The customer had a Polaris pool sweep that needed a nudge to start moving and begin to clean the pool. Upon taking the sweep apart and doing a close examination of the parts, I found that one of the drive wheels was flawed. The nut that attaches the wheel to the unit was found to be loose. This allowed the wheel to cycle around in other than the correct angle to the drive shaft. (Incorrect drive wheel engagement to drive shaft might cause this problem too. See below). As a result, the metal drive shaft, over time, wore out the wheel gear teeth as seen in the image below.
The easy solution was that there were three wheels all the same in that they could be interchanged. I needed the two drive wheels to be perfect. The third wheel was not driven and it’s teeth did not matter. I just switched out the back wheel with the flawed one and the unit worked. This repair cost the customer nothing for parts, just labor.
CAUTION: The lesson here is to make sure that each wheel shaft screw is tight.
The next thing to check is the two rive wheels engagement to the drive shaft. Each wheel has 2 screws that allow the wheel to slide a bit back and forward closer to or away from the drive shaft. Make darn sure that the two drive wheels engage the shaft, not tight but close enough for a complete engagement.
The Polaris factory rebuilt kit instructions that describe the wheel to shaft adjustment:
Adjust the wheel so the spline of the driveshaft assembly engages 3/4 of the wheel gear teeth (see drawing). It is easier to see the engagement if you peel back the tire. To test the wheel placement, spin the wheel; it should spin freely. Also, hold the wheel and quickly rotate it back and forth. The gears should not slip or chatter.
My final test is to take the whole sweep unit and put it on a flat surface such as the pool deck and gently try to slide the whole unit back and forth to see if there is any resistance. The movement should be smooth and easy. If the unit stops, or you feel a resistance, begin again your troubleshooting.
Note: I discovered that the pool sweep works darn near perfectly if I remove the small idler wheel that couples the front drive wheel to the rear wheel.