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Thread: Advice on replacing single speed with VS pump

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    Advice on replacing single speed with VS pump

    I am still learning about this pool and we are looking at adding a circupool RJ60 Swg but want to replace the pump as well with a variable speed ... problem is i dont understand how to size it or what to look for? I have read several articles and they seem to point in different directions. Circupool has a VS pump package with the rj60 but not much input on their pumps.

    can anyone help push me in right direction or share experience with circupool vs pumps?


    thanks
    36,000 Gallon, 40x20 IG, Vinyl, Hayward S- 200 Sand Filter, 300,000 MasterTemp heater, 1hp Superpump, Polaris 9550 sport, TF100 test kit

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    needsajet's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on replacing single speed with VS pump

    The first thing I would think about is how satisfied I am with the current water flow. Is the pool crystal clear? Does the pool skim adequately? Is there any evidence of dead spots that can't be corrected by re-aiming the return jets?

    If these aspects are all OK with the existing 1 HP pump, then I wouldn't feel any need to go much higher in HP. If not, I'd decide what it is I need to correct. If the pool isn't clean enough, does more run time do the job? Dead spots might need more HP.

    The RJ60 can provide average daily FC replacement in around 5 hours (2.6 ppm FC in your 36.000 gals) and for me, I would probably want to skim for that many hours anyway just to keep the pool looking sharp.

    If there's water features or other needs for water flow, that would have to be considered as well.

    Another question is the purpose for the pump change. Is the old pump worn out? Are you seeking cost savings?
    12k IG salt; glass beads in plaster; K-2006C, K-1766, CCL, and Aussie 4in1 (HTH); Pentair Eco800 VS; Zodiac SWC 1.3 lb/day (25 g/hr); 25" filter recycled glass; OKU solar panels; 1/2 HP solar pump; Rebel (Warrior) pool cleaner; FlowViz; prior pool AG 10k | Read Before Posting to get the best possible advice | ... and this helped me a lot!: TFPC for Beginners

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on replacing single speed with VS pump

    b,

    I looked at the Circupool site and cannot find a Variable Speed pump. All they currently show is the VJ-2 which is a 2-Speed pump. I did see on Amazon a VJ-3 VS pump but they are out of stock and a get well date is not available.

    At first blush, it appears the VJ-3 has been discontinued, but it would be worth a call to Circupool to find out.

    One of the great things about a VS pump is that you really don't need to "size" them. I have a 3 HP pump, which would be way to big for my pool, if it were not a VS pump. It runs at about 1/4 HP 95% of the time. The HP rating for a VS pump is the max HP. I would not let the HP rating stand in your way of buying whatever pump you decide you want.

    Let's hope someone with a Circupool pump can chime in..

    Thanks for posting,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2.

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    Re: Advice on replacing single speed with VS pump

    @needsajet current pump does well with skimming and has no dead spots. I also have no water features. we are just looking for cost savings as this pump is fine now

    @jimrahbe you are correct, i was assuming it was VS pump but it is a 2 speed pump. I guess that answers that question and will go with a true VS pump. Thank you for the input, I believe I will keep looking at the Hayward VS pump (do not know what model) because a few neighbors have one and they love it. Claim they are saving $30-45 a month on their bill so think I would see pay off in 3 years, which I think is reasonable.

    Any input on the Hayward VS pumps?
    36,000 Gallon, 40x20 IG, Vinyl, Hayward S- 200 Sand Filter, 300,000 MasterTemp heater, 1hp Superpump, Polaris 9550 sport, TF100 test kit

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    Re: Advice on replacing single speed with VS pump

    Quote Originally Posted by bhubb View Post
    @needsajet current pump does well with skimming and has no dead spots. I also have no water features. we are just looking for cost savings as this pump is fine now

    @jimrahbe you are correct, i was assuming it was VS pump but it is a 2 speed pump. I guess that answers that question and will go with a true VS pump. Thank you for the input, I believe I will keep looking at the Hayward VS pump (do not know what model) because a few neighbors have one and they love it. Claim they are saving $30-45 a month on their bill so think I would see pay off in 3 years, which I think is reasonable.

