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Thread: Pentair Superflo VS strong enough for attached spa with waterfall?

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    Pentair Superflo VS strong enough for attached spa with waterfall?

    I am thinking about replacing my broken 2 HP single speed with a Pentair Superflo VS.

    My concern is whether there will be an issue with getting return flow into the spa at low rpms, eg 1000 rpm. The spa is elevated above the pool about 16 inches and there is a fairly wide waterfall-type feature. The equipment pad is about 70 feet away from the spa at the level of the pool/ground level.

    There are 4 returns in the spa, 2 in the pool. The orifices appear to be about an inch in diameter (no eyeballs-possibly missing?). At the pad the returns are split into a 2 inch pipe and a 1.5 inch pipe.

    Pictures can be seen here:

    http://s1190.photobucket.com/user/de...tml?sort=3&o=3

    And here

    http://s1190.photobucket.com/user/de...tml?sort=3&o=2
    11,000 gallon in-ground pool/spa combo, pebble-tec, Sta-rite system 3 cartridge 300 sqft, Pentair Whisperflo WFDS-6 2 speed 1.5 HP full-rated, formerly Starite Max-e-Glas 2 HP up-rated single speed, Sta-Rite Max-E Therm natural gas heater. Jandy Aqualink RS Onetouch. Manual vacuum. Chlorine.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair Superflo VS strong enough for attached spa with waterfall?

    A SuperFlo VS will certainly be able to provide enough water for the spa spillover, but will not provide as much jet action in the spa as your current pump did.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Pentair Superflo VS strong enough for attached spa with waterfall?

    Forgive my density regarding this but are you saying at low rpms, eg 600 -1000, the VS will be able to push the water uphill to the spa so it circulates properly? I was planning to use high speed for perhaps an hour or two per day for skimming action and the rest at low speed. My understanding of dynamic head is pretty low at this point in time but I'm reading more the last few days. My cartridge filter reads about 14 psi when clean.

    It's ok if the spa jets are not quite as strong at high speed. I believe someone had written a 2hp pump will deliver roughly only 15% more gpm than a lower strength pump, or something along those lines. For me, the heat of the water is the important thing to relieve tight muscles, jets are secondary.
    11,000 gallon in-ground pool/spa combo, pebble-tec, Sta-rite system 3 cartridge 300 sqft, Pentair Whisperflo WFDS-6 2 speed 1.5 HP full-rated, formerly Starite Max-e-Glas 2 HP up-rated single speed, Sta-Rite Max-E Therm natural gas heater. Jandy Aqualink RS Onetouch. Manual vacuum. Chlorine.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair Superflo VS strong enough for attached spa with waterfall?

    No problem. 16" is nothing for they pump to overcome ... Your filter is probably taller than that.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Pentair Superflo VS strong enough for attached spa with waterfall?

    Is there a significant difference between the Superflo VS and Maxflo-VS?

    Usability, spa use, efficiency, reliability? These are both relatively new pumps-any maintenance or quality concerns popping up?

    Thanks again, I'm keeping my pool fully chlorinated until I can decide on something. We'll see how long it stays clear without any circulation. Winds are calm and the water is about 74 degrees.
    11,000 gallon in-ground pool/spa combo, pebble-tec, Sta-rite system 3 cartridge 300 sqft, Pentair Whisperflo WFDS-6 2 speed 1.5 HP full-rated, formerly Starite Max-e-Glas 2 HP up-rated single speed, Sta-Rite Max-E Therm natural gas heater. Jandy Aqualink RS Onetouch. Manual vacuum. Chlorine.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair Superflo VS strong enough for attached spa with waterfall?

    They are very similar although I think one has a slightly higher head curve that might be better for spa use. Can't remember which though .... Mark?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Pentair Superflo VS strong enough for attached spa with waterfall?

    I am not Mark, but I found Mark's statement on the subject:
    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.
    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: Pentair Superflo VS strong enough for attached spa with waterfall?

