Automatic pool cleaners?

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Automatic pool cleaners?

Postby Is it summer yet? » Thu 23 Apr, 2009 22:45

I am starting my second year with an in ground 18 x 36 pool with a 4’ wide concrete apron.
We bought a foreclosed home about a year ago here in Minnesota.
Note: The water is currently 44 degrees. Long way to go.

Although I actually enjoyed, to some degree, the quiet and solitude of cleaning the pool late on Friday nights after my family went to bed the vacuuming did get a bit old by the end of August.
I would like to get views on automatic pool cleaners, most specifically the Polaris brand.
1. Is Polaris the best or is it overrated?
2. How well do they work? I have been told “Brush the sides, drop it in and let it do the work”. Sounds simple.
3. How hard is it to clean the filter and such in the cleaner?
4. Does the pool company have to install them or can an all around handyman like me handle the job? (I have wired and plumbed room additions and remodels. These were all inspected an approved.) My biggest concern with installation is if I have to drill in an extra jet or intake in the side of the pool. I don’t want to crack the apron or electrocute myself doing the job.


Automatic pool cleaners?

Postby Poolay » Fri 24 Apr, 2009 07:04

Polaris are the gear. You get what you pay for with a cleaner. Consider that you will continue to pay though. The tune up kits will cost you 300 to 400 hundred AU$ every couple of years. General maintenance you asked about is quite simple to empty the net etc. The heavy duty nets available are expensive as with all polaris parts but will be more economical then the standard nets in a leafy pool.
Best thing about them for mine is that they never get stuck in any shaped pool, they just swim to the top and then shoot to the other side.
The ideal plumbing for a polaris is an indepent pump, suction and return installed during pool construction. As an addition to an existing pool you may have several options. Using unwanted existing solar provisions is an easy option if available. If not, a polaris can run very efficiently from just a single return line, it doesn't require an independent suction/pump. Generally you will need a dedicated return line/jet to your polaris for full performance.
When additional jet(s) share the return line the easiest, cheapest yet questionable option is to permanently or temporarily plug them. Temporary expansion plugs are ideal initially for trial testing and jet selection, there are some things to consider before applying a more permanent and presentable finish. The polaris will provide the plenty of water circulation however it won't create the surface flow towards the skimmer that most pool return jets do. A constant leafy surface that sinks rather then skims can sometimes result in having to empty the polaris net more often and the need to scoop the surface before you swim.
Where the first jet in the return line is suitable for the polaris a more versatile alternative is to cut a section of the concrete surround, raise the return line and install a valve. Then flow to the additional jets can be opened slightly to find a happy medium between polaris performance and surface flow.
If a poolside valve would be unsightly and you can afford to install/run it independent; then you will to need cut the full width of your concrete surround, assuming a fibreglass pool - drill and plumb the suction and return in the wall, trench the new pipes to a suitable location for the pump. Or on the cheap; just run a new return line to a 3-way valve on the return line at the filtration.

Automatic pool cleaners?

Postby tigervet436 » Tue 19 May, 2009 20:41

polaris 380 is an awesome automatic cleaner although it does require a booster pump. It will pick up goggles, torpedos ,very fine stuff like sand , and even a dead rat. The thing has incredible suction. I've had mine for three years and only had to replace a $12 screen in the line. Its on a timer and runs 4 hours a day while the filter is running and keeps the bottom spotless. I don't know much about other brands, but if this thing breaks I would not hesitate to buy another.

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