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Thread: Polaris 280 question

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    Polaris 280 question

    The booster pump for my Polaris 280 is wired so that it can't come on unless the main pump is on. From what I've read on this board, this is by design to protect the booster pump.

    So here's my question: Would it hurt anything to leave the switch to the booster pump in the "ON" position so that whenever the main pump turns on, the Polaris will be activated as well? In other words, leave the booster switch on to let the main pump timer control the booster pump?
    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 question

    Quote Originally Posted by Beez
    The booster pump for my Polaris 280 is wired so that it can't come on unless the main pump is on. Would it hurt anything to leave the switch to the booster pump in the "ON" position so that whenever the main pump turns on, the Polaris will be activated as well? In other words, leave the booster switch on to let the main pump timer control the booster pump?
    This is essentially how I have set up my winter pump run time... my Polaris 280 comes on at exactly the same time the main pump turns on (and turns off the same way.) I think the reasoning behind not wanting the booster pump to run independent of the main pump is partly discerned from its name. The pump running the Polaris 280 boosts the psi of an already existing flow from the main pump. Without that flow, the booster pump would be trying to pull water through the filter and main pump... and it isn't designed to run the entire system.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    Re: Polaris 280 question

    Quote Originally Posted by polyvue
    This is essentially how I have set up my winter pump run time... my Polaris 280 comes on at exactly the same time the main pump turns on (and turns off the same way.) I think the reasoning behind not wanting the booster pump to run independent of the main pump is partly discerned from its name. The pump running the Polaris 280 boosts the psi of an already existing flow from the main pump. Without that flow, the booster pump would be trying to pull water through the filter and main pump... and it isn't designed to run the entire system.
    Right, I understand the reasoning behind the wiring setup. My question is that since the two pumps are wired that way, would it hurt anything for the booster switch to be in the ON position always(not controlled by its own timer)?

    The reason I ask is because I want the two to operate in tandem, but I don't trust that the old timers controlling each pump are accurate enough for the short duration I want them to run this winter. So my thought was that I would take the booster off of its timer, put its switch in the ON position, thereby letting the main pump timer control both.

    Of course, I've already thought of one major flaw in my reasoning. When it gets cold enough for the freeze guard to kick on, it can run as long as 12 hours or so. Too long for the Polaris. But I'm still curious as to my original question. Anyone?
    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 question

    Quote Originally Posted by Beez
    So here's my question: Would it hurt anything to leave the switch to the booster pump in the "ON" position so that whenever the main pump turns on, the Polaris will be activated as well? In other words, leave the booster switch on to let the main pump timer control the booster pump?
    Are you referring to the on/off switch/lever on the timer, or some other switch?

    On a previous pool of ours (in TX), we had 1 Intermatic digital timer that controlled both the main pump and the Polaris together. The Polaris circuit also had a wall switch, separate from the timer. If that wall switch was on, then the Polaris ran in tandem with the main pump. If we turned the switch off, then the Polaris would never run, even when the main pump was on.

    So, for us, there was no problem whatsoever with leaving the Polaris on all the time. The only drawback, as you've already thought of, is that the cleaner runs a lot more than necessary because it's running for every filtration cycle - unless you run out to the equipment pad and turn the cleaner switch off. For us, even in winter, we ran the main pump for at least 4 hours which resulted in more cleaning than necessary. And, it wasn't all that unusual for our freeze protection to be on for 24-48 hours straight at least once during the winter! We tried to remember to turn the Polaris switch off during those cold snaps.

    Have you thought of doing a minor upgrade and installing an Intermatic digital timer that can be separately programmed for the main pump and the cleaner? We had thought of doing that and, in retrospect, I wish we had.
    Sandy

    15,600 gallon, screened 15 x 30 sport pool with 6 x 8 baja shelf, IG plaster (Diamondbrite??), Hayward cartridge filter, 1-HP Hayward pump, Hayward/EUS Mark VI heat pump, Polaris 280, AquaRite SWCG

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    Re: Polaris 280 question

    Quote Originally Posted by dawndenise
    Are you referring to the on/off switch/lever on the timer, or some other switch?
    Sorry, I didn't include enough information...

    There are 2 old mechanical Intermatic timers in my system. One controls the main filter pump and the other controls the booster pump. So when I mentioned "switch" I was referring to the switch/lever in the timer.

    So I'll try to rephrase my question more concisely: Since the two pumps seem to be wired together, is there any harm in removing the on/off trips in the booster pump timer and leaving the manual switch in the ON position so that the Polaris would automatically come on when the main filter pump is activated? Then when the timer for the main pump trips off, it would turn both pumps off.

    Electrically speaking, is it a bad idea to let the main pump switch control both pumps?

    Thanks polyvue & dawndenise for your replies!
    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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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Polaris 280 question

    Beez ~ Got your PM. Sorry I didn't see this sooner. If I look at a thread and believe the question is being answered I pass it by. Obviously this wasn't the case with this one.

