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Thread: Pump Choices after failure

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    San Carlos Mexico
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    Pump Choices after failure

    I currently have a 16k salt pool with a intelliflo VS 3050 that is 2.5 years in service.

    Apparently it has had a very slow seal leak and as salt will do, created excessive internal corrosion. When the leak became evident I opened the pump to find a separated impeller a broken retaining bolt and a incorrectly installed o ring on the diverter.

    This is the second vs 3050 I have owned, the first being in the signature. In hind sight this pump seemed less effecient in moving half the volume than the other installation, but apparently not enough for me to question. Regardless, now I am thinking this came from the factory in this condition. Pentair did not say it but I think they are of the same opinion.

    Pentair has been very responsive and has replaced all defective parts on a pump obviously out of warranty. Qudos Pentair.

    Unfortunately, after going inside of this pump I found numerous light duty plastic parts and I am wondering if there are other options for a more bullet proof pump.

    Thanks in advance
    30,000 gal Pebble Tec, Intellifo 4X160, Pentair 80 DE Quad, Pool Pilot SWG, Easy Touch Controls

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: Pump Choices after failure

    The Hayward EcoStar might be a good choice for you.


  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Pump Choices after failure

    JamesW thanks for the response.

    The schematic of the EcoStar seems very close to that of the intelliflo. It does not indicate the impeller material and I see virtually identical engineering. But then I may be missing something.

    Can you give me your opinion as to why this is a superior pump.

    thanks much
    30,000 gal Pebble Tec, Intellifo 4X160, Pentair 80 DE Quad, Pool Pilot SWG, Easy Touch Controls

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Pump Choices after failure

    Hayward and Pentair both make reasonably good equipment.

    Perhaps there is something about your system that is putting more stress than normal on the pumps. Can you describe the system, environment, maintenance, pressure, flow rates etc?

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Pump Choices after failure

    Sure

    (4) 2" intakes and (6) returns, 20'+- run. No 90 deg fittings all done with sweeps made from 45's. Quad 80 DE filter. Filter pressure @ 1500+- rpm is 10psi clean and 15-16 dirty and increases 5 to 8 psi @3450. Equipment is 2+- feet below water level. In short there is nothing remarkable about this install that I can see.

    Again this appears to be a factory error perhaps "a friday after lunch build". I have done a number of pools but never had one long enough to have a pump failure. The impeller of the intelliflo is vaned with a plate glued over the vanes to hold water on the impeller for what I suppose aids in low speed performance. This plate has separated and was laying loose in the chamber. The glue on the vanes was the only thing intended on holding the impeller together. This seems light to me to be loading 3 hp @ low pressure (lots of volume) on it. The keeper bolt was I think broken during installation as the remnants of the bolt were heavily corroded (indicating time). The o ring was installed with half of it outside the diffuser/strainer housing mating surface. None of this was revealed until after separation due to a longtime very slow seal leak that had finally presented itself on the ground.

    Again I am not saying this is a poor line of pumps. Suffice to say it was missed on the production line. The the reason for my inquiry for a different pump is that I think it is asking a lot from a 2 piece glued up plastic impeller to satisfy a 3hp motor's capacity to move that volume of water.

    Perhaps the pressure being low and the volume high has actually loaded the impeller more than intended. Meaning raise pressure and the load on the wheel is deminished.

    hehe but what the heck do I know

    Thanks for your time

    Jeff
    30,000 gal Pebble Tec, Intellifo 4X160, Pentair 80 DE Quad, Pool Pilot SWG, Easy Touch Controls

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Pump Choices after failure

    Manufacturers seem to alternate between high quality and low quality in design, engineering and material.

    I think that it can be due to several reasons. There is always pressure to reduce costs by skimping on design, engineering and materials. There is also the competing need for the customers (builders and end users) to trust the products and have a high opinion of the product.

    This makes it difficult to choose between vendors because you never know which of their products are currently well designed, engineered and produced.

    Here are some ideas for you to consider:

    1) Use a lower cost one speed or two speed pump to save money if you don't need a variable speed pump.

    2) Add a vacuum gauge to the suction side to monitor the vacuum pressure to make sure that you're not generating excessive suction, and possibly cavitating the pump.

    3) Add a flow meter to monitor flow rates.

    Is there some reason that you need a 3 H.P pump for this pool? It seems like a bit much.

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Pump Choices after failure

    The variable speed also runs a suction side cleaner and can be used if need be to assist in a negative edge application. The variable speed is also a great option to run a chlorine generator. The pump is not cavitating (no errosion seen) nor is there excessive vaccuum as I can remove the strainer basket lid while running. Furthermore , if a 3hp pump requires a greater than 2" inlet why build it with one?

