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Thread: Need pump sizing advice!

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Need pump sizing advice!

    Hi folks!

    I've got my pool build going in a separate thread and am getting more subs lined up for plumbing and decking right now. I need some help with a good pump. I'd like to stick with a Intelliflo or Whisperflo. I need some advice on size and model# of pump. The basic specs of the pool are roughly 33000 gallons, 2 skimmers, main drain, 6 returns. Suction plumbing is 2" and return lines are 1 1/2" but the loop will be 2". The length of the return loop is approximately 140'. I also need a separate pump to run some water features. I'll have a total length of sheer waterfall of 42" requiring 42 gpm minimum and 4 deck jets requiring 4.4 gpm each for a total of 17.6. Total water feature GPM needed is about 60 GPM. So...

    What filter pump would you recommend?

    What water feature pump would you recommend?


    I'm still debating about sand vs. cartridge filters too...

    Thanks for any input.

    Jim
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    33,000 gallons, aiming for two turns a day, would be 46 GPM (or more) for the filter pump.

    This is a good application for an IntelliFlo. Without the variable speed you are looking at two WhisperFlo pumps, which together are going to be at least $680 (Internet discount price pump only). The IntelliFlo VS is around $850 (similar pricing) and gives you more flexibility and will save you money on electricity. Plus, with the IntelliFlo you can adjust how much water goes to the waterfall over a large range without wasting electricity.

    I am a big fan of sand filters because they require the least attention and maintenance. Cartridge filters are good when saving water is an issue (no backwashing is required). Others have different opinions.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    How do you control the Intelliflo? I don't plan on using the Intellitouch system, at least for now. Where are the rpm controls?

    Regarding Whisperflo pumps, is there not a single pump that would turn 33K two times daily?

    I was going to use a separate pump for water features. Would I not need this?

    I'm not too concerned about the filters, I could really just flip a coin. I'll just get a large size.
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Using single speed pumps you need two, one for filtering and one for the water features. Using the IntelliFlo you only need one pump for both functions. You would use a three way valve to split water between the returns and the waterfall and turn up the speed to get the flow rate you need. Without an automation system that is a little more work than just turning on the water feature pump, but not too bad (depending on how accessible the pump and valve are).

    The IntelliFlo VS has four preset speeds which can be switched between easily and it has faster/slower push buttons which allow you to select any of the many available speeds (and program them into the presets if you want to). The primary controls are on the pump. With a compatible automation system you can switch speeds remotely.

    Using single speed pumps you probably need a 3/4 HP for circulation and 1 HP for the waterfall (assuming WhisperFlo full rated pumps). That is just guessing, I didn't calculate it out, but something in that range. Ideally the circulation pump should be at least a two speed, but that would bring you over the cost of the IntelliFlo.
    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

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Thanks for the tips
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    What's the difference between the VS and VF pump? I can't seem to find it on Pentair's site.
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  7. Back To Top    #7
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    VS is variable speed. VF is variable flow. The VF does everything the VS does and adds a flow meter and LCD control/programming panel on the pump. With the VF you can tell it to run at 105 GPM and it will adjust speed as needed to maintain that flow rate, or you can set a speed and it will tell you what flow rate it is getting. The VF is around $1200 (Internet pump only).
    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

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Is the VS programable? or does it need an independant timer for turning it on and off?
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  9. Back To Top    #9
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    No, the VS just has on/off and speed. The VF has several programable features including a timer.
    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

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    OK thanks,

    sounds like the same pump and motor, just the VF has a bigger brain. I like it.

    I see some of these pumps are 4 x 120 and some are 4 x 160???
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Is anyone using a Pool Pilot with an Intelliflo? If so, the VS of VF? How do they interface? Or just use the VS and let the Pool Pilot cycle it on and off after you find your correct speed for the Intelliflo?

    Thanks...

    Jim
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  12. Back To Top    #12
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    With a PoolPilot Digital and a VS it is simplest to let the PoolPilot control the pump power. With the VF that is more of a compromise, since you lose several of the VFs fancy programable features that way, though the alternatives are not nearly as simple. The other common approach is to have both of them controlled by an automation system.

