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Thread: Hayward EcoStar vs. Pentair IntelliFlo VS - Pro & Cons?

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    Senior Member phalcon51's Avatar
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    Hayward EcoStar vs. Pentair IntelliFlo VS - Pro & Cons?

    I'd like to get some opinions about these two pumps from anyone who has experience with either or both regarding performance, ease of use, efficiency and $ savings, reliability, noise of operation, problems and anything else you can think of to mention.

    Thanks,

    Gary
    26,200 gal. 35' x 16' Plaster IGP (50 yrs. old), Hayward 48 sq. ft. DE filter, Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWCG, The Pool Cleaner 4X suction, Pool Skim and Pool Devil skimmers. Re-plastered Sept. 2010.

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    Re: Hayward EcoStar vs. Pentair IntelliFlo VS-3050 - Pro & Cons?

    Pentair uses a sealed, permanent magnet motor that lasts far long than any induction motor. The Pentair controller maxes the motor at 3 HP, though the motor is capable of over twice that.

    The Hayward maxes out at 2 HP and has up to 8 user selectable speeds vs. the VS-3050's 4 selectable speeds.

    The IntelliFlo has a lot more units installed.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward EcoStar vs. Pentair IntelliFlo VS-3050 - Pro & Cons?

    If you have an automation system, you probably want to get a variable speed pump of the same brand as your automation system. If that isn't an issue, the IntelliFlo is better, though not by all that much.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Senior Member mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward EcoStar vs. Pentair IntelliFlo VS-3050 - Pro & Cons?

    The Intelliflo service factor HP is 3.96 so that is the maximum rating for the motor. The Ecostar motor is rated for 2.7 SFHP so while less than the Intelliflo it is probably well more than what is needed.

    Certainly the Intelliflo has been around longer so reliability is somewhat proven although there are service techs on some forums who have claimed significant repair rates but of course no way to verify their claims.

    But the most interesting comparison is in energy use. The California Energy Commission recently updated their database and added the EcoStar as well as included Curve-C which is more realistic measurement for decent plumbing. They tested both the EcoStar and Intelliflo at 3450 and 1000 RPM. Here is what they state are the results:

    3450 RPM
    Intelliflo: 97 GPM, 2720 Watts, 2.14 Gallons/Watt-hr
    EcoStar: 98 GPM, 2324 Watts, 2.53 Gallons/Watt-hr

    1000 RPM
    Intelliflo: 30 GPM, 140 Watts, 12.86 Gallons/Watt-hr
    EcoStar: 28 GPM, 90 Watts, 17.5 Gallons/Watt-hr

    At full speed, both pumps have about the same flow rate which would indicate a similar sized impeller for both pumps. This is important since it allows you to directly compare the performance at the measured RPMs.

    But notice that the efficiency of the EcoStar is better than the Intelliflo. At high speed, it is about 18% more efficient but at 1000 RPM, it is about 36% more efficient which is certainly significant and worth considering when choosing a pump.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study
    18'x36' 20k gallon plaster/gunite pool, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge Filter, 450 sq-ft EPDM Solar Panel, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner, DIY Acid Dosing

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    Re: Hayward EcoStar vs. Pentair IntelliFlo VS-3050 - Pro & Cons?

    Mark, do you have a link to tha database?

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    Senior Member phalcon51's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward EcoStar vs. Pentair IntelliFlo VS-3050 - Pro & Cons?

    Here it is:

    http://www.appliances.energy.ca.gov/AdvancedSearch.aspx

    It takes a little bit of hit and miss experimentation to get what you're after, but it seems like a pretty good resource. Thanks for the info Mark.

    Gary
    26,200 gal. 35' x 16' Plaster IGP (50 yrs. old), Hayward 48 sq. ft. DE filter, Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWCG, The Pool Cleaner 4X suction, Pool Skim and Pool Devil skimmers. Re-plastered Sept. 2010.

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    Senior Member phalcon51's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward EcoStar vs. Pentair IntelliFlo VS-3050 - Pro & Cons?

    I've found that the IntelliFlo is being discounted at online stores to as low as $845. Has anyone seen anything equivalent on the EcoStar? Everything I've seen so far has it at around $1199. It's sounding like the Hayward might be the way to go, but spending an additional $354 makes it a little harder to justify.

    Gary
    26,200 gal. 35' x 16' Plaster IGP (50 yrs. old), Hayward 48 sq. ft. DE filter, Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWCG, The Pool Cleaner 4X suction, Pool Skim and Pool Devil skimmers. Re-plastered Sept. 2010.

