I don't have my pool yet...but just about all of the PB's we've interviewed said they don't really do the Polaris any more.Our PB has spec'd a Polaris into our just-signed contract -- is there any reason at all why we should add a Polaris, or should we just get a robot? Polaris line-item expense is over $900, no doubt because of the added plumbing costs.
ETA: I wonder if one could say that the energy costs are NIL for a Polaris because you run it while you filter your water and generate chlorine, or am I missing something? I have no pool experience, so it is entirely possible!!!
Our 3/4hp Polaris booster draws about 5 amps at 230V, so ~1200 watts. Running 2 hours per day (which is generally enough for my pool) that's 2.4kWh/day. At $0.18/kwh (our marginal rate) that's $0.43/day, or $13/month. I don't know how much electricity a typical robot uses for a daily clean (and I gather many don't put them in every day, so for a fair comparison you could consider running the Polaris less often too; it just happens to be convenient to leave in and run every day).When you run the Polaris you will spend more electricity on its own booster pump and you may even spend more on the regular pump if you run that at a higher speed than you otherwise would have run it. But it's hard for me to imagine that the total extra electricity could be anything significant. I think refrigerators cost about fifty dollars a year ( at least I've heard that) so I can't imagine the extra electricity would be too much. but I admit o don't know and would be interested in hearing however what an estimate would be.
There are a couple of different polaris models that have different requirements.
The 380 I belive is a suction side cleaner that requires your filter pump to be running in order to operate.
The 280 is a pressure side cleaner (most common polaris) and requires a booster pump to operate, a dedicated line to the pool, and for the booster pump to operate, the main filter pump needs to also be running at the same time. It seem illogical to me to have to run 2 pumps for a pool cleaner. They work well, dont get me wrong, but if energy consumption is of concern, then the 280 isnt it.
So, with that said, the long term operating cost of either the 380 and 280 are considerably higher because of the need to run the pump(s).
A robot is much more energy efficient, using only about 15 cents of electricity (on average) for a 3 hour cleaning cycle and robots do an excellent job of cleaning. At least mine does.
I agree with grottoguy, read some of the posts in the "pool cleaner" form and ask more questions about the different types.
The down side of a robot is the repair cost if something breaks on it.
Just for clarity, the Polaris 380 is a pressure side cleaner that requires a booster pump. The Polaris 360 is also a pressure side cleaner, but does not require a booster pump.Very good reasons to consider the Polaris Helen. Nothing wrong with a polaris, Just like everything else, they all have their plus and minuses. It just depends on your point of view and what fits best for you.
Depending on which model of polaris you get will answere the question about pump cost. There are differnt models that require entirely different "utilites" to run them.
THe suction side model uses the filter pump only, which would indeed cancel out any extra costs if its running during normal filter hours.
The pressure side Polaris models require an additonal booster pump and the booster pump also requires your filter pump to be running at teh same time for the pressure side cleaner to work. So this type would be more costly in electricity. This pressure side one also requires its dedicated PVC pipe from the booster back to the pool.