Dolphin Troubleshooting - by


Dolphin Troubleshooting
 Your Dolphin is a wonderful tool that can help you spend less
 time, money, and energy keeping your pool clean and
 maintained and more time enjoying it with your family.

 This Troubleshooting Guide is designed for the home user as
 a way to address the most common issues that may arise
 during normal use of your Dolphin robotic pool cleaner.

 Most issues Dolphin owners experience can be solved without
 the need for professional service. However, some issues will
 require diagnosis and repair by an authorized Dolphin

 Depending on your Dolphin’s model, you may be able to take
 it to your local authorized Dolphin retailer for diagnosis and
 repair. Some models require the services of one of
 Maytronics’ Authorized Repair Centers, conveniently located
 around the country.

 If you purchased your Dolphin from an authorized internet
 retailer or a catalog, please visit our Customer Service page at for
 further assistance in solving your issue.

Dolphin Troubleshooting
1) My Dolphin power supply doesn’t turn on when I
   push the power button:
       Check the outlet it’s using by plugging in another device, such as a cell
        phone charger, hair dryer, radio, etc. If there’s no power at the outlet,
        check your GFI switch, try a different outlet, etc. If power is good:
           If your power supply has a red rocker switch to turn it on, check
             the fuse. If the fuse is blown, purchase a replacement at your local
             hardware store. If the fuse blows right away after replacing it, you
             probably need to replace your power supply. Take your Dolphin to
             an authorized Dolphin dealer for testing. NOTE: if the light under
             the rocker switch comes on, it is generally NOT a bad fuse.
           If your power supply has a square “On” button surrounded by blue
             LED lights, you probably need a replacement power supply. Take
             your Dolphin to an authorized Dolphin dealer for testing.

2) My Dolphin power supply turns on, but the Dolphin
   does not move:
       If the Dolphin doesn’t move AT ALL, there could be a problem with your
        cable. Take your Dolphin to an authorized Dolphin dealer for testing.
       If your Dolphin moves a little and then stops (anywhere from a few feet
        to a few minutes), there could be an obstruction somewhere in the
        drive train or around the impeller.
             Visually inspect the unit, especially around the impeller and
               around the tracks/brushes. If there is any visible debris, remove it.
             Try to rotate the brushes by hand. They should move freely in
               both directions with minimal resistance. If they do not, or you
               feel/hear clicking or popping, there’s probably an obstruction you
               cannot see. Take your Dolphin to an authorized Dolphin dealer for
             If no obstruction exists, you probably need a replacement motor
               unit. Take your Dolphin to an authorized Dolphin dealer for
Dolphin Troubleshooting
3) My Dolphin won’t climb the walls, or it gets stuck in
   the deep end and can’t get out:
       The most common reason for this is that the Dolphin’s filter
        bag/cartridges are clogged and need to be cleaned. It is recommended
        that you clean out the Dolphin’s filter bag/cartridges after each use, but
        deeper cleaning may occasionally be required and is highly encouraged.
        Remember, just because your bag/cartridges LOOK clean doesn’t mean
        that there isn’t fine particulate matter clogging them up!
            For units with filter bags, machine-wash the bag w/ a little bleach,
               let it air-dry, then try again. For units with filter cartridges, allow
               the cartridges to soak (overnight would be best) in cartridge
               cleaning solution, rinse, then try again.
            If the unit still won’t climb, try removing the filter bag/cartridges
               altogether. If the unit will climb without them in place, replace
               the bag/cartridges. If the unit still won’t climb without the filters
               in place, continue troubleshooting below. NOTE: do not operate
               the unit for more than 10 minutes without the filter bag in place as
               debris may be drawn into the impeller, which may damage the
               motor unit.
       Sometimes, buildup on the walls and/or slope of the pool from body
        oils, sunscreen, even liquid solar blankets can prevent your Dolphin
        from climbing properly. If your unit is attempting to climb but slipping
        and sliding on the wall as it does so, try brushing the walls and/or slope
        down manually once to loosen this buildup. The Dolphin should then be
        able to grip these surfaces and maintain them on its own going forward.
       Pool chemistry matters! Make sure that your pool water is balanced
        (especially pH), and that no algae exists on the surfaces in question.
        High PH can inhibit the ability for the brushes to “grip” the sides of the
        pool as unit attempts to climb, and algae makes surfaces slick so the
        Dolphin will slip as it tries to climb.
       Remember, most Dolphins are only programmed to climb about once
        every 4 minutes, so be patient! If the Dolphin isn’t even attempting to
        climb, there could be a mechanical or electronic problem. Take your
        Dolphin to an authorized Dolphin dealer for testing.                             3
Dolphin Troubleshooting
4) My Dolphin gets stuck in one part of the pool, or
   consistently misses part of my pool:
       Make sure that the cable is not tangled or kinked and that unit has
        enough slack in the cable to reach the entire pool.
       Try starting the cycle at a different location. The Dolphin’s scanning
        pattern will take it in a different path every time.
       As before, buildup on the surfaces of the missed areas might be
        preventing the Dolphin from being able to efficiently clean them. Try
        brushing them down manually, and the unit should then be able to
        maintain them on its own.

