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Thread: PB said intelliflo not enough. Any thoughts?

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    PB said intelliflo not enough. Any thoughts?

    I have a 20X40 free from with deep end 3 1/2- 8 1/2 ft. Also 8ft. diameter spa. I am using 2" pipes through out. Have 6 returns in the pool. the spa has a spill over and 6 power jets. It has 2" flex pipeing in it. I have 2 skimmers, an auto water leveler, and 4 deck jets. I dropped the waterfall I was going to have. My equiptment pad is approx. 40 ft. from the majority of my pool. I had thought I could get away with just the intelliflo, but my PB says that will not be enough to run all of that plus give me good action in the spa. He has never worked with an intelliflo before but says I need a seperate 2 1/2 horsepower pump to work the spa jets alone. He said I just have too much going on in my pool for one pump. Any thoughts on that? Thanks so much.
    Owner/Builder- Pool under construction- Started 4/18/08
    20X40 freeform 3 1/2" to 8 1/2' deep
    elevated 8' spa w/ spillover
    Plaster: Undecided
    Pentair intelliflo
    Pentair intellichlor
    Pentair Mastertemp 400,000 BTU gas heater
    Pentair Triton II 30" sand filter
    LED (probably colorlogic) 3 in main pool and 1 in spa
    Polaris 280 w/ booster pump
    Control System: Still working on this Intellitouch I guess but don't know all the components I need yet.

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    A little bit over my head but I have seen several threads on the forum that indicate your PB is right.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    I would say that you are right on the edge of needing two pumps. One IntelliFlo won't be able to power the spa and anything else at the same time. There is nothing technically wrong with that, but you might want to be able to turn on the deck jets at the same time as the spa. Also, the plumbing is a good deal simpler with two pumps.
    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

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    I would get a seperate spa pump even if the intelliflo could handle it. From what I have read, the intelliflo is capable of high speed use but not very efficient at it. It shines by running slow and saving money on circulation but also having the ability to bump up and run a cleaner etc. My very unexpert opinion.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Actually the IntelliFlo uses a different kind of motor that is inherently more efficient than a regular pump motor, so it is more efficient at high speed than a regular pump would be. However the improvement is much smaller at high speed than it is at low speed. The IntelliFlo can save you somewhere around 10% to 20% at high speed while it might save you 50% to 90% at low speed. If you are getting a dedicated spa pump, which would always be run on high speed, the smaller savings may not justify the large initial cost of the IntelliFlo, depending on your electric rates.
    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

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    The motor has nothing to do with the high speed efficiency, the intelliflo imperller is optimized for low speed, it doesnt flow as much as a 2sp or single at high speed. If you look at the Intelliflo specs you will see it draws alot of power at high speed, more than a single speed or 2sp pump of equal size. If you want to run the spa and pool on one pump I would go with a 2 speed. As far as power cunsumption, it will not save you 90%. There is absoluly no data to back this up.

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    thanks for the opinions. Think I'll go with 2

    Well...... as my PB said "you don't want to go to all this expense and then not be happy with the end result" Point well taken. $500 in the scope of things is a drop in the bucket (or should I say "pool"!) percentage wise. So I think I will go with the consensus and get a second one! Thank you so much.
    Owner/Builder- Pool under construction- Started 4/18/08
    20X40 freeform 3 1/2" to 8 1/2' deep
    elevated 8' spa w/ spillover
    Plaster: Undecided
    Pentair intelliflo
    Pentair intellichlor
    Pentair Mastertemp 400,000 BTU gas heater
    Pentair Triton II 30" sand filter
    LED (probably colorlogic) 3 in main pool and 1 in spa
    Polaris 280 w/ booster pump
    Control System: Still working on this Intellitouch I guess but don't know all the components I need yet.

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    Cword, I have a similar set up except for the number of spa jets, as I have 12, and a rico rock waterfall. I have 4 separate pumps, 1 Jandy stealth 1 1/2 hp for circulation, 1 Jandy stealth 3 hp for the spa jets, 1 Jandy stealth 3hp for the waterfall, sheer decent, and 4 deck jets, and 1 booster pump for my polaris 280. We originally had only a 2 hp pump on the spa, it worked, but we have much better "turbulence" with the 3 hp. I do keep thinking about upgrading my circulation pump to an intelliflo...
    41k pool, Pentair Intelliflo VS main pump, Jandy stealth 3hp water feature pump, Jandy stealth 3hp spa pump, Jandy LX 400 heater, Pentair 4000 DE filter, Jandy Aqualink RS controls, Jandy aquapure chlorine generator, 2 Pentair pool SAm lights, 1 Pentair SAl spa light. 4 Jandy deck jets, 1 Jandy sheer decent, Rico rock water fall.

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    3 HP too much for spa?

