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Thread: 2 HP Whisperflo Replacement

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    2 HP Whisperflo Replacement

    My 11 year old 2 HP Whisperflo (WF-28C) motor is shot. I took it to a motor shop and they said there was only 2 things that could be done for it. Replace the bearings, and replace the capacitor start. Other than that, they said there was nothing else they could do. I think, more accurately, they meant those were the only 2 things it makes sense to do. I told them it was throwing sparks and tripping the breaker. Based on this they are basically telling me the windings are shot and it is not worth rebuilding? I think that is right. There was a leak starting at the shaft seal, and I had to tear it all apart to get just the motor to them in the first place. So... I'm thinking by the time I buy a new motor and a seal kit and impeller (old impeller is looking eroded at the leading edges), I would be best served by buying a whole new pump.

    1. Does this thinking sound right?
    2. WF-28C: What does the C mean? I'm not finding that designation on any of the new pumps available.
    3. I'm leaning towards a new single speed as close to the old one as possible. Is that a WF-28?
    4. Would I be better served by something else? One of the pumps with an EE (Energy Efficient) rating, one with a better Service Factor?

    I'd like to save money on electricity, but by the time you get into the 2 speeds or VF's or VS's, then I have to add additional cost controls not to mention the more expensive pumps.

    I'm not into any additional complexity. I like cheap & simple. I love my Intermatic mechanical timers. Easy to set and as bullet proof as it gets. I've heard, or read, of others who have gone the high dollar controller/pump route and been shelling out dollars ever since for replacement boards and new motors.
    Mark
    N. Texas
    34,000 Gal. I/G, Pebbletec, Aqua Rite SWCG, FNS 60 D.E. Filter, 1HP Whisperflo, Letro Legend Cleaner/w Booster Pump.

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: 2 HP Whisperflo Replacement

    Can your Intermatic timer be set up to allow 2 (or more) run times in a 24-hour cycle? If so, then you would be a candidate for a 2 speed pump that would allow you to reduce electrical costs by allocating most of the pump time to the lower speed.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: 2 HP Whisperflo Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by polyvue
    Can your Intermatic timer be set up to allow 2 (or more) run times in a 24-hour cycle? If so, then you would be a candidate for a 2 speed pump that would allow you to reduce electrical costs by allocating most of the pump time to the lower speed.
    Just buy another set of pointers.

    Oops, they're called "Trippers"
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    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: 2 HP Whisperflo Replacement

    Assuming you don't have a spa or large water features, you didn't mention having any, a 2 HP pump is too large for that pool and is using more electricity then you need to be using. If you want to keep the pump and only replace the motor, then it makes sense to get a 2 HP two speed motor. But if you are willing to replace the pump along with the motor then it would make sense to get a 1 HP full rated, or 1 1/2 HP up rated pump.

    It is very simple to replace the motor with a two speed motor, leaving everything else the way it is now. All you need to do is wire up a new manual switch to select the motor speed. With that size pump, you would leave the motor set to low speed all the time, and only turn it up to high speed in special situations (backwashing the filter, draining the pool, etc).
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: 2 HP Whisperflo Replacement

    Since you mention that you have controls, I will assume the pump is driving more than the pool. The WF-28 is what you are looking for. The pump body hasn't changed to my knowledge so the plumbing and wiring will line up.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
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    Re: 2 HP Whisperflo Replacement

    Hey Folks,

    Thanks for the replies.

    The Intermatic control I have is a PF1222T. There are 2 24 hr timer clocks and a freeze protection circuit. I think this control will also run a heater, but I do not have one. One timer is turning power on for the main pump, the other is turning on the booster pump. The booster pump does not get power unless the main pump is on.

    I guess the replacement of one timer in the box would not be too much to do. Money and time wise. But what is needed is a SPDT timer right? As it is set up now I'm pretty sure neither timer in my box right now will control a 2 speed pump other than to run it on one speed only. I'm pretty sure they are both SPST switches. Right?

    As to the size of the pump vs what it is running: I do have water features. There are 3 18" sheer descents which I run quite a bit, and 2 fan sprays which I don't run much at all. There are 5 returns (plus the cleaner return) also. On the supply side it's 1 main drain and 2 skimmers. All of this is about an 80 Ft. run to the equipment which is set about 2 ft. above water level. On a fresh D.E. charge, the filter starts up at 10.5 to 11.0 PSI.

