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Thread: Is my thinking correct for a Superflo to VS upgrade?

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    Is my thinking correct for a Superflo to VS upgrade?

    Yep, another one of those VS upgrade threads for a pool newbie.

    Bought a house last year that had basically new Pentair equipment installed. Superflo 2HP pump, DE filter, and Gas heater. Pool is ~32,500 gallons including an attached spa. Solar blanket provides most of the heat. Gas heater is only used for the spa when needed. Piping above ground is all 2" (underground is unknown). Pump is currently running approximately 6.5 hours per day and according to the Smart Meter and attached monitor is consuming approximately 13.3kWh per day which accounts for over 50% of my daily household energy usage. Tiered electricity rates on So Cal Edison, but data reaching back to October shows a weighted average of ~22-25 cents/kWh. Top tier maxes out at 32 cents/kWh. One skimmer located at the far end of the pool. Two main drains near the far end. Drain at the bottom of the spa as well which is at the near end (no more than 10 feet from the pump). No water features. Don't even have a cleaner right now because there isn't a dedicated pressure line nor booster. If I get one it'll probably end up being robotic.

    The options I have considered:
    • Superflo VS
    • Intelliflo VS
    • Intelliflo VF
    • Replacing the motor only with a VS


    At this point I think I have discounted the Intelliflo VF. Seems to be overkill and reading here indicates GPM just isn't that important in the long run. If I ever got really curious I could install a flow meter easily (either the integrated Jandy of a more simple Blue-White)

    The Superflo VS has one really nice perk in that I don't think I'd have to touch any of my plumbing. The dimensions look the same for the inlet and outlet and I'm already using unions on the current Superflo, so it should just slip right in. The downside is that it doesn't seem to be as efficient as the Intelliflo. It is also a lower horsepower than the current pump.

    Replacing the motor is an interesting option, but cost wise, I don't think it'll save that much money, if any. The larger VS motor replacement from Inyo is ~$640. SCE currently offers a $200 rebate if I buy a new VS pump (motor only replacement doesn't qualify) and Pentair has the $50 rebate as well (my pool guy will "help" on any installation so I can qualify for the rebate and longer warranty). Adding those two things onto the Intelliflo makes it close to a wash with the motor replacement. Putting it on the Superflo makes it even cheaper than motor replacement.

    The Intelliflo would require redoing some piping as the inlet/outlet positioning is wrong. Not too difficult but a little more time consuming. Might even require a replace of the current 3-port Jandy at the inlet depending on what I can reuse/salvage. And of course a new set of unions for the Intelliflo.

    Using the spreadsheet in the "Have you lost your head" thread, I think that I can make up the extra cost differential between the Superflo VS and the Intelliflo VS in approximately 3 years. And I think I can make up the initial cost of either pump within approximately a year by using cycles with the following characteristics:
    • 1 hr at 80 GPM for skimming (2750 RPM for the Intelliflo, 3400 RPM for the Superflo)
    • 11 hrs at 46 GPM (1600 RPM for the Intelliflo, 1950 RPM for the Superflo)


    This is enough to actually do a full turn of the pool each day which, from what I've read, is probably also overkill, so I can probably reduce even more and recoup the costs faster.

    This is all pretty consistent with my original estimate of being able to shave ~50% (not the crazy 80-90% that the pump manufacturers claim) off my pump usage off per day which saves approximately $60 per month ($720/year)

    So, given all that, am I crazy to go with the Intelliflo (which is what I'm leaning towards)? Or should I keep it simple and go with the Superflo VS? I think the one thing that is nagging at me is that electricity rates will likely increase in the coming years (I know SCE is reducing from 4 tiers to 2 tiers in the next few years), so more efficient is definitely better. I'm also considering adding solar (electricity, not heating), so again, more efficient allows me to size the system a little smaller (and cheaper).

    Any help/advice is appreciated and please ask questions if there is other information needed to complete the picture.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Is my thinking correct for a Superflo to VS upgrade?

