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Thread: Sizing question for new VS - newbie - HELP!

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    Sizing question for new VS - newbie - HELP!

    Hi all,

    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)
    -Mike
    40K gallons, IG, plaster, circa 1987, 60sqft Crystal Water DE filter, Hayward Ecostar VS pump, SWG, attached spa w/spillway, 2 skimmers.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Sizing question for new VS - newbie - HELP!

    There is a Pentair Superflo VS which is similar to the Hayward Superpump VS and Maxflo VS which are much smaller than the larger Pentair Intellifo and Hayward Ecostar. The Tristar is a little smaller than the big pumps.

    But, the smaller pumps I think would have less flow than your current pump on high speed (you can check the performance curves), plus their programming is more limited and they do not integrate well with any automation systems.

    I am not sure what kind of controller is on the Tristar VS, whether it is more like the Ecostar or limited like the smaller VS pumps.
    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
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    Re: Sizing question for new VS - newbie - HELP!

    I haven't completely compared the Ecostar controller with the Tristar but they appear to be similar. The Tristar is 24hr programmable and you can modify the speed set points.

    Am I on the right track to consider a "mid-size" VS-pump versus the bigger 3HP or should I not worry about it so much it?
    40K gallons, IG, plaster, circa 1987, 60sqft Crystal Water DE filter, Hayward Ecostar VS pump, SWG, attached spa w/spillway, 2 skimmers.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Sizing question for new VS - newbie - HELP!

    Kind of depends on cost. There really are no mid-size right now that I know of besides the Tristar. If that is cheaper than the bigger pumps, then go for it. If the Intelliflo happens to be cheaper, there is no harm in having a pump that big and just not running it at high speed.

    Still not really sure why you want a VS? You do not appear to have a need for varying speeds. You will need a high speed for the spa and backwashing and a low speed for filtration. And there is no need to have to have both speeds running everyday. I am not sure what "flexibility" you think you will gain that makes the added cost worth it.
    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
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Sizing question for new VS - newbie - HELP!

    With a SPA, I would stick with the higher head VS pumps (full size). The Lower head versions usually don't enough head for the spa jets.

    Also, the TriStar (2.8 THP) is no smaller than the other "big" pumps and is very similar to the EcoStar (2.7 THP) and close to the same flow rate but the EcoStar is more efficient (~13%) than the TriStar so there really is no reason to go for the TriStar.
    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Sizing question for new VS - newbie - HELP!

    Thanks Mark.
    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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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Sizing question for new VS - newbie - HELP!

    I'd just split the motor from the housing (six bolts, most likely) and clean all the debris out of the impeller, myself. That's probably all that's wrong with it. I guess I'm just a cheapskate.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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