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Thread: The age old single vs multispeed pump question

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    The age old single vs multispeed pump question

    Getting ready to sign a contract on a new build. The contracted price comes with a Pentair 3/4 hp whisperflo pump. I have the option to upgrade to the Intellaflo by Pentair for $950. The PB says that due to the size of the pool (small 28x13.6 8500 gallon), and shorter swim season in New England, he feels that spending the money to upgrade to the Intellaflo may be overkill. He said if the pool was larger he would consider it, or if we lived in CA or FL where we would be swimming much longer than it would be a must. Even just outside of Boston the rates are higher ($.23 per KW) but the pool will turnover very quickly and 3/4 hp isn't going to be a big draw. There will be a booster pump for the Polaris cleaner, we are plumbing for a future waterfall, but will not do that for a few years, and will be adding a heat pump potentially in a year if we feel the need.

    Is the PB correct in thinking this, or should I just do the upgrade. We are on somewhat of a budget here so it would be nice to save the $950. If its not going to save me a whole lot, and its going to take a while before I see the return I will just stay with the Whisperflo.

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    Agent99's Avatar
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    Re: The age old single vs multispeed pump question

    2-speed might be a bit better for you...inquire the upgrade cost for that. It ought to be better than half the cost of the IntelliFlo upgrade.
    ----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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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: The age old single vs multispeed pump question

    A variable speed pump is not required. But, as Chris eludes to running a pump at high speed all the time isn't necessary either. As Chris says, a two speed pump is a good alternative.

    Other than the pump, what other equipment are they recommending?
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: The age old single vs multispeed pump question

    agreed on the pump. at .23/KWH, and short swim season, you would probably see a return on a 2 speed pump in a couple or 3 years. At least double that amount of time for a Variable Speed pump. I think an additional 950 to upgrade to VS is too much money on top of the whisperflo though.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: The age old single vs multispeed pump question

    Wait that $950 is the retail price of the Intelliflo pump, what about the credit he gives you on the whisperflo which retails about $450 ish..
    Anyway look at my sig. We went with the 3hp VS, yes overkill for 8500 gallons but when we turn the spa on it rocks ! Also for my 6 hours of runtime at 1800rpm it's costing me $5/month at 5 cents/ kw. Cost a little more if we run spa ( spa runtime set at 3450rpm ). Cleaner 1 hour per day so booster pump cost plus pool pump at 2950rpm. So I figure by the time it is said and done $10ish / month as long as I can keep finding 5cents/kw ( I keep changing electric providers every 6 months to their new customer rates ). I like the ability to run my pump at the speeds I need to keep my pool clean. Now if I can just keep the wife from turning on the twin fire bowls, that's not cheap!
    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: The age old single vs multispeed pump question

    To upgrade to a 2 speed pump is $775 with the controller installed. I agree that both prices seem high, but that includes installation and of course mark up by the builder. Typical for this region. Ran some numbers through the energy star calculator on pool pumps and it would take me just over 7 years to get to the break even point on the VS. 2 speed would be just over 4 years. Even after that savings were not all that impressive. Under a $100 a year.

    Other equipment with install were Pentair cartridge filter, 1 Pentair LED light, Polaris 280 with booster. Optional items are 2cnd LED light, and heat pump with various brands. No gas on street, and no propane allowed. I would imagine pump would run longer at start and tail of season with heat pump.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: The age old single vs multispeed pump question

    Those prices are insane
    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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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: The age old single vs multispeed pump question

    They are pretty high. But, I'm not sure you are calculating the savings correctly. My 3hp VS pump is cheap to run. I run it at 1100 rpm most of the time for skimming, filtering and making chlorine, it uses 150 watts at 1100 rpm. 1950 rpm for solar draws 50 watts. I can run my pump 24x7 at 10.25c/kWh for less than 12 bucks a month.

