The Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 is a very popular pressure-side pool cleaner made for cleaning inground pools of all shapes and sizes.
It can clean the walls and floor of an inground swimming pool. It has a single chamber filter bag where it stores the leaves and other debris that it removes from the swimming pool floor. This keeps most of the debris away from the pool pump basket and filter.
The sweep hose tail at its back sweeps across the swimming pool bottom to stir up dirt while the tail scrubber does the scrubbing.
Our Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 review considers its features and answers questions about its booster pump, backup valve, likes and dislikes before ending with a conclusion.
Polaris Vac-Sweep 280: Key Features
- It has two jets for faster cleaning.
- Sweep hose tail for cleaning corners.
- It is an inground pool type cleaner for all pool surfaces.
- Single chamber debris bag for capturing larger rubbish such as acorns, pebbles and leaves.
- It is powered by a separate booster pump which leaves the skimmer free to get rid of surface scum.
What is included with the pool cleaner?
The Polaris 280 comes packed with a 31-foot hose kit, single chamber filter bag, operating instructions, backup valve, pool wall fittings and sweep hose with scrubber.
Does the Vac-Sweep 280 ship with a booster pump?
No, the booster pump is not included with the purchase of the pool cleaner. The Polaris 280 will not function without the extra water pressure that the booster pump adds. Therefore, it is an essential piece of equipment.
Can you use the Polaris 280 without the booster pump?
Unfortunately not. You need to have a Zodiac/Polaris PB4-60 booster pump if you want the pressure pool cleaner to function properly. If you already have a different brand name 60Hz booster pump, you might be able to use it. Otherwise you need to buy the booster pump to provide extra pressure-side power to the pool cleaner.
Is the backup valve included with the Vac-Sweep 280?
Yes, it comes with the backup valve that frequently changes the pool cleaner’s direction and position in the pool. This helps it to change its cleaning pattern and to avoid getting stuck on obstacles.
Can it remove sand from the pool bottom?
Yes, it can get rid of sand resting on the swimming pool bottom.
Is the warranty valid if you buy it online?
Yes, the manufacturer’s warranty will at least be valid. There should be a warranty card in the box. You can register your Polaris product online.
What do owners like about the Vac-Sweep 280?
Many owners think it is a simple and reliable pool cleaner. It works very well once you have the water pressure and wheel rev/min fine-tuned to your specific pool.
What do owners dislike about it?
The sweep hose sometimes sprays the area around the pool with water. This water spraying problem might be fixed by installing the Tail Sweep Pro (costs about $20). It prevents the hose from spraying water and also improves its sweeping action. It is quick and easy to install since no tools are required for the job.
The Polaris 280 requires a booster pump to operate efficiently. It unfortunately adds to the overall cost of the installation as well as increasing electricity usage by a marginal amount.
Polaris 280 vs 360, 380 and 3900 Sport
There are four Polaris inground pressure-side pool cleaner models available: the 280, 360, 380 and 3900 Sport. They work along similar lines, but there are a few small differences between them:
- The Polaris 360, 380 and 3900 Sport have 3 jets while the Polaris 280 has only 2 jets.
- The Vac-Sweep 360 is the only model that does not need a booster pump.
- Polaris 360, 380 and 3900 Sport have all-wheel drive while the Polaris 280 has a shaft drive.
- Polaris 3900 Sport has a dual-chamber debris bag while the other models have single chamber bags.
Vac-Sweep 280: Verdict
Owners still like the Polaris 280 model the best. They think it simply cleans better than the other models. Pool professionals also tend to recommend the Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 as the best pressure-side pool cleaner on the market. You might find the best prices for the Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 at Amazon.com.