In this Podcast I go over Pressure Side and Return Side Pool Cleaners. I go into detail on how they operate and I also give you my Top Choices if you are in the market for a pressure or return Side cleaner. These are sometimes the best pool cleaners for your pool needs.
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I also cover return side cleaners and there is a difference between these and a pressure side cleaner. The main difference is the a pressure side cleaner requires a dedicated ¾ hp booster pump and a dedicated return line. The return side cleaners work off of one of your existing return jets. For a return side cleaner to work effectively you will need a full size filter, at least a ¾ hp pump and 1 1/2” threaded return lines. If your pool meets these requirements then a return side cleaner might be right for you.
I suggest installing these cleaners in pools that get a large amount of debris on the pool floor from surrounding trees. They are designed with very large openings on the bottom and have a large debris bag on top to trap large pool debris. Both the pressure side and return side cleaners are capable of picking up very large debris. They work better then Suction Side Cleaners that tend to get clogged up when they run over a pile of leaves on the pool bottom.
These cleaners work off of the return pressure that is funneled thru small tubes on the cleaner bottoms and create a jet action that propels the cleaner and shoots debris up into the bag on top thru Venturi on the bottom opening of the cleaner. These are basically strong jets of water in the throat of the cleaner. It is a very effective design and will leave a pool that gets a lot of debris spotless every week.
My top choice for a pressure side cleaner would be the Polaris 280. It is a design that dates back over 30 years and is a simple drive shaft gear that propels the cleaner. It is my go to pressure side cleaner and my default cleaner for almost every pool on my route. You can also look at the Pentair Legend, it is very similar to the Polaris 280 and equally effective.
For a return side cleaner I would go with the Polaris 360 or their new dark color scheme TR36. These are the same cleaners just in different color schemes. The Polaris 360 has a blue body and white hoses, while the TR36 has a dark blue body and black hoses. Both will work without a booster pump and connect directly to your pools existing return lines.
If you want to compare pressure side cleaners, one that is very comparable to Polaris 280 is the Polaris 380. It is similar in every way except that it is more compact in size and uses a belt drive instead of a drive shaft. If you are looking for a BMW or Mercedes of these types of cleaners you can also look at the Polaris 3900 Sport. This one uses a chain drive and of all the cleaners moves the quickest on the pool bottom. It is an excellent cleaner but with a large price tag. The Pentair Racer is also a grerat cleaner but also has a hefty price tag, although Pentair has recently dropped the price of the Racer.
Bottom line, a pressure side cleaner will clean your pool more effectively then a suction side cleaner if your pool gets a lot of debris on the bottom. Look into one of these when you are having your pool constructed or remodeled.
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