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Thread: Pump/Filter Upgrade Recommendations?

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    Pump/Filter Upgrade Recommendations?

    Hi All,
    Our current pump/filter setup has given great service since our 20x40 IG vinyl liner pool was installed in 1996.

    Current filter: Jacuzzi 27" Sand Filter; Current Pump: Jacuzzi 1HP Magnum (single speed)

    Its time to upgrade/replace current equipment -- the filter case has developed a small break at a seam that we've patched (inside & out) with marine epoxy...but its days are numbered. The pump is still tip-top, but would like to move to a multi/vari speed pump to save on electricity (we're paying about $0.20/kwhr).

    Some more details on the pool configuration & equipment:
    • 20x40 - 8' deep end/3.5' shallow end
      Two(2) Corner Skimmers; Main Drain in Deep End
      8' Stair w/2 Hydrojets
      2-Person Spa Seat w/4 Hydrojets
      Paramount Floor Circulation (2 floor jets)
      Two (2) Corner Returns
      Polaris 380 Cleaner w/Booster Pump
      GoldLine SWG (T-40)
      1-1/2" plumbing


    We're not tied to any particular type of filter (sand, DE, cartridge), but are looking to maximize water flow, keep maintenance at a minimum (as it is now ) and reduce electric consumption.

    Various threads mention the Intelliflo line of pumps as top-of-the-line from a cost/performance viewpoint -- but what type of filter would offer the best flow rates with an Intelliflo? This is a concern since we've got quite a bit of plumbing (head) that needs to be pushed and its 1-1/2".

    Also, the SWG is currently connected to the pump timer (intermatic timer/subpanel), so that needs to be considered also.

    Thanks in advance for recommendations and insights.

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Pump/Filter Upgrade Recommendations?

    From an efficiency standpoint, you can't beat the Intelliflo. There are two others on the market (Hayward Tristar and Jandy Stealth variable speed models), but they're newer and don't have quite the engineering behind the drive technology that the Intelliflo does. They cost more up front, but the difference in efficiency pays for itself over time. You will have an issue with the SWG since the Intelliflo requires 24 hour power, but you can rely on the flow switch or set the timer to power the SWG only when the pump is programmed to run.

    As for flow rates and maintenance, I'd say a cartridge filter would be the way to go. They offer the best flow rates for the filter size and if you get a big enough filter you'll only need to look at it 2-3 times per season. They also allow for more stable water chemistry since they don't require backwashing.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pump/Filter Upgrade Recommendations?

    Larger filters are more energy efficient, since the have less resistance to flow. A larger filter also doesn't need to be cleaned as often.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Pump/Filter Upgrade Recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by spishex
    From an efficiency standpoint, you can't beat the Intelliflo. There are two others on the market (Hayward Tristar and Jandy Stealth variable speed models), but they're newer and don't have quite the engineering behind the drive technology that the Intelliflo does. They cost more up front, but the difference in efficiency pays for itself over time. You will have an issue with the SWG since the Intelliflo requires 24 hour power, but you can rely on the flow switch or set the timer to power the SWG only when the pump is programmed to run.

    As for flow rates and maintenance, I'd say a cartridge filter would be the way to go. They offer the best flow rates for the filter size and if you get a big enough filter you'll only need to look at it 2-3 times per season. They also allow for more stable water chemistry since they don't require backwashing.
    Any disadvantages to a cartridge filter? Is the flow significantly above DE or sand filters --- in real-world use not according to manufacturer 'specs'.

    BTW....Our first 'pool' was a 12' diameter, 3' deep 'pool in a box' that we used a couple of years before installing the IG pool. That pool had a cartridge filter, albeit a very, very low-end filter/pump combo. But that experience turned me off of cartridge filters because it seemed to clog up fairly quickly thereby restricting flow.

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Pump/Filter Upgrade Recommendations?

    That filter was a different animal. The one you'd be getting would be a 200-400 sq ft unit, compared to maybe 10 sq ft on that old one. The flow through cartridge and DE filters is significantly higher than sand relative to the size of the tank. You could get a sand filter that will handle the same flow rates, but the tank will be twice the size.

    The only disadvantage of a cartridge filter is that when they're dirty, you have to break the whole thing down to clean it. If you're going to take care of the pool this is no problem (and that's why you're here, right? ). You might have to do it 2 times a year. But if you're working in clean > neglect > algae bloom > repeat cycles then it gets tiresome.

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    Re: Pump/Filter Upgrade Recommendations?

    That makes sense.....last summer was the *first* summer since the pool was installed in 1996 that we didn't have any algae blooms....credit given to this site and my SWG for having a full, clear season. So I'm hoping to be past the clean/bloom/clean cycle forever.

