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Thread: What is the best variable speed motor w/square flange?

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    What is the best variable speed motor w/square flange?

    I am trying to replace my dead single speed motor on my Whisperflo WFE 4. I have a home warranty and they wanted to rebuild my existing single speed motor. However, I fought them because in Arizona the new code is to have a dual speed or variable speed motor. The warranty company agreed to pay for a variable speed. The pool company doing the work gave me only three options for variable/dual speed motor the ImPower , Emerson 2Ez dual speed, and the A.O. Smith variable speed. Which one is the best? I would really like to control the different speeds as much as possible. I have been told, however, becasue I am just replacing the motor my controls will be limited.

    First, are there any other options for variable speed motors to put on my Whiperflo pump?
    I have a automated cleaning system so I will not be able to control it no matter which one I chose so that is a non issue.
    Is it better for me to put in the refurbished single speed or a new variable or dual speed motor?

    I am being told mixed reviews on variable speed pumps also. Some people say the variable speed are way better for energy savings but are newer technology and are not proven in the industry. They also say they are more prone to failure because of the computer on board. Some have said I should get my single speed refurbished rather than get a new variable speed. I only pay .04 cents kwh so from the calculators for "savings" it appears I will not be saving that much by switching to a variable speed pump.

    Any advise will be much appreciated!! Thank you

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best variable speed motor w/square flange?

    A two speed motor saves a great deal of electricity. A variable speed motor saves even more, but not nearly as much more as the two speed saved in the first place. Because variable speeds cost so much up front, and don't save all that much more than a two speed, they don't tend to pay back the initial investment when electric rates are low. If you were paying for the motor I would strongly recommend a high efficiency two speed motor. On the other hand, if the home warranty company is paying for the motor that logic doesn't apply, and a variable speed will save you more in the long run (given that you don't have to pay for it up front).

    There have been more failures of variable speed motors that single/dual speed motors in the same situation. The difference isn't huge, just enough to notice.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: What is the best variable speed motor w/square flange?

    You can put an Intelliflo in place of the Whisperflo. Just unbolt the Intelliflo wet end and switch them. The Intelliflo requires 220V electric. Just always make sure you close the cover on an Intelliflo to prevent waterfrom getting into the top control.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
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    Re: What is the best variable speed motor w/square flange?

    So, if the warranty company is paying get the variable speed even with the higher problems?

    Now, what brands out the three I gave is the best variable speed? And, are there any other variable speed motors with a square flange to put on my whisperflo?

    The only models I have been told are the impower and the A.O. smith. The A.O. smith looks like it may have more setting. Do you know if i can control over speeds on the A.o. smith? the impower i have no control. it runs for 2 hrs on high then it goes to low power. I am disturbed I can not find any reviews on any of these motors.


    To the last poster, I do not want to or need to switch out the entire pump. I am only looking to switch out the motor. Since my rates are so low and my pump is not broken I would never recoupe the cost of a whole new pump with motor such as the intelliflo.

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    Re: What is the best variable speed motor w/square flange?

    Interesting discussion, I am in Chandler and will face this issue soon. My intelliflo 1.5 hp pump is very loud currently, so i expect it will die soon. I also have a home warranty as we purchased home in 5 2012. We have a inground 20,000 gal pool<built 2005>. We have four pumps,1 main, 2 for resistance swimming, 1 for spa/water feature. we also havea fafco solar system and gas heater.
    As i research the pumps I assumed I would get greif from the warranty folks. So I had settled on a 2speed intelliflo pumps for replacement. Mostly because then it should hook to the control box and then i assumed everything should work at designed.
    I follow the thread as I never thought the warranty company would come thru with replacement. But how does that work with the overall system, with the compomponets you can't control?

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best variable speed motor w/square flange?

    I think this is the first time that this particular issue has come up on the forum...sorry! Emerson and AO Smith make a lot of motors used in a lot of pool pumps. I've never heard of ImPower.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: What is the best variable speed motor w/square flange?

