Polaris 280 - getting lazy on the job lately

gocubs418

Well-known member
May 3, 2016
385
Dallas/TX
I've had the Polaris 280 for about 4 years now. Besides replacing the bags and one of the swivel joints, it is been a champ.

However, lately I have noticed a good amount of fine dirt in places I feel the Polaris should be covering.

Not sure how to troubleshoot it. Could be a suction issue, could be a pathing issue, doesn't seem like a leak issue. I did double my cleaning time from 2.5 hours to 5 hours.
 

Saturn94

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Mar 11, 2015
1,058
SE Virginia
Pool Size
20000
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Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
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Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
It could either be the dirt is fine enough to blow through the Polaris debris bag, or it isn’t covering the entire pool like it use to.

Check to make sure nothing is impeding water flow to and through the Polaris. Are the wheels rotating at the proper speed? Also, I notice it doesn’t perform as well when water temps drop below 70° or so.

I had a similar issue some years ago where the Polaris seemed to miss sone areas. Replacing all the hose swivels fixed it.

I hope something here helps.
 
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Mayorb

In The Industry
Mar 16, 2010
167
Be sure your gears on the wheels are still fully engaged. After a few years just the tips are catching and some are not.
You can check this by grabbing the single side wheel and turning it back and forth briskly, do the same for the front double side wheel.
There shouldn't be any slippage.
If so, you can adjust the axles so the gears in the wheels more fully engage with the drive shaft.
If a wheel has broke or stripped teeth, you can change it out with the double side rear wheel.
 
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gocubs418

Well-known member
May 3, 2016
385
Dallas/TX
Be sure your gears on the wheels are still fully engaged. After a few years just the tips are catching and some are not.
You can check this by grabbing the single side wheel and turning it back and forth briskly, do the same for the front double side wheel.
There shouldn't be any slippage.
If so, you can adjust the axles so the gears in the wheels more fully engage with the drive shaft.
If a wheel has broke or stripped teeth, you can change it out with the double side rear wheel.

My god, you guys are geniuses! One of my wheel you can practically spin freely. All 3 of the wheels are flaking or shedding.

Do you know what I need to buy in order to get this working again?

Edit: after reading more about it, one of the wheels is undriven so that makes sense.
 
Last edited:

gocubs418

Well-known member
May 3, 2016
385
Dallas/TX
It could either be the dirt is fine enough to blow through the Polaris debris bag, or it isn’t covering the entire pool like it use to.

Check to make sure nothing is impeding water flow to and through the Polaris. Are the wheels rotating at the proper speed? Also, I notice it doesn’t perform as well when water temps drop below 70° or so.

I had a similar issue some years ago where the Polaris seemed to miss sone areas. Replacing all the hose swivels fixed it.

I hope something here helps.

Here is a quick clip of the polaris.


It seems like the wheels are moving, when it gets to the wall, it just kinda flips, and starts moving elsewhere. Suction still doesn't seem too strong, the bag is collecting, but still a lot of sand/dirt remaining especially near the walls.
 

Hal3

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 29, 2008
145
San Antonio, Texas
Pool Size
9000
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Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Another post that might help.
 

gocubs418

Well-known member
May 3, 2016
385
Dallas/TX
Sorry to whoever was trying to watch the video. I think I made it public now.
It could either be the dirt is fine enough to blow through the Polaris debris bag, or it isn’t covering the entire pool like it use to.

Check to make sure nothing is impeding water flow to and through the Polaris. Are the wheels rotating at the proper speed? Also, I notice it doesn’t perform as well when water temps drop below 70° or so.

I had a similar issue some years ago where the Polaris seemed to miss sone areas. Replacing all the hose swivels fixed it.

I hope something here helps.
Be sure your gears on the wheels are still fully engaged. After a few years just the tips are catching and some are not.
You can check this by grabbing the single side wheel and turning it back and forth briskly, do the same for the front double side wheel.
There shouldn't be any slippage.
If so, you can adjust the axles so the gears in the wheels more fully engage with the drive shaft.
If a wheel has broke or stripped teeth, you can change it out with the double side rear wheel.
Suggest you review this post which has similar questions and various solutions.
Also see my post on rebuild of Polaris 280
Another post that might help.
 
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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,360
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Could it be the tires? It seems like it's functioning just losing suction somewhere.
Have you taken the net off and looked at the jets shooting water upwards while pump on? this Causes the suction effect to move dirt from the pool bottom into the net. Polaris does not give a specification for this height but it should be at least to the net height.
 

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gocubs418

Well-known member
May 3, 2016
385
Dallas/TX
Have you taken the net off and looked at the jets shooting water upwards while pump on? this Causes the suction effect to move dirt from the pool bottom into the net. Polaris does not give a specification for this height but it should be at least to the net height.
I have taken the net off and made sure those two jets on the side were firing up. I even used a toothpick and made sure no debris was in there.
 

gocubs418

Well-known member
May 3, 2016
385
Dallas/TX
So I opened Polaris up, nothing really looks broken or loose. The only thing is that the tires are a little worn. Maybe replace those? If not, maybe the bag has a tear I can't see.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,360
Katy TX
Pool Size
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So I opened Polaris up, nothing really looks broken or loose. The only thing is that the tires are a little worn. Maybe replace those? If not, maybe the bag has a tear I can't see.
Tires are hard to call good or bad - it is really how they are gripping the tension wheel and the moving on the pool surface. If they are gooey then definitely change them.
If it is moving properly and is creating proper flow to lift debris then it could be your bag. Are you aware that Polaris makes different mesh bags? See below. Most pool stores carry K-13 and K-16. You may need to search Amazon or other online stores to find. K-14.
Polaris Bags for Model 280
Part No.QtyDescription
K-131All Purpose Bag with zipper
K-141Silt Bag for fine particles
K-151Leaf Bag - Large Blue
K-161All Purpose Bag with Velcro
 

gocubs418

Well-known member
May 3, 2016
385
Dallas/TX
Tires are hard to call good or bad - it is really how they are gripping the tension wheel and the moving on the pool surface. If they are gooey then definitely change them.
If it is moving properly and is creating proper flow to lift debris then it could be your bag. Are you aware that Polaris makes different mesh bags? See below. Most pool stores carry K-13 and K-16. You may need to search Amazon or other online stores to find. K-14.
Polaris Bags for Model 280
Part No.QtyDescription
K-131All Purpose Bag with zipper
K-141Silt Bag for fine particles
K-151Leaf Bag - Large Blue
K-161All Purpose Bag with Velcro

So I noticed one of my swivel joints were leaking pretty badly. I ordered a new swivel joint and 3 new tires. Installed them a few days ago. The bag seems heavier than usual. May have done the trick? I did notice that the 280 was climbing a lot better because it was getting stuck on my tanning ledge before the booster pump kicks on.

Visually, it looks like the 280 was moving a lot faster, but that could just be in my head since I changed out the parts.

Thanks for your help.
 
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