    So, to summarize -- a cartridge filter (of sufficient size) would provide the best flow rate with a variable flow/speed pump that's running at low speeds. That would ensure correct water turnover and also cost-savings on electricity. The SWG can be handled via current control panels by setting the SWG to run 'inside' of the pump's runtimes.

    Anyone with specific filter recommendations based on the pool parameters (size, returns, etc) listed in my original post?

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    Re: Pump/Filter Upgrade Recommendations?

    I stopped by the local Leslie's Pool store tonight to check out what filters and/or pumps they have on display. Not much, unfortunately. They do have a sale through May 25 of 10% off filters & pumps....plus I got a sale flyer with an additional 25% off coupon which they'd stack on top of the 10% off. So, 25% off their regular filter prices seems like a good deal and each filter is getting a multi-port valve included also.

    The sales gal seemed to be steering me to sand filters -- primarily out of 'convenience'. Only 1 problem -- the Hayward Pro Series is available in 24", 30", or 36" sizes. My current Jacuzzi is 27" with plumbing fairly close-in on 3 sides of the filter and the power panel/timers on the 4th side. The 30" could probably fit, but the 36" would need lots of re-plumbing.

    She also poo-poo'd any talk of variable or multi-speed pumps -- that made me think I should probably go someplace else or just order online to get the sale pricing.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pump/Filter Upgrade Recommendations?

    Each kind of filter has advantages and disadvantages, no one kind is preferred by everyone. You can read more about the three choices at Pool School.

    Leslie's doesn't usually have the best prices, even when they are having a major sale. Check out some of the major Internet retailers and see what the pump you are interested in is going for other places.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Pump/Filter Upgrade Recommendations?

    I'll just chime in to add that I love my cart filter, and after reading many posts regarding other types, I personally would only choose another cart, vs. sand or DE. Large cart filters are a totally different animal from the 'pool in a box' filters - they can't be compared.

    I don't mind cleaning my filter, it doesn't take long to hose off at all, and it's recommended to give it a good soak (I'll confess in 8 years I've only done that once) with a detergent solution, so some people have standbys to that there is no pump down time while soaking.

    I'm on my second cart, first one lasted 5 years and this is my 3rd with the replacement. I run my filter on low 24/7. I've never had an algae bloom.

    I can't help you with sizing though, all that stuff is over my head. I do know the bigger the cart, the less often you have to clean it. I clean mine about once or twice a season, and then when I close.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Pump/Filter Upgrade Recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Each kind of filter has advantages and disadvantages, no one kind is preferred by everyone. You can read more about the three choices at Pool School.

    Leslie's doesn't usually have the best prices, even when they are having a major sale. Check out some of the major Internet retailers and see what the pump you are interested in is going for other places.
    Thanks...already checked the Pool School page....as I mentioned in my original post, I was looking for info on best flow rates with a vari-speed pump. Given my limited real estate for a filter due to plumbing and power panels, flow was my main concern....as I will upgrade to vari speed/flow pump eventually.

    For pumps, I'll definately hit an online retailer....Leslie's doesn't carry the Pentair vari-speed/vari-flo pumps (I couldn't find them on the website and the sales gal said they were 'old school'...huh? )

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    Re: Pump/Filter Upgrade Recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    I'll just chime in to add that I love my cart filter, and after reading many posts regarding other types, I personally would only choose another cart, vs. sand or DE. Large cart filters are a totally different animal from the 'pool in a box' filters - they can't be compared.

    I don't mind cleaning my filter, it doesn't take long to hose off at all, and it's recommended to give it a good soak (I'll confess in 8 years I've only done that once) with a detergent solution, so some people have standbys to that there is no pump down time while soaking.

    I'm on my second cart, first one lasted 5 years and this is my 3rd with the replacement. I run my filter on low 24/7. I've never had an algae bloom.

    I can't help you with sizing though, all that stuff is over my head. I do know the bigger the cart, the less often you have to clean it. I clean mine about once or twice a season, and then when I close.
    Thanks.....That's says a lot about carts being 'forgiving'....I'll have to do some more research on carts today and see if pricing online is significantly better than I can get with the Leslie discounts this weekend.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pump/Filter Upgrade Recommendations?

    No filter type has any particular advantage in flow rate or resistance to flow. All of the different kinds are available is the complete range of sizes and design flow rates. Getting a filter with a design flow rate higher than what you plan to use is the most efficient, regardless of what kind of filter you get. As mentioned earlier, sand filters tend to be physically larger for the higher flow rate designs, but otherwise are just as good/efficient.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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