My pool pump just died and now I need to figure out the right replacement hoping to improve energy efficiency. It was an old 1.5HP A.O Smith single speed motor with a Challenger 2HP self-priming wet end. The pump feeds (1) the pool filter, a Purex Triton FNS Plus 48 DE filter, (2) the pool cleaner, a Polaris 360 pressure side cleaner, and (3) a RayPak R8350TI-HC reversible heat pump.
My main issue is that the heat pump requires 30-60 GPM water flow for the heating function to turn on (it uses a flow sensor), so the low speeds of these variable pumps seem to be too low (12-23 GPM). Additionally, a heat pump heats slowly, so it needs to have the water running for a long time to do its work. Ideally, the pump runs for 4-6 hours each day at high speed to clean and heat the pool, then it could slow down below 30 GPM just to filter more, but it doesn't seem necessary as the water stays very clean. Does it just make sense to try and use a pump that would produce around 35-40GPM and leave it at that? I believe the previous 1.5HP motor was overkill for the pool (the outlets have substantial pressure while the pool cleaner runs and I have to open the pool cleaner valve inside the pool quite a bit to slow the cleaner down).
NOTE: My pool is odd-shaped/curvy, is not deep (about 5 feet at the deep and and 3 at the shallow end, and is somewhere around 11,000-13,000 gallons. I live in Pflugerville, Texas where the summer months heat the pool just fine and I use the heat pump to cool the water in summer and extend my season as long as possible into winter. I use a pool cover that dramatically helps keep heat and water inside the pool. The pump is about 10-15 feet from the pool and there are three directed outlets for the pool itself.