Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Replacement pump recommendation

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    240

    Replacement pump recommendation

    Okay, I was putting this off, but our pump is grinding louder and louder by the day, to the point that itís uncomfortable to be in the pool area when itís on, and Iím just waiting for the neighbors to complain. Whether itís on its last legs or not, I think its time is up, so Iím deciding what to replace it with.

    Current pump is single speed 3/4hp, manufactured in 2005 (we bought the place last summer), on a ~22k gallon pool in a climate where we donít really close (but only swim Apr-Oct, and I cut the pump time back significantly over the winter last year). No solar or SWCG currently, but Iím considering both in the near future. Our marginal electricity rate is about $0.19/kWh, but itís not all about payback time; Iím willing to pay more for quiet and flexibility for future uses also. Given the age of the equipment, I donít believe just replacing the motor is a good idea.

    The options Iím looking at (with approximate pricing, assuming I buy online and install myself):

    1) Pentair IntelliFlo VS 011018 (~$850). Honestly this is what Iím leaning toward, despite the cost.

    2) Pentair SuperFlo VS 342001 with built in controller (~$650)

    3) Pentair WhisperFlo 2-speed, 3/4hp or 1hp (~$540)

    4) Pentair SuperFlo 2-speed, 1hp (~$420)

    5) Pentair SuperFlo 3/4hp 1-speed (~$275), as a baseline replacement comparison.

    I know conventional wisdom here is that 2-speed is sufficient at lower electric rates, and weíre probably borderline, but Iím really leaning toward a VS pump for a couple reasons: No need to replace the old mechanical timer with something that can control 2 speeds ($200 right there); potential to add solar fairly that will be 40-50 feet horizontally and 8-15 feet vertically away; with the unknowns of our archaic old plumbing (1-1.5Ē copper piping, single skimmer and 2 closely spaced returns off the same pipe) it seems more likely to be able to tune the sweet spot of filtering, skimming power, noise, etc, if I can try various speeds. Am I thinking about that correctly?

    Between the SuperFlo VS and IntelliFlo VS, since I have no need for the extra HP of the IntelliFlo, it seems the main differentiator is the control systems -- the built in controls are similar (3 vs 4 speeds, but both have a timed ďquick cleanĒ for putting in chemicals), but connecting to other equipment is very different -- the SuperFlo seems to just be switching wires to trigger the preset speeds, while the IntelliFlo allows an EasyTouch (which I plan to install in the future) to fully control and get feedback.

    Am I missing anything? Any other suggestions or recommendations?
    21000gal IG plaster, Sacramento CA area (late 1950s/early 60s)
    Filter: Cartridge, Pentair CCP420 (2014)
    Main pump: Pentair IntelliFlo VS (2015)
    Boost pump: 3/4hp (2011), Polaris 280 cleaner (unknown age)

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Replacement pump recommendation

    If you are planning on automation and want the flexibility and your power is expensive, then a VS makes sense. The Intelliflo is certainly overkill in terms of size, but would integrate into automation better.

    Although I thought there was a newer version of the Superflo VS that does integrate with a communication wire into the automation.

    BTW, the sound is really more related to the speed you run the pump. a 2-speed on low is very quiet. And a VS at high speed is going to sound similar to a 1 speed or 2-speed on high.
    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
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    240

    Re: Replacement pump recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Although I thought there was a newer version of the Superflo VS that does integrate with a communication wire into the automation.
    Yes, sort of...best I can tell from the Pentair site and manuals (which are pretty bad in some areas!), each of the VS pumps has weirdly non-overlapping control possibilities:

    SuperFlo VS 342000
    - Simple built in controller -- no LCD display, but does seem to allow setting speeds and durations to follow a 24 hour pattern, though if power is lost it starts the sequence whenever power returns.

    - Appears to have a serial communication port with 12V/A/B/Com, but there’s no further mention or documentation on this; could this connect to EasyTouch etc?
    [EDIT -- Pentair response on another site indicates this pump does NOT have RS485 connectivity]

    - Individual low voltage automation terminals to select each of 3 speeds or override. Good for simple automation (remote switches, low voltage timers, etc)


    SuperFlo VS 342001
    - Better built in controller -- LCD that shows speed and watts, set scheduled based on time of day. Retains time and schedule during power failure.

    - No serial communication port, at least not mentioned in manual's wiring section; I’m not sure why it wouldn’t have something that the 342000 has?

    - Individual low voltage automation connections to select speeds and clean override -- but requires a special connector/cable that I can’t seem to find the availability or price of anywhere.


    IntelliFlo VS 011018
    - Best built in controller -- similar to 342001 with more speeds and features.

