Pool Info: Low Pressure Cleaners
Lo Pressure Cleaners
Lo Pressure pool cleaners such as the Polaris 360 or the Letro Legend II operate at a lower pressure (17 - 19 psi) than does the Polaris 180 or Polaris 380, which require pressure above 30 lbs to work effectively. This is why the 180/ 380 require an additional booster pump to send higher pressure water to the unit. And of course, the booster pump requires hard-wired electric on it's own circuit breaker, with its own timer clock as well as plumbing and trenching from the booster pump to the unit. The last four feet of this run can go under the pool deck and through the wall for best results, or the installer can use an over the deck mounting kit.
The Booster pump driven cleaners do have 3 main advantages over the 360. One, since it has its own booster pump, the speed and efficiency of the cleaner is not dependent on the filter/pump system. That is, if your filter, pump or skimmers are clogged, the 360 will slow down from lack of flow. Secondly, the 380 usually is installed with its own time clock, so that it turns itself on & off. This can save wear & tear on the unit, and has a convenience advantage, making it truly automatic. Third, the booster pump models are usually a bit faster because of the "boost" and also do not put any back pressure on the system.
Lo Pressure cleaners do not require a booster pump, or plumbing or electricity. The installation requires only to plug it into one of your existing returns on the wall, making adjustments to reduce the flow from other returns to achieve 17 - 19 psi of water flow to the unit. NOTE: A filter pump of at least 1 hp is needed to achieve proper pressure. Small duty pumps such as the MaxFlo, the Maxim, the PowerFlo or other above-ground or small inground pool pumps do not have enough power. A pressure tester is included. It is advised that you properly pressure test the unit before putting the cleaner into the pool.
The Polaris 360 comes with detailed instructions on how to connect it into your particular wall fitting. A G-9 wall adapter is needed if you are connecting it to a 3/4" threaded wall fitting. The Polaris 360 has 25 feet of feed hose included. If your wall returns are on one end of the pool, you may need additional hose sections for complete pool coverage. The Polaris 360 or Letro Legend II are suitable for vinyl-lined pools and for gunite pools of any shape. A great replacement for the Jandy RayVac pool cleaner.
The water that is being pumped or "pushed" back to the pool powers these units which have their own hydraulic power plant inside. Being on the pressure side, these units have distinct advantages. They are helpful in distributing clean, filtered water around the pool and having their own debris bag means that they don't compromise the filter system. Even with the bag full, a pressure cleaner still operates, stirring debris up, it just won't suck up any more debris until the bag is emptied.
These cleaners attach to one of the existing return ports, or to a dedicated cleaner line. If you currently have a dedicated 'suction' pool cleaner line, it can be converted to a 'pressure' pool cleaner line.
The water that flows into the unit splits into three directions; the sweeper tail, the thrust jet and the venturi. The sweeper tail is a little stirrer-upper as I call it, which helps to get fine debris off the walls and floor and into the suspension where it can then head towards the filter. The thrust jet is a series of ports and gears which motor the unit around the pool in a random pattern. The venturi is the port where leaves are sucked up into a bag (that you empty when full) as the unit rolls over debris. An internal back-up valve reverses the flow every few minutes to change its pattern and remove it from possible obstacles. And this is how it works!
Lo Pressure pool cleaners work best on a dedicated line, and with a pump and filter that can maintain decent pressure - otherwise, these cleaners can run very s-l-o-w. However, they can be a great, cost effective alternative to the more expensive, energy consuming booster pump driven pool cleaners.