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Thread: Polaris 280 Booster pump dead - considering replacement

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    Polaris 280 Booster pump dead - considering replacement

    My Polaris 280's booster pump has started making a noise like a cat in a blender, so I've turned it off while considering my options.

    The pool guy can replace the pump for $300 plus $140 labor.

    Or, I can buy something like an Aquabot Turbo T-Jet for about $600, and sell the 280. I believe the energy savings will pay for the difference in a year or so.

    I have an irregular, older inground pool, about 20,000 gallons that's been resurfaced with PebbleTec. I don't have any overhanging trees or heavy sources of dust or dirt. The messiest the pool gets is when the wisteria blooms come off in spring. That mostly affects the skimmer, though.

    Does anyone have thoughts on whether this is a good idea?

    The only downside I can see is that I can currently leave the Polaris in the pool and I don't have to remember to run it.

    Fred

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    Re: Polaris 280 Booster pump dead - considering replacement

    I prefer the Polaris over the corded units in most situations. Reliability and convenience play here.

    Even with a cart, the electric units have a 60 foot umbilical that often gets very twisted, they are fairly heavy, and when (not if) the drive motor seals go, they spew oil. They also tend, because of the weight issue, to get banged up. Some fair better than others but when they crack, getting parts quickly is often a "not likely" event. I can almost always get Polaris parts the same day or next day.

    If you understand how to disconnect the electrical wires, most boosters use a reinforced flex that has quick connects making it a very simple DIY project at a substantial savings. Then you can shop around for the booster.

    It would take about 15 minutes to teach my 17 year old daughter. Granted, she isn't exactly a girly girl but she does make banging brownies!
    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 Booster pump dead - considering replacement

    It's actually a very simple job to replace the booster pump, and I found one for $235 on Amazon. I believe it took me about 30 minutes total to unpack, hook up the piping, and wire the motor. If you are unsure about the wiring open the back of the existing pump and draw a simple diagram of how the wires are connected before you disconnect them. They will be color coded and it's fairly simple to attach the new wires to the correct lugs.
    20' x 40' IG with vinyl liner volume approx. 35,000 gal.1.5 H.P. main pump, Polaris 280 cleaner W/ 3/4 H.P. booster pump
    Hayward sand filter, 3.14 sq ft, 62 gpm. Stenner 45 MPH10 chlorine feed pump. 1 micron final filter bags (home made and very effective)

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    Re: Polaris 280 Booster pump dead - considering replacement

    By now, I would think it's safe to say that robots have proven themselves.

    I went from a suction-side cleaner to a robot (Blue Diamond) and would never go back. My 75' cord floats, never gets tangled and the robot cleans the pool thoroughly. After two years it has no cracks and has run flawlessly.

    It is heavy. removing it gently from the pool (while standing on the deck) is not a task for a 10-year old or perhaps anyone without normal to above-average strength.

    Emptying the bag is a PITA but the 280 presents the same issues......only a suction-side eliminates that inconvenience.

    You don't say what size your pool is and I have always felt the most important correlation for auto-vacs is the size of the pool. A smaller pool requires much less cleaning power (read price) than a larger one.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Polaris 280 Booster pump dead - considering replacement

    A few things I've experienced. First, I had my Polaris Booster pump motor replaced, last Spring, by my favorite pool guy, for $325, including labor. It would have cost more if the whole pump had needed replacement but only the motor was bad. That was prior to discovering TFP, so now, I would certainly do it myself. I'm getting ready to DIY an Intelliflo VF, once the weather cooperates.

    I've had the iRobot Verro 300 since 2007 (or when they came out). It is essentially the Aquabot Turbo T-Jet, perhaps identical, as it is supposed to have been made by Aquabot and re branded for iRobot. It doesn't pick up leaves as well as the Polaris does. You said you don't have much sand/silt issues, but that is my main debris, except for leaves during parts of the year (and of course blowing debris, sand, silt, dog hair, pollen, plant debris year round. My problem is that when the fine collection bag pores get saturated with silt the 'bot no longer has enough umph to make it up the steep incline to my shallow end. It also doesn't make it up the walls very often. Unlike many of the Aquabots the Verro, and probably the T-jet, movement are powered by water, powered by one water pump that also performs the cleaning. I have just recently traded my Verro for an Aquabot Turbo, separate drive motor, and separate water pump that is much more powerful. It makes it up the walls very easily and has no trouble making it up into the shallow end even when the fine bag is saturated with fine silt.

    Both are heavy when you first bring them up from the water surface. I'm always a little concerned with my back but have managed to avoid problems that I am aware of. My pumping station is drained, pipes cut, awaiting my putting in new pump and filter so I have a huge collection of sand and silt on bottom of pool. I use Nasty Bags TM, a wonderful alternative to the Aquabot brand, and much less expensive. They even catch the extremely fine silt that makes it through virtually all other bags except for the EZ, disposable Polaris bags. I've been using the Aquabot Turbo, for a week now, changing out the bags every 30 minutes because of so much silt. I've discovered some "new" muscles in my thighs from all the activity taking the 'bot out of water and placing it back in.

