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Thread: 5 yr. cost estimate? and polaris vs. robot opinions?

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    5 yr. cost estimate? and polaris vs. robot opinions?

    Hi everyone,

    After 1.5 years of cleaning the pool ourselves at our new house, we are so ready to buy a machine to help us! We are considering the Polaris 280/380 vs. Aquabots or any other robot, really. Since we're starting from scratch (there is a rusted Polaris booster pump that is not connected to our filter anymore) it seems that purchase price points are almost equal in round numbers. For ex., medium range Aquabot or Polaris + booster pump both are almost $1000. (At the pool store anyway.) So that leaves us with maintenance costs over the years, and which type of cleaner would be best for our pool.

    Can anyone help us predict maintenance costs for a robot vs. a Polaris over 5 years?

    How about opinions on robot vs. Polaris for us? We have a fairly large pool, surrounded by oak trees and flower beds. Spring and Fall are constant battles with pollen, dirt, leaves, acorns, etc.

    Thanks! Dianne

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    maxepr1's Avatar
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    Re: 5 yr. cost estimate? and polaris vs. robot opinions?

    Defpool, I have a Polaris 280 and the first 5 years I had it I changed the bag once a year and put a set of tires on it 1 time. That was it. Routine maintenance, checking for loose parts and adjusting the wheels every so often was it. It lasted 7 years before overhaul, but last year I found a new one for less than the overhaul kit so I'm running that now. As I find parts I will rebuild the old one to run again. There great cleaners, the reason the line has not been replaced!
    40'x19' IG Diamond Brite 29K 4' Waterfall/Dive Rock FNS60 DE Inteliflo VS 2hp Whisperflo pumps Aqualogic(P4) SWG TF100 Tester


    Pool School, Pool Calculator,TFTestKits,

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    Re: 5 yr. cost estimate? and polaris vs. robot opinions?

    We have a fairly large pool,
    How large?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Lershac's Avatar
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    Re: 5 yr. cost estimate? and polaris vs. robot opinions?

    For a bit of a cheaper option, if you have plenty of returns, consider a polaris 360. They operate off of pressure side return with no booster pump. I am happy with the performance, and there is no added cost of a booster pump.
    (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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    Re: 5 yr. cost estimate? and polaris vs. robot opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by defpool
    Hi everyone,

    After 1.5 years of cleaning the pool ourselves at our new house, we are so ready to buy a machine to help us! We are considering the Polaris 280/380 vs. Aquabots or any other robot, really. Since we're starting from scratch (there is a rusted Polaris booster pump that is not connected to our filter anymore) it seems that purchase price points are almost equal in round numbers. For ex., medium range Aquabot or Polaris + booster pump both are almost $1000. (At the pool store anyway.) So that leaves us with maintenance costs over the years, and which type of cleaner would be best for our pool.

    Can anyone help us predict maintenance costs for a robot vs. a Polaris over 5 years?

    How about opinions on robot vs. Polaris for us? We have a fairly large pool, surrounded by oak trees and flower beds. Spring and Fall are constant battles with pollen, dirt, leaves, acorns, etc.

    Thanks! Dianne
    the robot will have more maintenance costs, you can guarantee that over 5 years you will at least blow a pump or drive motor. it would be best to go for a blue diamond with 4 year warranty on the motors. the robot should be able to pick up a lot more than a pressure side cleaner. plus you don't have to change your pumping.
    8000 gal diamond brite pool with 650 gal spillover spa, Pentair 3hp VS pump. Jandy Cartridge filter and Jandy Heat Pump. Jandy PDA automation system with 2 Pentair Laminars. SmartPool NC74S Robotic Pool Cleaner.

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    Re: 5 yr. cost estimate? and polaris vs. robot opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    We have a fairly large pool,
    How large?
    Yes, sorry, I wasn't sure at work. It's 20000 gallons, and rectangular (except for a semi-circle deep end), around 40' in length. For us, it seems huge.

    Thanks all, for the replies on the Polaris longevity, alternate Polaris model, and the robot repair costs. Everything is still under debate at this point, and we appreciate any and all insight!

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    Lershac's Avatar
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    Re: 5 yr. cost estimate? and polaris vs. robot opinions?

    Pool size grows every time u clean it.
    (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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    Re: 5 yr. cost estimate? and polaris vs. robot opinions?