    I've often wondered if the pump was more than needed, but I've never gone through and done all the calculations. I do have pictures of all the plumbing before it was burried, so I could measure up the runs, total up the fittings and do the math, but I've just not done it. In anyone's experience, does doing all the math really work? Does it get you an accurate figure for what you need. Or is it one of those things where after you go through all the calculations, you have what works "in theory", and then an expreienced pool guy steps in and takes a 5 minute look and says "You need a 1.5 HP pump, and he's just a close?
    Mark
    N. Texas
    34,000 Gal. I/G, Pebbletec, Aqua Rite SWCG, FNS 60 D.E. Filter, 1HP Whisperflo, Letro Legend Cleaner/w Booster Pump.

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    Re: 2 HP Whisperflo Replacement

    Have you thought about a variable speed pump? A Pentair VS-SVRS has built in timers, the same wet end so there are no plumbing changes, and up to 8 speed can be defined. This would allow you run the pump slow for normal filtering, saving money in energy, bump the speed for the sheers. has built in freeze protection, adds a safety feature (the SVRS).

    Then you would only use the Intermatic timer for the pool sweep booster.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: 2 HP Whisperflo Replacement

    Scott,

    I have looked at the new VS & VF pumps. I don't think they are for me. I've done the "Spare no expense", "Top of the line", "Latest & greatest", whatever... several times in the past. It has, almost without exception, been more costly and fairure prone, than if I had just gone with the tried & true. My wife is still ticked over the 18 SEER heat pumps I had installed 6 years ago. [b]MUCH[b] more money than the next best 14 SEER and trouble from the minute they were installed. They are running fine now, and still in warranty. However, I'm going to need everyones prayers in another 4 years when the warranty runs out and I'm on my own for repair costs. Are they saving me electric costs? You bet. Nowhere near enough to pay for themselves, unless they last 25 years. Given their current track record, not a chance of that.

    I was really leaning towards a 2 speed. It seems, to me, that would be the best of both worlds. Energy savings while running at low speed, and simplicity in control.

    I'll be honest. The new VS & VF pumps scare me. They are very expensive and I've read that if the controller goes out, you're buying a whole new pump. Even if that is not true, I don't feel they are proven yet.

    Thanks for the input.
    Mark
    N. Texas
    34,000 Gal. I/G, Pebbletec, Aqua Rite SWCG, FNS 60 D.E. Filter, 1HP Whisperflo, Letro Legend Cleaner/w Booster Pump.

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    Re: 2 HP Whisperflo Replacement

    If the controller goes, it's just the controller, not the pump.

    The technology behind them has been used for years and years. Most elevators, commercial AC systems use it. That it is now being attached to pool pump bodies is a good thing as they tend to be longer lasting and are much more efficient motors that really do save on electricity and offer greater flexibility.

    Two speed pump motors are still induction motors. Long life is not their strong suit due to the heat energy they produce from the wasted power they consume. Ever try to hold one that's been running?

    Pentair's motor is designed to go to 6 HP but it's controller limits it to a 3 HP max. The fact that it's sealed keeps it clean inside. It doesn't rust. Jandy uses a similar approach in their product but the controller limits them to a 1-1/2 and 2HP max. Hayward went a different path that still saves energy because it's a 3 phase motor but of a different design. I have my reservations about their motor. It's not sealed and doesn't use rare earth permanent magnets.

    During testing in California, Pentair set up a pre-production test unit was set up on a table using flex pipe on a Friday. The Santa Ana winds blew it into the pool and was still running when it was found on Monday., in the pool.

    I can assure you that the infant mortality rate for this line of pumps (Jandy is similar) is substantially lower than any induction motor made today.

    As for long life, todays induction motors have much lower life spans than they used to. They motor manufacturers had to reduce costs. Most have moved the factories to Mexico or other lower cost labor lands, lowered parts quality standards like using softer metals for the bearings, thinned the metal parts, used cheap alloys, etc...

    The motors and drives for Pentair are made in western European nations. The pump gets its final assembly here in the US. Each is tested before it leaves the plant. The motor is never more than a couple degrees than the surround conditions. If it ever did, it would shut itself down.

    I have installed them and never had a problem. As far as I know, none of my local constituents have had any issues with them either.

