My Dolphin won't run for more than 30-60 seconds!

by Gordon
(Belmont, CA)

This seems to be a common problem, judging by other comments posted here. I have a Dolphin Dynamic pool cleaner (about $1800 at Leslie's Pool Supply). When I turn it on at the power supply, it starts up normally, does its little pivoting pirouette and then sets off in one direction with the impeller spinning and driving the exhaust water out the top. Within about 30 seconds it begins to slow down to a crawl, then the impeller stops turning, the water stops flowing so it loses the ability to suck debris in through the intake doors on the bottom and then it comes to a complete stop. All within about 60 seconds. If I shut it off for a minute and then turn it on again, it starts up again just as normal but repeats the process, coming to a halt in less than a minute. The bag is clean, I have checked for debris or foreign objects in the drive belt. I have not removed the motor housing but that is not owner serviceable anyway. Has anybody found a solution to this problem? Seems crazy that these units should fail so quickly!

Comments for My Dolphin won't run for more than 30-60 seconds!

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Jul 08, 2020
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Impeller Keeps Jamming
by: Larikn

I noticed on my S200 that after cleaning the Impeller it quickly picks up a lot of debris. Is this supposed to happen or is debris in my cleaner getting into places it should not be ?

Jul 02, 2020
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Didn't work straight out of box
by: Frustrated

Just received my Dolphin Triton today. Brand new out of the box went forward 3 feet and stopped. Dismantled the impeller, just in case I had gotten a returned unit, clean as a whistle, reassembled it, put it back in, same thing. Three feet forward and nothing more. Have been searching forums for answers and realized I should NOT have to do that with a brand new cleaner. Starting the arduous return process as soon as I have a day off to deal with it.

Jun 14, 2020
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Impeller sticks
by: Bert

Further to my comment 17th May the problem soon returned so I dismantled the top cover and the impeller guard to access the impeller which I noticed was only happy to move clockwise. Very stiff anti clockwise. I removed the impeller and applied some light oil to the spindle and let it run down the spindle. I put the impeller back on and rotated it in both directions until it got easier to turn. I repeated this exercise over the next few days and the turning got progressively easier. I used the machine in the mean time so there was a slight oil slick in the pool. No worse than sun tan oil though.

I check the ease of movement every time I take the basket out and it now turns without a problem and produces a very strong wake on the pool’s surface.

Free movement of the impeller seems to be key!

Jun 12, 2020
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Junk
by: Anonymous

I just bought mine 4 hours ago and paid over $800. It runs for 15 - 30 seconds and just stops dead in the water! Basket is empty. If I shut it off then turn it back on, the same thing. I’ve been going n and out to check it every few minutes, to turn it off and turn it on over and over and over and over.....I could have vacuumed the damn pool by hand by now. It’s going back to the store tomorrow.

May 27, 2020
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Brilliant.
by: Dave (in MA)

A pool cleaner shutting down because it picked up some things from the pool that it's designed to pick up. Brilliant. They should invent a lawn mower that shuts off when it hits grass.

May 21, 2020
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Lousy maytronic Dolphin
by: Linda

My son bought the dolphin in December 2019 when I was n the hospital. He had to go back to Michigan in January and I
Got out of the hospital in the middle of January,still in bad shape as I was hit by a truck.The reason for that whole
Explanation was I didn’t use the Dolphin much as I had
Trouble walking and still do. The dolphin has never run correctly and does not go up the walls or the steps in my pool.
It only cleans the floor of my pool. We had a dolphin 3 for
6 1/2 yrs and it was fantastic. This dolphin is a piece of junk
Never again will I have a dolphin from Maytronics. Also
If something’s working beautifully why change it.

May 17, 2020
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Useful info
by: Bert

S100 with the same problem - runs for a short time then grinds to a halt. After reading this I removed and cleaned the impeller (lots of hair) and whilst at it the two vents with floating rocker switches at each side at the base (hair and twigs). All seems well now.