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    Senior Member mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward EcoStar vs. Pentair IntelliFlo VS-3050 - Pro & Cons?

    The VS-3050 for $845 is without a controller so if you plan to change speeds manually then that will work fine. But if you want to have it run at different speeds at different times of the day or conditions, then you will need either an existing Pentair controller, an interface box which is around $200 to be used with a multi speed timer or go with the Intelliflo VF which is closer to $1200.

    The EcoStar comes with dry contact interfaces and a built in timer so that is probably why it is a bit more expensive than the VS and comparable to the VF.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study
    18'x36' 20k gallon plaster/gunite pool, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge Filter, 450 sq-ft EPDM Solar Panel, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner, DIY Acid Dosing

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    Senior Member phalcon51's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward EcoStar vs. Pentair IntelliFlo VS-3050 - Pro & Cons?

    Oh.....Rats! Thought I'd found a great deal. The copy on the website is a bit misleading. Here are some quotes from the site for a pump listed as a Pentair 011013 IntelliFlo VS 3050: (italics and bold mine)

    "Digital controls and proprietary software allow custom programming of 4 optimum pump speeds."

    "IntelliFlo® High Performance Pump is the world's smartest swimming pool pump. Its onboard computer and intelligent software automatically calculate and program the minimum flow requirements for every pool task - filtering, heating, cleaning, spa jets, water features and more - to optimize performance and minimize energy use. As functions/tasks change, IntelliFlo® self-adjusts to maintain optimal flow rates for further energy savings."

    "A breakthrough in energy-efficiency and service life, the IntelliFlo pump allows programming for 4 different speeds for different pool, spa or water features applications. By dialing in the minimum speed required for a task, the pump works less and uses less energy. Pump speeds are easily adjusted with the push of an up or down arrow button."

    It's only the last line that gives you a hint that it's not programmable.

    They also used the same picture for the VS 3050 and the VS-SVRS.
    26,200 gal. 35' x 16' Plaster IGP (50 yrs. old), Hayward 48 sq. ft. DE filter, Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWCG, The Pool Cleaner 4X suction, Pool Skim and Pool Devil skimmers. Re-plastered Sept. 2010.

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    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward EcoStar vs. Pentair IntelliFlo VS-3050 - Pro & Cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by phalcon51
    "Its onboard computer and intelligent software automatically calculate and program the minimum flow requirements for every pool task - filtering, heating, cleaning, spa jets, water features and more - to optimize performance and minimize energy use. As functions/tasks change, IntelliFlo® self-adjusts to maintain optimal flow rates for further energy savings."
    This part of the second paragraph is really only true of the VF. The rest of it applies to all three models.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Hayward EcoStar vs. Pentair IntelliFlo VS-3050 - Pro & Cons?

    The Hayward has a 2.7 HP motor vs the the higher rated motor of the Pentair that is limited to 3 HP by the controller. The Pentair motor, given enough current, can go to 10K rpm, or about an 8 HP output. While the controller restricts it, the bearings haven;t been changed and will never bear that kind of load and should last longer.

    The Hayward's electrical connection is a PITA vs the IntelliFlo. You can, however, rotate the control panel to face the side , making it easier to read.

    Both use sealed permanent magnet 3 phase motors.

    Hayward's is a new model though the wet end is still Tri-Star based. Anything from Hayward leaves me leery.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Senior Member phalcon51's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward EcoStar vs. Pentair IntelliFlo VS-3050 - Pro & Cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    The Hayward has a 2.7 HP motor vs the the higher rated motor of the Pentair that is limited to 3 HP by the controller.
    I'm currently running a 1.5 hp motor that seems to do the job admirably well. Why would I ever need more than 2.7 hp?

    The Hayward's electrical connection is a PITA vs the IntelliFlo. You can, however, rotate the control panel to face the side , making it easier to read.
    Can you explain how or why the electrical connection is a problem. Seeing as it only has to be done once, I don't see that as a major objection but then, I haven't wired it up yet.

    Hayward's is a new model though the wet end is still Tri-Star based. Anything from Hayward leaves me leery.
    What leaves you with a bad feeling about Hayward? Anything specific?

    At this point I'm leaning toward Hayward because of the better efficiency mentioned in the post above by mas985 and the fact that you can reposition the control panel, which would make it much better in my situation.

    I found out today that Leslie's has the IntelliFlo VS on sale for $1035 and they'll price match on the EcoStar plus they're adding free installation. Anyone know of a better deal?

