I installed one of these over July 4th, replacing the pump that came with the house and pool. Like most pumps, the easy-on/easy-off unions made it pretty easy to install, once I got comfortable with locating it in the pump room. I used mostly off the shelf 2" pipe and elbows, but did add one run of flexible PVC (another story: it's expensive and hard to find), so I have very few turns. I have 90* from the underground pipes to the pump, and another 90* from the output to the flex PVC, which runs to my filter (yes, a 4 cartridge filter, and that thing is WIDE).
My thoughts on the pump:
- Relatively easy to program,
- But it has no clock, so you
- need to program the start time based on current time.
- can delay the program (meaning do your programming at 3pm to start the cycle at 9 pm), but it's not as simple as a clock, and
- can NOT see the times it will start and end the cycles
- you can choose 1-3 steps in the programming, plus an override speed/time. I have it set up to start at 9pm, and run:
- 6 hours 1350 rpm (85W)
- 4 hours 1850 rpm (about 280W)
- 6 hours 600 rpm (35W)
- At start up it runs full blast for 3 minutes to prime. Then it runs for my programmed 16 hours.
- You can pick an over-ride (e.g., 2 hours at 3450) for things like vacuuming.
- Power consumption is really low with this set up, and it moves enough water that I haven't had any trouble. We have light bather load and use it primarily on the weekend, when I do usually kick on the step 2 (4 hours/1850).
My math is that the alternative (most likely a 3/4HP full rate Pentair Whisperflo) was 5 hours at 6 amps x 230V (=1320W) to move the same amount of water.
3/4 Hp pump = 5x1320= 6.9 kWh
VSP = 85*6 + 280*4 + 35*6 = 1.8 kWh
or approximately 5kWh/day gain. With PG&E here in CA, that's $2/day (yes, my top marginal electric rate is 39.9 cents, and yes, LEDs are being spread around the house)
I'm pushing this through a big cartridge filter, and it's only been a few months, but I'm pretty happy with the cost and set up. The filter shows positive pressure at prime and during the 4 hours at 1850, but is near zero PSI for the other 12 hours.
Tricks to set up:
I built treated wood stands for the pump and filter, to minimize the bends/elbows, and to get the equipment off the ground. The pump is only 2" off the concrete, but the filter is 2 feet up, so I don't have to bend over to open it.
I spent a lot of time doing layout, in my head, then on paper, and then with the actual equipment. I cut PVC - it's cheap - and tried force-fit layout before opening the PVC cement. I only re-cut one piece, so I didn't have any surprises there. I also had a back up plan (plumber to call) if things went wrong. And, in a worst case scenario, I had a sump pump, and the fittings to run at least some water through the old filter if it turned into a disaster.
Plan joints as far apart as possible - if you make a mistake, you can cut the plain pipe, and extend or shorten. If the elbows butt against one another, you might not be able to do that.
In the end, One lucky break, one Oh S! and one small leak.
Luck: The old PVC to copper joint was threaded, and came free with little trouble, and I could screw back into it.
Oh S!: I forgot to put a collar on the union, and glued. I had to cut and redo the area, but had left enough space to do it (see hint about joints far apart)
Leak: One threaded joint leaks about an ounce when the pump primes. I plan on opening this and putting more plumbers tape on the threads when I do the filter cleaning this fall, but the leak seems to be dissipating (precipitate build up?), so I may not ever do it.
Good luck to those of you doing a swap this fall/winter/spring. In truth, everything is running so smoothly in my pool that I don't check into TFP much - but feel free to ask questions about the pump, filter or installation and I'll reply when I see it. And if anything changes, I'll update this post or start a new one.