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Thread: Should I Upgrade to ePump (Solar on 2 story roof)

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    Should I Upgrade to ePump (Solar on 2 story roof)

    I recently bought a house with my first pool. This forum and Pool School have been great in helping me figure things out. I am estimating my pool is about 25,000 gal, with a spa that overflows to the pool and solar heat on the top of a two story roof. I currently have a Hayward RS1000 main pump and a second pump for the spa. The main pump has started cutting out after running an hour or so,probably overheating. I called the home warranty people, and they sent a pool guy out to look at it. When he arrived, it had just shut off. He said the pump needs to be replaced. He said the home warranty will cover me for replacing the motor with a "like kind" or they can give me a cash payment instead, which I could then apply to a variable speed pump. I am in Southern California where the electric rates are high, so the cost savings of the variable speed pump is appealing. Since I have a Jandy control system, he said the best way to go would be with a Jandy ePump, and the 1.5 HP would probably do the job. The payout is not great ($250), but the local utility has a $200 rebate that would also help. He quoted around $1100 for the new pump.

    My wife then called another pool guy for a second opinion. This guy said that with the solar on the roof, we would have to run the pump at high speed anyway and we would never see enough energy savings to make it worth while. So do you think he is right? The first guy thought we could still run at a slower speed with the solar on. Never having a pool before, I don't know how often the solar is on in the summer. If it is on constantly and I need to keep the pump on high speed, then I won't save anything except during the winter when the solar won't heat the water enough anyway. If the solar only needs to be on for a short time every day, then the pump could drop to a lower speed the rest of the day and save me money.

    Second question. I love the waterfall between the spa and the pool. With a variable speed pump, could I set a mode where the pump sucks from the pool and returns all water tothe spa, using the minimum pump speed to get decent flow, and have a lower cost way to run the waterfall?
    23,000 gal. IG plaster pool with attached spa and solar heat. Intelliflo VS pump. Liquidator. Jandy AquaLink RS with iAquaLink and OneTouch controller.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Should I Upgrade to ePump (Solar on 2 story roof)

    Welcome to TFP!

    There is no one obvious answer to the variable speed pump question. Things aren't as bad as the second pool guy said, but also not as rosy as the first pool guy implied either. Solar isn't on all the time even at peak solar heat season, and hardly used at all part of the year. Any time the solar is off, you will save a fair bit of money. Even when the solar is on you will still save something, just not nearly as much. The variable speed won't need to be run at full speed, medium high yes, but not full speed, and any reduction from full speed saves money, plus the variable speed also has a slightly higher inherent efficiency, so it saves just a little even at full speed. How exactly that works out and what you payback time will end up being is difficult to guess, but I suspect you will save with a variable speed in the long run given your high electric rates.

    Second question, yes absolutely.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Should I Upgrade to ePump (Solar on 2 story roof)

    Thanks. Do you think medium high speed is enough for the pool vac, too? Or will I have to run it at full speed for a while for the vac anyway? How long does the vac typically need to run each day?
    23,000 gal. IG plaster pool with attached spa and solar heat. Intelliflo VS pump. Liquidator. Jandy AquaLink RS with iAquaLink and OneTouch controller.

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    jkurl's Avatar
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    Re: Should I Upgrade to ePump (Solar on 2 story roof)

    I think it depends on what vac you have. I have a jandy system w/ a epump. I also have a booster pump that goes w/ my vac. The pool runs @ 2200 while the booster is on. I run my vac about an hour a day pk season and hour on sat/sun during winter. I am in Northern California. With my solar my pump speed is about 2200 as well. I am not on a roof but my solar run is about I would say 75 ft or more going up a hill. I have no issues at all. When my water fall turns on I am running my pump at 3150. The epump is the way to go. I save a lot w/ that thing. It cost me a dollar a day to run it w/ solar but that usually goes up some cause my son and mother in law like to run the water fall all the time.

    Pool Size: 20 x 40 Free Form Inground Plaster Pool w/ a shallow cove.
    Gallons : ~23K Jandy CL580 Cartridge Filter, Jandy e-pump 1.5HP
    Polaris 280 w/ Booster Pump, AqualinkRS PDA4 Remote, Aqua-Pure SWG
    Jandy LED Pool Lights (2), Heliocol 500 Sq. Ft solar rack system

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Should I Upgrade to ePump (Solar on 2 story roof)

    It is common to run a pressure side cleaner about 3 hours a day.

    If the cleaner has a booster pump the main pump needs to be on, but can be at any speed. If the cleaner is powered by the main pump you generally need a medium speed on the pump.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Should I Upgrade to ePump (Solar on 2 story roof)

    I don't have a pressure side cleaner, I have a suction cleaner. I've read other threads where it sounds like people are running the vac for about an hours a day. Maybe three hours is better. What I am thinking is that I could set it up to run on a medium high speed for three hours a day with the solar enabled, and the rest of the time at a lower speed without solar. That would get me vac time, hopefully enough solar time to keep the pool warm, and still have significant time at a low speed to save more on electricity.
    23,000 gal. IG plaster pool with attached spa and solar heat. Intelliflo VS pump. Liquidator. Jandy AquaLink RS with iAquaLink and OneTouch controller.

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    jkurl's Avatar
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    Re: Should I Upgrade to ePump (Solar on 2 story roof)

    I run my vac before I even start my solar. What you could do is schedule the vac to start at 6am and then have the solar start at 9am.

    Pool Size: 20 x 40 Free Form Inground Plaster Pool w/ a shallow cove.
    Gallons : ~23K Jandy CL580 Cartridge Filter, Jandy e-pump 1.5HP
    Polaris 280 w/ Booster Pump, AqualinkRS PDA4 Remote, Aqua-Pure SWG
    Jandy LED Pool Lights (2), Heliocol 500 Sq. Ft solar rack system

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Should I Upgrade to ePump (Solar on 2 story roof)

    It should be no problem to run both solar and the vacuum at the same time which should reduce run time. That is what I do. However, it may require a bit of fine tuning to get everything to run correctly at the lowest possible RPM.
    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: Should I Upgrade to ePump (Solar on 2 story roof)

    I found a guy who is experienced using the Intelliflo pump with the Aqualink controller. A couple of the pool guys I talked to recommended the Intelliflo over the ePump, but they all wanted to install a separate controller. I like the idea of the direct interface better, and since the Intelliflo seems to be more common and the price was the same, I am going with it. Should have it installed next week.
    23,000 gal. IG plaster pool with attached spa and solar heat. Intelliflo VS pump. Liquidator. Jandy AquaLink RS with iAquaLink and OneTouch controller.

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