I'm using a 1 hp Hayward pump for a 20,000 gallon pool. We have a large maple tree in our back yard, which in the spring drops a lot of "keys" into the pool. My wife and I were away and gave clear instructions to our son to keep the skimmer basket clean. Got home, skimmer was full and pump was dry. Learned that skimmer hadn't been emptied in a few days. Opened the pump cover and looked like steam that came out; pump was hot to the touch.
The pump now delivers only 7-8 lbs of pressure, and I get a red "pressure" indicator on the heater. The heater won't run, and I'm assuming it's because the water pressure through the heater isn't high enough. I'm assuming the issue is that something happened to the pump, and I'm ready to replace the pump.
First Question: Is it likely that the pump is the issue, and that it needs fixing or replacing?
Second Question: I've already started looking at pumps, and would like to replace with a variable speed pump if I have to replace. Posts that I've read suggest that I can save a lot of money by just using even a two-speed pump. I'm looking at a Hayward, and also at a Pentair Superflo. Thoughts / recommendations?