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Thread: filter pump speed and flow suggestions

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    filter pump speed and flow suggestions

    After using TFP site for my late night reading over the course of a year, I did my best to "guide" my PB to install an efficient and well built pool system using this TFP site as my guiding light. I'm not sure if I succeeded and would really appreciate some advice from some of the bright pump experts on this site like Mas985.

    First question is what speed should I run my Intelliflo 3hp VST filter pump for general filter operation? I think that the Intelliflo 3hp might be bigger than necessary. My pool builder told me to run it at 3000 rpm. From many of the posts I've read here, the filter pump doesn't need to run at that high of speed. I've attached a picture of the pool equipment plumbing. The filter pump has four 2" suction lines (1-west skimmer,1-east skimmer,1-main drain,1-vacuum) with manual valves on each line. I'm a little confused on how "open" or "closed" the valves should be for optimal use. Presently, the main drain valve is closed and the vacuum valve is open all the way. The two individual skimmer valves are about 1/3 open.

    Also what speed should I run it for general skimming/cleaning?

    I did buy a FlowVis FV-C flow meter to install. I thought it would work well right before the IC60. Is it helpful to have a flow meter installed?

    I have two water features that each have their own dedicated single speed pump with there own dedicated suction lines. This will not be ran all the time. Should I put them on a timer so that the water inside the dedicated lines does not become stagnate? If so how often should I do this?

    my pressure goes up 5 psi when I run it through the heater. There is a 2lb check valve on the heater discharge. Is it ok to use the heater bypass piping to reduce the restriction since I cant use the heater for the first 30 days anyway?


    I apologize for the rambling questions. Any Advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Abe
    IG 40'x22' rectangle (4'to7'-7"depth with 6'x16'x15" sun shelf) 32,460 gal, plaster, Pentair equip (520 cart, 3hp Intelliflo 2 VST, 1.5hp Whisperflo sheers, 1.5hp Whisperflo for 3 Color Cascade bubblers, IC60, Easytouch8, two Intellibrite 5g lights, 400k btu) Belgard pavers, auto Coverstar, and TF-100

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: filter pump speed and flow suggestions

    Abe,

    Until Mas gets here, I'll give you my standard answer to your question....

    "Each pool is a little different... You generally run a pump for three reasons:

    1. To keep surface debris moving and being pushed into the skimmers. The more debris the more often you need to run the pump.

    2. If you have a Salt Water Chlorine Generator (SWCG) you'll need to run it long enough to generate the amount of chlorine needed.

    3. To circulate the water to ensure the chlorine is effectively distributed throughout the pool. Two or three hours per day is all that is needed for this to happen in most pools.

    There really is no one answer that fits everyone."

    That said, in my opinion 3K RPM is way too much to be running most of the time. Kind of does away with the whole purpose of having a VS pump...

    In my case, I run at 1,200 RPM most of the time. This is the lowest speed I run, because it takes 1,100 RPM to close the flow switch on my SWCG. I suspect yours will be in the same range.

    I run it a little faster a few times a day to make sure the skimmers are working to keep the top of the pool clean.

    If I were you, I'd open each skimmer 100% and the main drain 20% and I'd shut the vacuum port off unless you are using it. Do you have some type of water powered cleaner?

    You can use the heater bypass anytime you are not using your heater...

    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, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: filter pump speed and flow suggestions

    First question is what speed should I run my Intelliflo 3hp VST filter pump for general filter operation?
    Depends on the objective. (see below)


    Also what speed should I run it for general skimming/cleaning?
    For skimming, the minimum speed is where the water will still travel over the weir door instead of around the sides. No telling what speed this is except for trial and error.


    I did buy a FlowVis FV-C flow meter to install. I thought it would work well right before the IC60. Is it helpful to have a flow meter installed?
    There is really not much a flow meter can tell you except what the current flow rate is but it doesn't tell you what it needs to be. That can only be determined by trial and error.

