This is perhaps a common question that has been raised in the past, but I could not find any recent posts.
My pool size is 17,500 gallons and I currently have a Northstar 3/4 HP pump. I've owned the pump for 7 years and had to replace the motor about 2 years ago. There is an attached spa. I also have a waterfall that has it's own plumbing and dedicated pentair waterfall specialty pump (120 gpm, I think). The Northstar has worked fine from a filtering standpoint, but it is a bit underpowered for the spa (the pool originally had a 2 HP Challenger pump which failed. I went to the 3/4 HP for energy savings).
I recently had a whole-home energy audit and a recommendation was made to go to a VS speed pump. When I run the calculations it looks like I'll save about $320 or so per year - even over the use of a 3/4 single speed pump. And there will be the benefits of a quieter pump and probably a cleaner pool.
Based on the CEC database the ecostar is a substantially more efficient pump than an intelliflow VS. So that's very tempting. But it seems like just about EVERYONE I speak to in the pool biz, and just about EVERYTHING I read on-line suggests to go with Pentair due to quality issues. But I'm wondering if the ecostar has enough of a track record now that may make it more appealing. So any input on this would be appreciated.
Also, I'm not sure which intelliflo model would be the best to consider - the VS, the VF, or the XF. The XF is supposed to have a more efficient wet end, but I can't find any hard data on it. And, none of the local pool suppliers, e.g. Leslie's, NPS, seem to carry it. Anyone out there using an XF and any issues connecting it to 2" pipe?
Regarding the waterfall, one thing that has always bothered me is that 120 gpm makes for a roaring waterfall. That's great...sometimes. But other times I want something a bit more sedate. So I was thinking to have the waterfall replumbed into the pool plumbing and utilize the capabilities of a VS pump to be able to set the flow for the waterfall to whatever I want. I'd just eliminate the dedicated waterfall pump entirely. I already have an unused valve for a water feature that was eliminated when I had boulders put in, so I could use this for the waterfall.
And finally, I was looking at automation systems to control the whole thing. So I'd throw an actuator on the waterfall valve. Which leads me to automation systems. Pentair easy touch, intellitouch, Jandy...my head is spinning. Perhaps this is the subject of a separate thread.