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Thread: Polaris 280 or 380

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    Polaris 280 or 380

    Recently replastered my pool and went with a dark blue finish. My polaris 280 is over 10 years old (one major and a couple minor rebuilds done by myself) but was looking at replacing it with a Black Max model to compliment new plaster. My main issue with the 280 is that the feed line quite often gets tangled. I have tried laying out the feed line in sun and even replaced the feed line with no major improvement. My pool is basically a 20x35 shallow 3.5 to 5 ft deep rectangle. Quite often the feed line will get a simple loop in which two floats come into contact with each other and the 280 does not seem to have the power to pull the feed line past the floats and straighten out the line, so the 280 does a U-turn and never makes it to the far side of the pool. I did not have this problem with the same unit in my previous pool which was a smaller kidney shape with 10+ ft deep end. The 280 will also never go up on the upper two steps (of 3 total) and rarely up onto the first lower step.

    My question is that would moving up to a 380 give the unit a little more drive power to overcome the above issue (pull the feed line straight and avoid tangles better) as well as get up on the steps better?

    I briefly considered the 480 and 3900 but internet is full of poor reviews on these units (maintenance headaches.) The general consensus is that the 380 is a little more maintenance prone than the 280, but that is OK with me if it will perform better in my pool situation.

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    In the Industry

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    Re: Polaris 280 or 380

    280 is the best imho, it just works. Check your swivels on the hose, sounds like they need to be replaced.

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    Re: Polaris 280 or 380

    <- X2 on 280.
    Spline drive system is robust and reliable.
    Check the basics, I agree it sounds like a low flow.

    -B.
    18,000 gallon in ground, plaster
    340 sq ft cartridge filter
    Jandy variable-speed 2 HP pump
    completed 6/29/12

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    Re: Polaris 280 or 380

    The 380 has 3 jets which propel the cleaner where the 280 has 2 jets which propel the cleaner making the 380 clean the pool quicker. Both cleaners have a large clip in style bag, we do tend to lean towards the 280 as the 380 is a belt driven cleaner (almost looks like rubber bands) and these tend to snap over time, the 280 is a gear driven cleaner and you do not need to worry about this problem, also the 280 is less expensive which is nice as well!
    Thank You
    Patrick
    www.inyopools.com

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    Re: Polaris 280 or 380

    While I prefer the 280 over the 380, the 3900, while "belt" driven, uses a stainless chain.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Polaris 280 or 380

    280. They just don't die.

    A word of warning, though. Your black max will turn into a grey ghost over time. The parts aren't always stocked locally if you're getting stuff from the pool store.
    25K aggregate IG, Intellipro, FNS48, Polaris 360, PG2000 fiber optic light source

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    ajones02's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris 280 or 380

    i had a 280 doing the same thing when we first completed our pool. i actually added a swivel to where the loop was occuring.

    issue resolved.
    17,800 gallons, Pentair Clean and Clear 420 Cartridge Filter, Inground, Blue Granite Pebblesheen Interior, Pentair Intelliflo VS-3050 Pool and Spa pump, Pentair Whisperflo 2HP Water Feature pump, Pentair .75 HP Booster Pump for Pentair Legend pool cleaner, Pentair EasyTouch 8-function remote, Pentair IntelliChlor SWG.

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    Lershac's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris 280 or 380

    Quote Originally Posted by ajones02
    i had a 280 doing the same thing when we first completed our pool. i actually added a swivel to where the loop was occuring.

    issue resolved.

    Hey that's a good idea! I am going to try it on my Polaris that frequently loops the line.
    (DIY):16K Gal 20X30 rectangular IG Gunite, w/spa, CCP 520 filter,2 Pentair VS pumps, 400KBTU Pentair gas heater, Heat Pump for cooling, **update5.25.2013** added an intellichem with acid pump that will control existing SWG. My Build Thread Here

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    Polaris 280 or 380

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    While I prefer the 280 over the 380, the 3900, while "belt" driven, uses a stainless chain.

    Scott
    I agree with the 3900 as long as you get the 2012 model. They fixed the drive wheel and fixed the chain going loose quickly.



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