Let me apologize in advance for the long post.... So I'm 9 days into the world of pool ownership and although I think I've gotten the chems dialed in, it looks like my next big hurtle will be replacing my pump. We have a 25+ year old plaster pool and the following are the details, as best I can figure:
1) 40K gal, with attached SPA
2) 60sqft Waterway Plastics DE filter (max flow rate of 120 gpm)
3) Propane heater (not sure which brand)
4) Hayward Swim Pure Plus SWG (T-cell-15)
5) Deep end is approx 9' deep
6) For Suction I have 2 main drains in the deep end, 2 floor drains in the SPA, and 2 skimmers
7) For return to pool, I have two 1" dia supply jets/holes in the shallow end, a 1.5" jet/hole in the deep end, and four 1.5" holes in the SPA
8) All piping above ground near the filter equip is 2". I'm not sure what's underground so it's near impossible to figure Total Dynamic Head
9) As mentioned below, the current pump is failing so I can't do a vaccum test to know what current pressures I'm seeing so TDH is a total guess. From what I've read it seems 50' to 60' feet of head is a best guess
10) 1.5HP single speed pump (Jacuzzi Magnum force, manufacture date of 2001)
In searching the internet I found the following curve numbers for my current pump:
Head' : 30' 40' 50' 60' 70' 80'
GPM: 85 79 72 65 56 43
This past weekend I vaccummed (to waste) a bunch of leaves and **** from the deep end and after doing so the pump is making a lot of noise and is not pulling as strong as it was last week. I cleaned out all the baskets and couldn't feel any obstructions in the pump itself (the lines leading to the pump seem to be clear as well). After cleaning the pump basket, aligning the Jandy valves and everything, the pump struggled to reach prime (before vacuuming it would prime right away). It slowly pulled water but it wasn't until at least 24hrs later that the pump reached prime and the window was free from bubbles. Even once it reached prime, the pressure reading on the filter has remained only around 3 psi -- last week I was getting around 13psi clean / 20psi just before backwashing. I doubt there is a leak because everything was working fine before vacuuming and there are no bubbles now, just low pressure and a reluctance to reach prime if I shut things off.
At this point I'm ready to take the plunge for a new pump and I figured I want a variable speed. In reading the TFP forums, I've seen a lot of recommendations for a 2-speed, but I like the flexibility of going with a variable. NOW---- here's the question:
It seems like most folks recommend Pentair so I started looking at the Intelliflo. I looked at the specs and at full RPM it's a 3HP pump which seems like it would be overkill (and exceed the GPM limits of my filter). Granted, the intent is to run at low RPM but I'm wondering with such a large upgrade over my current 1.5HP if would I see much savings if the new baseline is 3HP? Since it seemed to me that this pump was overkill and there was nothing in Pentair's lineup in the 1.5hp to 2HP range, I figured maybe I should look at Hayward. (Side note: The pentair tech support guy said they they are coming out with a new 2HP "Intelliflo i2", but it hasn't yet hit the market,..grrrrr). Anyway, the Hayward Ecostar looks to be just as big as the intelliflo so not sure that's the answer either. I think I'm leaning towards their Tristar. Pentair said they would only give me a 60day warranty if I bought the pump online and installed myself (3 yrs if I paid an authorized installer). Hayward said they would give me a 1 yr warranty if I installed myself (2yrs if done professionally).
Before taking the plunge I would LOVE to hear back from the experts on this panel - should I go with:
Pentair Intelliflo (eventhough it's big and only has 60d waranty), Hayward Ecostar, Hayward Tristar, or Others??
THANKS in advance !!!!
(when I get a chance I'll post my green to clean pics)