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Thread: Which variable Speed Pump?

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    Which variable Speed Pump?

    Hi,

    I live in Saint Louis, MO and run the pool about 6 months out of the year, 24 x 7.

    I am reasonably happy with my current system when is running and 'm looking after it properly. The water is clean and and sparkly.

    I currently have a 1.5 HP whisper flow pump, which I'm thinking of upgrading to a variable flow pump, primarily for the potentially annual savings, but also because it is aging (I believe I bought it about 2007). I have been very late this year getting my pool up and running (family reasons) and when I went to switch the pump on, nothing but a loud hum. I dismantled the back of the pump housing and found the shaft seized, but after working it a bit, it loosened and the motor started up. No empirical evidence, but I think its running slower than normal. In any case, its time for a new pump.

    in addition, I need a new timer. Although I run the pool 24 x 7, the timer is old and crappy and dangerous... I'm always nervous about opening the case and reaching in to switch it off and on.


    So. I'm thinking of a new variable speed pump, but I have no idea which manufacturer or model.

    Our local electric company will give a rebate of $350 for installing an energy star pump.

    If I can avoid replacing my timer I can save an additional $100 or so. No big deal if I can't

    My concerns are:

    • When I research the vf pumps, they seem to be 3hp, but my current pump is 1.5hp.
    • If I wire the pump and the salt system to an on off switch, then when the pump is off the salt system would still be on. (the pump and the salt system are currently controlled by the timer switch).


    Please provide any suggestions, model numbers, system configurations etc.

    Thanks in advance
    Phil
    (1) St. Louis, MO. (2) 18-20K kidney shaped (3) DE FNS Plus 48 (4) Salt System (IC40) (5) Pentair Intelliflo 3HP (6) 24 x 7 (7) Dolphin M4

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    Join Date
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    Re: Which variable Speed Pump?

    Pentair SuperFlo VS Pump 342001 | Pentair 342001

    It may be more cost effective to replace your motor woth a 2 speed and keep the wet end. This is dependent on energy costs in your area.
    Owner Builder; Under construction, 17K Gallons SWG IG Geometric; 31X20'; 600sf; 104ft perim; depth 4'-6'. Sun-shelf; bubblers; sheer descents; Dolphin M400; Pentair Intelliflo XF; Clean and Clear 520; Easytouch 8; IC40; 2 color LEDs; TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Which variable Speed Pump?

    Hi phil,
    A 2 speed pump would do the trick for you as far as saving energy costs. Run on low speed for filtering and high for adding chemicals, vacuuming etc.

    However if you can get at nice rebate, then that may be a very viable reason to go ahead and go for a VS pump.

    Most of them are 3 HP, but are less expensive to run, up to a point. At high RPMs they can suck up some juice!
    The larger pumps have larger impellers, and with the larger impeller, it takes less electricity to move x gallons of water per minute, than a smaller pump with smaller impeller. Its seems sort of counter-intuitive, but thats how it works.

    Another big plus (IMO) is the VS pumps are extremely quiet. I often have to sneak up on mine to see if its even running!
    Incredible how quiet it is.

    The VS pumps have built in timer however, it might be tricky in setting up your SWG with it. Even though a SWG should be attempting to make chlorine with no flow, its been known for a flow switch to on the blink and the swg still attempt to make it, which is not good.

    I have an intelliflo with a Swg and I put a simple timer on my swg to only be on when I want it to, and run my pump when I want to run it and for however long and not worrry about the swg. This gives me a lot of flexibility for swg output, run time of the swg, run time of the pump, etc.
    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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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Which variable Speed Pump?

    If you go with a VS, make sure you budget in surge protection for the pump drive which is highly sensitive.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Which variable Speed Pump?

    Guys

    Thanks for the great response.

    Couple of additional questions/thoughts.

    I see a two speed motor as marginally better than what I have... I would still have to replace my timer, put in some sort of a switch to switch speeds and then the whole thing is a manual process. As much as possible, I really am a set it and forget it person and let the technology take care of as much of it as possible.

    So, the size of the motors was one of my big concerns. So would the following pump work well for me?

    Amazon.com : Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo Variable Speed High Performance Pool Pump, 3 Horsepower, 230 Volt, 1 Phase - Energy Star Certified : Swimming Pool Water Pumps : Patio, Lawn Garden

    With a $350 rebate that's $500.

    I would still probably run this 24 x 7, but at minimum speeds in the evening and night time.

    @mas985, We do get a lot of electrical storms in my area, especially during the spring. What would be a good model number for a surge protector for the above pump?

    Thanks again for all advice and help,
    Phil
    (1) St. Louis, MO. (2) 18-20K kidney shaped (3) DE FNS Plus 48 (4) Salt System (IC40) (5) Pentair Intelliflo 3HP (6) 24 x 7 (7) Dolphin M4

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Which variable Speed Pump?

    Because of the SWG, you are going to want to replace that timer anyway. Plus there is no reason to run 24x7. It is just a waste of energy. But that is up to you.

    Also, as long as you don't have a spa or water features, the Superflo VS is a much better deal. You really don't need an Intelliflo.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Which variable Speed Pump?

    phil,
    the intellflow is an excellent pump and if you get a 350 rebate, sounds pretty good to me.

    You can get 2 speed motors though with built in switch if you still want to consider that.

    The intermatic PS3000 surge protector would be the ticket for a VS pump. Some of the online stores offer the intellflo as a package with unions and surge protector, and the PS3000 is whats included in all of the packages Ive seen. The surge protector come in a couple different cases, rated for indoor or outdoor, so depending on where you put it, choose the right one for your location.
    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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