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Thread: Purchasing new pump. Narrowed to 3. Need advice/opinions

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    Purchasing new pump. Narrowed to 3. Need advice/opinions

    Hello,
    I've done the research (mostly on this great forum) and I am purchasing a new pool pump, and could really use some "this is what I would do" type of advice.
    My 3 options are currently:
    1) Pentair Intelliflo VS-SVRS
    2) Pentair Intelliflo VS-3050
    3) Hayward EcoStar

    Some of my factors include:
    1) I currently use a mechanical (on/off pins) type of timer - which I'm fine staying with.
    2) My electric company will rebate me $200 on #1 and #3 above. And will only rebate me on #2 if I have a "qualifying" controller (Intellitouch, EasyTouch, etc.)
    3) The SVRS feature is not a deciding factor for me
    4) I have no problem changing pump speeds manually, but I definetly want my Start/Stop to be automatic - and maybe even twice a day.
    5) I am drawn to these pumps primarily because of the anticipated power savings I've been reading about. And it looks they're all about the same in effiency.

    #1 is substantially more expensive than #2 and #3 - however I'm told it has a built-in timer (and many other features), and it rebate qualifies. I'm looking at probably $1500 installed. A little steep for me. I do fear that more bells and whistles (and I don't need them all) could mean more maintenance issues down the line.

    #2 is not rebate qualified (I don't have a system controller - and its not something i need right now). $1100 installed. Leslie's has told me that my mechanical timer may not work with this pump, yet others have told me that it will. I've also read on this forum that some have had power issues when hooking up a standard timer to this pump. Any thoughts on that?

    #3 is rebate qualified. $1100-1200 installed. It also has a built in timer and many of the same features as #1 (from what I can tell). Best value it seems, but I hesitate with this one for a few reasons. 1) Virtually no customer reviews. 2) It's a Hayward. My 2HP Whisperflo has been an absolute tank, and I'd really like to stick with that brand if possible. I had a Hayward Vacuum that crapped out on me quickly, while my $300 Kreepy has lasted me 6 years and still going strong. 3) Its a much larger footprint than the Pentairs (maybe not much of a factor as I'm pretty sure I've got the space).

    Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. This forum has been so helpful already! I am looking at making a decision within a week.

    Regards,
    Kevin
    Hopefully my pool configs are showing up in the signature. I'm new to the forum.
    20K gal, Pool/Spa combo, plaster, Pentair Intelliflo VS-SVRS pump, 24" DE filter, Kreepy

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Purchasing new pump. Narrowed to 3. Need advice/opinions

    The EcoStar is quite new, thus the lack of reviews. It appears to be somewhat more efficient than the IntelliFlo pumps, but it doesn't have a reliability track record yet. Many of the newer variable speed pumps have had problems in the first model year. We don't know if that will happen with the EcoStar or not.

    A good quality mechanical timer of the correct load rating can turn the IntelliFlo on and off without problems, just make sure it is rated for switching a 3 HP pump. Many of the less expensive timers are only rated up to 1.5 or 2 HP.
    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: Purchasing new pump. Narrowed to 3. Need advice/opinions

    Thanks JL! I'll be sure to check the rating on the timer. After digging deeper - it seems I can get the Intelliflo VS-SVRS on Amazon for about $1060 (the 3050 for $860). After install and minus the rebate, I'm pretty much at what I'd pay for the VS-3050 all-in. I can run the VS-SVRS without a fancy automation controller though right? In other words, and this may sound like a dumb question, but aside from the variable speed settings, flow, and equipment settings - (all bonus); it does have its own start/stop timer on it right? Eliminating the need for my old school analog timer?