    Again, I appreciate all the info.

    Gary
    26,200 gal. 35' x 16' Plaster IGP (50 yrs. old), Hayward 48 sq. ft. DE filter, Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWCG, The Pool Cleaner 4X suction, Pool Skim and Pool Devil skimmers. Re-plastered Sept. 2010.

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    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward EcoStar vs. Pentair IntelliFlo VS-3050 - Pro & Cons?

    I have seen the EcoStar for around $950 plus shipping. But that won't match $1035 with a free install. The install is easily worth rather more than $85.

    The pump strainer basket on the WhisperFlo (the wet end for the IntelliFlo) is generally thought of as being a slightly better design than the pump strainer basket on the TriStar (the wet end for the EcoStar). The difference is relatively small, but noticeable. Both are good designs, the WhisperFlo just has a slight edge, at least according to most people who work with both.

    You don't ever want either pump running on full speed. The extra pressure of top speed wouldn't be good for the rest of your plumbing.
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    Senior Member phalcon51's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward EcoStar vs. Pentair IntelliFlo VS-3050 - Pro & Cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    The pump strainer basket on the WhisperFlo (the wet end for the IntelliFlo) is generally thought of as being a slightly better design than the pump strainer basket on the TriStar (the wet end for the EcoStar). The difference is relatively small, but noticeable. Both are good designs, the WhisperFlo just has a slight edge, at least according to most people who work with both.
    Does this have an effect on the efficiency of the pump, or what? I'm not really well versed on this stuff, but I'm learning.

    Gary
    26,200 gal. 35' x 16' Plaster IGP (50 yrs. old), Hayward 48 sq. ft. DE filter, Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWCG, The Pool Cleaner 4X suction, Pool Skim and Pool Devil skimmers. Re-plastered Sept. 2010.

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    Senior Member mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward EcoStar vs. Pentair IntelliFlo VS-3050 - Pro & Cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    The Pentair motor, given enough current, can go to 10K rpm, or about an 8 HP output.
    Scott, I would be interested to know where you got that information because it really doesn't make much sense to me.

    In a pump, BHP goes up by the cube of RPM so if the motor was operating at 3 BHP at 3450 RPM, then it would need to be running at over 73 BHP at 10k RPM, assuming the same plumbing system load. The windings in the motor simply cannot support that much current or at least for not very long. Have you ever seen the size of 75 HP motor or for that matter even an 8 HP motor? I seriously doubt that the windings in the Intelliflo could even support 8 BHP for very long before the windings and/or insulation would give out.

    This could be just marketing hype but in reality any induction/PM motor can be over loaded to nearly any HP but only for a limited period of time. But I think this is all moot because it really doesn't have any bearing on the performance and/or life of the motor since the loads are lower than the ratings in either case. Most pool pumps are designed to run well below full SFHP rating. So for most cases, the bearings will wear out much sooner than the windings and that will be dictated by the average RPM setting and length of run time.


    BTW, I think the TriStar wet ends are better designs than the Whisperflo wet end used by the Intelliflo. The TriStar pumps tend have better efficiency than the same size Whisperflo pumps. For example:

    TriStar SP3205EE, Curve-A Efficiency = 3 Gallons/Watt-Hr
    Whisperflo WFE-2, Curve-A Efficiency = 2.69 Gallons/Watt-Hr

    The TriStar has about 12% better efficiency so it is not surprising that the EcoStar would also have better efficiency. The wet end efficiency is close to half of the total efficiency of a typical pump and for VS pumps, it is the majority of the efficiency contribution since the motors tend to be quite efficient.

    Note: All of the numbers that I am quoting are actual CEC measurements. People may have opinions about pumps but the measurements are what really tell you about the performance of the pumps. Both the EcoStar and TriStar measured efficient seems to be better than the Intelliflo and Whisperflo.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study
    18'x36' 20k gallon plaster/gunite pool, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge Filter, 450 sq-ft EPDM Solar Panel, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner, DIY Acid Dosing

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    Re: Hayward EcoStar vs. Pentair IntelliFlo VS - Pro & Cons?

    I was quoted th RPM capabilities on numerous occasions over the years by several Pentair reps.

    If the impeller and wet end were changed and the controller allowed, I can see a 10K RPM speed from that motor without it burning out or spinning it's bearings. This motor is used in many other industrial applications with different controllers where this is needed.

    I know how big an 8 HP induction motor is. I used a fork lift to get it in my truck and 4 men to lift the thing onto the jack we used to raise it and align it and it's wet end.

