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Thread: VS pump/2 spd pump pros+cons

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    VS pump/2 spd pump pros+cons

    I'm absolutely loving our pool since going TFP and our recent addition of SWG. However, lately I've been wanting to lighten up our power bill since our Hayward super pump is a power hungry monster. We have a lot of trees by our pool that my wife hates since the squirrels use it for target practice with acorns and shells. Because of that and admitted neglect a couple times, we had to run our pump/filter a lot with a few lengthy Slams. Things are going great since going SWG now though.
    I'm trying to find out some generic pros and cons of 2spd VS. Variable speed pumps. We don't have a robot currently but it's inevitable.
    Most every post I've read on comparisons are very detailed to someone's specific wants or needs and I can't find much as to the benefits of one VS the other in a broad sense. Is it just adjustability and fine tuning rather than high/low?
    Thank you in advance.
    23,000 - 18x36 - IG Vinyl - Hayward Pro Series 244T Sand - 1HP Hayward Pump - Circupool RJ60 Plus - K2006

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    Chasmengr's Avatar
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    Re: VS pump/2 spd pump pros+cons

    VS motor controllers (e.g., pumps) were developed to match the needs of a varying flow demand (e.g. 1} domestic water systems in a high rise hotels where faucets and such are continuously and randomly turned on and off and 2} heating & cooling systems where demand is constantly changing). Before VS the energy provided by constant speed pumps was designed to accommodate the peak demand, and the extra energy was wasted. Some of those pumps were huge (e.g., 75HP), so saving energy was well worth the R&D for developing VS. Over decades the technology has trickled down to tiny motors like residential-pool pumps.

    IMHO (being a pool newbie, but experienced in pumps), VS pumping for a residential pool is serious overkill; two speeds are perfect. I vacuum on high speed, but circulate (with timer) on low speed.

    Perhaps someone with more pool experience will correct me, but I can think of absolutely no reason for a VS pump on a residential pool; they are just a plaything with more electronics to fail.

    PS: I have a neither a SWCG nor heater; maybe VS has application there.
    Chas & Cheryl (first-time, second-year pool owners)
    Radiant Metric Oval AGP 16'x32'x52"; Pentair: Clean&Clear 150 Cartridge, OptiFlo 1.5 Hp 2-spd, and 320C Feeder (all mounted below water level); Taylor K-2006 & SpeedStir; Maytronics Dolphin E10 (aka Einstein)
    installation pics (2015-2016)

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    Re: VS pump/2 spd pump pros+cons

    Thank you for your help. I was thinking along the same lines as what you describe. I work in a major chemical plant and have pumps exactly as you describe, so I understand the uses in those applications. It's just tough to apply that to needs VS. Wants in a residential sense. I guess the 2spd should serve me well enough. Still on the fence about the purchase until I learn some more.
    Thanks again.
    23,000 - 18x36 - IG Vinyl - Hayward Pro Series 244T Sand - 1HP Hayward Pump - Circupool RJ60 Plus - K2006

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    Re: VS pump/2 spd pump pros+cons

    I've switched from a Single speed pump (about to die - very hot to touch, had to kick start at opening this spring) to 2sp this past spring (Power ON/OFF using one timer & Hi / Low speed on another timer).
    My daughter teaches swimming June to Aug 8 hrs a day 4 days / week (avg 20-30 kids / day in the pool...sounds bad now I've said it out loud)

    We only have a 5mth pool season here so my payback calculations are for 1/2 a yr at most. Electrical rates here vary by hour thru the day (M-F 3 rate periods Hi/Med/Low and Sat/Sun are Low rate 24hr). BTW rates went up 9% this June 2016...ouch

    I bought the 2sp since it was ~$700-$800 vs VS at $1400 - $1600 (depending on brand) and ~$400 for a new 1 speed including wet end. I tried to target 3-4 turnover per day to compare to last years filtering schedule.

    I run at high to mix chems/skim surface for 2 hrs in the early am and 2 hrs in the evening vac / mix chems if needed. (during low rates)

    During the day I run at low speed to filter (read my sand filter works best when the water moves slower thru it) also pump uses 1/3 amps to move 1/2 the vol water. During the peak billing time period.
    Based on a complex spread sheet of calculation my payback vs using the 1SP pump is 1 season. 5-6mths. for the cost delta

    Based on paper calculations i should use less power this year and keep the pool clean. Only the electic bills will tell by the fall,

