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Thread: 6-foot waterfall: is there a pump that won't bankrupt me?

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    6-foot waterfall: is there a pump that won't bankrupt me?

    My pool has a ~6-foot waterfall feature (see picture.) I love the sound of the waterfall, I don't love the cost of running it. Can someone tell me if the pump that's installed is overkill and/or inefficient for my use?

    The pump dedicated to the waterfall is a Hayward SP4015NS attached to a 1.5 HP Northstar motor.

    Can you recommend a much more energy efficient pump? How much more efficient would it be?

    thanks!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    60k gallon (est), 83ft PebbleTech pool, spa. Goldline Aqualogic controller, AQL-PS-8. 2 Hayward SwimClear C5025 filters. Hayward H400ED2 heater. 2 T-15 SWG. Pool pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor. Spa pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.0 HP Emerson 1081 motor (SF 1.4, RPM 3450, Amps SF 6.2-5.8/11.6). Hayward 5060 3/4HP booster pump. 6' x 9' waterfall driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump (115 GPM @ 47' of head & 2200 watts). Spa jets driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor (SF 1.6, RPM 3450, Amps SF 11.0 - 10.2/20.4) Still learning!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: 6-foot waterfall: is there a pump that won't bankrupt me

    A VS (variable speed) will be more efficient but will cost you more up front. However, the added benefit would be that you could adjust the water from barely a trickle to full flow with the VS.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: 6-foot waterfall: is there a pump that won't bankrupt me

    A variable speed would be a good choice. If you don't want to go variable speed, then a waterfall pump would also be a good choice.

    A medium to high, head pump, like the NorthStar is not a good choice for a waterfall, because waterfalls usually have very low head. Running a high head pump on a low head application causes the pump to run outside of its best efficiency range. Running at too low of head can also cause the pump to run too loud.

    A waterfall pump is ideal because it is designed specifically for that application. What flow rate in GPM is the waterfall designed for?

    http://www.zodiacpoolsystems.com/produc ... rfall.aspx

    http://www.hayward-pool.com/prd/In-Grou ... 002__I.htm

    http://www.hayward-pool.com/pdf/literat ... TSWF06.pdf

    http://www.pentairpool.com/pool-pro/pro ... ps-191.htm

    http://www.pentairpool.com/pdfs/waterfallDS.pdf

    Alternatively, you should be able to divert some, or all, of the filtered water to the waterfall, which would obviate the need for an additional pump.

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    Re: 6-foot waterfall: is there a pump that won't bankrupt me

    I've designed ponds and you can use a 1/8th HP low pressure high volume pump that would give you about 2,000 - 3,000 GPH with 6 feet of head. You just have to design this around your filter. If you're doing this not for filtration and just because you enjoy the view and the sounds this would be a good idea. You'd only need a leaf trap and a pond pump, not a pool pump. I used sequence external pumps but most of the pumps are good.
    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.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: 6-foot waterfall: is there a pump that won't bankrupt me

    How do pond pumps hold up in the chlorine environment of a pool?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: 6-foot waterfall: is there a pump that won't bankrupt me

    Thanks, James. You answered the central question I had, which is whether the pump in use is the ideal pump for the application. You asked about what flow rate the waterfall was designed for. I have no idea -- we bought this house recently. The waterfall is perhaps 9 feet wide and 6 feet high. What do you think?

    But your reply suggests an enticing prospect: could I use the waterfall pump to provide filtration, and what additional energy costs would be incurred as a result of its "waterfall-ness"? Currently I'm running a different pump for six hours a day to filter the pool. If I could run the waterfall and filter the pool at the same time at a similar energy cost, that would be better from my point of view. A key question here is whether my waterfall is tied to one of my two filters (I think it may be.) Attached are pictures of my current setup. The waterfall pump is the rightmost pump.

    Is there a way to figure out based on the pictures if the waterfall is filtering? I'm not sure the gauges on my filters are functioning correctly, so I don't want to look to that as a guide.

    If you need to look at a bunch more pictures of our setup, this message thread has more: filter-pump-spagetti-is-my-spa-doomed-to-heat-the-pool-t41153.html
    Attached Images Attached Images
    60k gallon (est), 83ft PebbleTech pool, spa. Goldline Aqualogic controller, AQL-PS-8. 2 Hayward SwimClear C5025 filters. Hayward H400ED2 heater. 2 T-15 SWG. Pool pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor. Spa pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.0 HP Emerson 1081 motor (SF 1.4, RPM 3450, Amps SF 6.2-5.8/11.6). Hayward 5060 3/4HP booster pump. 6' x 9' waterfall driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump (115 GPM @ 47' of head & 2200 watts). Spa jets driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor (SF 1.6, RPM 3450, Amps SF 11.0 - 10.2/20.4) Still learning!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: 6-foot waterfall: is there a pump that won't bankrupt me

    From the pics it doesn't look like the waterfall is running filtered water.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: 6-foot waterfall: is there a pump that won't bankrupt me

    interesting, I had a pool guy have a look at the system last fall and he had us leave the waterfall on when we were first getting the pool cleaned up -- he said it would "filter" it. maybe he meant "agitate."

