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Thread: Max-Flo VS should be called Max-Flo BS!!!

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    Max-Flo VS should be called Max-Flo BS!!!

    I just replaced my Hayward 1 3/4 HP pump with a Max-Flo VS for the sole reason of "energy efficiency" and the state of California was offering a $100.00 credit.

    The Max Flo instructions advertises "Max-Flo VS is designed for pools of all types and sizes, featuring a 1 1/2 x 2 union connection to match a variety of plumbing configurations..."

    This new pump does not pump the water enough to do the job...EVEN on MAX SPEED (3000 RPM)!!!

    With the old pump I could see the surface water being moved around near each jet and now the water flow/ pressure coming out of the jets is just barely there...let alone being able to see it on the surface.


    The plan was to run the Max Flo at 3000 RPM for 1.5 hours in the morning and then automatically drop down to the default V1 programmed speed of 1500 RPM for the rest of the day however the flow rate at 1500 RPM is not enough to pump the water up to the solar panels even though they are only on a first floor roof. To fix this issue I had to reprogram the V1 speed to 2700 RPM (only 300 RPM below max speed) to keep the flow up to the solar panels when the solar valve changes.

    I also have a Hayward booster pump for a pressure vacuum cleaner and the Max Flo will only pump enough water on max speed to keep the booster primed even though the solar panel controller will shut off the booster pump during the time the solar panels are cycling. In other words, when the pump is running at 2700 RPM I can take the output (top) pipe off an look into the booster pump impeller and see air. If I push the V3 button on the pump and the motor increases to 3000 RPM then there will be water flowing out of the booster pump output pipe. If I let the booster pump be activated when the Max Flo is running at 2700 RPM the the first time the solar panel valve is moved, when the time delay has been exceeded (about 3 minutes) the booster pump will start up however there will be no flow. Often times I have found the booster pump running however the vacuum was not running so I would take off the booster pump output pipe and nothing but steam would come out of it even though the Max Flo was running at 2700 RPM.

    My work around was to have the Max Flo run at 3000 RPM for 1.5 hours in the morning before switching to 2700 RPM and have the booster pump run for that same time period however the bottom of the pool stay stays cold because the vacuum is only running in the morning and moving cold water to the bottom.

    My next work around idea would be to program the Intermatic P135MS to startf power to the Circuit #1 (the one that powers the Max Flo) at 0800 and also program the Max Flo setting to have it run at 3000 RPM when it energizes and stay at that speed for 1 hour and then automatically drop to 2700 RPM...then also reprogram the Intermatic P135MS to shut off power to the Circuit #1at 1000 and then restart Circuit #1 at 1001 and then also have the Circuit #3 turn the booster pump on at 1005 and run until 1059. In this manner the Max Flo will run until 1000, shut off, restart at 1001 and run at 3000 RPM while the booster pump is running with the solar panel heating the water so at least we can get some warm water mixed around the bottom of the pool.

    So I guess I will need to run this fancy pump at 3000/2700 RPM all stinking day and then how much electricity will I save with a Max Flo?

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    Agent99's Avatar
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    Re: Max-Flo VS should be called Max-Flo BS!!!

    What hp is the new pump rated at running max speed? It sounds like it might be less that your old single speed.

    So the inlet is a 1.5" sized thread? Was the old one 1.5" or 2"?
    ----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 jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Max-Flo VS should be called Max-Flo BS!!!

    Which Hayward pump did you have before? It could have been significantly larger than the small Maxflo.

    Although there is not usually any reason for high flow rates unless you have a spa or something.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Max-Flo VS should be called Max-Flo BS!!!

    It's surprisingly hard to find the HP specs on the Max Flo -- the manual only mentions the electrical usage (5.9 Amps, which is what a ~1.5HP pump takes); I did find the "sell sheet" that shows it as 1.5HP:

    https://www.hayward-pool.com/pdf/lit...TMAXFLVS13.pdf

    So even at max speed it will be less powerful than your old 1.75HP pump, as you are noticing. They spend a lot of time stating that other VS pumps on the market are oversized and that the Max-Flo VS is "right-sized". Well, sorta -- the 3HP Pentair IntelliFlo VS I installed is way too powerful compared to the 3/4HP pump it replaced, but I just set its max speed to be equivalent in filter pressure and watts used to the old pump; I can't see any real downside to the extra HP (other than the $200 higher initial cost), but I did spend a lot of time wrestling with the justification.

