I think in an effort to save me a few bucks my pool contractor chose the wrong pool pump for me. He recommended a new 1.5hp single speed pump which he sold me for $450 installed. I'm thinking I should have spent twice that amount or more on a variable speed pump and I'm interested in your opinions. I'm willing to take a hit on the "new" pool pump and replace it if that's the right answer.
My remodeled pool is only 9000 gallons (give or take) after the remodel. In case you're interested, we filled in the deep end to make it a party pool and created a swim-out in the shallow end and added a bench seat which significantly reduced the volume of the pool.
Based on 9000 gallons, it would seem that a very small pump would be ideal, but we also put in some water features which require significant water flow when we want to use them, so I think I need a bigger pump - the combination of low water volume and lots of water features leads me to believe that for the best efficiency and electrical savings I should have a variable speed pump... No features turned on/not home - low speed. All features turned on/using pool - higher speed.
We have the following:
Intake is one main drain and one skimmer - two 1.5" pipes
Two returns on a single 1.5" pipe
Three therapy jets at the seat on a single 2" pipe
Two deck jets on a single 1.5" pipe
Two bubblers on a single 1.5" pipe
One suction side pool cleaner connection on a 1.5" pipe
I don't have enough flow to run all of the features simultaneously with my current configuration, but when the pool is just circulating water and the features are not being used it seems that I have significant overkill with a 1.5 hp single speed motor going.
I'd like the ability to run the pool pump 24/7 and not cost me a fortune (so I can enjoy the bubblers and/or deck jets anytime I'm home, plus I have heard that water quality is better with 24/7 circulation (thoughts?)).
Ideally, I'd like my minimum operating speed to be running the two returns and the two bubblers (even if the bubblers are only barely breaking the top of the water). At the opposite end of the spectrum, I'd like to be able to be sitting on the bench enjoying the therapy jets while the bubblers are on full blast and the deck jets are operating as well (lots of flow required).
I mentioned the pipe sizes because I'm not sure if I have enough intake for the output I would need regardless of pump and filter size. At this point we're not re-plumbing the pool itself.
Also, is my pool filter right-sized? It's an older Hayward Sand Filter - 2.64 cu ft - 60gpm on 1.5" pipe. Freshly backwashed it's currently running around 21psi. It seems to me that I have a bottleneck here with only 1.5" pipe. (Let's not digress into a flame war about sand filters please. I really like sand filters personally and it's what I intend to keep using even if I have to replace it).
So... what pump would you have for this pool? Pentair IntelliFlo? Hayward EcoStar? Something else?
I've actually asked multiple questions here. Which pump? Is my sand filter big enough? Do I have big enough pipe to run all my water features simultaneously regardless of what pump I have? Is water quality really better if I run 24/7? -- But the MAIN question is the pump.