    Does efficiency equate to higher head though? I know I saw he said one might be better for spas ...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Found it ... was in a PM:
    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    The head curves are quite different between the two. The MaxFlo has a max head of around 54' while the SuperPump has a max head of around 65'. Also, the MaxFlo has a flatter head curve similar to a waterfall pump so it has a better efficiency at lower head loss. MaxFlo is a good choice for a pool without a spa. Otherwise I would go with the SuperPump. But reality, both pumps are a little weak for a spa.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Pentair Superflo VS strong enough for attached spa with waterfall?

    Short of an intelliflo VS or VF (too expensive for me at my 15 cent electric rate) are there any other variable speed pumps that are stronger for spa jets and reasonably priced? I looked at a 2 speed configuration but by the time I add a 2 speed relay and considering my utility has a $200 rebate on variable speed (not 2 speed) the costs get pretty similar or even cheaper for the variable speed.
    11,000 gallon in-ground pool/spa combo, pebble-tec, Sta-rite system 3 cartridge 300 sqft, Pentair Whisperflo WFDS-6 2 speed 1.5 HP full-rated, formerly Starite Max-e-Glas 2 HP up-rated single speed, Sta-Rite Max-E Therm natural gas heater. Jandy Aqualink RS Onetouch. Manual vacuum. Chlorine.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair Superflo VS strong enough for attached spa with waterfall?

    I don't think there is anything in between right now.

    You do understand these smaller VS pumps will not integrate into the automation as far as speed control right? If you are fine with that, why not get a 2 speed pump and just manually control the speed? Leave it on low except when wanting the spa.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Pentair Superflo VS strong enough for attached spa with waterfall?

    From what I understand I can set the run time through my aqualink and then set the superflo VS to run at up to three different speeds during that programmed time. If I'm completely misunderstanding this please set me straight.

    I did look at 2 speed but since the buy-in price is equivalent I like the idea of having more control over the speed, and running at lower speeds for even more savings.

    I'm sorry if I'm asking silly questions but I haven't mastered the basics of this stuff yet.
    11,000 gallon in-ground pool/spa combo, pebble-tec, Sta-rite system 3 cartridge 300 sqft, Pentair Whisperflo WFDS-6 2 speed 1.5 HP full-rated, formerly Starite Max-e-Glas 2 HP up-rated single speed, Sta-Rite Max-E Therm natural gas heater. Jandy Aqualink RS Onetouch. Manual vacuum. Chlorine.

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    Re: Pentair Superflo VS strong enough for attached spa with waterfall?

    The way I think they work is the external timer turns the pump on to a user set "high speed" for a user set amount of time. It will then switch to a user set "low speed" and stay there until the external timer turns the pump off.

    The 3rd user set speed can only be selected manually, like for vacuuming or backwashing, etc.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Pentair Superflo VS strong enough for attached spa with waterfall?

    Quote Originally Posted by DesertJon74 View Post
    There are 4 returns in the spa, 2 in the pool. The orifices appear to be about an inch in diameter (no eyeballs-possibly missing?). At the pad the returns are split into a 2 inch pipe and a 1.5 inch pipe.
    With only 4 jets and assuming they are only 15 GPM jets, the SuperFlo VS would probably work OK but it depends on the head loss in the plumbing. Not as strong as your old pump though.

    What is the filter pressure when in spa mode?

    Is your current pump up rated or full rated?
    Mark
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    Re: Pentair Superflo VS strong enough for attached spa with waterfall?

    Even with the 2 hp (1.1 SF) the jets are not super strong. I suspect this is due to the large return orifice. The closest thing I can find that looks like mine are these:

    http://www.amazon.com/Waterway-Retur.../dp/B0036UEDEK

    I'm not sure what the psi is when the spa is on, and cannot be tested now. When clean the filter was about 14 psi, 13 with my old gauge (less reliable).
    11,000 gallon in-ground pool/spa combo, pebble-tec, Sta-rite system 3 cartridge 300 sqft, Pentair Whisperflo WFDS-6 2 speed 1.5 HP full-rated, formerly Starite Max-e-Glas 2 HP up-rated single speed, Sta-Rite Max-E Therm natural gas heater. Jandy Aqualink RS Onetouch. Manual vacuum. Chlorine.

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    Re: Pentair Superflo VS strong enough for attached spa with waterfall?

    That is not the jet. That is just the eyeball. The jet is deep inside the spa wall. The only way to see it is the drain the spa and look into the hole. It looks like this:
    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: Pentair Superflo VS strong enough for attached spa with waterfall?

