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Thread: Need Expert Advice on Replacing Water Feature Pump in Brand New Build

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    Need Expert Advice on Replacing Water Feature Pump in Brand New Build

    It appears that my designer over engineered or made a mistake when designing my water features pump wise. Here’s my current setup:

    One Whisperflo 3 hp single speed pump
    Two pot scuppers
    One 48” sheer descent

    Here’s my plumbing; water leaves pump and flows to a T with an value and actuator. On one side of the T the water flows to my sheer descent, on the other side it flows to another T that splits the water to the two pots. After the pots T there are two small manual valves to control the amount of water going to each pot to insure they fill at the same rate and to restrict the amount of water flowing to them as if they weren’t there the pots would overflow from the pressure.

    The valve/actuator is in place so that we can run the turn off the sheer descent and run only the pots as waterfall can be quite loud or if we need to use the bench below the waterfall.

    Here’s the issue, when we close the valve turning off water to the sheer descent, the water pressure increases to the pots overflowing the pots. So I have to run over and adjust the small valves to slow the water flow to the pots. Then, when we want turn the sheer descent on I have to run back over and adjust the pot valves. PITA! Especially when I purchased the automation system and have everything else configured to run from my phone, iPad or computer, I don’t want to be running back and forth adjusting the valves.

    So I spoke to Pentair today and they suggested three options:
    1) Install a bypass valve so that it will divert extra pressure back to the pool through my returns. However, there’s no guarantee that I won’t be manually adjusting the pot valves when sheer descent is on. Also, I suppose I have to manually adjust the bypass valve completely defeating the purpose of automating.

    2) I sell my 3 hp Whisperflo and purchase a Variable flow pump which I could program with two circuits with different gpm flow rates so when I have all three features on 80 gpm flow through, when I only have the pots on 40 gpm flow through (numbers are pure guess meant more for illustration). This would be automated through my app/computer. Seems to me most expensive route as these pumps aren’t cheap.

    3) I sell my 3 hp Whisperflo and purchase a Variable speed pump which I could program with two circuits with different rpm rates so when I have all three features on it runs at 2400 rpm, when I only have the pots on it runs at 1300 rpm (numbers are pure guess meant more for illustration). This would be automated through my app/computer. Less expensive than option two and seems to work.

    I hate the idea of losing money on my current pump; paying to have it removed, buying a new pump and paying to have it installed, BUT my goal was to have this automated and using my current pump the only way to do this is to always run all three features. I hope this was clear.

    So, if this was your pool what would you do?
    SUMMER 2015 BUILD IG gunite 38 x 31, 28,000 gal, 110' perimeter, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflow 3hp, Intellibrite LED x2, Clean & Clear 520, Screen Logic, Intelichlor 40, Quartzscape Blue, K-2006C, Speedstir, Aquanaut 400 (4 wheel The Pool Cleaner)

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    Re: Need Expert Advice on Replacing Water Feature Pump in Brand New Build

    Option 3 all day long. I would swap them out myself but that's me. The 3hp superflo is about 650ish

    Owner Builder; Under construction, 17K Gallons SWG IG Geometric; 31X20'; 600sf; 104ft perim; depth 4'-6'. Sun-shelf; bubblers; sheer descents; Dolphin M400; Pentair Intelliflo XF; Clean and Clear 520; Easytouch 8; IC40; 2 color LEDs; TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    Re: Need Expert Advice on Replacing Water Feature Pump in Brand New Build

    Sorry your designer made a bonehead mistake that you are on the hook for.
    Two essentially independent water features, one that has very specific flow needs. That should have told them that either a VS pump or two separate pumps; driving each feature independently, was required.
    Not sure if you have room for 2 smaller capacity pumps on your pad (or spare circuits on your automation) but they could share the same input from the pool.
    Have not looked at what a 1hp & a 1-1/2hp single speed would cost. Maybe cheaper with the 3HP VS.

