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Thread: Intelliflo VF pump running high

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    Intelliflo VF pump running high

    Hi everyone,

    15k gal pool, Intelliflo VF pump, and Purex SMBW 4000 series DE filter. I backwashed a couple days ago....

    My VF pump is running at 1100 watts to push 16gpm...seems extremely high. The filter is reading about 30 psi. I just backwashed, and I know it couldn't have clogged up already. Any ideas? The filter basket seems fairly full of water with some big bubbles in the lid. It's really loud too...help!
    ~13X42 irregular sized 17k gallon IG pool, with jacuzzi. Pentair Intelliflo VF pump, Purex Triton DE filter (48 sqft), Pentair heater. BBB method, although I'm really only good at one B (bleach).

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    Re: Intelliflo VF pump running high

    Ok, I backwashed again, filter went to 10psi, pump to 1900 rpm, 16gpm, and 400watts, and I had already bled the filter air until water streamed out. Pump read filter at 0%. After 20 mins, the filter was at 13psi, 2100rpm, 16gpm, and 520watts and 13%. I opened up the filter valve and there was more air that I bled out again. Rpm was back down to 2000, 450watts, and 10psi, and pump said the filter was at 6%.

    I don't get why this is happening...could my pool water level be low and air is getting in?
    ~13X42 irregular sized 17k gallon IG pool, with jacuzzi. Pentair Intelliflo VF pump, Purex Triton DE filter (48 sqft), Pentair heater. BBB method, although I'm really only good at one B (bleach).

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    Re: Intelliflo VF pump running high

    Ugh, another update....

    Just checked again...running at 600W, filter shows 15psi, pump shows filter at 26%. I opened the air valve and water shot out, so it's not an air issue. I just don't get this!
    ~13X42 irregular sized 17k gallon IG pool, with jacuzzi. Pentair Intelliflo VF pump, Purex Triton DE filter (48 sqft), Pentair heater. BBB method, although I'm really only good at one B (bleach).

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Intelliflo VF pump running high

    It sounds like you are getting air into the system that is causing the pump to sometimes partially lose prime. Check that the lid of the pump strainer basket has a clean seal and is firmly attached. Also look at the skimmers. If there is a vortex in the skimmer basket, it might be drawing in air. Usually a vortex can be eliminated by raising the water level, though occasionally it is caused by a stuck skimmer weir door.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Intelliflo VF pump running high

    Do you by any chance use a suction cleaner. I'm wondering if maybe something is partially lodged in your suction pipes. Just wondering, not saying that's what's going on.

    Is the pump pot basket clean. My VF sometimes complains when there is only a little stuff in the basket and filter pressure is beginning to rise due to filter filling up.

    Are you shocking?

    My VF is extremely sensitive. If my 80 sq ft filter, starting clean psi 3, raises up 6 psi (to 9 psi), the pump has already started alerting me to backwash, and filter percentage reading at pump is getting near 100%. I use cellulose, which filters finer than DE, and have EXTREME amounts of "cementous" fine dust so I can only get about 7-10 days between filter clean out, using the suction side cleaner 2-4 hours a day.

    I could, also, be something going on in the filter. When you backwashed what percentage of DE did you add back to the filter? Using DE (or other media) you don't put full amount in after backwashing because all of the media doesn't come out with a backwash.

    Do you know the condition of your filter grids and manifold?

    What did the pump normally run at, after backwash and recharge of media, before this issue stared?

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Intelliflo VF pump running high

    One thing to try is running the gpm lower to see what happens. Here's how I do it quickly and easily (I don't have automation so I do all my settings at pump console): In pool data enter a smaller amount for pool volume, say 10K instead of 15 K. That will decrease the flow and may give you an idea if you are trying to run too much volume of water through you suction side ports at pool.

    What suction side ports do you have? skimmer(s) drains(s)

    Are you sure all of the valves for suction AND pressure (what goes back to pool) are fully open?

    Do you have a multi-valve on your filter or push pull? Cause could be there too; maybe not a malfunction but perhaps not in correct positions.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Intelliflo VF pump running high

    Hey guys, thanks for the advice. GG said to check the grids...well, they were caked with alot of mud and algae. So I pulled them out, hosed them down, cleaned out the filter can, and put it all back together. The results?

    175W, 17gpm, 5-8psi. I guess it was a clogged filter.
    ~13X42 irregular sized 17k gallon IG pool, with jacuzzi. Pentair Intelliflo VF pump, Purex Triton DE filter (48 sqft), Pentair heater. BBB method, although I'm really only good at one B (bleach).

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    Re: Intelliflo VF pump running high

    Quote Originally Posted by jeeman
    Hey guys, thanks for the advice. GG said to check the grids...well, they were caked with alot of mud and algae. So I pulled them out, hosed them down, cleaned out the filter can, and put it all back together. The results?

    175W, 17gpm, 5-8psi. I guess it was a clogged filter.
    YEA Those pump figures are why we have the VF, right?

    I'm so glad you found the problem. My filter clog up happens in ultra fast motion. Seems like it operates in "nano second" time rather than Alice time. With my filter size some people can go months without backwashing. But mine happens in 7-10 days. I think incomplete backwashing is probably the main issue with the Quad filter and that's why they push opening them up to clean rather than backwash.

    Anyway, I had a 36 sq ft filter DE, curved grid, for 23 years before getting the Quad DE and VF (both at the same time). It was amazing how much crud didn't backwash out of filter even doing several process of draining, backwash, run, drain, fill , backwash, over and over. And that's before I started using cellulose. After using cellulose in it for a few weeks, with NO ALGAE, but increased dust, I was backwashing every other day.

