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Thread: Do skimmers work while Polaris is running?

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    Happypoolgirl's Avatar
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    Do skimmers work while Polaris is running?

    Sorry if this is a stupid question! Every morning I run my filter pump on high 3450 rpms for 3 hours while the Polaris vacuum is running. I notice that debris on the surface of the pool does not seem to be working its way to the skimmer baskets during this time. Is all of the suction being used by the Polaris? Also, does my pump need to run this high to operate the Polaris or could I run the pump at a lower speed? Thank you!
    19k gallon, in ground pool w/ raised spa, gunite, pebble sheen, Hayward Ecostar VSP, Hayward swim clear cartridge filter, Pentair rainbow chlorine feeder, Polaris vacuum w/ booster pump, Hayward gas heater, travertine coping, stamped concrete decking, sheer descents water features w/ Hayward Tristar pump, groundbreaking: March 2015, initial water fill: May 2015

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    Re: Do skimmers work while Polaris is running?

    I usually run my G2 with the pump set around 2500 RPM's. I haven't cranked mine up to the max setting in a good while (I've got the hayward VS also.)

    How many skimmers do you have? I only have one, so if I have the G2 hooked up, it gets all the suction (depending where I have the skimmer valve set, but, it gets all of the skimmer suction) I do have an inline valve on mine though that will also skim off some of the top water debris but it clogs pretty quickly.
    28K Gallon old-skool plaster hole in the back yard in desperate need of an acid wash and a fixed skimmer diverter (yes, it's still broken)
    Hayward SuperPumpVS pushing some giant hayward cartridge filter setup
    SharcVacXL and Zodiac G2 to keep things clean

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    Happypoolgirl's Avatar
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    Re: Do skimmers work while Polaris is running?

    Thanks for the response. I have 2 skimmers, but I do not know what a skimmer valve is or how it is set. Maybe I should run the pump lower while the Polaris is on and then let it run at that same speed for a while without the Polaris. I am trying to save energy by running the pump pretty low unless using the Polaris. I thought it had to run on high (per PB). And why do I have a booster pump?? The pool was new last Summer, so I've spent the past year getting comfortable with testing and balancing my water using the TFP method. Now, it's time to learn about all that equipment and figure out how to use it most efficiently!! Thanks for your help.
    19k gallon, in ground pool w/ raised spa, gunite, pebble sheen, Hayward Ecostar VSP, Hayward swim clear cartridge filter, Pentair rainbow chlorine feeder, Polaris vacuum w/ booster pump, Hayward gas heater, travertine coping, stamped concrete decking, sheer descents water features w/ Hayward Tristar pump, groundbreaking: March 2015, initial water fill: May 2015

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Do skimmers work while Polaris is running?

    At 3450 RPM, the returns should be getting more than enough flow rate to push debris toward the skimmers. The Polaris runs on the pressure side of the pump so it should not affect suction.

    Can you feel flow rate out of the returns?

    Did the skimmers ever work for you?

    What is the filter pressure?

    Have you cleaned the filter recently?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Do skimmers work while Polaris is running?

    What Polaris model do you have? All the ones I know of are pressure side, so it shouldn't have any impact on the skimmer suction, unless there's an automated valve somewhere (which wouldn't be common). The booster pump creates a higher pressure (and lower volume) stream to the Polaris. There are models that don't need a dedicated boost pump (e.g. the 360), but my impression is that they don't work as well as the boost pump versions.

    You most likely don't need to run the main pump at 3450 for the booster -- the main pump is basically run to ensure that the booster pump stays primed. I have old non-synced timers and have accidentally had the booster on without the main pump (DON'T DO THIS!!!!) and it hasn't run dry and the Polaris seemed to be running properly (again, DON'T DO THIS!!!). I run my VS pump at a low speed (1500RPM) even when the boost pump is on. I'd try it lower while watching for air in the lines, ensuring the cleaner is working, etc.

    Is it possible that with the main pump at 3450 the pressure out of the returns is so high that it's not creating a nice even flow toward the skimmers? If you run at 3450 with the boost pump off, how does it work?
    21000gal IG plaster, Sacramento CA area (late 1950s/early 60s)
    Filter: Cartridge, Pentair CCP420 (2014)
    Main pump: Pentair IntelliFlo VS (2015)
    Boost pump: 3/4hp (2011), Polaris 280 cleaner (unknown age)

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    Re: Do skimmers work while Polaris is running?

    Possibly a weir problem. Check that the skimmer weirs are in place and working correctly. Do you see action in the skimmers?

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    Happypoolgirl's Avatar
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    Re: Do skimmers work while Polaris is running?

    The Polaris (model 380) is running this morning at its scheduled time and it seems that the skimmers are doing a better job. I can definitely feel water flow out of the returns ( so this must mean that water is being taken in through the skimmers and back to the pump, right?). Yesterday afternoon I removed the basket from the pump and cleaned it thoroughly. This may have made a difference because many of the tiny holes were clogged. This morning with the pump on high and the Polaris running, the pressure is 10 psi. This is normal while the pump is on high. It is about 2 psi when running on low. I think I will try to experiment with lowering the speed of the pump while using the Polaris to see if it still effectively cleans. This pump uses 1938 watts while running on high and so it would be nice to cut that back. Thank you for all of the good information and suggestions.
    19k gallon, in ground pool w/ raised spa, gunite, pebble sheen, Hayward Ecostar VSP, Hayward swim clear cartridge filter, Pentair rainbow chlorine feeder, Polaris vacuum w/ booster pump, Hayward gas heater, travertine coping, stamped concrete decking, sheer descents water features w/ Hayward Tristar pump, groundbreaking: March 2015, initial water fill: May 2015

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    Re: Do skimmers work while Polaris is running?

    I run mine at 2500 RPM while the Polaris is on. A Jandy tech told me that anything above 2000 should be more than enough to supply the booster pump. I started at 2000 but the Polaris did not seem to be sticking to the walls and floor as well as I would like so I kept incriminating 100 RPM at at time till I thought it looked right. At 2500 there are times that the unit crawls all the way up the deep end wall but not so often that I end up with excessive amounts of tail spray and the pool seems as clean as when I had it running full out.

    Even a partially full skimmer basket will reduce skimming and not seem to affect the flow to the returns because you also get suction from the main drain (assuming you have one). If your main drain is on a separate line from the skimmer you can close down the the valve a bit and get more skimming. I would not shut it off completely because should the skimmer become completely clogged that would be the only source of water to your pump. The other possible setup is what I have where the main drain feeds through the bottom of the skimmer via a float valve diverter plate. It has happened from time to time when the pump is running full out that the float valve gets sucked closed diverting all suction to the main drain rendering the skimmer useless. Besides the energy savings that was the other reason I reduced the RPM to the Polaris.
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac Z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, Stenner pumps for chlorine & MA connected to WiOn WiFi switches, TF-100. You can support TFP with AmazonSmile just click the link!

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