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Thread: Is it Difficult to replace a pump with a variable speed pump?

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    Is it Difficult to replace a pump with a variable speed pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by thepoolman View Post
    A simple automation like suntouch would eliminate any issues concerning certain elements of your system turning on with no flow. We have a customer who, against our advice, ended up with a VS pump and a booster pump that weren't linked with automation and he went through about 3 booster pumps in a matter of months before he took our advice and went with a simple automation.

    edit: now that I think about it, Intermatic has a system that may fit in your existing enclosure. You might want to look at what they have to offer as well.


    I agree that automation is the best way to do it, but I think I found a way to do with without automation. Feel free to shoot holes in my setup, but be nice about it! Fyi, I live in Jacksonville, FL.
    In my garage panel I have two 20 amp breakers that run to a dual intermatic dual timer. Volts are 240. Both timers ran my pump, salt generator and my boost pump for my polaris. I use a harward DE3620(?) DE filter and i have 2 pool spitters at each end of the pool, that are manual - uses pool pump for pressure.
    Old setup:
    ------------
    Manual timer one controlled my single speed 1.5 hp floeTech pump and my aqua rite salt water generator. The 1st timer then fed the 2nd timer only when timer one is ON!. The 2nd timer is used for my polaris 280 boost pump. This is so the pool pump would be guaranteed to be on when the boost pump ran. I ran my pool for 8 hours on timer one(pump and salt cholinator) and timer two(boost pump) for 1.5 hours. This was my summer setting and my pool looked and ran great for 10 years. Now my pump started to loose pressure since my pool spitters would not get very high. I decided on going with the Pentair variable speed pump - 3 hp as a replacement.
    New Setup:
    -----------
    I left all my old wiring to timer one the same - no change. I took the L1 and L2 that was on timer one and moved them over from 2 and 4 to spots 1 and 3. What this did was bypass the timer function and gave power all the time to my new Pentair VS pump. Why? Because the Pentair has it's own built timer, you all know this. I now run the pool pump at speed 1 at 750 rpm for 12 hours a day 8am to 8pm. Timer one only controls my salt water generator and Timer two controls my Polaris boost pump. My timer one(salt chlorinator runs for 8 hours 10am to 6pm - same as old setup) and the boost pump still runs for 1.5 hours from noon to 1:30pm. You may be asking yourself if the saltwater generator flow switch works at that low RPM? Yes it does. Do my pool spitters work? No, pressure to low, so I turned that valve off and when I want to use them, I will turn the pump to 2300 rpm's and turn valve(to spitters) on manually. Is there a possibility that the three timers get out of sync? Of course, but that would probably be pretty rare. Remember if timer one is off, so is timer two and timer two has the boost pump, my main concern. The intermatic timers have never gotten out of sync in 10 years that i own them. Now as far as the Pentair timer, only time will tell, but i have enough buffer in the manual timers to offset any lose in power. Power would need to be off by 4 hours to effect my boost pump. My only real major concern was running the boost pump when the pool pump was off. I could run my pool pump for 24 hours straight just to be safe, at 750 rpms. The only very minor concern was the salt water generator flow switch failing and the saltwater generator running when the pool pump was off(very very unlikely). Remember my Salt chlorinator runs for only 8 hours a day and if there is no flow, it won't generate chlorine. What about the skimmer? I have two skimmers(probably over kill) and my pool is 13000 gallons. I only installed this setup yesterday, so i may have to bump up the rpms or turn off one skimmer. Let me know what you guys think about this setup. Eventually i will go to a home automation system...but not sure which one, but one that supports my new pump. Update to post: I was getting tiny air bubbles in my pump cover that got bigger over night. I read a post that says 1000 rpms should do the trick. 750 rpm is to low.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Is it Difficult to replace a pump with a variable speed pump?

    Welcome to TFP!!!

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

    A couple comments:
    1. 750rpm is not the most efficient speed for the Intelliflo ... closer to 1000rpm is more efficient.
    2. Running the pump for 12 hours is likely way more than you need. See: Determine Pump Run Time
    3. For automation, you would be best sticking with the same brand as the pump
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Is it Difficult to replace a pump with a variable speed pump?

