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Thread: Polaris 280

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    Polaris 280

    Does anyone know how long I should let my Polaris run? The pool guy said 6 hours a day...I think that's a bit much considering the booster pump will be running. Won't that burn up the booster pump running that many hours a day?
    My Polaris also seems to stay in the deep end. I picked her up and put her in the shallow end and she stayed there only for a few minutes. It' the first day with the Polaris in the pool....I don't really know what to expect out of it. When I cleaned out the bag there was a lot of stuff in there....worms...lots of worms and something that looked like rock salt. Take a look at the picture and let me know if you know what this stuff is!

    Thanks for any help!!!



    28,000 IG Free Form Gunite with quartz finish
    Pentair Quad DE filter, Intelliflo VS+SVRS
    Polaris 280, Sta-Rite 400K Heater-Propane

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    stev32k's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris 280

    As far as running time six hours seems a little excessive in my experience. It should run for as long as it takes to clean the pool. In my 20 X 40 pool that's about 4 hours. If it is spending too much time in the deep end watch to see if the cleaner is running in a straight line or is it turning in a slow circle when it operates. It should run in a straight line. If it does not the rear water jet may need adjusting or the the middle (little wheel) is not driving the rear wheel and needs to be fixed.

    I can't can't comment on the stuff in the bag - looks like rock salt to me also, but I doubt it is because salt would dissolve. Could be crystals of calcium carbonate and if so you have a problem. Take a few of the crystals and put them in some vinegar or muratic acid if you have some and see if they dissolve and give off a gas (CO2).
    20' x 40' IG with vinyl liner volume approx. 35,000 gal.1.5 H.P. main pump, Polaris 280 cleaner W/ 3/4 H.P. booster pump
    Hayward sand filter, 3.14 sq ft, 62 gpm. Stenner 45 MPH10 chlorine feed pump. 1 micron final filter bags (home made and very effective)

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    Re: Polaris 280

    My 280 gets my pool clean with just 1.5 hours of run time each day.

    In addition to checking the rear jet, also check that all 3 wheels are turning smoothly and continuously. The plastic gear teeth on the inside of the wheels eventually wear out and start causing strange behavior. The wheel on the single wheel side and the front wheel on the side that has two wheels are each driven directly by a small gear that meshes against the inside of the wheels. The rear wheel on the side that has two wheels is just driven indirectly by the small idler wheel between the two. I've also seen a tooth break on the small stainless steel drive gear. Any worn or missing teeth on any of the gears will cause the Polaris to turn itself in circles, usually staying in the deep end of the pool.
    26,000 Gallon Gunnite IGP
    2 HP Challenger High Head Pump
    60sf Nautilus DE filter
    Polaris 280

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    Re: Polaris 280

    Thanks for the info on the Polaris...did I mention it's brand new and straight out of the box? The pool guy just put it into the pool. Do they need to be adjusted for first time use?

    Also, what are crystals of calcium carbonate? And what problems do I have if that is the case?
    28,000 IG Free Form Gunite with quartz finish
    Pentair Quad DE filter, Intelliflo VS+SVRS
    Polaris 280, Sta-Rite 400K Heater-Propane

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    tjt040774's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris 280

    Just looks like sand to me. But that's just me. We have a 280 and ours started giving us trouble with turning circles and getting itself in a knot. Adjusted the jet on the back, and that fixed it. I run it 1 hour a day, but I may kick it back up to 2. Still contemplating that one, as I'm not sure it's necessary.
    Approx 18,000 gallons, Jandy CL 580 Cartridge, Gunite, 2 1/2 hp 2 speed Jandy, Aquapure 1400, Polaris 280 w/booster, LXi Jandy Heater, Jandy PDA 6, PebbleTec: Tahoe Blue, Depth: 3 1/2' to 6', Perimeter: Approximately 95', Spa: 10' x 7'

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    Re: Polaris 280

    do you guys leave the cleaner in the pool when not in use...
    live in eastern washington state
    18x36, Vinyl inground 24k
    Hayward 1 hp filter pump
    1 skimmer/2 returns
    24" sand filter, polaris 280 with booster pump.

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    Re: Polaris 280

    Playing with the jet on back can make a huge difference. It helps if you can watch it over time and allow at least 30 minutes or more, at each position of jet. Moving it just a little can make a huge difference or not much depending on your pool shape.

    As far as run time it all depends on how much debris gets into your pool and how OCD you are about seeing anything on the bottom. I have extreme environment and hate seeing anything on the bottom of pool so, in the past I have run mine over 12 hours and even up 24 hours. (It's amazing how long they can last with such rigorous use.) Right now, with less debris going into the pool, 6 hours would do a great job. If I didn't have to have it spotless 3 hours would do. In the fall when leaves are coming down en mass I run it the whole time I am awake and empty the leaf bags every few minutes along with emptying the two Pool Skim bags every few minutes. When I get up in a.m. after not running it all night it takes a couple of hours for it to get up all the night time leaves. (I don't have a cover.)

