In the market for automatic and intelligent swimming pool cleaning solutions, there are ultimately very few competitors. Polaris is without a doubt one of the most outstanding brands in the market. Its product offers are halfway between optimal performance and a relatively balanced price.
Some of the most popular Polaris models for pressure automatic pool cleaners are the Polaris 280 and Polaris 380. Because of the similarity in design of the two models, in this Polaris 280 vs 380 comparison article, we’ll try to tell them apart so you can choose the one that suits your pool most.
Polaris Pool Cleaner Comparison
First, below is a comparison showing the key differences between the Polaris 280 and 380:
|Polaris 280||Polaris 380|
|Pool Type||In ground pool||In ground pool|
|Dimensions||20 x 23 x 10 inches||9.75 x 20 x 22.5 inches|
|Cleaning Time||3 hours or less||3 hours or less|
|Vacuum Inlet||7 cm||6 cm|
|Operating Pressure||2.2 bars||1.8 bars|
A Quick Rundown of the Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner
The Polaris 280 is an automatic pressure side pool cleaning robot. The pressure pool cleaner has a great capacity to collect small particles. It has 2 jets located face to face to generate the Venturi effect.
It’s ideal for large in-ground pools, up to 14 x 7 m. However, it requires an additional pressure pump for its functioning. Designed to combine efficiency and robustness, the Polaris 280 pressure cleaner benefits from the technical developments achieved by the brand in recent years.
Its efficient transmission system allows it to move quickly in all directions, whatever the shape or dimension of the pool basin. It can clean up a large in ground pool in three hours or less.
The two jets arranged to face each other create a homogeneous Venturi effect that makes the cleaner stick to the floor optimally and increases its cleaning performance. The pressure cleaner can be connected to the return of the pool.
In conjunction with a pressure pump, the Polaris 280 has a powerful suction capacity provided by the so-called “venturi effect”, capable of capturing particles of dust, sand, gravel, leaves, etc.
A Quick Rundown of the Polaris Vac-sweep 380 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner
The Polaris 380 hydraulic pool robot is the result of many years of in-depth studies. These studies, which mainly focused on traction, allowed the Polaris brand to create a lighter and much faster robot while reducing the size and modifying its transmission system.
These various improvements have led the manufacturer to a brand new venturi effect system based on three jets, designed in a triangular manner. The revolutionary system results in an irreproachable quality of cleaning. The jets ensure a really ultra powerful suction, can suck up small and large debris, and adapt to very large pools. There is the Tail Sweep Pro technology that helps avoid splashing. In addition, the robot is sold with a 2 year warranty.
The Polaris 380 robot comes complete with its standard bag, flow reducing discs, and 9.60 m long hose. Note that for its operation, you must have a booster pump with a minimum power of 1 HP depending on the distance of your technical room from your pool.
A stainless steel pre-filter is mounted on the pipe of the Polaris 380 robot, which retains the smallest impurities.
Difference Between Polaris 280 and 380
The Polaris 280 and 380 may look similar in design, but there are features which differentiate them. Besides, there’s a reason both models are sold for different prices.
If you are looking for a high-end device to clean your pool in every nook and cranny, something powerful that will suck all types of residue from the bottom of the water, the Zodiac Polaris P280 robot is likely to be of great interest to you. It is designed for big and powerful cleanings. Whatever the coating of your pool bottom (liner, PVC, concrete, polyester shell, tiling, or even mosaic) is, the Polaris P280 robot will adapt to all flat floors and slight slopes.
Meanwhile, the Polaris 380 is the top of the range for pool bottom cleaning. Still in the same vein as the Polaris P280 but this time a little more powerful and more upscale than the Polaris 280. As its name suggests, this robot has the same characteristics as its little brother the P280 with, however, an overpowered suction to leave nothing in the bottom of your pool.
However, the Polaris P280 is very versatile and can therefore adapt to all shapes of swimming pools, whether oval or rectangular. The automatic recoil valve with which the robot is equipped will also prevent you from potential blockages. In short, the Polaris 280 is really easy to use, which will allow you to quickly and thoroughly clean your in-ground pool. Its collection bag is also very large with a capacity of 20 microns.
