I'm a fairly new pool owner, since we just purchased a house last spring with a 25,000 gallon in-ground pool and spa (4-jets). It was chlorine based and had a manual timer. Last summer, I replaced the manual timer and manual valves with a Goldline Aqua Plus automation system and salt chlorination cell as well as a couple of actuators. Things were working great until yesterday when my American Products Ultra-Flow 1.5 HP up-rated pump died. As I suspect this was the original pump from when the pool was installed 10 years ago, I can't complain.
My pool guy (who serviced the pool for the previous owner and who closed the pool for me last fall) recommends that I replace the Ultra-Flow with a Pentair WhisperFlo pump. Apparently Pentair bought American Products years ago and the WhisperFlo lines up well with the old Ultra-Flow. He also said it's a high-efficiency pump so it will use less energy than my old pump did. He's quoting $700 installed for that pump which I can find online for about $500 so it's about a $200 installation.
But I was considering replacing it with the Hayward EcoStar. When I mentioned that, he said that the variable speed pumps don't last as long and since the plumbing is different it would be a bigger job to install. I can get this pump for about $900 online but it's probably more like a $300 installation.
Here in VA, I pay about $0.06/Kwh (distribution + generation) for the 1st 800 Kwh/month and about $0.07 for all Kwh/month after that. I typically run my pool about 6 hours a day (3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening).
Does anyone have any opinions that they can share about the reliability of the EcoStar? How about the WhisperFlo? Should I invest more now?