    Impower is made by emerson. It's basically a 2 - speed motor with three different options. It runs off a mechanical timer. It runs on high speed for two hours, then switches to low or medium, depending on which one you select in the programming.
    25K aggregate IG, Intellipro, FNS48, Polaris 360, PG2000 fiber optic light source

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    Re: What is the best variable speed motor w/square flange?

    You might be able to go to a single speed 1/2 H.P motor if it will meet your flow requirements. You would also need to change the impeller, which would offset some of the savings. Since the total HP is less than 1.0 HP, it is exempt from the 2-speed or variable speed rule. I know that the warranty company is paying, but I would think that you might want to try to keep the claims cost low to avoid deductibles or higher premiums later on.


    WhisperFlo 1/2 H.P (WFE-2) is curve E. WFE-4 is curve G
    http://www.pentairpool.com/pool-owner/p ... mp-193.htm

    Here is an example:

    Pentair 1/2 HP WhisperFlo Original Motor 075232S Price: $129.99
    WhisperFlo Pump Impeller 0.5 HP 073126 Price: $48.00
    Total = $ 178 + shipping
    https://www.glenridgepoolsupplies.com/w ... -1732.html
    https://www.glenridgepoolsupplies.com/p ... -4455.html
    You can find the impeller cheaper, but getting it from the same place, might save on shipping.

    The Impower (Now called Infinity, from SNTech, who bought Marathon) has a total HP of 1.25, whereas the WFE-4 has a total HP of 1.65, so the Impower would be overloaded at full speed unless you changed out to the WFE-3 impeller.
    http://www.pumpmotors.com/literature/do ... re7-10.pdf
    http://www.impowerdealer.com/product.htm
    http://www.pumpmotors.com/literature/do ... de6-11.pdf

    Emerson Motor Technologies is now Nidec Motor Corporation, and sells under the name U.S motors. Their variable speed is called the EcoTechEZ (total H.P = 3.5). Note that there was a recall on some of these motors, so be careful that the motor is not one of the ones that falls under the recall.
    http://www.usmotors.com/Our-Products/Pool-Spa.aspx
    http://www.usmotors.com/Our-Products/~/ ... anual.ashx
    http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2012/Nid ... ck-Hazard/

    Century, now owned by Regal Beloit, and previously owned by A. O. Smith, sells a variable speed motor called the V-green, which is rated up to 2.7 H.P.
    http://www.centuryelectricmotor.com/Mot ... 033&id=368
    http://www.centuryelectricmotor.com/Wor ... spx?id=371

    If you're considering a variable speed pump, you have to make sure that your electrical supply will handle the load. The EcoTechEZ and the V-Green are both higher HP than your current pump. There are some 1.5 to 1.65 VS total HP motors available. For exampleSpeck sells a 1.65 HP variable speed pump (sold by Raypak) which has a 1.65 total H.P motor made by Century (or Nidec?). This is new, and I haven't seen these motors sold yet.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpAPZdQuMyA

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    Re: What is the best variable speed motor w/square flange?

    James W....thank you for that in depth response. You sound very knowledgeable. I appreciate the background info on the motors. I am not concerned with my home warranty's rates going up and the deductibles are fixed. We will not be renewing the warranty after it is up. So, with that said, do you have a recommendation's between them?

    I have considered cashing out the repair and have the entire Intelliflo pump installed. It all depends on the amount they will cash me out at. It doe not make financial sense for me to put in a whole new pump out of my pocket cause my rates are super low.....I would never make the money back. Do you think this would be the safest bet? I was looking at the Intelleflo and the VF which automatically adjust to the job. I don't know if that one is worth the premium but it sounds nice.

    After your response, I am concerned with other problems arising from installing a variable pump. The pool technician says we do not need a new impeller with the Impower or the Emerson. However, he is checking into the V-Green to see if we need a new impeller. I suspect we would. He swears that the Whisperflo pump I have is a great pump and is a tank so there is no need to switch it out. Outside of changing out the impeller ad the fact I can't use it with my automated system what other issues do I need to be concerned about?

