I've got a ~12 yr old Hayward Northstar 1.5HP pump (SP4015NS) that's starting to sound really bad. Pretty sure the bearings in the motor are getting ready to go. Trying to decide whether to just replace the motor (AO Smith SN1152 Replacement Motor for Northstar SP4015 - Pool and Spa Supply Store) for ~$300 OR replace the pump entirely.
It appears Hayward would have me go with something like this 1-speed version ($570):
Hayward TriStar 1-1/2 HP, Energy Efficient, Full Rated Pump - SP3215EE - INYOPools.com
However, I'm sort of intrigued by a variable speed that could save me some money on electricity and probably be a lot quieter. Something like this ($890):
Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo 3HP Variable Speed Pool Pump Ultra Energy-Efficient, 230V
Does anyone have advice in this situation? I'm thinking the motor swap would be the easiest (no plumbing changes required) but would still be loud and inefficient.
Both of the other two options are going to require plumbing changes, but I am sort of assuming that the IntelliFlo would save me more money in the long term (more efficient). Anybody have experience with this? Would I be looking at breaking even in a couple of years?
Should I be looking at some other models?
I've got 2" pipe and an old school wall timer with two dials (one for pump and one for the booster pump [recently replaced]). Am I correct in assuming that I can use the same wiring from that timer to connect to the IntelliFlo (just leaving it set to always on) and then program the schedule, etc. on the onboard control panel?
Thanks in advance for all the help.
Here are some photos in case they help: