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Thread: What am I supposed to look for in a pump?

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    What am I supposed to look for in a pump?

    Hey Guys,

    My Emerson crapped the bed and needs to be replaced. Physical damage internally - probably not worth any repair I could have done to it, and it's rusted as all ****, so I'm sure it's as old as the house. I see a ton of pumps online, but I'm not sure how I'm supposed to judge them. I assume HP is a deciding factor, but how do I know what I'm looking for? I have a 1 HP now, should it only be replaced with a 1 HP? Ideally I'd want to connect to the same power so I don't have to rewire anything or call an electrician.

    Thanks!
    ~29k gal IG Vinyl Pool with Sand Filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: What am I supposed to look for in a pump?

    Is your current pump 120V or 240V?
    Any special high flow needs like water features?
    How expensive is you electricity?

    1HP is likely plenty (possibly more than you need), but there is a large difference from pumps that appear to have the same HP.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: What am I supposed to look for in a pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Is your current pump 120V or 240V?
    Any special high flow needs like water features?
    How expensive is you electricity?

    1HP is likely plenty (possibly more than you need), but there is a large difference from pumps that appear to have the same HP.
    I don't have, or ever plan to have, any water features or high flow needs. Just two skimmers and a main on the bottom. Electricity is expensive, but when the pool came on so did the central air, so I couldn't say it's all the pumps fault

    I believe it's 120V as it connects to a single breaker that doesn't look any different than the others. That said, electricity isn't my strong suit, so here are the items from the label:

    SF: 1.6
    VOLTS: 115/208-230
    HP: 1
    RPM: 3450
    DUTY: Cont
    INS CLASS: BR
    SF AMPS: 14.6/8.0-7.3
    AMB: 50 C
    CODE: L
    PH: 1
    FRAME: XL56Y
    TYPE: T

    Edit: I feel like an idiot, it looks from the tag and what I pasted above that it is 230V, agree?
    ~29k gal IG Vinyl Pool with Sand Filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: What am I supposed to look for in a pump?

    That pump is capable of being wired either 115V or 130V, but if it is a single breaker, that certainly points to 120V.

    Are the skimmers and drains tied together or are they run to the pump separately? What size pipe?
    Any chance of adding solar at some point?

    The Superflo 3/4HP 2-speed (SF-N2-3/4A) is one option, that is a pretty small pump, but you have no high flow needs. This is your cheapest option.

    The Whisperflo 3/4HP 2-speed (WFDS-3 or WFDS-24) is another good option, this has more flow than the Superflo, but will cost more to buy and run.

    What kind of cleaner do you use? If suction side, you will need to run on high when the cleaner is used or you are vacuuming. You can run on low any other time. Low is roughly 1/2 the flow rate as high but at 1/4 the electricity cost.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: What am I supposed to look for in a pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    That pump is capable of being wired either 115V or 130V, but if it is a single breaker, that certainly points to 120V.
    I'll double check when I get home. The one thing I remember about the breaker is that it's the only one with a "Test" button.

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Are the skimmers and drains tied together or are they run to the pump separately? What size pipe?
    Two pipes come up from underground and they're labeled "Deep Skimmer" and "Shallow Skimmer". They connect to one pipe and that one pipe connects to the skimmer basket area where I add water to prime the pool. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to measure the size of the pipe (but I will tonight if it helps), but I can fit about three normal sized fingers in them somewhat snug. I'm pretty sure I'm showing my ignorance here

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Any chance of adding solar at some point?
    I guess never say never, but we just got the house not too long ago and there's a long list of things we'd spend money on before going solar - so I'd say it's not a consideration right now. If in 8-10 years we had to replace the motor again because we wanted solar, it wouldn't keep me up at night.

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    What kind of cleaner do you use? If suction side, you will need to run on high when the cleaner is used or you are vacuuming. You can run on low any other time. Low is roughly 1/2 the flow rate as high but at 1/4 the electricity cost.
    I have an AquaBot that I run every other day or so, which doesn't connect to the pump. About once ever two weeks I take a vac to it, which I connect to the deep end skimmer while I close the shallow end skimmer, and vac for about 15 minutes or so.
    ~29k gal IG Vinyl Pool with Sand Filter

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    Re: What am I supposed to look for in a pump?