    Any input on the Hayward VS pumps?

    Have you simply considered replacing the single speed motor motor and impeller on your current pump with a 2-speed motor and impeller? You would get immediate cost savings running the pump at half-speed and the ROI, depending on your electric rates, can be less than a season or two. Motor replacement is practically a DIY project, but you would need to have some minor electrical work done to rewire your switch for a 2-speed. The nice part is the wet-end stays the same so there is no replumbing work if the new pump's wet-end doesn't match the old one.

    The only hitch is to make sure that you get a motor and impeller size large enough to drive your SWG on low speed. You can often download the various manufacturer's pump curves for all of their models and determine the size pump you need from that. Most SWG's have fairly minimal flow rate requirements (~15GPM or so), so you may not need to change your horsepower size at all.

    A variable speed pump allows you to fine tune the pump RPMs to get the exact speed that you need BUT they are expensive and you will unlikely be able to recover the cost in any reasonable time frame unless your electric rates are very high and/or your electric utility offers a rebate for installing a VSP. But, if you don't want the hassle of a motor swap with some extra electrical work, then buying a VSP might be better for you.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Advice on replacing single speed with VS pump

    If you could go w a 2-speed pump, I would do that rather than a VSP - there are major issues w the pump tripping the GFCI breaker...

    The n-bor of yours that loves their Hayward VSP, can you pls ask them what RPM's they have their pump set and its daily schedule? If that works well and not breakers tripping, then you could see if you could get a 2 speed to do the same thing if the speed settings are similar...
    InGround 15K gal, 18'x30' 3.5' to 5.5' depth w/ 9'x9' spillover Spa, Pebblesheen w/ Travertine, Hayward 3 HP VSP, Hayward C4030 Cartridge, Hayward 1.5 HP for 2 Scupper columns, ProLogic, PL-PS-8 Panel, Hayward 400K BTU Heater, 3 ColorLogic LED, Spa Blower, TF-100 w S-Stick, QC Tiger Shark, Autofill

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    Re: Advice on replacing single speed with VS pump

    Another unexpected benefit I got with the Hayward Tristar VS that I got, is that I can now more easily run the pool in freezing weather without needing to shut down/winterize.

    There are super slow speed settings (like 1/25th to 1/50th horsepower) at a mere few watts at 600-800rpm to trickle the water slowly through to prevent freezing whenever not heating the pool. Power consumption varies from about 20 watts in trickle mode all the way to approx 1.1 kilowatts at max speed, from 600rpm thru 3250rpm adjustable in 25rpm increments with an exponential power increase at the faster speeds.

    Also the Tristar VS pool pump has a timer, which allows me to run at max speed (which automatically turns on heater) and then min speed (which automatically turns off heater), so I can make it run the heater for 4 hours a day when I am away on vacation midwinter, for example.

    For winter pool ops, I aim to coast the pool af 70F midweek and reheat to 95F on weekends.
    Became homeowners/poolowners in 2014 -- Now Resident Experts In Cheaply Hot-Tubbing (95F) A Large 20,000 Gallon Pool.
    20,000 gallon concrete/vinyl, 32'x16' size, Raypak Digital 266 Heater, Hayward Tristar VS pump

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    Re: Advice on replacing single speed with VS pump

    Although I do not see myself running it year round here in the midwest I do like the option of running it with the heater turning on automatically.

    I have questions about adding the SWG and adding a VS pump so not certain which form to post in.

    I am looking at the Circupool RJ-60 (just missed the sale unfortunately) and a Hayward VS (not sure if Tristar or different model).

    For those that have a VS pump and SWG what fail safes do these pieces have? Is a flow switch/sensor necessary or does a current relay do the trick? (anything to prevent the SWG to run without flow) I plan on having an electrician do this part and I will do the plumbing/programming/headaches.
    36,000 Gallon, 40x20 IG, Vinyl, Hayward S- 200 Sand Filter, 300,000 MasterTemp heater, 1hp Superpump, Polaris 9550 sport, TF100 test kit

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on replacing single speed with VS pump

    b,

    Most SWCGs are installed so that the SWCG never gets power without the pump running and as a backup safety device, a flow switch is also installed that makes sure the SWCG does not operate unless there is water flowing through the SWCG.