    This pool has 2 additional 2hp whisperflo's one for a boost pump and and another for a water feature/negative edge. I also plumbed the intelliflo to draw from the catch basin if I needed more hp to raise the water flow over the 35' weir. As it turned out 2hp was sufficient for the desired affect.

    You offered Hayward and I asked what that opinion was based upon. I never mentioned cost as an issue. Perhaps failure was a poor topic choice. Remember a leaking seal uncovered what I believe to be a factory assembly issue. My only concern, one that I can't change, is a light duty wheel. Hence my post.

    Perhaps a picture is worth a thousand words. I have taken the liberty to post a picture. I will take a picture of the equipment room when it gets back together.

    Thanks much for your time and help

    Jeff
    Attached Images Attached Images
    30,000 gal Pebble Tec, Intellifo 4X160, Pentair 80 DE Quad, Pool Pilot SWG, Easy Touch Controls

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Pump Choices after failure

    Furthermore , if a 3hp pump requires a greater than 2" inlet why build it with one?
    A 3 H.P pump is OK for a very short run of 2-inch pipe, but you have to take the overall static and dynamic head loss into account when determining the optimum design. When operating at full capacity (full rpm), you should have a minimum of two 2-inch pipes feeding the pump, or at least one 3-inch pipe. And, this assumes that the water source is near the same level as the pump. If the source water is lower, then you would need to provide even more suction piping.

    I also plumbed the intelliflo to draw from the catch basin if I needed more hp to raise the water flow over the 35' weir.
    Is the catch basin 35 feet below the pool? The theoretical limit for a pump's ability to operate above the source of water is about 33.9 feet. Getting anywhere near that would cause cavitation.

    This pool has 2 additional 2hp whisperflo's one for a boost pump and and another for a water feature/negative edge. As it turned out 2hp was sufficient for the desired affect.
    What does the boost pump go to? Since the whisperflo is sufficient to handle the infinity edge, then do you still need to have the main pump connected to the catch basin?

    I think that you could use a 3/4 pump for the main circulation/filtration and one two H.P pump for the Infinity edge. The Infinity edge pump should be located close to the catch basin level, not the main pool water level. It's easier for a pump to push water up rather than try to "pull" it up. I'm not sure that I see any need for a 3 H.P variable speed pump.

    On a side note: That is a really nice pool and view. It must be great to live there.

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Pump Choices after failure

    Hehe

    No the weir is the negative edge not the drop to the catch basin. (The crest of an overflow spillway on a large dam is often called a weir. Weirs, referred to as low head barrier dams).

    As earlier indicated I have 4 inlets. No less than two service the intelliflo pump at any time. Sorry I did not mention the obvious. Running one 2" intake for long runs with 90's is not a viable installation and would go unsaid. My mistake.

    I installed the option of using both on the wier because it takes a lot of HP to raise .125 inches along 35'. in this case I was able to achieve the infinity illusion with less. Regardless, it gives the option of either pump to get the job done and I am not about to defeat the lines and drains from under the catch. It adds options and is a non issue. Consult a hydro chart and see how many HP is recommended to raise water leveL .125" across 35'. That is precisely why I left myself the option of more HP if necessary.

    The water feature pump is level with the catch basin level.

    The very reason for a variable speed pump is to efficiently carry out multi-tasking. If not why have it? I am sure you see the spa yet what pump should run that?

    JamesW thank you very much but we are debating what we already know. Trust me this installation is viable.

    Unfortunately, my post remains unaswered. That question is what pump has a more substantial impeller? We have been all around the pool yet that first question remains. That said the silence of others would indicate there is no residential pump with a cast single piece composite impeller. Perhaps it was a poor question to begin with.

    OH thanks for the comment on the pool.

    On a side note: Do not believe what you read about Mexico. It is no more dangerous than any major US city. For some reason the U.S. wants to keep it's citizens within her borders by sensationalizing events pertaining to MX.

    Anyway thanks again it was a pleasure.

    Jeff
    30,000 gal Pebble Tec, Intellifo 4X160, Pentair 80 DE Quad, Pool Pilot SWG, Easy Touch Controls

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Pump Choices after failure

    I don't think that it is necessary, but you could check out Pentair's commercial line of pumps to see if one of those will work for you. You could use an Acu Drive XS Variable Frequency Drive to control the pump speed.

    http://www.pentaircommercial.com/sections/pumps-42.htm

    http://www.pentaircommercial.com/produc ... ve-374.htm

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Pump Choices after failure

    Quote Originally Posted by skippr1249
    Hehe

    No the weir is the negative edge not the drop to the catch basin. (The crest of an overflow spillway on a large dam is often called a weir. Weirs, referred to as low head barrier dams).

    As earlier indicated I have 4 inlets. No less than two service the intelliflo pump at any time. Sorry I did not mention the obvious. Running one 2" intake for long runs with 90's is not a viable installation and would go unsaid. My mistake.

