Swimming Pool Blog

Polaris 280 Pool Cleaner Tune-Up or Rebuild

polaris pool cleaner repairs
by Rob Cox June 11, 2013


Tuning Up Your Polaris 280 Pool Cleaner

polaris 280 tune up instructions


Polaris pool cleaners, the 280 and the 380 are marvelous inventions. Powered by their own booster pump and timeclock, they are the most independent and thorough cleaning pool cleaners available.

They do have a downside - there are quite a few moving parts and bits that wear down or wear out. But! With a little bit of annual maintenance, and occasional adjustments, your Polaris pool cleaner can always run like new!

If you don't do annual tweaks and replace Polaris parts as needed, you may find it easier to use a handy Factory Polaris 280 Rebuild Kit.


Here are the Polaris Tune-Up Instructions and, if you choose, Polaris Rebuild Instructions, for repairs to your Polaris 280 or 380.

Polaris 180 / 280 Tune-Up Instructions


  1. Mark the position of the head float with a sharpie pen, then pull to remove the float. 
  2. Remove the feed hose from the cleaner by loosening the nut and pulling the hose.
  3. Remove the cleaner bag, and remove the sweeper tail by removing the tail clip with pliers.
  4. Remove the screw in center which holds the top in place. Remove the top.
  5. Remove the axle screws for each wheel. Remove all 3 wheels.
  6. Remove the turbine cover screws, there are 3 of them, and pull the cover out of the way.
  7. Remove the screws that hold the turbine cover in place. Then remove the shaft and bearings.
  8. Remove the small Idler wheel, washer and screw, and the swing axle assembly with spring.




  1. Slide the new turbine bearings onto the shaft, without removing the clear tubes.
  2. Tighten the 4 turbine bearing screws and install the turbine cover with 3 screws.
  3. Lay the new front wheel / sand guard assembly next to the old one, and point the axles in the same direction, as shown right. Use needle nose pliers to remove a notch from the sand guard in the same place as the notch in the old wheel sand guard.

  4. Install the new front wheel with the axle plate and lock washers. Line up the grooves in the axle with the ribs on the frame. Tighten screws only loosely.
  5. Adjust the axle, so that the teeth of the drive shaft engage the teeth on the wheel about 3/4 of the way, as shown right. If too close, the wheel will be hard to turn, and if too loose, the drive shaft and wheel will not make good contact.
  6. When the adjustment is correct, the wheel will spin freely, with light resistance. Tighten the screws to lock the wheel position.
  7. Repeat the above steps for the single-side wheel, removing a notch in the sand guard, adjusting the axle so that the drive shaft engages the teeth of the wheel. 

  8. Install the new rear wheel. Line up the grooves on the axle with the ribs on the frame, pointing the longer side of the axle toward the rear of the Polaris. Leave the axle screws loose for now.
  9. Install the new swing axle, swing axle tee, lock washer and spring. Keep the tee parallel with the retaining bracket as you install the swing axle, as shown right.
  10. Install the new idler wheel onto the swing axle. Secure with the new wheel screw and washer, but not overly tight.
  11. Install the assembled bottom onto the frame of your Polaris 280.

  12. Push the rear wheel forward until it contacts the idler wheel, then tighten the screws on the axle. If you spin the back wheel, the idler wheel should spin, and if you spin the front wheel, all 3 wheels should spin together.
  13. Reinstall the top onto your Polaris 280, attach the new sweep tail with the clamp.
  14. Reinstall the head float to the mark made during reassembly, and install your new Polaris bag.
  15. Reinstall the hose and hose nut and test out your rebuilt Polaris pool cleaner!

 polaris 280 cleaners at poolcenter.com