Polaris 280 Model Vac-Sweep Pressure Side Pool Cleaner

Last updated date: August 4, 2020

DWYM Score
8.8

Polaris 280 Model Vac-Sweep Pressure Side Pool Cleaner

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We looked at the top Pool Cleaners and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Pool Cleaner you should buy.

Overall Take

Double jets help this pool cleaner blast away even the most stubborn stains. The lightweight build and three-wheel base of this model helps it climb stairs and scrub the side walls of your pool. You may want to purchase an extra booster pump and rear sweep tail to complete your cleaner set. In our analysis of 88 expert reviews, the Polaris Polaris Vac-Sweep Pressure Side Pool Cleaner placed 7th when we looked at the top 12 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 4, 2020:
Checkout The Best Pool Cleaner for a detailed review of all the top pool cleaners.

Expert Summarized Score
9.2
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.5
2,513 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Powerful suction.
- BestReviews
The 280 vacuum has a three-wheel base and is lightweight enough to clean not only the walls and the floor but the stairs as well.
- Top Ten Reviews
April 5, 2018 | Full review
By using this cleaner, your pool will be for sure cleaned well.
- Chief Pool
The amount of pressure the Polaris 280 uses lets it clean your pool quickly, in under three hours when set up correctly.
- Pool Cleaner Blog
April 15, 2017 | Full review
It can clean the walls and floor of an inground swimming pool.
- Pool Cleaner Guides
Its main distinction is that it has a three-wheel base, which makes the equipment lightweight enough so it can be easily used to clean not only the pool bottom and walls but also the stairs.
- Lintons In The Garden
It is also powered with the double jets so that the process of cleaning can be done very easily.
- Best Pool Advisor
What experts didn't like
Requires an additional booster pump.
- BestReviews
Requires add-on purchases, such as a rear sweep tail, for full functionality.
- Top Ten Reviews
April 5, 2018 | Full review
The booster pump also isn’t very energy efficient.
- Pool Cleaner Blog
April 15, 2017 | Full review
It unfortunately adds to the overall cost of the installation as well as increasing electricity usage by a marginal amount.
- Pool Cleaner Guides
A bit on the expensive side
- Lintons In The Garden
The disadvantage of the product as recorded by some of the pool owners is that it comes with a certain amount of limitations.
- Best Pool Advisor

From The Manufacturer

The Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 pressure-side pool cleaner works in all in-ground pools and requires a booster pump. It is powered by double jets, providing greater vacuum power and faster cleaning (3 hours or less). The Polaris 280 easily connects to a dedicated pressure line and sweeps, scrubs, and vacuums all surfaces of the pool. The pressure cleaner is equipped with a single chamber filter bag where it captures large debris such as leaves, acorns, pebbles, and other small to large debris. Its unique filter bag removes debris before it reaches your pump basket or filter, prolonging the life of your filtration system. The 280 requires a separately available booster pump, such as the PB4-60. Polaris pressure pumps are specifically designed to operate your cleaner at optimum cleaning efficiency. The compact, rugged design allows for maximum performance.

An Overview On Pool Cleaners

Keeping a swimming pool clean is hard work, but it’s well worth it for the hours of fun every summer. With the right automatic pool cleaner, you can cut down on those hours of work, grabbing any dirt and debris and keeping all surfaces clean.

Pool cleaners have so many features, though, it can be easy to feel a little overwhelmed as you start shopping. Your first concern will no doubt be efficiency. After all, a pool cleaner that doesn’t actually clean anything isn’t worth having. One thing that factors into how well your pool cleaner performs is pressure. Just as a pressure washer can power off stains on your home’s exterior, the right amount of pressure can blast away all of that grime on your pool’s surface.

Large debris is another challenge your pool cleaner will face. This generally comes down to suction. The stronger suction your pool cleaner has, the more likely it will be able to collect those more stubborn items, particularly leaves. Some cleaners have parts you can interchange on those days when you notice larger debris in the pool.