5) My Dolphin runs, but it won’t run a full cycle:
       Every Dolphin has many sensors and fail-safes to prevent damage
        during operation. Early shutdown is usually caused by an overload error
        either from the drive system or the impeller. Check for obstructions per
        Step 2 of this Guide.
       If no obstructions exist, you likely need a replacement motor unit. Take
        your Dolphin to an authorized Dolphin dealer for testing.

6) My Dolphin gets stuck on my VGB main drain cover.
       Try turning your pool pump OFF while your Dolphin is in operation. The
        additional suction from the main drain may contribute to your Dolphin
        getting stuck.
       Depending on your model, there may be a solution to this problem
        available from Maytronics in the form of a replacement impeller cover.
        This alternate cover angles the water expelled from the impeller
        backwards rather than straight up, which can propel the Dolphin off of
        high VGB main drains.
       If no such VGB solution exists for your Dolphin model, there are a
        variety of after-market, 3rd-party devices which can be installed on or
        over your VGB drain cover to prevent your Dolphin from getting stuck.
Dolphin Troubleshooting
7) My Dolphin is not picking up dirt/debris, or it’s
   escaping out the top of the unit:
       Make sure your Dolphin’s filter bag/cartridge is not dirty or clogged per
        Step 3 of this Guide.
       Make sure that the filter bag/cartridges are properly installed:
            For filter bags, make sure the elastic of the bag is snug against the
              bottom lid and that it is over the plastic lip on the lid so that no
              gaps are visible.
            For filter cartridges, make sure that each of the 4 cartridges is
              snapped in place and that no gaps are visible.
       If your Dolphin is equipped with all-surface Combination Brushes (PVC
        bristles and white foam rings), you may notice it leaving two clear
        “tracks” on the pool’s surface but not picking up the dirt/debris it
        travels over.
            Make sure you allow the foam rings to become fully saturated
              with water before starting your cycle. This usually takes between
              10-20 minutes. If these rings are not allowed to become hydrated,
              they can remain hard and stiff, and may not compress enough to
              allow your Dolphin to get good suction, or for its brushes to make
              contact with the pool’s surface.

8) My Dolphin floats/won’t sink all the way to the
   bottom of the pool:
       When inserting the Dolphin into the water, put it in UPSIDE-DOWN, and
        hold it just under the surface of the water with your hand or foot until
        all the air inside it escapes upward, out the non-return flaps on the
        bottom of the unit. It should then sink on its own and shouldn’t exhibit
        any floating.
       If you have a salt-water pool, make sure that the level of salt in PPM is
        within the ideal range. High salinity can increase the buoyancy of the
        water, which can affect your Dolphin’s own finely tuned buoyancy.
Dolphin Troubleshooting
9) When I remove my Dolphin from the pool, dirty
   water/debris escapes out the bottom:
       When removing the Dolphin from the water, gently guide it toward you
        using the cable. Once you can reach it, don’t lift it out of the water
        directly by the handle; in addition to being extremely heavy, this allows
        unfiltered water to drain directly out the bottom of the unit.
       Instead, tilt the Dolphin out of the water and onto the deck. This allows
        all the water inside to drain out through the filter bag/cartridges and
        out the impeller cover, trapping all the dirt and debris inside.

10) My Dolphin’s “Full Bag/Cartridge Indicator” light
    comes on when the bag/cartridge is not full:
       This light is controlled by a sensor attached to the Dolphin’s motor unit
        and comes on when a full bag/cartridge makes it hard for the Dolphin to
        pull water through the bag/cartridge as it fills up.
       Make sure your filter bag/cartridge is clean per Step 3 of this Guide.
       To reset this light once you have deep-cleaned your bag/cartridges,
        simply hold the “Reset” button on your power supply while the Dolphin
        is in use. This will “zero” out the sensor and cause the light to not come
        on until the bag/cartridge is in fact starting to fill up.

   If your issue is not listed, or after attempting the
   troubleshooting steps in this guide your Dolphin is still
   experiencing issues, contact your local authorized
   Dolphin dealer for assistance, or call Maytronics
   Customer Service at (888)DOLPHIN.

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