Pool Equipment Troubleshooting

Polaris Pool Cleaners

Everything you want to identify before you buy.

By Allen Hayward

Most pool owners use a vacuum to remove the debris and sediment from their water. However, this requires a lot of energy and time which some people might not be able to handle. If you want to save yourself this agony, then an automatic pool cleaner is a better alternative.

Polaris has an established reputation when it comes to their technology for cleaning pools. Their customers trust Polaris because of their high-quality products and support. If you’re looking to choose an automatic pool cleaner from Polaris, you must first decide which type you want. Your choices are a suction-side cleaner, pressure-side cleaner, and robotic cleaner.

Pressure-Side Automatic Pool Cleaners

Pressure-side automatic cleaners are very popular because they can quickly remove large and medium-sized pieces of debris from your pool water. If you have trees and other elements surrounding your pool, then you’ll want to try out this cleaner.

Since these are “pressure-side” cleaners, they utilize your pool’s return jets for their power. After your pool water gets filtered, clean water from the filter gets pumped right into your swimming pool by the return jets. They exist on the side of your filtration system. On the other side, the suction causes dirty water to go into the skimmer. This is how the water ends up in the filter.

Basically, one end of a sweep hose is connected to the return jet, and the other end is connected to the cleaner. The cleaner can float on the surface of the water because of the water pressure that is created.

The hose stays in back of the cleaner as it jet sprays your pool walls and floor with high-pressure water to loosen the debris that is stuck on them.

The jet sweep hose has a skimmer bag attached to it. All the bigger debris from the pool is gathered by the bag, while all the smaller debris enters the filtration system of the pool. This benefits the filtration system because it doesn’t have as much debris to block.

Backup Valve

Your automatic pool cleaner may get caught somewhere in your pool, such as in a corner or on your stairs. Fortunately, pressure-side pool cleaners possess a backup valve which can be helpful in these situations.

When the backup valve activates, all the water pressure of the cleaner gets sent through the valve. This causes the cleaner to change directions and get into a different position. As a result, the cleaner can “unstick” itself when it is caught somewhere.

If you don’t have a functional backup valve, then your cleaner won’t be able to move around and clean your pool properly. That is why you need to check on it regularly to make sure it is working.

Booster Pumps

A booster pump is used with some pressure-side automatic pool cleaners. This is basically a secondary pump which assists your pool filter by giving your pool cleaner more water pressure. Because of this, it is easier for your pool cleaner to move around and effectively clean debris out of the water. This means your filter won’t need to clean as much. If you have a big pool, then you definitely need a cleaner with a booster pump. It is recommended that a professional pool person install the booster pump.

Polaris Pressure Side Automatic Above Ground Pool Cleaners

If you like automatic pool cleaners made by Polaris, they have three cleaners available for cleaning above ground pools. They can also clean inground pools made of fiberglass or vinyl

Polaris Vac-Sweep 165

The Polaris Vac-Sweep 165 is an affordable pool cleaner. It is more geared toward cleaning inground pools which have surfaces made of fiberglass or vinyl material. If you have an 8-foot deep pool or less, this cleaner won’t take longer than 3 hours to clean it entirely.

If you want to enhance the cleaning, take your hose and trim it down so that it is 4 feet shorter than the edge of the pool. Make sure this is the edge which is the farthest away from where the return jet is located. The sweep hose length should be 2 feet more than your pool’s deepest area. The pressure relief valve can be used to achieve water pressure that is anywhere from 5 to 10 PSI (pounds per square inch).

Polaris Vac-Sweep 65

The Polaris Vac-Sweep 65 is perfect for anyone with an above ground pool that is up to 5 feet deep. The 65 model is basically the same thing as the previously listed model. The pressure relief valve and hoses are adjusted the same too.

Polaris Pressure-Side Automatic Inground Pool Cleaners

These particular inground pool cleaners use big wheels to roll on the pool walls and bottom floor. They are compatible with all inground pool types. The water pressure of the return jets gives power to the cleaners. However, a booster pump may be required to increase this pressure for a much better cleaning experience.

There are smaller water jets built into these cleaners which produce a special vortex that sucks up debris and puts it into a filter bag. Sweep hoses are also included with these cleaners. The ends of some of these cleaners may have a small scrubber on them. The scrubbers give a more thorough cleaning to the pool floor and walls. This entire cleaning process shouldn’t take more than 3 hours.

Polaris Vac-Sweep 3900 Sport

The Polaris Vac-Sweep 3900 Sport is very impressive and well worth the money. It features all-wheel drive for its 3 Wide Trax wheels. You’ll get 50% extra torque from them too. Its 2.5-inch vacuum inlet is one of the biggest available. No other cleaner model includes the TailSweep Pro either. This is a high-quality sweep hose which is designed to reduce the amount of water which gets sprayed from the pool.

The cleaner has a dual-chamber bag and three jets for maximum debris collection. The cleaner won’t get stuck anywhere in the pool for too long, thanks to the automatic backup valve. The valve is strong enough to keep the cleaner moving steadily, even over acorns and little rocks. You will need a booster pump to increase the water pressure, though.

The leader hose needs to be measured and then trimmed accordingly. You’ll want the length of the hose to match the deepest area of your swimming pool. Go to the longest area from the return jet and keep the hose within 6 inches of it. Trim the hose more if you need to do so.

Additional adjustments may need to be made to the thrust jet, sweep hose, and the wheels’ revolutions per minute. After the settings are optimized, the cleaner can clean everywhere in your pool.