    Thanks for that info. I can actually get the 3HP whisperflo cheaper than the 2 or 2 1/2 due to overstock. Would a 3 hp pump be too much? My spa has the waterway power jets (6 of them) they use 2" flex pipe and 2 1/2" PVC pipe. My spa is 8' diameter, with spillover. Can I handle the 3hp and would it be a wise choice? Thanks agin. BTW my equiptent pad is about 40 ft. from the spa.
    Owner/Builder- Pool under construction- Started 4/18/08
    20X40 freeform 3 1/2" to 8 1/2' deep
    elevated 8' spa w/ spillover
    Plaster: Undecided
    Pentair intelliflo
    Pentair intellichlor
    Pentair Mastertemp 400,000 BTU gas heater
    Pentair Triton II 30" sand filter
    LED (probably colorlogic) 3 in main pool and 1 in spa
    Polaris 280 w/ booster pump
    Control System: Still working on this Intellitouch I guess but don't know all the components I need yet.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamoo
    If you look at the Intelliflo specs you will see it draws alot of power at high speed
    If you are simply looking at the peak power consumption numbers at the Pentair web site that doesn't really tell you what will happen. The IntelliFlo can be adjusted so that it is running in it's peak efficiency envelope, while a fixed speed pump is stuck at where ever it's efficiency curve happens to fall on your pool. You might get lucky and hit the optimal point for the fixed speed pump but chances are you won't and the IntelliFlo will end up being better.

    Quote Originally Posted by kamoo
    As far as power cunsumption, it will not save you 90%. There is absoluly no data to back this up.
    While it is difficult to imagine a situation where an IntelliFlo can save 90% vs an ideally designed two speed system it is easy to imagine a situation where it can save around 90% off of an improperly designed yet commonly installed system. It is not uncommon for a pool builder to install a 1 1/2 HP pump in a mid-sized pool with no water features and for the user to run that pump 8 hours a day for a total of just over 16 Kw per day. An IntelliFlo at it's lowest speed draws just over 100 watts, running 24 hours a day that is 2.6 kw per day or an 84% savings. Similar scenarios with a 2 HP pump give higher savings, though they happen less often. Running the larger pump for 8 hours a day is unnecessary, but few people know that so it often happens.
    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

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    Jason I agree with your point 100% but keep in mind how many people install the intelliflo and dont know how to properly set it up. You can end up with an inefficient system either way. To compare apples to apples I would assume the PB would size and setup either system properly. Considering the size and depth of this pool I believe the Intelliflo would more than pay for itself for regular circulation, as you have suggested as well. I just think if the spa is ran off of the same single intelliflo, the savings could go backwards on you.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: 3 HP too much for spa?

    Quote Originally Posted by cword
    Thanks for that info. I can actually get the 3HP whisperflo cheaper than the 2 or 2 1/2 due to overstock. Would a 3 hp pump be too much? My spa has the waterway power jets (6 of them) they use 2" flex pipe and 2 1/2" PVC pipe. My spa is 8' diameter, with spillover. Can I handle the 3hp and would it be a wise choice? Thanks agin. BTW my equiptent pad is about 40 ft. from the spa.
    A 3 HP would probably be too big for your plumbing not to mention that it might peel the skin off your back while in the pool . Seriously though, you could probably get away with 1 1/2 HP pump but it depends on a few things.

    First, what kind of the jets are you using and what is the recommended flow rate for each jet? How hard do you want the jets? Also, how much of the 2" flex pipe is used? Is it just on the pad or part of the underground plumbing? If most is 2 1/2" plumbing, then you could go up to 2 1/2 HP but I still think that even that may be too much.

    I don't know your exact plumbing set up but if I look use the plumbing numbers for my spa, I have 2 1/2" plumbing, and assume 6 jets, then here are a few numbers to consider.

    3 HP Whisperflo, 83 feet of head loss, 106 GPM (18 GPM/Jet)
    2 HP Whisperflo, 69 feet of head loss, 96 GPM (16 GPM/Jet)
    1.5 HP Whisperflo, 65 feet of head loss, 92 GPM (15 GPM/Jet)

    You can see that the extra HP doesn't really get you much more flow per jet because of the head loss. You really need 3" pipe for a 3 HP pump and probably even for a 2 1/2 HP pump. Since most spa jets use 15 GPM per jet, it may be possible to go down to a 1.5 HP pump and still have enough power for the jets but it really depends on the type of jets used. In any case, I don't think you really need more than a 2 HP pump.
    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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    I think what causes the misunderstanding on this pump is the very real need to have it installed right. Yes, you can internet them out the back door at wholesale but you do nothing for your future sales as the average guy putting one in, emphasis on "one", is not going to have a clue as to what needs to be done for proper efficiency. Any idiot can glue a few fittings and hook up a few wires. Without a decent knowledge of pool plumbing systems and knowing bigger is not better, the pump will be useless as designed. It was never meant to run at high speeds as it'
    s primary purpose. Can it? Sure, it can blow 6HP as it sits but it won't. It is the perfect replacement pump as it can be a dialed in 1, 2 or 3 HP pump. Yes, you can get 90% savings from a single speed system if you have no spa, no pool sweep and just a need for circ. We put those in all of the time. You don't need a chart to say something is proven or not, a wattmeter does the same thing.
    Authorized IntelliFlo Installer

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