    So I went down to the local pool store and they told me

    1) 2 speed pumps only last 3-4 years, tops. I don't really believe him.

    2) I can't use a superflo VS with an aqualink. I would need an intellicom. My understanding is the Aqualink CAN be used to turn the supeflo VS off an on? Is there an issue with coordinating the timers on the aqualink and superflo VS? It doesn't make sense to me. The aqualink would turn it on, it would run for the proscribed time at the speeds programmed and then shut off as programmed either through the aqualink or Superflo VS.

    3) $1200 to install a Supeflo VS. From my understanding this is pretty high for a pump install. I was thinking a couple hundred since there is the electrical connection and and PVC piping to do, plus time. Maybe $300. I can do the fine tuning of the programming. What do you guys think?

    Mas, haven't had a chance to look at those returns yet.
    11,000 gallon in-ground pool/spa combo, pebble-tec, Sta-rite system 3 cartridge 300 sqft, Pentair Whisperflo WFDS-6 2 speed 1.5 HP full-rated, formerly Starite Max-e-Glas 2 HP up-rated single speed, Sta-Rite Max-E Therm natural gas heater. Jandy Aqualink RS Onetouch. Manual vacuum. Chlorine.

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    Re: Pentair Superflo VS strong enough for attached spa with waterfall?

    1. Bogus

    2. There is no clock on the Superflo VS. Just a countdown timer for how long to run on the first speed then it switches to the 2nd speed until the Aqualink shuts off power.

    3. Online pump only costs ~$650 ... up to you if you want to pay to have it installed, maybe with a better warranty.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Pentair Superflo VS strong enough for attached spa with waterfall?

    Now the guy at Leslie's (I know, I know) says the superflo vs is meant for 1.5 inch pipes, like in an above ground pool.

    I can see this is going to be a challenge finding someone to install it as we've discussed. What seems to get lost in translation is that I don't really care about the aqualink being able to control everything the pump does, just turn it off and on. It just seems like a foreign language to everyone I've talked to.

    Frustrated.. Maybe I can do this myself.
    11,000 gallon in-ground pool/spa combo, pebble-tec, Sta-rite system 3 cartridge 300 sqft, Pentair Whisperflo WFDS-6 2 speed 1.5 HP full-rated, formerly Starite Max-e-Glas 2 HP up-rated single speed, Sta-Rite Max-E Therm natural gas heater. Jandy Aqualink RS Onetouch. Manual vacuum. Chlorine.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair Superflo VS strong enough for attached spa with waterfall?

    It will work fine on larger pipes, better than on smaller pipes due to lower head loss.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Pentair Superflo VS strong enough for attached spa with waterfall?

    Ok Mas985, I looked at the spa returns and eyeballing them they must be the 7/16 size. Certainly not smaller than that. One thing I find interesting about my plumbing setup is that the suction lines are both 2 inch and the return lines are 2 and 1.5 inch.

    Because of the run-around I'm getting from the local pool pros about the smaller VS pumps I have sort of resigned myself to either a 2 speed or an intelliflo VS. For most likely $ reasons everyone I've talked to is pushing Intelliflo or Ecostar and pooh poohing the 2 speeds. I really don't want to spend that kind of money (intelliflo).

    So I've come full-circle back to looking at 2 speed pumps. Can anyone make suggestions on an appropriate sized 2 speed? Whisperflo 2 HP 2 speed? Or would 1.5 HP 2 speed suffice? Current pump is 2 HP with 1.1 SF. Is this something the average pool company is going to be proficient in installing in my old RS-4 Aqualink? I assume 2 relay spots will be taken up by the pump, one for the heater, and I'll need to combine the lights into one relay?

    I'm starting to feel like I'm on crazy pills.
    11,000 gallon in-ground pool/spa combo, pebble-tec, Sta-rite system 3 cartridge 300 sqft, Pentair Whisperflo WFDS-6 2 speed 1.5 HP full-rated, formerly Starite Max-e-Glas 2 HP up-rated single speed, Sta-Rite Max-E Therm natural gas heater. Jandy Aqualink RS Onetouch. Manual vacuum. Chlorine.

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