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Thread: Time for a new pump

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    Time for a new pump

    My 10 year old Hayward 1 HP pump has been leaking for almost year and is now sending out a high pitch howl so it's time for a new unit, which I hope will actually be a lot more efficient and a lot quieter in normal operation. We had the pool refurbed back in 2005, including new 2" PVC from the skimmer/main drain and a 1-1/2" line from the cleaner. At the time I didn't realize the Hayward was only 1-1/2", otherwise I would have replaced it.

    I was considering the Pentair Whisper-pro line but the local shop where I get my chemicals recommended a Sta-Rite Max-E-Pro product. What experience with or knowledge about the pros and cons of these two pumps do folks here have? I realize they are now both made by the same firm, Pentair, so I am guessing they both have their own following.

    One thing that impressed me about the Sta-Rite was that you can access the impeller housing by simply removing a stainless steel clamping ring...can't get much easier than that for future maintenance.

    Price wise, they are basically the same, so it's down to quietness, efficiency, reliability and ease of maintenance.
    Inground plaster 16 x 34 - 25,000 gal
    Pentain Whisperflo WFE-3
    Pentair Clean and Clear Plus CC520
    Kreepy Krawley cleaner
    3-Port Jandy Neverlube suction side - 2-Port Jandy Neverlube (balancing valve) on return side

  2. Back To Top    #2
    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new pump

    Efficiency is not going to be that much different between those pumps. The major consideration for energy efficiency is the HP rating and the speeds. If you only have the pool without any water features, then you would probably get away with a smaller pump and go to a two speed as well. I put together a spreadsheet (see signature) which allows you to directly compare pump energy performance.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3
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    Re: Time for a new pump

    Pentair owns StaRite (as you saw), so six of one, half a dozen of the other! Check the specs on both; they are probably very close to each other.

    I would suspect that there is less competition in the market for the StaRite pump (everybody has the WhisperFlo) so they may be trying to limit how hard they have to compete to sell a new pump by making it harder to price check. Both are great pumps, and you won't go wrong with either one (and they are much better than the Hayward, IMHO!).

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    Alfred Beachport's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new pump

    Rich,

    I can perhaps speak with some authority on this, because I have owned both models you are considering.

    Go with the Whisperflo.

    My latest pump is a WFE-4, the "E" meaning it has a more energy-efficient motor. It lives up to its name, and is markedly quieter than the other pumps I've used, which included a Dura-Glas and a Max-E-Glas.

    The pump for my spa is about 10' from the tub, so pump noise can interfere with our relaxation.

    The Sta-Rites are great pumps, but if noise is an issue, the Whisperflo is it.

    When I first picked up my Whisperflo on Craig's List, I wasn't ready to plumb it in, so I removed its motor from the wet end and installed it on my Dura-Glas. The impeller removal and installation was no more difficult on the Whisperflo than it was on either of my Sta-Rites.

    The only greater convenience I could see in the Sta-Rites is that they are a little easier to plumb in to an existing system because the strainer pot can be removed. Other than that, the Whisperflo has fewer screws on its impeller shroud, and 6 bolts to undo to get at it.

    I have a spa, which is fully covered most of the time, and I have never needed to get at the impeller to clear it. Everything seems to catch in my skimmer and strainer pot baskets. Might be different in your pool.

    If your local pool store is pushing the Max-E-Glas, ask them why. Tell them that you want the noise reduction. They may be trying to move a pump that's been sitting in their warehouse for a while. If they're a Pentair dealer, they can order you a Whisperflo.
    Cheers, Erik
    ----
    320 gallon Beachport San Clemente octagonal fiberglass spa, RayPak Versa 155B heater, Pentair Whisperflo WFE-4 1HP pump, Sta-Rite 100TX cartridge filter, Len Gordon FF1000 controller, Mariah blower
    Pristine Blue with 30ppm borax, bleach and MPS shock

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Time for a new pump

    Eric

    Thanks, exactly the info I was looking for. Noise is a big factor for me as well, since the equipment pad is under an overhang which is also the entry to the house. Also, I found a chain locally that has far better pricing for the Whisperflo than my independent chemical supplier. They will also dispose of my old equipment for me. The model that seems right for my situation is the WFE-3.

