How To Choose Automatic Pool Cleaners

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Reviewed by:
On February 4, 2013
Last modified:October 18, 2013


Zodiac builds great quality pool cleaners

Choosing the model that is right for you based on your pool and your budget can be  a bit of a challenge for those first time buyers.  For the purposes of this article, let’s assume that you have made the decision to get an automatic pool cleaner for your backyard pool. Let’s further add that your pool is an in-ground pool of average size and that you have decided on getting the best you can get for your money.  Zodiac_Logo_smThat brings us to the Zodiac pool cleaner line called Polaris.

No matter which Zodiac Polaris pool cleaner you choose, you can be assured that the quality of the product is great and the dependability will exceed your expectations.   The Zodiac line of pool cleaners is very popular and for good reason. These pool cleaners are the world’s best sellers because they outlast and remain dependable longer than their competitors.

Automatic pool cleaners come in three types; Robotic, Pressure and Suction.  We’ll discuss all three and the pros and cons of each.

The robotic family of pool cleaners is the 9000 series.

They start with the the Polaris 9100 Sport Robotic which delivers a crystal-clean pool with Z_9100the push of a button. It features a compact lightweight design that enables easy transport and removal of the cleaner, and its simple plug and play operation makes it ideal for busy pool owners. By focusing on the pool floor, the 9100 Robotic works quickly and efficiently, delivering a perfectly clean pool in just two hours. It costs just pennies per day to operate.  This unit features a quick release filter canister so you never have to touch the actual debris. It uses the patented vortex vacuum technology and cleans pools up to 40 feet with its 50 foot floating cable.

The Polaris 9300 Sport redefines the very essence of Polaris in this re-imagination of the icon. Z_9300The 9300 Sport’s innovative aqua-dynamic design seamlessly integrates bold styling, advanced engineering and unmatched intelligence, making it a smarter, faster way to clean your pool than ever dreamed possible. It features a large capacity quick-release filter canister for simple debris removal. Faster navigation, enhanced agility and rapid cleaning action with its patented vortex vacuum technology are all features.

The Polaris 9300xi Sport takes Polaris robotic cleaners to the next level as it was developed from Polaris’ nearly 40 years of experience as an industry leader in automatic pool cleaner design.  The Polaris 9300xi Sport pZ_9300XIremium robotic pool cleaner combines innovative performance, unprecedented functionality and inspired design that make it a Polaris pool cleaning marvel.

Choose from pre-programmed automated cleaning mode, or take control with the easy to use remote Control. You control when and where the cleaner goes for a perfectly clean pool. The Polaris 9300xi Sport comes equipped with a premium quality transport/storage caddy constructed of heavy gauge powder coated alloy. It features a simple debris removal canister with easy access, large capacity filter . It also uses the patented Vortex Vacuum Technology that enables the extraordinary suction so you will have less filter cleaning. It has custom tailor cleaning cycles to suit your needs.  It thoroughly cleans pool floor, walls, and scrubs tile line with its 70’ cord length allowing it to accommodate pools up to 60’ long. It uses a solid, non-pleated blade for more aggressive cleaning and comes with an alloy caddy.

The 4-Wheel Drive Polaris 9400 Sport takes Polaris robotic cleaners to the next level.  Z_9400This premium robotic pool cleaner combines 4-Wheel Drive and Zodiac’s ActivMotion Sensor™ to deliver a perfectly clean pool in as little as 1.5 hours. It features 4-Wheel Drive to tackle any pool terrain. It climbs over obstacles and won’t get stuck. It aggressively cleans tile line, wall, steps and floor using the patented Vortex vacuum technology. It contains the ActivMotion Sensor™ that automatically senses position and adapts the cleaning path for optimized cleaning which prevents its cord from getting tangled. This unit has an easy to clean filter canister and 60 ft. floating cable and works in pools up to 50 ft. long. It also includes a caddy.

The pressure automatic pool cleaners provide a full range in this category that starts with the Polaris Turbo Turtle. A happy combination of automatic pool cleaner and decoration, Z_Turtlethe Polaris Turbo Turtle is powered by the pressure of clean water returning to the pool.