    Your numbers, 175W, 17gpm, 5-8psi, now, are more in line with what several of us VF owners get with clean filters.

    Congrats, and stay on top of that wattage use. I figure the filtering media is probably less costly than the electricity costs when the pump is rampping up. If it isn't I'd rather pay for filer media than electricity.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Intelliflo VF pump running high

    alice,

    What is funny is that I added 2 cups (16 oz) of DE the next day and the watts went from 175 to 250. I guess the DE causes the filter pressure to rise. Within 10 days, the alert was going off, and I was at 800 W for 17GPM. I washed the filter out with a hose, (backwashing didn't work too well), and now I'm down to 160W. I'm afraid to add DE for fear of getting it up to 250+ watts again.

    Jeeman
    ~13X42 irregular sized 17k gallon IG pool, with jacuzzi. Pentair Intelliflo VF pump, Purex Triton DE filter (48 sqft), Pentair heater. BBB method, although I'm really only good at one B (bleach).

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Intelliflo VF pump running high

    {EDIT}Ignore my previous comments.{/EDIT}
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Intelliflo VF pump running high

    jeeman, Jason

    I'm confused. I looked up the specs for jeeman's filter, and it says (depending on model) that either 4.8 or 6 pounds of DE are required.

    But jeeman only added ONE pound. And Jason, you suggested that was a little too much, that 1/2 that amount might be appropriate.

    Just curious why so little DE.

    Thanks,

    Jeff
    40 x 16 (28k gallon) plaster pool, Intelliflo VF pump, Hayward 48 sq. ft. DE filter, using Purifiber, using BBB, TF-100 test kit

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Intelliflo VF pump running high

    Sorry, I had this mixed up with another thread.

    jeeman, did you add 2 cups of DE total? That would be way too little DE. Or did you add 2 cups of DE in addition to a normal amount of DE to begin with?

    It is absolutely essential that you add at least something close to the standard amount of DE to the filter after cleaning it. Running a DE filter without DE, or with way too little DE, will damage the grids (and not filter at all well).
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Intelliflo VF pump running high

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Sorry, I had this mixed up with another thread.

    jeeman, did you add 2 cups of DE total? That would be way too little DE. Or did you add 2 cups of DE in addition to a normal amount of DE to begin with?

    It is absolutely essential that you add at least something close to the standard amount of DE to the filter after cleaning it. Running a DE filter without DE, or with way too little DE, will damage the grids (and not filter at all well).
    Well, I hosed off the grids and then put in those 2 cups (by volume) into the skimmer, so whether that is additional or total, I am not sure....there may have been some DE inside the grids already? If not, then that is total.

    Those 2 cups made my VF go from 170W to 250W. It seems my pump has a hard time pumping anything with too much resistance in the return lines.
    ~13X42 irregular sized 17k gallon IG pool, with jacuzzi. Pentair Intelliflo VF pump, Purex Triton DE filter (48 sqft), Pentair heater. BBB method, although I'm really only good at one B (bleach).

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    Re: Intelliflo VF pump running high

    jeeman,

    Jason's post right above suggested that after hosing off the grids that 2 cups of DE would be way too little. Here are the specs for your filter:

    http://www.pentairpool.com/pdfs/4000seriesDS.pdf

    It says the 36 square foot model (4036) takes 3.6 pounds of DE, the 48 square foot model (4048) takes 4.8 pounds, and the 60 square foot model (4060) takes 6.0 pounds of DE.

    Jeff
    40 x 16 (28k gallon) plaster pool, Intelliflo VF pump, Hayward 48 sq. ft. DE filter, using Purifiber, using BBB, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Intelliflo VF pump running high

    Quote Originally Posted by ride525
    jeeman,

    Jason's post right above suggested that after hosing off the grids that 2 cups of DE would be way too little. Here are the specs for your filter:

    http://www.pentairpool.com/pdfs/4000seriesDS.pdf

    It says the 36 square foot model (4036) takes 3.6 pounds of DE, the 48 square foot model (4048) takes 4.8 pounds, and the 60 square foot model (4060) takes 6.0 pounds of DE.

    Jeff
    Yes, I agree. I just hosed my grids about 4 days ago and didn't add more DE. So just now, I added one cup. Pump at 180W. I added a 2nd cup and the pump is at 183W. I will add a third cup later. Mine is a 48in filter, BTW
    ~13X42 irregular sized 17k gallon IG pool, with jacuzzi. Pentair Intelliflo VF pump, Purex Triton DE filter (48 sqft), Pentair heater. BBB method, although I'm really only good at one B (bleach).

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    Re: Intelliflo VF pump running high

    jeeman,

    Since you have the 48 square foot model, then that's 4.8 pounds of DE, or about 1/5 of a 25 pound bag.

    I don't know the size of your "cup" but you suggested above that 2 cups were 16 oz. (is that 16 oz. liquid or weight?). If it's weight, then you would need almost 10 of those "cups".

    If it's liquid "8 oz cup", I find that about five liquid measuring cups = one of my one pound DE scoops. So you would need 24 of these 8 oz liquid measuring cups to make your 4.8 pounds of DE.

    Hope this helps,

    Jeff
    40 x 16 (28k gallon) plaster pool, Intelliflo VF pump, Hayward 48 sq. ft. DE filter, using Purifiber, using BBB, TF-100 test kit

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