    Amazon $305 + $345 + extra wiring and modified plumbing. Probably simpler to do the VS.
    40k gal freeform, IG pebblesheen, 9'x'6' raised spa, 2-1/2 hp Whisperflo, 520 sq/ft cartridge, Legend w/ booster, Intellibrite 5g in pool @ spa, Rainbow 320 Chlorinator(retired),
    Mastertemp 400k BTU, 3x3 hp Whisperflo Swimjets, 2x2 hp Whisperflow for 15ton moss rock waterfall, Intelitouch Controller, 850 sq/ft Travertine deck, Gas/Wood firepit,
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    Re: Need Expert Advice on Replacing Water Feature Pump in Brand New Build

    Would is be feasible to use your intelliflo vs main pump to run your features and just turn the returns off when features are running?
    Owner Builder; Under construction, 17K Gallons SWG IG Geometric; 31X20'; 600sf; 104ft perim; depth 4'-6'. Sun-shelf; bubblers; sheer descents; Dolphin M400; Pentair Intelliflo XF; Clean and Clear 520; Easytouch 8; IC40; 2 color LEDs; TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    Re: Need Expert Advice on Replacing Water Feature Pump in Brand New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by ozdiver View Post
    Sorry your designer made a bonehead mistake that you are on the hook for.
    Two essentially independent water features, one that has very specific flow needs. That should have told them that either a VS pump or two separate pumps; driving each feature independently, was required.
    Not sure if you have room for 2 smaller capacity pumps on your pad (or spare circuits on your automation) but they could share the same input from the pool.
    Have not looked at what a 1hp & a 1-1/2hp single speed would cost. Maybe cheaper with the 3HP VS.

    Amazon $305 + $345 + extra wiring and modified plumbing. Probably simpler to do the VS.
    I agree, and now that I have very basic knowledge of pool building I cannot imaging someone designing it in this manner. Don't get me wrong, rest of her work was good but this seems like water feature 101, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by DFWguy View Post
    What pump are you using for your main pump?

    Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk
    The Intelliflo VS runs my drains, skimmers and vac. Whisperflo runs features (I just realized there's no "w" on the flow, will have to change my sig).
    SUMMER 2015 BUILD IG gunite 38 x 31, 28,000 gal, 110' perimeter, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflow 3hp, Intellibrite LED x2, Clean & Clear 520, Screen Logic, Intelichlor 40, Quartzscape Blue, K-2006C, Speedstir, Aquanaut 400 (4 wheel The Pool Cleaner)

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    Re: Need Expert Advice on Replacing Water Feature Pump in Brand New Build

    I edited my previous post take a look
    Owner Builder; Under construction, 17K Gallons SWG IG Geometric; 31X20'; 600sf; 104ft perim; depth 4'-6'. Sun-shelf; bubblers; sheer descents; Dolphin M400; Pentair Intelliflo XF; Clean and Clear 520; Easytouch 8; IC40; 2 color LEDs; TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    Re: Need Expert Advice on Replacing Water Feature Pump in Brand New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by DFWguy View Post
    Would is be feasible to use your intelliflo vs main pump to run your features and just turn the returns off when features are running?
    Not sure, my plumber is coming by tomorrow, I'll ask him. I think I can program up to 9 circuits and 8 speeds on my intelliflo so I suppose that might be able to work. I have two spare actuators too that could control a valve to the returns. Wonder if I'm getting into too many moving parts here though . . .
    SUMMER 2015 BUILD IG gunite 38 x 31, 28,000 gal, 110' perimeter, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflow 3hp, Intellibrite LED x2, Clean & Clear 520, Screen Logic, Intelichlor 40, Quartzscape Blue, K-2006C, Speedstir, Aquanaut 400 (4 wheel The Pool Cleaner)

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    Re: Need Expert Advice on Replacing Water Feature Pump in Brand New Build

    I don't think you are. I'm no expert but if you put an actuator on the returns I would imagine you would be good to go with one pump.
    Owner Builder; Under construction, 17K Gallons SWG IG Geometric; 31X20'; 600sf; 104ft perim; depth 4'-6'. Sun-shelf; bubblers; sheer descents; Dolphin M400; Pentair Intelliflo XF; Clean and Clear 520; Easytouch 8; IC40; 2 color LEDs; TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Need Expert Advice on Replacing Water Feature Pump in Brand New Build

