Polaris 380 Sluggishness


Active member
Feb 6, 2018
Conroe TX area
This is more of a general question and any additional help would be much appreciated. I have a polaris 380 that I run for ~2-3 hours a day. Lately, the tail has not been sweeping, hampering the cleaner's performance. It also does circles for what seems like most of the run time. Could this be due to stiff tubing from cold water? The water is 62°F and I do not have a heater. Thanks.


Well-known member
May 20, 2008
From my polaris manual

For proper operation, the wheel RPM should be
between 28 and 32.

If the Polaris is operating below 28 RPM:
• Remove the universal wall fitting by
attaching the quick disconnect. Pull it
away from the pool wall as you unscrew
the universal wall fitting.
• Push the blue restrictor out of the universal
wall fitting.
• Reinstall the universal wall fitting.
• Recheck the wheel RPM.
If you still have less than 28 RPM:
• Clean the filter screen in the quick disconnect. A dirty filter screen will restrict the
water flow from the pump to the Polaris.
• Check the hoses, connections, and swivels
for leaks that could cause loss of water
• If there is a gate valve installed on the
booster pump or the Polaris cleaner line,
open it completely so water can flow freely
to the Polaris.
• Clean the skimmer and pump baskets.
Please Note: If the above suggestions do not
work, contact our Customer Service Department
at 1-800-VAC-SWEEP (USA and Canada only)

also check your wheels, mine get slick and have no grip and then get stuck.


In The Industry
Mar 16, 2010
The wheels actually spin much faster than that, but I will have to check the treads. I appreciate your help.
The RPMs should be measured while the cleaner is under water.
Assuming your internals are right and tight, (belt, hose connections and bearings), you are losing water psi somewhere else.
The most likely culprits are the backup valve on the hose, and the over pressure relief valve on the wall fitting.
Check both for leaks while system is running.


LifeTime Supporter
Nov 25, 2014
Kingwood Texas
With my pool at my previous home I had the Polaris 280 and when it did this I would pull the top cover to ensure all hoses were still zip tied as required. I would find one that had worked its way loose. Also, I would replace the wheels because the gears may look fine but it does not take much wear for them not to function correctly.