    Does more flow simply allow more water to be turned quicker, or is there some other benefit to that?
    ~29k gal IG Vinyl Pool with Sand Filter

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    Re: What am I supposed to look for in a pump?

    Sorry, one more thing to add - the pump has to suck the water up hill which makes it a huge pain in the rear to prime. I've gotten the hang of it and usually get it going within 3 or 4 fills of the basket, but anytime we've had a pool guy come out and do anything they've commented how terrible it was to get started again.
    ~29k gal IG Vinyl Pool with Sand Filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: What am I supposed to look for in a pump?

    Yeah, the more water flow allows you to turn over more water, but also the larger pumps have more power, which could be needed to pump water up to the roof for example.

    So, sounds like your highest flow rate requirement is likely when you are backwashing the filter.

    How big is your sand filter?

    I am inclined to think that you would be fine with the Superflo 3/4HP ... it will be the cheapest to run and should have plenty of power on high for your needs. You could likely run it on low 24/7 and spend less on electricity than your current pump used for much shorter run times.

    BTW, the variable speed pumps probably cost double what these small 2-speed pumps cost. They are 2-3HP on high, but can be dialed to RPM lower than the low speed on the 2-speed pumps. So, they may cost a little less to run as you can dial the speed down, but at a pretty high initial cost premium.


    Just saw your last post, how much height difference between the pool water level and the pump? That may point to a slightly larger pump, but would have to confirm with the resident expert.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: What am I supposed to look for in a pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    How big is your sand filter?
    I'm not sure how to measure this, but I'll show my ignorance again by thinking about how big it is compared to me... it's probably about 4 feet high from ground to the dial on top. If there's a more accurate measurement that I can get from the label, just tell me what to look for.

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    how much height difference between the pool water level and the pump? That may point to a slightly larger pump, but would have to confirm with the resident expert.
    Hmm... not too crazy, 5-7 feet max.
    ~29k gal IG Vinyl Pool with Sand Filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: What am I supposed to look for in a pump?

    Any information off the filter label would be good ... lbs of sand, sqft, brand name, etc

    Although the pump height might be more of a factor.

    I PM'ed the pump expert here, so hopefully he will offer an opinion soon.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: What am I supposed to look for in a pump?

    Given the priming issue, I might be more inclined to go with the Whisperflo WFDS-3 or 24. Also, when you replace the pump, plumb a suction side valve in with the pump so you can shut it off while cleaning the pump basket. Priming will be much easier.

    Can you take a picture of your pad equipment including pump and post it? Also, what was/is your clean filter pressure?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: What am I supposed to look for in a pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Given the priming issue, I might be more inclined to go with the Whisperflo WFDS-3 or 24.
    Thanks - now to see if I can find someone who carries it locally

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Also, when you replace the pump, plumb a suction side valve in with the pump so you can shut it off while cleaning the pump basket. Priming will be much easier.
    I have two ball valves on the skimmers and found that closing them before getting to the pump basket or chrlorinator definitely helped.

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Can you take a picture of your pad equipment including pump and post it? Also, what was/is your clean filter pressure?
    Here are ones I took last night along the way: http://imgur.com/a/0ntkv#6
    I can take some more if needed tonight. My clean pressure is 20 PSI.
    ~29k gal IG Vinyl Pool with Sand Filter

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    Re: What am I supposed to look for in a pump?

    Can I just buy the motor for any of these? When I look online for these, I'm only finding an entire kit:
    http://www.amazon.com/Pentair-WhisperFl ... B002GYW95W

    Where it looks like Leslie's and other pool places sell just the motor for much much cheaper:
    http://www.lesliespool.com/Home/Pumps-a ... otors.html
    ~29k gal IG Vinyl Pool with Sand Filter

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: What am I supposed to look for in a pump?