    It is not wise to use the flow switch as the only safety device, but many people do..

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2.

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    Re: Advice on replacing single speed with VS pump

    dumb question jim but I am not an electrician but how is this done? I do not feel comfortable with the flow switch being the only safety device is why I am asking but wondering how these are wired to explain to the electrician that will wire it for me.
    36,000 Gallon, 40x20 IG, Vinyl, Hayward S- 200 Sand Filter, 300,000 MasterTemp heater, 1hp Superpump, Polaris 9550 sport, TF100 test kit

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on replacing single speed with VS pump

    Quote Originally Posted by bhubb View Post
    dumb question jim but I am not an electrician but how is this done? I do not feel comfortable with the flow switch being the only safety device is why I am asking but wondering how these are wired to explain to the electrician that will wire it for me.
    This is where a piece-meal equipment install with a VSP and SWG can be problematic. VSP's are designed to be powered all the time and the on-baord logic of the pump is used to control speeds and on/off scheduling as opposed to standard single or 2-speed pumps that only get powered on when they are meant to be run (usually by an external mechanical timer/relay). So just hooking the SWG up to the load-side of a relay doesn't necessarily mean that a VSP will be running when the SWG is powered on. Most residential systems that use one equipment supplier, e.g. a Pentair setup or Hayward setup, have the formal setup built into the automation panel so that the SWG is only called into action when the pool pump is running.

    Some people will hook up an SWG to a mechanical timer and just attempt to keep the mechanical timer in sync with the VSP runtime schedule. But that is not totally fail-safe.

    You need to consider a VSP that has external relays that can control or, at the least, signal the SWG to come on. That is the only fail-safe method to use. The flow switch is the last-ditch, all-else-fails safety system.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Advice on replacing single speed with VS pump

    so if I installed a pentair IC60 and a pentair VSP there would be no more needed fail safes ?
    36,000 Gallon, 40x20 IG, Vinyl, Hayward S- 200 Sand Filter, 300,000 MasterTemp heater, 1hp Superpump, Polaris 9550 sport, TF100 test kit

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on replacing single speed with VS pump

    Quote Originally Posted by bhubb View Post
    so if I installed a pentair IC60 and a pentair VSP there would be no more needed fail safes ?
    At a minimum you would need the IC60, the IntelliFlo VSP AND one of their automation panels like an EasyTouch. The ET panel chosen would depend on how many relays you need and if this is just a pool or a pool/spa combo.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Advice on replacing single speed with VS pump

    I have the IC60 and I had a VS pump (the Pentair IntelliPump) for a while. I didn't like it so I went back to a single speed, a 1HP WhisperFlow.

    IMO, fist you will not save any money buying VS pump because you end up pay twice as much for the VS as a regular pump and it won't last more than 5 years (in my experience) so you will never see the break even year.
    As mentioned above, the IC60 requires a certain amount of water flow to work. When the IC60 is working (which in my case, is whenever the pump is running - about 4-6 hour a day) I found that I had to run the VS pump as fast as the single speed pump ran to get IC working.

    Second, the IntelliPump had a nice feature in that it would shut down if it sensed a vacuum (i.e. no water in pump) which is nice to have, but mine would shutdown sometimes when the Jandy auto-valves switched from spa overflow to main drain or skimmer. Then I would need to go out and reset the pump. Maybe a regular variable speed pump doesn't have this issue.

    BTW - also tried a 2-speed pump, but on low speed there was not enough flow for the IC to work. So it always ran on high speed.

