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Thread: Polaris 3900 Sport: drive wheel falls off: beware

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    Polaris 3900 Sport: drive wheel falls off: beware

    I have used Polaris 280/380 pool cleaners for nearly two decades, and decided to spring for the sporty new 3900 to start off my Memorial Day holiday pool party: spent nearly a grand with tax with the promise of a rebate

    Installed it today: similar to 380 installation: checked wheel timing (33RPM) and everything looked great

    for 30 minutes:then the drive wheel fell off

    I removed hubcap (5) and saw wheel lock screw (7) had come out: replaced and tightened

    same thing happened 30 minutes later

    this time I added a stainless flat washer: it has been running for a couple of hours and this may have fixed it: also plan to add a split washer

    For $1000.00 this is unacceptable: common engineering practices recommend a split and flat washer (you can see in the design that at least a flat washer is essential but the manual shows only a screw with no washersl)

    Tried to call Polaris: no luck getting through

    Wife says the 380 worked fine and wants me to return the 3900 if it is going to be problematic: she says the extra money spent is not worth it if the wheel keeps falling off

    the 3900 is a step up over the 380 if only the simple stuff had been done properly

    I am very disappointed so far and am considering returning it if I see any more problems

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Central Texas
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    Re: Polaris 3900 Sport: drive wheel falls off: beware

    Ya should have asked on here before ya bought. There's a recent thread where someone asked specifically if they should get a 280 or the fancier 3900. General consensus was that the 280 is the workhorse of the Polaris lineup. The upscale models are more failure prone and don't get the pool any cleaner than the 280 does. I consider them marketing gimmicks that are even more ridiculously priced than the 280.
    26,000 Gallon Gunnite IGP
    2 HP Challenger High Head Pump
    60sf Nautilus DE filter
    Polaris 280

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Polaris 3900 Sport: drive wheel falls off: beware

    Sport goes back to Pool store: I get all my money back

    Today I returned the 3900 Sport:bought 3 new tires for my trusty old 380 which is back in service

    the 3900 is overpriced and its design is poorly implemented: the dual zipper bag is a nightmare to clean, and the zippers get fouled with debris

    also noticed the 3900 does not have the same climbing ability than the 380: probably because it has a longer wheel base and is heavier

    I should have read reviews on this forum first before buying this defective product: at least there is a return policy

    Thanks very much

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    budster's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
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    Re: Polaris 3900 Sport: drive wheel falls off: beware

    As a former rep for Polaris, let me very carefully state that the 480 and the Sport don't seem to have performance advantages over the 280 and 380.
    http://www.swimmingpool.com/

    "Leave the gun...take the cannolis"

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    Re: Polaris 3900 Sport: drive wheel falls off: beware

    Quote Originally Posted by budster
    As a former rep for Polaris, let me very carefully state that the 480 and the Sport don't seem to have performance advantages over the 280 and 380.
    As someone who has sold Polaris, is that a politically correct way of saying that the higher priced models are **** and that the 280 and 380 work?

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Polaris 3900 Sport: drive wheel falls off: beware

    Quote Originally Posted by markrubin
    I have used Polaris 280/380 pool cleaners for nearly two decades, and decided to spring for the sporty new 3900 to start off my Memorial Day holiday pool party: spent nearly a grand with tax with the promise of a rebate

    Installed it today: similar to 380 installation: checked wheel timing (33RPM) and everything looked great

    for 30 minutes:then the drive wheel fell off

    I removed hubcap (5) and saw wheel lock screw (7) had come out: replaced and tightened

    same thing happened 30 minutes later

    this time I added a stainless flat washer: it has been running for a couple of hours and this may have fixed it: also plan to add a split washer

    For $1000.00 this is unacceptable: common engineering practices recommend a split and flat washer (you can see in the design that at least a flat washer is essential but the manual shows only a screw with no washersl)

    Tried to call Polaris: no luck getting through

    Wife says the 380 worked fine and wants me to return the 3900 if it is going to be problematic: she says the extra money spent is not worth it if the wheel keeps falling off

    the 3900 is a step up over the 380 if only the simple stuff had been done properly

    I am very disappointed so far and am considering returning it if I see any more problems

    A now known issue that was taken care of over the fall by Polaris. The wheel had poor design, and has since been changed. The issue you had with your unit would have been covered under warranty.

