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Thread: 1.5" Copper Lines...getting ready for new VSP Pump...what to do?

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    1.5" Copper Lines...getting ready for new VSP Pump...what to do?

    Hi -

    Purchased a home 2.5ysrs ago with the filter setup indicated in my signature. The main pump is 15+yrs old and the bearing are getting steadily louder - so I am going to start scouring CL and other postings for a VSP pump. Lots of folks in my area are getting rid of their pools, so saving lots of money on 1-3 y/o variable pumps is not impossible.

    The pool works fine - not great, but seems to be doing OK with its current anemic pump running a min of 8hrs/day. Sometimes I bump it an extra couple of hours on usage & storms. Eventually, I'd like to update the system with 2" lines - add a 2nd skimmer (to deal with prevailing winds), add some more returns, retrofit with a 2nd drain (single drain now). I will also add solar heating too - that will likely happen before I tear up the decking for skimmers etc.

    My question is this : since I have 1.5" copper intake/return lines (single skimmer, 2 returns on a single 1.5" line Tee'd somewhere in the dirt) do I need to be careful about which pumps I can use? I've gotten many different answers from local pool stores & pro's - some clearly want to sell me a whole new system and others think I will be just fine. My swag calcs suggest a 1.5hp pump is more than enough for my pool - but welcome advise/discussion.
    21K gal Plaster I/G | 1/2 HP Sta Rite main pump |StaRite 3 300 sqft cartridge |
    Ancient Kreepy Krauly Legend | 3/4 HP A.O. Smith Century Pressure Pump|Solar Pool Cover

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: 1.5" Copper Lines...getting ready for new VSP Pump...what to do?

    The bigger the pump, the more water you move, and the more $$ you pay for electricity.

    Pools often need much lower flow rates and pump run times than people think. See: Determine Pump Run Time

    Having to run for over 8 hours seems excessive for just circulation. How are you maintaining your chemistry?

    With a single suction line, going to a large Intelliflo or EcoStar would not be recommended.
    Cheapest upgrade would be a new 2-speed motor for your existing pump.
    Or look at one on the smaller VS pumps (if you get a rebate), like the Maxflo VS or Superflo VS.
    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: 1.5" Copper Lines...getting ready for new VSP Pump...what to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    The bigger the pump, the more water you move, and the more $$ you pay for electricity.

    Pools often need much lower flow rates and pump run times than people think. See: Determine Pump Run Time

    Having to run for over 8 hours seems excessive for just circulation. How are you maintaining your chemistry?

    With a single suction line, going to a large Intelliflo or EcoStar would not be recommended.
    Cheapest upgrade would be a new 2-speed motor for your existing pump.
    Or look at one on the smaller VS pumps (if you get a rebate), like the Maxflo VS or Superflo VS.
    Chem is being controlled via TFP levels + TFP test kit. Numbers are generally within limits except for PH that always seems to rise. I'm in the middle of AA treatment - so the current levels are not indicative. Target CYA of 40-50, TA of 70 or so, Borates of 40-50, etc. Chlorine consumption doesn't seem out of whack - don't have figures at the moment. Mustard algae seems to be an issue in August despite multiple SLAMs, but that may be more mechanical (must be a pocket of it that I haven't found yet). Will see how this year goes.

    Good to know about a single suction line...just to be clear, it is a single suction line back to the pump. The drain is plumbed via the skimmer diverter valve.

    I should have stated that 1.5Hp VS would be 'limit' - no need for anything larger since the 1/2hp is marginal and I have a booster pump now. With my ancient Legend pressure side cleaner, it took approx 2 hrs to cleans the pool...but that thing was >15 yrs old with too short/too stiff a hose. I have a new one going in this season...so I expect run times will be less.
    21K gal Plaster I/G | 1/2 HP Sta Rite main pump |StaRite 3 300 sqft cartridge |
    Ancient Kreepy Krauly Legend | 3/4 HP A.O. Smith Century Pressure Pump|Solar Pool Cover

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: 1.5" Copper Lines...getting ready for new VSP Pump...what to do?

    Understood about the single suction line. Both of my pool have been the same with the floor plumbed to the skimmer.

    Sounds like you are on the right track and realize that a bigger pump is not always better
    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
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    Re: 1.5" Copper Lines...getting ready for new VSP Pump...what to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Understood about the single suction line. Both of my pool have been the same with the floor plumbed to the skimmer.

    Sounds like you are on the right track and realize that a bigger pump is not always better
    Some add'l info...