    I have seen a 4x100 mentioned, though I haven't seen Pentair actually selling one. The regular model is 3 HP. There have been occasional mentions of a 2 HP version but they don't appear to have a part number for it. I presume that the 2 HP version would be the 4x100 or 4x120 [[though at this point they have switched to a completely different set of part numbers and aren't using the 4xNNN nomenclature anymore]].
    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

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Thanks,

    I already have the PoolPilot and SC-60 and will probably go with the Intelliflo VS and let the PoolPilot control the pump. I'll get a separate timer for the booster pump for the robot.

    Are all the VS pumps 3 HP? Is that the pump previously known as 4 x 160?

    Thanks again...

    Jim
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  14. Back To Top    #14
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    The VS-3050, previously known as the 4x160, is 3 HP (at the max speed). As I said, there have been mentions in various places of a smaller model. I haven't seen one anywhere but it might exist.
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    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

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Thanks for the advice,

    Other than being a little cheaper, would there be any reason to go with the smaller? Is there a minimum flow rate on the 3 HP model that would be too high flow for a slow turnover rate?

    I've got several water features that if all active might require up to 60 GPM or so, so the 3 HP sounds good for that use.
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  16. Back To Top    #16
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    No, no real advantage other than a hopefully lower price and slightly smaller circuit breaker required. With a wide range variable speed the only thing the smaller pump couldn't do is match the full speed performance.
    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

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Ill add my 2 cents. I currently own the 4x160 Inteliflo. If I were to do it again I would get the VF pump instead.

    Basically to get the most efficient setting (and run your pump as low as possible to save electricity) you start with your daily desired water turnover rate. If you determine its 46GPM you just set the VF pump for that and it optimizes its setting for that GPM regardless of pipe run lengths, bends, valves, etc.

    In my installation I added a flow meter at the equipment pad so I can tell my GPM through my system. This allowed me to determine what preset speed to set my variable inteliflo. Somewhat the same result as the VF except my pump cant change its speed dynamically. I control it through the easytouch system with presets.

    You would not believe how hard it was to find a flow meter. Everyone I talked to at pool stores looked at me like I was crazy. No builders in my area install them. In my opinion they are just stuck in the past. They (builders/pool stores) just install a big pool pump and turn the sucker on. You are left to pay the electric bill for the wasted overhead.

    I would get the VF pump certainly for a pool as large as yours. My pool is half the size of yours (gallons) and only need to run at 22GPM. Hope this helps.

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Thanks again for the input,

    I do plan on installing a flowmeter downstream of the filter pump to verify flow. Some other TFP users have mentioned the Blue-White brand meters as working well. With the setup I have planned, I'm not sure if I'd use all the capabilites of the VF.

    The timer on the Pool Pilot should be able to cycle the pump on and off correct? Will the Pool Pilot cycle the pump for filtering time when the salt cell is turned off, or just during the chlorine generating time? Or is this where the multiple VF timers would kick in and be helpful?

    I don't have to purchase the pump for another month or so, so I really want to get this right.

    Jim
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  19. Back To Top    #19
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    The PoolPilot Digital has a programable timer that can turn the pump on for either one or two different periods each day at times that you specify. The cell runs an adjustable percentage of the time that the pump is running. With the VS the pump will come on at the speed that it was last set to.

    The VF has it's own timer that supports up to eight different periods each day, each of which could be at a different speed or flow rate. When used without an automation system I can't see how that would be all that useful.

    One big advantage of the VF is that it can adjust it's speed to maintain a constant flow rate as the filter gets dirtier. Without that feature you need to run the pump at a speed which is suitable for a dirty filter. When the filter is clean you are wasting electricity. How much electricity you save depends on how much the dynamic head of the filter varies over time. With an oversized filter the filter pressure changes very slowly and the filter is often cleaned before it has gotten much higher than it started. With a smaller filter, and/or heavier pool usage, the filter will get dirty more quickly and you will probably allow it to get dirtier between cleanings and there is more electricity that can be saved.
    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

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    I think the VS is the way I'll likely go. I don't have any immediate plans to go to an automated system, although I do like the Jandy system and I believe it will interface with the Pool Pilot? I'm just not sure it's something very important to me right now. Thanks for all the input.

    Jim
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

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