Polaris 380 vacuum...OR Something else??

fudgebar

Well-known member
Jul 25, 2010
172
North Bergen, NJ
Should I get the Polaris 380 included in my pool package purchase (which the PB is itemizing it at $1200) or should I take the 1200 credit off my price and use it to buy something better on my own?....recommendations?


Pros , cons of the Polaris system?


thanks

Lori
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,036
SouthWest Alabama
A lot of people like the 380 cleaners and I'm sure they're good units but at $1200 you could get a robot and not have to run the main pump and a booster pump if that's a consideration. Hopefully you'll get other advice as I have a suction side cleaner I was just telling you how I would approach it.
 

Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
Tucson, AZ
I also recommend looking elsewhere. If you're sure you want a pressure-side cleaner, I'd recommend The Pool Cleaner, since it is less expensive to buy and less expensive to run (no booster pump). A suction cleaner would work just fine for that size pool, as would a robot.
 

svenpup

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 18, 2009
835
Sacramento, CA
The 280 is considered the workhorse of the Polaris line, and from what I have read here the extra cost for the 380 is not worth it as described here (and elswhere I am sure)
 

fudgebar

Well-known member
Jul 25, 2010
172
North Bergen, NJ
Actually, your advice was exactly what I was thinking.....would a robot do a better more efficient job for me?....what is the best one to get. I here alot about the Hayward Tiger Shark but I dont know of any others

thoughts?

thankx
 

fudgebar

Well-known member
Jul 25, 2010
172
North Bergen, NJ
ok I just read the 2 posts above mine after I posted the above...I see alot of you recommend the Polaris 280 over the 380, and someone mentioned a Pool Cleaner and also the Blue Pearl in the other thread??

How would the 280, Pool Cleaner or the Blue Pearl compare to a top robot VAC?....any pros or cons either way, cost, low maintenance, etc?....This is all new to me

thanks again,

Lori
 

geekgranny

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 20, 2009
1,358
North Central Texas
Also, take into consideration what kind of debris and how much will be going into your pool. If there are other pools near you you might want to find out from the owners what they deal with in terms of dust, sand, silt, wind, plant debris, etc. Then with comments from TFP members you'll be armed with more information to make the best choice.

Is the pool going to be flat bottom or have a steep slope from deep to shallow. That will be a factor also, especially if you go with a robot.

gg=alice
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
The Polaris 280 has been around forever and is about as reliable as these things get. However the booster pump system used with the 280/380 uses more power than any of the other possible approaches. A larger pool would benefit from a good robotic cleaner, as they tend to be sized for larger pools than the 280/380 are. Some of the robotic cleaners also allow remote control, which is nice for driving over to a specific spot of dirt and picking it up quickly. Some of the robotic cleaners also include extremely fine mesh bags that help filter the water more, which a Polaris doesn't.
 

Beez

LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2009
785
Dallas, TX
JasonLion said:
The Polaris 280 has been around forever and is about as reliable as these things get. However the booster pump system used with the 280/380 uses more power than any of the other possible approaches. A larger pool would benefit from a good robotic cleaner, as they tend to be sized for larger pools than the 280/380 are. Some of the robotic cleaners also allow remote control, which is nice for driving over to a specific spot of dirt and picking it up quickly. Some of the robotic cleaners also include extremely fine mesh bags that help filter the water more, which a Polaris doesn't.
But then, a Polaris helps to circulate/mix the water very quickly and thoroughly which a robot doesn't do nearly as well. Just helping to point out various pros & cons... :wink:
 

geekgranny

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 20, 2009
1,358
North Central Texas
Beez said:
JasonLion said:
The Polaris 280 has been around forever and is about as reliable as these things get. However the booster pump system used with the 280/380 uses more power than any of the other possible approaches. A larger pool would benefit from a good robotic cleaner, as they tend to be sized for larger pools than the 280/380 are. Some of the robotic cleaners also allow remote control, which is nice for driving over to a specific spot of dirt and picking it up quickly. Some of the robotic cleaners also include extremely fine mesh bags that help filter the water more, which a Polaris doesn't.
But then, a Polaris helps to circulate/mix the water very quickly and thoroughly which a robot doesn't do nearly as well. Just helping to point out various pros & cons... :wink:
Well my old Aquabot circulates and filters about 3K gallon an hour. That's a lot of water movement. Some of the newer faster robots can do 4K + gallons per hour. Not sure about the Pool Rover Jr but lots of people with flat bottoms love them.

