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Thread: Booster pump for Polaris 380?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Prescott, Wisconsin
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    Booster pump for Polaris 380?

    I've just purchased a used Polaris 380 for quite cheap, but now I'm wondering about the booster pump. Does it require a booster pump to run, or can it run without it? They look very expensive, and I'm worried that my "good deal" has just turned into a much more expensive prospect than I originally thought.
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

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    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Central Texas
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    326

    Re: Booster pump for Polaris 380?

    It relies on the booster pump to operate. My 280 doesn't hardly move at all until the booster pump kicks on. The high pressure water is what operates the drive mechanism and then creates a strong vacuum effect by shooting the water straight up the throat of the unit. I just helped my BIL replace the motor on his Polaris pump Saturday. The motor alone was $170-ish, while a whole pump/motor kit was $280-ish. I love everything about my Polaris but the ripoff pricing of replacement parts.
    26,000 Gallon Gunnite IGP
    2 HP Challenger High Head Pump
    60sf Nautilus DE filter
    Polaris 280

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Booster pump for Polaris 380?

    We actually plugged it into our wall return without the booster pump and it seemed to move around and pick up things well until the hose fitting blew out of the wall (it didn't come with the restrictor disk -- would need to get that if it will work for us). I think we have a pretty powerful pump, since it moves this cleaner fairly well. Is there a possibility that we could use this one with our pump, or would it cause problems somehow?

    Also, what is a dedicated pressure line? I don't think we have one, but I'm not sure.

    What kind of automatic pool cleaner could we use if we don't have a booster pump or a dedicated pressure line?
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Guest

    Re: Booster pump for Polaris 380?

    Quote Originally Posted by singerteacher

    What kind of automatic pool cleaner could we use if we don't have a booster pump or a dedicated pressure line?
    Polaris 360 is designed to be used by plugging it into one of your returns and does not need a booster pump. Same for the Pentair Letro Legend II (which is a copy of the Polaris 360).

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Jun 2008
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    Re: Booster pump for Polaris 380?

    Thanks ... so it doesn't need a "dedicated pressure line"? Or that just a term for a threaded return line? It looks from the instructions that you hook it into a threaded return line and close up the other return line with a special eyeball.

    Also: If the Polaris 380 will run on our system without a booster pump, is there anything harmful in letting it do that?
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Guest

    Re: Booster pump for Polaris 380?

    If you have a dedicated suction line for a suction side cleaner it's really fairly trivial to convert it to a pressure line and install the booster pump. If you don't Polaris has an 'over the pool wall' kit for installing a pressure line with either PVC or a flexible hose but then you have pipe or hose going over the pool deck. If you can't do either of these solutions then I would try and sell the 380 and get a 360, which is designed to be used with your existing return. The 380 probably won't work properly since the flow rate out of your return is not going to be enough to properly power it. It might move but it won't really clean and probably wont climb the walls at all or go up steps. (Also, it uses different hose and fittings).

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Prescott, Wisconsin
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    Re: Booster pump for Polaris 380?

    I apologize for my ignorance, but I don't know what a dedicated suction line or a suction side cleaner are! It might mean that I don't have either of them, but since I don't know what I'm looking for, I can't be sure.

    I read that the 380 needs 30psi, and the 360 needs 19psi. Without both returns open, running normally, I have 17psi. (I think I read here that most of those gauges aren't accurate, though.) Does that mean anything about whether I can use the 380 or should sell it? I'm thinking that possibly when I close up one return, I'll have 34psi? Of course, this is a complete guess on my part, since I don't know anything about it.

    About the different hoses and fittings: I was able to screw the Universal Wall Fitting into my return line after I removed the eyeball, but had difficulty getting the Quick Disconnect to stay in after I turned the pump on. Is this because the fittings are not meant for the return line, or because I didn't secure it properly?

    Also, could you explain more about the "over the pool wall" kit? Where does it connect? What is a "pressure line" versus the regular return line? Is it something I could do myself, or would the PB have to do it?

    Thank you so much for all your information!
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Prescott, Wisconsin
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    Re: Booster pump for Polaris 380?

    To add even more to my obvious ignorance:

    There is an unused fitting on the side of the pool near the pump. It looks like a covered-up return line. Could that be a suction or cleaner line? I don't know if it's hooked up to anything or not ... we got zero documentation about the pool when we bought the house. The PB knows, though, because they installed a new liner a few years back, so I could ask them ... tomorrow!
    -----------------------------------
    26000 gal, in-ground, vinyl pool
    Hayward S200 sand filter, 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    BBB since the first month! :-)

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Guest

    Re: Booster pump for Polaris 380?

    Suction lines are like skimmer lines....they suck the water out of the pool and are used with suction side cleaners like the zodiac baracuda or hayward navigator. I don't like them because they suck all the dirt into your filter. Sounds like that is what you might have in your pool or it could be a pressure line which is like a return but has a booster pump plumbed into also to increase the water pressure. To convert one type to the other just requires a bit or replumbing at the pump. Dedicated lines like this should have their own valve controlling them, btw.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    spishex's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
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    Hillsborough, NC
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    Re: Booster pump for Polaris 380?

    If you can get enough water flow to the 380 without a booster pump then there is no need for one, but the majority of pools cannot accomplish this. As you mentioned you'll probably have to direct all your water flow to the Polaris to stand a chance.

    A dedicated line, suction or pressure, is just a single line in the pool that goes back to a single pipe at the pump, and a pressure line is the same as a return line. If you have two returns in the pool that are fed by one pipe at your equipment that is an example of a non-dedicated line. On the other hand you may have dedicated lines for your main drain and skimmer. A picture of your equipment pad would help us determine this.

    Sounds like you are just not getting the wall fitting in properly. Practice locking it in place above water a few times before you put it in the pool, and make sure the tabs on the threaded part are in good shape.

    So, to determine if this thing is going to work take a marker and put a dot on one wheel and then plug the unit in and direct all water flow to it, either with your valves at the equipment or by plugging the other return. Hold it near the top of the water and watch the wheel with the spinning dot. You need it to be going about 30 RPM. If you can get it there, you're good (as long as your filter is clean).

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Booster pump for Polaris 380?

    I can run my 380 without the booster pump and it uses a little less electricity than it does with the booster. It still has excess pressure that the relief valve is dumping even though it is two feet higher than the pool.
    I only do this when I am using the hot tub and pool cleaner at the same time, because of the valve arrangement.
    It is sucking unfiltered water back up the return line and could possibly pick up a twig.
    It probably wouldn't do it if it wasn't already primed..

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