Polaris Vac-Sweep 380

The Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 ranks number two in strength amongst all the cleaners of the Vac-Sweep product line. The Vac-Sweep 380 features a 2.25-inch inlet, three jets, three basic wheels, and all-wheel belt drive.

There was a debris bag for one chamber. Along with the basic sweep, there is TailSweep Pro compatibility too. A booster pump is needed to activate the Vac-Sweep 380.

Polaris Vac-Sweep 360

The Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 has the same aesthetics as the 380. The only difference is that you’re not forced to buy and operate a booster pump with it. The Vac-Sweep 360 has other features which are the same, such as the inlet and three jets. However, the booster is not needed. A TailSweep Pro upgrade is allowed too.

Polaris Vac-Sweep 280

This pool cleaner may be small, but it gets the job done. It has a 2.25-inch inlet and two jets. A booster pump is needed.

Polaris Booster Pumps

Polaris booster pumps are designed to increase the efficiency and strength of your Polaris automatic pool cleaner. Certain Polaris pool cleaner models require a booster pump. In these cases, you must purchase a Polaris booster pump to ensure their compatibility. Remember to have a professional pool technician install the pump.

Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump

The Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump has ¾ horsepower and the power efficiency needed to power several Polaris pressure-side pool cleaners, including the Vac-Sweep 180, Vac-Sweep 280, Vac-Sweep 380, and Vac-Sweep 3900 Sport.

The pump can be used with a variable speed pump or two-speed pump because of its requirements of “low flow.” To satisfy the terms of your manufacturer’s warranty, a professional must be used for the pump installation.

Robotic Pool Cleaners

Robotic pool cleaners make it easier to vacuum your pool just like pressure-side cleaners do. The difference is that robotic pool cleaners use electricity for their power, while pressure-side cleaners use water pressure.

You might be confused about how something electrical can be placed into a pool of water. A GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) outlet is where you plug the robotic pool cleaner into. Since the device uses low voltage to run, it is safe to power it this way.

How They Work

Robotic pool cleaners are durable machines that work hard at cleaning your pool. They’re smart enough to move along your inground pool while picking up debris from the water and putting it into a filter canister. They can vacuum and scrub the entire floor of your pool. Not only that, but these cleaners can also move up the stairs and climb along the walls of your pool. They’ll scrub away the debris and grime from the tile and waterline.

Polaris 9550 Sport

The motion-sensing remote control is the feature which stands out the most on the Polaris 9550 Sport robotic pool cleaner. Just point the remote at any location in the pool, and it’ll send the cleaner to it. There are four cleaning modes available, such as custom, waterline only, floor, and floor & wall. If you want a 7-day cleaning cycle, you can make it do that as well.

The Polaris 9550 Sport has a filthy canister indicator, 4-wheel drive, and a scrubbing brush with a solid blade. Pools that are 60 feet in length can be cleaned with this.

Polaris 9450 Sport

The Polaris 9450 Sport is a robotic pool cleaner with flexibility and strength. Although it doesn’t have a fancy motion-sensing remote control, it does have two cleaning modes and a 7-day cleaning cycle option. Other features include a pleated brush, huge filter canister, and 4-wheel drive. You could clean a pool as large as 50-feet with this cleaner.

Polaris 9350 Sport

Anyone on a budget should start with the Polaris 9350 Sport robotic cleaner. It has two cleaning modes, such as floor & wall and floor, to give you more cleaning flexibility. Other features include a huge filter canister, 2-wheel drive, and a pleated brush. This robotic cleaner is suitable to clean a pool that is up to 50 feet.

Suction-Side Pool Cleaners

If you want an automatic pool cleaner and you’re on a tight budget, then try using a suction-side pool cleaner. You won’t get as much power from them as you would the pressure-side cleaners. You also won’t see a lot of the fancy technological features in them as you do with robotic cleaners. However, suction-side cleaners work great.

How They Work

The reason they’re called “suction-side” pool cleaners is that you connect them to the suction-side area of your pool filtration system. This is done at the suction line or skimmer. When your pool cleaner moves around the swimming pool, debris is sucked up by a vacuum and ends up in your skimmer. From there, the debris enters the filter system where it is blocked from returning to the water. This means your filter does more work than you need to do.

Unfortunately, Polaris doesn’t produce suction-side pool cleaners. But you can find these cleaners available by Zodiac, which is their parent company. You can trust their cleaners are made of the same quality as Polaris’s cleaners.

Remember that a suction-side cleaner connects to your skimmer. This puts your filter at risk because it’ll pick up big pieces of debris like rocks.

Is a Polaris Pool Cleaner Worth the Investment?

Why go through the aggravation of cleaning the debris out of your pool manually? A robotic cleaner or any other automatic cleaner is a great investment because you won’t need to do as much work or waste as much time.

Besides, automatic pool cleaners give your pool filter more longevity by preventing large pieces of debris from affecting your system. You also don’t need to worry about being available to clean your pool. These automatic pool cleaners let you schedule times in advance to conduct pool maintenance so that it is done automatically.

Here are three questions you should ask yourself before purchasing an automatic pool cleaner:

1) Is my swimming pool above ground or inground?

The answer should already be obvious to you.

2) Do I have a large pool?

If you do have a large pool, then a Polaris pool cleaner and booster pump are essential. Take measurements of your pool size to determine how big it is. Then you’ll know whether you need to purchase this cleaner with a booster pump.

3) How much can I afford to spend?

People with smaller budgets should not automatically look for the cheapest pool cleaner, especially if they have a large pool. If this is the case with you, then it is in your best interest to save up enough money to purchase a good pool cleaner that comes with a booster pump. Otherwise, you’ll end up purchasing a pool cleaner which is ineffective for your pool.


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