Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: "Dumb" Variable speed pump

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    39

    "Dumb" Variable speed pump

    10,000 gals, solar, cartridge filter, in-line suction cleaner.

    I'm in the market to replace my old-and-dying single-speed 1HP pump. I am inclined toward a variable speed replacement.

    I don't see that this question has ever been addressed: Every model I have seen has sophisticated electronics and user interface to control its operation; but I have a good control system (Intermatic PE953, which btw, for the money, I like a lot) already. It seems to me that I should be able to save money by paying only for the pump without a built-in controller.


    It's this possible?

  2. Back To Top    #2
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA
    Posts
    11,486

    Re: "Dumb" Variable speed pump

    Welcome to the forum!

    Variable speed motors require variable frequency drives (VFDs) which are complex and have expensive electronics. No way around it. The timers in the drive are only a very small part of the drive's function.

    However, if you want most of the savings of a VS pump at a more reasonable cost, then a two speed pump is a good choice.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    80

    Re: "Dumb" Variable speed pump

    You have to have some way to change the speeds. You can get one with the controller on the pump. Look at Jandy Flow Pro

  4. Back To Top    #4
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA
    Posts
    11,486

    Re: "Dumb" Variable speed pump

    These also have controllers/drives on the pump:

    Pentair Intelliflo VS/VF
    Pentair SuperFlo VS

    Hayward EcoStar VS
    Hayward MaxFlo VS

    Most VS pump these days have both speed and timer control on the pump itself.
    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

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    39

    Re: "Dumb" Variable speed pump

    Thanks for the link to Wikipedia's VFD explanation, as well as the pump references. I'm still trying to figure the relationship between my smart-controller and the pump electronics. Apparently, my Intermatic only sends on/off/speed signals which must be "interpreted" by still-necessary on-board-the-pump electronics.

    So, with the information you've given me, I see pumps that have an on-board controller; which begs the question: if not on-board, where is that controller otherwise found?

  6. Back To Top    #6

    TFP Guide

    chiefwej's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    2,853

    Re: "Dumb" Variable speed pump

    The pump onboard controls have programmable external switching. For example on my Pentair Intelliflow I have a preset speed selected for "ext 2". When my solar controller call for heat, it activates that control and ramps up the pump to that speed for the solar panels. When it's done, it returns control to the programming I have set-up on the pump.
    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

  7. Back To Top    #7


    TFP Guide

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Central Valley CA
    Posts
    1,073

    Re: "Dumb" Variable speed pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy Pool View Post
    which begs the question: if not on-board, where is that controller otherwise found?
    Control system boxes usually near the equipment pad, systems like Easy Touch, Intelli Touch, AquaLink to name a few. Usually used when people want to control multiple devices Saltwater generators, lights, heaters, waterfalls, and/or want some automation/remote/internet control. The sky is the limit on what they can do and of course what you can pay for them to do it. Sounds like you don't need all that so I wold go with either onboard or 2-speed as mentioned above.

    Most if not all the pumps that have the controller onboard are built in such a way that you can remove the controller from the pump and mount it on a wall near the pump with a small data wire. That way you don't have to program or control the pump from the ground.
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac Z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, Stenner pumps for chlorine & MA connected to WiOn WiFi switches, TF-100. You can support TFP with AmazonSmile just click the link!

  8. Back To Top    #8
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA
    Posts
    11,486

    Re: "Dumb" Variable speed pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy Pool View Post
    Apparently, my Intermatic only sends on/off/speed signals which must be "interpreted" by still-necessary on-board-the-pump electronics.
    Which Intermatic do you have? Most only turn power on and off which would work fine with a VS but it would not change speeds.

    But you really don't need the Intermatic with a VS. Most VS pumps have a built in timer that will turn on and off the pump plus change speeds. An external timer is unnecessary.
    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

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    39

    Re: "Dumb" Variable speed pump

    My Intermatic system is a PE653 with the PE5043 module. It is programmable to control a 2spd or variable speed pump, as well as relays for valves, 120v lights, etc.

    So, I'm going the opposite way... starting with the already-installed controller intelligence and looking for a (cheap) pump controller that doesn't have a fancy timer that duplicates what I already have.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA
    Posts
    11,486

    Re: "Dumb" Variable speed pump

    A two speed pump is really your only option. They don't really make a dumb or cheap VS pump. The cheapest VS that would work with your current controller (and control the speeds) is a SuperFlo VS 342001.

    Pentair SuperFlo VS Energy Efficient Variable Speed Pool Pump | 1.5HP Single Phase 115-230V 50-60HZ | 342001

    But an even cheaper option would be to just replace your current pump motor with a two speed motor at about 1/2 the cost of the VS. Plus in FL (i.e. low electrical rates), the life time cost of a two speed pump will probably end up being less than a VS.
    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

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    39

    Re: "Dumb" Variable speed pump

    Thank you, @mas985. I've spent the weekend researching options, your Pentair suggestion in particular. (One problem I have is that the Pentair manuals seem to be the same for different models, e.g. 342000 and 342001, so I can't determine fine differences.)

    Compared to the 342001, the differences I see in the 342000 are:
    1. $135 less expensive
    2. No timer (which I don't need)
    3. A predecessor model (?)
    4. 230 volt only (which I have)
    5. Some confusing terminology on speeds: "Three adjustable operating speed settings plus override capability"

    Can you comment on anything else I'm missing? For what I see and understand, the price for the 342000 is very appealing.

    On the speeds question (#5): Does this mean I am limited to three factory preset speeds? Or can I tinker with what I need and program three preset-by-me speeds? Are the low (600 RPM) and max (3450 RPM) speeds in addition, so I really have five speeds? Or do I totally misunderstand what I'm reading?

    Would someone in central Florida PM me with recommendations for an installer that would trigger the Pentair warranty?

    Lastly, I haven't overlooked your recommendation to consider a 2-speed pump. Any particular model? Would you advise replacing only the motor? (I inherited the current pump and I don't know the brand. The motor had been rebuilt and it connects to the wet end via a round flange tightened by an aluminum band.)

    Thank you for your time to read/digest this and to respond.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA
    Posts
    11,486

    Re: "Dumb" Variable speed pump

    Can you comment on anything else I'm missing? For what I see and understand, the price for the 342000 is very appealing.
    Besides the timer, the 342000 does not have the pin outs for the pump control.

    Here is the 342001 manual. Look at page 4: http://www.pentairpool.com/pdfs/SuperFloVS1.5OM.pdf

    Here is the 342000 manual: http://www.pentairpool.com/pdfs/SuperFloVSOM.pdf


    Lastly, I haven't overlooked your recommendation to consider a 2-speed pump. Any particular model?
    The SuperFlo comes in a two speed as well (340042).

    But I was suggesting just changing out the motor of your existing pump. If you tell me the make & model of your existing pump, I can suggest a two speed motor replacement. That would be a little cheaper than replacing the entire pump.
    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

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    39

    Re: "Dumb" Variable speed pump

    I found the tag: StaRite 70GPM 1HP #P2RA5E-181L

  14. Back To Top    #14
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA
    Posts
    11,486

    Re: "Dumb" Variable speed pump

    If the pump is wired for 115v, then you would want the B2981 motor. If it is wired for 230v, you want the B2980 motor. The motors are full rated 3/4 HP but that is the same as an up rated 1 HP which is what you have. You can google the motor number to find suppliers. If you go this route make sure you get a seal kit as well for the pump.
    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

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •