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Thread: Manufacturers need to get their act together.

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Manufacturers need to get their act together.

    Rant warning.
    Manufacturers need to get their act together. Even among "energy efficient" lines, efficiency is confusing. As a technical guy that loves to over-research things, pump specs are absurdly confusing and without reason.

    For example, based on reading this forum, if I asked, "what is the ENERGY EFFICIENT line of single-speed Hayward pumps", I'd probably get "Tristar" as an answer, along with a few recommendations to use Ecostar or some other 2-speed pump.

    "Great!", someone looking for an efficient pump says. "All I have to do is get a Tristar! (or Pentair Whisperflo) of X horsepower!"

    Not so simple though. Look at these:
    http://www.hayward-pool.com/prd/In-Grou ... 0828_I.htm
    http://www.hayward-pool.com/prd/In-Grou ... 0828_I.htm

    • Same series -- the energy efficient "Tristar" series[/*:m:6531annv]
    • Same HP[/*:m:6531annv]
    • Completely different specs (I've read Pool Pump Basics)[/*:m:6531annv]
    • Efficiency: "Standard" for one (???), "Energy efficient" for the other[/*:m:6531annv]
    • Different price on Amazon[/*:m:6531annv]


    Same for Pentair's "energy efficient" Whisperflo line. (Amazon Whisperflo page which says, "Standard and energy-efficient square flange motors available").

    I suspect the Tristar/Whisperflo pump housing itself is better flow-optimized and that the motor, technically separate from the rest of the pump, is independently available with different efficiency ratings, but seriously -- how the **** is anyone supposed to figure this out? Even coming here and reading over two dozen TFP posts singing the praises of energy efficient pumps, this was never mentioned once. TFP is probably the densest concentration of pool expertise on the internet. The only reason I looked into it is to figure out the difference between identical product pages on Amazon.

    Pardon my arrogance, but here's a clue for Pentair and Hayward: Sell the minimum number of pump lines.
    [list=foo:6531annv][*]Variable speed, high-efficiency, expensive (EcoStar, IntelliFlo)[/*:m:6531annv][*]2-speed, low-efficiency, cheap (e.g. SuperPump 2, Superflo 2)[/*:m:6531annv][*]2-speed, high-efficiency, mid-cost (e.g. Tristar 2/Whisperflo 2)[/*:m:6531annv][*]1-speed, low efficiency, cheap (SuperPump, SuperFlo)[/*:m:6531annv][*]1-speed, high efficiency, mid-cost (Tristar/Whisperflo)[/*:m:6531annv][/list:6531annv]
    • Any necessary variations (e.g. waterfall pumps) must have an obviously different, clear, totally unambiguous, distinct model name which requires no analysis of the bullet points or specs to know that there is a physical difference.[/*:m:6531annv]

    Hayward, Pentair, (possibly Jandy -- I didn't look) You are hurting your industry. Fix it.

    If you don't agree, then go find a knowledgeable but non-expert friend and tell me that they can look at this page (which doesn't even list the standard/high efficiency options this email is about!) and have any idea what pump to get.
    Any mature industry moves towards simplification of product lines through ad-hoc agreements between manufacturers. This industry is run like a bunch of start-ups by engineers dispassionate to the importance of marketing and product identity to "clueless consumers".

    The same applies to all other pool equipment. Go to Hayward's pool filter page. Useless. (Wow, these are all great! Which do I pick!?) It isn't hard to write 2 pros and 2 cons for each technology so that someone visiting the page may begin to make a reasonable decision without spending weeks researching the finer points of computational fluid dynamics. Fix it.
    25K IG Vinyl / Pump:¾ HP Tristar SP3207EE (as opposed to the confusingly different SP3205X7) / Filter:Hayward S360T2 (prev. SuperFlow PF-50) / Heat:6-panel FAFCO Ceiling solar heater

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Manufacturers need to get their act together.

    The reality is things get a bit more complicated than that depending on if your looking at a low, medium or high head pump which will depend on your individual pool, types of water features, etc. As there are situations where 2 pumps both powered by the same size and model of motor can greatly out flow each other depending on amount of head pressure in a given system. To put this simply if your pool has "over sized" plumbing, no water features, and a straight forward plumbing run to your pad you may have a very low amount of head, in this case a low head pump could outflow a high head pump by perhaps 25-30%, by contrast that same low head pump may completely stop pumping at 50 - 60 ft of head, which may be found with complex water features, fountains, water falls, etc. and high head pump powered by the same motor may still provide 40 or 50 gph at those levels and have a max head of 80 or 90 feet. Add in 2 speed or variable speed and you make matters of head even more complex.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

  3. Back To Top    #3
    kyser's Avatar
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    Re: Manufacturers need to get their act together.

    Preach on! Right there with ya!
    Thank goodness we all have such knowledge and giving friends here on TFP to help us figure these things out!
    6.7K Pro Series 18x48, VL40T32 pump/filter, Hayward skimmer, TF100, and BBB!

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Manufacturers need to get their act together.

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1
    The reality is things get a bit more complicated than that depending on if your looking at a low, medium or high head pump...
    I hope I don't come across as making light of the complexities of pump design, but I still am adamant that the situation is far beyond absurd.

    Dell has the following lines of desktop PC:
    • Inspiron - Cheap[/*:m:1fyl2dyu]
    • Optiplex - Business[/*:m:1fyl2dyu]
    • Precision - High-end workstation[/*:m:1fyl2dyu]
    • XPS/Alienware - Gaming[/*:m:1fyl2dyu]

    I can confidently say that, while pumps are complex, PCs are orders of magnitude more complex.
    Dell has no different model for low, medium, or high core count, or for low, medium, or high CPU clock speed.