    Should I put them on a timer so that the water inside the dedicated lines does not become stagnate? If so how often should I do this?
    The water shouldn't become "stagnate" during the time they are off. Something would need to travel up the pipes to consume the FC that is in the pipes but that would take a very long time to happen. If you use them once a week, you are probably ok.

    my pressure goes up 5 psi when I run it through the heater. There is a 2lb check valve on the heater discharge. Is it ok to use the heater bypass piping to reduce the restriction since I cant use the heater for the first 30 days anyway?
    A 2 lbs check valve is way too much. That causes a huge amount of head loss (as you have seen). Was that for the SWG? If so, it isn't necessary and if it were my pool, I would remove it.
    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: filter pump speed and flow suggestions

    Thank you Jim for your quick and informative reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    Abe,

    "Each pool is a little different... You generally run a pump for three reasons:

    1. To keep surface debris moving and being pushed into the skimmers. The more debris the more often you need to run the pump.
    I guess I need to experiment with this. I briefly tried lowering the speed to see if I still got any surface movement towards the skimmers. It seemed that unless I limited the flow from everything but one skimmer the surface water wouldn't flow real well. I'll play with this and report back

    2. If you have a Salt Water Chlorine Generator (SWCG) you'll need to run it long enough to generate the amount of chlorine needed.
    I will be able to use the SWCG after the initial start up of 30 days I believe.


    That said, in my opinion 3K RPM is way too much to be running most of the time. Kind of does away with the whole purpose of having a VS pump...

    In my case, I run at 1,200 RPM most of the time. This is the lowest speed I run, because it takes 1,100 RPM to close the flow switch on my SWCG. I suspect yours will be in the same range.

    I run it a little faster a few times a day to make sure the skimmers are working to keep the top of the pool clean.

    If I were you, I'd open each skimmer 100% and the main drain 20% and I'd shut the vacuum port off unless you are using it. Do you have some type of water powered cleaner?

    Until I can check for the minimum flow the SWCG requires, I'll play with the rpms.

    Yes, I have a Pentair Sand Shark vacuum cleaner. I was not given any training or advice from PB for it other than it leave it in running 24/7. The pool has had water in it for a week this Saturday. I don't see much plaster dust when I brush so I'm not sure if it still need to keep the vacuum cleaner running all the time or not. I will be buying a robot cleaner like the M500 Dolphin hopefully within the week. I'm not sure if I can put it in with new plaster yet, but that will be the main cleaner.
    You can use the heater bypass anytime you are not using your heater...
    I can't use the heater for initial 30 days and I doubt I'll use it very much at all in the future. Maybe a few times in the spring and fall. I was just concerned about the water being isolated inside the heater for long periods of time especially when I add the salt. Would this cause any problems?

    Again thanks for your help.
    Abe
    IG 40'x22' rectangle (4'to7'-7"depth with 6'x16'x15" sun shelf) 32,460 gal, plaster, Pentair equip (520 cart, 3hp Intelliflo 2 VST, 1.5hp Whisperflo sheers, 1.5hp Whisperflo for 3 Color Cascade bubblers, IC60, Easytouch8, two Intellibrite 5g lights, 400k btu) Belgard pavers, auto Coverstar, and TF-100

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: filter pump speed and flow suggestions

    Abe,

    As far as skimming goes you don't need to see the water flowing like crazy into the skimmers. It is more of a casual thing..

    Try setting your speed to 1,500 and then see how that works..

    The great thing is that you have the EasyTouch.. You can set it to run slow most of the time and then increase the pump speed a few times a day to help the skimmers do their job.

    Do you have ScreenLogic where you can adjust speeds via your PC?

    Thanks,

    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, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    Re: filter pump speed and flow suggestions

    Thanks for your quick and precise reply Mark. After reading so many of your posts, I feel 100% confident following any advice you give and grateful to receive it.

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    Depends on the objective. (see below)


    For skimming, the minimum speed is where the water will still travel over the weir door instead of around the sides. No telling what speed this is except for trial and error..
    when you say weir door do you mean the skimmer opening? I didn't see any door or flap. should there be?
    Also. Do I need to restrict the suction skimmer valves to get more flow or increase pump speed or both?


    There is really not much a flow meter can tell you except what the current flow rate is but it doesn't tell you what it needs to be. That can only be determined by trial and error.
    Is there a sweet spot flow for normal filtering with cartridge. My Clean and clear plus 520 manual says 150 gpm is the recommended flow. There is a graph chart in manual that shows 11 psi for 150 gpm. Do I adjust the pump speed to match this psi assuming the cartridge filter is clean?

    The water shouldn't become "stagnate" during the time they are off. Something would need to travel up the pipes to consume the FC that is in the pipes but that would take a very long time to happen. If you use them once a week, you are probably ok.

