Hi all, new to the site, scoured the site for 3 days now looking for information - and at least with my new question I will provide the details of almost everything I could think of that I saw other people were asked throughout the forum:
The pump/motor started having trouble starting up, but once started it runs fine. For a couple weeks I have had to do multiple attempts (like 10-15 times) at manually starting in the morning (reset breaker right next to motor) so it will run for the day while we are at work. I think the capacitor is bad, but it is time to probably replace the motor (new or rebuilt). The breaker just went out this morning (expected this they are not made for that many resets) and I now need to make a decision. I have been looking at other pumps including 2 speed and variable speed to hopefully try save some money on the electricity bill. I would like to have any experts recommendations on what would be the most cost effective in the long run. I have 3 options I am toying with, I wanted to find out what you think is the bext option for electricity savings, money savings, and something that will last for a while.
The pump/motor started having trouble starting up, but once started it runs fine. For a couple weeks I have had to do multiple attempts at manually starting in the morning (reset breaker right next to motor) so it will run for the day while we are at work. I think the capacitor is bad, but it is time to probably replace the motor (new or rebuilt). The breaker just went out this morning (expected this they are not made for that many resets) and I now need to make a decision. I have been looking at other pumps including 2 speed and variable speed to hopefully try save some money on the electricity bill. I would like to have any experts recommendations on what would be the most cost effective in the long run.
Option #1 - Replace the existing motor (rebuilt or new) for about $200-250
Option #2 - Friend that does pool servicing (maintenance & repair) for commercial contracts (condo complex, hotels, HOA pools, etc) is recommending I replace the pump motor with a full or up rated efficiency Whisperflo 1.5 HP. He says they are quiet and reliable and that is what he always uses because they don't have problems. He said we will loose a little power on the spa jets but save a little money on the pool circulation with the 1.5 HP pump but not have to pay for a variable speed pump. This just doesn't make the most sense to me because the Whisperflo and and StaRite Max-E Flo are both owned by Pentair and the Starite is actually more expensive than the Whisperflo. Regardless of which one is better I seems to me I should either replace the existing motor for a couple hundred buck with not electricity bill savings of go with the variable speed pump.
Whipserflow 1.5 HP is about $450-500
Option #3 - Replace with a variable speed pump/motor to try and save some money on the electricity bill, but need to determine if the return on investment for a variable speed pump is worth it. I am looking at the "IntelliFlo" variable speed pump/motor. It seems to me with cost of a 2 speed pump and buy an additional controller it makes more sense to get a fully integrated variable speed. What I would like to know is some experts experiences and opinions on what is the best option. I would very much like to save money on electricity and if it saves $100 a month there is no question the variable speed pump is the way to go and it will pay for itself in 1 year. On the other hand if it saves $20 a month then it will take 5 years to pay for itself and by that time I might need to replace the pump anyways. The Pentair calculator (shown below) shows a $1,594 savings per year. I have a really hard time believing this. I am sure it is not blatantly lying, but they are surely assuming best case parameters for them to show the most saving and therefore sell more variable speed pumps. There are a lot of factors that go into this calculation (I think I tried to list all the pool parameters above).
Okay, now for all my pool information:
Pool size, type, gallons, etc?
in-ground, gunite/plaster pool with 1" tile upper ~1.5' (partially in waterline), 25 years old, owner for 5 years so don't have all history, approximately 20,000 gallons, rectangular shaped with a spa, approximately 39'L x 14'W, 7'2" deep end transitioning into 3'2" shallow end with spa at shallow end with barrier wall and ~1.5' wide waterfall into pool.
Pool not used very much in the winter, but we do regularly use the spa. Spring/Summer the pool is frequently used on the weekend with 3-5 adults/children (10-18). About once a month in summer there will be 10+ people over for the day in the pool.
Note: We do have two Alaskan Malamutes the frequently go in the pool. They are brother & sister at 9 months old. They both love to get in the pool when people are in the pool. The boy is in a couple times a day for less than 5 minutes each with no people in the pool. The girl rarely follows him in unless people are in the pool. There is a hair leaf catch container inline with the Hayward sweep to keep it from clogging the main filter.
What equipment do you have?
Pump/filter/heater new in July 2006
Pump - Starite Max-E Pro, model # P6E6G-208L (230v/2.0 HP Full rated)
Filter - Starite, model # S7M120 (300 sq.ft. filter element)
Heater - Starite, model # ?? (399,999 BTU/hr, 117.7 KW)
Sweep - Hayward Navigator (drawing from suction side)
Do you have any water features (fountain, waterfall, etc)?
waterfall from spa to pool and 6" pipe waterfall in deep end (water features not required asthetically for daily water recirculating/filtering)
How long are your plumbing runs?
All pool equipment is on level ground with top of pool approximately 30' from the shallow end/spa
Is the pump above or below the waterline and how far?
above, bottom of pump is less than a foot above the top of the pool, maybe a little more than a foot above the waterline
How many skimmers and returns?
Returns (water out): 1 at bottom of deep end, 1 at bottom of spa (shallow end), 1 at pool skimmer (shallow end), 1 connected to pool sweep (trans deep/shallow)
Inlets (water in): 6" pipe waterfall in deep end, 4 ~1" jets in spa (cycling over waterfall to pool)
The electricity bill averages ~$250 in the winter and ~$350 in the summer. We are in Orange County, California. I run the pool pump about 4 hours a day in the winter and 8 hours a day in the summer. This is a 2HP pump to get good pressure in the spa jets so even though it is reasonably efficient it runs at 2HP all day. Some of the added expense on the electricity bill is due to the increased pump time and some of it is due to electricity prices increasing in the summer. The electricity is currently on the tier system priced by usage not tracking time of day. We expect to be updgraded soon with the new digital meters that will have usage rates with time of day tiers (day expensive, night cheap) and go up to 31 cents per Kw/hr. We are currently having usage regularly in the 23 cents per Kw/hr.
Thanks to everyone that spends the time to help me make this decision.