In order to maneuver around your pool, though, your cleaner will need to be lightweight enough to scale walls and climb stairs. It will also need to have sensors built in that can determine exactly which areas of your pool need to be cleaned on any given day. The more automatic this process is, the less time you’ll have to spend worrying about keeping your pool clean.

Even with the best pool cleaner, though, you may find it will occasionally get stuck. Pay close attention to these problem areas, and make sure you check in on your pool during the warm months of the year to ensure your cleaner isn’t stuck.

Certain pool cleaners can also tend to damage the pool’s surface, particularly if your pool is made of more sensitive materials. In some cases, you’ll be able to buy special wheels that will ensure your pool remains in great shape without sacrificing any cleanliness.

DWYM Fun Fact

There are many myths surrounding pools and cleanliness, including the misconception that chlorine kills all germs. While the right combination of chemicals will get rid of germs, this process takes time. That means, that, unfortunately, some germs can survive even in a well-treated pool for days. In addition to keeping your pool surface clean using a pool cleaner, you also need the right pH balance and chlorine to keep it healthy. If you own your own pool, you should be testing the water every day before your first swim to make sure the levels haven’t dropped to an unsafe range overnight.

The Pool Cleaner Buying Guide

  • Pressure plays a big role in how efficient your pool cleaner is. Some models are powered by double jets. They not only dislodge the most stubborn debris, but they also do so in three hours or less. The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus’s double scrubbing brushes also do a good job, but they do sometimes have difficulty cleaning the waterline.
  • Even the best pool cleaners can struggle to capture larger debris, like leaves. The Hayward Poolvergnuegen Automatic Pool Cleaner lets you change out the suction throats to make sure it gets those larger pieces.
  • If you have steps, you may want to go with a more lightweight model, like the Polaris Vac-Sweep Pressure Side Pool Cleaner or the Zodiac BARACUDA Automatic Pool Cleaner. Both are lightweight enough to handle the sides of your pool and your step.
  • Today’s cleaners use GPS to move around a pool. The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus has built-in sensors that scan your pool and find the best route to take. This makes sure it gets the work done in the most efficient way possible. The Hayward Poolvergnuegen Automatic Pool Cleaner has a patented steering system that helps it get around the walls, stairs and other curves found in a pool.
  • In addition to pressure, suction is an important feature in a pool cleaner, helping you get those more stubborn items that other models won’t. Some pool cleaners have a three-jet suction design that helps them both capture bigger debris and resist clogging.
  • Your pool cleaner will work with your pump, which you should already have in place. For best results, you’ll need to make sure your cleaner is compatible with the pump you have. The Zodiac BARACUDA Automatic Pool Cleaner works just as well with a high-pressure pump as it does with a low-pressure one.
  • One thing you may not think about until you’ve had your pool cleaner for a while is cable tangles. The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus has a swivel to keep the cable from twisting and coiling while it works. When a cable is longer, that’s a valuable feature to have.
  • As convenient as pool cleaners can be, they can be a pain if they get stuck often. The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus does occasionally get stuck, as does the Zodiac BARACUDA Automatic Pool Cleaner. The Zodiac BARACUDA Automatic Pool Cleaner can be especially prone to sticking around raised drains. It may also sometimes need to be redirected to the shallow end of the pool.
  • When ease of use is a priority, the Zodiac BARACUDA Automatic Pool Cleaner delivers, serving as a welcome alternative to other pool cleaners. It’s easy to set up and has a self-adjusting flow valve. The Hayward Poolvergnuegen Automatic Pool Cleaner is easy to install and low maintenance, which means you’ll be able to put it in place and let it do its work.
  • Energy efficiency is another consideration. The unique design of the Hayward Poolvergnuegen Automatic Pool Cleaner makes the most of the water coming through it, reducing wasted energy.
  • The wheels on the Hayward Poolvergnuegen Automatic Pool Cleaner can cause damage to your pool liner. If you have vinyl or fiberglass, you’ll also want to consider tape tires to protect the surface of your pool.