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Thread: Variable speed pumps - is the best brand to buy Pentair?

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    Variable speed pumps - is the best brand to buy Pentair?

    I have been looking at replacing the dual speed pump with a VS pump since we just got solar installed. I am wondering - between the various brands out there, from what I am seeing here, lots of folks seem to recommend the Pentair Intelliflo VS. Is this THE pump to get? The pool we have is 11,400 gallons, in ground, and we just installed solar (2 story house), with 7 panels. The solar installer says that in order to run the solar, we need to run our 2 speed pump on high. But, he said that if we upgraded to a VS pump, with controller, we'd see better electric bills.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Variable speed pumps - is the best brand to buy Pentair?

    But, he said that if we upgraded to a VS pump, with controller, we'd see better electric bills.
    Not by much. A two speed captures most of the cost savings that a VS would. Especially in FL where energy rates are not that high. When you factor in the cost of the new pump and the lightning protection, yes you need that, the VS is likely to have a much higher lifetime cost than the current two speed. The VS will probably never pay for itself.

    What is your current pump make/model?
    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: Variable speed pumps - is the best brand to buy Pentair?

    It's a Jandy Flopro 1.5hp pump. What is required for lighting protection, a surge device?
    11,400 gallon in-ground pool, with Wet Edge Satin-Matrix finish. No water features, or spa. 7 FAFCO solar panels, with Pentair Solartouch control system. Pentair Intelliflo VS pump. Jandy CS150 filter.

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    Re: Variable speed pumps - is the best brand to buy Pentair?

    Would be helpful if you added your pool details to your signature.

    A VS pump can be cost effective if you run your pool pumps for large portions of the day (like with a SWG setup) and if you can run on low speed. I run my IntelliFlo VS on 2500 rpm (~ 980W ) most of the day and I can probably go a bit lower and not lose too much flow or pressure. I only bump it up to higher speeds for vacuuming and spa usage.

    But as mas985 states, it can vary quite a lot depending on your details and so figuring out an ROI is not the same for everyone.

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    Variable speed pumps - is the best brand to buy Pentair?

    Quote Originally Posted by opto_isolator View Post
    It's a Jandy Flopro 1.5hp pump. What is required for lighting protection, a surge device?
    It needs to be on a GFCI circuit and properly bonded and grounded. Also, Pentair sells a special GFCI breaker to use with their pumps as some standard GFCI breakers can get tripped by the electrical noise generated at pump startup. There may be other options for cheaper GFCI so you don't have to pay Pentair's markup.

    Forgot to mention that there are panel mounted surge protectors that look just like breakers but you need to find one that is compatible with pumps and has the correct surge suppression rating. Again, mas985 nailed it by stating that it will add hundreds of dollars to the cost.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Variable speed pumps - is the best brand to buy Pentair?

    Quote Originally Posted by opto_isolator View Post
    It's a Jandy Flopro 1.5hp pump. What is required for lighting protection, a surge device?
    Yes but it needs to also have lightning protection if your area is prone to lightning which I think it is. It can add $200-$300 of cost to the installation.

    But you could just downsize your impeller. Going to a 3/4 HP impeller from a 1.5 HP impeller will cut energy costs by almost 1/2.
    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: Variable speed pumps - is the best brand to buy Pentair?

    I wasn't sure if there was anything special needed or not. I had planned to install an Eaton CHSP2ULTRA whole house surge suppressor. It gets installed in the load center, after the main breaker. I would think it should work, and they are about $120 online from what I see. Since I have a dedicated breaker for my pool pump now, I have to check it, but I would think that it would have to be GFCI compliant to meet electrical code.
    11,400 gallon in-ground pool, with Wet Edge Satin-Matrix finish. No water features, or spa. 7 FAFCO solar panels, with Pentair Solartouch control system. Pentair Intelliflo VS pump. Jandy CS150 filter.

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    Variable speed pumps - is the best brand to buy Pentair?

    Quote Originally Posted by opto_isolator View Post
    I wasn't sure if there was anything special needed or not. I had planned to install an Eaton CHSP2ULTRA whole house surge suppressor. It gets installed in the load center, after the main breaker. I would think it should work, and they are about $120 online from what I see. Since I have a dedicated breaker for my pool pump now, I have to check it, but I would think that it would have to be GFCI compliant to meet electrical code.
    That unit will be good for protecting equipment from standard electrical surges that one sees from neighborhood sources (AC turning on/off, etc) but that unit will do nothing for a lightening strike.

    That said, a direct or branched lightening strike at or near your home will fry your electronics no matter what kind of breakers and surge suppression you install, so it's just best to make sure your pool equipment is well grounded and bonded. If you do get a violent storm in your area, the only real protection is completely disconnecting your pump from the electrical sub panel, but that's not probably likely or practical given it would be hard-wired in.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Variable speed pumps - is the best brand to buy Pentair?

    It won't handle a direct strike but most quality surge protectors should be able handle indirect strikes to the power grid at least that is what they advertise.
    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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