    A 2 lbs check valve is way too much. That causes a huge amount of head loss (as you have seen). Was that for the SWG? If so, it isn't necessary and if it were my pool, I would remove it
    I thought I read somewhere that a check valve between the heater and the salt cell was required or recommended. I guess this is not the case?

    Thanks,

    Abe
    IG 40'x22' rectangle (4'to7'-7"depth with 6'x16'x15" sun shelf) 32,460 gal, plaster, Pentair equip (520 cart, 3hp Intelliflo 2 VST, 1.5hp Whisperflo sheers, 1.5hp Whisperflo for 3 Color Cascade bubblers, IC60, Easytouch8, two Intellibrite 5g lights, 400k btu) Belgard pavers, auto Coverstar, and TF-100

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: filter pump speed and flow suggestions

    Abe,

    When I'm running at 1,200 RPM, my filter, which is identical to yours, only reads 1 to 2 PSI... This is pretty normal...

    Filter pressure is really the amount of force it takes to push water through your filter. So higher pressure is not a good thing.

    One way to tell your filter is dirty is that the pressure will increase.

    With the size of your filter, you should only have to clean it twice a year. I do mine the Spring when it is warm out, but to cold to swim, and then again in the fall when it is too cold to swim, but warm enough to get wet cleaning the filter..

    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, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: filter pump speed and flow suggestions

    when you say weir door do you mean the skimmer opening? I didn't see any door or flap. should there be?
    Yes, the skimmer should have a swinging door in the front.


    Also. Do I need to restrict the suction skimmer valves to get more flow or increase pump speed or both?
    No! Don't not restrict flow coming from the skimmers. You want the skimmer lines at 100%. Adjust the RPM to get more flow. However, you can restrict the MD line some since it really doesn't do much.



    Is there a sweet spot flow for normal filtering with cartridge. My Clean and clear plus 520 manual says 150 gpm is the recommended flow. There is a graph chart in manual that shows 11 psi for 150 gpm. Do I adjust the pump speed to match this psi assuming the cartridge filter is clean?
    Those are upper limits. Lower flow rates is better for filtering. Set the flow for the skimmer, vac and SWG.



    I thought I read somewhere that a check valve between the heater and the salt cell was required or recommended. I guess this is not the case?
    If you have a tab chlorinator, you need a check valve but not for an SWG.
    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: filter pump speed and flow suggestions

    Ok Jim that sounds good. I'll lower the RPM's and see what that does.
    IG 40'x22' rectangle (4'to7'-7"depth with 6'x16'x15" sun shelf) 32,460 gal, plaster, Pentair equip (520 cart, 3hp Intelliflo 2 VST, 1.5hp Whisperflo sheers, 1.5hp Whisperflo for 3 Color Cascade bubblers, IC60, Easytouch8, two Intellibrite 5g lights, 400k btu) Belgard pavers, auto Coverstar, and TF-100

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    Re: filter pump speed and flow suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    Yes, the skimmer should have a swinging door in the front.
    When I asked PB about skimmer doors, stated that he forgot to put them on. I'm glad you guys have my back in this. I wouldn't have know otherwise.

    No! Don't not restrict flow coming from the skimmers. You want the skimmer lines at 100%. Adjust the RPM to get more flow. However, you can restrict the MD line some since it really doesn't do much
    Those are upper limits. Lower flow rates is better for filtering. Set the flow for the skimmer, vac and SWG.
    I have to restrict skimmers and main drain while vacuuming or the cleaner doesn't move. So other than vacuum I'm assuming that I would keep skimmer valves fully open. Then once my SWG is in, i'll have to find the correct lowest rpm that will allow it to generate chlorine. right?


    If you have a tab chlorinator, you need a check valve but not for an SWG.
    if I don't plan on using the heater very often and keep the heater bypass open would you still suggest I remove the check valve?
    IG 40'x22' rectangle (4'to7'-7"depth with 6'x16'x15" sun shelf) 32,460 gal, plaster, Pentair equip (520 cart, 3hp Intelliflo 2 VST, 1.5hp Whisperflo sheers, 1.5hp Whisperflo for 3 Color Cascade bubblers, IC60, Easytouch8, two Intellibrite 5g lights, 400k btu) Belgard pavers, auto Coverstar, and TF-100

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