    If PCs were marketed like pool pumps, there would be different models based on hard drive type and speed.
    Different models for non-RAID, RAID1, RAID0, RAID5, and RAID1+0 lines. After all, do you need low, medium, or high (or no) redundancy?
    Different models for different RAM, CPU, GPU, etc. configurations.
    There would be several differently prices computers, all which look the same and which are the same model, "Dell RAID1 5400RPM 2G/4CORE", but which are priced differently because, after hours research, a potential customer finds one model's RAM is ECC (error correcting), one is registered ECC, and one is ordinary RAM. Not that they know what that means, or should have to.

    I believe that markets which tend towards simplification thrive because they become accessible to the masses. PCs are an example. Phones. Appliances.
    Those that choose to be esoteric, and it is a choice, trudge along slowly and with great confusion and misinformation. Furniture. Home theater equipment.

    Many intelligent, educated people believe that Bose makes high-quality speaker systems, that solid wood furniture is "no longer made" because "it cracks", etc. and those industries make products for everyone, not just those who can afford a pool.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I think pool products can make sense and be more accessible to most people. Humans are great at abstracting complexity.
    25K IG Vinyl / Pump:¾ HP Tristar SP3207EE (as opposed to the confusingly different SP3205X7) / Filter:Hayward S360T2 (prev. SuperFlow PF-50) / Heat:6-panel FAFCO Ceiling solar heater

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Manufacturers need to get their act together.

    No offense taken, but I think you are perhaps using the wrong computer analogy, the pump is a component in the system like a hard drive, processor, or monitor, not a complete consumerized product like say a Dell Inspiron, Studio, Latitude, etc. Off hand I am having a hard time of coming of with a good direct analogy from the computer component world of today, as choice in computer components are quickly dwindling, so instead let me compare it to the computer market of say 5-10 years ago, and lets use hard drives as our component of comparison. You had half a dozen or so brands to choose from vs the two that are left standing today after many mergers, there were 3 or 4 big players (WD, Seagate, Hitachi/IBM, ....), and most of the rest surprised everyone about still being in the business (Toshiba, Fujitsu, Maxtor, etc.) Most consumers only cared about the number of GB, and had no clue about cache sizes, bus speeds, latency and most of the consumers that considered themselves informed thought that hard drives only came in only 2 flavors, PATA and SATA, few had a clue about SCSI, SAS, Fiber Channel, etc. Pool pumps are much the same way, few people care about them once they made their initial limited purchase selection offered by their pool builder where they were perhaps given the choice of 2 or 3 options, much like Dell when you go to buy a computer and you are offered a choice of a 250, 500, 750 GB hard drive, with no mention of brand or any other metric of comparison. The only time people tend to care is when the old one breaks and they have to replace it, even then many / most people go to a repair person and say put another one in just like the old one. And much like computer hard drives, pool pumps can be optimized for the task at hand, and it is not just based on GB, where the factory choice might not make the best replacement, perhaps that low power model would be better to extend your laptops battery life, or maybe you need the performance of one that spins at a higher number of RPM's, even though it sucks down the batteries. So if you think about it pumps and hard drives are not that different, the one size fits all choice forced on you by the pool builder / computer system integrator because they found a great deal, may not always be the best choice for you, but is often the one your stuck with out of the gate.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Manufacturers need to get their act together.

    I admit, the computer analogy was a bit awkward. I struggled to make it sound better but failed.

    Back to pumps, In the specific case of the Hayward Tristar, the "Energy efficient" motor in this energy efficient pump is superior in every way except for cost, and the cost isn't much higher. For the sake of product line optimization, I'd suggest that Hayward make only the energy efficient motor an option. This makes sense, because the customer is already paying a premium for the energy efficient pump.
    If such a high level of customization is needed that the specific motor must be changed out, that can be done by a pool professional just like PC customizations can be done by a computer professional.

    In the case where a particular pump has options for medium or high head (I'm assuming low head is for the AG pumps, which are out of scope), I still think this can make sense to non-experts. I said above that pumps with different capabilities must have an "obviously different, clear, totally unambiguous, distinct model name". In this case, we can have the "SuperPump HH" and "Superpump MH". Really, a better term than high and medium head may be possible, but at least with HH/MH in the model name, I can see very easily that two otherwise identical looking pumps are different. As to the details of that difference, well, some things just need a little research, but at least I won't buy the cheaper of the two assuming that they are identical and that I "found a deal".
    Perhaps trim levels on a car work as a better analogy. I may have the option of two Honda Accords, but I can tell they are different (while still being "Accord") because one is a DX and one is an EX.
    25K IG Vinyl / Pump:¾ HP Tristar SP3207EE (as opposed to the confusingly different SP3205X7) / Filter:Hayward S360T2 (prev. SuperFlow PF-50) / Heat:6-panel FAFCO Ceiling solar heater

  7. Back To Top    #7
    asxetos's Avatar
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    Re: Manufacturers need to get their act together.

    My understanding of this situation is that the specific industry does not want the end customer to be able to select specific parts on his own at all.

    Instead, they steer the end customer into blindly trusting the pool installer, because these things are so "complicated" that only a "professional" can handle the decisions on which pump fits what etc.

    Even if things go wrong for the end customer and he is unhappy with the operation of the system, he is unlikely to find readily available hard data to support his case against the pool installer for selection of wrong pump / motor / filter etc.


    It could be that the industry's analysis of the market showed that they can make more money this way.
    Don´t be fooled by the sheep on my bike, I swim with fish in my sound equipped pool.

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