    The independent outfit wants to send out a tech to give me a "full proposal, including installation", even though I told them I want to do the install myself. Go figure. The tech is coming this afternoon so we'll see what he says. I figure they push Sta-Rite since over time their customer base will be uniform.

    Let's see...PVC, fittings, solvent, hacksaw, tape measure, screwdriver...doesn't sound like brain surgery!

    Mark

    I checked out your spreadsheet (great job!) and the Sta-Rite versus Pentair came out very close on cost/performance, so if the Whisperflo is even just a bit quieter that's a deal clincher for me. The fact that I have a source that makes it less expensive is the icing on the cake.

    If I had access to your spreadsheet in 2005 when we did the refurb, one of the newer variable speed units would have been a no-brainer, but since we are planning to move in the next year or so the numbers won't work...and I'm not sure how much of a selling point a variable speed unit would be.

    Thanks to all for the inputs and advice. Great forum!

    Rich

    p.s. to Mark, I recently built a new XP workstation and decided not to install Office but go with Open Office instead. The Calc application worked just fine with your spreadsheet...which I should have expected. Thought you might like to know.
    Inground plaster 16 x 34 - 25,000 gal
    Pentain Whisperflo WFE-3
    Pentair Clean and Clear Plus CC520
    Kreepy Krawley cleaner
    3-Port Jandy Neverlube suction side - 2-Port Jandy Neverlube (balancing valve) on return side

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    Re: Time for a new pump

    Allow me to take it one step further: I have had the StaRite and the WhisperFlo as well, and I now run the Hybrid X2. The Hybrid is far more efficient than either of the other 2, and is quieter as well. I have had more than a few people ask if it is even running! In fact, oftentimes the cooling fan on the VFD is louder than the pump!

    Just throwing that out to confuse you a little more! All three of the pumps mentioned are good pumps, I just like one better for many reasons than the others!

  7. Back To Top    #7
    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new pump

    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    Allow me to take it one step further: I have had the StaRite and the WhisperFlo as well, and I now run the Hybrid X2. The Hybrid is far more efficient than either of the other 2, and is quieter as well. I have had more than a few people ask if it is even running! In fact, oftentimes the cooling fan on the VFD is louder than the pump!
    Some time back I had some difficulty determining specifications and price for the Hybird X2... do you happen to have this information? Is the "quieter" X2 measured in db or is this a subjective assessment?
    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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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new pump

    I recently had an opportunity to talk with the developer of the Hybrid X2 pump because I was interested in understanding what was different about this technology. From what I understand, they basically use a standard wet end with a 3 phase induction motor and a phase vector drive. I believe that all of the variable speeds on the market today use standard variable frequency drives which are open loop. The phase vector drive has a feedback loop so that waveform feeding the motor can be optimized for efficiency. The drive is build by Invertek and the pump by another company but the "secret sauce" of Hybrid Pumps is the software in the drive which does the energy efficiency optimization.

    Unfortunately, they were not part of the original title 20 measurements done by the CEC but hopefully some time in the future they will have the tests done and then we can compare them directly to some of the other variable speed pumps.

    What was also very interesting was that they decided not to use a permanent magnet motor because they felt it reduced the reliability. Evidently they have some evidence which suggests that currents can develop within the magnet leading to excess heat and efficiency loss which can reduce the life of the motor. Not sure if this is the case or not with the Intelliflo but they were pretty convinced that this will become an issue at some point.