    I may have missed your question/comment regarding run time ... for me, the pump run time is determined by water clarity only (and ability for the cleaners to run). I often err on the side of too little run time and go from there. With my previous pools (single speed pumps), I usually start the season at 3 hours...and fight to stay less than 6. I'm not sure I understand these 3hp VS pumps being installed on pools my size or smaller - unless it has to do with speed vs power (efficiency).

    With this pool, I hit 8 hrs pretty early in the season. (This will be my 3rd season with this pool...2nd if you consider decent water chemistry), water clarity sometimes dictate 10 hrs of run time. Since I have a 0.5 hp pump now on 1.5" pipe, flow rate may be low. Also, my Sta Rite Cartridges may be be approaching end of life (I posted question about knowing when they are shot...)

    As I work towards R&R the system, I'd prefer to make good decisions up front. Most pool pro's that I've found are more interested in selling the whole system instead of improving/repairing what has worked since 1968, when the pool was installed.

    (I have a Stenner chlorine pump w/ 15 gallon barrel that I will be install this year - so I need to make sure I have enough run time. I will also use a Stenner pump for a 5 gal acid barrel).

    What is considered a 'large' pump? I was thinking a VS 1.5hp run on low speeds the 'upper end' for size. I just don't want to run the risk of damaging the pump or piping with too much suction/head - or destroying efficiency with too little of a intake size.
    21K gal Plaster I/G | 1/2 HP Sta Rite main pump |StaRite 3 300 sqft cartridge |
    Ancient Kreepy Krauly Legend | 3/4 HP A.O. Smith Century Pressure Pump|Solar Pool Cover

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: 1.5" Copper Lines...getting ready for new VSP Pump...what to do?

    There is no worries with running the 1.5HP VS pump on high in terms of damaging anything. Remember a 1.5HP Superflo moves significantly less water than a 1.5HP Whisperflo ... HP is only part of the story.

    You mentioned adding solar, for that, you would want to run on high speed and then just run on low speed when you are not heating (that is what I do).
    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
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    Re: 1.5" Copper Lines...getting ready for new VSP Pump...what to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    There is no worries with running the 1.5HP VS pump on high in terms of damaging anything. Remember a 1.5HP Superflo moves significantly less water than a 1.5HP Whisperflo ... HP is only part of the story.

    You mentioned adding solar, for that, you would want to run on high speed and then just run on low speed when you are not heating (that is what I do).
    Didn't know that about the Superflo pumps...time to start doing some comparisons. Any spreadsheets on TFP anywhere that you know of?

    Just checked...my current GPM per the TFP check valve/flow meter is 40-45GPM.
    21K gal Plaster I/G | 1/2 HP Sta Rite main pump |StaRite 3 300 sqft cartridge |
    Ancient Kreepy Krauly Legend | 3/4 HP A.O. Smith Century Pressure Pump|Solar Pool Cover

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    Re: 1.5" Copper Lines...getting ready for new VSP Pump...what to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by VTSoundman View Post
    Didn't know that about the Superflo pumps...time to start doing some comparisons. Any spreadsheets on TFP anywhere that you know of?

    Just checked...my current GPM per the TFP check valve/flow meter is 40-45GPM.
    Diregard about the spreadsheet...I missed the hydro 101 posting.
    21K gal Plaster I/G | 1/2 HP Sta Rite main pump |StaRite 3 300 sqft cartridge |
    Ancient Kreepy Krauly Legend | 3/4 HP A.O. Smith Century Pressure Pump|Solar Pool Cover

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    Re: 1.5" Copper Lines...getting ready for new VSP Pump...what to do?

    I have the same type 1.5 inch single skimmer and 2 tied together (daisy chained) 1.5 inch returns. 1.5 HP is about the limit for 1.5 inch single loop plumbing like this (although mine is PVC), when I added my current solar I had to end up replacing my eyeball fittings with larger opening ones to lower back pressure on the solar panels and increase flow. (positive back pressure a leading cause of solar panel failure). Having said that there is no reason why you could not install a 3 HP variable speed pump and just never run it higher than about 50% flow, alternatively you can install one of the smaller VS pumps, the only bad thing about them is you can not remotely change pump speed with a control system, speed control is only by front panel controls.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: 1.5" Copper Lines...getting ready for new VSP Pump...what to do?

    That is a good point Isaac about the speed control. If you add solar, many controllers can switch the speeds on a 2-speed motor, but may not interface with some of the smaller VS pumps. Although I feel like one of them added the ability to have external control, I think the Superflo.
    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: 1.5" Copper Lines...getting ready for new VSP Pump...what to do?

    Yes, the latest version of the Superflo VS pump, 342001, added a comm port to control speeds via external relays.
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