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Thread: Best Variable Speed Pump

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    Best Variable Speed Pump

    I am looking to replace my old single speed pump and am looking to upgrade to a variable speed. I currently run my 3/4 HP pump 8 hours a day and get slightly over 1 turnover, so I am looking at running the variable speed pump at very low speed for a longer time (maybe 24 hours/day). The 3 most popular ones I see are Hayward, Pentair and Jandy. I found the California writeup comparing the efficiencies and it is easy to compare the Hayward and Pentair at 1000 RPM, but the Jandy low speed is different. Does anyone have any comparison of the Jandy efficiency at 1000 RPM to make a direct comparison? Also, any experience with reliability of these 3 brands ? Thanks in advance.
    [i][i]BillT Victoria, Texas
    16,000 Gallon Gunite/Plaster Pool built in 1991, 3/4 HP (.9 HP with SF) single speed Sta-Rite P2R5CL Pump, ~60 gpm @ 10 PSI x 8 hours/day, 24" Jacuzzi Santrap Sand Filter with zeolite media, Polaris 380 cleaner with Hayward Booster Pump. Raypak 265A heater for spa section is currently kaput and bypassed but I plan to replace in 2013.

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Best Variable Speed Pump

    I like the pentair product line, but opinions on which is best will vary depending on one's opinion. Can I ask if you have thought about a two speed pump and simply running it on low speed or do you perhaps have water features that specifically require high/adjustable flow which make a two-speed a less attractive option?
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: Best Variable Speed Pump

    None of been on the market long enough to get a real read on longevity.
    Pentair has had theirs out the longest, and has had them in test pools for almost 8 years.
    The new Intelliflo XF with an all new wet-end is amazing. Same drive motor just different config on the pump hydraulics. They will eventually get rid of the Whisperflo wet end and all will go with this.
    It is even more efficient, and pushes more water.
    http://pentairpool.com/pdfs/intellifloxfBR.pdf

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    Re: Best Variable Speed Pump

    Thanks for responding; I looked at the 2 speed pumps but did not see any specs on lift capability for priming at slow speed. I am concerned the 2 speed pump will not prime itself at low speed. (I work at a chemical plant and we have some self priming pumps that will not prime at slow speeds; they are programmed to start on fast speed and then slow down). I did not see where any of the 2 speed pumps had that logic to automatically change speeds after startup; they all had a button you manually push. With the variable speed pump, some of them do have programmable logic to change speeds. Or I can just set it slow enough to run 24 hours a day and move the desired turnover and still save electricity.
    [i][i]BillT Victoria, Texas
    16,000 Gallon Gunite/Plaster Pool built in 1991, 3/4 HP (.9 HP with SF) single speed Sta-Rite P2R5CL Pump, ~60 gpm @ 10 PSI x 8 hours/day, 24" Jacuzzi Santrap Sand Filter with zeolite media, Polaris 380 cleaner with Hayward Booster Pump. Raypak 265A heater for spa section is currently kaput and bypassed but I plan to replace in 2013.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Best Variable Speed Pump

    A pump should not lose prime between run times so you should be able to prime on high speed and from then on, run on low speed. But if you have a two speed timer, you could run on both speeds each day which you may find you need to anyway. For me, high speed works well for skimming and the vacuum while low speed is mainly for circulation and chlorination.
    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: Best Variable Speed Pump

    Mark, Can your 2 speed pump change speeds automatically from a timer? The 2 speed pumps I looked at required manually turning a switch on the motor. I'm not home a lot so my pump would end up running full speed most of the time. Thanks.
    [i][i]BillT Victoria, Texas
    16,000 Gallon Gunite/Plaster Pool built in 1991, 3/4 HP (.9 HP with SF) single speed Sta-Rite P2R5CL Pump, ~60 gpm @ 10 PSI x 8 hours/day, 24" Jacuzzi Santrap Sand Filter with zeolite media, Polaris 380 cleaner with Hayward Booster Pump. Raypak 265A heater for spa section is currently kaput and bypassed but I plan to replace in 2013.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Best Variable Speed Pump

    The only time I have to prime my pump is when I open the pump lid to clean the basket. I then put the lid back on, flip the switch to high speed, turn on the pump and less than a minute later, it is primed. I then can shut it off and flip it back to low speed and it will not loose prime.

    I have it run on low speed for 3 hours 3 times a day since I currently only have an on/off timer. In the summer I have it run on high speed during peak solar heating hours.

    A second timer could be easily added to automatically change the speed. Or the automation controllers (which I will get eventually) allow you to program different time and speed profiles.

    If you are losing prime, then you must have a leak somewhere. The pump should have no problem starting up on low speed after the pump has been primed. And like I said, you should only need to prime when you are already standing at the pad anyway, so changing speeds is no big deal.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    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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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Best Variable Speed Pump

    Quote Originally Posted by OldCowhand
    Mark, Can your 2 speed pump change speeds automatically from a timer? The 2 speed pumps I looked at required manually turning a switch on the motor. I'm not home a lot so my pump would end up running full speed most of the time. Thanks.
    Yes, I have a electronic controller with an SWG but you can also use a simple timer such as this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Intermatic-T10604 ... 810&sr=8-1
    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: Best Variable Speed Pump

    Thanks for everyone's support here.

    My current pump is 20+ years old and has difficulty sealing, even with new o-ring so I tend to lose prime. I have lived with it so long, I actually thought that was normal. I guess any new pump would likely keep prime.

    Last question: Is the preference for 2 speed vs Variable speed based on initial cost or other reasons? The variable speed would save more electricity, although I'd have to put a pencil to see how much.
    [i][i]BillT Victoria, Texas
    16,000 Gallon Gunite/Plaster Pool built in 1991, 3/4 HP (.9 HP with SF) single speed Sta-Rite P2R5CL Pump, ~60 gpm @ 10 PSI x 8 hours/day, 24" Jacuzzi Santrap Sand Filter with zeolite media, Polaris 380 cleaner with Hayward Booster Pump. Raypak 265A heater for spa section is currently kaput and bypassed but I plan to replace in 2013.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Best Variable Speed Pump

    It greatly depends on how much you electricity costs. If your rates are not very high, you may never (or at least take many years) save more electricity over the 2 speed to justify the initial cost difference.

    But if you had varying requirements for flow rates (water features, spa, etc) then the VS may have flexibility you desire. Additionally, the VS usually have timers and controllers built in so it is easy to adjust times and speeds.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    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
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Best Variable Speed Pump

    Payback of a VS would probably be over 10 years at $0.10/kwh. So get it only if you want the flexibility of VS pump.

    You can see my assumptions/calculation here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc ... yU2c#gid=7
    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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    susa's Avatar
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    Re: Best Variable Speed Pump

    >> am looking at running the variable speed pump at very low speed for a longer time (maybe 24 hours/day)


    that is why I installed the VF on all family pools over the last years as we run most 24/7 at ultralow speeds with a couple days of programmed higher speeds for IC40 operations (won't turn on until 25 GPM on pump, controlled by relay which monitors the VF power curve)

    for our needs, the power savings was not the highes priority, noise abatement as in totally silent operation was the goal.

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    Re: Best Variable Speed Pump

    Check to see if your local power company gives rebates for the variable speed pool pumps. I bought a Pentair VS pump for 950 shipped and received 200 cash back from the power company. So out of pocket I only paid 750. I like the flexibility so the difference was not that big of a deal for me.
    45k gallon plaster, EasyTouch 8SC, Pentair IntelliFlo VS, IC60, Hayward SwimClear C4020, SwimQuip 1M divingboard, Polaris ATV

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