    Nope, not crazy. The Intelliflo is ridiculously efficient. I run my pump 14-24 hours at 1100 rpm for skimming, filtering and making chlorine. It uses 150 watts at 1100 rpm. I run it at 1950 rpm for solar and it uses 550 watts. Turnovers are not important in residential pools. You will likely be fine running your pump at 1100-1500 rpm for 12 hours or less.
    TFP Moderator
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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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    Re: Is my thinking correct for a Superflo to VS upgrade?

    I decided to go with the Intelliflo. Ended up getting a nice coupon from Pool Supply World (via their mailing list) and they paid the sales tax in CA! Pump and unions out the door for less than the pump price.

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    pabeader's Avatar
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    Re: Is my thinking correct for a Superflo to VS upgrade?

    Good deal! Be sure to take pics of the swap out and then you can post them here for future reference.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Is my thinking correct for a Superflo to VS upgrade?

    Good deal!
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    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    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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    Re: Is my thinking correct for a Superflo to VS upgrade?

    I think you will much happier with choice of the intelliflo. Having a spa, you don't want a less powerful pump, and with the bigger pump you can always dial in the most efficient speed for any task.
    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

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    Re: Is my thinking correct for a Superflo to VS upgrade?

    Intelliflo arrived today. Unions got here a couple of days ago. Install date should be tomorrow. Got a couple of things to grab at Home Depot. And ironically, just heard my current Superflo turn on for its nightly run. Hopefully it'll be the last time I hear that energy hog turn on!

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    Re: Is my thinking correct for a Superflo to VS upgrade?

    OK, install is complete. Letting it cure overnight which is probably overkill. So tomorrow I'll throw the breaker, remove the triggers on the Intermatic, and prime it. Crossing fingers for no leaks!

    Here's the old setup
    IMG_3420.jpg

    Here's everything cut out from the old pump
    IMG_3424.jpg

    And here's the new pump installed
    IMG_3433.jpg

    I have no idea why two of the photos won't rotate.....

    Took about 4 hours from start to finish, but that included 1/2 an hour of me losing my mind because I couldn't find my gloves right before I was going to start using the primer and cement! Turns out they were right on top of the filter.....

    Only had one mess up, but I was able to rectify it pretty easily. When I was installing the inlet I completely forgot to put the collar for the union on before I cemented into the Jandy valve!!!! The other part of the union was already cemented on, so I was basically hosed. Luckily, I had provided myself with a good amount of room between the Jandy and the inlet so I ended up cutting the line, slipping the collar on and reassembling with a sleeve.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Is my thinking correct for a Superflo to VS upgrade?

    Looks good! Congrats!
    TFP Moderator
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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

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Is my thinking correct for a Superflo to VS upgrade?

    I too just replaced my old pump with the an Intelliflo VS and it seems to be working great. I've only had it a week, but as far as Watts differential, my old 1hp pump would run at around 2100 watts and I have the VS running at 220 Watts. It will be interesting to see my new PG&E bill. I also saw that you were interested in possibly getting solar for the pool. We just got it installed on our pool after 1 week, our pool went from 68 degrees to 85, plus the Intelliflo works with the solar so you don't need to add a extra timer. I looked at several different Solar panel companies, and we went with Heliocol and so far are very happy.
    My pool: 18x32 White Plaster 13,000 Gal w/ Pentair Intelliflo 2 VST, 3/4hp Pentair Booster Pump for Pentair Legend Pool Cleaner, Sta-Rite 300 Mod Media S7M120 Filter, Heliocol Solar Panels, Pentair Solar Touch Controller, Poolmaster 22260 5-Way Test Kit.

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Is my thinking correct for a Superflo to VS upgrade?

    Looks like success! No leaks apparent. Set up my 12 hours schedule to go from 8am to 8pm. 1hr @ 2750, 11hr @ 1600. We'll see how that works out and adjust from there. 1600rpm is showing a usage of 300 watts. Old pump used 2200 watts. So 7 hours at 1600 is the equivalent of 1 hour of the old pump!

    Interesting that at top speed (3450 rpm, it actually consumes a little more power than the old Superflo - 2700 watts vs 2200 watts). Not that anyone rally needs to run it that fast for any extended period of time.

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