I finally got my TriStar variable speed pump and controller installed and running. I am not sure how much energy it might save me or how to try and calculate it, guess I'll have to wait for the bill that reflects when it was installed.
Things I like
1) It's quiet, it's real quiet. It sounds like the fan in the controller is louder when the pump is running at 50%. I have a simple setup and shouldn't need to go over 50%
2) it's quiet
3) It has 6 presets that I can customize their run times and customize the low and high speed range. I.E. P1 can be set to run for 1 hour Low range can be set to 0% and high can be set to 100%. The range can be adjusted in 5% increments. When P1 is running I can adjust the speed if I chose anywhere between the low and high limits that have been set
4) The controller has a built in timer. You don't have to use it. You set the on and off time of the timer then change another setting to activate it
5) The controller has what they call a sequencer, the sequencer runs when the timer is activated. I can program the sequencer with multiple steps and various run times for each step within the run time of the timer. So, timer is configured and activated to run 8AM to 8PM, the sequencer is programmed to run P1 (at P1's programmed flow rate) for 3 hours, the next step in the sequence can be set to stop the pump for 3 hours, the next step in the sequence can be set to run P2 (at P2's programmed flow rate) for 3 hours and the next step in the sequence can be set to P5 (at P5's programmed flow rate) for 3 hours then the timer shuts the pump off.
Things I didn't like
1) The manual led me to think the controller had not been through its basic setup, set language, and prime height. Well it had, so when I applied power it went straight to prime mode then defaulted to P2. I had to reset the unit so I could set the proper prime mode for my setup
2) It takes some time to get familiar with navigating and programming of the menus
3) It will take some thought to decide how you want to configure the presets to support whatever tasks you need to perform, vacuum, water feature, backwash etc.
4) The preset buttons already have descriptions on them for whatever task it is "supposed" to be for. You would need to make and keep a list close by if the tasks you program the preset for do not match the presets descriptions provided by Hayward
5) You can only have one sequence programmed at a time. If I were able to get away with lower flow rates in the winter than in the summer, I will need to re-program my sequencer for winter and summer assuming I am trying to maximize my savings for each season
6) It goes through the prime process every time it turns on
7) The presets are programmed all the same from the factory
So far I like the pump. It does require some thought to be able to accommodate your needs and eliminate the need of you going to the control box to manually adjust flow speeds. Another decision I need to make is about my kreepy krauly. The flow at the returns is stronger (for the same run speed) when the vacuum is not connected (obviously since I eliminated an additional 30' of hose) possibly allowing me to filter with even lower speeds but requiring a change in my vacuuming habits (or lack thereof ). I also have yet to put my flow meter on it to see what my rates at the different run speeds are. Hope I did not confuse the heck out of everyone.