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Thread: new pool owner; I think I have inefficient pumps?

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    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Houston, TX

    new pool owner; I think I have inefficient pumps?

    Hi, bought a house with a pool and a separate spa, making me a new pool owner. I think the pumps may not be very efficient, but wanted to confirm here.

    The pool is about 12 years old, and is a touch less than 20,000 gallons per the pool guy. I'm not really sure what kind of pump it is, but it says:
    Challenger AC-???-2 (can't make out the middle characters
    The motor says: Century Centurion A.O. Smith. Total H.P. = 2.20

    The spa is ~3 years old, and is ~4500 gallons or less per the pool guy.
    The pump is a Hayward TriStar pump, can't tell the model number because there are so many numbers, but probably SP3200Z17 Rev. D. The motor says 2.70 THP; 2.0 FRHP/1.35 SF.

    The spa also has a waterfall with a 2-speed pump (don't know why you need a 2-speed pump on a waterfall) which is a Hayward TriStar pump as well, SP3200Z15 Rev D. 1.85/.22 THP; 1.0/.12 FRHP/1.85 SF. The spa has 11 jets on it.

    All of these seemed to be a lot of horsepower for the pool/spa/waterfall from what I've read here, but I'm not sure.

    1) Opinions?

    2) What does FRHP and SF mean? I'm assuming THP means total horsepower.

    3) The pool pump seems to be pretty old; do you think it would be worth it to get a 2-speed pump or variable speed pump, and which one? I read a lot of threads on 2-speed vs. variable speed, but I'm still not sure. I live in Houston, TX, and the energy prices are about average (~11.5 cents per kWh)

    15k gunite pool. Intelliflo VF. Autopilot SWG.
    2k separate spa with waterfall (ie: pain in the rear maintaining a separate body of water). 2HP Hayward Tristar pump.

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    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Pleasanton, CA

    Re: new pool owner; I think I have inefficient pumps?

    FRHP is Full Rated HP
    SF is Service Factor

    THP, or I like to refer as SFHP (service factor HP), is FRHP times the service factor.

    First, you need to have a large pump for the spa otherwise the jets will be weak. Plus the TriStar is fairly efficient pump for the size HP so there is really no need to change that. It is sized properly for 11 jets.

    Also, the waterfall may need high flow rates as well to get a nice effect. However, I agree, a 2 speed would seem to be a waste.

    However, you could swap the waterfall and pool pump so that you can run the pool on low speed. Again, a 1 HP TriStar 2 speed is a fairly efficient pump for the size. It would still be a bit oversized for the pool but you could just run on low speed most of time.
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

  3. Back To Top    #3

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Re: new pool owner; I think I have inefficient pumps?

    While it's rare, some folks like the 2 speed waterfall pump so they can have a gentle trickle, or the larger gushing falls - your decision. The Tristar pump is one of the more efficient pumps on the residential market, so no prob there. The (Pentair) Challenger is an older design, but still mfg today. Not as efficient, but still a good pump. You could consider moving the 2 speed pump to the main pool system and the single speed pump to the spa system, since the pool pump will be running most & you'll get your energy savings there. The spa pump likely doesn't run much, so single speed is fine there.
    APSP CST Certified
    17k inground concrete; 1.5hp 2 speed Tristar pump, 300sq.ft. Cartridge filter, AquaLogic PS-4 w/ Tcell-15, Navigator suction cleaner.

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