    If the waterfall isn't running through the filter, I'm curious if a) the waterfall pump can be made to run through the filter, and what the cost implications of using the waterfall filter are vs. filtering the pool with one of the other pumps, and b) how much more efficient a "waterfall"-type pump would be vs. our current pump, assuming it doesn't make sense to filter via the waterfall.
    60k gallon (est), 83ft PebbleTech pool, spa. Goldline Aqualogic controller, AQL-PS-8. 2 Hayward SwimClear C5025 filters. Hayward H400ED2 heater. 2 T-15 SWG. Pool pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor. Spa pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.0 HP Emerson 1081 motor (SF 1.4, RPM 3450, Amps SF 6.2-5.8/11.6). Hayward 5060 3/4HP booster pump. 6' x 9' waterfall driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump (115 GPM @ 47' of head & 2200 watts). Spa jets driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor (SF 1.6, RPM 3450, Amps SF 11.0 - 10.2/20.4) Still learning!

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    Re: 6-foot waterfall: is there a pump that won't bankrupt me

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    How do pond pumps hold up in the chlorine environment of a pool?
    Ponders add salt to ponds so salt is not and issue, they use mostly epdm or noryl in the construction and they are really made to last. Not a problem with chlorine although when or if you find one you could easily ask the manufacturer. The watefall is going to do two things to the pool water, oxygenate and dechlorinate the water. The chlorine will stay if you're using a chlorine stabilizer but the oxygenation of the water will help with algae control and may decrease the need for chlorine. As a water licensed operator I understand the principals but pool water is not where my education has been. I like the idea of using two different systems in your situation because it adds flexibility and one doesn't have to rely on the other.
    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.

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    Re: 6-foot waterfall: is there a pump that won't bankrupt me

    Quote Originally Posted by socrates
    interesting, I had a pool guy have a look at the system last fall and he had us leave the waterfall on when we were first getting the pool cleaned up -- he said it would "filter" it. maybe he meant "agitate."

    If the waterfall isn't running through the filter, I'm curious if a) the waterfall pump can be made to run through the filter, and what the cost implications of using the waterfall filter are vs. filtering the pool with one of the other pumps, and b) how much more efficient a "waterfall"-type pump would be vs. our current pump, assuming it doesn't make sense to filter via the waterfall.
    The problem with running the waterfall water through the filter is that now you are filtering you're water, adding head resistance and you'll be back saying I need to turn it off due to costs. You're trying to do two different things and keeping them seperate will save you money. Even if you go with a efficient 3-phase pump you'll still have to "pump" at an increased rate because you have the resistance of the filter and you want 1,500 + GPH for the waterfall. I can't see a way to save money over the long run by combining the two systems because in the end you'll be using HP to move water and you can move 1,500 GPH with about a 10th of a HP with 6 feet of head with a low pressure 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.

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    Re: 6-foot waterfall: is there a pump that won't bankrupt me

    Great information, thanks very much, everyone. I guess the only other thing for me to figure out is how many GPH I require for my waterfall. What is typical?

    jongig, the waterfall I currently have uses is mounted on the equipment pad and uses existing piping. Would I be able to place a dedicated waterfall pump in the same place, or is there some aspect of its design that necessitates placement elsewhere?
    60k gallon (est), 83ft PebbleTech pool, spa. Goldline Aqualogic controller, AQL-PS-8. 2 Hayward SwimClear C5025 filters. Hayward H400ED2 heater. 2 T-15 SWG. Pool pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor. Spa pump: Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.0 HP Emerson 1081 motor (SF 1.4, RPM 3450, Amps SF 6.2-5.8/11.6). Hayward 5060 3/4HP booster pump. 6' x 9' waterfall driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump (115 GPM @ 47' of head & 2200 watts). Spa jets driven by a Hayward SP4015NS pump / 1.5 HP A.O Smith SP1615-Z-1-BNC motor (SF 1.6, RPM 3450, Amps SF 11.0 - 10.2/20.4) Still learning!

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