    I'm currently using the Aquabot, the one that moves slowly, for about 8 hours, at night, and overlooking what collects during the day. If it gets bad enough during day I just whip out the Pool Blaster to get up the fine stuff in shallow end. My fine stuff goes through virtually all bags for Polaris (most people don't have that issue) and Polaris does stir it up more than the Aquabot does. Polaris will come back out when leaves start falling or, doG forbid, loads of stuff gets dumped into the pool and I need a quick, heavy duty cleanup.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Polaris 280

    I used only the Polaris 280 ever since it came out until a few years ago when I got my first robot (which didn't work out) and then a few months ago the used Aquabot and the vacuum Tracker 4x. Polaris spent most of its time in the pool. I think that is the the most common way people "store" theirs. The other two need to be hauled out. That makes the Polaris one of the most favored cleaners I imagine, besides its many other attributes.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Polaris 280

    Quote Originally Posted by mamasproject
    Does anyone know how long I should let my Polaris run? The pool guy said 6 hours a day...I think that's a bit much considering the booster pump will be running. Won't that burn up the booster pump running that many hours a day?
    I'm not a motor expert but I used to run my booster pump every day, at least 10 hours a day, year round. Seems I only had to replace motor 2-3 times in 20 years.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Polaris 280

    Quote Originally Posted by stev32k
    As far as running time six hours seems a little excessive in my experience. It should run for as long as it takes to clean the pool. In my 20 X 40 pool that's about 4 hours. If it is spending too much time in the deep end watch to see if the cleaner is running in a straight line or is it turning in a slow circle when it operates. It should run in a straight line. If it does not the rear water jet may need adjusting or the the middle (little wheel) is not driving the rear wheel and needs to be fixed.

    I can't can't comment on the stuff in the bag - looks like rock salt to me also, but I doubt it is because salt would dissolve. Could be crystals of calcium carbonate and if so you have a problem. Take a few of the crystals and put them in some vinegar or muratic acid if you have some and see if they dissolve and give off a gas (CO2).
    I tried your test....put a small amount of crystals and vinegar in a small bowl. The crystals started to "pop" and then dissolved. As the crystals dry out they are looking like white flakes.
    28,000 IG Free Form Gunite with quartz finish
    Pentair Quad DE filter, Intelliflo VS+SVRS
    Polaris 280, Sta-Rite 400K Heater-Propane

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    Re: Polaris 280

    Quote Originally Posted by tjt040774
    Just looks like sand to me. But that's just me. We have a 280 and ours started giving us trouble with turning circles and getting itself in a knot. Adjusted the jet on the back, and that fixed it. I run it 1 hour a day, but I may kick it back up to 2. Still contemplating that one, as I'm not sure it's necessary.
    It's not sand...I don't have any sand around the pool. How do you adjust the jet on the back of the Polaris? Is it in the manual? Mine still won't clean the shallow end of the pool.
    28,000 IG Free Form Gunite with quartz finish
    Pentair Quad DE filter, Intelliflo VS+SVRS
    Polaris 280, Sta-Rite 400K Heater-Propane

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    stev32k's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris 280

    The reason I said you had problems if the stuff turns out to be calcium carbonate is that would indicate you have scale forming. The scale can plug pipes, valves, and can be very hard to get rid of. If you run your hand along the water line can you feel anything that should not be there like a crust? Sometime you can scrape a little bit off with your fingernail. Have you added a lot of calcium to the pool?

    P.S. I just noticed you have a quartz finish on your pool surface. Could that be flaking off? I'm not sure if quartz will dissolve in vinegar of not, but it is a calcium containing mineral - maybe someone else knows for sure.
    20' x 40' IG with vinyl liner volume approx. 35,000 gal.1.5 H.P. main pump, Polaris 280 cleaner W/ 3/4 H.P. booster pump
    Hayward sand filter, 3.14 sq ft, 62 gpm. Stenner 45 MPH10 chlorine feed pump. 1 micron final filter bags (home made and very effective)

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    Re: Polaris 280

    Quote Originally Posted by mamasproject
    When I cleaned out the bag there was a lot of stuff in there....worms...lots of worms and something that looked like rock salt. Take a look at the picture and let me know if you know what this stuff is!
    I have seen this in my pool, though never quite that much... I always assumed it was clumps of hardened DE.
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: Polaris 280

    This is mamasproject's husband....

    This pool was finished in Oct of last year. Two things out of the ordinary happened with it:

    1) It has a Maui Gem quartz finish and there were some white areas we noticed after the pool was filled. It kind of looked like the plaster was bleeding through or there was not enough quartz in the mix in that area. The pool finish guys came back and raised (or lowered, I forget which) the pH for a few days to try to resolve this. Could the white stuff be some residue from whatever reaction that was supposed to cause with the finish?

    2) The pool builder plumbed our Pentair Quad DE filter incorrectly and it spewed all the DE back into the pool. They set up a portable filter until they got the Quad DE fixed and used that to try to filter out the DE. We vacuumed the bottom for days to try to get it out. We closed the pool shortly after that.

    My opinion... the white stuff is DE that is still in the pool from incident #2.