    I would just like to make the comment. Since you didnt mention what size wire is installed from your your Breaker, through your timer and to the 3HP intelliflo. Just make sure it is heavy enough to support the additional current draw of the 3 HP pump on the high RPM range, than your old smaller pump did.
    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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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Is it Difficult to replace a pump with a variable speed pump?

    Welcome to TFP!

    All of that logic and what you are doing makes sense to me. I have the same pump (love it).

    Originally 900 rpm was best for me to get good skimming and run the SWG, but as the filter clogged up I had to move it to 1000 and then eventually to 1100 rpm. At 1100 rpm I get good skimmer action, runs my SWG and I've never had a low flow issue. At 1100 rpm it draws 150 watts. Solar turns the pump up to 1950 rpm when there is heat available.

    We have LOTS of trees that drop stuff almost year around. My pump has run nearly 24x7 for 3 years. I prefer the tree stuff in the skimmers rather than on the bottom.

    My IC 40 is wired direct to the breaker and I never did get around to doing anything different. So, it has been powered up for 3 years and the flow switch is the only thing that turns it on and off. Your plan seems better than mine. And ironically, my pump is wired to a timer (with no dogs). Hard to break PB's old habits. I should unwire my pump from the timer and move my SWG to the timer. Thanks for the help!
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    Re: Is it Difficult to replace a pump with a variable speed pump?

    In my breaker box I have two 20 amp breakers - single pole. So that is 120 volts and 20 amps on each line.
    So my polaris runs at 6.4 amps, Aqua Rite 3.1 to 8.0 amps and my pent air can go as high as 9.5 amps at 3100 rpms.
    So, in this case that is 6.4+8.0+9.5 = 23.9 amps max draw. I will be running the pump at 200 watts = 1 amp and maybe at 5 amps(when using pool spitters).
    So for my setup, let's use 6.4(polaris 1.5 hours a day) +8.0(Aqua Rite Boost Pump) +5.0(Pentair VS at 2300 rpm)=19.4 max amps for 1.5 hours a day. For the rest of the day I would be using about 15amps assuming I have the pool spitters on running at 2300 rpm.
    I will need to look at my wiring in my box. But I assume the electrician put the right wiring in from the box to the timer to support the load. Thoughts?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Is it Difficult to replace a pump with a variable speed pump?

    Are the 2 single pole breakers tied together? You should not run a 230V pump off of 2 separate 115V circuits as it sounds like you described.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Is it Difficult to replace a pump with a variable speed pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Are the 2 single pole breakers tied together? You should not run a 230V pump off of 2 separate 115V circuits as it sounds like you described.
    It is a block of 4 circuits. All 4 are together in the same plastic case. 2 go to my Hitachi Mini Split A/C and 2 go to my pool pump. There are 4 on off switches on the block in set's of 2. I have added 2 pictures. It looks like it should be ok, since if one of the breakers on the pool pump trip, both circuits(to the pump) shut off since they are tied together. The same thing for the mini split, both are tired together. Thoughts?
    line out to pool pump.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Is it Difficult to replace a pump with a variable speed pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by ghembach View Post
    It is a block of 4 circuits. All 4 are together in the same plastic case. 2 go to my Hitachi Mini Split A/C and 2 go to my pool pump. There are 4 on off switches on the block in set's of 2. I have added 2 pictures. It looks like it should be ok, since if one of the breakers on the pool pump trip, both circuits(to the pump) shut off since they are tied together. The same thing for the mini split, both are tired together. Thoughts?
    Siemens Q22030CT Circuit Breaker Refurbished.jpgline out to pool pump.jpg
    I understand that the picture you show has all switch's labeled as "20" amp; a quick Google search found this on Home Depot showing this as a 110/220 circuit breaker with the outer 2 being 20 amp each and the inner 2 being 30 amp each. So if the literature that you show here is the same as what's in the box, should be fine.
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    Re: Is it Difficult to replace a pump with a variable speed pump?

    Here is a picture of my breaker in my panel. The two outside ones are for my mini split a/c, the two inner ones go to my pool equipment.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Is it Difficult to replace a pump with a variable speed pump?

    That's OK, they are both 240v circuits.
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    Re: Is it Difficult to replace a pump with a variable speed pump?

    thanks for all the help!

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