    My dogs can easily swim over the Polaris hose and the Tracker 4X (vac) hose with no problems but they do get tangled in the Verro/Aquabot cord. I've never had any issues with the 'bot cord getting hung on the 'bot or too twisted as I regularly untwist the cord, daily.

    The most valuable thing for me, and the reason I purchased the Verro in the first place is that I can run it when the main pump is not running or can't be run such as now. Also, the cost of running the 'bot is much, much, less than running a main pump (for vac cleaner) or main pump plus booster for pressure cleaner. My plan is to run the Aquabot at night after I put the dogs in and run the Intelliflo on very low setting.

    The Polaris is the most hassle free as you put it in and only have to really take it out when you change the bag. The Polaris is very light weight compared to the 'bots and the bag is so much easier to take off and put on. My main issue with Polaris, over the years, has been that no bag or liner is able to contain our extremely fine silt (some as small as DE or smaller) but I have recently purchased the EZ Bag and it appears that it might be the solution. The EZ bags can't be easily reused or cleaned like other "disposable" bags so that is an expensive option, >$2 per bag, if you have to change them out frequently. I'm going to make my own, using plant frost protection sheeting.

    BTW.... I highly recommend the SolarBreeze for top skimming. I'm using a Ver. 2 Beta right now and it does a remarkable job of keeping the surface debris cleaned up. I'm not sure if their web sight has updated info on the Ver 2 but I have seen it for sale on one other site. That may be pre order.

    If you won't have issues with little people and/or pets getting tangled in the 'bot cord and you are reasonably, physically healthy and strong enough, and you don't have extremely steep slope from deep to shallow, and you don't have tons of sand/silt the T-jet might be okay for you. If you can find one to rent for a day or so that would be great, so you can try it out. Or purchase where they have a "no questions asked" return period that would, also, be a good way to try it out.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Polaris 280 Booster pump dead - considering replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by stev32k
    It's actually a very simple job to replace the booster pump, and I found one for $235 on Amazon. I believe it took me about 30 minutes total to unpack, hook up the piping, and wire the motor. If you are unsure about the wiring open the back of the existing pump and draw a simple diagram of how the wires are connected before you disconnect them. They will be color coded and it's fairly simple to attach the new wires to the correct lugs.
    Don't forget to turn the breaker off first.
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Polaris 280 Booster pump dead - considering replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    By now, I would think it's safe to say that robots have proven themselves.

    I went from a suction-side cleaner to a robot (Blue Diamond) and would never go back. My 75' cord floats, never gets tangled and the robot cleans the pool thoroughly. After two years it has no cracks and has run flawlessly.

    You don't say what size your pool is and I have always felt the most important correlation for auto-vacs is the size of the pool. A smaller pool requires much less cleaning power (read price) than a larger one.
    I've been told that the Blue Diamond and Blue Pearl are very similar to the Aquabots. Does the Blue Diamond have a separate motor and separate water pump? That certainly makes for more vigorous cleaning and locomotion. I think the Blue Pearl moves a little slower which is a consideration when you don't want the faster 'bots stirring up the silt on bottom. I first became aware of this when I started reading on the site http://www.i-love-my-aquabot-automatic-pool-cleaner.com

    The Blue Diamond comes highly rated. BTW.... Walmart has the Blue Pearl on clearance for $599, catalog order. I think the shipping is included, but not sure. The I love my Aquabot site has great info and comparisons on many of the robotic cleaners.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Polaris 280 Booster pump dead - considering replacement

    Does the Blue Diamond have a separate motor and separate water pump? That certainly makes for more vigorous cleaning and locomotion. I think the Blue Pearl moves a little slower which is a consideration when you don't want the faster 'bots stirring up the silt on bottom.
    I think the Blue Pearl is a somewhat smaller lighter weight version of the Blue Diamond. The Blue Diamond only has one large pump. However, mine has never shown a tendency to slow down, even when the bag is chock full. I get more debris than silt....that may be a difference. I certainly understand how clogging the bag would make the Diamond go slower but, in my case, that hasn't happened.

    Just an aside about cleaning power. Generally, the bigger pricier bots will go faster than the smaller less expensive versions. They have bigger motors and are designed to cover larger areas more quickly. Again, you pay for cleaning power.

    To a similar extent (but not quite as applicable in every case), that's why suction side cleaners are the least expensive, followed by pressure side and then robots.

    So, while there is certainly no one best cleaner, there may be a cleaner that's best for you if you understand why they cost what they do.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Polaris 280 Booster pump dead - considering replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    So, while there is certainly no one best cleaner, there may be a cleaner that's best for you if you understand why they cost what they do.
    That's why I have three cleaners, not including the Pool Blaster (Buster) and Solar Breeze and two Pool Skims. They each excel at different cleaning tasks.

    Now that I have the Aquabot for night time cleaning, mostly silt, the Tracker 4X (vac side) may see much less use. Polaris will always do the best with leaves, especially using the aftermarket giant, Aquawerx bags that do contain the sand but not silt, so probably will be used mostly in fall. SolarBreeze will run (free), all day,catching fine debris before it sinks. So Intelliflo VF will probably be running 24/7 on very low and big electric savings.