    You mentioned about about making sure my electrical system can handle it. How do I do this? I would hope the pool company would not do that knowing what I have but you never know which is why I like to be as educated as I can.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best variable speed motor w/square flange?

    The pump circuit will be on it's own circuit breaker. If you know which circuit breaker controls the pump, note it's amp rating. Typically that will be 15 or 20 amps. I believe that your current pump could run on a 10 amp breaker, while an IntelliFlo requires a 20 amp breaker. If the pump you are getting requires a larger number of amps than you have it will require a wiring upgrade as well as a new circuit breaker. If you already have a 20 amp circuit, then likely anything will work.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best variable speed motor w/square flange?

    Quote Originally Posted by cjmrdm
    I was looking at the Intelleflo and the VF which automatically adjust to the job. I don't know if that one is worth the premium but it sounds nice.
    It is very hard to make your money back on the Intelliflo. Even at my rates in California, it didn't make sense for me @ $0.30/kwh. But I didn't need to replace the entire pump either. I took my old pump and downsized the impeller and motor. That was far less costly than a new pump, especially a VS and it had an overall lifetime cost far less than the VS.

    However, if you go the VS route, I would not get the VF. It costs a lot more and doesn't really offer any benefits over the standard VS 011018 which by the way has its own timer included so an external controller is not required.

    He swears that the Whisperflo pump I have is a great pump and is a tank so there is no need to switch it out. Outside of changing out the impeller ad the fact I can't use it with my automated system what other issues do I need to be concerned about?
    I agree, the Whisperflo is a great pump. Your most cost effective option would be to simply replace the motor with a standard two speed. This will give you the most bang for you buck and give you most of what a VS pump offers. But by changing the impeller and motor for not much more, you can have a smaller pump which will save even more money over the life the pump.

    Also, Century (A.O. Smith) has a high efficiency two speed motor that costs about the same as a standard two speed so you can get a bit more efficiency on low speed. You can read about them here:

    http://www.centuryelectricmotor.com/Mot ... 033&id=362


    So the bottom line is that I would skip all the various VS options, including just a motor, and go witha Century E-Plus two speed motor.
    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 is the best variable speed motor w/square flange?

    Thank you for the response. I do agree with you on the entire pump option. I was only considering it if it didn't cost much after the warranty company cashed me out because it seemed like the easiest way without all the other issues that come with switching motors out.

    I am curious why you are suggesting a 2 speed motor rather than a variable. My home warranty company is covering it so does that change your opinion at all?

    I also would really appreciate if if someone could give me an opinion on the variable speed motors I have been asking about. I would like tho know what one would be best. The AO Smith V-green or the Impower. To my knowledge those are the only 2 that are available in variable speeds with a square flange.

    Thanks
    Robyn

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    Re: What is the best variable speed motor w/square flange?

    I would stick with more well know and proven manufactures like A.O.Smith. When I had looked at IMPower some time ago, they charge a premium for their motors and the savings is no better than a two speed so the business case does not make sense. As for the V-Green, again you will pay a premium for that motor so you need to make sure that you will make back the incremental cost between the V-Green and the E-Plus. The V-Green is about $800 while the E-Plus is less than $300. So for the extra $500, I doubt will the V-Green save that much over the life of the motor.

    At $0.04/kwh, you would need to save 12500 kwh to break even with the V-Green. Since the V-Green will save ~150 watts vs a two speed (Both on high and low), run time would need to be over 80,000 hours to break even. The average motor life is less than half that.
    Mark
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    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 is the best variable speed motor w/square flange?

    But if I am not paying for it then go for the V-Green?
    I have heard some negative feedback about the V-Green from an online retailer. They said they had some warranty issue in regards tot he computer part. They also said that if the computer does out I will need to change out the whole motor rather than just the computer part. Do you know if that is true?

    As far as the circuit breaker ....I just checked it and there are 2 (2 part) circuits that are labeled pool motors. One has a 20 labeled on the "handle part" and the other has a 15 on the "handle part". I assume this means that one is a 20amp breaker and one is a 15 amp breaker? Is that correct? And if so, then am I good to go as far as amperage for the variable speed motor or a Intelliflo?

