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Thread: Old Single Speed pump finally kicked the bucket. Upgrade to 2 speed or VS?

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    matj6876's Avatar
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    Old Single Speed pump finally kicked the bucket. Upgrade to 2 speed or VS?

    Hi folks

    I got back from vacation yesterday to find out that my old Century A.O. Smith B855 2 HP pump motor had made its way to the big 'ole pump-motor home in the sky. Completely dead!

    Like many of the others who post here I have done some reading and understand that when such a "pump-tragedy" occurs it may be time to look at upgrading the pump from single speed to two speed or even variable speed. There are a few posts here that talk to similar situations to mine but none quite cover everything I was hoping to find out. So I figured I'd ask directly. Before I do, here's a list (and pic) of the equipment right now:
    • 27K gal IG plaster,
    • Pentair FNS Plus 60 DE Filter,
    • Pentair Intellichlor IC40 SWCG,
    • Century A.O. Smith B855 2 HP pump motor (RIP) powering Pentair Whisperflo pump
    • Century A.O. Smith B625 3/4 HP pump motor powering goodness knows what booster pump that's hooked up to the Polaris 280 pressure side cleaner


    Pool Equipment_small.jpg

    Pool control is dated:
    • Intermatic PB314E 240-Volt Electric Timer Mechanism for the main pump
    • Intermatic T104R3 240-Volt Mechanical Switch for the booster pump


    pool control_small.jpg

    With that little intro out of the way here are the questions:
    • One speed, Two Speed or Variable Speed?
    • Given the recommendation above, would I also have to replace the pump, or just the motor?
    • At some point in the future I do want to upgrade the control for the pool to something a little more "connected home" and a little less "Dr Frankenstein's lab" (So I could see pool equipment status on my smart phone when I am traveling,for example!). Given that I am mainly a Pentair pool right now would it make sense to go with a Pentair pump?


    Any and all advice warmly welcomed at this point. Thanks in advance.

    Cheers
    MattJ
    My Pool: 27K gal IG plaster, Pentair FNS Plus DE Filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWCG, Polaris 280 Cleaner

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    Re: Old Single Speed pump finally kicked the bucket. Upgrade to 2 speed or VS?

    One speed - cheapest
    Variable speed - most expensive to purchase, how ever you may make that up in operation costs over long term.
    Two speed - Price is inbetween the other 2, If your electric rates are low enough , it might be your best choice

    Usually in a case like this - you could probably just replace the motor with a go-kit / and or new shaft seals. Or you could just get a new pump.
    16x32 IG 19,000 gallons, Pentair 1.5 hp Energy Efficient Superflo pump (348024),vinyl liner, Chlorine dispenser, Hayward S-244T sand filter

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    Re: Old Single Speed pump finally kicked the bucket. Upgrade to 2 speed or VS?

    Why does it appear that both the suction and the returns to the pool appear to be all connected together when looking at the plumbing in front of the pump and counting to the left 5 black jandy valves inline creating some type of manifold, does one off those valves actually separate the returns and suction? i'm curious.

    Why do you have a 2hp motor? without seeing everything, i can only ask you, is there a spa attached? or is the water feature a massive structure? is the pool 1000' away from the pump or something?

    That's not the original motor obviously, which is here nor there, and unless you have a yes to any of the questions i asked, then there is no need at all to have a 2 hp motor, the money in electricity alone that size motor requires monthly to run is double that of a single 1hp motor, which is the normal size usually found on most pools i encounter in az,

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    Re: Old Single Speed pump finally kicked the bucket. Upgrade to 2 speed or VS?

    If it was me - I'd go either 1 HP 2 speed Whisperflo or a variable speed new pump.
    16x32 IG 19,000 gallons, Pentair 1.5 hp Energy Efficient Superflo pump (348024),vinyl liner, Chlorine dispenser, Hayward S-244T sand filter

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    matj6876's Avatar
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    Re: Old Single Speed pump finally kicked the bucket. Upgrade to 2 speed or VS?

    Thanks all.

    Warranty guy just showed and took a lot of the complexity out of this. The pump is completely toast but I get a like for like replacement with no options. I am still working on them to let me make a change.

    In answer to all of your questions the pool is 11 years old and I've only had it for the last 2. So in most cases "I don't know why" however, here's what I can tell you:

    Why does it appear that both the suction and the returns to the pool appear to be all connected together when looking at the plumbing in front of the pump and counting to the left 5 black jandy valves inline creating some type of manifold, does one off those valves actually separate the returns and suction?
    Erm - I believe so. Here's a side-on picture.
    Pool Plumbing_small.jpg
    My thoughts on my plumbing:
    • Valve 1 (return) for water feature. I suspect a leak and have this turned off.
    • Valve 2 (return) serves no value as far as I can tell given valves 1 & 3. I leave it open. I expect it had some use before the booster pump was installed?
    • Valve 3 (return... and suction?) This valve terrifies me. As far as I can tell, if I open this valve I join the suction and return lines together. I have NEVER moved this valve. Period!
    • Valves 4 & 5 (suction). Balance between 2 skimmers and main drain.


    Why do you have a 2hp motor?
    I really don't know. The pool is basically level with the equipment. There is no Spa. The water feature, when it is on, is just a couple of small 18" waterfalls.
    Sounds like I could step down to a 1HP and save some cash?

    Thanks for all the advice.
    My Pool: 27K gal IG plaster, Pentair FNS Plus DE Filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWCG, Polaris 280 Cleaner

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    matj6876's Avatar
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    Re: Old Single Speed pump finally kicked the bucket. Upgrade to 2 speed or VS?

    Just to close this out in case anyone stumbles upon this in the future and is (for some bizarre reason) curious.

    I managed to talk the warranty company into a 2 speed upgrade of exactly the same make of pump as I had last time.
    Currently it's wired as a 1 speed (High) as I don't have the control for 2 speed. That's the next job.

    Thanks again for the support. Cheers MattJ
    My Pool: 27K gal IG plaster, Pentair FNS Plus DE Filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWCG, Polaris 280 Cleaner

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Old Single Speed pump finally kicked the bucket. Upgrade to 2 speed or VS?

    It is pretty easy to wire in a switch. A home 3 way light switch works well and is easily made weather proof.
    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
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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