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Thread: Large System Variable Speed Retrofit Ideas

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Large System Variable Speed Retrofit Ideas

    Hello all, I'm hoping you can help point me in the right direction. We picked up a new home in California with medium sized pool. I still don't have the # of gallons. We get into the 30 cents per Kw pretty quick and I'd like to explore a variable speed (ECM DC motor) pump or pumps. Currently the system is as follows:

    One 1hp pump for a waterfall; dedicated supply/return
    One 1hp pump for spa jets; dedicated supply/return
    One 3/4hp pump for the Polaris pool sweep; dedicated supply/return

    One 1/2hp filter pump flowing through a Pentair cartridge filter, then the a Pentair heater. There doesn't appear to be a heater bypass.
    After the heater there's a Pentair intellichlor.

    The system controller is a Pentair intellitouch i9+3.

    The system piping is all 2.5" or 3".

    My questions to the TFP collective are:

    1) What is the best energy saving strategy here? Combine as many pumps into one big pump like a pentair constant pressure pump?
    2) Skip all the repiping and upgrade the pumps that are used the most?
    3) Is a heater bypass worth the trouble?

    Thanks for your help.

    If there is an easier way to share pictures I can do that. The size limit of the forum attachment tools is limiting.


  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Large System Variable Speed Retrofit Ideas

    There is very little you can do to improve the waterfall pump or spa pump. You can get an expensive pump and save perhaps 10-15% of the electricity, but nothing other than not running them is going to save a significant amount of electricity.

    You can save a great deal of electricity on the pool cleaner by switching to a robotic pool cleaner. Short of that there is little you can do here.

    You should be able to save more than 50% of the cost of running the circulation pump by getting a variable speed. However this is already the smallest pump so there is not as much to save as there might have been.

    A heater bypass won't save a great deal, but then it doesn't cost a great deal either. I would do that.

    Combining all of the pumps into a single pump will involve significant amounts of re-plumbing and thus expense, adds complexity (lots of pump speed changing), and is unlikely to work as well as what you have 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

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Re: Large System Variable Speed Retrofit Ideas

    Thanks for the quick reply. I was going down the same road as you. I think this pump is the best replacement option right now:

    It should integrate nicely with the existing i9+3 2 speed pump logic.

    What heater bypass units would you recommend?


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