Is a booster pump necessary?

newpoolj

Well-known member
Oct 15, 2020
48
Sacramento, Ca
I'm pricing out a pool build, and one builder includes a Pentair VS pump and also a booster pump to power a Pentair Legend cleaner. I asked if this was necessary and he said no, but recommended, since a cleaner can put added strain on your main pump, shortening its life.

I'm curious to hear from the TFP folks how necessary this is. To me, two pumps just means two things that can break, so I'd prefer to keep my build simpler if possible. Any input?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
22,113
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Skip the Legend and booster pump and get a robot cleaner.

The booster pump gives the higher flow the cleaner needs since it is not passing through the restrictions of your filter and heater.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,244
Bedford, TX
"Is a booster pump necessary?"

Only if you still live in the 60's... :mrgreen:

I am not sure the Pentair Legend can run off of the main pump or not, but trying to do so will not damage the main pump. That is just a load of Bull Feathers..


I agree with Allen... I use a Robot like this..


Thanks,

Jim R.
 

newpoolj

Well-known member
Oct 15, 2020
48
Sacramento, Ca
Thanks for the responses. Are robot cleaners just superior to pump powered cleaners? Aside from a robot, would my next best choice be to just run a pressure side cleaner without a booster?
 
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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
15,175
Evans, Georgia
robots also climb the walls and brush...... one less job for you to do routinely, eh!?

(we do still manually brush now and then anyway just to be sure all spots hit, but before the robot we weren't doing it as often as it should be done)

Maddie :flower:
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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Are robot cleaners just superior to pump powered cleaners?
Hands down, YES!
Aside from a robot, would my next best choice be to just run a pressure side cleaner without a booster?
No. Virtually all pressure side cleaners REQUIRE a booster pump.

GET THE ROBOT, you will never regret it.
 
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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
5,379
NY
To me, two pumps just means two things that can break, so I'd prefer to keep my build simpler if possible. Any input?
I’m a +5 with everybody else. The second pump also means you have to pay close to double the electric whenever you use the cleaner. If you bought a house that came with that setup, it’s one thing to not want to spend $700 on a better setup (dolphin s200 or equivalent). But to pay a lot more than that upfront on equipment, just to pay a lot more on electric over the life of the equipment makes no sense whatsoever. And the robot cleans better on top of that so it’s truly a no brainer when you are starting from scratch.
 

newpoolj

Well-known member
Oct 15, 2020
48
Sacramento, Ca
Hands down, YES! No. Virtually all pressure side cleaners REQUIRE a booster pump.

GET THE ROBOT, you will never regret it.
A robot sounds fine, cost-wise, since it's a new build anyways. It just seems like too much trouble for me to put it in and out of the pool. This will get old quickly.

It looks like a Polaris 360 doesn't require a separate pump and I could leave it in the pool. I'm assuming that should work fine?
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
5,379
NY
If you have kids/grandkids you will be removing the Polaris everytime they swim which will be more than the once a week you’d have to put the robot in. Stick kids in a pool with a vac hose and it instantly becomes the thing to hang on, swim under/over/through the loops. Ask me how I know. :)
 
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newpoolj

Well-known member
Oct 15, 2020
48
Sacramento, Ca
If you have kids/grandkids you will be removing the Polaris everytime they swim which will be more than the once a week you’d have to put the robot in. Stick kids in a pool with a vac hose and it instantly becomes the thing to hang on, swim under/over/through the loops. Ask me how I know. :)
I'm mostly thinking of the off season. Going outside to put a cleaner in and out when it's cold doesn't sound like fun.

Is there any reason a Polaris 360 wouldn't work? Assuming my pool is plumbed to support it, that still leaves the option of switching to a robot later if I desire.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
5,379
NY
I'm mostly thinking of the off season. Going outside to put a cleaner in and out when it's cold doesn't sound like fun.
Fair enough. We are here to give you all the info so you can make your best choice for you. Then we’ll all high five you for whatever you chose. :)
Is there any reason a Polaris 360 wouldn't work?
It should work great and many people love theirs.
that still leaves the option of switching to a robot later if I desire
Yup. A backup plan is always awesome to have too because opinions and thoughts tend to change for all of us over time. I did a few things that I regretted but I was still thrilled that I knew for a fact because otherwise I’d always have wondered what-if.
 
