How to Fix a Polar Heart Rate Monitor

Polar is one of the most well-known and popular brands of heart rate monitors. Professionals at the American Heart Association and the National Academy of Sports Medicine recommend exercising in a target heart rate zone for safe and effective cardio workouts. A Polar heart rate monitor lets you do just that without having to stop and check your pulse, which might cause your heart rate to drop. The Polar brand makes monitors that consist of a chest strap and watch so that you can constantly see your heart rate. Some companies make monitors without chest straps that some people find more comfortable, but do not provide constant monitoring.

Heart Rate Symbol Flashes Irregularly

Step 1

Check that the wrist receiver watch portion of the Polar is within 3 feet of the Polar transmitter affixed to the elastic strap around your chest.

Step 2

Check that the transmitter and elastic strap are snug to your body below your pectorals. The strap can become loose during workouts.

Step 3

Moisten the electrodes on the transmitter with water. Make sure the electrodes are in contact with your bare skin. If you are wearing it over a shirt, make sure that your shirt is wet.

Step 4

Remove or step away from any other transmitters within three feet of you. Other transmitters will interfere with signals.

Polar Heart Rate Monitor Doesn't React When You Press the Buttons

Step 1

Reset the Polar heart rate monitor, which restores the device to default settings. Press all of the buttons on the watch at the same time and hold for two seconds. These may include a "Mode," "Up," "Down," "OK," "Back," "Set/Start/Stop" and "Light" buttons.

Step 2

Press the "Set/Start/Stop" button one time if you model has this button. Resetting the device will clear all memory values and settings on some Polar heart rate monitors, but on others it will only delete the time and date.

Step 3

Press any button to test that the reset worked. Repeat the sequence if the monitor is still not reacting.

What to Do If No Heart Rate Reading

Step 1

Clean the transmitter. Use a mild soap and water. Dry with a soft cloth.

Step 2

Put water on the electrodes and check that the strap is tight. Moisture is needed for the electrodes to pick up your heart rate and send it to your watch display.

Step 3

Move away from any sources of electromagnetic radiation. These include cell phones, high power lines, TVs and CRT monitors.

Things You'll Need

  • Polar heart rate monitor

  • Mild soap

  • Water

  • Cleaning cloth


Several things you can do to prevent problems with your Polar heart rate monitor. Never set the monitor in direct sunlight or expose it to extreme heat or cold. Always clean it after use and dry it completely with a towel. Never let it stay wet from sweat or water after a workout. The transmitter should never be bent.