The bags I use for Aquabot filter virtually as finely as the fine filtering Aquabot bags. They are aftermarket Nasty Bags. I've been using mine since beginning of the year and they are still in good shape. I rinse them out and wash several at a time cold/gentle, with a little vinegar.

Under normal circumstances, when I use my suction cleaner I have to backwash my big filter once a week. Using the Aquabot I can go four weeks between backwashings. Either cleaner needs to be run a few hours a 24 hour period to keep the microscopic, cementous dust in check. With rare exceptions virtually all people have less microscopic dust than I have and virtually no one has the "cementous" dust, so very few people will need to run their cleaners as much as I do.

Out of all I've owned the Polaris 280, helped with two Pool Skims, does the best for leaves in fall and winter. I like using the aftermarket Aquawerx bags as they are larger than the Polaris 280 leaf bags and filter as finely as the Polaris 280 sand/silt bag.

gg=alice
 

Beez

LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2009
785
Dallas, TX
geekgranny said:
Well my old Aquabot circulates and filters about 3K gallon an hour. That's a lot of water movement. Some of the newer faster robots can do 4K + gallons per hour.
I stand corrected! :oops:

But still, to my mind, that's not quite as good as having an extra return that roams all over the pool. That's essentially what the Polaris is(from a circulation point of view). :wink:
 

geekgranny

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 20, 2009
1,358
North Central Texas
Beez said:
geekgranny said:
Well my old Aquabot circulates and filters about 3K gallon an hour. That's a lot of water movement. Some of the newer faster robots can do 4K + gallons per hour.
I stand corrected! :oops:

But still, to my mind, that's not quite as good as having an extra return that roams all over the pool. That's essentially what the Polaris is(from a circulation point of view). :wink:
Well, again, my Aquabot goes all over the pool and up the walls, moving much more water than a Polaris 280 can. When my Aquabot is in the 10 ft deep end there is a disturbance on the surface of the water from the huge powerful blast of water coming out the top. My and other Polaris 280s have two tiny jets that shoot water up into the bag and some out the tail. This is high pressure but in very small volume compared to the amount of water that is driven through the robot.

I've had Polaris 280s since they hit the market. (I couldn't use the 180 prior to the 280 because the throat was too small for our acorns.) I just sold my 280 to a friend in interest of cutting down on electric use runnig it about 10 hours a day. That's a lot of electric use. The only bags that can capture most, but not all, of our microscopic dust is the disposable EZ bags, about $5.00 a piece. I wash them out but they only hold up for about 36 hours before disintegrating. The Polaris keeps the dust stirred up. I can run the suction cleaner for much less time, upping only the VF pump speed, less expensive than running booster pump, or use the Aquabot for several hours a day for pennies in electricity to do a much better job keeping the pool clarity at maximum possible. The downsides are suction cleaner loads the filter fast so lots of backwashing; Aquabot is heavy. I have to put a fresh fine bag in daily when our dust is at its least.

The slower moving Aquabots (and other brands) hardly stir up the dust at all. They are recommended for environments with lots of dust. See the Internet site, I Love My Aquabot. Faster moving ones would stir up my dust too much. The ones with jet scrubbing instead of brush scrubbing stir up dust more too. I had a Verro 300 that used jets to scrub and no brushes. It did stir up the dust more than the rubber brushes. It moved at about the same speed as old Aquabot, moving and filtering about the same 3K gallons per hour, but only had one pump for locomotion and suction/jets so it couldn't make it up my steep slope when the bag became only slightly loaded/clogged and it didn't go up the walls.