    If you give us more details on your pool plumbing (number and location of returns, drains, and skimmers, size of pipe, pictures helpful), the folks here might be able to comment on things that might be done to improve the efficiency of the system. Our old 3/4hp pump was plenty for priming the Polaris booster (and so is the new VS running at about 1/4 the flow), so it's worth evaluating.

    BTW, in our area in CA the utility rebate form stated that the VS pump's max HP be less than the old pump, which would have disqualified us as there are no true VS 3/4HP pumps. I just noted that the pump was 3HP but the max speed limiter was set to 3/4HP equivalent. Got the rebate check, though I don't know whether they internalized my explanation or just didn't read it
    21000gal IG plaster, Sacramento CA area (late 1950s/early 60s)
    Filter: Cartridge, Pentair CCP420 (2014)
    Main pump: Pentair IntelliFlo VS (2015)
    Boost pump: 3/4hp (2011), Polaris 280 cleaner (unknown age)

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    Re: Max-Flo VS should be called Max-Flo BS!!!

    THANKS for your help and suggestions!!!

    The pipes under the pool I do not know their diameter. The pool has three return lines (look like 1 inch) and it has two skimmers located on the opposite side of the pool. Below one skimmer is the main drain and below the shallow end skimmer is a side wall return (looks like a 10 inch diameter plastic grille). Each skimmer has a round pipe like fitting that if one turns this pipe the water being sucked into the skimmer/drain can be changed. I have them both set so that the water is mostly sucked from the lower drains.

    The pipes coming out of the ground near the pool pump is 2 inch pipe and all of the pipes and fittings to/from the solar panels and filter are 2 inch pipe.

    The Max Flo came with screw in plastic fittings that accepted the 2 inch pipe.

    The Hayward DE filter used to show 30 PSI when it was freshly cleaned and recharged however now it only shows 20 PSI even at 3000 RPM.

    Only at 3000 RPM will the chlorinator (3 inch tabs) have water flow through it...at 2700 RPM I can take the cap off of the chlorinator and I cannot see any water at the bottom. The old pump would fill the chlorinator when it was running.

    I should have just left the old 1 3/4 horse pump running until it quit and not spent $600 bucks on this "thing".

    THANKS AGAIN!!!

    Bill

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    Re: Max-Flo VS should be called Max-Flo BS!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolQuestions101 View Post
    The Hayward DE filter used to show 30 PSI when it was freshly cleaned and recharged however now it only shows 20 PSI even at 3000 RPM.

    Only at 3000 RPM will the chlorinator (3 inch tabs) have water flow through it...at 2700 RPM I can take the cap off of the chlorinator and I cannot see any water at the bottom. The old pump would fill the chlorinator when it was running.
    The last part makes me wonder if there's a bypass pipe or valve somewhere that's letting water bypass the chlorinator, boost pump, and solar? Perhaps that can be adjusted to force more of the water to those, and if not can the returns be restricted a bit with valves to make sure more water gets to those? I don't have a chlorinator or solar, but even with my IntelliFlo at <1000RPM the Polaris booster works fine.

    If flow and pressure were linear, I'd expect a filter that shows 30 PSI with a 1.75HP pump to show 25-26 PSI (I'm sure it's not that simple). The pressure lower pressure itself isn't an issue; if anything I wonder if it should be that high -- could there be a blockage in the filter that cleaning isn't fixing?

    Good luck; most of us who have VS pumps love them, and many pools without elaborate fountains/spas/etc use pumps smaller than 1.5HP, so it really should be possible to make this work.
    21000gal IG plaster, Sacramento CA area (late 1950s/early 60s)
    Filter: Cartridge, Pentair CCP420 (2014)
    Main pump: Pentair IntelliFlo VS (2015)
    Boost pump: 3/4hp (2011), Polaris 280 cleaner (unknown age)

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Max-Flo VS should be called Max-Flo BS!!!

    Again, the horsepower is not the only factor. It sounds like your old pump was a higher flow design then the max flo. So even at full speed with your new pump you may not be moving as much water as your old pump was. And that is what your lower pressure on the filter is indicating. For your solar I would expect you to have to run the Maxlow at full speed to have adequate flow.

