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Thread: New Pentair SuperFlow 2 speed pump or other?

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    hanesian's Avatar
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    Question New Pentair SuperFlow 2 speed pump or other?

    As luck would have it, pool opening revealed a pump that would not prime, because of a badly cracked pump housing. The combination of a 20+ year old pump and an especially cold winter apparently does not mix well. The single speed AO Smith motor is still functional, but it is also more than 10 years old, so replacing it with an energy efficient model at the same time as the pump is an obvious option.

    My local pool store quoted me an unbelievable $670 to replace the wet end, (installed) and just over $1,200 (installed) for a new Pentair Superflow VSP. Obviously I could buy a naked pump direct for much less than that - perhaps about $150 from what I can tell from a brief search. As for the full pump option, I'm thinking a two speed pump might be a better value for my situation than a variable speed pump. Looks like online pricing for a 1.5 HP two speed Pentair Superflow is running about $440. At this price point, my quick calculations on electric savings of about 50% equates to a payback period of about 2 years. Savings after the first summer would likely offset the additional upfront cost of the full pump vs. the wet end only.

    So I am leaning towards just getting the whole new Pentair 1.5 HP two speed Superflow, but buying it online and installing it myself. With the projected energy savings, it will be about a wash cost-wise compared to the pump only after this summer, and break even after the second summer. I'm fairly confident I could handle the install myself, with perhaps a little bit of electrical help if need be. The plumbing looks pretty straight forward.

    So is the Pentair Superflow a good product, or should I be considering something else? And does the two speed rather than a VSP make sense, assuming a moderately low electrical cost of about 12 cents per kWh and a short pool season? Recommended online vendors? Finally is this a reasonable DIY project if there is minimal plumbing or electrical changes needed?

    Thanks in advance for any feedback or suggestions. Much appreciated!
    25,000 gallon, vinyl IG, Pentair Superflo 1 HP Dual Speed pump, Hayward S-240 sand filter, SWG, Raypak M206A heater, Polaris Pool Cleaner 280

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: New Pentair SuperFlow 2 speed pump or other?

    I'm new to having a nice pool, but I can tell you that after owning a VS pump for about a month, I can't understand why anyone wouldn't want one. I know you are supposed to have electrical cost savings to offset the higher price of these pumps, but they are NICE. If you can splurge a little and get the VS at least, I highly recommend it. It is really wonderful to have four speed options, program-ability, and quietness. I upgraded for my build, so in the big picture, the extra cost was nothing big, and I didn't even build a fancy pool. I would say get the two speed at minimum, but if you can, go for the VS if possible. You'll never regret it, and this time next year, the extra money spent will mean little to nothing. Just my .02
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    Re: New Pentair SuperFlow 2 speed pump or other?

    Pentair recently came out with the Super Flo VS pump which is priced very economically for a Variable Speed Pool Pump the part # on this pump is 342000 and runs about $700 online. I have also recently added a VS pump to my pool and love it!

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    Re: New Pentair SuperFlow 2 speed pump or other?

    While VS pumps are "very cool" and fun to have, they have also have a much higher rate of problems reported compared to two speed pumps. With electricity around $0.12/kwh it still makes sense to get a two speed pump, unless the "very cool" aspect particularly appeals to you.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: New Pentair SuperFlow 2 speed pump or other?

    Yeah, as my kids would quickly point out, "cool" does not appear to be very high on my priority list. But then again, they may just not see the coolness inherent in wearing shorts with black socks!

    I'm a bit befuddled about the VS pumps. I'm not arguing that VS potentially offer more operating savings, just that the incremental cost for those savings are much less than those for the first 75% of the 2 speed pumps. At current prices, I like the value proposition and simplicity of the 2 speed pumps. For those who have the VS pumps, how often do you actually operate the pumps at less than the 25% level?

    Should I be considering other brands/models of pumps other than the SuperFlo?

    And most importantly, how difficult a job is it do replace a pump like this yourself for a moderately skilled DIY'er? Is it worth paying double or so the price to leave it to the professional installers?

    Thanks again for the feedback!
    25,000 gallon, vinyl IG, Pentair Superflo 1 HP Dual Speed pump, Hayward S-240 sand filter, SWG, Raypak M206A heater, Polaris Pool Cleaner 280

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    Re: New Pentair SuperFlow 2 speed pump or other?

