Our 3 year old Hayward Super II 2-speed pump motor (1.5 HP uprated) is dying, and I am looking into the feasibility of replacing it with a variable speed pump. First off, my specs:
- 12,000gal in ground gunite with large overflow spa
- Waterfall on separate Dynamo pump (which is also near death)
- Hayward 48ft2 DE filter
- Prologic PS-8 controller with SWCG
- Raypak 266k BTU natural gas heater
Pool is 16 years old, but we just had the pool replastered and retiled last year, and put in a new heater, the controller, filter, SWCG and all new plumbing. The only old equipment left were the pumps. I did all the work myself except for the replastering, so I'm very familiar with how the pool is plumbed and wired.
I guess the most straightforward thing to do would be to just replace the existing pump motor and seals, which would run me $350-400. To be honest though, we have never really used the low speed much on this pump because it is too slow and doesn't operate the skimmer as well. The bigger problem is that it doesn't send enough flow to the spa (differential line?) when in pool mode, so it's just enough flow to open the check valve enough so that the spa drains back into the pool when on low speed.
Another gripe about the pool, not really related to the pump, is that we don't have a dedicated cleaner line, and I am sick of messing with suction side cleaners, so I just don't use one now. I was planning to buy a robotic cleaner this season, before the pump started failing.
I was thinking a variable speed pump would be great, because we could actually dial in the low and high speeds to exactly what we need, plus maybe even use it to replace the waterfall pump as well. The problem is, no one seems to know anything about the Hayward variable speed pump, and by the time I buy the Intellicomm to hook up an Intelliflo pump to my system, we're talking a lot of money. This is making me start to question if a variable speed pump is even right for us in this situation.
I guess I have these options that I know of:
1. Just replace the existing pump motor (~$350-400), maybe even with a single-speed motor, and take the money saved and buy a robotic pool cleaner. The main downside to this is that I feel burned by Hayward pumps already, since a $600 pump only lasted me 3 years. I guess I could just replace the whole pump with something like a Whisperflo, then we're back up to $600 again. Then we still have the waterfall pump to deal with in the near future.
2. Buy the Hayward Tristar and take my chances that it will work well and handle all my needs. I can get the Tristar with the Aqualogic controller for about $900. Since the waterfall pump needs replacing soon (if not already), that price isn't too bad when compared to buying 2 new pumps. But again, it's Hayward, and no one seems to have any experience with these pumps. If I spend $900 and get burned again in 3 years, I'm really going to be pis-... upset.
3. Go all out and get the Intelliflo VS with the Intellicomm. This option would run me about $1700, which is hard to swallow considering I could just buy another pump AND get that much needed robotic cleaner for the same or less money. However, there's the energy savings to consider, but I can't even imagine how long it would take to offset that initial cost.
Just looking for some advice on the best way to proceed.