Monday, February 23, 2009
The Great Thing About History...
I love history. I read all the time, and four out of five times, the book you'll catch me reading is a history book. I think history is important. I think history teaches us all we need to know about the present. It's like the old saying, "those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it".
Here's what I said the first time I posted about it: "I pulled this Polaris 280 out of a pool on 2/11/06. It came out of a 30,000 gallon pebble finish pool with Oklahoma flagstone coping and decks and waterfall. This pool was brand new and fresh filled on 02/16/04. This pool also has a Zodiac Clearwater LM2-40 salt system. I had to replace the wheel bearings and the wheels when I replaced that drive shaft. At the time, this wasn’t happening to my other two year old Polaris cleaners, so I figured it was a combination of the bumpiness of the pebble finish, in conjunction with the salt, that caused that Stainless Steel Drive Shaft to last about as long as the plastic teeth on the wheel it was meshing with."
You can see how, once again, the teeth on the drive shaft are worn down to nubs. But notice anything different? Right. There's no rust. Now, the history of this part is that when it failed, I called Polaris and told them the story, how it was only a two year old cleaner and what a bone job it was that my customer was going to have to pay for that part. So, Polaris took a look at the photo I e-mailed them and put a part in the mail to me, even though it was a full year past the one year warranty on parts other than the frame. And I'm assuming that between the time that Polaris 280 was manufactured in the early part of 2004 and when they shipped that replacement drive shaft to me in 2006, they spec'd a higher grade stainless for their drive shaft.
Golly, I wonder why they would do that? I wonder, what was going on about that time that might have prompted them to go out looking for a higher grade stainless for their drive shafts? Oh, yeah, I remember! Salt! It was making a big splash - pun intended - back about that time.
Funny thing is, in 2006 all of the salt system manufacturers were telling you that guys like me were crazy and that what we were seeing we weren't really seeing, and if we were seeing it, it Wasn't Their Fault, or it was God's Will (commonly known as the Bible Belt Defense).
So, bottom line is that the higher grade stainless steel lasted almost exactly a year longer than the first drive shaft. But in the end, the chattering ass-whipping it took from the pebble finish on this pool did it in. But that's not bad. A 50% increase in the life of the part, in probably the most adverse conditions a pool cleaner can be put in; salt, a rough, bumpy surface, and water temps that range from 90 in the summer down to about 45 in the winter.
But notice in that picture there is still a patina of rust back toward the plastic turbine. Here's a picture of the other side of the drive shaft turbine:
You can see that all the rust is emanating from the pin in the drive shaft turbine assembly. I showed a lot of pics of that back in the first post I did about rust damage to auto cleaners. And Polaris paid attention to history there, too. Here's a pic of side by side drive shafts from that post in April 2007, a year after they sent me that first warranty drive shaft:
You can see in the top pic how the inserts are just shards. The bottom pic shows where those shards came from. They just pulled right out of the frame, and the wheel - axle and all - came off. But, to their credit, Polaris has a 5 year frame warranty and every time I've called them with a frame failure they've stood behind their frame and sent me a new one, with exchange, free of charge.
TO COVERS AND HAND RAILS.MY FIRST OPINION WHEN THEY ASK IS THERE IS NO WAY I WOULD INSTALL ONE ON MY POOL. IN MY EXPERIENCE I CAN LIST ALLOT OF CONS TO MANY TO LIST IT WOULD TAKE DAYS. AND ONE PRO THE WATER FEELS GOOD.