Selecting a pool sweep


Well-known member
Aug 1, 2009
Apple Valley, Ca
My ancient Polaris 380 is wearing out so I'll soon be in the market for a new sweep. Purchasing or replacing pool equipment by the average clod (me) is complicated by our unfamiliarity with terms and the sketchy descriptions in a typical catalog. For instance consider the following confusing and contradictory Amazon ad for a Polaris 165 “pressure side” pool cleaner ... _pe_vfe_t4

I assure you I have consulted Pool School which however has left a number of questions unanswered. Evidently,

1. if I understand you correctly “pressure side” refers to connections made to an auxiliary pump, sometimes called “booster” usually situated in the pumping station at the output of the main filter and is limited mainly if not exclusively to the Polaris line such as the one in the above link. Can I assume that all the Polaris PS units use the same booster so I'd only have to uncouple my 380 sweep and substitute the 165

...or whatever unit I decide instead

2. Why in God’s name would anyone buy a Polaris 380 with all those moving parts for $700 when the simpler 165 Pressure Side is now available for $172

.....and why for pity's sake is it advertised in some Amazon ads for the latter price but in others for $279
Who is trying to fool whom and why

I assume the latter since it apparently has no wheels is propelled by jet. Could the ability of the former be worth 4 times the money and years of continual maintenance and repair; but as I said,

3. The Amazon description is very confusing:

A. ".........The Polaris 165 pool sweep propels itself on the water's surface."

That seems to imply it stays on the surface but if that's the case, what good is it
But then we can understand why it's so reasonable in price

B. "....while its trailing fine mesh bag traps debris before it clogs your pump and filter......."

(1) The illustration shows only a short length of tubing exiting at the rear. If this tubing goes to the bag, then where does the pressure tube connect

(2) Can I assume given only the one tube showing that the unit has no whip tail as with other Polaris sweeps--maybe another reason for the low price

C. "......sweeps pools clean in three hours or less, even those with an uneven bottom."

This seems contradictory if my assumption in 3A above is correct; so does it go to the bottom or doesn't it

D. "....connects to the return line and it's unique filter bag removes debris before it reaches your pump basket or filter,...."

This seems to contradict 1 above. If the 165 is a "pressure side" cleaner it's powered by pressure from the booster, not suction of a return line

....and can anyone please advise how to make tabs so as to correctly indent the paragraphs above. Thanks once more

Thank you all who have had the patience to stick with me for considering the above query. Incidental note: A decade ago I used a pressure-side unit propelled by jet, cleaning entire bottom and sides without a bag. Evidently its frisky whip tail reduced larger particles to dust size which then exit through the skimmer. A mechanism slowly rotated the jet so that unlike my 380 the unit reached every corner. I was perfectly satisfied with the simple unit but when time came to replace it, apparently it was no longer made. So if I'm mistaken and it's still available can someone advise who makes it and what it's called


New member
Jul 26, 2010
I prefer the Polaris 280 which works off of a booster pump. I hate the 360 & 380. I don't know anything about the 165. The 280 is more rubust than the 380 & continues to do a good job even when it is due for some maintenance. If you replace the tires in a timely manner (once a year?), and replace the wheel bearings when needed, the unit will perform like new. Even when the wheel bearings are shot, the 280 does a decent-to-good job. It's a fairly simple machine. If you do the wheel maintenance before it gets really bad, you'll avoid having to replace the turbine & turbine bearings. You might be able to get a Polaris 280 on ebbaayy for around $350.


Well-known member
Aug 1, 2009
Apple Valley, Ca
car thank you most kindly for that report. I was considering the 280 and in light of your comments, Amazon ratings better than those of any of its successors, and because it's on sale I shall most certainly order one as soon as my spouse releases $440, the last price I've seen