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Thread: Upgrading to a variable speed pump etc.

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    Upgrading to a variable speed pump etc.

    We have a 15 year old Sta-Rite 2 HP pump and I would like to install a Pentair Intelliflo pump. The easy part is the plumbing and power hookups to the pump. That I can do.

    The idea with the variable speed pumps from my understanding is to run them longer and with lower flow. There is a Barracuda MX 8 suction cleaner that I have been running together with the solar panels on the roof. The current pump is good enough for that and I suppose the Intelliflo is rated up the 3 HP so it should be a good substitute.

    However, for energy savings I would like to run the pump at lower speeds and I assume that the flow is not going to be enough to run the solar and cleaner at the same time at those lower speeds. So I suppose the idea is to for example run the cleaner alone without the solar for say 2 hours then turn off the vacuum cleaner line and open the solar and continue filtering while the sun is up. So for this I need some kind of controller and install Jandy valves and actuator for the MX-8 cleaner. The solar is already controlled by a Jandy valve and actuator and it is controlled by a Goldline GL-235. I actually run the solar pretty much all the time since we like a hot pool.

    To complicate things, there is also a 4-way Len Gordon Air Switch controlling the built in Jacuzzi in the pool.

    I am not looking for any fancy controller only something that can do these tasks. Doing it on the cheap is important if that is possible.

    Here is a couple of pictures of the inlet side of the pump. The MX-8 suction is regulated by the manual valve on the right. I hope all this makes sense.
    DSCN4279.jpgDSCN4281.jpg
    27,000 gal in ground white plaster pool. Sta-Rite System 3 DE filter, Sta-Rite heater and 2 HP pump. Solar heating on roof.

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    Re: Upgrading to a variable speed pump etc.

    How do you feel about the Pentair EasyTouch systems? EasyTouch 4 can be had in the $600 range and would integrate well with the IntelliFlo.
    -Chris-
    26.5K gal, Lazy L Vinyl, 1-1/2 HP SuperFlo VS pump, EasyTouch 4, Clean and Clear 320 sqft cartridge filter, IntelliChlor IC40 SWG, Dolphin M400, Taylor K2006

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrading to a variable speed pump etc.

    I have the same pump. Love it! I use the Pentair Solartouch, although the Suntouch does a lot more for only a little more money and I wish I had gotten it instead.

    I run my pump at 1100 rpm for skimming and making chlorine with the SWG. It uses 150 watts. We have a lot of trees and often run the pump 24x7 to keep debris in the skimmer baskets and off the bottom. Our pump always runs at least 12 hours per day when solar heat is likely so that the Solartouch can monitor the temps. We also like a warm pool. When solar heat is available the Solartouch opens the solar valve and switches the pump from speed 1 to speed 2 which is 1950 rpm. This provides very good flow through the solar panels and only uses 550 watts.

    We don't have a built in spa so I can't comment on that. The owners manuals are available on Pentair's website to download and review the features. There are pics of my solr set up and plumbing in my build thread, link in sig.
    TFP Moderator
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Upgrading to a variable speed pump etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by HamSammich View Post
    How do you feel about the Pentair EasyTouch systems? EasyTouch 4 can be had in the $600 range and would integrate well with the IntelliFlo.
    I have to look into the EasyTouch.
    27,000 gal in ground white plaster pool. Sta-Rite System 3 DE filter, Sta-Rite heater and 2 HP pump. Solar heating on roof.

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    Re: Upgrading to a variable speed pump etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    I have the same pump. Love it! I use the Pentair Solartouch, although the Suntouch does a lot more for only a little more money and I wish I had gotten it instead.

    I run my pump at 1100 rpm for skimming and making chlorine with the SWG. It uses 150 watts. We have a lot of trees and often run the pump 24x7 to keep debris in the skimmer baskets and off the bottom. Our pump always runs at least 12 hours per day when solar heat is likely so that the Solartouch can monitor the temps. We also like a warm pool. When solar heat is available the Solartouch opens the solar valve and switches the pump from speed 1 to speed 2 which is 1950 rpm. This provides very good flow through the solar panels and only uses 550 watts.

    We don't have a built in spa so I can't comment on that. The owners manuals are available on Pentair's website to download and review the features. There are pics of my solr set up and plumbing in my build thread, link in sig.
    My solar panels are pretty high up on the house roof 15 -20 feet and with the suction cleaner I really suspect that the pump must run on the highest or next to the highest speed. I wonder if the Pentair controller can integrate to switch on and off the suction cleaner at times.
    27,000 gal in ground white plaster pool. Sta-Rite System 3 DE filter, Sta-Rite heater and 2 HP pump. Solar heating on roof.

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    Re: Upgrading to a variable speed pump etc.

    I have the Pentair VS 011018 pump and a Pentair SolarTouch controller ($225) on panels. The SolarTouch opens the valve to the panels and speeds up the pump when heat is called for. I think your solar control can do the same. I have an infloor cleaning system that requires a high rpm and can't work while the solar is on. I also have a min rpm to keep the flow switch in my SWG working.