    My Intelliflo pump runs my waterfall, 6 returns, skimmers, main drain and solar panels all at the same time at 2500 rpm or less. I can't even run it at 3450 rpm, it is too much flow. I usually run it 1950 for solar which is plenty of flow and it only draws 550 watts. It runs at 1100 rpm for skimming and SWG and draws 150 watts.
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    Re: Need Expert Advice on Replacing Water Feature Pump in Brand New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    My Intelliflo pump runs my waterfall, 6 returns, skimmers, main drain and solar panels all at the same time at 2500 rpm or less. I can't even run it at 3450 rpm, it is too much flow. I usually run it 1950 for solar which is plenty of flow and it only draws 550 watts. It runs at 1100 rpm for skimming and SWG and draws 150 watts.
    Yea, so can you imaging recommending a 3hp pump for a sheer descent and two water pots, talk about overkill.
    SUMMER 2015 BUILD IG gunite 38 x 31, 28,000 gal, 110' perimeter, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflow 3hp, Intellibrite LED x2, Clean & Clear 520, Screen Logic, Intelichlor 40, Quartzscape Blue, K-2006C, Speedstir, Aquanaut 400 (4 wheel The Pool Cleaner)

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    Re: Need Expert Advice on Replacing Water Feature Pump in Brand New Build

    So what'd the plumber say
    Owner Builder; Under construction, 17K Gallons SWG IG Geometric; 31X20'; 600sf; 104ft perim; depth 4'-6'. Sun-shelf; bubblers; sheer descents; Dolphin M400; Pentair Intelliflo XF; Clean and Clear 520; Easytouch 8; IC40; 2 color LEDs; TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    Re: Need Expert Advice on Replacing Water Feature Pump in Brand New Build

    Just my ten cents but you could adjust the cam in the actuator along with the two valves so that the flow is fairly constant. Might not help but it does give you another option.

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    Re: Need Expert Advice on Replacing Water Feature Pump in Brand New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by DFWguy View Post
    So what'd the plumber say
    Plumber didn't make it by yesterday, hopefully today.

    Quote Originally Posted by OldPoolMan View Post
    Just my ten cents but you could adjust the cam in the actuator along with the two valves so that the flow is fairly constant. Might not help but it does give you another option.
    Not sure I follow what you're saying. Let me post a picture of my setup and maybe you can point it out to me.
    SUMMER 2015 BUILD IG gunite 38 x 31, 28,000 gal, 110' perimeter, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflow 3hp, Intellibrite LED x2, Clean & Clear 520, Screen Logic, Intelichlor 40, Quartzscape Blue, K-2006C, Speedstir, Aquanaut 400 (4 wheel The Pool Cleaner)

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    Re: Need Expert Advice on Replacing Water Feature Pump in Brand New Build

    Here's a picture, hope text comes through well enough to read. What's crazy is it's currently in the position to run all three features and look at how closed the valves to the pots are, they're practically horizontal (fully closed). When I flip the actuator and shut the sheer descent off I have to close the pot valves even more. An my designer told me last night she didn't over spec out the 3 hp pump LOL!

    Here's what the goal was. Turn on all three features from my automation system. Too loud or someone wants to use the bench under the sheer descent push a button and the actuator closed on the sheer descent and pots continue working. With a VS or VF pump when I turned off the sheer descent actuator would have closed and the pump would have ramped down to a different speed or gpm. As it is now, when you close off that sheer descent it increases the pressure/flow going to the pots and they start overflowing so I have to manually go crank down those valves. See what I mean when I say this could have been made super simple with the right pump?

    SUMMER 2015 BUILD IG gunite 38 x 31, 28,000 gal, 110' perimeter, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflow 3hp, Intellibrite LED x2, Clean & Clear 520, Screen Logic, Intelichlor 40, Quartzscape Blue, K-2006C, Speedstir, Aquanaut 400 (4 wheel The Pool Cleaner)

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    Re: Need Expert Advice on Replacing Water Feature Pump in Brand New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    My Intelliflo pump runs my waterfall, 6 returns, skimmers, main drain and solar panels all at the same time at 2500 rpm or less. I can't even run it at 3450 rpm, it is too much flow. I usually run it 1950 for solar which is plenty of flow and it only draws 550 watts. It runs at 1100 rpm for skimming and SWG and draws 150 watts.
    How far is your longest plumbing run?
    SUMMER 2015 BUILD IG gunite 38 x 31, 28,000 gal, 110' perimeter, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflow 3hp, Intellibrite LED x2, Clean & Clear 520, Screen Logic, Intelichlor 40, Quartzscape Blue, K-2006C, Speedstir, Aquanaut 400 (4 wheel The Pool Cleaner)

