Polaris Pressure Cleaner Retrofit Installation
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The Polaris pressure cleaner revolutionized automatic pool cleaning when it was introduced in the early 70’s.

Before then, pool cleaners were really just ‘stirrer-uppers’; they didn’t actually vacuum the pool. Polaris took the booster pump design advanced by Arneson, and attached a pool cleaner with a venturi vacuum.

polaris-380-cleaner-at-intheswimThe nation’s largest pool builders began offering a choice of a vacuum cleaner line, or the newer, pressure cleaner line. Anthony Pools installed thousands of “Antho-Sweep” cleaners, a private labeled Polaris 180.

Today’s post is about installing a Polaris pressure cleaner on an inground pool – where none has existed before. In a nutshell, installing a Polaris cleaner involves 3 Steps:

  1. Install or Convert a dedicated cleaner pipe
  2. Wire up the booster pump to a Timeclock
  3. Cut the Polaris hoses to proper length

DEDICATED POLARIS CLEANER LINE

Dedicated simply means that the pipe is used only for one purpose, to connect the pool cleaner. You need a pipe (or hose) that carries water from the booster pump to the cleaner.

Converting a Suction Cleaner Line: Older pools, or pools in a suction cleaner market (Hi, Florida!), may have a dedicated suction cleaner line that brings water into the filter pump. By cutting and capping the pipe that goes into the pump, and redirecting the pipe to connect with the Polaris booster pump, you can convert the suction line into a pressure line.

Converting a Jandy Ray-Vac Line: Sylvan pools and others often installed a low-pressure pool cleaner line, after the pump but before the filter, with a 3-way valve to divert water through the Energy filter and to the Jandy Ray-Vac pool cleaner. Cut out the Energy filter and cap the pipe after the 3-way valve. Install a Tee fitting in the pool return pipe, after all other equipment, and after any spa jet line, to supply the booster pump with water.

Installing a New Dedicated Cleaner Line:  The first thing to do is to call811, and have a guy come out to mark the property for underground utilities, so you don’t hit any power or gas lines.

dig a trenchDig a Trench: After underground utilities are marked, trench from where the booster pump will be located on the equipment pad, to a point midway along the longest wall of the pool. From the edge of the deck to the pool, you can either go under the deck and thru the pool wall, or over the deck hose installation.

Thru the Wall:  For this method, you continue the trench underneath the pool deck, digging a tunnel beneath until you reach the wall. Then use a rotary hammer drill with a 7/8” bit to drill through the pool wall to the other side. Slide a ¾ inch PVC pipe through the wall with a ¾” threaded female fitting on the wall side. Chip out the wall on both sides so that you can make a thick, rounded patch around the pipe on both ends. Inject an epoxy sealant around the pipe on both sides of the wall, and then pack it  at least 1” deep and 4” wide with hydraulic cement. Finish around the pipe with pool plaster mix on the pool side.polaris-thru-the-wall

Over the Deck: For this method, stub the pipe up out of the ground next to the pool deck, and use a 90° fitting just above the height of the pool deck. Using quick connect garden hose fittings, attach a short length of 3/4″ HD garden hose, to run across the deck. On the pool side end of the hose, a garden hose adapter and Polaris G-9 adapter is used to connect the Polaris cleaner.Polaris over-the-deck

WIRE BOOSTER PUMP TO TIMECLOCK

For the Polaris pressure pool cleaner to be fully automatic, one of it’s best features, you wire it to its own timeclock, which is powered by its own 15 or 20 amp breaker. If you have a 100 amp sub-panel (small grey breaker box) at the equipment pad, you probably have enough juice to add a new breaker.

intermatic-timer-for-polarisFrom the booster pump breaker, wires connect to the time clock, and from the timeclock, wires connect to the booster pump. Wires must be encased in conduit with proper connection fittings, and the booster pump must be connected to the bare copper bonding wire. An electrician should perform the work, or at least certify that your work meets local codes. See the Polaris booster pump owner’s manual for specific wiring specs.

The booster pump timeclock should be programmed or set to turn on the pump, only within the time that the filter pump is operating. In other words, the filter pump should always be running, when the cleaner booster pump is running. Most Polaris pool cleaner timers are set to run about 2 hours per day.

SIZE THE POLARIS TO YOUR POOL

Polaris cleaners come with 32′ of hose, which is more than is needed for most pools. To prevent tangling and improve performance, excess hose is cut-off or trimmed.

The first step is to cut the 10′ section of hose that attaches to the pool cleaner, to the depth of your deepest part of the pool. You can measure your pool depth with a Tele-Pole, and then cut off any excess. In other words, cut the clear hose to match the depth of your pool.

With the hose connected to the wall and the cleaner, stretch out the hose to the furthest point of the pool, and mark the point on the hose. Remove equal amounts of excess hose from the second and third 10′ sections to total the amount of extra hose. Slide the hose floats down and reconnect hose swivels, with arrows in direction of water flow.polaris-hose-schematic


It’s a bit of work to install a Polaris pressure pool cleaner where none has existed before, but not impossible! If you want the best performing pool cleaner, you have to work for it, I suppose.

Or call your favorite pool service guy to install your Polaris Pool Cleaner. You’ll save hundreds buying it online, and he’ll be glad for the extra work.

ryan-dornan
Ryan Dornan
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 


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