After living with new pool gear for a while, I find myself "going backward" on several fronts for various reasons.
My personal environment (I realize everyones is different) is challenging to make run efficiently.
4 years ago I put in - salt system, new master temp 400 heater, Jandy Aqualink 8 control system, Jandy epump 2.0 HP, Pentair quad de 60......
The variable RPM pump was a challenge in a couple of ways.
I was unable to realize the max savings out of a variable speed pump because the saltwater cell requires a significant amount of flow to activate.
Min wattage to get the cell to lite up was about 250 with a fresh clean DE filter.
I was also constantly balancing skimming function and GPM required for the cell to work as the filter pressure started to build.
A few pounds of pressure makes a huge difference in the parameters for those 2 variables to function correctly.
I live very close to a large freeway interchange and there is a great deal of dust infusion into the system. (I have a house full of air cleaners)
Im also surrounded by vegetation and am fighting a war on two fronts and with a DE filter- I was losing.
Within a week or 2 so I was unable to get any skimming function and had to bump to about 350-400 watts to keep any skimming action functioning
In my environment my DE would quickly get enough dirt to slow flow down enough to effect the overall performance requiring daily bumps in RPM to keep it all working.
Filter cleaning became a 6 week (at best) interval and between the trips take down the filter, clean the grids in solution, reassembly - to the store and dealing with old DE, magic lube and the time - it was a sub-optimal experience.
Unless I wanted to put 1 HP back into the pump and "force" the system - but why have a variable speed pump if you are going to run at the same speed all the time to overcome system inefficiency?
A larger filter with lower resistance allows lower back pressures and greater flow at a given RPM.
I stepped back in time from a Quad De60 back to a much larger 30" sand filter filled with zeo.
I'm also backing out of my saltwater system and going back to chlorinator so I can run my pool at a constant low RPM.
I had a leak form where the skimmer met the wall and had to jackhammer chop and grind the the old one out.
When I was in the area of the skimmer I found a littany of mystery plumbing and bizarre connections choking my otherwise 2" plumbing down to about 1.5 inches at the skimmer.
With the restriction removed, the larger filter, and some 90' bends smoothed out and the new skimmers door weir vs the old lousy American products "sticky" weir and basket setup - I can now get decent skimming function at about 90-100 watts or 1200 RPM.
I don't have to worry about the salt cell engaging with an inline chlorinator and my setup has about 2-3 pounds of pressure when running in this mode and it runs in near silence.
I was worried the zeo wouldn't cut it as I was used to DE water quality, but its pretty amazing what I'm seeing (the whole see a quarter in the deep end etc.. etc.. I know what clear water is supposed to look like and I have it). at least in my application and in my use case- the Zeo is beating DE hands down.
The net result is that my water has never been clearer, looking at the water through the light at night there is no discernible diff between the DE filter and the bigger sand one filled with zeo, and now that I have a slow low 24x7 pump run the overall cleanliness is superior and back washing takes minutes and is a much cleaner quicker process.
I'm sure removing the choked plumbing helps out, but that did nothing to alleviate the frequency of needed filter cleaning to get everything to flow at an efficient RPM.
I'm very happy with the functionality of my new setup and resulting sparkling clear resort quality hot pool water - at beer budget operating costs and 8 minute filter wash.