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    Re: Polaris 280

    Update on the "rock salt" in the pool. As the pile of stuff dries out it looks like white flakes. If I rub it between my fingers it turns to a chalk like substance. The Polaris is still giving me a full bag of this stuff, so it is coming off. After further inspection of the pool, I can actually see it on the walls of the pool. It does brush off. I am praying this isn't calcium scaling, but I think my fears may be coming true.

    How do I go about tackling this? I am thinking about keeping the PH @ 7.2 and doing a lot of brushing. I would get the kids in the pool with brushes but the water is only 54 degrees!!!

    Any advice on this is greatly appreciated! Thanks
    28,000 IG Free Form Gunite with quartz finish
    Pentair Quad DE filter, Intelliflo VS+SVRS
    Polaris 280, Sta-Rite 400K Heater-Propane

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris 280

    Certainly sounds like scaling, and hopefully you caught it early! Keep track of your calcite saturation index (see the pool calculator), which mainly means managing TA and pH in conjunction with your CH level. You can do it!
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    stev32k's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris 280

    Quote Originally Posted by mamasproject
    Update on the "rock salt" in the pool. As the pile of stuff dries out it looks like white flakes. If I rub it between my fingers it turns to a chalk like substance. The Polaris is still giving me a full bag of this stuff, so it is coming off. After further inspection of the pool, I can actually see it on the walls of the pool. It does brush off. I am praying this isn't calcium scaling, but I think my fears may be coming true.

    How do I go about tackling this? I am thinking about keeping the PH @ 7.2 and doing a lot of brushing. I would get the kids in the pool with brushes but the water is only 54 degrees!!!

    Any advice on this is greatly appreciated! Thanks
    My first thought was get the kids wet suits LOL. However, if it brushes off the wall easy it does not sound like calcium carbonate scale. That stuff is normally very tenacious and becomes tightly bound to whatever it is scaling up. And the fact that on drying it turns to a powder sounds more like DE. Calcium carbonate crystals are hard when dry and do not break apart easy. Have you added a lot of calcium or have you ran a calcium test? If so what are the numbers? The fact that you know you got a lot of DE in the pool kind of reinforces the DE theory.
    20' x 40' IG with vinyl liner volume approx. 35,000 gal.1.5 H.P. main pump, Polaris 280 cleaner W/ 3/4 H.P. booster pump
    Hayward sand filter, 3.14 sq ft, 62 gpm. Stenner 45 MPH10 chlorine feed pump. 1 micron final filter bags (home made and very effective)

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    tjt040774's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris 280

    Just loosen the screws next to the little jet, adjust, tighten screws, drop back in the pool and test.
    Approx 18,000 gallons, Jandy CL 580 Cartridge, Gunite, 2 1/2 hp 2 speed Jandy, Aquapure 1400, Polaris 280 w/booster, LXi Jandy Heater, Jandy PDA 6, PebbleTec: Tahoe Blue, Depth: 3 1/2' to 6', Perimeter: Approximately 95', Spa: 10' x 7'

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    Re: Polaris 280

    Quote Originally Posted by stev32k
    My first thought was get the kids wet suits LOL. However, if it brushes off the wall easy it does not sound like calcium carbonate scale. That stuff is normally very tenacious and becomes tightly bound to whatever it is scaling up. And the fact that on drying it turns to a powder sounds more like DE. Calcium carbonate crystals are hard when dry and do not break apart easy. Have you added a lot of calcium or have you ran a calcium test? If so what are the numbers? The fact that you know you got a lot of DE in the pool kind of reinforces the DE theory.
    No..I have never added calcium to my pool. In the fall before we closed I tested for CH...it was 400 and was told that was okay. Over the winter I tested the water...just to be curious...and the PH was well over 8.0, but as I read high Chlorine levels will give you a false PH reading. When I opened this year CH was 300. I guess will all the rain/snow it helped bring it down. The PH level was still high after opening...higher than my test kit reads. I have taken care of that now. Keeping it at 7.4. My pool tech was here yesterday and he took a sample of the "crystals" to the pool store to be tested. He said he had never seen anything like this before...????
    When the DE was in the pool we shut off the pump/filters and let it all settle to the bottom. The pb brought in a temp pump/ filter and I vacumed to the temp pump/filter until all of it was gone. The DE ended up in the pool because the pb plumbed the filter backwards...their mistake. Anyways, after the new cartigades were installed the pump/filter ran for about 2 weeks before they closed the pool for the season. Do you think remaining DE could still be in the water?
    If that's the theory I feel a bit relieved, but I did notice some scaling along the tile line in a few places. What's the best way to remove that? Brush or acid?
    28,000 IG Free Form Gunite with quartz finish
    Pentair Quad DE filter, Intelliflo VS+SVRS
    Polaris 280, Sta-Rite 400K Heater-Propane

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Polaris 280

    The Polaris is working much better now. It needed a few more floaters and a small adjustment. The pool tech told me they don't do to well in cold water. I was told "it's a robot and has a mind of it's own." Too bad you can't tell it what to do! We are still trying to figure out a name to call it! LOL It's the Black Max 280
    28,000 IG Free Form Gunite with quartz finish
    Pentair Quad DE filter, Intelliflo VS+SVRS
    Polaris 280, Sta-Rite 400K Heater-Propane

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