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Thread: Variable flow pump and sand filter : Questions

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    Join Date
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    Variable flow pump and sand filter : Questions

    Hello Experts:

    Motor on the pump has been making slightly more noise than normal. Yesterday, I had a pool repair guy (for something else) come to fix the timer. He mentioned that noise indicates to him that the pump is on last legs..might last 1-2 years or go bad in a day or week..he cant really tell when. Anyhow, he mentioned Variable Flow Pump (Pentair) and said that with this pump, my usage charges should come down to about 15-25 dollars per month from the $60 or so (using the current set up), and I wont need to run my pump for 6 or so hours daily. He is quoting me $1300 (including installation) and 3-years warranty. He also mentioned that to replace my current pump (with similar stuff) will be ~ $750.

    Secondly, he recommended a sand filter to replace the cartridge system. He said that cartridges cost about 150 or so, and then something else (I forgot) that needs replacement every 4-6 years, and this part is about 250 or so bucks. Total cost for this replacement parts was ~$400. He mentioned that sand filters cost much less (~$50) to maintain, and it is very easy to clean the filters..just turn a knob and system is cleaned, unlike cartridges. I am being quoted ~$750 with 3 years warranty.

    My questions are: are these variable flow pump and sand filter good investments? Are these actually as useful as I am being told?

    Of course, I am not going to replace anything as long as my current system works..it is only when something goes bad or I have to replace the cartridges. Just need to be informed and be prepared for the eventuality...
    ----------------
    9,700 gallon, in-ground pool, Cartridge filter, Irregular (kidney) shape, Taylor K-2006 test kit, small rock waterfall.

    Pool School + Test Kit + Test Kit Directions +The Pool Calculator = A TROUBLE FREE POOL

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    Re: Variable flow pump and sand filter : Questions

    I have the pentair two speed and before u go spending all that money look on craigslist got mine filter pump 1hp hoses auto vac and extras for 195.00

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Variable flow pump and sand filter : Questions

    A good rule of thumb is that a variable speed pump is worth it any time your electric rates are $0.20/kwh or higher.
    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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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Variable flow pump and sand filter : Questions

    With CA water restrictions and the cost of water (backwashing), I think a cartridge is the best choice but it is also because I have one. Your PRG probably didn't include water costs in his estimate. Also, I am on my 8th year for my cartridges so cartridge life really depends on how you take care of them. BTW, what is the size of your filter?

    As for VS cost savings, a VS can make sense in CA. But you can reduce run time with or without a VS so that statement didn't really make sense to me.
    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: Variable flow pump and sand filter : Questions

    Thanks for the replies, everyone.

    I dont know what our electric rates are, but I will check it out.

    mas985: I dont know the size of my filter ( ), how do I find it out??
    ----------------
    9,700 gallon, in-ground pool, Cartridge filter, Irregular (kidney) shape, Taylor K-2006 test kit, small rock waterfall.

    Pool School + Test Kit + Test Kit Directions +The Pool Calculator = A TROUBLE FREE POOL

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Variable flow pump and sand filter : Questions

    There is usually a sticker on the side of the filter with either the size or at least a model#. But another way to tell is by the number of cartridges and the height of each cartridge.

    One of the reasons that a cartridge can be PITA and need to be replaced often is that they are usually undersized for the pool. For your size pool, 150 sq-ft should be big enough and require only 1-2 cleanings per year.
    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: Variable flow pump and sand filter : Questions

    mas985: Model # is CL460, flow rate is 150gpm..

    is that good enough, and should I stick with cartridge system??
    ----------------
    9,700 gallon, in-ground pool, Cartridge filter, Irregular (kidney) shape, Taylor K-2006 test kit, small rock waterfall.

    Pool School + Test Kit + Test Kit Directions +The Pool Calculator = A TROUBLE FREE POOL

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Variable flow pump and sand filter : Questions

    That is way more then you need but it is ok to have an over sized cartridge filter so you shouldn't need to clean even once a year (maybe every other year?) and the existing filters should last a very long time. BTW, in terms of energy efficiency, cartridges are better than any other type of filter because they have the lowest head loss of the bunch which should mean you can reduce pump run time even further.

    But as far as the pump goes, I would consider just two options, a low HP two speed or a VS. With your setup, you can easily get by with a two speed and since the pool is so small, it would take very high electrical rates to pay for the extra cost of a VS during the life of the pump. Do you have solar now or are you planning it in the future?
    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: Variable flow pump and sand filter : Questions

    Thanks for the reply and guidance, mas985. I dont have solar now and am not planning to get it (unless I win a lottery..but then I might just move to a house with a bigger pool ).
    ----------------
    9,700 gallon, in-ground pool, Cartridge filter, Irregular (kidney) shape, Taylor K-2006 test kit, small rock waterfall.

    Pool School + Test Kit + Test Kit Directions +The Pool Calculator = A TROUBLE FREE POOL

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