    Hi Dianne, I'm just a short drive up 35 from Austin, in Georgetown. The Polaris 280 seems to be THE pool cleaner for this area. Everyone that I know with a pool around here has a Polaris 280 keeping it clean. I also have Oak trees near the pool, so I will tell you that during leaf-falling time the Polaris bag will fill up FAST. I've cleaned mine out as much as 5 times in one day. Thankfully the leaves don't fall for very long. The rest of the time it just works. I have it set to run 90 minutes every day and it does an awesome job of keeping things clean. Plan ahead on bag replacement (every 1-2 years or so) and buy them on eBay. They're about half the cost of what the local pool stores pick your pocket for.
    26,000 Gallon Gunnite IGP
    2 HP Challenger High Head Pump
    60sf Nautilus DE filter
    Polaris 280

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    Re: 5 yr. cost estimate? and polaris vs. robot opinions?

    Thanks, Harry. We're ready to still do some helping/cleaning even with an automatic cleaner, especially during pollen and leaf drops.

    So... it sounds like over 5 years the Polaris 280 would have cheaper maintenance/repair costs than any robot. And from what I've read on the forums, sometimes the Polaris can even last 10 years. Even though it is the cheapest model, the tech showed us that the 280 had a wider intake hole than the 380. Seems like that would be better for leaves anyway - we have red oaks on either side of our pool.

    Thank you all for taking the time to reply!

    Dianne

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    Re: 5 yr. cost estimate? and polaris vs. robot opinions?

    well maintenance costs maybe, but my friend had one of those polaris things in his pool and said it was a piece of ****, said it got stuck, he was constantly fiddling with it.
    8000 gal diamond brite pool with 650 gal spillover spa, Pentair 3hp VS pump. Jandy Cartridge filter and Jandy Heat Pump. Jandy PDA automation system with 2 Pentair Laminars. SmartPool NC74S Robotic Pool Cleaner.

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    Re: 5 yr. cost estimate? and polaris vs. robot opinions?

    Robl45, proper set up is key to correct operation!
    40'x19' IG Diamond Brite 29K 4' Waterfall/Dive Rock FNS60 DE Inteliflo VS 2hp Whisperflo pumps Aqualogic(P4) SWG TF100 Tester


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    Re: 5 yr. cost estimate? and polaris vs. robot opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxepr1
    Robl45, proper set up is key to correct operation!
    i never did anything with it, but he was a smart mechanical oriented guy.
    8000 gal diamond brite pool with 650 gal spillover spa, Pentair 3hp VS pump. Jandy Cartridge filter and Jandy Heat Pump. Jandy PDA automation system with 2 Pentair Laminars. SmartPool NC74S Robotic Pool Cleaner.

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    Re: 5 yr. cost estimate? and polaris vs. robot opinions?

    Another polaris lover here....I have a 360 that came with my house and I've only taken it into the store once to get it serviced. Lots of live oaks and flower beds here too, and NO SCREEN :O I go thru at least a bag a year, plus a couple of tail sponges, and I've replaced hose sections frequently as well, but it does a pretty good job. Not great for loads and loads of stuff at once, but as long as you let it run every day when the trees are dumping, it does just fine.

    If you end up with the polaris, you need to clean the little screen filter on the hose during pollen season twice a day, IMO. it keeps pollen out of the polaris, but it gunks up real quick.
    IG Plaster 20,000gal, attached spa w/ spillover, hayward C12002 cart filter, 1 1/2hp pump w/ polaris 360
    6/16/12 - PH 7.6, FC 6, CC 0, CYA 30, TA 80, Calcium 310

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    Re: 5 yr. cost estimate? and polaris vs. robot opinions?

    Dianne,

    My robot died after 6 years of reliable use. So, I'm now in the market trying to make a decision on a replacement. I wanted to share another consideration which hasn't been covered above - electricity. I don't know if you have a two speed pump, but if you do you'll need to run it at high speed with a pressure side cleaner. So, based on my calculations with the following assumptions (my setup), the pressure side would cost $1887 more in electricity to operate over five years. This is considering running a robot with the low speed filter pump and the pressure side running the filter pump exclusively in high speed mode.

    - 2 speed 2.0./0.33 HP
    - Average annual pump use of 6 hours daily
    - Robot @ 150W used twice weekly
    - 14 cents per KWh

    One other benefit is I significantly reduced my water loss from backwashing as the robot did a great job cleaning really fine particulate. After last year's drought in our area that was a big deal.
    16 x 32 IG Vinyl
    Sand Filter

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    Re: 5 yr. cost estimate? and polaris vs. robot opinions?

    robots will do a good job filtering, I don't think the pressure side will do that.
    8000 gal diamond brite pool with 650 gal spillover spa, Pentair 3hp VS pump. Jandy Cartridge filter and Jandy Heat Pump. Jandy PDA automation system with 2 Pentair Laminars. SmartPool NC74S Robotic Pool Cleaner.