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    Re: Need Expert Advice on Replacing Water Feature Pump in Brand New Build

    I would also agree with the post about just adding 2 automated actuaters that you can hook to and control with your automation system. That way you can set each of the actuater valve to their own flow rates and control each with your i pad. If you are handy you could probably plumb and wire these yourself. Probably least cost solution.
    link to example: Pentair Compool 24V Valve Actuator 90 Degree Rotation for 2-Port Valves | UL Listed | CVA24L 263043
    8500 gallon IG Pebble Sheen with Spa. 3hp Pentair VS Intelliflo ( pool ), 3/4 hp WhisperFlo ( water feature ),Pentair Racer, 400K Pentair heater, Pentair 500sqft Cartridge filter, EasyTouch 8, Stenner 45mp2 15gallon wired to ET8

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    Re: Need Expert Advice on Replacing Water Feature Pump in Brand New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by rphpool View Post
    I would also agree with the post about just adding 2 automated actuaters that you can hook to and control with your automation system. That way you can set each of the actuater valve to their own flow rates and control each with your i pad. If you are handy you could probably plumb and wire these yourself. Probably least cost solution.
    link to example: Pentair Compool 24V Valve Actuator 90 Degree Rotation for 2-Port Valves | UL Listed | CVA24L 263043
    Yea, I know I can do that but add $240+tax+shipping I'm better off selling this pump, getting the proper pump and having it run like Pentair, Jandy and two plumbers said it should. But that "would" work. Thanks for the post though
    SUMMER 2015 BUILD IG gunite 38 x 31, 28,000 gal, 110' perimeter, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflow 3hp, Intellibrite LED x2, Clean & Clear 520, Screen Logic, Intelichlor 40, Quartzscape Blue, K-2006C, Speedstir, Aquanaut 400 (4 wheel The Pool Cleaner)

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    Re: Need Expert Advice on Replacing Water Feature Pump in Brand New Build

    I like your original option number three the best. I assume you have an EasyTouch or similar Pentair control system, which you control with your Screen Logic. If so, the control system is designed to handle two VS pumps with different addresses. Pretty easy to set it up so that whatever you turn on, or off, the pumps will go to the best speed for that option.

    Easy for me to spend your money, but I believe it will be money well spent.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    Re: Need Expert Advice on Replacing Water Feature Pump in Brand New Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    I like your original option number three the best. I assume you have an EasyTouch or similar Pentair control system, which you control with your Screen Logic. If so, the control system is designed to handle two VS pumps with different addresses. Pretty easy to set it up so that whatever you turn on, or off, the pumps will go to the best speed for that option.

    Easy for me to spend your money, but I believe it will be money well spent.

    Jim R.
    Yes, I have EasyTouch or maybe it's called ScreenLogic, don't remember but I can control multiple pumps from it. This is the option I'm going towards and that my designer should have recommended, just trying to sell this Whisperflo pump first.
    SUMMER 2015 BUILD IG gunite 38 x 31, 28,000 gal, 110' perimeter, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflow 3hp, Intellibrite LED x2, Clean & Clear 520, Screen Logic, Intelichlor 40, Quartzscape Blue, K-2006C, Speedstir, Aquanaut 400 (4 wheel The Pool Cleaner)

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    Re: Need Expert Advice on Replacing Water Feature Pump in Brand New Build

    Ok, personally I would probably replace the pump motor with a 2 speed motor to allow a high and a low running range, but I would also consider adding a restrictor valve on the inlet side of this pump to reduce flow. Centrifugal pumps are one of those things that defy common sense, restricting inlet flow on a pump does not make it work harder, instead it actually reduces both the flow and the power consumption of the pump, this is at least true within a certain performance range so that you still have enough water flow for cooling the pump and not so much suction as to cause cavitation, this may be a cheap fix for your problem without even changing motors.

    Ike

    p.s. remember most plumbers know very little about pumps or pump theory
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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