Choosing cleaner for new build

bdbull

New member
Jun 25, 2020
3
Georgia, US
We're having our pool built now and have been given several options for automatic cleaners. I've done some reading about the cleaners. I'm sure there are differing opinions but I generally see the robotic cleaners recommended over the cleaners that require a separate booster pump. Our build includes a Polaris 280, but we can upgrade to a Polaris Quattro Sport for $700 or a Polaris Alpha IQ+ for $900. I'm leaning towards the Alpha IQ+, but was curious to get some opinions from those that already have pools on which option you would choose. Or, would you stick with the standard Polaris 280 and buy something else from a retailer instead of upgrading to one of the other options? Just looking to get info so I can make a more informed decision.

Pool is 16x36 free form, tanning ledge, spa
 

1poolman1

In The Industry
Jul 14, 2014
2,638
Sacramento
Polaris 280 is a solid cleaner if you decide to go with that type. I always look at cost of repairs (I'm in that business). Of the three you mentioned, it has the least cost of repairs.
The one in my pool has been running for about 20 years. New tires, bearings, bag, all aftermarket (CMP) and it just keeps working. Those parts need replacing in every cleaner from time to time. Only replaced the feed hose kit once in that time.

If you get a 280, get a Swasher sweep-tail end or complete sweep-tail kit. Keeps the tail from spraying out of the pool, is heavy duty and will last a long time. Relatively new, can be found on Amazon. Your builder may not have heard of them.
 

tcat

Silver Supporter
May 30, 2012
1,318
Austin, TX
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool Edge-40
I personally hate suction or pressure cleaners with a hose. Bought Aquabot 4WD 9 years ago, no repairs. Just toss it in and pull out as needed. Replaced this year with Aquabot SP200 (from Target), under $500. Same cleaner with added swivel cable. Does a great job on 13x32 x8' deep (no ledge).
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
3,770
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
The positive part of a Polaris 280 is easy of operation. Mine stays in the pool 24/7. I have program times to run as needed. Very few moving parts. I did a complete rebuild 18 months ago for less then $175 and that was after 8 years of operation. There are regular maintenance items such as debris bag, tail sweep scrubbers, etc but relatively low cost. The debris bag is quite large so I empty it weekly but that is dependent on your specific pool environmen.

The downside is that is requires a booster pump which is extra cost plus the energy cost to run it. It has a hose but I have only changed part of it once and I just remove the whole cleaner and hose if there are plenty of people in the pool.

I have not been convinced that a robot is better, especially if you have to remove it after each cleaning cycle.
 
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tcat

Silver Supporter
May 30, 2012
1,318
Austin, TX
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool Edge-40
I only remove mine to extend life. Very easy to remove. I only run one 3 hour cycle a week and store it in a cabinet (maybe 2-3x per week when acorns fall). It's out of the way, no extra pump, easy clean baskets, never replaced a part, almost no cost to run.
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,761
Tucson
My first pool had a Polaris booster pump and cleaner. I have also had a pool with a pop up floor cleaning system and have used suction side cleaners. Then I broke down and bought a robot. There is no comparison. Sure, they are expensive (about $1k) and can fail after a few years use. But nothing else cleans as well, and does it by itself. Other methods req the main pool pump and even a booster pump, drawing lots of electrical power, so the saving can help pay for replacement cost.

Building a pool today, I would forget any discussion of cleaners with the pool builder. Just allow about $1k to buy yourself a robot after the build is complete.
 
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bdbull

New member
Jun 25, 2020
3
Georgia, US
Building a pool today, I would forget any discussion of cleaners with the pool builder. Just allow about $1k to buy yourself a robot after the build is complete.
I'm leaning towards the robot. So I'm trying to decide if I should just go with the Polaris 280 that is included in the build and buy a robot cleaner on my own or upgrade to the Polaris Alpha IQ+ for $900 from the builder. Will probably come down to comparison of warranties.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
3,770
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
I'm leaning towards the robot. So I'm trying to decide if I should just go with the Polaris 280 that is included in the build and buy a robot cleaner on my own or upgrade to the Polaris Alpha IQ+ for $900 from the builder. Will probably come down to comparison of warranties.
I would not get the Polaris 280 if you feel you want to have a robotic cleaner in the near future. The addition of the booster pump is a cost factor as well as it takes room on your equipment pad, also it requires a dedicated return line to the pool.

I would look at performance rather than warranties. Search this forum and others for Reviews of the Alpha IQ+ and find any issues. I know I read once that the control of direction via the app was not always great but that is a feature I think is seldom used. All other features of this cleaner look great.

You do not say what other pool equipment you will have or automation. The Polaris uses the Jandy iAquaLink app which is fine. If you have also Jandy automation system then everything is on 1 app.