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Thread: Help with Evaluation of Pool Equipment

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    Help with Evaluation of Pool Equipment

    Hello Everyone,

    New member here, with the recent purchase of a home that came with a pool. Best I can tell, the pool was installed in 2005 or 2006. In full disclosure, I feel a bit overwhelmed as I've never owned a pool before, so I wanted to turn to the experts to get advice and a good understanding of the current setup. I want to make sure that the current equipment makes sense for the size of the pool and what, if any, changes I should consider particularly in the area of energy efficiency. I do not have any specifics on water chemistry on this time (working on getting those), but from what I've seen the water is fairly clear (although I wouldn't call it crystal clear).

    Pool Specifics:


    Main: 34' x 16' with average depth of 6 feet (roughly)
    Step in Area: 6' x 8' with average depth of 2 feet
    Spa: 5' x 8' with average depth of 1.5 feet


    Equipment Specifics (will attach pictures to this message):


    Pump 1: Whisperflo P/N 011775 Single Speed 2.5 HP 230V
    Motor: AO Smith 2.5HP 3450RPM 230V 11.5 Amps Serial #168103M Part#7-F56AA42A01-20
    Filter: Pentair Triton II Sand Filter Part # 140210

    Distance Specifics


    The distance from the pool to the pump and filter: From one skimmer it is approximately 90' and from the other is 115'

    There is the old school timer box (with the yellow dials) that controls the pump and the polaris. There is no kind of automation or freeze protection on the current equipment.

    Thank you in advance for any help or guidance you can provide and apologies if I haven't provided enough information.

    Kind Regards,

    Valdeselad
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Help with Evaluation of Pool Equipment

    What you have now likely is fine. You just need to determine your pool size in gallons and then try to figure out your flow rate with that 2.5HP single speed pump. Then you can figure out how long your pump actually needs to run for 1 turnover a day. For instance I installed a Flowvis check valve to get my flow rate and only need to run 4 hours a day, anything more is a waste of energy. I think the single most cost efficient upgrade would be a variable speed main pump.
    _____
    18k gal in-ground plaster pool+spa, 2HP Jandy pump, 460 sqft Jandy cartridge filter, AquaPure 1400 SWG,
    3/4HP cleaner pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, Jandy LX heater, 2HP air blower, FlowVis check valve, iAqualink, TF-100 test kit

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Evaluation of Pool Equipment

    devroute, turnovers are not a good guide to pump run time in residential pools. Take a look at the article in Pool School on determining your ideal pump run time.

    Valdeselad, welcome to TFP! The place to start is to do some reading in Pool School, while working on getting a top quality test kit so you can get some good chemistry levels.

    If you are worried about electrical usage, you might want to replace the pool/spa pump with a two speed or variable speed, or just replace the motor which would cost less, but is a little bit more of a DIY project.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Help with Evaluation of Pool Equipment

    @JasonLion thank you for the welcome and I'm glad to be here. It is nice to be able to ask some basic questions to knowledgable folks that are not behind the counter at a pool shop looking at a cash register.

    I will be sure to get a good test kit as I would like to be able to do the regular maintence myself. We currently have a pool service but I would prefer to transition away from this and save the money.

    With regards to your suggestion on swapping out the pump and perhaps even the motor, should one be a higher priority than the other? In terms of the pump (or motor) are there any makes and models you would recommend for my situation?

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    Re: Help with Evaluation of Pool Equipment

    If you are up for a bit of a DIY project, I would suggest replacing the motor with a two speed motor that is otherwise similar to your existing motor. When replacing the motor you need to match the SFHP (SF times HP) and frame size, and you also need to replace the shaft seal. You want the exact same high speed you have now so that the spa will still work correctly (unless you are unhappy with your current spa jet strength). With a two speed you also have the ability to use low speed. By running the pool on low speed when you are not using the spa, you will save about 50% of the electricity cost for the pump off of your electric bill. A variable speed will cost quite a bit more, and while it will save even more electricity, it is more complex to setup and use and unlikely to fully pay off it's initially higher cost over the life of the pump.

    There are many other options. Some people like the idea of a variable speed enough to get one despite the slightly higher cost and slightly lower reliability. You could also stick with what you have until something breaks. It is likely that you could save electricity simply by running the pump for a shorter period of time, as most people run their pumps far more than is actually required.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Evaluation of Pool Equipment

    Hi Valdeselad,

    Welcome to TFP!
    It sounds as if the timers you have are the typical Intermatic timers.
    If you prefer freeze protection, they are available with that option. Pretty simply DIY to replace one or install a new one.