    As for noise, there is nothing magical about the wet end and motor used so they really shouldn't be any quieter than any other variable speed at the same RPM. The major contributors for noise in a pump is the water velocity and vibration. What makes a variable speed quieter is that they run at lower RPM and flow rates so there is less water noise and less motor noise. I wouldn't expect any variable speed to be all that quiet at full speed.
    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

  9. Back To Top    #9

    So, next steps...

    The tech from the local firm came out today and he clearly thought I was some old fa*t who didn't know squ*t and proceeded to spew so much nonsense that I almost came to accuse him of elder abuse. After he made a few observations I asked him if they ever used static head calcs to size a pump. His response was, "Do you mean GPM? Well, I've worked for this company for 30 years (maybe if he started at 12) and you need a 1 HP pump and besides that I've been to hydrology class!" For those in this forum who are in the business, all I can say is it was a major disappointment. His written proposal did not even call out the model number of the pump.

    Bottom line, he spent so much time upselling that I am almost thinking about switching my chemical supplier.

    I've looked at the "performance curves" of the Whisperflo and based on my static head I figure a 3/4 HP (WFE-3 uprated) unit will work. I'm sure there are lots of threads about pump sizing, but I can run the numbers if someone can tell me a definitive algorithm as well a source of the factors to plug in to it.

    So, is pump sizing relegated to "size to specs and bump the hp up by the next size to be safe"?
    Inground plaster 16 x 34 - 25,000 gal
    Pentain Whisperflo WFE-3
    Pentair Clean and Clear Plus CC520
    Kreepy Krawley cleaner
    3-Port Jandy Neverlube suction side - 2-Port Jandy Neverlube (balancing valve) on return side

  10. Back To Top    #10
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    Re: Time for a new pump

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    I recently had an opportunity to talk with the developer of the Hybrid X2 pump because I was interested in understanding what was different about this technology. From what I understand, they basically use a standard wet end with a 3 phase induction motor and a phase vector drive. I believe that all of the variable speeds on the market today use standard variable frequency drives which are open loop. The phase vector drive has a feedback loop so that waveform feeding the motor can be optimized for efficiency. The drive is build by Invertek and the pump by another company but the "secret sauce" of Hybrid Pumps is the software in the drive which does the energy efficiency optimization.

    Unfortunately, they were not part of the original title 20 measurements done by the CEC but hopefully some time in the future they will have the tests done and then we can compare them directly to some of the other variable speed pumps.

    What was also very interesting was that they decided not to use a permanent magnet motor because they felt it reduced the reliability. Evidently they have some evidence which suggests that currents can develop within the magnet leading to excess heat and efficiency loss which can reduce the life of the motor. Not sure if this is the case or not with the Intelliflo but they were pretty convinced that this will become an issue at some point.

    As for noise, there is nothing magical about the wet end and motor used so they really shouldn't be any quieter than any other variable speed at the same RPM. The major contributors for noise in a pump is the water velocity and vibration. What makes a variable speed quieter is that they run at lower RPM and flow rates so there is less water noise and less motor noise. I wouldn't expect any variable speed to be all that quiet at full speed.
    They also run a "twice sized" impeller, which moves an enormous amount of water. The biggest challenge with this pump is undersized plumbing, as the pump loves large pipe and wants to push water. I run at a relatively low rpm (2,200), at just over 2 amps, and push quite a bit (spa spill, solar, waterfall and pool returns), with 2 1/2" plumbing. It does not perform as well with smaller (especially smaller than 2") plumbing.

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    Alfred Beachport's Avatar
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    Re: So, next steps...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Purdum
    Bottom line, he spent so much time upselling that I am almost thinking about switching my chemical supplier.
    "Almost?"

    If it were me, I'd surely be looking for a different place to spend my money.

    If your current pump did the job, I'd just put in the equivalent rated Whisperflo, which would be the WFE-3 or WFE-24.

    Mr. Hydrology probably determined your system's requirements by carefully inspecting the sticker on your pump motor. He most likely did the same thing I just did, which is take the rating from your current pump and match it to the brand I like best.