There are lots of advantages to the Polaris 280. And it is the least hassle. I may be sorry that I didn't keep my Polaris 280, in late October, when the leaves from our forest really start hitting the pool. Polaris 280 is the absolute best for huge amounts of leaves.

gg=alice
 

Beez

LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2009
785
Dallas, TX
geekgranny said:
Well, again, my Aquabot goes all over the pool and up the walls, moving much more water than a Polaris 280 can. When my Aquabot is in the 10 ft deep end there is a disturbance on the surface of the water from the huge powerful blast of water coming out the top. My and other Polaris 280s have two tiny jets that shoot water up into the bag and some out the tail. This is high pressure but in very small volume compared to the amount of water that is driven through the robot.
I won't argue with you granny, because you clearly have more experience than me on any aspect of pool maintenance... :goodjob:

However, just to clarify my statement, what I meant is that the Polaris is connected to the pump through a dedicated return, so functionally it is actually a return on a hose! Therefore, as it roams the pool it not only stirs up the water, but it is blowing around filtered water everywhere it goes.

Once again, that was just to clarify my previous statement. Whether or not it is truly better, I don't know. The more I explain it, the less sure I am... :?

:mrgreen:
 

geekgranny

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 20, 2009
1,358
North Central Texas
Beez said:
geekgranny said:
Well, again, my Aquabot goes all over the pool and up the walls, moving much more water than a Polaris 280 can. When my Aquabot is in the 10 ft deep end there is a disturbance on the surface of the water from the huge powerful blast of water coming out the top. My and other Polaris 280s have two tiny jets that shoot water up into the bag and some out the tail. This is high pressure but in very small volume compared to the amount of water that is driven through the robot.
I won't argue with you granny, because you clearly have more experience than me on any aspect of pool maintenance... :goodjob:

However, just to clarify my statement, what I meant is that the Polaris is connected to the pump through a dedicated return, so functionally it is actually a return on a hose! Therefore, as it roams the pool it not only stirs up the water, but it is blowing around filtered water everywhere it goes.

Once again, that was just to clarify my previous statement. Whether or not it is truly better, I don't know. The more I explain it, the less sure I am... :? :mrgreen:
I really don't mean to be argumentative and only wanting to get the correct information out to people. Many of the fine filter/gather bags made for the robots can filter debris < 5 microns. Sand and cartridge filters don't filter down that small. The finest filter you can get for a Polaris pressure cleaner* is the EZ disposible bags and they don't filter nearly as fine as the fine, cloth robot bags. The proof is seeing the visible dust (my microscopic "cementous" dust) cloud that passes through the EZ bag compared to what makes it through the robot bags which is nearly zero. The fine robot bags actually filter better than any standard sand or cartridge filter in use in residential pools. And 3-5 thousand gallons of water per hour is no small amount of water moved and filtered. (The special silt socks made for Polaris pressure cleaners catch practically none of my finest stuff. They just keep the pool cloudy spitting dust all over the pool.)

Depending on what filter media one uses for their DE filters onc can approach 1 micron. Cellulose and products like Aqua Pearl, similiar to DE but without the dangerous, when airborne, silica, actually filter better than DE and filter closer to 1 micron and if the flow of water going through the filter is pretty low, supposidly the DE filters, in general, filter even better.

*The only feasible way one can get the best filtration, using most of the pressure cleaners is to use a DE filter and use special bags that filter better than the EZ disposible bags. I made some bags for the Polaris 280 out of white frost cloth material, material that is similar to the material used in the aftermarket Nasty Bag, for robots. My special Polaris bags filtered too well. I was changing them out in minutes, rather than hours, due to the pores getting clogged so fast with dust. Those bags would give you a boost in filtering but moving far, far less water. BTW... the only time I get a noticable disturbance on the top of the water, coming out of the Polaris bags is when it gets up on the second step.

The bottom line is that the Polaris pressure cleaner doesn't move nearly the quantity of water that the larger robots do. That being said, I haven't put a pressure guage on the water coming out of the dedicated booster return but it is pretty obvious with just naked eye observation.

Of course all of this is moot in pools that have very little or "normal" amounts of fine dust going into them. The smallest stuff my Polaris sand/silt bag and/or the Polaris bag sock catches is sand which goes into my pool in far less quantities than dust, bugs, and plant debris.