    - Serial communication RS485 connection, with documented support from EasyTouch etc controllers

    - Requires IntelliComm adapter (~$200) to break out individual speed controls

    So each seem to have their own connectivity pros and cons, and since I’m doing this in the wrong order (buying pump now, potential automation later) it’s hard to decide which is best. For example, connecting a relay to the Polaris booster timer that makes sure the main pump is on would be trivial with the 342000 (dedicated terminal), a bit harder with the 342001 (need the special cable), and requires a $200 box with the 011018. Hmmm…



    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    BTW, the sound is really more related to the speed you run the pump. a 2-speed on low is very quiet. And a VS at high speed is going to sound similar to a 1 speed or 2-speed on high.
    Hopefully all will be quieter than my failing vibration grinder, er, pump But agree, that's what I'm thinking -- if the equivalent of a 2-speed's low isn't quite enough to filter while we're in the pool, with a VS I can tune a higher speed that's still not as noisy as the 2-speed's high.
    21000gal IG plaster, Sacramento CA area (late 1950s/early 60s)
    Filter: Cartridge, Pentair CCP420 (2014)
    Main pump: Pentair IntelliFlo VS (2015)
    Boost pump: 3/4hp (2011), Polaris 280 cleaner (unknown age)

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    DFW, TX
    Posts
    23,994

    Re: Replacement pump recommendation

    It will definitely be way quieter. I love my intelliflo 3hp VSpump. It is more pump than I need but it does everything I ask it to do. You've got the right idea. No timer, my pump is wired direct to the breaker.

    After some trial and error I got mine all dialed in as follows,
    Skimmers and SWG at 1100 rpm, 150 watts
    Solartouch bumps the speed to 1950 rpm, 550 watts
    Brush pool to bottom drains 2500 rpm
    Skimmers and waterfall 1500 rpm

    I will definitely get another one when the time comes. You can see that I never get close to max rpm of 3450.
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    240

    Re: Replacement pump recommendation

    Thanks for all the inputs!

    Further research finds a response from Pentair on a forum about a year ago stating that the SuperFlo does NOT have RS485 capability, despite the terminals listed in the manual (presumably that's referring to the 342000, as 342001 wasn't out yet). At some point, I might be willing to write a Pool School/Wiki entry on pumps/automation capabilities if such doesn't exist.

    I am leaning toward splurging on the IntelliFlo VS -- yeah, I may be overspending, but should do everything we ever need and it gives the most flexibility for later automation (either direct RS485 or with the IntelliComm for simpler control). I'll offset the extra cost with my obsessive search for the cheapest chlorine to save $1/week

    It's too bad the pump's built in controller doesn't have an aux output or two that could be triggered with one of the speed settings that could be used to control boosters, SWCGs etc. But then they wouldn't sell as many automation systems I suppose.

    Anyway, planning to order this afternoon, so any last minute thoughts are welcome!
    21000gal IG plaster, Sacramento CA area (late 1950s/early 60s)
    Filter: Cartridge, Pentair CCP420 (2014)
    Main pump: Pentair IntelliFlo VS (2015)
    Boost pump: 3/4hp (2011), Polaris 280 cleaner (unknown age)

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    240

    Re: Replacement pump recommendation -- Installation Questions

    The next set of questions is about pump installation, not selection; not sure if I should use the same thread or start a new one, so starting here.

    I have the IntelliFlo VS coming today, and have some questions on installation:

    1) Virtually all of my pool plumbing is 1.5Ē, including the copper suction and return lines underground. Iím going to be replumbing a bit of the aboveground parts, but is there any real advantage to using 2Ē for the 5-10í total (including the whole loop to and from pump and filter back to the ground) when the other 30-40í in the system are 1.5Ē? Itís a bit more convenient to transition to 1.5Ē at the union slip side and use that. If it helps Iím replacing a 3/4hp pump and plan to limit the VS to similar flow rates as that one achieved (and slower, of course)

    2) I got a set of unions (threaded to slip); they have gaskets both in the union connection itself and on the threaded connection. So, do I still use thread sealant or tape, or rely on the gasket as the primary seal?

    3) The manual recommends 5x the pipe diameter as straight pipe into the inlet (i.e. 7.5Ē for 1.5Ē piping, 10Ē for 2Ē piping). However, where the suction pipe comes into the pad and where the pump can sit means either a much shorter distance (1Ē at most), or having the return come up, turn and go the wrong way, then U turn into a longer straight pipe into the pump. I can take a picture if thatís not clear. Since it also says ďplumbing on the suction side should be as short as possibleĒ, which way should I do this?

    4) For baseline speed setting and comparison, am I thinking correctly that if I adjust the VS speed until the filter pressure is the same as it is on the current pump, that Iím getting a roughly similar flow rate? Iím thinking of installing a flow meter, but wonít have that in time to get a measurement with the old pump.