    My pool is crystal clear, TPF sparkley and smells like water.
    Hope this helps
    30yr old 16 x 32 IG Oval vinyl liner + 20,400 Gal + 1.5HP 2sp Sta-rite Dyna Pro (2 mech timers - Spd & ON/OFF) + Stenner CL pump & Digital timer + Jaccuzi sand filter + Kreepy Krawly + Hayward heater + 5 month season + TF100 test kit + 12% Cl2 + HCl + NaHCO3

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    Re: VS pump/2 spd pump pros+cons

    I have a single speed Pentair 1.5 hp. I hope it craps out so I can get either the Pentair VS Superflo for around 650.00 or the ecopump Ep 6 for around 850.00. I have narrowed down to those two. Just remember, your SWG can't be powered on when there is no flow. There is a chance it might explode. There are post on here about how folks handle that situation. Most put SWG on its on timer and it runs only when pump is running. That single speed is costly to run. It will pay for itself in 2-3 years around here.

    18x36 Rectangle, 8ft deep end, 26k gallons, vinyl liner, Intellichlor IC40 Chlorinator, 1.5 HP Superflo Pump, Hayward Tigershark QC Robotic Cleaner

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: VS pump/2 spd pump pros+cons

    A 2 speed pump will move 1/2 the water and use 1/4k of the electricity on low as it does on high. VS pumps are good for pools with waterfalls, solar panels, heaters, SWGs and other things where being able to dial in the right flow is fairly important and convenient. I run my VS pump at 1100 rpm to filter, skim and make chlorine with the SWG. We also have lots of trees and run the pump 24x7 in spring and fall to skim all the tree stuff before it sinks. The pump uses 150 watts at 1100 rpm. At 10.25c/kWh I can run the pump 24x7 for less than 12 bucks a month.

    The 342001 Pentair Superflo VS PUMP would be good. Sunplay and INYO Pools would be glad to sell you one.
    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: VS pump/2 spd pump pros+cons

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    A 2 speed pump will move 1/2 the water and use 1/4k of the electricity on low as it does on high. VS pumps are good for pools with waterfalls, solar panels, heaters, SWGs and other things where being able to dial in the right flow is fairly important and convenient. I run my VS pump at 1100 rpm to filter, skim and make chlorine with the SWG. We also have lots of trees and run the pump 24x7 in spring and fall to skim all the tree stuff before it sinks. The pump uses 150 watts at 1100 rpm. At 10.25c/kWh I can run the pump 24x7 for less than 12 bucks a month.

    The 342001 Pentair Superflo VS PUMP would be good. Sunplay and INYO Pools would be glad to sell you one.
    Dang, 12 bucks a month. I run mine 14 hours a day and I bet it cost me around 45.00 a month. I can't wait til mine craps out.

    18x36 Rectangle, 8ft deep end, 26k gallons, vinyl liner, Intellichlor IC40 Chlorinator, 1.5 HP Superflo Pump, Hayward Tigershark QC Robotic Cleaner

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    Re: VS pump/2 spd pump pros+cons

    I cant speak for the 2 speed pool pumps but when I bought my house it had a brand new 1.5 hp Pentair whisperflow. I used between 13 and 14 kw a day but I wasn't real happy with water clarity. I probly should have ran it even longer. I ran it from Feb to the middle of June contemplating if it was worth the money to put the vs in. I bought it and put it in myself so that kept the cost down a bit. I run it 24hr a day and its under 6 kw a day. 2hr high speed and the rest at 800 rpm and my high speed is not the max rpm. my only regret was not buying it sooner. I did use an amp meter to check what the actual draw of both pumps was. I do ac and solar for a living and can tell you that variable speed ac compressors are much more efficient than 2 stage however they are also more expensive. They are not always worth it to put in vs for ac but for a pool pump I think they are. I can say my pool was night and day difference within a week. I know it was just from the extra run time of the pump and you can do that with a 2 speed as well but I don't think you can run 24 hrs a day as cheaply with a 2 speed. just my 2 cents
    aprox 18k in ground

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    Re: VS pump/2 spd pump pros+cons

    I really appreciate all the help. Rates here average out to about 9 based off my last bill. It not bad but it sure hurts to run the pump as much as I'd like sometimes. The VS sounds like the way to go for sure. From what I've read about them, since they are always wired hot, I was planning on just wiring my Swg to the timer alone to come on when needed(while pump is on of course).
    As far as being concerned with the SWG burning up with no flow... I may be wrong but I don't think it's a problem the way mine is configured? Circupool has a flow switch that is right after my cell and has a 60 sec delay before it tries to generate after its turned on. No flow=No generate. Again, maybe I'm thinking wrong and if so that may require more thought on how to wire them up more failsafe. Thank you for that warning.
    23,000 - 18x36 - IG Vinyl - Hayward Pro Series 244T Sand - 1HP Hayward Pump - Circupool RJ60 Plus - K2006