    The 3900 has a significant amount of drive power and pick up power over prior models....It's been seen in pools, not just jargon.

    Though a 3900 isn't the best choice for all pools it is a great cleaner. I typically suggest the 3900 in pools with steep slopes and large amounts of trees near the pool.
    http://www.californiapoolsdirect.com serving Dallas pools since 1953!

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Polaris 3900 Sport: drive wheel falls off: beware

    Purchased a 3900 in May of 2010. Worked GREAT for about a year (just until the warranty expired). I called Polaris and explained the problem with the sweep (the drive wheel only worked on the one-wheeled side). It was a problem with which they were familiar and they sent me a new gear drive, a new chain and a new chain tensioner which I installed. I replaced all the parts and continued to have the problem: The chain drive would not stay on the wheels; sometimes it would stay on for up to a month, other times it would come off daily. I then had an issue with a balast on the sweep that was intended to keep it upright. I took the sweep back to the supplier where I purchased it and waited six weeks for the part to come in, and to be installed.

    The sweep is now back in my pool and the gear drive continues to be problematic. I phoned Polaris and now they have designed a new "chain guide" which they have offered to send me. This indicates to me that the original design was faulty and they are now designing "fixes" to the cleaner. Not exactly what I'd expect or anticipate after spending close to $1000 on the cleaner two years ago.

    After reading information on this site I'm about to pull the trigger on a 280 model. I would discourage anyone contemplating purchase of a 3900: While it does a great job when it's working it's far too unreliable.

    David
    24' Above Ground Vinyl Pool
    Hayward Sand Filter
    1.5 Hayward Maytix Pump

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Charleston, SC
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    Re: Polaris 3900 Sport: drive wheel falls off: beware

    Hey! I was curious about your comments on the polaris.......this weekend the polaris 3900 is $610 at Leslies and the 380 is $699. I have leaves but not too many.......Which one would you pick? I currently have an old 380 that came with the house we bought and requires $400 in parts to restore to working order. The lady at Leslies says she sees far more 380's in for repair than the 3900's. That also leaves me wondering which is better? Help!
    IG Gunnite Pool Size: 25K gallons (20 x 40, 3'6" to 6" depth) with 2 huge Baker Hydro cartridge filters under the skimmer baskets on the suction side, 2 mech timers
    BRAND NEW PLASTER! Quartzscapes/Diamondbrite, Newer Polaris 280, Brand New Hayward Maxflo VS, Brand New Pentair Intelichlor
    I will conquer the black algae this pool season!!!

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    Re: Polaris 3900 Sport: drive wheel falls off: beware

    The reason she sees far more 380's is that it has been around forever and the 3900 has only been out a few years. I'd go for a 280 before either one honestly. Those things are tanks. I see them go 7-8 years without a tuneup all the time. They come to me looking like they shouldn't have worked for the past two seasons and it has just started to have trouble.
    25K aggregate IG, Intellipro, FNS48, Polaris 360, PG2000 fiber optic light source

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Polaris 3900 Sport: drive wheel falls off: beware

    Had my 3900 for about 2 years and had to replace the main drive wheel and the gear box. The gear box should last longer than a couple of years. Do yourself a huge solid, by your parts online and do it yourself. Took me all of 10 minutes to replace the gear box and drive wheel. My local pool place will install the parts for free, if you buy the parts from them. I saved around $50 doing it myself.

    Now I need to add one of enhancement feature upgrades, AKA, the chain guard. This little 50 cent part, which cost $10, corrects the chain from falling off. This equates to bad design and should be shipped free of charge to all registered owners of the 3900. Another good reason to do your own work. Local pool place wanted to replace the tensioner kit as well. It didn't need it. It just needs the chain guide. Tension kit is an added $35 and is the usually suspect for the chain coming off. I believe models built after Dec 2011 have the chain guard installed already. The rest of us get to pay for it.

    There's actually a whole lower assembly replacement kit for this POS. Kind of like buying a short block engine. It's how it should have been built in the first place. It'll cost you $150 to correct Polaris's bad design. They'll just call it new enhancements though, AKA, tune up kit.

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