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    Re: 5 yr. cost estimate? and polaris vs. robot opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by robl45
    robots will do a good job filtering, I don't think the pressure side will do that.
    They will if you know the trick...
    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: 5 yr. cost estimate? and polaris vs. robot opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by mixsig
    Dianne,

    My robot died after 6 years of reliable use. So, I'm now in the market trying to make a decision on a replacement. I wanted to share another consideration which hasn't been covered above - electricity. I don't know if you have a two speed pump, but if you do you'll need to run it at high speed with a pressure side cleaner. So, based on my calculations with the following assumptions (my setup), the pressure side would cost $1887 more in electricity to operate over five years. This is considering running a robot with the low speed filter pump and the pressure side running the filter pump exclusively in high speed mode.

    - 2 speed 2.0./0.33 HP
    - Average annual pump use of 6 hours daily
    - Robot @ 150W used twice weekly
    - 14 cents per KWh

    One other benefit is I significantly reduced my water loss from backwashing as the robot did a great job cleaning really fine particulate. After last year's drought in our area that was a big deal.
    Yes! Water and electricity use are definitely a big deal for us too. Thanks for sharing your calculations. We'll investigate our pump and try some calcs of our own. mixsig - which robot did you have that lasted 6 years? And which ones are you considering now? Beez - thanks for sharing the knee high trick. Also, who still wears knee highs?

    OT - Speaking of water use - any idea what Austin pool owners do if we get Stage 3 water restrictions (no filling of pools) this year? Do you just let your pool fester? Maybe I'll search in the forums. We're really worried about our drought.

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    Re: 5 yr. cost estimate? and polaris vs. robot opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by defpool
    Also, who still wears knee highs?
    I'll never tell...

    Quote Originally Posted by defpool
    OT - Speaking of water use - any idea what Austin pool owners do if we get Stage 3 water restrictions (no filling of pools) this year? Do you just let your pool fester? Maybe I'll search in the forums. We're really worried about our drought.
    Stage 3 does not prohibit maintaining pool level, nor does it prohibit filling a new pool. Just can't empty and refill without just cause. So no need for a swamp unless you want some extra "pets"!
    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: 5 yr. cost estimate? and polaris vs. robot opinions?

    which robot did you have that lasted 6 years?
    I had a Dolphin Dynamic with remote. Still have it with one bad motor if anyone wants to buy it Although reliable over that time there were two really annoying issues: removing it from the pool and cleaning the bag. To remove it from the pool you drag it to the side then flip it over and pull it up by holding the treads or body. It's really heavy and messy with the water spilling out as you pull. If you just pull it by the handle the sediment falls out the bottom. The bag cleaning is not fun. My kids call it changing the diaper. After you pull the bag you have to spray it out really well to remove the sediment. About once every couple of weeks I would run it through a wash cycle too. But, other than those grievances it did a great job cleaning the water. I often wondered if my sand filter was doing any good as the cloth robot bag cleaned things up so well. One other downside is all the bad stories I've read about Maytronics service.

    Now I'm ready to try something different. I think I've settled on the Polaris 9400. Pulling it out of the pool and emptying the sediment container seem more manageable. I also like that I can buy replacement parts - including the motor. That's not possible with the Dolphin.

    what Austin pool owners do if we get Stage 3 water restrictions (no filling of pools)
    I've been wondering the same thing. I don't know. But, after the cost of refilling all last summer I'm now in the market for a solar cover. I understand they have a big impact on evaporative loss.
    16 x 32 IG Vinyl
    Sand Filter

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    Re: 5 yr. cost estimate? and polaris vs. robot opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by mixsig
    which robot did you have that lasted 6 years?

    Now I'm ready to try something different. I think I've settled on the Polaris 9400. Pulling it out of the pool and emptying the sediment container seem more manageable. I also like that I can buy replacement parts - including the motor. That's not possible with the Dolphin.

    [quote:3nmpo275]what Austin pool owners do if we get Stage 3 water restrictions (no filling of pools)
    I've been wondering the same thing. I don't know. But, after the cost of refilling all last summer I'm now in the market for a solar cover. I understand they have a big impact on evaporative loss.[/quote:3nmpo275]

    is the 9400 user serviceable? I can buy parts for a blue diamond too, but it doesn't do any good if you don't know the exact way to repair it.
    8000 gal diamond brite pool with 650 gal spillover spa, Pentair 3hp VS pump. Jandy Cartridge filter and Jandy Heat Pump. Jandy PDA automation system with 2 Pentair Laminars. SmartPool NC74S Robotic Pool Cleaner.

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