Polaris Pool Cleaner 280
Will You Learn The Hard-way?
For years, my wife and I have owned pools. And we really did learn the hard way! We started back in the days of diving boards with only 6 feet of water. Obviously you can't even build a pool like that today. We used to have to clean the pool by hand using a scrub brush on the sides, tile scrappers, and a pool vacuum at the end of a long pole for the bottom. We could only brush the sides if we were actually in the water. So unless we were in the water the sides did not get done as often as the bottom or the tiles.
We hired a pool guy here and there and let him break his back but it took over two hours every week to keep the pool in swim-able condition. At the rates those guys charged, we weren't sure we wanted to keep paying that much. Or, for that matter, did we really want to have a pool anymore. We began to question the wisdom of having a pool and either paying or performing all that labor to keep it ready.
My wife and I looked into the automatic pool cleaners. We knew some friends that had them and they said we should get what they have. Not knowing any better, we shelled out over six hundred bucks and got the unit installed. I'm not going to put down any products here so suffice to say that the unit sucked. Literally it sucked the debris from the bottom of the pool and sometimes it climbed the sides and kept them pretty clean too. We still had to brush the tiles and vacuum the areas the unit never got to. But we noticed a new problem. The surface of the water always had junk floating on it.
The suction in the skimmer was very weak and it was because the new pool sweeper was sucking all the sucking power to run itself around the bottom of the pool not leaving enough suction for the skimmer to work properly. You see the pool sweeper was connected in the skimmer with a hose that had a control to divide the sucking power between the pool sweeper and the skimmer. To have enough suction power for the pool sweeper meant there was not enough for the skimmer. In our wisdom, we thought out-loud, why didn't they install a separate suction motor for this thing to work.
Well, a few years later our latest house came with a different method of automatic pool cleaning. The unit was a Polaris pool cleaner 280 model that did not use sucking power from the filter. In fact it was installed with a separate motor pump that pushed the water from the pressure side of the filter (in other words, the clean water side going back to the pool) to power itself. It had 3 wheels that kept it going and a very random pattern. It had a tail about five or six feet long that had water streaming out the end plus a brush attached on the end that whipped silently through the water to stir up the debris as well as it pushed any debris on the bottom or sides into a bag attached to the top (that could be emptied without any trouble at all). So none of this debris ever went to the filter.
What did we learn?
The first thing was that we should have done our homework because this type of automatic pool cleaner has been around for many years. We just didn't know it. There has always, we found out later, been a debate over sucking side vs. pressure side pool sweepers. It's about half and half. To us it comes down to several attributes that the pressure side robots have over their sucking cousins.
The pool filter has to be cleaned more often with the machines that suck because the sucking cousins suck all the debris it finds into your pool filter. They also take power from your filter reducing the amount of water flowing through the filter over each hour it is turned on. Next, the filter has to be cleaned more often because more debris is clogging it faster. The pressure side robots like the Polaris pool cleaner 280 uses its own pump and never steals power from the filter. The Polaris Pool-vacuum helps keep the filter cleaner longer because none of the collected debris every goes into the filter. The bag on the top of the Polaris 280 catches the debris and can easily be emptied into your trash can. The first time you see the amount of debris that was saved from going into your filter will give you a huge clue as the advantages of cleaning your filter less often.