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Thread: Deciding between superflo and intelliflo

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    Deciding between superflo and intelliflo

    I'm about to buy a variable speed pump and need help deciding if it's worth spending the extra $250 for the intelliflo vs. the superflo.

    My plumbing is an inch and a half and I've heard because of the limitations with the plumbing I won't be able to take full advantage of the intelliflo.

    As a result the next option for me is the superflo.
    Not sure if the pool specs show in my signature when using tapatalk, I have a 15k pool with no spa/water features. Currently I have a 1hp old pentair pump.

    Can someone confirm the best option for my scenario?



    Thanks.



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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding between superflo and intelliflo

    I believe the SuperFlo lacks the ability to have detailed automation. In other words, the SuperFlo has a couple of speeds (three I think) and it's all programmed from the pump itself, there's no way to tie it into an automation panel to allow for detailed scheduling. So, if you ever think you'll be adding some kind of automation or remote control system in the future, the SuperFlo may not be able to be controlled that way or it may severely limit what you can do.

    As for pipe sizes and head loss, you'd have to post some more specific information about your pool's pipe sizes on the suction and discharge side of the pumps, what your typical (clean) filter pressure is (along with your filter's "filtration area" value) and how far away your pump is from the pool as well as any elevation changes (how far up the water has to be pumped). With this information, there are some folks here on TFP that can calculate an approximate dynamic head for your pool and let you know if the pump you have will work well.
    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: Deciding between superflo and intelliflo

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    I believe the SuperFlo lacks the ability to have detailed automation. In other words, the SuperFlo has a couple of speeds (three I think) and it's all programmed from the pump itself, there's no way to tie it into an automation panel to allow for detailed scheduling. So, if you ever think you'll be adding some kind of automation or remote control system in the future, the SuperFlo may not be able to be controlled that way or it may severely limit what you can do.

    As for pipe sizes and head loss, you'd have to post some more specific information about your pool's pipe sizes on the suction and discharge side of the pumps, what your typical (clean) filter pressure is (along with your filter's "filtration area" value) and how far away your pump is from the pool as well as any elevation changes (how far up the water has to be pumped). With this information, there are some folks here on TFP that can calculate an approximate dynamic head for your pool and let you know if the pump you have will work well.
    Piping is the same 1.5 inch on both suction and discharge. Filter pressure is about 9 psi when clean. The pump is about 43ft from the skimmer and about 25 ft from the MD. I would say in regards to the elevation, the MD is at the deep end which is about 7ft.

    How can I get the filtration area?
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    Re: Deciding between superflo and intelliflo

    Check out this pump at the link below. Don't know anyone who has one yet though.

    http://www.pentairpool.com/products/...d-pump-463.htm
    Anthony 16,000 Gallon Oval, White plaster, 30' Long 15' Wide 5 1/2' Deep end 3 1/2' shallow end.
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    Re: Deciding between superflo and intelliflo

    Quote Originally Posted by ColdAirGuy View Post
    Check out this pump at the link below. Don't know anyone who has one yet though.

    http://www.pentairpool.com/products/...d-pump-463.htm
    I saw that one as well but wasn't able to find any comparisons between it and the superflo. I know the superflo is a bit more and seems to be recommended if the intelliflo is overkill.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding between superflo and intelliflo

    I think you will be more than fine with the Superflo. Especially if, as Matt said, you aren't going to add pool automation like an Easytouch. The Superflo has a built in control panel with 3 speeds plus a cleaner speed, so really 4 speeds.

    Looks like the Supermax is the Starite version of the Superflo.
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding between superflo and intelliflo

    The SuperMax and SuperFlo are identical pumps expect for the color. Also, I believe that both of the newer versions can be controlled by Pentair controllers too so that is no longer a negative.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
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    Re: Deciding between superflo and intelliflo

    A few comments (if you read the latest user guide as I did) -

    It does allow for external control of which speed to run by using a set of low voltage DC inputs (5VDC) and the pump actually supplies a 5VDC output you can use to drive relays with. So if you like to build a custom control unit, you can do that. I suspect they might have an interface module that would allow it to be used with an EasyTouch panel if one were to want to add automation later.

    From just the front panel, the only way to run a split-schedule in the pump is to set the SPEED2 to "0 RPM" and set the duration of the idle time. That effectively kills one of the speed settings.

    I don't know. I think the IntelliFlo is a more versatile pump with far-better on-board controls. If the price is too high, then I think you might be better off with a good (and cheaper) 2-speed pump and run that using standard intermatic timers. Seems to me that adding on the additional drive electronics (a greater possibility for failure) for a half-baked VSP is not necessarily worth it.

    Just my 2-cent opinion for whatever that's worth....
    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: Deciding between superflo and intelliflo

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    I suspect they might have an interface module that would allow it to be used with an EasyTouch panel if one were to want to add automation later.
    All of the Pentair controllers can change the speeds of the SuperFlo pump via relays. However, you are correct in that it is limited to just changing speeds. You cannot program them or view the actual speed from the controller.
    Mark
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    Re: Deciding between superflo and intelliflo

    I spoke to a pool guy that I know who advice against buying a VS pump. Stated that the South Florida weather is brutal on it and it's likely that the pump will break in a few years leading to another big expense. He also stated that the cost of energy is cheap here, on avg it's $0.09 per hr to run a pump here. This is after I ordered the intelliflo.

