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Thread: Water Feature Pump

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    Water Feature Pump

    The picture below shows my water feature of the 3 spill pots.



    This picture shows my pump setup.




    The one on the left is the pump for the feature. It is a Pentair Challenger High Pressure CHII - NI - 1 1/2F. As you can see, the (3) outputs to the individual pots are severely throttled back. This is way more pump than needed for the application.

    I'm considering swapping that pump out for a specialty waterfall low head type pump. However, I have a couple questions.

    1. How do I size the waterfall pump? There's not much vertical rise. The highest pots is about 42" above the water. Without measuring the head, I would imagine it's in the lower range of the waterfall pump capacity. But for flow, do I dial in the pot flow where I like it, then get a 5 gal. bucket and figure out the rate of flow by how long it takes to fill? Seems kinda simplistic.

    2. Do the economics exist to make this swap? This thing doesn't run a lot. Maybe 35 hours/week worst case if I run it all day on the weekends. We have time-of-use power so our off-peak rate is under $0.10. That's around $5 week savings between the existing 11.2A pump and a new 4.8A pump. Low end, new pumps are $500 so we're looking at a two year break even. Now if my existing pump were broken, there's no question I'd just be dealing with question 1. But I have an existing pump that 'works' but is just not as efficient as it could be.

    I understand there will be a lower noise benefit as well. And that's worth something.

    Thoughts welcome.
    John - 16,000 gallon | in ground | pebble | Triton II sand filter | TF100 | speedstir | Hayward Phoenix 2x

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Water Feature Pump

    If the flow rate is fairly low, which it seems to be, then you might consider running the pots off the main pump with redirected flow. A waterfall pump is made for low head high volume waterfalls which is opposite to what you have so I would not recommend that.
    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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    Re: Water Feature Pump

    I'll have to get a rough idea of flow rate. I think it's more than it looks from the photo. The water pours out of there pretty good.

    Not too keen on tying it all together as the feature imparts a lot of aeration. And I don't want to manually divert flow when I want the pots because then I can't automate the circulation with a simple timer. Although, if I skip buying a new pump, I'm that much closer to an automation sub-panel which could automate some flow to the pots...
    John - 16,000 gallon | in ground | pebble | Triton II sand filter | TF100 | speedstir | Hayward Phoenix 2x

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Water Feature Pump

    The way I deduced that it was low flow rate is by the pipe size feeding each pot. Those pipes can't really support much in the way of flow rate without creating huge head loss but then you would not need to close off the valves so much so the flow rate must be pretty low.


    Although, if I skip buying a new pump, I'm that much closer to an automation sub-panel which could automate some flow to the pots...
    A much more energy efficient solution too.
    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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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Water Feature Pump

    What about modifying the pump with a lower horsepower motor (do they make a 1HP or 3/4HP motor for that wet end?)? Or going with a two speed motor for efficiency?

    I'll admit I instigated this thread about using a waterfall pump from the OPs previous SLAM thread without seeing the plumbing at the pad. Had I seen this piping setup, I would have been much more circumspect about suggesting a pump change. My bad...




    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Water Feature Pump

    You would also need to change the impeller but even the smallest impeller would probably deliver far too much flow rate for those pots. It is far more efficient to run it off the main pump than it would to significantly restrict the flow from a second 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

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Water Feature Pump

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    You would also need to change the impeller but even the smallest impeller would probably deliver far too much flow rate for those pots. It is far more efficient to run it off the main pump than it would to significantly restrict the flow from a second pump.
    I see that.

    However, since your cutting up PVC, what's to be done with the wall return feeding the water feature pump? I guess you'd have to cut it into the suction side of the pool pump or else you'll have a dead wall return with a pipe full of stagnant water....


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Water Feature Pump

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    I'll admit I instigated this thread about using a waterfall pump from the OPs previous SLAM thread without seeing the plumbing at the pad. Had I seen this piping setup, I would have been much more circumspect about suggesting a pump change. My bad...
    Don't apologize. I'm happy to learn something with a good discussion.

    I'll waste some time this weekend and try to get an idea of the flow rate. Just for ha-ha's. Then probably put this idea to bed. There's going to be a pool update somewhere in the not-so-near future and I'll re-evaluate the whole system then. If the motor craps out before that, I'll look at the lower HP motor/impeller replacement for some incremental savings in the interim.
    John - 16,000 gallon | in ground | pebble | Triton II sand filter | TF100 | speedstir | Hayward Phoenix 2x

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    Re: Water Feature Pump

    Is your current pump something that could be used later down the road if another pump fails? You can always change to more efficient pump and save it for later. Automation is the way to go but big $$ layout upfront.
    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: Water Feature Pump

    I don't (yet) know enough about pumps and pump motors to know if that existing pump would work in place of my current main pump as a replacement.
    John - 16,000 gallon | in ground | pebble | Triton II sand filter | TF100 | speedstir | Hayward Phoenix 2x

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Water Feature Pump

    My recommendation would be if either pump goes out to get and Intelliflo VS pump, 011018, and replumb at the same time. Mine runs everything, waterfall, solar panels, skimmer, filter, SWG no problem and never above 2500 rpm (max is 3450). My waterfall is valved with a 3way valve with the pool returns so I can dial in the amount or flow to the waterfall with the 3 way valve and variable speed pump. It is easily capable of running solar, waterfall and everything at the same time with a lot of waterfall, usually at 1950 rpm using 550 watts. There are pics of my equipment pad in my build thread, link in sig.

    It is also ridiculously efficient. For normal skimming and making chlorine it runs at 1100rpm and uses 150 watts. I can run it 24x7 for less than 12 bucks a month at 10.25c/kWh. We often need to in spring and fall because we have lots-o-trees helping us with pool maintenance!

    This pump
    Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump 011018 | Pentair 011018
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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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