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    Re: VS pump/2 spd pump pros+cons

    My buddy has a new pool with a VS pump, and I have a new pool with a Jandy Stealth two speed pump. He wishes he had saved the money and got a two speed, since he pretty much runs it in two speeds anyway. I run mine right now for 12 hours during the day on high, and then low speed at night, all programmed through my iAqualink. Mostly it's on high during the day to run the waterfall and bubblers. Otherwise I might reverse that cycle. Seems to work just fine. I don't know what I would do different with a VS pump, I'd still be running it higher during the day, and lower at night.
    Construction began 5/2016. IGF pool. 41' x 21'. Jandy DEV60, Jandy 2hp 2sp pump, Polaris 280 Black Max, Rainbow 320 chlorinator, Jandy JXI 400, Jandy iAqualink, Jandy LED's. 2'x2'x10' rock weeping wall. Dive rock. Tile/Plaster: NPT Silverstone AquaMarine Decking: Stained Stamped Concrete/Stonescapes Aqua Blue with glass beads and abalone. http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-Fort-Worth-TX

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    Re: VS pump/2 spd pump pros+cons

    Thats the part I wasn't sure of. I assume that the real benefit of VS over a 2spd is the fact that you can 'tune' the pump to your pool/setup/and equipment? Again, It's possible I'm way off here and not sure if the tunability would be more beneficial to me than 2spd with my current setup(which is pretty basic).
    23,000 - 18x36 - IG Vinyl - Hayward Pro Series 244T Sand - 1HP Hayward Pump - Circupool RJ60 Plus - K2006

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    Re: VS pump/2 spd pump pros+cons

    Quote Originally Posted by the77boudreau View Post
    Thats the part I wasn't sure of. I assume that the real benefit of VS over a 2spd is the fact that you can 'tune' the pump to your pool/setup/and equipment? Again, It's possible I'm way off here and not sure if the tunability would be more beneficial to me than 2spd with my current setup(which is pretty basic).
    Agree with you can tune a VS to your own needs.
    I basically use 3 speeds,
    Low speed @ 1400rpm(10% power usage from old superpump) for 20 hrs,
    Mid @ 2240(25% of superpump's power usage) for 4 hr's - this speed makes just enough pressure to kick in the heater
    I use WOT 3000RPM for back-washing & Vacuuming
    I bought my VS pump for under $700 and our power company gave us a $450 rebate, so it was a no-brainer
    IG Tear Drop, Dark Gray Gunite , 27,000 gallons -Age 50+-years, very old Hayward Split Egg Sand Filter with side mount Multi-port- Hayward SP2600VSP Pump- Hayward chlorine feed (not used since finding TFP) - Laars 315K BTU Oil heater- LoopLoc Safety cover- AquaBot RAPIDS 4WD- TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speedstir- 390 Gal Hot Springs Spa Envoy installed May 2017

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    Re: VS pump/2 spd pump pros+cons

    Quote Originally Posted by the77boudreau View Post
    Thats the part I wasn't sure of. I assume that the real benefit of VS over a 2spd is the fact that you can 'tune' the pump to your pool/setup/and equipment? Again, It's possible I'm way off here and not sure if the tunability would be more beneficial to me than 2spd with my current setup(which is pretty basic).
    That might be beneficial as low speed on my pump doesn't send enough water through to run the water fall, bubblers and return. High speed runs everything ok. I have a separate booster pump for my cleaner. I think my pump might be a bit under sized, so the ability to dial it back would not be that useful.

    But, if it were a 3HP pump, and I had items that required substantially more flow than I have now, but only for intermittent periods, I think I could take advantage of that variable speed capability. Like everything, I guess it depends on your application.
    Construction began 5/2016. IGF pool. 41' x 21'. Jandy DEV60, Jandy 2hp 2sp pump, Polaris 280 Black Max, Rainbow 320 chlorinator, Jandy JXI 400, Jandy iAqualink, Jandy LED's. 2'x2'x10' rock weeping wall. Dive rock. Tile/Plaster: NPT Silverstone AquaMarine Decking: Stained Stamped Concrete/Stonescapes Aqua Blue with glass beads and abalone. http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-Fort-Worth-TX

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: VS pump/2 spd pump pros+cons

    That's right, the VS pump allows you to dial in the flow rate needed to a SWG or heater. We've seen folks with 2 speed pumps that don't provide sufficient flow for an SWG on low.

