I apologize if this information is already in the forum somewhere, I don't seem to be hitting upon the correct combination of words to find it if so. We have been running an autopilot SWCG with a 1HP Pentair Superflo (single speed) pump. Pool is about 28-30,000 gallons and we use the SWCG brains to control the pump which we run (probably longer than needed) about 12 hours a day. I've always left the prime protection at 2 mins thinking it would be enough to save the pump if something happened and we lost prime somehow.
A couple of days before we returned from vacation, something happened and it appeared that the system lost prime. So when we got home, the system was down and had been down for a couple of days by the looks of it. I assumed it did what it was supposed to and shut down 2 mins after it registered lost prime. It sure works when I'm trying to pump down the water level! Whatever happened, upon regaining prime and restarting, the pump sounded slightly different as it was running than it had in the past. About 3 weeks later, it's making a much louder sound and has been shut down until we can close the pool for the season. Of course temps have shot up into the 80s this week..
Anyway. Our options as I see them - replace the motor, replace the bearings (which I assume are the problem), or replace the whole thing. I don't have the tools to replace the bearings, so we'd need to have someone else do that. Looking at motors (quick glance) appears that the motor would be over half the price of replacing with the same pump. The option that's getting the loudest vote is to just replace the whole thing and at some point, take this one somewhere to see if it's worth trying to rebuild and/or hang on to it for parts/back up.
My question is, if we do go the route of getting a new pump, is there a better pump to buy in our situation? From what I can tell, we wouldn't really gain the benefits of a variable speed pump while using the autopilot controller to handle pump off/on. I've also seen some concerns with the flow not being high enough on the 2 speed pumps to trigger the "flow ok" switch on the SWCG. Even though it doesn't appear that it saved my pump this time, I'm not completely sure what exactly happened and would like to continue to use the prime protection setting on the autopilot in case it would save the pump from burning up.
Is a single speed still our best option? Is there another pump you'd recommend? This is an unexpected expense, so wasn't really looking to sink a lot of dough into this, but want to make a smart decision and will spend more if it makes sense.