BTW... we average about 7-10 hours of South Park a week. :cheers:

gg=alice
 

Beez

LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2009
785
Dallas, TX
geekgranny said:
I really don't mean to be argumentative and only wanting to get the correct information out to people. Many of the fine filter/gather bags made for the robots can filter debris < 5 microns. Sand and cartridge filters don't filter down that small. The finest filter you can get for a Polaris pressure cleaner* is the EZ disposible bags and they don't filter nearly as fine as the fine, cloth robot bags. The proof is seeing the visible dust (my microscopic "cementous" dust) cloud that passes through the EZ bag compared to what makes it through the robot bags which is nearly zero. The fine robot bags actually filter better than any standard sand or cartridge filter in use in residential pools. And 3-5 thousand gallons of water per hour is no small amount of water moved and filtered. (The special silt socks made for Polaris pressure cleaners catch practically none of my finest stuff. They just keep the pool cloudy spitting dust all over the pool.)
Well, you are in a very unique situation there, gran. The combination of a DE filter and the sand/silt bag on the Polaris keeps my water exceptionally clear. When the light is on and the water is still, it looks like there is no water in the pool! But with that, I have said everything I ever wanted to say on the subject... :blah: :blah: :blah:
geekgranny said:
BTW... we average about 7-10 hours of South Park a week. :cheers:
But this statement still engenders hilarity!!! I don't know why I find it so funny, because South Park is a very popular show? I guess it's just the picture in my mind of a grandma sitting in front of the TV howling at the irreverence, and down right crudeness, like I do that makes me laugh...

I love that episode where the kids are on a mission to stop the old folks from driving... :-D
 

geekgranny

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 20, 2009
1,358
North Central Texas
Beez said:
geekgranny said:
BTW... we average about 7-10 hours of South Park a week. :cheers:
But this statement still engenders hilarity!!! I don't know why I find it so funny, because South Park is a very popular show? I guess it's just the picture in my mind of a grandma sitting in front of the TV howling at the irreverence, and down right crudeness, like I do that makes me laugh...

I love that episode where the kids are on a mission to stop the old folks from driving... :-D

Grandmas ain't what they used to be; well a lot aren't. And I'll bet that not many acid wash their pools in 100+ temps. A little hint.... I had to really clean up my "act" and mind my P's and Q's when I attended Baylor University Nursing School (Southern Baptist) in the early 90's.

I was a "Flower Child", Conservationist, Hippie, Left Leaning politics, and occasional protester of coal mines and some other environments issues in the late 60's and 70's along with some political marches to this day but more active during the Vietnam "war". I haven't totally sold out (but not a true bleeding heart or tree hugger per se and I'm not a member of PITA but do contribute to ASPCA). And, although, basically a Democrat, I/we occasionally vote for a Republican, but that's pretty rare.

When I met DH he was the Dallas Hippie Psychiatrist but I didn't even know he was an M.D. for several weeks. We met at an event at SMU where Father Daniel Berrigan was the speaker.

http://www.democracynow.org/2006/6/8/ho ... ist_father

A few weeks late I took him to UTD, where I was studying Physics, to see Carl Sagan.

DH maintains our first "real" date was a trip to Austin for a political action workshop.

DH, at the time, was very active protesting psychiatric abuses of patients and a strong advocate of patient rights even to the extent of "breaking" some patients out of mental hospitals. He and his best friend, a lawyer, were instrumental in changing some abusive laws and regulations.

In the early 80's he went back for a residency in an additional specialty, more surgical.

DH still wears Birkenstocks and wears them to work and hasn't had a suit on in at least 10 years. He has to buy a new suit anytime he needs to wear one every ten years or so. We were supporting member of DMA for years so he owned a Tuxedo and wore it more than suits, for opening events.

A few years ago we both cut our pony tails, together. How sweet. :p

He's still a warrior. I'm mostly background support and caretaker of the "farm".

I don't dress like a teenager or young adult but I don't dress like a "typical" granny either.

I guess you could say neither of us has ever been "typical" nor a "typical" couple as he does the grocery shopping and cooking and I do the "man's" work around here (and a lot of the woman's work too. :grrrr: )

I have a vague memory of that SP episode. "Old Timers". DH is going to locate it.
 

ssusca

Member
Jun 17, 2010
17
Southington, CT
Hey Granny,

I'm kinda new here and am researching pool cleaners. I'm leaning toward the Aquabot. How are they for reliability?

Would it be worth the extra $$ for the Turbo or should I just go with the standard?
 
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