In this article, we’re going to take a detailed look at the Polaris 280 Robotic Pool Cleaner.
The Polaris 280 is a pressure-side robotic pool cleaner that is suitable for all types of in-ground pools. Unlike the Polaris 360, which operates independently, the Polaris 280 needs an additional booster pump.
While this is an inconvenience, the upside is increased power and a fast cleaning cycle. This is one of more popular pool cleaners on the market – it is fully automatic and most importantly, it has a very good wall climbing ability.
You’ll probably want to know that Polaris is actually owned by Zodiac – a pioneer in pool cleaning technology. Zodiac has been around for more than a century!
The company has continued to thrive because it delivers reliable products at affordable prices. So if you do choose to buy the Polaris 280, you’ll have total peace of mind knowing that it comes with the Zodiac’s legendary assurance of quality.
Polaris 280 Images
Polaris 280 Features:
1) The full name of this pool cleaner is Polaris Vac-Sweep 280. That because it vacuums and sweeps dirt, algae, pebbles, acorns, leaves etc. However, vacuuming and sweeping are only a part of the story; the Polaris 280 is highly powerful and it’s tail lashes with fierce intensity. It can scrub where other bots cannot go (tight corners).
2) The bot is powered by 2 jets – this results in a fast yet efficient cycle. It cleans a swimming pool in 3 hours or less. This is not exactly a short time. However, you have to take into account that in-ground pools are usually large – much larger than above ground pools. Also, the level of cleanliness is quite stupendous.
3) The Polaris 280 can handle any type of in-ground pool, irrespective of its shape and size. The standard hose length is a bit short – only 31 feet. However, you can buy additional hoses if you have a bigger swimming pool.
4) One of the main highlights of the Polaris lineup is their intelligent and practical design. The Polaris 280 has a single chamber filter bag that weeds out large sized debris such as leaves, pebbles etc. and prevents them from getting to the main filter and pump basket. This simple step increases filter and product life significantly. There have been many instances wherein Polaris pool cleaners have lasted for more than a decade. (They were regularly serviced and properly maintained)
5) The back up valve prevents the device from getting stuck in one place for a long time. Such a simple solution to a problem that drives pool cleaner owners nuts. In other more complex systems, the bots get stuck despite having sophisticated scanning systems. However, Polaris has solved the issue with a simple activation of the back-up valve.
6) The wheels have good grip and work in conjuction with the dual jets to ensure that the Polaris 280 climbs with ease. This is a crucial factor for pool cleaner buyers. Surely, you don’t look forward to scrubbing the walls yourself do you? Especially at the deep end with your head under water.
7) The Polaris 280 can handle all surfaces such as concrete, vinyl, tiles and so on. It does not leave any scour marks on surfaces.
Polaris 280 Pros
1) Just like all other Zodiac/Polaris pool cleaners, the Polaris 280 is very well built. Polaris provides a warranty against manufacturing defects.
2) After sales customer service is very strong. Polaris is a popular brand and availability of parts is usually not an issue. Even though the bots do a phenomenal cleaning job, they are actually based on a simple patented design. Hence, they can repaired at the dealer level.
3) Once you set up the Polaris 280, it is actually fairly easy to operate and live with.
4) Functions independently. You do not need to supervise the operation all throughout the cycle. Many bots gets stuck and you have to reset the cycle several times before getting the pool to look moderately clean. This can be very frustrating. However, the back up valve feature ensures the Polaris 280 operates smoothly. The pool will be clean and clear when you return at the end of cycle.
5) Reasonably priced pool cleaner. You get a clean that is almost equivalent to top end robots at a fraction of the price.
6) The bot is available in black – this suits dark bottomed pools and gives buyers more of a color choice.
Polaris 280 Cons:
1) The biggest drawback is that you need to install a booster pump and make alterations to your plumbing system. This can be expensive and time consuming. Many people who are not tech-savvy will not feel confident in buying the polaris 280 for fear of something going wrong and the pumps not being compatible with the system.
However, if you have experience with a booster pump, then the polaris 280 makes a great choice. There are plenty of videos online that explain how to set it up, installation of pumps, maintenance etc.
How to Install a Pressure Pool Cleaner (For Polaris and others)
2) This is not exactly an energy efficient system. The booster pump makes it fast and powerful but it consumes a fair bit of power.
Polaris 280 Customer Reviews:
I already had the Polaris 180 that lasted for over 15 years with minor repairs and replacement parts. This upgrade is twice as good….It does an excellent job of thoroughly cleaning steps and whole bottom and sides. Saves us valuable time and energy of having to use vacuum that came with pool.
Actually was very surprised that this did such an excellent job. It definitely does better than the older model 180 ever did. – Verified Amazon.com Customer
Verified Polaris Customer Review:
I have had three Polaris 380s over the last 20 years. They are simple, repairable, durable and effective pool cleaners that seem to last almost 10 years with only minor maintenance. They are not inexpensive but what is? – Verified Amazon.com Customer
Verified Polaris Customer Review:
Arrived quickly… no issues. $125 cheaper than our local pool store. The “quick start” instructions weren’t very clear on assembly, but the online manual was simple and quick to find. – Verified Amazon.com Customer
Verified Polaris Customer Review:
Fantastic device. I purchased one of these about 5 years ago and have ran it non-stop ever since. It is a marvelous invention. Only recommendation for new users is to purchase two extra debris bags(1).
This makes it easy to turn off the pump, raise the Polaris unit, and swap out the dirty bag for a new one. Also recommend buying spare tail scrubber (foam) attachments(2). They’re cheap, and you never want to use this unit without a foam tail tip (could damage the liner, unlikely but possible…but the tail foam “sweeps” the pool bottom very nicely). – Verified Amazon.com Customer
Polaris 280 Videos:
Polaris 280 Final Verdict:
The Polaris 280 Robitic Pool Cleaner has 4.5 stars on Amazon and we can see why. It’s a top choice if you already have a booster pump in place or don’t mind getting one. Otherwise check out the Polaris 360, which is equally awesome!