    My schedule is to run the cleaner pre dawn, then switch to a lower rpm for chlorination. If solar heat is required the pump will be ramped up by the controller when it opens the valve.

    Speed-1. 0500-0800. 2600 rpm. 1,000 watts (cleaning)
    Speed-2. 0800-1600. 1400 rpm. 200 watts (chlorination)

    Ext-2. As needed by solar controller. 2400 rpm. 800watts (solar heating)

    I also continue to run the pump at a low speed until midnight, just because it uses little power and it really makes the water sparkle.
    Speed-3. 1600-2400. 1000 rpm. 100 watts (optional extra filtration)

    The energy cost between this and my old 2 hp single speed (2,850 watt) pump is pretty dramatic. But it would still take several years to recoup the cost of the VS pump. I just love the flexibility, energy savings is a bonus.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Agent99's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrading to a variable speed pump etc.

    I have the same pump as chiefwej. I talked to an old hat at Pentair and he suggested that running my pump by gauging the psi on my filter was one way to go.

    For general pumping including my solar panels, he felt 15 psi was plenty. At 2500 rpm, and with solar panels on (second story...20 feet up...no problem), my filter shows 16 psi. When the solar panels are off, it drops 2 psi to 14 psi.

    He also suggested for winter when I close the pool (no freezing here), to run it at 5 psi and I noticed that is around 1300 rpm.

    For now, I'm running 8 am to 4 pm at 2500 rpm, but my pool was refinished a month ago (Pebble Sheen) and I'm still fighting rising pH but I will back down the amount of time very soon.

    For sure, having a VS pump is the cat's meow, the bee's knees...just really very very cool. I agree about the cost savings recoup taking a while but the energy savings is nice and the flexibility is just way beyond what one has ever had before.

    I have a flow gauge on order and I want to map out the rpm vs. power vs. flow vs. psi for my system. Geek stuff but I love it.

    I noticed one thing from your plumbing. Pentair wants the main intake into their pump to be a straight pipe of at least 5x the diameter of the pipe. This aids in priming the pump quickly and keeping noise down. I don't think your current plumbing meets that but you should set the pump as far back as you can. The old hat I talked to told me to use 2.5" pipe at least 12" long into the pump. All my plumbing is 2" but my Jandy valve can handle a 2.5" coupling so I was able to easily accommodate his suggestion although I could only manage a 10"/2.5" pipe into the pump. My pump primes in under 10 seconds every time.
    ----Chris----
    25k IG/Spa Figure 8, 18x36, Pebble Sheen Blue Granite, Sta-Rite S8M150 Cartridge Filter, Pentair 460805 400k BTU Heater & 011018 IntelliFlo VarSpd
    Liquidator, Fafco Solar Heat, Polaris PB460 Booster Pump w/280 cleaner, Katchaleaf Cover, TF100 Test Kit, FAKE MAIN DRAIN

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    boston62's Avatar
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    Re: Upgrading to a variable speed pump etc.

    I was under the assumption to not run suction cleaners at the same time as solar heating. I run my cleaner 9:00 am to 10:00 then solar on at 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. When solar kicks off at 88 the pump drops back to 1400 rpms.
    13,000 Gal Pool & Spa
    Jandy Automation /w IAqualink
    Autopilot SWG
    Jandy 2.0 HP VSP, Filter Cartridge
    Taylor (FAS-DPD K-2600, Pool Surface: Plaster

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    Re: Upgrading to a variable speed pump etc.

    Thanks for all advice. I have now thought about my options and come to some conclusions. I am still going to install a variable speed pump, but decided to go with the Pentair Intelliflow XF. Same motor just the new front end and supposedly more efficient. My plumbing is 2.5" and this pump accommodates that. The pumps control panel can be removed and mounted elsewhere too, I liked that.

    As for a controller I sort of got discouraged with all choices since none of them can interface with the Air Switch in the spa that is used to turn the pump and heater on/off. I know the more top of the line controllers can do that wirelessly etc. but I did not want to spend way more money on a controller setup than a new pump just because I want a more energy efficient and quiet pump. Instead I am just going to add a simple timer to the valve actuator that turns on the cleaner suction line. Run that on a timer so the cleaner will run a couple of hours before the solar panel/chlorination circulation kicks in.

    So now I need a recommendation on a simple timer that can operate an actuator valve. It can be mechanical or digital, just reliable of course. Have not been able to find anything that looks reasonable priced and simple.
    27,000 gal in ground white plaster pool. Sta-Rite System 3 DE filter, Sta-Rite heater and 2 HP pump. Solar heating on roof.

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    Re: Upgrading to a variable speed pump etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tapio View Post
    So now I need a recommendation on a simple timer that can operate an actuator valve. It can be mechanical or digital, just reliable of course. Have not been able to find anything that looks reasonable priced and simple.
    Nobody?
    27,000 gal in ground white plaster pool. Sta-Rite System 3 DE filter, Sta-Rite heater and 2 HP pump. Solar heating on roof.

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