    If the wet end on it had the big pipe size the Hayward has, I would expect better numbers. We will be seeing, in the not too distant future, the wet end for IntelliFlo getting big pipes as well as residential filters capable of full flow from them. This will become more pressing as California's Title 24 recommendations spread for improved hydraulic efficiency become more prevalent and or more restrictive.

    Hayward has caught my attention lately with what I perceive as an improving line up in terms of quality and intelligent engineering. They are raising the bottom overall to become more on a par with Pentair and Jandy.

    In order to continue to do right by my industry and clients, I have to try to keep an open mind with all the major players as to who does what well.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
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    Re: Hayward EcoStar vs. Pentair IntelliFlo VS-3050 - Pro & Cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by phalcon51
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    The pump strainer basket on the WhisperFlo (the wet end for the IntelliFlo) is generally thought of as being a slightly better design than the pump strainer basket on the TriStar (the wet end for the EcoStar). The difference is relatively small, but noticeable. Both are good designs, the WhisperFlo just has a slight edge, at least according to most people who work with both.
    Does this have an effect on the efficiency of the pump, or what? I'm not really well versed on this stuff, but I'm learning.
    No, this would be a question of how easy it is to open and close the strainer basket lid and how easy it is to clear debris out of the basket.
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    Senior Member mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward EcoStar vs. Pentair IntelliFlo VS - Pro & Cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    I was quoted th RPM capabilities on numerous occasions over the years by several Pentair reps.
    I think I understand now. If the reps were talking only about RPM, then I agree that 10k RPM is acheivable as long as the load does not exceed the rated load. So yes, if you reduced the Impeller diameter by the same proportion as the increase in RPM (~1/3), then the load on the motor would remain the same and the motor should operate fine. But any VS motor should be able to spin up to that RPM but again, only within the load rating. Higher RPM does not always imply a higher load rating.

    What didn't make sense to me is the added comment about supporting 8 HP. If the reps were claiming that as well, then I would have to disagree with them. The windings are simply not large enough to support that kind of load except for a very short period o time.


    If the wet end on it had the big pipe size the Hayward has, I would expect better numbers
    The difference in head loss for the 2"/2.5" unions vs the 2" threaded pipe should be insignificant and should not really affect efficiency all that much. Unions generally have worse head loss compared to other types of fittings. Besides, the pumps are tested under identical pipe size setups so the inlet/outlet size should not have a material impact.

    I believe that the efficiency difference has a lot more to do with overall design than just the inlet and outlet size. Based upon the head curve, Hayward uses a higher specific speed (i.e. smaller diameter) impeller which improves the overall efficiency of the pump. The ratio of impeller diameter to vane width has a significant impact on efficiency. This is why lower head above ground pool pumps tend to have better efficiency than higher head in-ground pumps. Could Pentair redesign the pump for more efficiency, of course they could. Now that the CEC is documenting efficiency, I expect all manufactures will improve their products over time.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study
    18'x36' 20k gallon plaster/gunite pool, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge Filter, 450 sq-ft EPDM Solar Panel, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner, DIY Acid Dosing

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    Senior Member phalcon51's Avatar
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    Re: Hayward EcoStar vs. Pentair IntelliFlo VS - Pro & Cons?

    I have another question regarding VSP's and SWCG's: Will the SWCG be affected by the different speeds and flow rates of the VSP? Are they less or more effective at generating chlorine at lower flow rates? Any increase in buildup or deposits on the blades? Any other concerns I should be aware of?

    Thanks again,

    Gary
    26,200 gal. 35' x 16' Plaster IGP (50 yrs. old), Hayward 48 sq. ft. DE filter, Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWCG, The Pool Cleaner 4X suction, Pool Skim and Pool Devil skimmers. Re-plastered Sept. 2010.

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    Re: Hayward EcoStar vs. Pentair IntelliFlo VS - Pro & Cons?

    The SWG requires a minimum flow rate to work correctly. Typically they require at least something around 15 to 25 GPM to work correctly. The exact minimum depends on the brand/model. This is not usually an issue with a variable speed pump, since most variable speed setups will have at least that much flow, even on a rather low speed. However, there can be setups where the SWG won't work on the very lowest speeds.

    Aside from the minimum flow rate the pump speed doesn't usually make much of a difference to the SWG. Some SWGs can be bothered by very high flow rates, but it is unusual to have flow rates high enough for that to come up (over 100 GPM).
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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