    He suggested a sta-rite max-e flo pump. This will run $350 less than the VS pump. If the cost of energy is this cheap then it will take several years to recoup the investment in the intelliflo pump.

    So now I'm even more confused as I need to get this done asap as the water in the pool isn't being circulated for 3 days now.

    Any insight will be extremely helpful. Thanks




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    Re: Deciding between superflo and intelliflo

    I think a 2 speed 1 hp pump would work great for you.. I like pentair but both them and hayward are nice pumps here is what I have and has worked great..

    Amazon.com : Pentair 340042 SuperFlo High Performance Energy Efficient Two Speed Pool Pump, 1 Horsepower, 230 Volt, 1 Phase - Energy Star Certified : Swimming Pool Water Pumps : Patio, Lawn Garden
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    Re: Deciding between superflo and intelliflo

    Yes, in a cheap energy market like south FL, you will likely never recover the added cost of a VSP. A 2-speed pump (where the low speed is capable of running your pool, high speed is for vacuuming) is a much cheaper and more energy efficient option.

    As for weather, I assume he's talking about thunderstorms. The on-board electronics in a VSP can get destroyed by power surges caused by lightening but that is easily remedied by adding a $100 2-pole surge protector to the electrical panel that powers the pump. SquareD makes a whole-home 80kA surge protective device for less than $100 that can easily be installed by anyone with a screwdriver and basic electrical knowledge (black is hot, white is neutral, etc). Cheap insurance to protect sensitive electronics.
    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: Deciding between superflo and intelliflo

    Much appreciated! Thinking of pulling the trigger on the Sta-rite Max-e-pro dual speed 1.5 hp motor.

    Reviews weren't too good on the superflo pump and this seems to be a newer/better/upgrade version to what I currently have.


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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding between superflo and intelliflo

    Just make sure that your SWG will function on the LOW speed settings (look up the pumping curve). There's no point to buying a 2-speed pump if you constantly have to run it on high to generate chlorine.
    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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    Deciding between superflo and intelliflo

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Just make sure that your SWG will function on the LOW speed settings (look up the pumping curve). There's no point to buying a 2-speed pump if you constantly have to run it on high to generate chlorine.
    Thanks for the heads up. However I am not familiar with how to read the pumping curve. I know I'm limited to 60 gpm with 1.5" plumbing, however I am not sure what it means at the intersection of the total head at high and low speeds and how that affects chlorine generation.

    I also checked autopilot's website but didn't find anything besides the minimum operating gpm of 15. Can you help me to understand.



    Thanks
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    Re: Deciding between superflo and intelliflo

    So based on that curve a 1hp pump on low speed will do 0 gpm at 20 ft/head loss, and about 50 gpm at 5 ft/head. Fluid dynamics is fun because you have static and dynamic losses which effect pump performance. Long story short tho the static losses are your plumbing fittings and clean filter ratings, and the dynamic losses are based on the volume of water that is flowing. Now assuming a lot of things I'm going to guess at low speed you should expect about 20-30 gpm from the pump with a clean filter. On high speed you should see 50-60 gpm with a clean filter. With out knowing for sure all the fittings and static losses for your system I've given you my best guess for your system performance based on the information you have given. You would have to look at your cell spec sheet to figure out what you min flow is for operation.
    Chuck-
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    Re: Deciding between superflo and intelliflo

    Flow is a pain, I bought from amazon because if all else failed and my SWG did not have enough flow on low speed I could return it with no questions asked and get a different pump.. My SWG is a happy camper on low so no issues...
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
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    Re: Deciding between superflo and intelliflo

    Quote Originally Posted by CJadamec View Post
    So based on that curve a 1hp pump on low speed will do 0 gpm at 20 ft/head loss, and about 50 gpm at 5 ft/head. Fluid dynamics is fun because you have static and dynamic losses which effect pump performance. Long story short tho the static losses are your plumbing fittings and clean filter ratings, and the dynamic losses are based on the volume of water that is flowing. Now assuming a lot of things I'm going to guess at low speed you should expect about 20-30 gpm from the pump with a clean filter. On high speed you should see 50-60 gpm with a clean filter. With out knowing for sure all the fittings and static losses for your system I've given you my best guess for your system performance based on the information you have given. You would have to look at your cell spec sheet to figure out what you min flow is for operation.
    If I'm looking at the graph correctly wouldn't the low speed for a 1 or 1.5 hp be .5 hp or graph A?

    My SWG will generate chlorine at a min flow rate of 15 gpm. If I currently run my single speed 1hp for 8 hours a day at let's say a rate of 60 gpm, if I were to drop down to 20gpm per minute would I need to run the pump for at least 3 times the number of hours to generate the same amount of chlorine?

    Also I vacuum maybe 3 days every 2 -3 weeks. So it will be on low speed majority of the time.

    If that's the case, why not stick with a single speed pump?
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding between superflo and intelliflo

    Chlorine output is, within limits, independent of flow rate. If the water is flowing more slowly through the cell, then you're just creating more highly chlorinated water. So you would not necessarily have to increase your pump run time.
    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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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding between superflo and intelliflo

    No, the SWG will generate the same amount of chlorine no matter the flow. A 2 speed pump moves 1/2 the water volume on low speed as it does on high speed and uses 1/4 the electricity.
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