    In the end I'm full-circle back to a single speed pump. Sometimes simpler is better.
    Good luck
    20K gal In-ground pool with raised Spa overflowing into pool; two Jandy Sheer Descent waterfalls; Pentair IntelliTouch i7+3, IntelliChlor, IntelliPH, 3 SAM/SAL lights, Pentair FNS60Plus filter, two 1.0 HP WhiperFlow pumps, Jandy/Compool auto-valves, RayPak Heatpump, RayPak 406A LP spa heater, Polaris 360 PS Cleaner. Patio and deck lighting by Volt; Volt 600W landscaping transformer; Webber grilling station

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    Re: Advice on replacing single speed with VS pump

    @joyfulnoise - this sounds like it will get real expensive pretty fast which tells me I will probably never make my money back!

    @countrybumkin that is what I fear. I worried about the water flow rate and having to run it at high speed nonstop to even produce cholorine. Although I do not have a spa connected to my pool (it is a separate tub). I enjoy tinkering with things but maybe I should start with a SWG only first!

    I know people that have gone to SWG and love it but none of them have SWGs so I am getting all my feedback from people on here that have done what I am planning on doing.
    36,000 Gallon, 40x20 IG, Vinyl, Hayward S- 200 Sand Filter, 300,000 MasterTemp heater, 1hp Superpump, Polaris 9550 sport, TF100 test kit

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on replacing single speed with VS pump

    Quote Originally Posted by bhubb View Post
    @joyfulnoise - this sounds like it will get real expensive pretty fast which tells me I will probably never make my money back!

    @countrybumkin that is what I fear. I worried about the water flow rate and having to run it at high speed nonstop to even produce cholorine. Although I do not have a spa connected to my pool (it is a separate tub). I enjoy tinkering with things but maybe I should start with a SWG only first!

    I know people that have gone to SWG and love it but none of them have SWGs so I am getting all my feedback from people on here that have done what I am planning on doing.

    Not to sound dismissive of countrybumpkin's post but his experience is pretty far outside the norm of what most people experience with VSP's and SWG's. The IC60's (and most SWGs) can generate chlorine with the water flow rate as low as 15GPM, in fact, that's the limit of the switch in the Pentair IC's. Most pumps, including VSPs, generate a heck of a lot more flow than 15GPM. So from what was posted, the problem was not the SWG or the pump but something in the plumbing system that was restricting flow, not to mention the loss of prime that would occur when valves moved which suggests some kind of air leak or a valve that was not properly setup (dead-heading the pump). There is also the off chance that the IC60's flow sensor failed which can happen. However, that is a field-serviceable part that is easy to fix and cheap to replace.

    As for return on investment, most VSPs last a lot longer than 5 years and the return you get depends A LOT on where you live and what your utility rates are. A 2-speed pump is definitely cheaper than a VSP and can get a pool owner the ROI a lot faster. But if you live in a high utility rate district, a VSP can say you a lot of money. For example, when my VSP runs, I can generate chlorine all the way down to 1500RPM. That's about 250W of power consumed. If you take my utility rates and run times (typically about 4-6 hours per day), my pool pump and chlorine costs are phenomenally low.

    Again, there are ways to build a safe VSP/SWG system without using an automation system. You just need to get the details right. Others who have done it will hopefully be along soon to comment.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on replacing single speed with VS pump

    CB,

    Yours is certainly the opposite of most reviews of the Intelliflo. My pool only needs a pump speed of 1,100 RPM to turn on the SWCG's flow switch. At 1,200 RPM my pump only uses 175 Watts of electrical power. Something is just not right if you had to run your pump at full speed just to close the flow switch.

    How about posting a picture of your equipment pad...

    Thanks for posting and Welcome to TFP... A Great pool resource...

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2.

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    Re: Advice on replacing single speed with VS pump

    I'm using a VS pump with a SWG, and simply use a timer to switch power to the SWG during a time when I have the pump set to run. I always keep the setting so that the SWG run time is considerably shorter, so I'm sure the pump is running. The flow switch is the fail safe in this system, in the event the two separate timers should get out of sync or the pump fail to start. That is the purpose of the flow switch, not to serve as primary switch, but as a safety back-up.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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