May 09, 2020
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Identical issue same root cause and finally cleans again after seemingly broken for 2 summers
by: Dolphin Robot user

The video with instructions from @lottyjane really helped.

Special thanks to @gordon for this very nice page, which provides exactly what was the issue with Dolphin S200.

Propeller had hair, some rope and other stuff in it. Originally thought that the 29V cable had a shortage, because is a bit damaged at the connector close to power outlet.
However, that was not the case, thanks!

May 01, 2020
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5 Star to 1 Star and Maytronics doesn't care.
by: rinconchuck

When I first got my Dolphin Nautilus cc Plus, I was over joyed! It took care of all of my manual brushing for me, but just after the warranty ran out, it's impeller would stop working.

No hair or debris in the impeller area or wrapped around the shaft. The tracks keep moving, but without the impeller, the unit will not stay on the pool floor or walls. In fact it favors turning over on its' side and just giving me a display of its' tracks moving. If I turn it off and then back on, it's good for a about a minute and then the impeller stops working.

Voltage from the Power Supply/Timer is good, so since the warranty was expired, I opened the motor unit. What I found inside included two high quality motors, a pack of desiccant and a PC board. Voltage was good to the board and was not affected by the swivel. Both motors will run forever off of a variable power supply that I have, so they seem fine. There was no sign of water in the interior of the motor unit.

It appears that that either the CPU programming is corrupt or that the motor controller chip is thermally unstable. Since I have nothing to loose at this point, I am going to try replacing the controller chips on the board and see if that gets me going again. I will try to let folks know if this helps.

Apr 07, 2020
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Dolphin back and forth then quits under a min
by: Anonymous

My dophin cc goes back and forth when we first put in then starts moving towards wall, once it hits wall just quits. We just changed out the foam rollers, took apart to make sure nothing amiss, looked fine. Cleaned the impeller area, did the test by letting it run outside of pool does the same thing, quits in under a min, however if I just suspend it in the water without it touching any side it'll run continuously no problem, doesn't shut off so that makes me think the foam rollers aren't causing the resistance that is making it cut off? Anybody have any ideas

Jan 26, 2020
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dolfin s 100 stoped after 10 uses
by: Anonymous

had for three years now out of warranty
Refused to go once in pool
Checked all electricals with multi meter all good
Opened machine up and removed the motor compartment
Removed drive motor to find water proof compartment full of water
Had not tripped safety switch
Both motors rusted and totaly stuffed as is all circut boards
Piece of junk badly sealed
Never again

Dec 22, 2019
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Dolphin starts stops
by: Anonymous

My dolphin s200 would run for 10 seconds then stop, I cleaned the impeller and noticed it was hard to turn so I took it apart and removed the motor thinking it was corrosion around the shaft, when I took the motor apart it ended up being the rear bearing was seized, New bearing and happy days. Hope this helps some one out

Sep 14, 2019
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Doesnt work
by: Anonymous

Had triton pool cleaner for 2 months,was working great then one day it just kept shutting down

No debris at impeller..now thing turns on for 5 seconds and then shuts off..W.T.F.

849 dollars for what !!!!

Sep 09, 2019
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Easy fix
by: lottyjane

We used this YouTube video to help us with the problem. Works like a charm in 10 minutes!

https://youtu.be/6Jai0TzND0E

Sep 07, 2019
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It worked for this mom
by: kt

So I had to take off the white top piece of my active 20. Popped off a black cover to access impeller. Sure enough cleaned out leaves and twigs. Working now! Took less than a minute!

Sep 07, 2019
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One direction Dolphin
by: Matt

Hello all,
Usually my Dolphin worked great but know it is only moving in one direction. When I try to drive it in reverse it just won't go. So basically it just keeps trying to climb up the wall. Anybody seen anything similar?

Aug 29, 2019
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Per Donnas post
by: Matt

HEllo how did you take roller from front to back?