    You have the savings issue essentially correct. A VS pump saves just a little more electricity than a two speed pump, but it also costs more up front. The additional savings is small, since the two speed is already quite good, so it take a while to pay off the additional up front investment. The newer small VS pumps start to have a clear advantage around $0.15/kwh, and are close to break even around $0.12/kwh.

    The SuperFlo two speed and SuperFlo VS are representative of the best that are available. There are similar pumps from Hayward, but they don't have any real advantage (nor any real disadvantages).

    This is a reasonable DIY job. If you don't have any experience with electrical work and/or PVC plumbing it has a bit of a learning curve. Still, it is something most any DIY type can overcome/learn to do.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: New Pentair SuperFlow 2 speed pump or other?

    If you do go with a VS, you should probably include a surge protector for the power as many VSs are susceptible to power surges and replacing a drive is nearly as expensive as the entire pump.

    Just for reference, the MaxFlo VS is about 15%-25% more efficient than the SuperFlo at the same flow rate so if I were to get a VS, I would probably go for the MaxFlo.

    But if you do go with a two speed, is there a reason why you are leaning to the 1 1/2 HP Superflo? Do you have a spa and/or water features that require high flow rates. If not, the 1 HP would be more than adequate.
    Mark
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    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: New Pentair SuperFlow 2 speed pump or other?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    Just for reference, the MaxFlo VS is about 15%-25% more efficient than the SuperFlo at the same flow rate so if I were to get a VS, I would probably go for the MaxFlo.
    That isn't what I see in the CA energy commission results. The SuperFlo VS has a significant advantage over the MaxFlo VS at 600 RPM for all three plumbing curves. (The full speed results are not directly comparable, as they are not at equivalent RPMs.)
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: New Pentair SuperFlow 2 speed pump or other?

    Thanks for the continued help, especially Jason and Mark. I really appreciate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    <snip> But if you do go with a two speed, is there a reason why you are leaning to the 1 1/2 HP Superflo? Do you have a spa and/or water features that require high flow rates. If not, the 1 HP would be more than adequate.
    Thanks for bringing up that question. This was another issue I have been trying to clarify.

    My current AO Smith pump had a sticker that said 1.4, so I have been assuming it was a 1.4 HP. Now that I have need to look closer, I find the harder to see detailed label (attached below) that shows it is actually a 1 HP, with a SF of 1.4, for a SFHP of 1.4.



    photo (1).jpg


    We just bought the house last year, but there USED to be a spa, which is no longer around, nor are there any other water features. My pool cleaner has it's own booster pump. So I'm wondering if I could safely use a 1 HP pump. The SFHP on the SuperFlo 1 HP is 1.25, while on the 1.5 HP version it is 1.65. As I said, my current pump is SFHP 1.4. FWIW, my filter is a Hayward S-240 Sand Filter with a design flow rate of 63 GPM.

    What do you guys think? Would I be OK with the 1 HP option?

    This is all still pretty new to me, although I'm getting my education fast - thanks to TFP!


    Thanks again for the help!
    Last edited by hanesian; 05-17-2014 at 11:41 AM. Reason: added more detail
    25,000 gallon, vinyl IG, Pentair Superflo 1 HP Dual Speed pump, Hayward S-240 sand filter, SWG, Raypak M206A heater, Polaris Pool Cleaner 280

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    Re: New Pentair SuperFlow 2 speed pump or other?

    Without a spa or other water feature to worry about, a 1 HP SuperFlo should be just fine.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    hanesian's Avatar
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    Re: New Pentair SuperFlow 2 speed pump or other?

    Thanks, Jason. I appreciate your help.
    25,000 gallon, vinyl IG, Pentair Superflo 1 HP Dual Speed pump, Hayward S-240 sand filter, SWG, Raypak M206A heater, Polaris Pool Cleaner 280

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    Re: New Pentair SuperFlow 2 speed pump or other?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    That isn't what I see in the CA energy commission results. The SuperFlo VS has a significant advantage over the MaxFlo VS at 600 RPM for all three plumbing curves. (The full speed results are not directly comparable, as they are not at equivalent RPMs.)
    First, the wattage difference at 600 RPM is so small that it wouldn't make much of a difference in operating costs so what I did was used a higher RPM and interpolated the data to get to the same GPM which is what my spreadsheets do. You can use tab CompOP to do the comparisons yourself but for most speeds that make a difference in energy use, the MaxFlo comes up on top.

    But this is predictable because the MaxFlo has a flatter head curve and physics tells us that the flatter head curves are more efficient pumps.