    Scott

    The drives for the motors that failed early on were the result of severe transient spikes as it has be told to me. The cause of the spikes was lightning in most cases and a couple where there was a transformer failure at the pole. They were not the only things that got cooked. All were replaced under warranty.
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: 2 HP Whisperflo Replacement

    Unless your electrical rates are relatively high you are better off avoiding the IntelliFlo, it will take too long to pay back. On the other hand, a two speed is well worth the small extra cost even if your electrical rates are fairly low.

    The IntelliFlo pumps seemed to have a number of problems in their first year, but ever since then they have been performing reliably. I have heard of one or two failures of newer IntelliFlos, so I don't think they have gotten everything perfect just yet, but they are getting quite close.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: 2 HP Whisperflo Replacement

    I don't know the electric rates in Tx. but I know they won't be going down anytime soon. I also don't often disagree with Jason.

    Motors in the Tx environment get very hot and as a result, unless they are shaded, tend to have a relatively short life span. As I understand it, the MTBF, mean time between failures, is about 3 to 7 years. the expected MTBF for the Intelliflow is over 3 times that.

    Please add those service calls and parts to the equation and the pay back is reduced with increased reliability in addition to the energy savings.

    Two speeds were great. I think variable speed pumps are better.

    Disclaimer: I don't work for them, do any work for them, or own their stock or anything. I just like the product.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: 2 HP Whisperflo Replacement

    I'm also following this thread with interest as I also have a 2 HP WhisperFlo. Still working but I know that it's just a matter of time.

    I love what I have read about the IntelliFlo but a simple 2 speed might serve well for much cheaper. I particularly appreciate what PoolGuyNJ offered up about the MTBF. That's amazing! What's also amazing is just how many PBs install overpowered pumps on their builds. My pool is only 10K gallons with no major features aside from a little waterfall and the pump is only about 15 feet from the pool.
    10K gallon IG gunite with waterfall; Pentair CC320P filter; WhisperFlo 2 HP pump
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    Re: 2 HP Whisperflo Replacement

    The IntelliFlo was first introduced only about 5 or 6 years ago, and the number installed were not all that high in the first few years. I think that it is way too soon to have a clear idea of what their actual MTBF is really going to be.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: 2 HP Whisperflo Replacement

    I'm really diggin' this info guys. Regardless of which way I go, I want to thank you all for the dialog here. It is going to go a long way towards helping me make an informed decision.

    So, can anyone comment on the size pump I should be running given the info in one of my earlier posts? (Copied below)

    "As to the size of the pump vs what it is running: I do have water features. There are 3 18" sheer descents which I run quite a bit, and 2 fan sprays which I don't run much at all. There are 5 returns (plus the cleaner return) also. On the supply side it's 1 main drain and 2 skimmers. All of this is about an 80 Ft. run to the equipment which is set about 2 ft. above water level. On a fresh D.E. charge, the filter starts up at 10.5 to 11.0 PSI."

    Do you think the previous 2HP Whisperflo was sized right?
    Mark
    N. Texas
    34,000 Gal. I/G, Pebbletec, Aqua Rite SWCG, FNS 60 D.E. Filter, 1HP Whisperflo, Letro Legend Cleaner/w Booster Pump.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: 2 HP Whisperflo Replacement

    I don't know the exact specs on the fan sprays, or how long your plumbing runs are, or any of several other details that affect the calculation, but 2 HP is almost certainly larger than you really need.

    Builders really like to put in oversized pumps. Calculating the "perfect" pump size is complicated, and if they put in an undersized pump there will be problems right away. So they put in an oversized pump to protect themselves, and the only thing that tends to happen is the electrical costs are higher than they need to be, which tends not to be blamed on the builder. Also, and most buyers tend to think that higher numbers are better and will prefer a bid with a larger pump size. Nine times out of ten builders will oversize the pump.

    This leads to one of the best properties of the IntelliFlo, you can dial in exactly the pump size you need right at the moment to get the sheer descents to look just the way you want them to look, the fan sprays spraying just right, and so on. Without that ability to dial in the pump size, you need to size the pump for the largest flow rate you might possibly want and then restrict the flow down to just right with valves.