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BowserB

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
386
Katy, Texas
If your objective is easy and less to do, then the pressure side cleaner is fine. You'll have to have either a booster pump or a very high powered standard pump. Either of those options will be noisy and use a lot of electricity. The typical Pentair booster pump is pure garbage and requires that the standard pump be running at a specified minimum, so you run two pumps for the cleaner to operate. Also since, it just uses a water stream to "sweep," it only picks up the lighter items, as it has no brush to loosen up what's on the bottom. It also doesn't clean the walls. Of course, you can hire a pool service to come once a week to brush the pool floor and walls. Of course if easy is all that matters, I know people who do NOTHING to their pools. The pool guy comes once a week, and they're happy.

OTOH, if what you want is for the floor and walls of the pool to be clean, then a quality robot works so much better than what you're looking at, it's like cleaning your home floors with a vacuum cleaner vs a broom. I had two different pressure side cleaners provided by the pool builder. The first, a Pentair Racer, kept getting stuck on things. It was replaced with a Kreepy Krauly Platinum, which didn't get stuck but eventually would only run in the deep end of the pool. Words cannot describe what a difference the 3-brush Maytronics M500 made. The first time I ran it and saw it climb the walls and clean along the water line, I was amazed--but only until I saw how much stuff it picked up, and then I was really amazed. Yes, it is definitely more trouble, as I will not leave my $1,200 cleaner in a pool of chlorinated water. I run a 3.5 hour cycle about once a week, take it out, dump the debris it's colleted, rinse with fresh water, and store on the caddy that also holds the power supply on the covered patio.
 
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jtpipkin

Bronze Supporter
Oct 2, 2016
258
albany, ga
Hey - just my two cents. I have a polaris 280. needs the booster. does a great job with everything that gets in the pool. easy to work on as well. do i want a robot, yes. do i want chords across my pool deck, no. can i work on the robot when it goes down, probably not. i don't like running a booster, but I tried a suction side and it did not work with my dual speed pump on the slower speeds. kind of defeated the purpose if I would have run the main pump on high just to get the cleaner to work. There are lot's of opinions and everyone is different. Good luck with your decision.
 
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newpoolj

Well-known member
Oct 15, 2020
48
Sacramento, Ca
If your objective is easy and less to do, then the pressure side cleaner is fine. You'll have to have either a booster pump or a very high powered standard pump. Either of those options will be noisy and use a lot of electricity.
What are you thinking for a high powered standard pump? I'm considering a Pentair VS pump, either 1.5 or 3hp. Apologies since I'm not sure how this works, but if something like a Polaris 360 requires a higher flow rate, could I just run that occasionally on a schedule while still leaving the cleaner in the pool the rest of the time filtering at a lower flow rate? I'm not sure if that would interfere with the normal filtering, but maybe it depends on how many return lines the pool has?

OTOH, if what you want is for the floor and walls of the pool to be clean, then a quality robot works so much better than what you're looking at, it's like cleaning your home floors with a vacuum cleaner vs a broom. I had two different pressure side cleaners provided by the pool builder. The first, a Pentair Racer, kept getting stuck on things. It was replaced with a Kreepy Krauly Platinum, which didn't get stuck but eventually would only run in the deep end of the pool. Words cannot describe what a difference the 3-brush Maytronics M500 made. The first time I ran it and saw it climb the walls and clean along the water line, I was amazed--but only until I saw how much stuff it picked up, and then I was really amazed. Yes, it is definitely more trouble, as I will not leave my $1,200 cleaner in a pool of chlorinated water. I run a 3.5 hour cycle about once a week, take it out, dump the debris it's colleted, rinse with fresh water, and store on the caddy that also holds the power supply on the covered patio.
Once a week doesn't sound too bad. We still haven't decided whether we'll want to hire a pool service or do it ourselves, so this is great into. For a new pool build, would it be ideal to get some power close to the pool, but not so close that it's exposed to splashing? Also, does salt matter for a robot?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
22,113
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I'm mostly thinking of the off season. Going outside to put a cleaner in and out when it's cold doesn't sound like fun.

Is there any reason a Polaris 360 wouldn't work? Assuming my pool is plumbed to support it, that still leaves the option of switching to a robot later if I desire.
If you want a pressure side cleaner the only one I would buy today is the Polaris Quattro Sport with a booster pump. Any pressure side cleaner without a booster pump gives sub-optimal cleaning.


I like my Polaris 380 cleaner and continue to keep it running with occasional rebuilds. When I need a new one I will get the Quattro Sport. It has all the modern cleaning technology of a robot but powered by the booster water pressure.
 
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