Does Caretaker Polaris actually warm your water?

Doobs41378February 17, 2013

I am trying to decide on a Caretaker Polaris system for my new vinyl pool due to go in in April. PB and brochure states it will warm the water due to the fact that it moves your top water to the bottom etc. I am in the Northeast so we get some colder weather up here. Can anybody who has one confirm or deny this fact? Thanks in advance.

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I'm not a big fan of any infloor cleaning systems. (to much trouble down the road) And for a Vinyl pool which is what I build, to many areas too leak....Go with a booster driven cleaner and look at a heatpump rather than a infloor system. JMO


    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 8:14AM
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Ditto to what muddy said. There are a lot of people that love in-floors but to me, there are way too many costly things that can go wrong. Not to mention the initial cost. A robotic cleaner will do a far better job at much less cost.

But to answer your original question, it might make a small difference but nothing measurable. Also, you can accomplish the same thing by pointing a return downwards so it doesn't require an in-floor system to get that same effect.

If you really want warm water, you will need an external heat source and solar is the most cost effective.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 2:22PM
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Two sides to every coin, and this side heavily disgarees with Mas985 on 2 of the 3 points. Sorry but there is just too many inaccuracies.

The cost down the road of an infloor system is what exactly? You have a lifetime warranty on the heads, so no cost there, and the most you'll probably ever spend is to have the valve kit rebuilt. Do not steer away from infloor because of future costs, it's nearly all upfront. As if robotic cleaners never need servicing down the road?

Im also not sure how one could say robotic will do a better job cleaning. How about those steps, benches, baja steps, etc? How does the robotic cleaner get to those areas? Infloor cleaning, when installed correctly with proper plumbing, should yield at least a 99% clean/free of floor debris pool.

Turning a return inlet downward enough to make a difference will only sacrifice correct circulation of the entire body of water. Definitely not suggested.

I do agree that infloor by itself will not warm the water enough to validate the entire purchase of the infloor system, but I will definitely argue that with a heating element (gas, solar or electric) deep heating by way of skimmer suction and infloor returns is by far the best method. We learned those fundamentals in grade school.

Wow, that sounds like an angry rant. It's honestly not, I just want the other side of the opinion to be heard.
Happy swimming!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 4:00PM
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What we don't know is the Environment around this pool..Another option if the shape allows is a autocover. These will keep your pool quite toasty and keep most of the debis out of your pool...still not sold on the cleaning systems seen to many problems in the field....Lifetime parts means parts and not the cost of diving and replacing. and yes autocovers are expensive and have to be replaced after about 10yrs...JMO


    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:11PM
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Thanks for the comments guys. I do appreciate them.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 6:58AM
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Cost of diving and replacing?

Caretaker should give you one spare head and a head removal tool that snaps into a pool pole. If a head ever "breaks", which usually would just be the teeth getting bent and not properly returning flat or rotating appropriately, you pop out the head with a quarter turn, replace it with the spare, and mail the damaged one for free replacement.

If by chance you can't reach the head from the pool deck, you may have to get wet and wade in the pool. There is no need to hire anyone to do this.

Some of the other heads had less moving parts than the Caretaker and have fewer problems, but still have the lifetime warranty.

Autocovers are fantastic, but like stated very expensive.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 10:55AM
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As long as we are correcting each other:

"Turning a return inlet downward enough to make a difference will only sacrifice correct circulation of the entire body of water. Definitely not suggested."

I might agree if you have only one return but I have four returns and I point one towards the the deep end which keeps the water an even temperature from top to bottom. The rest of the returns are more than sufficient for circulation and skimming. But you may not be aware that this is common technique used by many pool owners and all seem have effective circulation.

" deep heating by way of skimmer suction and infloor returns is by far the best method. "

Really? There are many ways to accomplish the same thing. An in-floor system is not necessary to get deep circulation. Again, a deep return or even a pointed return can accomplish the same thing. This has been proven by many POs.

And finally, which Caretaker may have a great warranty, there are plenty people on this and other forums who have expressed their displeasure with their in-floor systems and the large amount of pump energy that is required to run them. So they are not all trouble free.

But in the spirit of full disclosure. Do you sell and/or install these systems?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 2:43PM
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I would still argue that the best way to deep heat is through infloor injection. Yes, sidewall pointed down or a deep return helps, but if we want to get technical infloor is lower and more spread and allows for a higher flow rate of warm water than one deep return.

If I was a pool owner and had 4 surface returns installed by my plumber/builder, I would not want to abandon one's duty for proper circulation and point one downward. I guess thats just me.... If I was building new and wasnt going infloor and wanted to heat my pool, I most certainly would do deep returns. Frankly I do them on all my inground spas I build and truly believe in it.

When we design a project and have surface returns, a lot goes into placement of them for the maximum circulation as a body of water but also as top water circulation to remove and direct all top water debris to the skimmer(s). I guess that's where I frown on simply pointing one downward after the fact...If you get away with it great!...but I wouldnt advise somebody building new to do this once complete without planning on it from the beginning. We usually have 2-3 more returns on our pool than our competitors, all for several extra dollars. Simple.

As for Caretaker specifically, we have installed several hundred complete systems. I can honestly say I have not had ONE single cleaning problem that couldnt be fixed by simply flow adjusting a nozzle or two, or checking the flow rates. I also have a very large pool route with three service techs and can't stress enough how clean the infloor cleaning pools are...and all areas of the pools (steps, benches, beach entries, bar stools, grottos, etc.).

So to answer your full disclosure question, Yes, I sell them to my customers and have them installed for them. I have zero financial gain if someone does or doesnt get an infloor outside of my own business. In AZ, I believe we have the best infloor cleaning installations and warranty follow up out there. Infloor systems (almost all of them) work exceptionally well only when plumbed correctly with proper pipe sizing and equipment matching. As for pump energy being required, most of our pools' pumps run at a higher RPM for maybe 2 hours per night.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 4:21PM
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For a Vinyl pool.. I still would not put in any brand of in-floor system. Call me old school if you will.. But to me its just a up-sell that the homeowner will be sorry they did later. Liner replacement is gonna be very expensive on top of that.. How much more return warmth is a zoned infloor system gonna provide over a booster driven cleaner on the same time cycle? I'm not trying start a mile long post this is J.M.O...

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 5:35PM
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^ I agree it wont cause much, if any, of a noticeable difference in heating efficiency. If that was the reason a homeowner wanted it, there is much cheaper ways, agreed.

As for cleaning? Hands down the best option, in my opinion, is infloor. Like I said, when it's installed correctly it works amazingly well. I have several hundred satisfied clients who opted for the investment and haven't looked back.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 10:23AM
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