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Thread: New Pool Build (Newbie) - Pentair Pump and Returns Question

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    New Pool Build (Newbie) - Pentair Pump and Returns Question

    Hello,
    I am in the process of deciding which pool builder to select to build my pool. I solicited 3 bids. It is interesting to me how the pool builders have very different opinions on many things. I guess I did not expect that the bids would be so different.

    1. Two of the pool builders bid the Pentair VS and one bid the Pentair XF. The pool builder who bid the XF states it is a superior pump and made for high efficiency. One of the pool builders who bid the VS says he would never put an XF on the pool because it is a medium head pump. Can someone tell me which pump is right for an approx. 20,000 gallon pool with a perimeter of approx. 120?

    2. Two of the pool builders bid 4 returns and one bid 6 returns (the one that bid 6 returns also bid the Pentair XF pump). Which is better?

    For the most part everything else from a hydraulics perspective is the same in the bids: 2' or 2.5' plumbing, independent suction from two skimmers and skimmer suction plumbed independent from the main drain, and looped returns.

    I appreciate any help you can give.
    Thanks......

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Build (Newbie) - Pentair Pump and Returns Question

    Welcome to TFP!

    The XF is specifically made for situations that require very high flow rates, typically negative edge pools or large waterfalls. I don't recommend it for a regular pool. By the by the XF is a high head pump, but even if it was medium head that wouldn't be a problem unless your pump is going to be well above the pool water level. So basically the person who made the medium head comment didn't know the answer and just told you something "plausible".

    Four or six returns is more of stylistic choice than anything that will make a real difference. More returns has gotten to be a trend in recent years, but even two or three is just fine.
    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 Pool Build (Newbie) - Pentair Pump and Returns Question

    You didn't mention plumbing for a pool cleaner, hope that's included....just checking.
    Cheers, Peter
    20,000 gal, 52'x17' kidney shaped IG, Pebble Tec, IntelliPro P6E6VS4H-209L pump. Intellichlor IC40 SWG.
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    Re: New Pool Build (Newbie) - Pentair Pump and Returns Question

    Well, that is the other issue. The two pool builders who bid the VS wants to use the A&A in-floor system and the pool builder who bid the XF wants to use the Pentair PV3 system. I am torn between the Pentair in-floor and the A&A in-floor system. And sometimes I even question if I should be doing in-floor.

    The reason the pool builder bid the XF is because our area is prone to massive dust storms and there is a tree that dumps pine needles where the pool will be. Not sure if that information makes a difference.

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    Re: New Pool Build (Newbie) - Pentair Pump and Returns Question

    Generally, in floor systems don't get rave reviews on here.

    Why -- things go wrong and they are hard to fix. They are very expensive to operate so unless you have cheap power they cost more than other solutions.

    For your relatively large pool size i would recommend a robot. Throw it in once or twice a week and you will have a clean pool. They can be expensive but they are generally the best loved pool cleaners.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: New Pool Build (Newbie) - Pentair Pump and Returns Question

    I have read the vast majority of the posts on in-floor systems and i agree that they do not get great reviews on these boards. But, in AZ all of the pool builders say that they have not built a pool without an in-floor system in 5 to 7 years. From what I have read in doing my research, in-floor systems have come a long way in the past 5 to 10 years. Is that correct?

    I think 5 to 10 years ago in-floor systems were not has reliable and broke down a lot. But, they have been refined and improved over the last 5 to 10 years. I hope this right!!

    Does the climate have something to do with the use of in-floor systems? AZ is prone to dust storms.

    Thanks for your help!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Build (Newbie) - Pentair Pump and Returns Question

    In floor systems remain less reliable than nearly any other pool component, and they also consume significant amounts of power. The only situation where they are worth having is in areas where there is significant blown in dust essentially every day. It sounds like you might live in such an area.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Build (Newbie) - Pentair Pump and Returns Question

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Please add your location (City, State or City, Country) to your profile and pool details (once you have them ) to your signature as described HERE as it will help us help you.

    I had an in-floor system installed in my previous house ~10 years ago. We moved 5 years ago. Never had a problem with it besides dirt that always gathered in certain corners. But knowing what I know now, I don't think I would install another one ... you are required to run the pump at higher speeds and that just becomes an energy hog.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: New Pool Build (Newbie) - Pentair Pump and Returns Question

    We have lots of dust here in Bakersfield, we too are in the middle of a desert, less than 3" rain in the last 12 months!

    My suction side Poolvergnuegen handles it just fine. It won't climb the walls or steps so I just brush them once a month or after a real heavy dust storm. I have no experience with other types of cleaners but to me the big advantage of suction side is there are no collector bags to deal with. The large stuff collects in the pump strainer basket and the small stuff collects in my cartridge filter. Fortunately I have a large filter.
    Cheers, Peter
    20,000 gal, 52'x17' kidney shaped IG, Pebble Tec, IntelliPro P6E6VS4H-209L pump. Intellichlor IC40 SWG.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Build (Newbie) - Pentair Pump and Returns Question

    Quote Originally Posted by prs View Post
    The large stuff collects in the pump strainer basket and the small stuff collects in my cartridge filter. Fortunately I have a large filter.
    I recommend you add a leaf catcher onto the hose of your cleaner. You should not really rely on the pump basket to catch larger things ... if it collects too much you may starve the pump of water.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: New Pool Build (Newbie) - Pentair Pump and Returns Question

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    I recommend you add a leaf catcher onto the hose of your cleaner. You should not really rely on the pump basket to catch larger things ... if it collects too much you may starve the pump of water.
    Good idea, I'll look into it. I know the Poolvergnuegen hoses are made in Belgium and I think they are metric...that might be a problem.

    I do check the pump and skimmer baskets quite often and, at least so far, haven't had that problem.