    If however you are considering a Variable Speed Pump. Those usually have freeze protection built into them, as well as a timer. In the case of a VS pump, you would want to remove the intermatic timer from the VS circuit. A lot of VS pumps do not provide the full flexibility they are intended to provide if there is an external timer in the mix.

    Since there are various Variable Speed pumps, and not all of them offer the same flexibility and options. So, if you are considering one, do your research to make sure that whatever your choice is, will actually meet your expectations.

    Since no one has mentioned it yet, the majority of your enjoyment of the pool is directly related to the quality of your water. You already are on the right track with getting a high quality test kit. Most folks here will recommend the TF-100. Available at www.tftestkits.net

    Clicking the POOL SCHOOL button at the top of the page will take you to the info you need to know about maintaining your water parameters, along with lots of other info.
    the ABC's of pool chemistry is a great place to start.....
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Help with Evaluation of Pool Equipment

    Thanks to everyone for your help and apologies for the delay in getting back (lots of stuff happening with the recent move). We are taking the advice and ordering the test kits from TFTestKits.net

    I have also continued to research VS pumps and motors. I have come across this Hayward model on Amazon which appears to be a significant upgrade from my current equipment:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=ATVPDKIKX0DER

    What are your thoughts on this? An additional question is would my current motor work with this new pump? The new pump is 1.5HP where my current pump and motor are both 2.5HP. If I do need to buy a new motor (would want to get a 2 speed motor I assume) to fit this, which one would you recommend? Alternatively, if there's an entirely different pump I should consider please let me know that as well.

    So many questions, sorry! It is a confusing topic for those of us with little experience. Thank you to everyone for your generosity with your time to help.

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    Re: Help with Evaluation of Pool Equipment

    The Max Flo is a significantly smaller pump than your existing pump and may not have enough flow for your spa.

    I would agree with everyone else to just get a 2-speed 2.5HP motor to put on your existing pump. You can try searching for B2984 as one option. {Note this is a 2HP with a 1.3 SF which is the same as a 2.5HP with a 1.04 SF}

    Although it is going to take a long time to recoup nearly $400 to upgrade the motor when you current one is functional.
    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: Help with Evaluation of Pool Equipment

    Thanks Jblizzle for your help.

    I have a really basic question...why would changing the motor seem to make a difference but changing the actual pump not so much?

    Also, how do I tell if that Max Flo pump would be enough for my situation?

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    Re: Help with Evaluation of Pool Equipment

    The electrical cost is related to the amount of water you move. You have a spa, so you can not go to a smaller pump unless you are fine with lower spa jet action.

    To lower the electrical cost you need to lower the amount of water moved. The cheapest way to do that is to just put a 2 speed motor on your existing pump. You could certainly replace the entire pump with a 2-speed version of the same size, but that is just going to cost you more money upfront and take even longer to maybe save enough $ on electricity to make it worth it.

    To compare pumps, you have to look at the performance curves. The Max-flo pump design moves less water than the Whisperflo pump design ... even if they had the same SFHP rating. In this case your Whisperflo is 2.5HP and the Max Flo is a 1.5HP. So not only are the pump designs different, but the motor is smaller too.
    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: Help with Evaluation of Pool Equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    The electrical cost is related to the amount of water you move. You have a spa, so you can not go to a smaller pump unless you are fine with lower spa jet action.

    To lower the electrical cost you need to lower the amount of water moved. The cheapest way to do that is to just put a 2 speed motor on your existing pump. You could certainly replace the entire pump with a 2-speed version of the same size, but that is just going to cost you more money upfront and take even longer to maybe save enough $ on electricity to make it worth it.

    To compare pumps, you have to look at the performance curves. The Max-flo pump design moves less water than the Whisperflo pump design ... even if they had the same SFHP rating. In this case your Whisperflo is 2.5HP and the Max Flo is a 1.5HP. So not only are the pump designs different, but the motor is smaller too.
    Thank you! Very helpful and much appreciated.

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    Re: Help with Evaluation of Pool Equipment

    Sounds like you got the energy effieceny thing down so I will give you some other advice.

    When I first got my house I talked to a co-worker that also owns a pool. I asked him if he would be willing to let me help open his pool if he taught me along the way, it was certainly worth it.

