Repair or replace?

smhall

New member
Jun 12, 2019
1
95037
Hi all,

I'm trying to learn about all this pool stuff to help take over maintenance of our pool. Our Polaris cleaner has stopped suctioning. My husband got it to work but it stopped again. He said it is time to replace it. It is about five years old. I couldn't find the exact model of the unit but he has said it is a "200 series." What is the average lifespan of these devices? Based on experience, is it worth the time to troubleshoot and repair or am I near replacement time anyway?

Thanks for any tips, I really appreciate it!
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,127
Tucson, AZ
Hi all,

I'm trying to learn about all this pool stuff to help take over maintenance of our pool. Our Polaris cleaner has stopped suctioning. My husband got it to work but it stopped again. He said it is time to replace it. It is about five years old. I couldn't find the exact model of the unit but he has said it is a "200 series." What is the average lifespan of these devices? Based on experience, is it worth the time to troubleshoot and repair or am I near replacement time anyway?

Thanks for any tips, I really appreciate it!
Pump driven cleaners (pressure or suction type) usually need to be rebuilt in the 5th year time frame. My old Kreepy Krawly suction cleaner needed new rubber pads every 2 years and the internal cam drive was on its way out when I finally ditched it for a robot cleaner. Pressure cleaners like the Polaris often need to have their internal gears and components replaced. The “back up” valve on those are essential for operation and usually need replacing. The good news is that repair and rebuild kits are sold online and, if someone is handy with a screwdriver and a wrench, you can often do the job yourself. However, if you lack the time or patience to do it on your own, most pool shops will do a complete rebuild for $200-$300 depending on how much profit they’re trying to make off you 😉. Sounds like your cleaner is due for a rebuild.

I honestly love my robot and I’m glad I got rid of my suction cleaner. It’s gone 3 seasons now without issue and it’s a lot cheaper to run since it doesn’t require my pool pump to run it.
 

Rocket J Squirrel

Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
596
Alamo, CA
I was about to post the same question. Is it OK to pile on to this thread?

My Polaris 3900 is 7 years old and has never been rebuilt. It runs 1-2 hours/day every day. My pool configuration is not robot-friendly, so I intend to stay with a pressure cleaner. When I look online at the "tune-up kit," it seems pretty complex.
Factory Tune-up Kit. Includes 1 vacuum tube assembly, 1 feedhose connector o-ring, 10 screws, 1 chain, 1 wheel sprocket assembly, 1 chain tensioner kit, 1 rear axle block assembly, 1 front axle block assembly, 1 gearbox assembly, 1 bottom housing, 1 single-side wheel, 1 fastener kit, 1 chain guard, 1 wheel spacer, 1 bumper and 1 wheel lock screw.
I know my way around a screwdriver, but wonder whether this is worth my time now that the newer Quattro Sport is available. The Quattro is obviously designed to resemble a robot, and I wonder whether it works as well as one. Thoughts?
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,127
Tucson, AZ
I was about to post the same question. Is it OK to pile on to this thread?

My Polaris 3900 is 7 years old and has never been rebuilt. It runs 1-2 hours/day every day. My pool configuration is not robot-friendly, so I intend to stay with a pressure cleaner. When I look online at the "tune-up kit," it seems pretty complex.


I know my way around a screwdriver, but wonder whether this is worth my time now that the newer Quattro Sport is available. The Quattro is obviously designed to resemble a robot, and I wonder whether it works as well as one. Thoughts?
Given your location, staying away from having to run an extra booster pump I would think is more important. Without more info it’s hard to parse “my pool configuration is not robot friendly” but robots can handle fairly complex pool shapes with built in bar stools and various other features. Robots operate at a much lower cost (my S300i uses exactly 2¢ worth of electricity on a 2-hr cleaning cycle) than pressure driven cleaners.

If that pressure cleaner costs as much as a robot, then I think you’d be better off with a robot from an operational cost perspective. If you get more pricing information, please start your own thread and folks will be happy to give an opinion.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
11,751
Northern NJ
If what you have is a Polaris 280 you can get a rebuild kit for around half the cost of a new one.


The Quattro Sport has gotten good reviews from those here who have tried it.

 

Rocket J Squirrel

Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
596
Alamo, CA
Without more info it’s hard to parse “my pool configuration is not robot friendly”
You're right. Sorry about that. tl;dr: I'm definitely not getting a robot. I think I'll rebuild my Polaris 3900.

For me, the only real advantage of a robot (or the super-expensive Polaris Quattro) would be so I could skip brushing. My auto-cover keeps out most debris.

Explanation of "not robot friendly":
  • I don't know how long robot power cords are, but I'd need almost 100 feet to reach the nearest outlet plus 40 more feet underwater to reach the far end.
  • My pool is always covered when not in use, and I have no desire to uncover it just to drop in the robot, let it run, and pull it out again. Leaving the pressure cleaner in all the time is more convenient.
  • I don't have any place to store a wet robot when it's not in use.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
584
Spring Valley, NY
You're right. Sorry about that. tl;dr: I'm definitely not getting a robot. I think I'll rebuild my Polaris 3900.

For me, the only real advantage of a robot (or the super-expensive Polaris Quattro) would be so I could skip brushing. My auto-cover keeps out most debris.

Explanation of "not robot friendly":
  • I don't know how long robot power cords are, but I'd need almost 100 feet to reach the nearest outlet plus 40 more feet underwater to reach the far end.
  • My pool is always covered when not in use, and I have no desire to uncover it just to drop in the robot, let it run, and pull it out again. Leaving the pressure cleaner in all the time is more convenient.
  • I don't have any place to store a wet robot when it's not in use.
A good extension cord or running a new power line to a point close enough is a onetime thing and then you're free to use the electric robot as I see in many situations. The cover is a non issue as you feed it in at the end of the pool where the cover closes last. Lastly most robots come with 60 feet of floating cable.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,127
Tucson, AZ
You're right. Sorry about that. tl;dr: I'm definitely not getting a robot. I think I'll rebuild my Polaris 3900.

For me, the only real advantage of a robot (or the super-expensive Polaris Quattro) would be so I could skip brushing. My auto-cover keeps out most debris.

Explanation of "not robot friendly":
  • I don't know how long robot power cords are, but I'd need almost 100 feet to reach the nearest outlet plus 40 more feet underwater to reach the far end.
  • My pool is always covered when not in use, and I have no desire to uncover it just to drop in the robot, let it run, and pull it out again. Leaving the pressure cleaner in all the time is more convenient.
  • I don't have any place to store a wet robot when it's not in use.
Honestly, in a pool like yours, a suction side cleaner would have been the best option to install at build. Since it’s covered all you need a cleaner to do is pick up fine debris like sand and silt. Suction cleaners utilizing your existing filter are good at keeping fine debris off the bottom. Pressure cleaners are ok, but they don’t clean fine debris that well with the standard debris bags and booster pumps just add more cost. One can use an inline leaf canister on a suction clean to handle any large debris that might need to be caught.

I think spending the money on a complete rebuild kit is worth it. It’s probably half the cost of a new cleaner, certainly cheaper than the Quattro Sport, and you’ll probably get another 5-6 years out of it. Your pool really doesn’t need a fancy cleaner given its configuration.