Next is the Polaris Vac-Sweep 65.  Polaris’ best above ground automatic pool cleaner is Z_65powered by the pressure of clean water returning to your pool.



The Polaris Vac-Sweep 165 is Polaris’ best in-ground automatic pool cleaner for vinyl or Z_165fiberglass surfaces. The Polaris 165 operates with the pump and filtration systems normally found on these pools, and installs in just minutes.

The Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 is the most advanced pressure-side automatic pool cleaner Z_360that operates without a separate booster pump.



The Polaris Vac-Sweep 180 is powered by a separate booster pump is suitable for all Z_180in-ground pools.



The Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 is the most popular automatic pool cleaner in the world today. Z_280The dependable Polaris 280 easily connects to a dedicated pressure line and is the worlds best selling automatic pool cleaner.



The Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 is powered by triple jets and as well as separate booster pump. Z_380The Polaris 380 is one of our most powerful, durable cleaners and is suitable for all in-ground pools.



The new Polaris Vac-Sweep 480 is powered by a separate booster pump. The Polaris 480 Z_480PRO delivers high-end style with professional power and performance.  With 4 powerful vacuum jets, a super-sized jet drive, and large-capacity intake, the 480 PRO comes equipped with a zippered all-purpose bag, three disposable bags, extra scrubbers, an in-line filter screen and customized license plate. It is also available in a TankTrax® model for vinyl pools. Sleek and sporty, with a bold body design and translucent UV-resistant housing, the Polaris 480 PRO contains a wealth of engineering advancements. With a stainless-steel drive chain, WideTrax® tires, and high-performance, corrosion-resistant components, the 480 PRO delivers professional-grade cleaning and long-term durability.  Operating on its own booster pump, independent of the pool circulation system, the 480 PRO works at 100% efficiency. Its four powerful jets provide superior vacuum force and fast cleaning.  Designed for all in-ground pools, the Polaris 480 PRO vacuums, sweeps and scrubs the walls and floor of any size or shape pool. It is available in a TankTrax® model for vinyl pools and a BlackMax® model to complement dark-bottom pools.

The Polaris 3900 Sport is built on Polaris expertise. The Polaris 3900 Sport delivers the Z_3900most technologically advanced pool cleaner on the market today.



The suction models start with the Zodiac Wahoo. The Zodiac Wahoo is the proven economy Z_Wahooabove ground pool cleaning solution.



Next up is the Zodiac Ranger. The Ranger is an affordable, dependable automatic pool Z_Rangercleaner that will thoroughly clean your above ground pool—removing dirt, debris, bugs, twigs, leaves and even pebbles—it requires no extra plumbing and incurs no additional energy cost.


The Zodiac “G” series delivers efficient and effective cleaning performance of pool floorZ_G2, walls and steps. Zodiac G2 utilizes the durable AIB diaphragm and a 24 fin disc.


Z_G3Zodiac G3 utilizes the patented Quick Release Cassette technology and 36 fin disc.


The Zodiac T5 Duo is a suction side in-ground pool cleaner that provides maximum Z_T5durability and cleaning power.



You can really combat debris with the Zodiac MX 8, ultra-efficient suction pool cleaning Z_MX8robot that cleans faster and more aggressively than any cleaner in its class.



The six suction models just listed above are by far the least expensive pool cleaners and are most suitable for above ground pools. Suctions models take power from your pool’s skimmer to suck debris into it. The more powerful of a filter pump the better these models work.

The Robotic are by far the most expensive units and also do the best cleaning job of all the products. Some have the added advantage of the remote control and others have the built-in technology to make sure that the entire pool surface is swept thoroughly during each cleaning cycle.

The pressure side, while being the middle priced units, actually give you your best value.  The combination of super cleaning power, dependability and price are the key ingredients for best “value”.

We recommend any of these cleaners, but especially the pressure units like the Polaris 280 and Polaris 480.  We will do a complete review of the 480 very soon.  You can buy yours right now from and they will most likely have a discount for you to take advantage of plus get your rebates before they expire! Or see all the Polaris models at one place.

Buy you choice and get the latest discount + your rebates!

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