    The WFE-24 is a "1HP" pump with a 1.25 service factor. The WFE-3 is a "3/4HP" pump with a 1.67 service factor. The big math here is multiplying the HP by the service factor, which comes out to the same thing in both cases.

    Your MaxFlo-II is a "1HP" pump with a 1.25 service factor. The magic number in all cases is 1.25.
    Cheers, Erik
    ----
    320 gallon Beachport San Clemente octagonal fiberglass spa, RayPak Versa 155B heater, Pentair Whisperflo WFE-4 1HP pump, Sta-Rite 100TX cartridge filter, Len Gordon FF1000 controller, Mariah blower
    Pristine Blue with 30ppm borax, bleach and MPS shock

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: So, next steps...

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfred Beachport
    Your MaxFlo-II is a "1HP" pump with a 1.25 service factor. The magic number in all cases is 1.25.
    Eric

    It's a bit embarrassing that I didn't fully check the face plate SF on the old pump. In fact, it's just a Max-Flo which I believe is politely referred to as the "economy" model (as in cheap). Turns out it's a 1HP with a 1.00 SF so a 3/4 HP Whisper-flo with the 1.67 SF gets me more power than I have been running with for the past 5 years. Plus a more efficient pump and a 2" inlet/outlet (the old unit is 1-1/2 in/out) and I figure I can even dial back my hours.

    The inside guy at the pool shop is a decent bloke. Always brings the case of chlorine out to the car and loads it for me, so I figure I'll keep going there. It's also the closest source. Next time I'm in there I'll let him know why they didn't get my business on the pump.

    Thanks for helping me get my head straight on this.

    Rich
    Inground plaster 16 x 34 - 25,000 gal
    Pentain Whisperflo WFE-3
    Pentair Clean and Clear Plus CC520
    Kreepy Krawley cleaner
    3-Port Jandy Neverlube suction side - 2-Port Jandy Neverlube (balancing valve) on return side

  13. Back To Top    #13
    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new pump

    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    They also run a "twice sized" impeller, which moves an enormous amount of water. The biggest challenge with this pump is undersized plumbing, as the pump loves large pipe and wants to push water. I run at a relatively low rpm (2,200), at just over 2 amps, and push quite a bit (spa spill, solar, waterfall and pool returns), with 2 1/2" plumbing. It does not perform as well with smaller (especially smaller than 2") plumbing.
    He didn't mention that but when I asked him if the wet end was standard, he said yes. What exactly is your understanding of a "twice sized" impeller? If it means that imperfections are removed through a second sizing or trimming, then that makes sense. That could reduce circulation loss as long as the diffusor is tight fitting.
    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

  14. Back To Top    #14
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    Re: Time for a new pump

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    They also run a "twice sized" impeller, which moves an enormous amount of water. The biggest challenge with this pump is undersized plumbing, as the pump loves large pipe and wants to push water. I run at a relatively low rpm (2,200), at just over 2 amps, and push quite a bit (spa spill, solar, waterfall and pool returns), with 2 1/2" plumbing. It does not perform as well with smaller (especially smaller than 2") plumbing.
    He didn't mention that but when I asked him if the wet end was standard, he said yes. What exactly is your understanding of a "twice sized" impeller? If it means that imperfections are removed through a second sizing or trimming, then that makes sense. That could reduce circulation loss as long as the volute is tight fitting.
    Hi Mark-

    I have seen the impeller, and it is twice as wide as a "standard" impeller (if that makes sense!). For conversations sake, let's say the "standard" impeller is 1/2" wide and theirs is 1 inch wide. This thing just pushes water at a phenomenal rate, and even more so in the X3 configuration.

    I'm sure John could explain it better than me (I don't work for them, but I do know John and Lisa and think they have a great pump. I am nowhere near as knowledgeable as they are on it though). I don't want to "talk out of turn" on their product, so I am explaining it as best as I understand it.