    I like many of the suggestions here and support buying a pump or a motor only but I wonder if having a professional install it and see why you have such a hard time getting primed. Motor shops can also replace just the motor if you can take it to them. They are easy to match up when you have the right information.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: What am I supposed to look for in a pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by techguy
    I like many of the suggestions here and support buying a pump or a motor only but I wonder if having a professional install it and see why you have such a hard time getting primed. Motor shops can also replace just the motor if you can take it to them. They are easy to match up when you have the right information.
    I was told by the company that came to open this season it is that because it's higher than the water level and has to drag that water up hill. They told me that most folks have it down hill when possible or at least at the same level.
    ~29k gal IG Vinyl Pool with Sand Filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: What am I supposed to look for in a pump?

    Well, the entire time you have been talking about replacing the pump, so that is what we were talking about.

    Now, it sounds like you are considering just replacing the motor ... if that is the case you need to look for a 1.65 SFHP 2-speed motor which is going to use more electricity than the pumps we were talking about.
    If you want to go smaller on the motor, you would at least have to replace the impeller and possibly the diffuser in the pump (not sure what if it is possible with that pump ... I just don't know).

    What kind of shape is the pump in? Looks pretty old.
    The newer pumps likely are more efficient at moving water than this older one (the Whisperflo moves a LOT of water).

    EDIT: Add a few pictures of the entire equipment pad to your link.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: What am I supposed to look for in a pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by BostonSkimmer
    I was told by the company that came to open this season it is that because it's higher than the water level and has to drag that water up hill. They told me that most folks have it down hill when possible or at least at the same level.
    Drag water uphill? I just love it when so called pool experts say things like that. Next time ask them if they can show you how to pull water.

    The point is that water cannot be pulled only pushed. The pump creates a low pressure region in the pump basket and it is atmospheric pressure which pushes the water into the pump.

    But they are correct in one respect. The higher a pump is above the water line, the harder it is to prime. Also, a higher head pump will prime easier than a lower head pump.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: What am I supposed to look for in a pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Drag water uphill? I just love it when so called pool experts say things like that. Next time ask them if they can show you how to pull water.

    The point is that water cannot be pulled only pushed. The pump creates a low pressure region in the pump basket and it is atmospheric pressure which pushes the water into the pump.

    But they are correct in one respect. The higher a pump is above the water line, the harder it is to prime. Also, a higher head pump will prime easier than a lower head pump.
    Well, they're gone from my life now anyway Had some other issues with them and stopped calling them. New place isn't too much better but at least they were able to find and repair a leak I had, and at least they return my calls . . .
    ~29k gal IG Vinyl Pool with Sand Filter

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: What am I supposed to look for in a pump?

    jblizzle, I'm very sorry - I think my lack of knowledge on the subject had you guiding me a little more than I probably deserved. I looked at the pump & motor options and I really like the idea of replacing what I have with a nice new motor & pump. I hit up the local pool stores, but unfortunately none of them (only 3 within 25 miles) sell anything like the ones you've recommended. I looked online to see how quickly I could get one shipped, but I hit some walls there. My tough spot is that I'm headed off for a few weeks, can't afford to have someone do the work right now, and the family would be a bit upset if the pool remained green while I was gone.

    So, with all that - one of the three pool stores actually had a replacement motor that matched the one I had. The other two laughed. It's still an older model, but came with a 1 year and was only a couple hundred bucks. I know it's like putting money into a car before you drive it off a cliff since this motor probably wouldn't work with any newer system that my pool deserves, but I had to go for the cheap+now option vs. the now+best.

    Now let's hope I can muster up the mechanical ability (that I don't have) to get this new one on here . . .

    As someone who frequents the IT forums to help out, I understand how it might be frustrating to spend a lot of time helping someone and have them go in a different direction - it wasn't my intention to waste anyone's time, but the information you provided will be invaluable and will eventually (probably next year) be put to good use.

    Now I must go start a new thread on the bond wire I've broken...
    ~29k gal IG Vinyl Pool with Sand Filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: What am I supposed to look for in a pump?

    No worries ... if you are smarter now than when you started, it was worth it.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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