    Also, the measurements at lower RPM have higher error as a percentage because the same equipment is used for the measurements at all RPM. So although the flow meters they use are much better than typical flow meters, they still have fixed errors over the entire range. Also, if you compare Curve-A with Curve-C flow rates on the SuperFlo, they are they same and that is not possible since they are on different plumbing curves. The flow rates must be different. If the SuperFlo flow rate is 10 GPM on Curve-A, the flow rate MUST be 13 GPM on Curve-C because the plumbing curves are well defined as are the head curves. So they obviously did something wrong with the measurement.

    I can show you many examples of were the measurement data does not make sense. I think we had discussed some of the Whisperflo inconsistencies before. It is the best we have but you need to make sure the data looks correct before using it.
    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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    hanesian's Avatar
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    Re: New Pentair SuperFlow 2 speed pump or other?




    Thanks, Mark! I understand the individual words, if not the meaning behind them! I'm thinking either line of pump would be a ton better than the decades old single speed model I've been trying to get working again!
    25,000 gallon, vinyl IG, Pentair Superflo 1 HP Dual Speed pump, Hayward S-240 sand filter, SWG, Raypak M206A heater, Polaris Pool Cleaner 280

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    Re: New Pentair SuperFlow 2 speed pump or other?

    Definitely, both pumps would save over a single speed but that is true of the two speed as well. Most of the savings comes from just having a lower speed. The VS's just do a little better at the lower speeds but it takes a while to make up the cost difference.
    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: New Pentair SuperFlow 2 speed pump or other?

    I know this is a little late but you may want to also consider how you will be controlling the dual speed pump. If you currently have a single speed pump being controlled by a yellow dial timer then you would need to add a second yellow dial timer Intermatic T106. The current timer would turn power on and and off to the pump and the new T106 timer would switch between the high and low speed. I believe there may be a handful of dual speed pumps which have a toggle switch on them for manually switching between high speed and low speed but the majority do not have a toggle switch as a lot of pools are going over to automated control systems. If you have an indoor control system then I believe you need to add another relay for the switching of high and low speeds (you would also need to make sure you have room to add another relay - the relay is about $75).

    The variable speeds pumps do have an integrated digital timer on the pump motor itself so you would use the digital timer on the pump for the turning on and off of the pump as well as the control of the speeds, this can all be programmed at the pump. So if you have to purchase the additional timer for the dual speed pump at $120 then you are getting pretty close to the same price as the variable speed pump.

    Also the wiring of the T106 timer is a complete pain, there is a guide here which will walk you through the process http://www.inyopools.com/HowToPage/h...106_timer.aspx I think either way Dual Speed or Variable speed you will be happy with the energy savings over the single speed.

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    Re: New Pentair SuperFlow 2 speed pump or other?

    Quote Originally Posted by hanesian View Post
    As luck would have it, pool opening revealed a pump that would not prime, because of a badly cracked pump housing. The combination of a 20+ year old pump and an especially cold winter apparently does not mix well. The single speed AO Smith motor is still functional, but it is also more than 10 years old, so replacing it with an energy efficient model at the same time as the pump is an obvious option.

    My local pool store quoted me an unbelievable $670 to replace the wet end, (installed) and just over $1,200 (installed) for a new Pentair Superflow VSP. Obviously I could buy a naked pump direct for much less than that - perhaps about $150 from what I can tell from a brief search. As for the full pump option, I'm thinking a two speed pump might be a better value for my situation than a variable speed pump. Looks like online pricing for a 1.5 HP two speed Pentair Superflow is running about $440. At this price point, my quick calculations on electric savings of about 50% equates to a payback period of about 2 years. Savings after the first summer would likely offset the additional upfront cost of the full pump vs. the wet end only.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback or suggestions. Much appreciated!
    That was my scenario almost exactly. I just replace an old 1 hp Century/Smith pump with a 1 hp Superflo 2 speed (bought on Amazon for about $400). I plumbed it myself and hired an electrician to connect it to a mechanical timer. My intent is to run it on low speed continuously, except for periods of maintenance where the high speed is required. I connected it to the timer in the event my plan is not feasible and will want to cycle it on and off. The plumbing was done with PVC and I did a small amount of re-arranging components. It was very much a learning experience for me but it sounds like you will be able to handle it.
    22,500 gallon in-ground. 2 skimmers plus deep-end intake. Hayward sand filter. Polaris with booster pump.

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