    Also, if I am going from a 1 HP WFE-4 to a V-Green which goes up to 2.7 HP will I need to swap out the impeller? Will I need to change anything else out?

    On a side note....any opinion on the Emerson EZ 2 speed motor?

    Thanks
    Robyn

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    Re: What is the best variable speed motor w/square flange?

    You don't need to switch the impeller unless the motor is smaller than what your current impeller was designed to be used with. Changing the impeller will allow the variable speed motor to be adjusted to higher effective HP. A 1 HP impeller limits you to a peak of 1 HP even though the motor is larger, while a 2 HP impeller would allow you to go up to 2 HP. Since you are unlikely to need the higher effective HP, it shouldn't really make any difference.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best variable speed motor w/square flange?

    Quote Originally Posted by cjmrdm
    But if I am not paying for it then go for the V-Green?
    Would you be paying for the E-Plus? Isn't is the same cash out either way? The extra $500 could be used for something else. Also, you will need surge lightning protection for the V-Green. VFD drives are very susceptible to power surges.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
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    Re: What is the best variable speed motor w/square flange?

    I am sorry but I am confused on the impeller thing still. I think I get it but am not sure. On one hand you say I should not need a new impeller but then go onto say if the HP is more then I need a larger impeller. My current single speed Whisperflo is a 1 HP with a service rating of 1.65. I have no idea what my impeller is. The new V-Green motor is 3/4 HP to 2.7 . So, to me it sounds like I do need a new impeller because my current motor is only 1 HP and I am going to a variable speed 2.7 HP. Do I understand this correctly?

    On a side note....I just got off the phone with AO Smith technical department and they said I should not need to switch out anything. I do not need a new impeller. So, I am still confused. Sorry....can you better explain maybe?

    Also, I live in Arizona and RARELY see lightening. How concerned should I be with this? What do I do to protect it against this?
    What are your thoughts on mounting the computer part of it away from the actual pump (you can do this with the V-Green)?

    Thanks so much!

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best variable speed motor w/square flange?

    Putting it simply, you can put a larger motor on a smaller impeller but not the other way around.

    So it is fine to put a 2.7 HP motor on a 1 HP impeller (under-load). But you cannot put a 1 HP motor on a 2.7 HP Impeller (overload). The motor will over heat.


    Also, I live in Arizona and RARELY see lightening. How concerned should I be with this? What do I do to protect it against this?
    What are your thoughts on mounting the computer part of it away from the actual pump (you can do this with the V-Green)?
    It isn't just lightening but power surges on the lines that you need to be concerned with. It is insurance. There is a lot to go wrong with the drive so you want to protect it with at least a surge protector.

    But I still do not understand why you want to go with V-Green so much. It is isn't worth it.
    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 is the best variable speed motor w/square flange?

    I see it clearly now....Thank you for that explanation!!! However, won't putting a larger motor on a smaller impeller cause the motor to work harder and over heat?

    And in regards to my focus on the V-Green....I ask how is not worth it? It is free! I am confused. lol

    OUtside of going back with a single speed or a whole new pump I only have 2 options for variable speed. The V-Green and the Impower.

    Also, how do I protect against power surges? Do I need to install something?

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best variable speed motor w/square flange?

    However, won't putting a larger motor on a smaller impeller cause the motor to work harder and over heat?
    No. The impeller creates the load for the motor so a 1 HP Impeller creates a 1 HP load. If the motor is rated to 2.7 HP, then the impeller creates a load that is well below the motor rating so the motor is under loaded. Motors can be under loaded but not over loaded.

    Also, I am assuming you will be getting a fixed amount of cash out and probably much less than $800 so with the V-Green, you are going to need to pay out of pocket.

    But lets just say you get the full $800 as a cash out. Both motors would be free. But with the E-PLUS it is free AND you get an extra $500 in your pocket. So again, I don't understand why you would want something that takes $500 out of your pocket.
    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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