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Thread: Single Speed vs. Variable Speed Pump for Water Features

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    Single Speed vs. Variable Speed Pump for Water Features

    New pool construction to begin in 3 weeks...builder has proposed the use of a 3 HP Pentair WhisperFlo pump to supply the water features. They are good sized features (waterfall and weeping wall). With the 3 HP pump running, there should be plenty of water for them, and that is the issue. There will be times when we don't want the full allotment of water splashing out, but rather something more modest and quiet. The builder says we can adjust water flow with the valve feeding the water features, obviously (is that good for the pump, however?)

    But my question is, it seems that a Pentair IntelliFlo variable speed pump might be the better choice -- especially since everything I read says that at its top output, it is equivalent to a 3 HP pump. (We will have an IntelliFlo variable speed for basic circulation pump). But if we don't want all that water gushing out, it seems we can more easily turn it down with a variable speed pump rather than have to mess with valves (especially since we're using the wireless Pentair controls).

    What am I missing? The cost for the IntelliFlo (if I'm looking at the right model) is not that much more money, maybe $100-$150 or so.
    17,000 inground gunite pool finished June 2013. Pentair variable speed something or another. Polaris cleaner, inline rainbow chlorinator. Using trichlor until CYA reaches 50-60.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Single Speed vs. Variable Speed Pump for Water Features

    Hi, welcome to TFP! How tall are your water features? That is a lot of hp for a pool and if it is only powering the water features it seems like overkill to me, but I admit it is not my area of expertise. A variable speed pump is one thought, and you may want to consider a 2 speed pump as well.
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: Single Speed vs. Variable Speed Pump for Water Features

    Waterfall / grotto is 3.5 feet high; weeping wall is maybe 2 feet high
    17,000 inground gunite pool finished June 2013. Pentair variable speed something or another. Polaris cleaner, inline rainbow chlorinator. Using trichlor until CYA reaches 50-60.

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