Aug 29, 2019
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Robot powering off
by: Donna

I'm sure this isn't likely the total solution but..we have a Dolphin, Maytronics, DX3, doing the same...power on, run for about 1 min, moving, then stops. After checking all power cords and even buying new cord, nothing was apparent. Rollers just stop, propeller stops. Took apart, checked propeller for debris..clean. Switched front roller to back, back CV to front....working like a charm. Coming into Sept., 2019..praying it will let us finish out season (late Sept.)at least. Worth a try and good luck.

Aug 14, 2019
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Problem Solved!
by: Anonymous

This website is super helpful. I was able to fix the problem by clearing the impeller. Thank you!

Aug 12, 2019
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Eureka
by: Anonymous

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,
I had the same problem 1 month after the guarantee ran out!
I looked at the rota inside the machine which had a small wig on it. Removing the 2 screws & covers I was able to untangle it and is now working as expected.
I do wonder what the supplier would have recommended if I had taken it in.

Jun 28, 2019
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Wish I never had bought this piece of junk.
by: Kelly M

No hair in the impeller nothing caught in the tracks. Shits off after 60 seconds of start and stop behavior.

Jun 24, 2019
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Defective Product-Bad Customer Service
by: Sam

Have the same issue. I only got 2.5 months of use out of my Dolphin Nautilus that I loved while it used to work. With a pool without heater in North East, I can only use it 3 months a year. So warranty verbiage worked more for Maytronics than me the customer.
When called their rep declined to change out the board without paying a sum, that was close to the cost of a new one.
Whether it is the hex shaft slipping, or the logic board, or the cheapo desiccant pack, or the impeller getting jammed - all are signs of a defective, fragile product preventing owners getting a useful life out of this product. I will join the class of a class action suit for the manufacturer knowingly not fixing design flaws if there is one moving forward.
Very disappointed in what could have been a product, a pool owner would have loved to own.

Jun 19, 2019
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Piece of JUNK
by: Anonymous

Mine does the same thing, runs for a short time and quits! I called the company and they just brushed me off. Another hunk of expensive CRAP to throw out. Beware folks, do not buy this product.

Jun 07, 2019
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Thanks
by: Tina

Thanks so much for the tips on how to trouble shoot my Dolphin. It only ran for about 10 seconds and stopped. This is the second Dolphin I have bought and it's only 1 year old. I have lots of girls in my pool with very long hair, and yes, the propeller had lots of hair around it. Just a few screws off to find the propeller unrapped the hair,put it back together and good as new! Thank you so much!

May 24, 2019
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Just bought my dolphin
by: Tom

I just bought my dolphin, first time I ran it. It worked for about twenty minutes, then stopped. The second time I ran it, it did about a hour and stopped.
I've tried unplugging the electrical cord, and plugging it back in. But only moved about two feet and stopped. I've checked for debris in the filter, washed it all out.
So my question is, what am I missing here ? I didn't get a trouble shooting guide, just a quick start guide. Almost at my Witt's end with it already

May 11, 2019
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Vacuum problems
by: Sandra Jones

Our Atlantis Dolphin pool cleaner is doing the same thing. Runs for a few minutes then stops. We replaced the drive pully but it didn’t help.

Apr 17, 2019
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I can fix these dolphin issues I fix around 20 a year.
by: Geoff Minton

I can fix the dolphin cleaners that stop almost immediately if it’s not hair then send it to me you can visit my website at http://www.bigproper.com I can do board level repairs on just about any brand cleaners Hayward Tigersharks, Pentair you name it I’ve fixed it. Dolphins are my number one and favorite to work on. On my website I always keep my contact info updated so just go there and I will respond very quickly. Hope I can help.

Sep 21, 2018
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Hair was the problem
by: Tom

Tiny piece of hair was indeed the problem,
Thanks ;-)

Sep 09, 2018
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Mine too.
by: Anonymous

I am at wits end, mind does the same thing. I took it apart and check for weeds or hair around the motor blade, Everything is clean. But it starts out find then just shuts off. I just don't know what to do. It's always worked fine.