    I installed the option of using both on the wier because it takes a lot of HP to raise .125 inches along 35'. in this case I was able to achieve the infinity illusion with less. Regardless, it gives the option of either pump to get the job done and I am not about to defeat the lines and drains from under the catch. It adds options and is a non issue. Consult a hydro chart and see how many HP is recommended to raise water leveL .125" across 35'. That is precisely why I left myself the option of more HP if necessary.

    The water feature pump is level with the catch basin level.

    The very reason for a variable speed pump is to efficiently carry out multi-tasking. If not why have it? I am sure you see the spa yet what pump should run that?

    JamesW thank you very much but we are debating what we already know. Trust me this installation is viable.

    Unfortunately, my post remains unaswered. That question is what pump has a more substantial impeller? We have been all around the pool yet that first question remains. That said the silence of others would indicate there is no residential pump with a cast single piece composite impeller. Perhaps it was a poor question to begin with.

    OH thanks for the comment on the pool.

    On a side note: Do not believe what you read about Mexico. It is no more dangerous than any major US city. For some reason the U.S. wants to keep it's citizens within her borders by sensationalizing events pertaining to MX.

    Anyway thanks again it was a pleasure.

    Jeff

    Sorry to have more to say on this subject but I just went through a failure of a pump while away on vacation and like you I didn't care about cost but it sure makes me mad that it broke in the first year. Besides the pump that broke I also have two 4 HP Speck pumps which are German made and I couldn't beleive they were made of plastic. I have 6 inch pipe going to these two pumps and the amount of water and pressure and flow in these plastic housings is scary. I don't like to stand next to them when they are on. I also have a Pentair automation system and have considered replacing the Hayward with a Pentair. It was a plastic part that broke inside the pump.
    Northeast PA (Mt Cobb) 16,000 gallon in ground salt pool with all Pentair automation and Intelliflo VS pump. Also part of the pool is a two 5-horsepower 3-jet Badujet swim system. For heating we use a 384 sq-ft Heliocol solar pool heating system and additional solar from the 160 sq-ft house solar heating system.

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Pump Choices after failure

    Overall I have been very happy with the intelliflo. Again I am not bashing and understand they need to be cost conscience. In all fairness the impeller material is likely marlon or some sort of rugged composite and not just a cheap plastic. I use the term plastic as a generic reference. My guess is this material is used in lieu of bronze or SS to avoid salt corrosion or electrolysis in salt applications. Unfortunately, the union of the two halves is the problem and needs further consideration. If it is not feasible to cast a one piece unit then find a better way to secure the halves. I am attaching a picture to illustrate my point.

    Note the fine lines on the plate on the right and the corresponding vanes on the impeller (left). These thin lines are the contact points for the glue joining the two halves. Clearly indicating the glue lines do not cover the entire mated surfaces. I know it is hard to see but the wear from the plate being free indicates this condition has been ongoing.

    Apparently from the response on this forum few if any failures of this type have been uncovered. Apparently changing a few a year could be a decision from accounting and not engineering or this was a manufacturing problem and not engineering. Who knows

    Based on the response I will continue using this pump and reinstall new parts when they get here. If for some reason the new impeller is in any way different I will post that info and picture.

    Thanks to all

    Jeff
    Attached Images Attached Images
    30,000 gal Pebble Tec, Intellifo 4X160, Pentair 80 DE Quad, Pool Pilot SWG, Easy Touch Controls

  13. Back To Top    #13
    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Pump Choices after failure

    I'm not going to pull my Hayward Superpump apart, but I think it's got a single piece composite impeller.

    If you're looking for a different pump, you might consider the Superpump. It's an old workhorse. I won't say it's bulletproof, but both pump and motor are easy to work on, parts are easy to find, and they are familiar to people who are in the business of repairing them.

    Good luck!
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
    1 hp Hayward Super Pump (new in 2012);
    Hayward S244T sand filter w/ Zeosand (both new in 2009);
    175K BTU LAARS Lite2 LG natural gas heater; Polaris 380;
    TF-100 test kit.

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: Pump Choices after failure

    CUTiger

    Thanks I will check it out
    30,000 gal Pebble Tec, Intellifo 4X160, Pentair 80 DE Quad, Pool Pilot SWG, Easy Touch Controls

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Pump Choices after failure

    CUTiger

    I checked out Hayward Super Pump. They offer what appears to be composite impellers but the attached picture shows holes directly over each vane. They very well could be mecahical fastening points for a two piece impeller or it may be one piece and those are something to due with the casting process. Regardless the engineering of both seems identical until you get to those holes. That indicates a different manufacturing process.

    Probably more information than you care to have.

    Thanks

    Jeff
    Attached Images Attached Images
    30,000 gal Pebble Tec, Intellifo 4X160, Pentair 80 DE Quad, Pool Pilot SWG, Easy Touch Controls

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