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.