    If you want to do the full calculation, you need to know the flow rate, usually in GPM, for each water feature, the diameter, length, and number of the pipes between the equipment pad and the pool, and a clear idea of how many things you want to be able to do at one time, ie do you want to be able to run the sheer descents and the fan sprays at the same time, are the sheer descents on all the time while filtering, or only occasionally, etc.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: 2 HP Whisperflo Replacement

    Time will tell on the reliability of the Intelliflo but recently I have already heard of several people who have had to replace the VFD due to failure at a cost of about $1000. That is a bit steep considering most VFDs cost less than half that amount. This was one of the reasons that I passed on variables and decided to retrofit my pump with a smaller impeller and 2 speed motor. This alone will cut my energy consumption by close to half and it only cost me $110 to do.

    Also, the cost savings of the Intelliflo are dependent on how the pump is used. In my case, I need to run the pump on high speed for solar and the cleaner. It turns out that the two speed had just enough pressure on high speed to keep the vacuum release closed.

    So I looked at the cost differential of a two speed pump against the Intelliflo assuming identical operating conditions, 50% 65 GPM and 50% 33 GPM. The Intelliflo would use about $5 less on average per month than the two speed (125 kwh vs 113 kwh @ $0.40/kwh). To make up the $1000 difference ($500 vs $1500) between the two pumps, it would take 200 months of operation to do so! I have a hard time believing the Intelliflo would last that long.

    Even if I assume 100% on low speed for both, the cost difference is $7.50/month, so it would take 133 months of operation for the Intelliflo to cost the same as a two speed. More likely but it still doesn't leave much time for the Intelliflo to have a lifetime cost less than the two speed.

    So even for very high electrical rates, the Intelliflo may still not make sense.

    I forgot to mention that my two speed doesn't run any hotter than my old motor. Efficiency of two speed motors is only about 5-10% lower so they really shouldn't generate that much more heat.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner

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    Re: 2 HP Whisperflo Replacement

    By the way guys, my electric rates vary due to a PCRF (Power Cost Recovery Factor), but it has been in the .08-.09 per Kw/hr. Not too bad.

    I don't think the fan sprays flow much at all really. I had them put in the shallow end to give an evaporative cooling effect. They do feel nice & cool too, on the 100+ degree days down here. When the sheer descents are on & I turn on the sprays, I don't see a change at all from the descents. Maybe a clue the pump is oversized?

    So how about a WFDS-6 or WFDS-26?
    Mark
    N. Texas
    34,000 Gal. I/G, Pebbletec, Aqua Rite SWCG, FNS 60 D.E. Filter, 1HP Whisperflo, Letro Legend Cleaner/w Booster Pump.

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    Re: 2 HP Whisperflo Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by aeopav
    By the way guys, my electric rates vary due to a PCRF (Power Cost Recovery Factor), but it has been in the .08-.09 per Kw/hr. Not too bad.

    I don't think the fan sprays flow much at all really. I had them put in the shallow end to give an evaporative cooling effect. They do feel nice & cool too, on the 100+ degree days down here. When the sheer descents are on & I turn on the sprays, I don't see a change at all from the descents. Maybe a clue the pump is oversized?

    So how about a WFDS-6 or WFDS-26?
    A sheer decent usually requires only 10 GPM per foot so with 3 18", that is 45 GPM. A WFDS-3 will provide 69 GPM @ 53' of head so it would allow for 5 GPM per return while the decents are running. Also, the WFDS-6 by comparison, only gets you 77 GPM at 66' of head which is not that much more than the 3, only 4 GPM per return more.

    What is your current filter pressure with the 2 HP?
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
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    Re: 2 HP Whisperflo Replacement

    So you're saying I may be able to get away with a 3/4 HP pump? I'm wired 230 now. Would'nt even need that with a 3/4 horse.

    On a fresh D.E. charge, the filter starts up at 10.5 to 11.0 PSI."
    Mark
    N. Texas
    34,000 Gal. I/G, Pebbletec, Aqua Rite SWCG, FNS 60 D.E. Filter, 1HP Whisperflo, Letro Legend Cleaner/w Booster Pump.

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    Re: 2 HP Whisperflo Replacement

    11 PSI seems really low for a 2 HP pump with 80' runs. A 2 HP pump with 80' 2" piping should have a filter pressure of about 20 PSI. What size pipe do you have? Also, have you inspected the pump impeller? It could be broken. Another possibility is the filter gauge is broken.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater, ThePoolCleaner

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