    5) Anybody have any idea what the heck these pipes are? They come off the return line (the pipe out of the filter Tees to each of these, then around to the actual return line). Both have PVC valves that are off, and clamp onto what looks like Ĺ to ĺ flexible PVC disappearing at an angle into the pad. There are no additional holes in the pool that I can find, so I can only guess these were old return lines that leaked/have been abandoned (but were extended when the pad was redone?) The pool was built around 1960, and from the concrete patches it looks like the current main return was added in the 70s (guessing because itís copper into the ground). Any other thoughts on where these might go? I want to reroute the return pipe and cut/cap these off closer to the ground, so the new pump can sit in a better place for the controls. And Iím afraid to try to open the valves to see what happens, for fear theyíll blast holes in the side of the pool



    Thanks for all the advice.
    21000gal IG plaster, Sacramento CA area (late 1950s/early 60s)
    Filter: Cartridge, Pentair CCP420 (2014)
    Main pump: Pentair IntelliFlo VS (2015)
    Boost pump: 3/4hp (2011), Polaris 280 cleaner (unknown age)

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Replacement pump recommendation

    1) Using 2" for all the pad plumbing is worth it because the turns can add up to a fair bit of head loss. The turns add more head loss than a bunch of straight pipe and by going up to 2" for the very little increase in cost is worth it IMO ... especially with a VS pump where you may be able to run a little slower and have adequate flow rates.

    2) Not sure ... have no seen a gasket in a PVC threaded fitting.

    3) Usually the distance does not matter, but there have been a few cases where people have shown issues when trying to run at high speeds with a short section in front of the pump. Hard to say .... you would have to add 2 additional 90 turns to the suction line based on what I see in your pic ... unless you completely redesign everything.

    4) No. You want to run as slow as you can and still have everything working ... based on your sig, looks like the skimming action is your only flow rate concern. Try 1000 rpm (most efficient speed) and increase as required.

    5) No idea ... I would turn them on and see
    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
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    240

    Re: Replacement pump recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    1) Using 2" for all the pad plumbing is worth it because the turns can add up to a fair bit of head loss. The turns add more head loss than a bunch of straight pipe and by going up to 2" for the very little increase in cost is worth it IMO ... especially with a VS pump where you may be able to run a little slower and have adequate flow rates.
    That makes sense. I will transition to 2Ē close to where the suction and return lines come out, and redo everything else as 2"

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    2) Not sure ... have no seen a gasket in a PVC threaded fitting.
    The unions look like this: http://ep.yimg.com/ay/yhst-472207424...1063-200-3.gif
    You can see the gasket at the end of the threads. I guess since itís a union I can try it with just the gasket, and if it leaks take it out and add sealant!

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    3) Usually the distance does not matter, but there have been a few cases where people have shown issues when trying to run at high speeds with a short section in front of the pump. Hard to say .... you would have to add 2 additional 90 turns to the suction line based on what I see in your pic ... unless you completely redesign everything.
    I think Iím going to do the U-turn thing, because it allows the pump to be in a more convenient position (rotated to the left so the controller is accessible). I will use 2Ē elbows and pipe.

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    4) No. You want to run as slow as you can and still have everything working ... based on your sig, looks like the skimming action is your only flow rate concern. Try 1000 rpm (most efficient speed) and increase as required.
    Right; I know I want to run much slower normally. I just want to see out of curiosity what RPM (and power consumption) corresponds to the current screaming beast.

    As you mention, skimming is an issue -- only have 1 skimmer that makes all the pool guys go ďhuh?Ē -- 13Ē wide and deep with a weird shallow basket and a jury-rigged weir door (currently 10Ē with tiles wedged in as spacers). It feels like a lot of the surface stuff doesnít get pulled in. I might try running at a faster speed for an hour a day to get better skim, then slow it down to circulate; Iím very excited about the tweaking possibilities the VS pump allows!

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    5) No idea ... I would turn them on and see
    It just hit me -- there must have been solar at one point! That would explain the valve between the tees. Or possibly a heater, but donít know why they would go underground, and I canít think of anything else that would be away from the pad and bypass the return line like that. I wonder where they go; itís the opposite direction to the house. There is a shade structure with a flat roof next to the other side of the pool, must be there. Now I will have to turn one on and see where water comes gushing out

    Thanks for all the input!
    21000gal IG plaster, Sacramento CA area (late 1950s/early 60s)
    Filter: Cartridge, Pentair CCP420 (2014)
    Main pump: Pentair IntelliFlo VS (2015)
    Boost pump: 3/4hp (2011), Polaris 280 cleaner (unknown age)

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Replacement pump recommendation

    Interesting on that union fitting ... you should not need any sealant. But, I am not sure where that is meant to be used. Is it to attach to a filter? PVC threaded fittings are tapered and with an O-ring, the threads are not usually tapered.

    Well, if it is solar, it is not a very efficient system given those really small tubes.
    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
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •