Not sure if this should continue one of several threads that touch on these questions, or if starting a new topic was appropriate -- so I picked starting a new one rather than trying to pick on of the other threads I've been involved in.
For reference, the two threads are:
I want to heat an Intex pool (Above Ground; 20' by 48"). I'll take it down each winter and winterize and cover the equipment pad in the off-season). In order to do that, I am about to buy a new pump; cartridge filter; and 400,000 btu gas heater.
I had been planning to buy a Pentair filter, didn't care what brand pump but wanted pump to be 1HP/2SPD, and a RayPak heater. Then the online store I was going to buy from suggested getting all Pentair equipment because doing so on one invoice would get me a 3 year warranty on all components, versus a 1 year on pump and filter and 2 year on heater. That sounded okay, so I got a quote for a Master Temp heater with cupro-nickel; an Optiflo 1 HP 2SPD pump with a cord; and a Clean and Clear 200 sq ft filter. Was about to purchese, but wanted to be sure my application or the fact that I was buying on-line and having a free-lance "pool guy" install it wouldn't upset the warranty in any way. (I have talked to my local pool stores for over a year to find someone to help with my install, and even if I buy from them they won't - citing Intex pools can't handle real equipment, AG pools need a special heater with a max of 100,000 btu, etc).
So I called Pentair to discuss whether I was doing anything that would upset the warranty should I need service in the next three years. The people I spoke to thought there would be no problem from the Pentair side of it, but basically said all they really warranty, if you read the fine print, is replacement parts. So if none of the pool stores want to do service for me, there would be nothing Pentair would do about it - they'd send me a part or a replacement if I could prove the warranty applied. Upon further with a Pentair guy, he reiterated that point, and added that I would not get the 3 year warranty on the Optiflo pump because my filter and heater are IG and the pump is AG - so I'd only get a 1 year on the pump and he was a bit sketchy on if using that AG pump with the filter and heater would effect those warranties. He said the Optiflo is too small and I need to get an IG pump and said to get the Whisperflo 1 HP 2 SPD or even the 3/4 or 1/2 HP. He knew the Optiflo was also 1 HP 2 SPD, and I don't know enough to argue with him in terms of comparing the "smallness" of the Optiflo to the Whisperflo. But he said Pentair would have no warranty issues (in terms of parts) if I got all "IG" stuff with my set up for 3 years - but again, finding someone to do the service might be different question.
I will say that the Pentair guy I spoke to today took the time to hear my set-up and seemed to "get it" in terms of wanting that heater and equipment even for a seasonal pool - so I mostly trusted what he was saying (but he had multiple caveats and references to the "fine print" that make me on-edge about the eventual value of the warranty).
To further confuse things however, I recall that in another thread (1-hp-2speed-pump-t32113.html?hilit=whisperflo ) Jason Lion said this, when explaining why he did like the Optiflo pump and did not like the Whisperflo pump for an AG:
"The WhisperFlo is a high head pump, while the typical above ground pool is a low head setup. A high head pump will be very inefficient pumping in a low head system. Head is a measure of the resistance to water flow. A low head pump is designed to move a comparatively large amount of water against low resistance. While a high head pump is designed to move a relatively low amount of water against much higher resistance. There are also medium head pumps which work alright, but not ideally, in either situation."
So, here are my questions:
1. If I want to get the Pentair suite to get 3 year warranty, Pentair guy says I need to get an IG pump (even though he knows it is for an above ground pool) and recommends the Whisperflo.
Does anyone think the Whisperflo will NOT work for my application (seasonal Intex AG)?
2. Based on what Pentair is saying, and with consideration to the thread specifically about on-line Pentair purchases and warranty implications, it seems likely that I'll be paying for repairs to my heater myself (parts might be covered, but at this point I'm guessing Pentair will claim something about the install, purchase, or use will call getting a new heater into question). SO, if I am hoping for but not banking on the three year heater warranty, can anyone compare the Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater to the RayPak of similar specs (400,000 electronic ignition, cupro-nickel, natural gas) -- obviously I am a complete rookie on pool equipment so if you have head-to-head comparisons on quality, durability, and user-friendliness of the two heaters I'd be interested.
Thanks to anyone who read all this! Keeping the water clear seems to be the only thing trouble free about a pool!