Help bring me out of the dark ages... Robot vs Polaris


New member
Jun 28, 2016
Austin, TX
Hey everyone,
Longtime lurker here... I have a question about robots. I've had a Polaris 280 for a couple years on the pool that came with my house. It works great, lives in the pool 365 days a year and runs about 2 hours a day and keeps our pool (15k gal, simple concrete) spotless. It's starting to need parts replaced so I'm looking at replacing it vs a robot.

So with a robot it will no longer live in the pool correct? So I have to manually remove it each use? Seems like a ton of work vs just emptying the Polaris bag once a week.

Ive seen hundreds of posts saying robots are better but no reason why just "quit living in the dark ages posts". Can someone please tell me why it's worth an extreme increase in time commitment to my pool? Thanks!


Well-known member
Aug 19, 2013
So with a robot it will no longer live in the pool correct? So I have to manually remove it each use? Seems like a ton of work vs just emptying the Polaris bag once a week.
Depends on what you consider a "ton" of work. It takes me about 2 minutes to deploy the robot, including the time to remove it from the shed, plug it into the wall and drop it into the pool. At the end of its cycle I pull it out, rinse out the basket, return it to the caddy and wind the cord. That's about 5 minutes. People will leave theirs in the pool but the floating cord combined with having a cord dangling over the coping (trip hazard for kids and dogs) from the deck make it an unappealing option for me. As for robot vs pressure-side, I love and prefer the robot.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 14, 2011
Murrieta, CA
With a robot you don't have to run the pump. The electric cost are much cheaper than running the pump. If you're running the pump and have lots of water flow, then keep using the polaris. In my case I'm running my 3/4 hp 2-speed 95% of the time on low, (about 20-22 gpm) it's too low to run the kreepy crauly, but on hi, I'm wasting lots of electric power to run the pump.
Hope that makes sense.
There is no right answer.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
I had a Pentair Legend II pressure cleaner that lived in the pool fall, winter and spring. Now, I have a Doheny's Discovery (same as Maytronics S200, Dolphin Triton and several others). It has a weekly program, mine is set to run daily for 7 days and then it shuts off. So, it stays in the pool a week, I dump it, reset it and toss it back in the pool. It cleans way, way better, it is much easier to clean out and holds a ton more stuff. No worries about syncing up pool pump and booster pump, and for me, the impact on solar and heater.

There is more about my robot in my pool thread, link in sig. Also, more here, First Robotic Cleaner, Doheny's Discovery


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
Bedford, TX

Let me know the next time you see an ad for a beautiful pool that has a cleaner deployed in the water...

There is a reason for that. :)

Visual appearance is my main reason for having a robot.... the fact that it works great, is just a bonus..

Jim R.


Well-known member
Oct 7, 2016
I had a pressure-side Polaris cleaner many years ago. If I had one of those today I would probably make the jump to a robot if the pump went bad. For 15 years I have used Hayward Navigators (suction-side cleaners) in two pools and I'm very happy with them. I don't find them expensive or difficult to keep in working order. I'm fortunate that neither of my pools have pop-ups or other great ideas like those that have fallen out of favor. I have easy to clean sand filters on both pools so I'm happy that all the dirt and leaves go to the basket or filter. If I had a cartridge or DE filter setup I might favor a robot to reduce cleaning hassles.

Tried and true gets my cash. I don't need the latest gizmos. Keep in mind I'm the type of person who buys cars that are always more than 10 years old.


New member
Jun 28, 2016
Austin, TX
Thanks everyone for the replies. I think since my pump is currently working and the Polaris works for the way I use it I will just try to repair mine for now and when the pump goes out eventually I'll take a nice long look at robots.

I still have a single speed pump with intermatic timers so I suspect most (if not all) my equipment will be upgraded in the next couple years so I may decide to do robot at that time. Thanks again!!!


Silver Supporter
May 9, 2010
Lake Mary, FL
I agree. I just purchased my 3rd rebuild kit for Polaris - about 3 years a pop - around $150'ish online; if you can handle a philips head screw driver, that's pretty much all you need. Takes about an hour. Oh, there's 2 kits; I always get the one without the bag and tail sweep.

Don't make the same mistake I did on my first rebuild about 11 years ago - piece by piece. I "thought" I only needed a couple things, then find corroded star washers, bearing races pop out and teeny-tiny balls go skittering. Buy the kit!