Polaris 280 Wheel Not Touching – Troubleshooting Guide

The Polaris 280 is well-known for its efficient pool cleaning abilities. However, if the wheels of the Polaris fail to make contact with the pool surface, its performance does not remain as effective.

Polaris 280’s wheels not touching the surface is a common issue, and luckily, it has some easy fixes. Moving forward, we’ll explore all the common causes behind this issue and provide step-by-step solutions to get your cleaner back on track. 

So let’s get right into it!

Polaris 280 Wheel Not Touching: Causes And Practical Solutions

Damaged Axle

A damaged wheel axle is one of the most common causes of the Polaris 280 wheels not touching the pool surface. Any damage or wear and tear to the axle can cause wheel misalignment, which leads to them losing contact with the surface. 


  • Check for any signs of damage or wear and tear on the wheel axle.
  • If you find the axle damaged, get in touch with your local Polaris dealer to get a replacement for the damaged wheel axle.
  • Remove the old axle from the cleaner and replace it with the new one according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

You can get the rear axle for very cheap from Amazon by clicking here.

Faulty Wheel Bearings

Just like the axle, wheel bearings can be damaged due to wear and tear over time. If there’s a fault in the bearings, the wheels fail to rotate smoothly apart from losing contact with the surface.


  • Inspect the wheel bearings for any signs of wear and tear or dust accumulation.
  • Replace the bearings or clean them thoroughly, as required.

Recommended Wheel Bearings: AMI PARTS 8 Pack Wheel Ball Bearings.

  • Align the wheels appropriately and lubricate the bearings to ensure a smooth operation of the wheels.

Low Tire Pressure

The ideal pressure range for the tires of Polaris 280 ranges between 28 PSI to 32 PSI. If the tire pressure falls below 26-28 PSI, it can hinder the performance of the machine. 

Due to low tire pressure, the wheels fail to make contact with the pool surface. To maintain the optimal function of your pool cleaner, you must keep a regular check on its tire pressure. 


  • Check the tire pressure using a pressure gauge.
  • If it’s below the recommended range, inflate the tires to the required level by using a pressure pump.
  • If the tire pressure is optimal, consider the remaining causes mentioned in the guide.

Misdirected Thrust Jets

The thrust jet aids in propelling the cleaner around the pool. The water pressure from the jet allows the Polaris 280 to move around the pool. However, if the direction of the thrust jet is not correct, it can cause the cleaner to tilt and, consequently, prevent the wheels from touching the ground.


  • Check if the thrust jet is aimed and adjusted correctly.
  • Adjust its direction if and as needed.

Low Wheel RPM

If the wheels of Polaris 280 are not touching the surface, you might want to examine the wheel RPM. The water pressure generated by the pool’s filtration system is responsible for the operation of the cleaner. So, a lower-than-average water pressure can result in low wheel RPM, which consequently causes the wheels to lose contact with the surface. 


  • Check the water flow from the pool’s filtration system.
  • Clean any accumulated dust or debris from the filters to regulate the water flow. 
  • Inspect the cleaner’s hose for any blockage and remove all obstructions that can hinder the water flow. 
  • Once the water pressure is restored, the wheels’ RPM and their position in the pool will return to normal.

Inadequate Hose Length

An inadequate hose length can cause disruption in the cleaner’s motion, which in turn causes the wheels to lose contact with the pool’s surface. If the hose is too long or too short, it affects the contact of the wheels with the surface of the pool as the cleaner moves inappropriately.


  • Check the user manual of Polaris 280 and look for the appropriate hose length range suggested by the manufacturer.
  • Now adjust the hose length within the specified limit. This will allow the Polaris 280 to move smoothly as the wheels create consistent contact with the pool’s surface.

Recommended Hose Replacement: Polaris 280 Complete Feed Hose with UWF G-5

Wheel Height Adjustment Issue

The Polaris 280 features a wheel height adjustment option that allows you to raise or lower the wheel height according to your pool surface requirements. If the wheel height is not properly adjusted, it will create the issue of the wheels not touching the ground. 


  • Adjust the wheel height such that it makes easy contact with the pool surface. 
  • Ideally, the wheels must be adjusted 3mm from the pool floor.

Installation Error

Sometimes the issue can be as simple as an installation error. If your Polaris 280 has no technical issue, it is possible that you installed it wrong. Most installation errors are as basic as placing the hose nuts in the wrong direction and can be fixed with a little attention.  


  • Read the user manual carefully while setting up the Polaris 280. Make sure you installed everything as instructed.
  • If you’re a pool rookie, get your set up examined by a professional.

In Conclusion

With the Polaris 280 functioning properly, you can enjoy a well maintained pool with minimal effort. We have addressed  the potential causes of the Polaris 280 wheels not touching the pool surface along with their easy solutions. Now that you’re equipped with the troubleshooting knowledge, go and fix your pool cleaner!

Other Polaris cleaners’ troubleshooting guides:

You may also want to check out our popular pool cleaner comparison Polaris vs Pentair Pool Cleaner.