    Another thing is to call your water service company and see if they do something for people filling up pools, in my case they will not charge me sewage fees if I call them a head of time. For example I will call them and tell them I am filling up my pool starting on Saturday and ending on Sunday. They will come out and read the meeter on Friday and then Monday to determine what i should not be charged for. This may be helpful if you have to partially drain and fill due to CYA or CH or just topping off when you open.

    Finally patience and testing are very important.
    25,000 gallon in ground white plaster- 1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump - 60 sqft FNS DE filter (with FiberClear), 1999 Sundance Optima 850 hot tub.
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    Re: Help with Evaluation of Pool Equipment

    For a good approximation of your electric costs to run that pump:

    Volts x Amps = Watts

    So for your pumps data plate, 230 x 11.5 = 2,645 Watts, or 2.6 kW

    It will be 2.6 multiplied by your kW/hour charged by your utility company. For example, if your rate is 10 cents, it will cost $2.60 per hour to run that pump. That can add up quick, so you get see why variable speed and 2 speed pumps are more popular since they cost lest to operate than single speed pumps. Timers really help too for single speed pumps. I run my 2 HP single speed for a total of 3 hours a day in the winter, and managed to get my electric bill below a $100.
    J.R.

    20K IG gunnite pool
    2HP Hayward single speed pump
    Cartridge filter

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    Re: Help with Evaluation of Pool Equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by jrs_diesel View Post
    For a good approximation of your electric costs to run that pump:

    Volts x Amps = Watts

    So for your pumps data plate, 230 x 11.5 = 2,645 Watts, or 2.6 kW

    It will be 2.6 multiplied by your kW/hour charged by your utility company. For example, if your rate is 10 cents, it will cost $2.60 per hour to run that pump. That can add up quick, so you get see why variable speed and 2 speed pumps are more popular since they cost lest to operate than single speed pumps. Timers really help too for single speed pumps. I run my 2 HP single speed for a total of 3 hours a day in the winter, and managed to get my electric bill below a $100.
    That is really not that good of an approximation as the pump will generally not be running at the full amperage rate. You can think of this as the MAX cost, but it should be lower.
    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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    jrs_diesel's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Evaluation of Pool Equipment

    I agree, most pumps run a little more efficient than the placarded rating. However, without any voltage and current measurements while it's running, it's the best way to get an idea of what it costs to run.
    J.R.

    20K IG gunnite pool
    2HP Hayward single speed pump
    Cartridge filter

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    Re: Help with Evaluation of Pool Equipment

    Power bill for the house last month was $125 and that included running this pump 3 hours per day, so I don't think it's quite that expensive to run this thing. My rate is around 9 cents per kwh. The advantage of buying a new pump was really 2 fold: (1) to get the better energy efficiency obviously, and (2) I think the newer units have built in freeze protection which I currently do not have.

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    Re: Help with Evaluation of Pool Equipment

    With electricity that inexpensive you will almost certainly never pay back the additional up front costs of a variable speed pump, compared to a two speed pump.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Help with Evaluation of Pool Equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    With electricity that inexpensive you will almost certainly never pay back the additional up front costs of a variable speed pump, compared to a two speed pump.
    @JasonLion - Agree completely - at current (winter) run rates it is hard to justify cost of replacement. Curious to see how things look once it warms up a bit

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    Re: Help with Evaluation of Pool Equipment

    I also wanted to let everyone know that we just received our TF-100 test kit in the mail today and we ran our first tests on the pool. Here are our #s:

    FC: 2.5
    CC: 0
    TC: 2.5
    TA: 250
    pH: 8-8.2
    CH: 500
    CYA: 50

    Our size is around 25k gallons. I've been reading pool school and have loaded the pool math table to see where we are at and I am pretty concerned after seeing the results. For example, pool math said that to lower our CH to recommended levels we needed to replace half of our pool water and that's well....a tough one to see.

    What is everyone's thoughts on our #'s?
    Last edited by Valdeselad; 03-27-2015 at 09:37 PM. Reason: Added size

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    Re: Help with Evaluation of Pool Equipment

    Your PH, TA, and CH levels are all too high, which is a recipe for calcium scaling. PH is the easiest one to lower in the short run, so you should lower PH to around 7.2 as soon as possible. Longer term you need to work on getting TA down, and think about replacing water (which isn't crucial just yet if you can get PH and TA down).

    Unless you have a SWG, your FC level is too low. Without a SWG FC should be 4+, so it is too low. With a SWG FC should be 2+, so it is good now.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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