If you’re a long-time pool owner or plan on constructing your below-ground pool at home, then you need to familiarize yourself with booster pumps. A booster pump is not much different from traditional pool pumps, but they serve mainly to provide high-pressure water to a side pool cleaner for better performance and efficiency. Booster pumps should only be operated when the pool pump is running. Otherwise, it may end up destroying itself.
If you have a destroyed booster pump or are looking to upgrade your existing one, then the Zodiac Polaris PB4-60 is probably your best bet. The PB-40 is an upgraded version of the older Polaris 380 which was a pretty magnificent pump back in its day. However, the time has come to replace the 380 with something a bit more modern, powerful, and durable. Let’s see what the new-and-improved Polaris PB4-60 is packing.
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Zodiac PB4-60 Polaris Booster Pump Review
If you already own a Polaris pool cleaner, then you’ll want to replace your out-of-fashion pump with the new-and-improved PB4-60. Compared to previous models, this Polaris is packing upgraded components that significantly improve the user’s experience.
Heavy-Duty ¾-HP Motor
The PB4-60 is designed to work specifically with Polaris side pool cleaners. It provides a ton of extra pressure thanks to its beefy ¾-HP motor. The best part is that while it delivers a continuous high-pressure stream of water – up to 45 PSI – to your pool cleaner, it hardly produces any sound while doing it! If you have bad experiences with overly loud pool boosters in the past, then you’ll want to consider the new, power, yet quiet Polaris PB4-60.
Additionally, the PB4-60 is compatible with both 115V and 230V outlets. From each voltage, it draws 12.8 and 6.4 amps, respectively. This booster pump also works on one speed, so there’s virtually no risk of sudden electricity consumption spikes.
Quick and Easy Installation
Other than packing more power while keeping noise levels down, one of the most impressive added features is the innovative connectors that simply the installation process. To set the PB4-60 up, all you need to do is slip the connector nut over the reinforced hose, then slip the connector barb into the hose where it makes a connection to the connector nut. Twist the barb into the pump body, and you’re good to go! The instructions included in the pump are easy-to-read with pictures to help you set the pump up.
Larger Integrated Seal O-Ring
The PB4-60 also uses a larger seal O-ring that is integrated into the connector. With this, you won’t have to worry about losing the O-ring when installing or checking up on the pump periodically. The larger diameter and thickness of the ring also ensures a leak- and air-proof barrier for optimal suction.
Leaving a pool buster running for hours on end could potentially lead to disaster, but that’s not the case with the Zodiac Polaris PB4-60. Seeing as how this is a Polaris product, there’s very little doubt that the PB4-60 cannot withstand long-term use before shutting down totally.
Many of its customers have commended this booster pump for its ability to work for upwards of 8 hours per day. For the average pool, that’s more than enough time to thoroughly clean your pool’s base and sides.
Zodiac PB4-60 vs. Pentair 340036
Before settling on the PB4-60, let’s see how well it fares against other popular booster pump models. To start things off, let’s put the Polaris head-to-head against the Pentair 340036.
One thing that’s worth noting is that Pentair, as one of the market leaders in booster pumps, produces some pretty high-quality booster pumps. With that in mind, you will need a healthier budget in order to invest in one of their products. The costs, however, are always worth it as you’ll see in our comparisons.
There is a noticeable smaller motor that comes with the Pentair compared to the PB4-60. It’s a “weaker” smaller ½-HP motor, but it delivers a mighty impressive amount of pressure and volume. At its peak performance, it moves up to 130 GPM of water at 50 PSI (depending on pipe length), making your pool cleaner a lot more effective at its job.
The Pentair is also a dual-voltage booster pump that draws 10.8 amps on 115V and 5.4 amps on 230V. Comparing these ratings to the PB4-60, you could boost your side pool cleaner more effectively while saving a bit more on your next electricity bill. The Pentair also operates on a single speed, so you’re not going to experience any spikes in power consumption.
One thing that’s quite a shocker is how loud this booster pump is. Although it’s marketed as a “quiet” booster pump, it’s considerably louder than the PB4-60. And we’re not the only ones complaining about the sound.
Overall, the Pentair 340036 is indeed a neat booster pump. In fact, in terms of performance and quality, it practically blows the PB4-60 out of the water. You may need to get accustomed to the loud buzzing noises though…
Zodiac PB4-60 vs. Pentair LA01N
Next, we’re going to take a look at another one of Pentair’s ingenious booster pumps – the LA01N.
From their respective motors, it’s fair to assume that both of these booster pumps will perform identically, but that’s not technically true. The Pentair 340036 can deliver slightly more power due to its greater amperage draw. At its peak performance, the 340036 provides up to 50 PSI at around 12 GPM of water. Indeed, the Pentair will give your pool cleaner more high-pressure water per minute for optimal cleaning, but the tradeoff is higher power consumption.
Looking at the housing of each of these booster pumps, you may not notice any significant difference. We’re glad to report that neither of these manufacturers cut corners to reduce materials costs, but it is worth noting that the Pentair 340036’s casing is covered in a coat of anti-corrosive paint. This ensures that the pump will not be as prone to water damage as the Polaris.
One of the largest criticisms of the LA01N is the instruction manual that comes in the box. If you don’t have any hardwiring knowledge, you’re going to have to rely on the help of internet strangers to install this booster pump. That, or get an electrician to help you out.
We’re glad to say that this unit’s motor, unlike the 340036, is quiet and stays that way for several years. This is worth considering if your pool is located nearby your neighbor’s home and don’t want to disturb them for several continuous hours.
Zodiac PB4-60 vs. Hayward SP2610X15
Hayward is another popular booster pump manufacturer whose products, in many regards, trump Pentair. Let’s take a look at the SP2610X15 – one of their most powerful booster pumps in their product line.
Firstly, this is one of the few booster pumps whose motor surpasses the 1-HP mark. The SP2610X15 comes with a beefy 1-1/2-HP motor that operates on both 115V and 230V (11 amps and 5.5 amps, respectively). Through a short 5-foot pipe, this booster pump delivers a maximum of 42 GPM of water – considerably less than the Pentairs but still a reliable amount for cleaning pools and improving your home’s water flow rate.
The housing of this pump is worthy of notice. The SP2610X15 comes with a transparent strainer cover that lets you see how much gunk has accumulated in the oversized basket. Speaking of which, the basket is larger than most, thus requiring less frequent cleanup and maintenance issues.
Silence, however, is not what the SP2610X15 is known for. Although the motor is specifically designed to improve air ventilation and reduce overheating, it can be a bit noisy at times. It’s nothing as bad as the Pentair 340036, but it’s considerably louder than the PB4-60.
In the end, we would separate the PB4-60, and the Hayward booster pumps into different weight classes. The PB4-60 is a more moderate booster pump for average-sized pools, whereas the Hayward is undoubtedly made for larger in-ground pools. Unless you need more power, we wouldn’t recommend choosing the Hayward over the Polaris.