    As an example, a 0.75 hp whisper flo would move more water than a 1.5 hp max flo.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Max-Flo VS should be called Max-Flo BS!!!

    I have checked and double check my system. There are no other valves like bypass valves or anything else that would let the flow of water bypass the chlorinator or other system component.

    The old 1.75 HP Hayward pump was simply replaced and I did not make any other changes to the pipes on the system other than the usual slip fittings and such to install the new pump.

    It is running at 3000 rpm all day when instead one would think that it could run at 3000rpm just a prime the system and then drop back to a more energy efficient setting however even at 3000 rpm and is not doing the job of flowing water!

    Today I looked in the skimmers and they were hardly flowing any water at all. I back flushed the DE filter and ran the system without any de material in the filter and at least now I can see water flowing down the skimmers. I did not add the usual amount of de material to the filter this time and at least the system is flowing the some water... likr very poorly.

    If you place your hand in front of one of the outflow jets in the pool you can hardly feel any flow coming out. I disassembled the pump and made sure the filter basket was cleaned and also took off the impeller and looked around and there does not seem to be anything plugging up the impeller.

    This new fancy pump was supposed to save a lot of money on energy but all it's done is caused headaches and this last week the weather has been very warm and sunny and we wanted to go swimming today however the pool is cold because it simply is not flowing enough water through the system and solar panels to keep the pool clean and warm.

    Any suggestions and advice would be greatly appreciated!

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    Re: Max-Flo VS should be called Max-Flo BS!!!

    I can't find where you have posted psi on your gauge. What is it? What was it on your old pump?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Max-Flo VS should be called Max-Flo BS!!!

    The old pump put out a consistent 30 PSI pressure.

    The Max Flo BS will only put out 20 PSI.

    The flow of water out of the jets is very minimal.

    The clear top of the pump filter basket is clear with no bubbles (yes there are bubbles after I emptyed the filter basket when the pump is just starting however after a few hours the bubbles at the top will purge and then the water is clear looking down into the well so I can determine there are no suction leaks).

    After the filter the water gets pumped up to the solar panels on the roof and I can hear the water pouring back down with this new pump...the old pump it seemed that the water pouring down was pressurized so that you could not hear it pouring down...no bubbles coming out of the jets however.

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    Re: Max-Flo VS should be called Max-Flo BS!!!

    With the old pump the skimmers were kinda scary in that there was so much suction you could get your hand sucked into the bottom pipe (the bottom pipe has an adjustment dial looking thing that allows the owner to pull more water or less flow from the bottom drain) however now the suction is minimal regardless of where I place the selector.

    Any help /suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Max-Flo VS should be called Max-Flo BS!!!

    For the third time .... what was your old pump? Not just the HP.

    Clearly since it had a higher pressure in the filter, it was moving more water. So it must have been something like the Super II which is designed for higher flow rates than the Super Pump or Maxflo.

    You are not saying anything surprising. You put a smaller pump in your system, the pressure in the filter went down, the flow rate went down. All is expected.

    If you wanted needed high flow rates, then you should have gotten one of the larger VS pumps (Intelliflo or Ecostar).

    Generally when trying to run solar with a pump of that size, you will need to run at or near full speed to have adequate flow. If you would have gotten a larger pump, sure you could have run it at a lower speed, but you would have need to move the same amount of water ... and the cost of the power used is directly related to the amount of water you are moving.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Max-Flo VS should be called Max-Flo BS!!!

    As an example of a more powerful VS pump, my Intelliflo needs to run at 2400-2500 rpm to pump water to the top of my second-story roof (~30') for the solar. If I run any lower than that, all my returns suddenly get noisy and have a lot of bubbles in them. As I ramp the speed, the returns quiet up and the bubbles disappear. This relates to a pressure of around 15 psi on my filter. Now that the pool is closed, I run it at a pressure of 5 psi (no solar, of course) and that is about 1300 rpm. The water barely moves and the pump hardly makes a sound.
    ----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: Max-Flo VS should be called Max-Flo BS!!!

    I thought it was common knowledge that solar requires the vs pump to be running at full blast to overcome the height.
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
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