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Thread: Booster pump bearings dying - Repair, Replace, Upgrade?

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    Booster pump bearings dying - Repair, Replace, Upgrade?

    After about a year in my new (to me) house, my booster pump motor bearings are giving out. The booster pump drives a Polaris 280.

    My electricity costs are quite high for the pool; about $200/month, and I'd like to bring them down.

    I've got a 2 HP filter pump, which the pool guy says is going through a much too small cartridge filter. The pressure gauge shows 25 to 30 PSI while the filter pump is running. The electric meter shows about 2KW being used, going up to 3.5KW when the booster pump is also on.

    I have FAFCO solar panels on a one story house, approximately 12 feet high.

    The spa is about 18" above the pool, and it has a waterfall about 6' wide spilling into the pool while filtering.

    There is one skimmer with three returns in the pool and one in the spa. I'm not sure whether all the water going to the filter comes from the skimmer. There is something in the deep end that might be a main drain.

    I also have 2.8KW of PV solar electric panels, so I'm on E6 time of use billing.

    I have a 6 or 7 year old Jandy RS6 controller.

    My pool maintenance guy doesn't like like Jandy, although he didn't say why. He prefers Pentair. When I told him I would like to reduce my power usage, he suggested getting a variable speed pump, which he thought might be able to run the Polaris without booster, but he wasn't sure.

    The Jandy RS manual indicates that it can do 2 speed operation. From what I've seen online, the Pentair variable speed pumps can only be controlled by Pentair controllers. I would not like to spend good money replacing the Jandy controller if it's not necessary.

    If going to a variable speed pump would save me significant electricity charges, then waiting to swap the filter pump doesn't make sense.

    The options I've thought of are:

    Abandon the booster pump and Polaris and buy a robot. Perhaps saves energy costs if robot is less power hungry than the booster pump.

    Replace the bearings in the booster motor.

    Replace the booster motor. This was the initial suggestion of the pool guy.

    Upgrade to a variable speed pump if it can provide solar heating at a lower energy cost than the current pump. I'm not sure what the total costs of this would be. That depends on whether I need a new controller and whether I still need a booster pump.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated,


  2. Back To Top    #2
    Casey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    SW PA

    Re: Booster pump bearings dying - Repair, Replace, Upgrade?


    Welcome to TFP. I read your thread and then, coincidently went to the Pumping Station (the forum below this one) and saw this thread. Some good info in there, that could maybe help you.

    Someone with more knowledge on pumps should be along shortly to help you though. Hang in there.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Houston, Texas

    Re: Booster pump bearings dying - Repair, Replace, Upgrade?

    the experts will also need to know the size of your pool (in gallons, plus the shape) and filter (size in square feet should be printed on the filter somewhere) to help you choose the right pump!
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SouthWest Alabama

    Re: Booster pump bearings dying - Repair, Replace, Upgrade?

    Here's what I'd consider if I were in your shoes.

    If buying a variable speed pump is going to require that you buy a new controller, I'd take a hard look at a 2-speed pump. I can't say whether a VS pump will run your cleaner but if a 2hp won't in it's current configuration then a 2hp VS won't either. However, if reconfiguring the plumbing will allow a VS to run your cleaner then a single or 2-speed of the same hp will also. The only thing magic about a VS pump is that in cases where the low speed on a 2-speed pump isn't quite enough to run the system (i.e. solar) and the high speed is wasting energy, then the VS can be adjusted to a speed that runs the system most efficiently. Is that worth buying a new pump and controller? Only you can answer that.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Booster pump bearings dying - Repair, Replace, Upgrade?


    If this was my pool (and mine is very similar to yours in Fafco panels, raised spa, Jandy controller, etc.), here is what I would do (and what I have done, and I am in San Diego with high electric rates also!): I would re-plumb (back at the equipment) my cleaner to a suction side cleaner (check the pipe diameter to see if this is possible, but it usually is) so that it would run off of the circ pump without extra pump requirements or excessive (2 HP) pump size/electric consumption. I would buy a variable speed pump (I like the Hybrid ( and have it on my pool) and install it. In the case of the Hybrid, look at the X2 for your pool. I am using a Poolvergnugen 2 wheel suction side cleaner and returning water back with 4 return lines, through my solar and running a large waterfall with my X2, and using right at 2 amps for everything. Your Jandy controller will run all of this just fine.

    Pentair makes great products, and I use a lot of them. I just think that their pump (IntelliFlo) is a little difficult to work with, and it is way louder than the Hybrid! The Hybrid is programmable without a controller as well (you can control if at the VFD unit that is included). Disclosure: I don not work for Hybrid, but I am happy with their product!

    That's my .02! Hope it helps!!

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Booster pump bearings dying - Repair, Replace, Upgrade?

    Thanks for the input!

    My pool is pretty irregular, you can see it here:

    It's about 35' by 20', with a 9' deep end. My rough estimate is 20,000 gallons. I'll check tonight to see what the filter size is. The canister is about 2' high by 18" in diameter. The pool guy was indicating that a properly sized filter would be about 4' high.

    Hybrid's website indicates that they only service Southern California.

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    Re: Booster pump bearings dying - Repair, Replace, Upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by sailorfred
    Thanks for the input

    Hybrid's website indicates that they only service Southern California.
    If you are interested, give them a call. They will take care of you (tell them I sent you, via TFP!).

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Booster pump bearings dying - Repair, Replace, Upgrade?

    Thanks guys, the filter is a STA-RITE PLM150.

    Replacing the Polaris 280 booster pump would be ~$300 with $140 labor for my pool guy to do the job.

    I'm thinking I could buy an Aquabot T-Jet for about $600, and sell the Polaris, for a total expenditure less than $100 under the cost of repairing the booster pump. My energy costs for cleaning should go down by about $12/month.

    Any thoughts on this?

    I'd like to do more research on the variable speed pump situation before jumping on that, since it's not an emergency.


  9. Back To Top    #9

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    the woodlands, tx

    Re: Booster pump bearings dying - Repair, Replace, Upgrade?

    I love a Polaris 280.
    I'd replace the booster pump if it was at my house squealing.

    See ya,

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