    Thanks again. Much appreciated.
    20K gal, Pool/Spa combo, plaster, Pentair Intelliflo VS-SVRS pump, 24" DE filter, Kreepy

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    Re: Purchasing new pump. Narrowed to 3. Need advice/opinions

    Yes, the VS-SVRS does include a fairly fancy timer that can be programed to turn the pump on and off and change speeds.
    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: Purchasing new pump. Narrowed to 3. Need advice/opinions

    First time to post, I have reading allot about the intelliflo and whisperflo. the numbers and curves show that the intelliflo is not very efficient when running at 500 -1500 watts, you would be better off buying two whisperflos say one 1.5Hp and a 1/2Hp. The variable speed would be great if it were variable pitch pump so that you could maximize the load of the impeller. Not like they have the intelliflo running a large impeller at a lower Hp. A variable pitch pump would be way too costly.
    So you are better off plumbing your system to run two pumps, not at he same time, you could put automated valves so that automated system opens and closes the valves depending on which pump you are using. (or do it manually close 2 valves and open 2 ) The automated would be better because you could program the pumps to run at different times if you wanted t - Please take a look at my attached exel and you will amazed how much more you can save with a dual pump system and how many more GPM you gain for the same amount of watts.
    I hope I can attach the file, I will fill in the pool info have 3 pools at 3 different homes 20 X 40 ion Hawaii, 25 X 50 in Mancora Peru and just finished building a smaller pool at my house in Lima.
    Peru.
    I am going to put two pumps on the larger pool.

    this post is now ancient history do not bother to read
    Attached Files Attached Files
    16286 gal. 16x32 grecian with 2 shallow ends deep in middle, liner, aquagenie, aqualogic p-4 t-15 swg, 8'x20' solar panels, 16mil solar cover, Hayward 1hp superpump, 2" pipes, Hayward Pro 300lb sand filter, built july 07.

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    Re: Purchasing new pump. Narrowed to 3. Need advice/opinions

    lazzua, I'm not sure how you are interpreting the numbers you quote to come to conclusions you came to, but you way off. The IntelliFlo running around 1000 RPM is dramatically more efficient than any single or dual speed pump made when measured by gallons of water moved per watt hour (which is the number that matters).

    For more details, see for example this topic.
    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: Purchasing new pump. Narrowed to 3. Need advice/opinions

    Jasolion
    where can I download the curves for the study, have looked all over. at 1000rpm cannot be moving much of a volume of water, but I am sure you are 100% right. how many watts does the intelliflo draw at 1000rpm and GPM
    thank you
    16286 gal. 16x32 grecian with 2 shallow ends deep in middle, liner, aquagenie, aqualogic p-4 t-15 swg, 8'x20' solar panels, 16mil solar cover, Hayward 1hp superpump, 2" pipes, Hayward Pro 300lb sand filter, built july 07.

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    Re: Purchasing new pump. Narrowed to 3. Need advice/opinions

    JasonLion
    finally found the info on the CA site and I can see clearly that my assumptions where way off. what really amazes me is how the numbers and specs the the manufactures put out are really misleading.
    reading the whole exel with all the pumps I came to the conclusion that the speck pump is the most effcient for the low and high speed application using the watt per GPH. Now I do not have a clue how realible the speck pumps are.
    Anyway maybe some can give some info on the speck 3 speed pump. Badu EcoM3 it is only 1 HP and at the low end 1650 RPM on curve C 36GPM 160 Watts CEF 13.5 and high C 3450 rpm 80GPM 1286 watts CEF 3.73 on the high side almost 2 times better than the intelliflo and low side about the same.
    Thank you for pointing me in the right direction.
    How good is this Speck Pump Badu EcoM3? could not find much in TFP.
    16286 gal. 16x32 grecian with 2 shallow ends deep in middle, liner, aquagenie, aqualogic p-4 t-15 swg, 8'x20' solar panels, 16mil solar cover, Hayward 1hp superpump, 2" pipes, Hayward Pro 300lb sand filter, built july 07.

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    Re: Purchasing new pump. Narrowed to 3. Need advice/opinions

    >> how many watts does the intelliflo draw at 1000rpm and GPM

    I don't have the model you mention in the OP, but IntelliFlow VF at 900 rpm uses 93-95 watts and moves about 11 or 12 GPM. Perhaps the other IntelliFlow models are similar to the VF.

