Polaris Pool Cleaners - Further Reading

Polaris Pool Cleaners

Polaris, part of Zodiac Pool Products, has a wide range of pool cleaners powered by water pressure and robotic.

Pressure Cleaners

Polaris pressure pool cleaners are:

  • Quattro Sport
  • 3900 Sport
  • TR36P
  • TR35P
  • TR28P
  • 380 - is powered by triple jets
  • 360 - does not require a separate booster pump
  • 280 - little brother to the 380
  • 180
  • 165
  • 65
  • Turbo Turtle

Most of the Polaris pressure cleaners require a separate booster pump that is connected to a timer or pool automation. Polaris has two booster pumps:

  • PB4-S60 - this has been the standard .75 HP booster pump for many years and runs on 115V or 230V AC. It is usually connected with flexible hoses and softube disconnects.
  • PB4SQ - is an updated pump that is more energy efficient.

Installation Adjustments

Make sure the hose is cut to the correct length, from the wall fitting to the furthermost point of the pool +/- 6".

If the hose is to long then the "leader hose" (hose connected to cleaner) should be cut to the depth of the pool (remove the off cut from the swivel end and not the cleaner but also make sure you do not remove too much to make the total hose too short), if you still have extra hose then remove equal amounts from hose 1 and hose 2 (at the first swivel from pool wall).

Check your pressure and set to 28 rpms which will equal 28psi (adjusted at the wall fitting).

Adjust the float behind the back up valve away approx 12 - 18" from the back up valve (the closer the float is the higher the cleaner will lift towards the pool surface, the further away the cleaner will be pulled along the pool floor.


Polaris Hose Inline Filter.jpg

Polaris cleaners may have a filter screen in the Universal Wall Fitting (UWF) quick disconnect (Zodiac 6-504-00) or inline in the hose (Zodiac 48-222. It is recommended the filter screens be cleaned periodically, at least once or twice a season.

Backup Valve

The backup valve is in the hose and backup valve yanks the Polaris back and turns it around to reposition. It does it every few minutes to get the cleaner out of a corner it may be stuck in and add to its random journey around the pool. Water should not be contentiously jetting out of the backup valve. If it is the valve is broken.

The valve should go into backup about every 4-5 min. if it is longer than that, the gears may be worn.

The backup valve can be disassembled and the valve body unscrewed although it may be difficult to get an old one apart. How do I get the collar off a Polaris 360/ 380 back up valve discussed different techniques to open the valve.

Zodiac G52 is the replacement backup valve. Pentair has the E10 backup valve that is bit more expensive then the Zodiac and some people have said works better and lasts longer on Polaris cleaners.

Rebuild and Tune-Up Kits

The Polaris pressure cleaners need periodic maintenance for proper operation. When the cleaners begins moving slowly and stops climbing the walls it is time for a tune-up or rebuild. The wheel bearings build up corrosion causing friction and the water pressure does not provide much power to overcome even slight friction in the moving parts.

You can buy individual parts, or a Tune-Up kit, or a complete rebuild kit. The rebuild kit costs about half the price of a new cleaner and gives you every moving part to replace. All you need is a screwdriver, pliers, and some patience. There are many YouTube videos on how to repair and rebuild the cleaners.

Parts diagrams for each cleaner are on the internet and parts are available from many sources.

You should always replace the wheel bearings when you are in there. The bearings develop corrosion and friction. The cleaner does not have alot of HP from the water pressure and any friction in the bearings makes it slow and sluggish and does not climb the walls well. Replacing the bearings make it climb the walls like new for a few seasons.

Robot Cleaners

Polaris VRX iQ+

The Polaris VRX iQ+ is sold at a popular pool store. The equivalent model from other stores is the Alpha IQ+. The 9560iq does not have the sensor which allows for the better navigation. This doesn't have a combination basket like the dolphin. So you will have to switch to a fine silt basket or a regular basket depending on conditions.[1] They have a fine silt filter available but you have to switch the filter to use with fine silt. It looks like the filters are much easier to clean than the Dolphin, but the dolphin has a combination filter which has a regular and ultra find stage.

One member said It did a great job cleaning his pool, picked up a lot of leaves and dirt/debris left over from the construction last season. It even got almost my entire tanning ledge. It also seems like it does go in a straight line more than other robots which just go in whatever direction...so their claim of having better navigation is true.[2]

There are some reports of the VRXIQ cord getting pretty tangled even with the swiveler while others report no problems with the cord.[3]