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Thread: New SWG System - Should I go with a VS Pump?

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    lovemyazpool's Avatar
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    New SWG System - Should I go with a VS Pump?

    Hey Everyone -


    Due to some problems with our water chemistry we went ahead and drained our pool. At the same time, we replaced the sand in our Triton II TR100HD filter (all 600lbs of it) and also ordered a complete AutoPilot SWG system with automated chemical system. The SWG was sized for a 52,000 gallon pool but ours is a tad over 31K. I am planning on redoing all of the electrical (pool was inherited with the house we bought) and the electrical, timers, etc are not really up to our specs. We only have 240V at the pump area.

    We replaced our pool vac with a Dolphin Oasis Z5 robotic unit, so we will no longer need to run our pump to vacuum the pool.

    Right now we are running a 1.5HP Pentair WisperFlo single speed pump and in the course of looking at all of the upgrades we are doing we are thinking that going with a VS pump may well be worth the cost savings in electrical consumption. Our electric bill in the summer months with a lot of pool usage (we have seven kids and for some reason they all have a LOT of friends, so our pool get a lot of summertime use) is eye-watering and is directly related to the extended pump run times we have had to use to keep the pool clean.

    There have been many threads here on TFP about VS vs 2-speed vs single speed and I was hoping someone with a SWG system and a robotic cleaner might have moved from a single speed to a VS and can give me the pros and cons on moving to a VS pump. I was looking at the Pentair Inteliflow VF pump.

    I am hoping that by removing load from the pump (no more vacuum) that I can now move towards some energy savings (over time) by going with a VS pump.

    Thanks!
    33,000 Gallon, IG Plaster
    Taylor 2006 Test Kit
    Pentair Triton II TR100 Sand Filter
    Pentair IntelliFlo Pump
    AutoPilot SWG & Chemical Controller

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: New SWG System - Should I go with a VS Pump?

    Due to some problems with our water chemistry we went ahead and drained our pool.
    If it was due to algae, that may not solve your problem because algae can survive a refill.

    Another option that could save you money is to just replace your current pump motor with a two speed motor. Unless you have fairly high electrical rates, in most cases, a two speed is going to have a lower lifetime cost (initial + energy) than a VF or VS pump. You can just run the pump on low speed to add FC with the SWG set at full production to minimize run time. Then use the robot to keep the debris out of the pool.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    lovemyazpool's Avatar
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    Re: New SWG System - Should I go with a VS Pump?

    Hi Mark -

    We emptied and refilled due to an off-the-charts CYA level in the pool. We could not kill the algae even with 45ppm chlorine and it was recommended (here) to drain and refill. After the drain, we completely cleaned the pool, removed all lights, etc to get to the algae and sprayed the entire pool down with undiluted clorox concentrated bleach, then scrubbed and rinsed after allowing the bleach to sit for awhile on all surfaces and we are in the process of refilling!

    Hopefully this will give the algae a run for its money!
    33,000 Gallon, IG Plaster
    Taylor 2006 Test Kit
    Pentair Triton II TR100 Sand Filter
    Pentair IntelliFlo Pump
    AutoPilot SWG & Chemical Controller

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: New SWG System - Should I go with a VS Pump?

    Lovemyazpool,

    I agree with Mark that if you are only looking for the best ROI, then a two speed pump motor is your best option... and you would not have to re-plumb anything.

    On the other hand, if I was just looking at ROI, I would not have bought a pool to begin with.

    I have a VS pump and love it. I like the flexibility it gives me. I can adjust the speed low as possible but still ensure that the flow switch in the SWG is happy. I can adjust the speed to make my waterfall wall work the way I want, but only when I want. I can adjust my speed to a preset RPM that allows me to check my filter pressure, since my normal PSI is only about 2 or 3 lbs. I love the fact that I can't even tell the pump is running unless I walk right up to it.

    Besides cost, the disadvantage it that you might have to re-plumb, and that a VS pump is full of electronics making them more susceptible to lighting strikes. I have three of them and they are all protected by surge protectors. So far no issues, knock-on-wood... but, if I lost one tomorrow, I'd have another one on order before the day was out.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    lovemyazpool's Avatar
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    Re: New SWG System - Should I go with a VS Pump?

    Jim -

    Thanks. One of the things I was looking at was one of the Intermatic or Siemens whole house surge protectors which install as a circuit breaker in my main house panel. I had read that these drives are susceptible to lighting strikes and wanted to add the surge protection. I may add a second one to the sub-panel we are installing as we switch over the system to the AutoPilot SWG. We are having to repipe everything anyway, so this would be the time to switch out the pump!

    Thanks Again for the info...


    Richard
    33,000 Gallon, IG Plaster
    Taylor 2006 Test Kit
    Pentair Triton II TR100 Sand Filter
    Pentair IntelliFlo Pump
    AutoPilot SWG & Chemical Controller

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: New SWG System - Should I go with a VS Pump?

    Richard,

    I have those same CB style surge protectors mounted in the subpanel (EasyTouch), as I believe that the closer to the electronics you are trying to protect the better. No proof of that, just what I believe.

    I mount them in the CB slot(s) closest to the power input.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    lovemyazpool's Avatar
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    Re: New SWG System - Should I go with a VS Pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    Richard,

    I have those same CB style surge protectors mounted in the subpanel (EasyTouch), as I believe that the closer to the electronics you are trying to protect the better. No proof of that, just what I believe.

    I mount them in the CB slot(s) closest to the power input.

    Jim R.

    Thanks Jim -

    I am putting a subpanel in where the pump will be connected (about 5' from the pump) so I guess I could put the SPD in that panel, that is as close as I can get it to the pump and other pool electronics!
    33,000 Gallon, IG Plaster
    Taylor 2006 Test Kit
    Pentair Triton II TR100 Sand Filter
    Pentair IntelliFlo Pump
    AutoPilot SWG & Chemical Controller

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    Seanhan's Avatar
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    Re: New SWG System - Should I go with a VS Pump?

    I just bought a VS pump. have not installed yet, my single speed 2.0 HP pump is using 37% of my electric usage.
    By my estimate It will pay for it's self in a Year.. ( I Hope )
    If your doing a upgrade you might consider a D.E. Filter really cleans the water good , it's a big upgrade from Sand.
    Sean Hannon
    30,000 Gallons gunite pool Coated by Fibertech
    Hayward Pro Grid 72 / Hayward multiport
    Circupool V3 VS pump
    CirCupool SWG RJ 60, 400.000 btu raypak , Built in SPA

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