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Thread: 2 Speed vs Variable Speed Pump for new pool

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    2 Speed vs Variable Speed Pump for new pool

    I know this topic has been bounced around in a few different threads, but every scenario is different and I'm having trouble finding out what the best choice is. The various PB's I have talked to all have different opinions which makes it even more difficult to decide.

    I live on the east coast on the south shore of Long Island. The new pool package Im considering has the following:
    Inground 27'x15' Kidney, 3.5' - 6' deep (approximately 12k gallons)
    Jandy DE 48 Filter
    Pool Pilot Digital Nano SWG
    AquaClean Robotic Cleaner
    The pool steps have built in seats with jets otherwise there are no water features. There is also no heater, but I might decide to put one in at a later date.
    The standard pump the pool comes with is a one speed Jandy Stealth 1.5 HP. I asked the pool builder about 2 speed and variable speed pump and he strongly recommended the variable speed., which would be the Jandy ePump Stealth 1.5 HP (8 speed) over the two speed Jandy Stealth 1.5 HP. HE said the variable speed over the two speed would be a no-brainer. IT would be a $800 upgrade with a potential $400 rebate from LIPA. The two speed would be $300 more with a $150 rebate. My concern is that the variable speed, with its added technology and electronic controls may not last as long as the other pumps. And do I really need a 8 speed pump or will two speeds be sufficient for the proposed setup?
    12.5k Doughboy, 24'x16'x52" Oval, 6' Deep End, Semi-IG, Vinyl, Sand, Waterway 1.5 HP 2 speed. Power Ionizer, Full Sun

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: 2 Speed vs Variable Speed Pump for new pool

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    From your description there is nothing that points to needing a VS pump.

    What is your electrical cost? It depends on your electrical cost to determine how long it would take for the VS pump to offset the extra $250 over the 2-speed. With that low of a delta cost, it should cover it in a few years, but again, you do not need more than 2 speeds (low for filtration and high for filter cleaning and bench jets). In fact you can likely get by with a 2-speed that is smaller than 1.5HP.

    On the plus side, that 48 sqft DE filter is more than large enough for your pool.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: 2 Speed vs Variable Speed Pump for new pool

    Thanks Jason. Electrical cost is .19 kwh. On the high side, but based on you comments it sounds like the vs might be overkill for the proposed configuration. Are there any drawback to using lower speed for filtering if I'm using the swg? I have heard mixed opinions on this. Also does that fact that I might put in a heater within a year or two of pool installation make a different on choosing a two speed over a vs?
    12.5k Doughboy, 24'x16'x52" Oval, 6' Deep End, Semi-IG, Vinyl, Sand, Waterway 1.5 HP 2 speed. Power Ionizer, Full Sun

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: 2 Speed vs Variable Speed Pump for new pool

    Well, your electrical is pretty high ... so that alone puts you on the edge of wanting a VS pump.

    The VS will be a little cheaper to run at speeds corresponding to a 2-speed pump due to the motor design. The advantage of the VS is that you can run even lower rpm than the low on the 2-speed (1725 rpm) which is cheaper to run AND you do not have to run at the full 3450 rpm for high speed ... both saving electrical cost.

    The only possible hiccup is that the SWG (and heater) have a minimum required flow rate, so you may not be able to run the VS too low or they may not work. The one danger would be getting a small 2-speed and then ending up where on low it did not keep the SWG happy, but this is VERY unlikely.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: 2 Speed vs Variable Speed Pump for new pool

    The heater is usually the limiting factor because most SWGs require only 15-20 GPM and the heaters usually require up to 40 GPM. Most two speeds on low speed are above the SWG threshold but are usually below the heater threshold. So a VS would allow you to run at the lowest speed possible and still keep the heater happy.

    But are you really sure you want to heat your pool with a heater? It isn't cheap.
    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: 2 Speed vs Variable Speed Pump for new pool

    The heater is optional at this point, but might be something installed in the future. I will have to see if the queen (my wife) is willing to go into a pool if it is not heated. Good information on the minimum flow rates. I will definitely take that into consideration when determining what type of pump to get.

    Thank you Jason and Mark for your help!
    12.5k Doughboy, 24'x16'x52" Oval, 6' Deep End, Semi-IG, Vinyl, Sand, Waterway 1.5 HP 2 speed. Power Ionizer, Full Sun

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