Hello - long time lurker, first time poster. I've enjoyed reading all the great threads here - I can't even begin to describe my aggravation with my local pool supply store when they sell me chemicals that don't do what they say they will do. <g>
So we bought our house a few years ago - our first with a pool. The learning has been, well, learning. The pool was installed in 2003, so the components are about 10 years old now. Last year, the Hayward 1HP single speed pump started screaming, so I had the bearings replaced for $100 bucks or something and it is whisper quiet now.
My pool specs: In-ground 18' x 36' with a vinyl liner. Hayward 1HP single speed pump through a sand filter. The pool operates on a Carefree Clearwater Ion filter which seemed to work great the first couple years. It took some tweaking to avoid copper staining the white stairs. I learned that PH- will take the color off but achieving balance is much more preferable. After reading these forums I bought a good test kit that includes the little blue color tube for making sure the pool ions are correctly balanced. It made a world of difference.
Our pool varies from about 3' for 1/3 of the length then slopes steeply to about 8' at the deep end - so maybe 25,000 gallons (?). The pool has a single drain/return in the deep end and a single skimmer, and three circulating jets (2 main and 1 stair cleaner). The piping is pretty basic (I think) with about a 10' run from the single skimmer to the filter. I have no idea how long the runs are to the jets, but it can't be that complex.
We use a Tiger Shark pool cleaner that I love (washable cartridges yay!). No vacuum pumps or stuff..glad for that.
I'm looking to replace the current 1HP single speed pump with either a variable or 2-speed pump to maximize my energy savings. We've become uber-energy conscious since this past winter we installed a whole house 7.5 kW solar array on our roof to largely offset our power bill (our house is 100% electric). So we installed a wood stove, have changed to nearly all LED lights, and have overall just become much more energy aware (computers and TVs get turned off when not in use, etc..etc..)
So before we open the pool this spring, I would like to replace the Hayward pump with something much more efficient. We don't run the pool pump very much I think comparatively - I don't know if that is because of the ion system or that the Tiger Shark does such a good job of cleaning.
I'm just starting to get educated on variable speed versus two-speed, but I'm not sure which one is for us. We live in Charlotte - and pay 9.29 cents per KwH through Duke Energy. From the threads I'm reading here it seems like variable speed might not be worth it when one considers the complexity, pump life duration, and the time it takes for the return on investment for the higher cost/complexity.
I guess what I'm wondering is - is it a 1 for 1 exchange if I change the pump? Meaning, I currently have a 1HP (240v I believe), so is it fair to assume a 1HP two-speed or VS pump would be adequate? Also, considering the (impeller?) and debris catching thingy where you prime the pump (sorry about my lack of terminology) are now also 10 years old, should I buy a whole pump+strainer assembly or just the pump motor? And is there any consensus on the most power efficient pump manufacturer?
When I initially started Googling for information - EcoDrive came up, and some further research seems to indicate they use a lot of fluffy terms and claims but they might not have the chops to back up their great marketing. I like Hayward just because it seems to have some name brand support behind it.
So..there you go. Sorry to have so much to write for my first post, but I can appreciate the knowledge and experience here, so before I go off making a half cocked decision I'd like to get educated a bit.