needs to be replaced

If your Navigator seems to spin around in circles without really going anywhere or doesn’t really move at all, if you’ve owned a navigator for awhile, you probably already know to pull anything out of the navigator that may have gotten stuck in it. (Surprisingly, that’s half the calls I get)

Next take the unit out of the pool and check the “Shoes” or “Feet”. These are the 4 pads that allow the cleaner to grip to the surface. If these are worn down too much, they will need to be replaced.

The A-FRAME assembly
The A-FRAME assembly

Checking the “A-FRAME”

The A-FRAME is inside the navigator but I can usually tell if this is bad by how loose the pods seem to be. If there is a lot of play when you move the pods back and forth and it seems very loose, this is probably the A-FRAME. It is the most common repair I make on these cleaners. Pods are usually not bad unless they are visibly cracked or broken. Other parts are the turbine, bearings and gear box which I will talk about shortly.

Checking the "Pods"
Checking the "Pods"
Removing the screws
Removing the screws
The turbine and bearings
The turbine and bearings

Dis-assembling the unit

Please reference the photos for this section. First remove the “wings” from the unit. The wings are attached to the pods. Next, pry off the round protector in the center of each pod which will expose the screw heads. This will require a ¼ inch socket to unscrew. After removing the two ¼ inch screws, the pods may still be on tightly. Pry with a flat screwdriver on either side of the screw and work gently. Pods will come off. After pods are removed, turn unit upside down and remove center screw and remove center piece which that screw holds in. This will expose the Turbine.

Now remove the 4 Phillips screws as shown in the photo. This will remove the section that houses the A-FRAME. Remove the A-FRAME gently and set it aside.

STOP! If the A-FRAME is the only part that you are replacing, you will not need to go to the next step and remove the 6 perimeter screws. You can stop here and re-assemble the unit with the new A-FRAME.

There will now be six more screws around the perimeter of the unit. These are much longer than the first set of screws you removed. You will need to remove these to get to the turbine and bearings. Once screws are out, this piece will also be removed fully exposing the turbine and bearings. The bearings and turbine will lift out and the new bearing and turbine kit will go in it's place.


Lift the turbine and the two bearings out of place. Old bearings may fall apart. Don’t worry, the new ones won’t. Replace with the new bearings and turbine. They can only go in one way. Now replace the plate with the six screws. Turbine should spin freely.

The gearbox
The gearbox

The gearbox

The gearbox does not often need replacing. If it does, this is a very easy part to replace. With the six perimeter screws, turbine and bearings out, simply pull out the old one and replace.

Final Step

After replacing the parts, it is just a matter of re-assembling the unit just as it was disassembled. It's not difficult since there aren't too many screws to remove and put back in. If all was done right then it is ready to go back into the water and clean your pool!

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