    To save energy I run the cleaner by itself thru a dedicated suction line, so I guess the leaf catcher would need to have a larger capacity than the pump basket if it's going to do me any good?
    Cheers, Peter
    20,000 gal, 52'x17' kidney shaped IG, Pebble Tec, IntelliPro P6E6VS4H-209L pump. Intellichlor IC40 SWG.
    300 sf Sta-Rite System 3 cartridge filter. Poolvergnuegen 4-wheel suction pool cleaner. TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: New Pool Build (Newbie) - Pentair Pump and Returns Question

    Can you believe it, I just got a text message from the NWS with a dust storm alert for Bakersfield thru 8:00 pm this evening.

    This is the last time I ever post anything about dust storms!!!!
    Cheers, Peter
    20,000 gal, 52'x17' kidney shaped IG, Pebble Tec, IntelliPro P6E6VS4H-209L pump. Intellichlor IC40 SWG.
    300 sf Sta-Rite System 3 cartridge filter. Poolvergnuegen 4-wheel suction pool cleaner. TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: New Pool Build (Newbie) - Pentair Pump and Returns Question

    So I met with the pool builder who bid the XF and I asked him why he was using the Pentair XF rather than the Pentair VS and his response was........"We are designing your pool to higher than usual standards for hydraulic efficiency. Our plans for you include the Pentair Intelliflo XF (high efficiency) pump, oversized plumbing, independent suction from two skimmers and skimmer suction plumbed independent from the main drain. We will add extra surface returns to aid in circulation for when you are using the skimmers independent of the cleaning system, and surface returns will be looped to ensure equal water flow to each return."

    Does his explanation t sound right? I am a bit confused by the use of the Pentair XF, rather than the Pentair VS.

    Thanks for your help.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Build (Newbie) - Pentair Pump and Returns Question

    Sounds over designed to me. The more water you move, the more electricity it costs you. Most pools are good with running a 1HP pump on low speed for general circulation.

    Unless you have VERY high flow rate requirements for water features. You will never be running the XF (or even the VS) anywhere close to max speed ... unless you want to test out the bearings in your electric meter

    I mean if the plumbing is designed to be that efficient, you should be able to use a smaller pump to achieve "higher" flow rates than if the plumbing was inefficient.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: New Pool Build (Newbie) - Pentair Pump and Returns Question

    Actually, this pool is going to have no water features. And this pool is supposed to be designed to be energy efficient, not an energy hog. The pool builder told me that he is designing the pool to have high flow due to the fact that my neighbor's pine tree hangs over the pool and dumps needles where the pool will be and there is a lot of dust that gets in AZ pools. Does this make sense? I do not want or need an "over designed" pool. Thanks again.....

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Build (Newbie) - Pentair Pump and Returns Question

    As I said, the more water you move, the higher the electrical cost. If a smaller VS pump will provide enough flow at higher speeds for your needs (which will be needed rarely since for efficiency you want to run at low speeds), then why get a 3HP pump instead of the smaller 1.5HP pump? Since this is a new build, the delta upfront cost may not be a concern for you. But, the Intelliflo XF is likely ~$1000, the Intelliflo VS is around ~$900, the Superflo VS is ~$650, and a perfectly adequate Superflo 2 speed is ~$450

    The VS pumps will only be able to save a little more money on electricity than the 2-speed and I do not think you power is that expensive. So it may take years to offset the higher upfront costs of the VS/XF pumps over the 2-speed.

    But the VS/XF pumps do have the advantage of allowing you to dial in your desired flow rate and the Intelliflo VS/XF have an integral timer. The Superflo pumps would need an on/off timer still and the 2-speed would require another timer to control speed although this is optional.

    So, as everyone in this thread has said. The XF is overkill; even the Intelliflo VS is also overkill since you have NO high flow rate needs. But, maybe the few $100s do not matter to you.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Booster Pump?

    Merged by moderator. Please keep related questions together so we can avoid repeating ourselves. Thanks, jblizzle

    Hello,
    I solicited four bids and I am trying to understand why one pool builder bid a booster pump w/the in-floor cleaning system.

    Pool builder #1: Paramount in-floor, Pentair Intelliflo XF
    Pool builder #2: Paramount in-floor, Pentair Intelliflo XF w/a booster pump
    Pool builder #3: A&A in-floor, Pentair Intelliflo VS
    Pool builder #4: A&A in-floor, Pentair Intelliflo VS

    Why would a booster pump be needed?

    Thanks....

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Booster Pump?

    You shouldn't with those huge pumps ... unless they are quoting a pressure side cleaner as well.

    BTW, in-floor cleaning systems get very mixed reviews here. They are certainly the most expensive way to try to keep a pool clean in regards to energy consumption.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Booster Pump?

    I did ask them to put a suction line in, just in case I have problems with the in-floor system in the future. Maybe that is why he added the booster pump.

    The pool builders have been telling me that running an in-floor system costs the same as running one light bulb for a day.

    In Phoenix, all the pool builders seem to be installing the in-floor systems. I have been told that there is new technology now and it is much better than the in-floor systems they had 5 to 10 years ago. Is that not correct?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Build (Newbie) - Pentair Pump and Returns Question

    Hard to say ... their job is to sell you things after all.

    The pool I built 10 years ago had in-floor cleaning. Even though I never had a problem with it before I moved 5 years ago, knowing what I know now, I would not likely install another one. Then again, there are other members who have them and love them.

    That light bulb analogy is massively over simplified. Why run a light bulb for a day when you could run it for 1/4 of a day and still have a clean pool?

    I would certainly suggest having a separate wall return loop installed that you can manually select between the floor and the walls. And having a cleaner line run is also a good idea. My in-floor still required vacuuming as the dirt would collect in a few spots in the pool.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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