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Polaris 380 In Ground Pool Cleaner II

Easiest way to vacuum a pool

Doesn't handle stairs well, slow, can't spot-clean

The Bottom Line
We're thrilled to have this thing. It's almost worth the money just to see the cat jump when the tail squirts him unexpectedly as he's lounging poolside.

UPDATE - After 5 years of using this product, I thought I'd post a quick update. I've had no problems of any sort. It works as well today as it did when we first installed it. I use it less now then I used to, though. At first, I put it in the pool whenever ANY level of vacuuming was in-order. Now, I'll do quick clean-ups with the manual vacuum rather than using the Polaris. I can get the pool pretty clean in 15 minutes if it is just a matter of spot cleaning. But I put the Polaris in about once each week for two or three hours. It does a great job of getting the leaves and dirt that blows in. I'm glad we got it and I still recommend it.

This tool came recommended from the guy who renovated our gunite pool. He said it was the best tool of its kind. I was dubious, but he hadn't steered us wrong before so we told him to go ahead and install it. Once again, he was right.

The Polaris is easy to use - just connect the hose to the dedicated outflow port in the pool, switch on the pump and walk away. It takes three to four hours to thoroughly clean our 30,000-gallon pool. When it's finished, just turn off the pump, disconnect the hose and pull it out of the water. The bag that holds the junk that it sucks up is large enough so that you only have to empty it roughly every third time. (Your mileage may vary depending on how much stuff falls into your pool.)

Using the Polaris is far easier than doing the job manually, even if it takes much longer. We tend to turn it on when we won't be using the pool and pull it out whenever it's convenient. But I won't leave it on if we're not at home. When we first started using it, one of the fittings failed on the pump, and our garage, where the filter is installed, began filling with water. I happened to be home and turned it off as soon as I realized something was wrong. It would have been a disaster, though, if we hadn't been home. I know this isn't the product's fault, but it's just something to think about.

A minor drawback is the fact that you can't use it to spot-clean your pool. Leaves and dirt tend to gather in a couple of areas in our pool and I wish you could manually control the Polaris and direct it to the areas that need work. I bought a manual vacuum just to be able to do a quick cleanup from time-to-time. I also have to use the manual vacuum or the brush on the stairs as the Polaris won't go up higher than the first step.

One final caveat - if your filter is on a timer, be sure to have your electrician wire the Polaris pump to the timer as well. If the filter pump goes off and the Polaris remains on, the Polaris pump will be ruined.


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Another Anonymous Pool/Polaris's Owner since'84. Vinyl in ground, safety cover, day care.
Posted 1/24/2015 8:46:00 PM by Anonymous    Reply
I Agree and I am so glad to find the answer to the circling in deep end problem. I Think that many people nation wide would love to have your answer to that repair on most Polaris models in one way or another. As I said I've had several models over the years that are slightly different in how there built. They all have the circle in the deep end problem, one way or another. Again Thank You for the answer.

Posted 6/25/2008 10:40:25 PM by Anonymous    Reply
does anyone know why a polaris 380 wont go up to my 3ft end? It will climb the slant in the pool that leads to the shallow end but then turns around and go back down in the deep end. thanks

Anonymous 6/26/2008 11:11:30 PM    Reply
I recently had the same problem. I found that one of the drive belts was broken. I think too many toys had been caught in the wheels. I am fairly mechanically inclined so I decided to order the parts and make the repairs myself. When I disassemble the unit I found one of the hose clamps broken and the one side wheel hex was rounded out. I ordered the parts, $123.00 (I ordered some other things as well). I installed the new belts, wheel, and hose clamp. Now it is working as good as it did 5 years ago when I bought it. If you can't do the work yourself make sure you get a good estimate on the repairs to be made. A new unit without the pump was around $540. Good luck.
Polaris 380 problem
Posted 6/10/2008 11:45:58 AM by Anonymous    Reply
I agree with all the positive comments about the Polaris in the previous posts. But here is a problem that I have....my Polais has a tendency to come up the curved wall and then slam into the edge of my steps. Over time the hard plastic bottom of the unit has knocked the plaster off the edge of the steps allowing water to get inbetween the plaster and gunite. Now I have a plaster repair, or replace problem.

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