    My VS pump is wired to the breaker and runs on its internal controller and my SWG is wired to a time clock. It is important to check that the times are in sync from time to time and I always leave at least 30 minutes of pump run time before and after the SWG on time. Having SWGs powered up with no pump is bad. They can explode, it is rare but it happens to a few folks every year.
    TFP Moderator
    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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    EVChargeGuy's Avatar
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    Re: VS pump/2 spd pump pros+cons

    the77boudreau, Who is your power company?, there are some rebate's available from some La power companies
    IG Tear Drop, Dark Gray Gunite , 27,000 gallons -Age 50+-years, very old Hayward Split Egg Sand Filter with side mount Multi-port- Hayward SP2600VSP Pump- Hayward chlorine feed (not used since finding TFP) - Laars 315K BTU Oil heater- LoopLoc Safety cover- AquaBot RAPIDS 4WD- TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speedstir- 390 Gal Hot Springs Spa Envoy installed May 2017

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    EVChargeGuy's Avatar
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    Re: VS pump/2 spd pump pros+cons

    the77boudreau, Who is your power company?, there are some rebate's available from some La power companies
    Pool Pumps | energysmartnola.info
    Energy Efficiency Programs | Entergy Louisiana
    https://www.cleco.com/documents/1018...1-35a9d4f1c407
    IG Tear Drop, Dark Gray Gunite , 27,000 gallons -Age 50+-years, very old Hayward Split Egg Sand Filter with side mount Multi-port- Hayward SP2600VSP Pump- Hayward chlorine feed (not used since finding TFP) - Laars 315K BTU Oil heater- LoopLoc Safety cover- AquaBot RAPIDS 4WD- TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speedstir- 390 Gal Hot Springs Spa Envoy installed May 2017

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: VS pump/2 spd pump pros+cons

    Quote Originally Posted by jbesaltwaterpool View Post
    Dang, 12 bucks a month. I run mine 14 hours a day and I bet it cost me around 45.00 a month. I can't wait til mine craps out.
    If you just ran your pump for 4 hours a day, you would pay about 12 bucks a month.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: VS pump/2 spd pump pros+cons

    Unfortunately I don't think Beauregard electric has any rebates. I checked the other day.

    I'm going to do some double checking on my system(just bought house last year w/pool) as far as size and potential saving. Plus an automated cleaner of some sort is in the near future.

    I really appreciate all the help and advice everyone has offered.
    23,000 - 18x36 - IG Vinyl - Hayward Pro Series 244T Sand - 1HP Hayward Pump - Circupool RJ60 Plus - K2006

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: VS pump/2 spd pump pros+cons

    I think the characterization that variable speed pumps are somehow unreliable or "it's just one more thing to break" is really no longer valid. That sentiment may have been true in the early years of VS pumps, but I just don't see evidence of that nowadays (please link to reliability studies if there are any?). I have had my VS pump running for over 4 years straight (my pool is open all year round) and in that entire time it has never given me a single issue. They can potentially get zapped by lightening storms BUT that is why you install a surge protector at the panel (cost is about ~$100 and you can DIY it in under an hour).

    In a new pool installation, even a simpler pool with few features, a variable speed is the way to go. The incremental cost of a VS pump in relation to a full pool build is in the noise (savings of a few hundred bucks in a $50k build). They offer immense flexibility in dialing in optimal pump speeds and most of the high end models come with on-board controls that allow for programming multiple schedules and speeds; pairing it with an automation panel is also a good idea. The argument in favor of VS pumps only gets stronger as the complexity of the pool increases (SWCG's, heaters, water features, etc...). With many electric utilities offering modest rebates, even a VS installation on an existing pool can be economical.

    As far as an existing pool goes, if one truly wants to save money, then the cheapest option is to simply exchange a single-speed motor on an existing pump with a 2-speed motor (assuming the wet-end is in good working condition). As long as most of the pool functions can be run on low speed, the savings will be immediate and likely allow the pool owner to recover the full cost of the motor swap in a few season.
    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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    Chasmengr's Avatar
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    Re: VS pump/2 spd pump pros+cons

    Thank you VS users. I now see excellent uses for VS pumping on residential pools
    Chas & Cheryl (first-time, second-year pool owners)
    Radiant Metric Oval AGP 16'x32'x52"; Pentair: Clean&Clear 150 Cartridge, OptiFlo 1.5 Hp 2-spd, and 320C Feeder (all mounted below water level); Taylor K-2006 & SpeedStir; Maytronics Dolphin E10 (aka Einstein)
    installation pics (2015-2016)

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