Meanwhile, the Polaris 380 model has been designed with a solid stainless steel drive chain allowing it to benefit from more torque than on the P280 version and therefore cleaning faster and more efficiently. Its brush will allow it to scrub the ground to remove stains on the shell of your pool. You will be able to use the Polaris 380 swimming pool cleaning robot on flat bottoms, gently sloping bottoms, compound slopes, in diving pits, and even on diamond points.
Verdict: The Polaris 380 has a small edge
In terms of design, both the Polaris 280 and 380 have strikingly similar features. However, there are still big differences in terms of some features and operational technologies.
In terms of dimensions and weight, the 280 robot has a dimension of 20 x 23 x 10 inches and weighs 6.2 pounds which is still rather light. As for the 380, the dimensions are 9.75 x 20 x 22.5 inches.
Although the Polaris 380 has a more compact design, it is heavier than the 280. While both robots move at an average speed of 20 meters per minute, they can finish up cleaning a pool in three hours.
What probably makes the Polaris 380 edge out the 280 is the Venturi jet technology. It’s equipped with three ultra-powerful Venturi jets and will adapt to all types of swimming pools. All this is thanks to drive system and its large, very wide, and thick black tires.
The Polaris 280 is not so less efficient too. With its two super-powerful jets, it moves multi-directionally to suck up all the debris present in the pool (leaves, insects, earth, etc.). The bag with filter is independent, which will make it easier for you to use.
Thanks to the tail Sweep Pro technology, the robot will not throw a single drop of water out of the pool. Enough to allow you to sunbathe by the pool without the slightest chance of being splashed! The product is suitable for pools with a maximum length of 9 meters because its hose measures 9.60 meters.
Verdict: The Polaris 380 has a big edge.
The Polaris P280 is less expensive than the 380, which tells a lot about the efficiency and better design of the 380. If you want to invest for your pool in the little marvel of the Polaris 380 robot floor cleaner, you will still have to pay a tidy sum.
Both pool cleaners have a massive price difference of around $150 which cannot be ignored. The Polaris 280 might be the best model for pool owners on a budget as it’s sold for an under $500 price while the 380 is an under $600 robot.
Both in terms of mobility, precision, and efficiency, the F5 P280 swimming pool robot remains a real benchmark in the field, especially since it comes with a reasonable price in view of the competition.
However, the design of the Polaris 380 is a real advantage, especially if we look at the materials and technologies used for the construction. They thus testify to good durability and functionality. Then, both robots are easy to use and only need to be submerged and then to start cleaning the pool!
Verdict: The Polaris 280 has a big edge
How do The Polaris Robots Work?
The water is sucked in by the pump via the skimmers and the bottom drain. Water is sent to the filter for cleaning and then the water is returned clean to the pool via the backflows. A bypass is created on this piping to supply the booster. Next, the Polaris 380 robot is plugged into the broom plug transformed into a discharge. The Venturi effect generated by the jets transforms the water inlet into a powerful suction current and allows the robot to move.
Why is My Polaris Running Slow?
If your pool cleaner doesn’t climb the walls, clean the pool well, or is moving slowly, then the wheels may not be working at an optimal revolution. You have to adjust it correctly for it to work properly. A dirty filter or clogged pump basket can also be the culprit. So, clearing and cleaning them up can make the pool cleaner more efficient.
How Long Should You Run Your Polaris Pool Cleaner?
Your Polaris pool cleaner needs to run for about three hours. To keep your pool cleaner, you can however run it for as long as needed. But chances are you will fun out the device faster that way. A three-hour operation is enough, especially for regular cleaning.
With the Vac-Sweep 380, Polaris aims to offer a cleaning solution that is both complete and more efficient than the 280, thanks to its Triple Venturi Jets. For the other features, we find more or less the same characteristics as for the other Polaris, like the recoil valve or the collection bag for debris. As we have seen in the Polaris 280 vs 380 comparison, the Polaris 280 however beats the 380 in terms of price. But the integrated technology of the Polaris 380 gives it additional value.
Both pool robots are suitable for all types of in ground pools and pool coating, allowing the bottom and walls to be cleaned.