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    Re: Purchasing new pump. Narrowed to 3. Need advice/opinions

    The number of watts varies from plumbing system to plumbing system, depending on the total dynamic head. The numbers susa quoted give you some idea of the general range, though I often see slightly higher GPM numbers.
    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: Purchasing new pump. Narrowed to 3. Need advice/opinions

    Form the CEC data usinig Curve-C and in order of efficiency:

    Ecostar: 28 GPM @ 96 Watts 1000 RPM, 17.5 Gallons/Watt-hr
    Intellipro : 23 GPM @ 100 Watts 800 RPM, 13.8 Gallons/Watt-hr
    Speck: 36 GPM @ 160 Watts 1600 RPM, 13.5 Gallons/Watt-hr
    Intelliflo: 33 GPM @ 150 watts 1100 RPM, 13.2 Gallons/Watt-hr

    Technically, the Intellipro and Intelliflo are actually the same efficiency but they were tested at different RPM which is why they end up being different.

    [Edit] Note the Speck pump cannot be operated at just any speed. It has three fixed speeds that will limit the efficiency of the pump.
    Mark
    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

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    Re: Purchasing new pump. Narrowed to 3. Need advice/opinions

    What I think I will do is buy a speck 3 speed for my small pool about 11,000 gallons I have 3 2,5 suctions lines 1 to each skimmer and the other 2.5 split between two main drains (1,5" each)
    and have the return line looped 2" with 6 return fittings and also have for when I buy a heater another return line 2 " coming thru the floor of the pool in equal distances on the floor. SO I can play around with the head Ft.
    With the 3 suctions open 2.5 lines into 3v individual 2 " ball valves and using one return the looped one 2" with 2" valve. I get 5 PSI at the Filter(have TAD100 2" valve which is overkill but it is crystal clear) and the actual suction 5Hg using a gauge on the drain fitting on pump) This means that my loss at high end is 5 x 2.33= 11.65 +3= 14.65 and on the suction 5 X 1.13= 5.65 total 20.3 ft my pump station is 10 feet from deep of pool. I can change the number by opening and closing valves . But I think the Speck should be able to use curve D ., I will fill in the signature section with the rest of the equipment.
    And for my other pool by the intellflo as it is 3.5 tmes bigger and that way have good idea how they both work.
    Thanks again for putting me in the right direction as I was really going make a bad selection of pumps and spend allot of money on power bills.
    16286 gal. 16x32 grecian with 2 shallow ends deep in middle, liner, aquagenie, aqualogic p-4 t-15 swg, 8'x20' solar panels, 16mil solar cover, Hayward 1hp superpump, 2" pipes, Hayward Pro 300lb sand filter, built july 07.

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    Re: Purchasing new pump. Narrowed to 3. Need advice/opinions

    Just a short question for Mark (mas985)
    Reading Hydraulics 101 where you mention having too high of a flow rate will reduce the life of the pump is this also true when you are running at lower speeds.(on variable speed pump)
    thank you
    LAZ
    16286 gal. 16x32 grecian with 2 shallow ends deep in middle, liner, aquagenie, aqualogic p-4 t-15 swg, 8'x20' solar panels, 16mil solar cover, Hayward 1hp superpump, 2" pipes, Hayward Pro 300lb sand filter, built july 07.

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    Re: Purchasing new pump. Narrowed to 3. Need advice/opinions

    Most pool owners don't need to worry about this but when a pump is run at an operation point that is on the far right or left of the pump's head curve, the radial thrust on the motor shaft tends to increase and there is more impeller imbalance. A pump that uses a diffuser helps to counter act this affect so it is not so pronounced. In most pool applications, this is not usually a problem because the head loss in the plumbing is usually moderate to slightly high and most operating points are within -50% to +20% of the best efficiency point flow rate. The comment was really meant to counter the belief that lower head loss in pluimbing is always better. My point was that sometimes it isn't better and cause other problems. As for RPM, the lower the RPM, the lower the stress on the motor overall. Overall, this should not be an issue in your setup.