    Now to the question at hand.
    The first thing to do is check the amp rating of the main pump timer. I feel like it's capable of starting both pumps but you need to check it. If it's more than the sum of the full load amps of both motors then there shouldn't be any issues starting both pumps at the same time. The few seconds it takes the main pump to get up to speed won't be an issue for the booster. In fact, the suction from the booster starting will actually let the main pump start faster. Granted it won't be enough of a difference but it will be a little.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Polaris 280 question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    The first thing to do is check the amp rating of the main pump timer. I feel like it's capable of starting both pumps but you need to check it. If it's more than the sum of the full load amps of both motors then there shouldn't be any issues starting both pumps at the same time. The few seconds it takes the main pump to get up to speed won't be an issue for the booster. In fact, the suction from the booster starting will actually let the main pump start faster. Granted it won't be enough of a difference but it will be a little.
    Thanks for the response! And sorry to be obtuse, but where would I find this information?
    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 question

    The full load amps for the pumps are listed on the data plate. You can take the model number of the timer and look up the load rating of the relays on the intermatic site.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Polaris 280 question

    My only concern would be the abuse that the contacts will take on the main pump timer. At startup there is the startup current to deal with and at shutdown there are some pretty good sparks flying across the gaps as the contacts open. Forcing both pumps to run at the same time will reduce the life of the contacts on the main timer. I know from experience that on the Intermatic mechanical timers the contacts can't be replaced. You have to replace the whole timer.
    26,000 Gallon Gunnite IGP
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    Re: Polaris 280 question

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryH3
    My only concern would be the abuse that the contacts will take on the main pump timer. At startup there is the startup current to deal with and at shutdown there are some pretty good sparks flying across the gaps as the contacts open. Forcing both pumps to run at the same time will reduce the life of the contacts on the main timer. I know from experience that on the Intermatic mechanical timers the contacts can't be replaced. You have to replace the whole timer.
    Well, I thought that my solution sounded too easy. I guess I'll play it safe and use both timers.

    This forum is such a great resource. Without it I would have been forced into trial and error. Thanks everyone for the help!

    Dave
    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 question

    My setup sounds similar to yours. I have a single box with two intermatic mechanical timers. I just set the timer for the booster pump to come on an hour or so after the main pump timer and then switch back off 90 minutes later (and well before the main pump switches off).
    26,000 Gallon Gunnite IGP
    2 HP Challenger High Head Pump
    60sf Nautilus DE filter
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    Re: Polaris 280 question

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryH3
    My setup sounds similar to yours. I have a single box with two intermatic mechanical timers. I just set the timer for the booster pump to come on an hour or so after the main pump timer and then switch back off 90 minutes later (and well before the main pump switches off).
    I doubt you have a setup like mine, or at least I hope you don't! Here are my timers:[attachment=0:3dfiouq8]timers.jpg[/attachment:3dfiouq8]The problem is that the timers don't keep accurate time anymore, if they ever did. In the summer, it's no big deal because I run the main pump 8-12 hrs so there is a big window for my normal Polaris run time of 3 hrs. But now that my water temp is dropping I'm going to cut the main filter pump run time down to 2 hrs. It just seems like a PITA to keep up with two timers with such a small window of run time. It would be so much easier to have one timer control both. But on the good side, I don't think the timers wander too much, I'll just have to keep an eye on them.
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    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 question

    Your Intermatic timer "guts" can be replaced relatively cheaply and they should keep good time. Mine is always dead on.

    Having the two motors start simultaneously would be quite a surge on the main timer contacts. Without knowing currents and capacities, I would hesitate to recommend it.
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    Re: Polaris 280 question

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Your Intermatic timer "guts" can be replaced relatively cheaply and they should keep good time. Mine is always dead on.

    Having the two motors start simultaneously would be quite a surge on the main timer contacts. Without knowing currents and capacities, I would hesitate to recommend it.
    Thanks for the reply!
    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 question

    Most of the Intermatic timers I've looked at are rated for 5hp, so if you still wanted to run both pumps off one timer I don't see it being a problem. You probably have less than half the rated hp so one timer could handle it if you still want it to.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Polaris 280 question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    Most of the Intermatic timers I've looked at are rated for 5hp, so if you still wanted to run both pumps off one timer I don't see it being a problem. You probably have less than half the rated hp so one timer could handle it if you still want it to.
    You're probably right. Main pump is 1.5 HP, booster is 3/4 HP. I looked on the motors for the amp info you were asking about, and this is how it is listed: main pump - 8.0/16.0, booster - 6.4/12.8, not too sure what this means, or if it is helpful at all...I'm pretty much clueless when it comes to electrical.

    I'm thinking I will try it and see what happens. What is the worst case scenario for failure? Damage to the timer? Damage to the pumps? Nothing catastrophic I hope, like an ensuing fire?
    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 question

    Those are the full load amps for the motors. The first number is if the motor is hooked to 230 volts and the second is if it's hooked to 115 volts. at worse it means you're only at 2.25 hp. Less than half the timer rating. It's a little more wear on your contacts but since you're only kicking them on once a day it won't make enough difference in the life of them to worry about.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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