    It looks like the 3/4 hp whisperflo draws 550-600 watts, a 2 speed 3/4 hp pump would use about 150 watts on low speed.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Pentair also makes a smaller 1-1/2hp VS pump, superflo, 342001

    Pentair SuperFlo VS Pump 342001 | Pentair 342001
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    Re: The age old single vs multispeed pump question

    I bought a new 3 hp Intelliflow vs 011018 pump for $850 online w/ free shipping, got a $150 rebate from Pentair, which covered the cost of a professional install (to get the three year warranty), so yes I would say a $950 charge just to upgrade is way too much.
    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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    Re: The age old single vs multispeed pump question

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    Those prices are insane
    Agreed
    BUT I find that most Metro NorthEast PB & repair companies charge 200% of retail on equipment!
    How about $245 an hour for service
    IG Tear Drop, Dark Gray Gunite , 27,000 gallons -Age 50+-years, very old Hayward Split Egg Sand Filter with side mount Multi-port- Hayward SP2600VSP Pump- Hayward chlorine feed (not used since finding TFP) - Laars 315K BTU Oil heater- LoopLoc Safety cover- AquaBot RAPIDS 4WD- TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speedstir- 390 Gal Hot Springs Spa Envoy installed May 2017

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    Re: The age old single vs multispeed pump question

    I upgraded our 1.5HP single speed to 2-speed for $100... Have you considered buying the Polaris that doesn't need a booster pump? Or a robot?
    My Pool Build (2015): inground 12K gals gunite/plaster pool, SWG, 2-speed pump, cartridge filter, gas heater, and polaris cleaner (Jandy). TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speed Stir

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    Re: The age old single vs multispeed pump question

    Or The Pool Cleaner that uses around 15 GPM which you can set with a variable speed pump. I use that with my Pentair Intelliflo using a Jandy valve to switch the pump to output on the dedicated line to the cleaner. So I got rid of my booster pump with my Letro Legend as a result.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: The age old single vs multispeed pump question

    Just spoke to PB today and he said he would switch out the single speed 3/4 HP Pentair, for the 1.5 HP 2 speed Superflo. Now my question would be overtime will that cause any issues with my plumbing seeing as how I would be doubling the HP? Is going from .75 HP to 1.5 HP overkill? Is running the superflo on low speed the same as the single .75 whisperflo? I am somewhat confused by all of this I guess.

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    Agent99's Avatar
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    Re: The age old single vs multispeed pump question

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    Or The Pool Cleaner that uses around 15 GPM which you can set with a variable speed pump. I use that with my Pentair Intelliflo using a Jandy valve to switch the pump to output on the dedicated line to the cleaner. So I got rid of my booster pump with my Letro Legend as a result.
    Now THAT is an interesting idea. I would LOVE to get rid of the booster pump that runs my 280 and get more 'use' out of my spendy IntelliFlo pump. Hmmmm....
    ----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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    Re: The age old single vs multispeed pump question

    What size piping will he be using? Most pools are built with 2" PVC piping. I would question the use of anything smaller. 2" will work with a 1.5 Hp pump.
    7,500 gal, IG pool, L shape 22' x 15', 1.5 hp pump, cartridge filter, AquaPlus SWG/Controller, Pebble-Tec liner.

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    Agent99's Avatar
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    Re: The age old single vs multispeed pump question

    FWIW, back in 1978 when my pool was built, all the suction lines were 2" PVC. However, during the gut/remodel earlier this year, I discovered all the return lines were 1.5" PVC. I found that rather curious.
    ----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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    Re: The age old single vs multispeed pump question

    Quote Originally Posted by dschlic1 View Post
    What size piping will he be using? Most pools are built with 2" PVC piping. I would question the use of anything smaller. 2" will work with a 1.5 Hp pump.
    1.5" lines

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: The age old single vs multispeed pump question

    1.5 inch will work with a 1.5 HP pump, my pool has single 1.5 inch PVC (built in 1979) lines for suction and return. Not ideal, but it will work, 2 inch is much better and only a few more dollars to run at build time.
    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
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    Re: The age old single vs multispeed pump question

    Am I using this correct?? Doesn't seem like much savings on the 2 speed pump. In the past I had always turned my previous pool over twice a day. I know this is an estimate only, but I thought savings would be greater. Looking at the 2 speed numbers only. My new pool will be 8500 gallons. These numbers are based on 10,000 as that is lowest you can enter. I did adjust for my current KWH rate.


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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: The age old single vs multispeed pump question

    Pool turnover is not required for residential pools. I run my intelliflo pump at 1100 rpm for filtering, skimming and making chlorine with the swg. It uses 150 watts at 1100 rpm, which would be $6.48 /mo at 6hr per day or $78/yr. It uses 550 watts at 1950 rpm. 2 speed pumps generally uses 1/4 of the power on low speed to move 1/2 of the water as on high speed.
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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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