    Just had a chat with neighbor who has a 2 speed, or VS or VF. (We both were in a rush so didn't get into specifics.) Told her about my new pump. She commented, again, that to run her pool cost almost nothing, running on low speed. BTW.... she's really anxious to borrow my Solar Breeze. I can almost guarantee that she will be buying one after trying mine out. Her main debris is light weight blown in including the same amount of leaves and plant debris we have and they don't open and close their auto cover much as it usually requires some kind of costly repairs yearly anyway and needs to have the cover pump set up when it rains; so much hassle. She has Polaris 280 but when I'm over there is is usually moving around with main pump on lower speed so it doesn't do as good a job as it could on higher speed and with the booster running. There's usually, most of the time, some leaves in pool that I just don't tolerate in my pool.... cleanpoolitis?
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Polaris 280 Booster pump dead - considering replacement

    Thanks for all the great replies.

    My friend is a Costco member, so I'm going to try out a Kleen-Machine for $449. If I'm not happy with it, Costco will take it back, no questions. In that case, I'll spring for the Polaris replacement motor, unless people tell me that the Kleen-Machine is an inferior robot.

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    Re: Polaris 280 Booster pump dead - considering replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by sailorfred
    Thanks for all the great replies.

    My friend is a Costco member, so I'm going to try out a Kleen-Machine for $449. If I'm not happy with it, Costco will take it back, no questions. In that case, I'll spring for the Polaris replacement motor, unless people tell me that the Kleen-Machine is an inferior robot.
    The reviews on the Kellen-Machine are pretty mixed especially in the area of durability and breakdown. It does not climb walls from what I have read. But Costco has a fabulous return policy. In the robotic floor vac community, loads of people purchase their iRobot cleaners from Costco because of their generous returns policy.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Polaris 280 Booster pump dead - considering replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by stev32k
    It's actually a very simple job to replace the booster pump, and I found one for $235 on Amazon. I believe it took me about 30 minutes total to unpack, hook up the piping, and wire the motor. If you are unsure about the wiring open the back of the existing pump and draw a simple diagram of how the wires are connected before you disconnect them. They will be color coded and it's fairly simple to attach the new wires to the correct lugs.
    There is also a wiring diagram on top of the motor. It looks like the price @ Amazon went up a bit since then. You got a really good deal @ $235.
    Josh Ulfers - TFP Supporting Vendor - josh@saltpoolguys.com - 888-725-8766
    SaltPoolGuys.com - AutoPilot Pool Pilot Systems, Parts & Cells - AquaCal Heat Pumps

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    Re: Polaris 280 Booster pump dead - considering replacement

    If the Polaris worked ok before the motor went out, why do you want to change the whole cleaning system? Replace the motor, least expensive way to go, and do it yourself, if you get stuck, come back and ask one of us for direction. Someones always here.
    Factory Warranty Station for:
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    Re: Polaris 280 Booster pump dead - considering replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Pool Clown
    If the Polaris worked ok before the motor went out, why do you want to change the whole cleaning system? Replace the motor, least expensive way to go, and do it yourself, if you get stuck, come back and ask one of us for direction. Someones always here.
    Good point, if the METHOD isn't broke don't fix it. But I think he is interested in the energy savings of not having the booster pump running.

    Fred, do you have the Polaris pump on a timer? That would be a good way to curb some of the energy usage.
    Josh Ulfers - TFP Supporting Vendor - josh@saltpoolguys.com - 888-725-8766
    SaltPoolGuys.com - AutoPilot Pool Pilot Systems, Parts & Cells - AquaCal Heat Pumps

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    Re: Polaris 280 Booster pump dead - considering replacement

    I'm telling customers that ask about energy use to run the pool cleaner manually. Most pools don't get dirty EVERY day, and a good percentage are covered!
    Factory Warranty Station for:
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    Re: Polaris 280 Booster pump dead - considering replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by sailorfred
    Thanks for all the great replies.

    My friend is a Costco member, so I'm going to try out a Kleen-Machine for $449. If I'm not happy with it, Costco will take it back, no questions. In that case, I'll spring for the Polaris replacement motor, unless people tell me that the Kleen-Machine is an inferior robot.


    How does your Kleen Machine work? I am thinking about getting one since they are now on sale.

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    Mike S
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    Re: Polaris 280 Booster pump dead - considering replacement

    I picked up a Polaris booster pump from an ebay seller for $218 shipped last week. They still have some for sale at the same price. An electrician should be able to wire it for you pretty quickly.

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    Re: Polaris 280 Booster pump dead - considering replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike S
    I picked up a Polaris booster pump from an ebay seller for $218 shipped last week. They still have some for sale at the same price. An electrician should be able to wire it for you pretty quickly.
    Thats a smokin deal... But if you have to call an electrician to wire it, you just voided that smokin deal!
    Factory Warranty Station for:
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    and Paramount pool cleaning systems.

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Mike S
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    Re: Polaris 280 Booster pump dead - considering replacement

    After doing some reading here, I was able to do it myself with out any problems. Unfortunately the cost savings quickly got eaten up when I found out my main pump had seized up.

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