    Hope that helps!

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new pump

    hmm...... Something doesn't add up. Doubling the width of an impeller, doubles the flow rate but increases the BHP by a factor of 8 so 8x the motor size would be required. However, if they reduce the diameter of the impeller by 50% to compensate, then the shut off head reduces by a factor of 1/4 so the pump head would be very very low. Maybe I need to talk with John again.

    [Edit] They could increase the vane width to reduce the power requirement without sacrificing max head.
    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

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Time for a new pump - actually PAST TIME

    So I've settled on the WFE-4 which is 1HP 1.65 SF. It was only $60 more than the WFE-3 so I figured go for it. Only problem now is it won't arrive at my supplier until Wednesday 3/17 which means I can install on Thursday 3/18 which is 5 days to continue with the old Hayward. The bearings have gotten so bad that you can hear it run (should I say scream) from inside the house. For now it's shut down and the pool heavily chlorinated. I figure I can run it for 30 minutes a day to stir things up and keep up the chlorine to limp along until Thursday. Every time I turn it on it sounds like it is about to explode...

    Does anyone have any advice on how to approach this problem?
    Inground plaster 16 x 34 - 25,000 gal
    Pentain Whisperflo WFE-3
    Pentair Clean and Clear Plus CC520
    Kreepy Krawley cleaner
    3-Port Jandy Neverlube suction side - 2-Port Jandy Neverlube (balancing valve) on return side

  17. Back To Top    #17
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new pump

    If you can stand the noise you should run the pump two or three times a day, spread out as much as possible, for half an hour each time. Other than that, your plan sounds like a good plan.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  18. Back To Top    #18
    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new pump

    Rich,

    I wanted to let you know that the CEC data in the spreadsheet for the WFE-4 is incorrect. I downloaded the data from their site but it seems that some of the pumps have incorrect data. I don't know why they have a higher gallons/watt-hr for that pump than the WFE-3. The WFE-3 is 2.36 gallons/watt-hr but the WFE-4 should be about 2.23 gallons/watt-hr not 2.55 (between the 3 & the 6). If you were making your decision to go with the 4 over the 3 based upon that data, then perhaps you might want to reconsider that. Sorry about the error but I didn't notice it until now.
    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

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Time for a new pump

    Mark,

    Thanks for the feedback on the Cal Gov figures. If I can make the old pump limp until Thursday, I figure I'll pretend I'm a pool tech with "30 years of experience" and for another $60 go with the WFE-4. My supplier will actually have the WFE-3 arrive today so it is tempting to go that route just to stop the noise.

    When I used to work for a living (in IT) we had an old saying, "GIGO" which supposedly stood for "Garbage In/Garbage Out". I ran into an old hand who told me that was more properly "Garbage In/Gospel Out".

    No need to apologize, a puny 10% error (considering all the other approximations) turns out to be a whopping $2.04 per month which will get me an Apple Fritter at Starbucks with a bit of change. But not even a Tall.

    As they sometimes say, "If you can't trust the government, who can you trust?" Maybe the bankers?

    Imagine how the weather guys feel. They have billions of dollars to develop models that many times turn out wrong.

    Keep up the good work! Your spreadsheet is still the best thing I have seem about pump purchase price payback probabilities. Models are simply an attempt to approximate reality and should be regarded in that context.

    Rich
    Inground plaster 16 x 34 - 25,000 gal
    Pentain Whisperflo WFE-3
    Pentair Clean and Clear Plus CC520
    Kreepy Krawley cleaner
    3-Port Jandy Neverlube suction side - 2-Port Jandy Neverlube (balancing valve) on return side

  20. Back To Top    #20
    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new pump

    I am curious why you are going with the WFE-4 instead of the 3. The 3 is more powerful than your current pump and would use about the same enegy. The WFE-4 just seems a bit oversized.
    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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