    Note that the Speck pump can only be operated at three speeds so efficeincy cannot be fine tuned like the other VS pumps.
    Mark
    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

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    Re: Purchasing new pump. Narrowed to 3. Need advice/opinions

    I can't offer advice, but I'll offer an opinion. Last year we switched to a VS, IntelliChlor, and the EasyTouch 4. The bundle, plus installation and initial salt load was $2500. Worth every penny, in our opinion.

    The EasyTouch handles everything for us (landscape lights, solar, two speeds plus a cleaner and the pool lights). If it were me, I'd do it again in a minute. This year we added the remote (wired) panel since we liked the features of the control system so much. It saves a trip to the panel for adjusting schedules, manual on for lights, etc.

    Give some thought to the appropriate pump and the benefits of the panel.
    17k in-ground, Pebble Sheen finish (Blue Granite), Solar, two skimmers, split drain.
    IntelliPro VS-3050, IntelliChlor IC40, EasyTouch 4 control system, Easy Touch wired indoor panel.
    300 CuFt cartridge filter. Polaris 380 with booster pump. Two IntelliBrite 5G lights.
    TF100 test kit.

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    Re: Purchasing new pump. Narrowed to 3. Need advice/opinions

    The reason I would get the speck is that the pool which it will run is really small 11,000 the pentair VF VS with 3HP motor is overkill for such a small pool.
    I am going to use a pentair in my other pool which about 32,000 gallons and is used year round, heavy bather traffic. It will, replace a 2 Hp Dura Glass II. That pool has to be circulated allot as the sun shine 360 days of the year and is right on the beach allot of wind in the afternoons. Have problems sometimes with black algae.
    16286 gal. 16x32 grecian with 2 shallow ends deep in middle, liner, aquagenie, aqualogic p-4 t-15 swg, 8'x20' solar panels, 16mil solar cover, Hayward 1hp superpump, 2" pipes, Hayward Pro 300lb sand filter, built july 07.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Purchasing new pump. Narrowed to 3. Need advice/opinions

    The HP rating on the motor for a variable speed pump is somewhat irrelevant. Yes it is much higher than you would ever need but you can always just turn down the RPM to what ever is needed. I think that most Intelliflo owners rarely if ever run at full speed. Plus there are many Intelliflo owners with smaller pools than yours. Again, they just set the pump RPM to what is needed.

    In fact, one could argue that the because the Speck cannot fully adjust the flow rate, it is overkill for a small pool. The minimum flow rate on Curve-C for the Speck is 36 GPM while the minimum for the Intelliflo is 11 GPM (15 GPM for the VF). So for an 11k pool, the turnover for the Speck is 5 hours while a turnover for the Intelliflo could be as high as 17 hours.
    Mark
    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

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    Re: Purchasing new pump. Narrowed to 3. Need advice/opinions

    Update from original poster:
    Hey everyone, thanks again especially to Jason Lion for answering my somewhat newbie questions and helping me justify my latest purchase of the Intelliflo VS-SVRS. We just installed it (hours ago actually). I already love it! Simple test allowed me to set my max speed - enabling my Kreepy to "creep", and then set my low speed for daily circulation. Onboard timer has it running at lowest speed for most of the day, and then jumps up for vacuum for an hour or so before shut off. Easy interface and a money saver already!
    I'm curious to know what RPM setting others might use for their suction vacuums. I'm sure it differs with everyone - but I'm looking at about 3000 RPM to get my Kreepy to move at a steady pace without dedicating all the suction to that valve (vacuum valve is maybe half open). Thanks again!
    20K gal, Pool/Spa combo, plaster, Pentair Intelliflo VS-SVRS pump, 24" DE filter, Kreepy

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