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Thread: Polaris 380 questions?

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    Polaris 380 questions?

    My husband asked me to ask here, since y'all have been a great help in getting the swamp cleaned.

    We purchased a Polaris 380 (at least that's what he said it was) used. The guy who sold it to us confirmed that it needed a booster pump after we bought it, and it matches the images I find online, though I can't find a number on it.

    My husband has a water pump we used to use to empty small pools. He tried to rig it up to run the Polaris, but I don't think it's working very well. He was going to look into getting a booster pump but wanted me to ask how the whole thing is supposed to be put together? Are there any online guides or information? My searches are not turning up anything helpful.

    Thanks for any information.
    Total pool newbie - maybe 18K gal. inground chlorine pool (oval 33 x 14 - 3 to 8.5' depth), vinyl liner, sand filter - near Pensacola, FL

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris 380 questions?

    When your pool is set up for this, there is a return nozzle/fitting in the pool. Out of this fitting comes the flow from a dedicated booster pump at the equipment pad. These are high pressure pumps that are themselves fed by flow from the main pool pump.

    This is the setup that is needed to run the 380 properly.
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    Re: Polaris 380 questions?

    I see. Thanks very much.

    There is something in the pool I have not identified. It looks like a cap of some sort? Right now it's too cold and too full of chlorine (SLAMing) to get in there and check it.

    So, if we are not set up for this, it's not something that we can easily add? If it's going to be a major thing, we might best sell this Polaris and buy a different one.

    Either that or find another way to make the other pump work for us. He has it hanging off a basket on the ladder, and running pool water through the hose to power the Polaris. It was working, but I don't think it's going to climb the sides. May use it to finish clearing out the sediment though.
    Total pool newbie - maybe 18K gal. inground chlorine pool (oval 33 x 14 - 3 to 8.5' depth), vinyl liner, sand filter - near Pensacola, FL

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    Re: Polaris 380 questions?

    To identify a Polaris:

    On the double wheel side is there a small wheel between the two large wheels?
    If yes, this is a Polaris 180 or 280. If the bag snaps on to the throat it is a 280, if it has a Velcro attachment to the throat it is a 180.

    On the double wheel side is there only two large wheels?
    If yes, this is a Polaris 360 or 380. If the hose going to head is smooth and rubber it is a 380. If it is corrugated and plastic is it a 360. The 360 is the only model out of these 4 options that does not require a booster pump.
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    Re: Polaris 380 questions?

    Thank you, that is very helpful.

    I looked at about a hundred pics online, but couldn't be absolutely positive (and some seem misidentified).

    Only two big wheels, not the small one on that side. And if you mean the hose that comes out of the top (where the bag is attached) it is smooth and I'm guessing rubber, not positive. So I believe it is indeed a 380.

    Now, I think I need to figure out if that place in the pool has anything to do with the Polaris. It has a cap, and from the pics I am seeing online (though I can't find one identified, just searches) it seems the Polaris nozzle looks something like an eyeball, and not something with a cap on it?

    There is a cap on the pool wall near the skimmer. I don't know yet what it's for. We don't have a booster pump, but it looks to me like there have been changes to the setup since it was installed, so I don't know what everything is.

    Thanks for the info.
    Total pool newbie - maybe 18K gal. inground chlorine pool (oval 33 x 14 - 3 to 8.5' depth), vinyl liner, sand filter - near Pensacola, FL

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    Re: Polaris 380 questions?

    If you do not already have a booster pump, I would suggest return the cleaner that you bought. And either get one that does not need a booster, or a suction cleaner, or better yet (and likely for similar money to the 380 + booster), and electric robot.

    Boosted pressure cleaners are nearly the least efficient from a power use standpoint and seem to be on the way out of the industry.
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    Re: Polaris 380 questions?

    Well, we bought it used, and will likely have to find something else used, if it's in that price range.

    We can probably go in the range of about $200 - or possibly more if we can resell the 380. I'm not sure if anything we might find is worthwhile used? We just took a chance on this one.

    I don't mind investing maybe a couple hours a week, or an hour at a time up to about 3x a week - if it's something manual and I need to do the work (in addition to the other work I'm already doing, brushing, skimming). I don't insist that it be fully automatic and don't expect it for that price.

    But something kind of dummy-proof would be good. The leaf rake works well for me sometimes, and gives me fits sometimes.

    If there are any suggestions within that range, I'd be very glad to hear them.

    (Also right now we may have a problem with the skimmer return as I get big bubbles from one eyeball when we draw only from the skimmer, smaller bubbles when it's skimmer+drain.) Trying to figure out multiple issues at once, I know, and I'm partway done SLAMing the pool from black-green water but it's looking great right now after 5th day.

    Thanks very much for any suggestions.
    Total pool newbie - maybe 18K gal. inground chlorine pool (oval 33 x 14 - 3 to 8.5' depth), vinyl liner, sand filter - near Pensacola, FL

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris 380 questions?

    Do you see bubbles in the pump lid? Bubbles returning to the pool is generally due to a suction leak, or the weir on the skimmer getting stuck or the water level too low allow air to be pulled into the skimmer.
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    Re: Polaris 380 questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trishanna View Post


    There is a cap on the pool wall near the skimmer. I don't know yet what it's for. We don't have a booster pump, but it looks to me like there have been changes to the setup since it was installed, so I don't know what everything is.
    Could this be a port to install a suction cleaner? Maybe you can post a picture of the "cap" and of your valves near your pump so one the experts can help you identify what it is.
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    Re: Polaris 380 questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Do you see bubbles in the pump lid? Bubbles returning to the pool is generally due to a suction leak, or the weir on the skimmer getting stuck or the water level too low allow air to be pulled into the skimmer.
    I don't know about bubbles. I see water rushing? I had to look up what a weir is, and I don't have one. I remember we were just starting to talk about this before I got sick though, and the level of the pump skimmer basket is higher than the pool.

    I also notice the bubbles come mostly from one eyeball, they get MUCH larger when I switch to draining through the skimmer only, and are just a bit large when draining through both. I don't think there are any bubbles when I take water only through the drain.

    I keep the water halfway up the skimmer opening, it dipped slightly below today for a short while, and when it rains it goes way higher.

    Thanks much.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by cottielee View Post
    Could this be a port to install a suction cleaner? Maybe you can post a picture of the "cap" and of your valves near your pump so one the experts can help you identify what it is.
    Thanks, I will try to get a picture. Hard to get but maybe from overhead it will show up. It was too shadowy this evening. If it rains for the next few days, may have to wait till Monday.

    I'll do that though, thank you. I would like to know what it is.
    Last edited by Trishanna; 04-03-2014 at 08:02 PM. Reason: putting in quotes because it's running both replies together. ;)
    Total pool newbie - maybe 18K gal. inground chlorine pool (oval 33 x 14 - 3 to 8.5' depth), vinyl liner, sand filter - near Pensacola, FL

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris 380 questions?

    You should not see water rushing in the pump basket except when priming. Normally it should be completely full pof water and the only movement you see is maybe some of the debris in the basket.

    So sounds like air is definitely getting pulled into the pump.
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    Re: Polaris 380 questions?

    My husband said it may also need a new o-ring/gasket on the pump skimmer basket. I don't know that that's enough or even the right place to let air come in.

    It does tend to spray out water from under the lid when I shut it off.
    Total pool newbie - maybe 18K gal. inground chlorine pool (oval 33 x 14 - 3 to 8.5' depth), vinyl liner, sand filter - near Pensacola, FL

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