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Polaris 280 vs Polaris 380: Take a close look at the differences

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What is the difference between the Polaris 280 and Polaris 380 pressure side pool cleaners?! Let’s ask Katie:
The mystery has been solved! Now all that’s left is to make a decision. What did we learn from “By the Pool with Katie”? Both of these pressure side pool cleaners require a booster pump; have the same jet drive, and same rubber tires that work on all swimming pool surfaces.
The Polaris 280 was the foundation for the 380, is time tested reliability, lower maintenance, fewer pieces, and a larger filter bag.
And the Polaris 380 has all the performance upgrades, like three jets, a longer tail scrubber, an EZ bag filter connector, and its body design protects its parts from the sun better.
It’s like Katie said, if you want a pool cleaner that reliable and low maintenance, pick the Polaris 280. If you want a pool cleaner that’s more powerful and captures heavy debris, choose the Polaris 380.
Polaris 280
Polaris 380
  • JC Cantrell

    I have an irregularly shaped in-ground gunnite pool. My polaris ray-vac has dissappointed me for several years. I am ready for a new system. I would appreciate your recommendation regarding the Polaris 380 and any other. I am ready to purchase the right system Thanks JC Cantrell

    • PoolSupplyWorld

      Hi JC, thanks for the question. We would definitely recommend the Polaris 380. This cleaner is completely different from the RayVac and will do a great job in your gunite pool. It’s important to note that the 380 requires a booster pump in order to operate. The product above is the cleaner and the booster pump together. If you happen to already have a booster pump, we sell the cleaner by itself as the Polaris 380 In Ground Pressure Side Automatic Pool Cleaner.

      The 380 carries an unheard of 10 year warranty on the frame, and a one year warranty on all other parts. It completes its cleaning cycle in three hours, and its vac-sweep tail kicks up dirt and debris to ensure that any dirt that has settled on the bottom of your pool is collected by the cleaner. We are happy to answer any other questions you may have about this or any other product on our site.

  • Johnnie

    Just the comparison I was looking for. My 4 yr old Phantom is breaking on a regular basis and I want something reliable and low maint/repair costs. I believe the 280 is my best choice rather than putting more money into the Phantom

  • Rob

    Nice presentation. My Polaris 380 is around 6 years old now and I noticed some performance degradation this year. It’s getting stuck in corners and seems to just shut down on it’s own now. Could this be a belt problem?

    • PoolSupplyWorld

      Hey Rob…sounds like at 6 years your cleaner might be ready for a Factory tune up kit. This kit will include everything you need to get your cleaner back in top shape. The manufactures part number for that product is 9-100-9010.

  • Mark

    Super presentation. Thanks, you really helped me to decide on the 280.

    • PoolSupplyWorld

      Thanks for the great comment Mark. I’m glad we were able to help you out with your decision. If you have any other questions or comments don’t hesitate to ask. Thanks again and I hope you enjoy your new 280.

  • Jamie

    That was a great comparison presentation. I have been trying to decide whether to get another 380 or go with a 280. Thank you for your help!!

    • PoolSupplyWorld

      I’m glad it helped you out, thanks for the comment! Which cleaner did you decide to go with?

  • Dave

    Awesome info exactly what I was looking for. Thank you.

    • PoolSupplyWorld

      Hi Dave, we’re glad we could help! If you ever have questions about the Polaris 280, Polaris 380 or other pool-related topics, please feel free to ask.

  • Edward L Counts

    need to replace my polaris – looking at 280 with booster – is booster pump difficult to install? Are instructions included -can I see insstructions online to see if I can do it? Thanks

    • PoolSupplyWorld

      Hi Edward, if you currently use a pressure side Polaris cleaner with a booster pump, installation of the new booster should not be difficult. If you do not currently utilize a booster pump for your cleaner, the booster will need to be plumbed into your dedicated return line, as well as wired. It is recommended you wire it to a time clock for programming purposes. You can find the installation instructions for the Polaris Booster Pump under the Resources section of the PB4-60 and PB4-60Q booster pump product pages, respectively.

      The main difference between these two 3/4 HP booster pumps is the type of motor they use; the PB4-60Q uses a Halcyon motor that is quieter than the Magnatek motor used in the PB4-60. We offer two cleaner/booster pump packages with the Polaris 280: the Polaris 280 and PB4-60 Booster Pump and the Polaris 280 and PB4-60Q Booster Pump. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact us for immediate assistance.

  • paul muller

    i have an older polaris 380 runs slow and does not climb the wall at all. rpm is 21 water pressure is not a problem case i have a new 280 that works great. want to keep the 380 as a back up.

    • PoolSupplyWorld

      Hi Paul, Sounds like your 380 needs a tune up! You can find the Polaris 380 tune up kit here. The tune up kit will have your 380 running like new in no time! Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks! -Christian

  • Maureen

    We live in the panhandle of Florida and have a 75 ft. lap pool. Our pool cleaner is a Polaris 380 and it is over 4 yrs old. Slow moving and won’t climb. I was considering buying a Polaris 280 because it does not have the belts. Do you think it would be worth buying the Tune Up Kit? Is that something that we could do or would I need to take it to a shop for the tune up? Does the kit include all parts and you just reuse the housing? How about the feeder hose? Our seems okay. What is your price on a new Polaris 280? Polarsi 380? Thank you! Maureen

    • PoolSupplyWorld

      Hi Maureen,
      Someone from our customer care team will be contacting you shortly to get some additional information and discuss the best option for your situation. Let me know if you have any questions! -Christian