Aug 08, 2018
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Dolphin Nautilus CC Stops After 5 Seconds
by: Anonymous

New Dolphin Nautilus CC (purchased 5/18) stops after 5 seconds. Cleaned impeller and everything else. Must be electrical or board issue. Any possible troubleshoots/solutions.

Jul 16, 2018
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Hexagon adapter adjustment
by: Sean

My Deluxe 4 kept shutting off after a few seconds or a minute at most. I cleaned it all out, including the impeller. Ran it for a bit out of the water so I could see what was going on and it was the hexagon adapter slipping. I took it out, gave a slight hit with a hammer to tighten up the gap space and it's working perfectly.

Jun 17, 2018
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Problem solved
by: Anonymous

Hair was stuck in the impeller. Quite easy to fix. I appreciate the websites comments leading me to check for that. Robot is operational again and my wife is off my back.

Thanks to all

Jun 15, 2018
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Disappointed
by: Anonymous

30 sec and stops!

Jun 05, 2018
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ME TOO
by: Pat OB

Turns on, three lights...turns off.

Mar 17, 2018
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No affiliation with Dolphin Maytronics
by: ADMIN

This is an independent website. This site has no affiliation with any pool robot manufacturer. That is the reason for no response from them.

Feb 18, 2018
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Dolphin Company is MIA
by: Anonymous

Why doesn't the Dolphin company respond here. We google, this comes up first thing. The Dolphin company is MIA....

Jul 03, 2014
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Same thing
by: Anonymous

Mine was doing the same thing and removing the screw and taking the small amount of hair off made it work. Thanks f or the suggestion.

Sep 06, 2013
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Dolphin Diagnostics - I found a solution!
by: Kimmi

Mine was doing the same thing. Was really disappointed because they are so expensive. For a while turning off and then turning back on after a minute would work but would stop running after a minute or so. I first checked impeller and didn't see anything. I took the whole thing apart and did notice that the tread was off track a little so i fixed that. I was encouraged because I thought that must've been the problem. But low and behold it stopped after running for a minute AGAIN! So as a last resort I checked the impeller again. At first glance there was nothing in there. But i opened impeller area and removed the impeller and there was a tight circle of hair wound around the metal part that you slide the impeller onto before attaching with screw. I removed the hair and it ran the entire cycle! Seems like it's stopped a few times since I did that and there is usually some hair in the impeller compartment. If i take impeller out by removing screw and remove the hair it seems to work fine again!!! thought i would share. hope this helps someone else as it was a very easy fix.

Sep 11, 2012
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Dolphin pool cleaner
by: Steve

I have the same problem too. The dolphin runs fine for 2 minutes and then stops for no reason. Tried all that you can without pulling it apart.emailed manufacturer but no reply as yet.Will upload reply when I find out what they think.

Jul 02, 2012
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Nothing to lose
by: Anonymous

You have nothing to lose trying the bypass

Jul 01, 2012
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problem
by: Anonymous

I thought I read some where that it could possibly be the timer in the transformer unit, and that you might be able to by pass the timer????

Jul 01, 2012
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one of two things
by: Anonymous

If nothing is stuck in the tread behind the sideplate, then it's the electronic control board in the motor housing that can't be replaced separately

Jun 30, 2012
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Same problem
by: Anonymous

I have the same problem. Does anyone have any information on what the problem is> if So please respond

Thanks

Jun 09, 2012
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Dolphin won't run over 10 seconds but will restart after a few seconds
by: Anonymous

I have the same problem but mine only runs about 10 seconds then shuts off. When it starts to shut down a green light on the circuit board begins to flash. If I turn off the power the green light goes off in a couple of seconds. If I try to start it before the light goes out it won't run. Is the board bad or is it something else?

Jun 08, 2012
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Mine is doing the same thing
by: Anonymous

Have you found a solution to your pool cleaner? If so, how? Mine is doing the same thing.

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