Best 2019 Variable Speed Pump

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
301
Palm Desert, CA
#1
Helping a friend replace their single speed pool pump to VS pump. Hoping to get some varied input on what pumps TFP crew is a fan of? Cost is a big consideration. It’s a 1.5hp Pump for a 20,000 gallon pool with 500 gal spa. What’s the latest feeling in SVRS? I’ll be installing for them.

Here’s the list:
Pentair’s Versions:
-011018 IntelliFlo 3hp, $960 8 speed
-011012 Intelliflo VS VF High Performance $1200 3hp 16 speed
-011017 IntelliFlo w/SVRS 3hp $1250

HAYWARD:
-SP2602VSP Hayward SuperFlo $636 SALE (1.5hp?)
-SP2303VSP Hayward Max-Flo (1.65hp) $689 Amazon
-SP2603VSP Hayward Super Pump VS- (1.5hp) $815
-SP3202VSP Hayward Tristar VS Variable Speed Pump - ($880-$1200) 1.85hp
-SP3400VSP Hayward EcoStar VS ($879) 2.7hp

I’ve been very happy with my Hayward Tristar VS (installed 2015). When I was shopping, the Pentair Intelliflo (Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo) was too much juice (3 hp) and I liked Tristar’s 1.85hp for my sized pool. I see Pentair now offers the Superflo VS (Pentair 342001 SuperFlo VS Variable Speed Pool Pump, 1 1/2 Horsepower). What’s the difference?

Thanks all!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,519
Bedford, TX
#2
kd,

You never, ever, ever... want to install an SVRS version pump. They are just not needed and can, in some cases, cause intermittent and unwarranted entrapment shutdowns..

Did I say NEVER??? :p

I say this because I was stupid enough to allow my pool builder to talk me into one. I have figured out ways to work around the problems they cause, but will NEVER install another one.

In my mind the best pump for the money is the tried and true IntelliFlo, (011018)... The only downside is the control head can not be turned...

There is just not any truth to the idea that a VS pump can have too much "juice".. this like saying you can't drive your car through a school zone, because it has too much HP... While this might be true with the older single speed pumps, it is not true for VS pump.. VS pumps should really be called Variable Horsepower pumps.

The Pentair SuperFlo VS is a cheaper version of the IntelliFlo, that cannot be easily controlled by automation. You have to run it faster to move the same amount of water, so the IntelliFlo is slightly more efficient.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,519
Bedford, TX
#4
Jim—could elaborate/clarify on the above? By control head do you mean the display panel on the Intelliflo?
Thx!

Nu,

Yes, the control head, which includes the electronics and the display panel cannot be rotated on the 011018, as it can be on newer IntelliFlo pumps.

If you have automation, this is not an issue at all. If you have plenty of room at your equipment pad, it is not really an issue. The problem comes in when you have to squeeze the pump into some overcrowded area where it is hard to see the pump from the motor end.

The control panel is mounted so that you read it standing at the motor end of the pump, which seems backwards to me..

It is a minor inconvenience for most. If you have automation, or set up run schedules in the pump, you could go for a year or more without touching it. If, for some reason, you plan to manually control the pump on a daily basis from the pump's display, then I would suggest getting one with a rotatable control head.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,237
Tucson
#5
It makes no sense when the OP lists VS pumps as 8 speed or 16 speed. They are variable speed. On my Intelliflo 011018, there are 8 programmable speed settings, but the actual speed you select for each is infinitely variable and easily changed.
 

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
301
Palm Desert, CA
#7
Totally, makes no sense! But the key distinguishing feature between those 2 Intellifo’s is the programmable speed choices, hence the specificity.

All VS pumps have a set number of programmable speed settings and that is what the OPs digested notes denote. In all truth, a Variable Speed pool Motor doesn’t really have a throttle control like a CVT transmission in a vehicle, so speed selections are more accurate as an important feature to note.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,174
Pleasanton, CA
#8
I’ve been very happy with my Hayward Tristar VS (installed 2015). When I was shopping, the Pentair Intelliflo (Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo) was too much juice (3 hp) and I liked Tristar’s 1.85hp for my sized pool.
The larger HP VS pumps have several advantages.

1- For a given flow rate, a higher HP VS can operate at lower RPM which means less noise and slightly higher efficiency

2- They have a larger impeller width which is less likely to clog with debris

3- Very high flow rates if/when needed

About the only downside is cost but that is not always the case.
 
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MyAZPool

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
302
Chandler, AZ
#9
Just to comment on the cost factor vs HP.

Yea, the initial purchase cost of a new variable speed pump may be higher than a single speed pump.

But, since I replaced my 11 year old 1.5HP single speed pump, with a new 3HP Pentair variable speed pump, I certainly have noticed a drop in my typical electric bill. Even, given the fact, that my new pump is running for more hours (albeit, lower speeds), than my single speed pump did.
 
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KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
301
Palm Desert, CA
#10
I think that settles it to get the higher HP. 3-4 years ago when I was initially shopping the Intelliflo was considerably more expensive than the Tristar that I found. Now the price is lower and I like it, as do others.
 
Oct 10, 2013
22
Florida
#11
kd,

You never, ever, ever... want to install an SVRS version pump. They are just not needed and can, in some cases, cause intermittent and unwarranted entrapment shutdowns..

Did I say NEVER??? :p

I say this because I was stupid enough to allow my pool builder to talk me into one. I have figured out ways to work around the problems they cause, but will NEVER install another one.

In my mind the best pump for the money is the tried and true IntelliFlo, (011018)... The only downside is the control head can not be turned...

There is just not any truth to the idea that a VS pump can have too much "juice".. this like saying you can't drive your car through a school zone, because it has too much HP... While this might be true with the older single speed pumps, it is not true for VS pump.. VS pumps should really be called Variable Horsepower pumps.

The Pentair SuperFlo VS is a cheaper version of the IntelliFlo, that cannot be easily controlled by automation. You have to run it faster to move the same amount of water, so the IntelliFlo is slightly more efficient.

Thanks,

Jim R.
I would say this analogy is off as you will use less gas going slower in an already efficient motor with less horsepower than a motor with more horsepower. So by mearly going slow you might be reducing engergy consumption but not as much if you had less Hp.

Best,
Justin
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,237
Tucson
#12
There is no real relationship between the efficiency of a variable speed pool pump and a internal combustion engine. If you purchase a small VS pump and have to run it constantly at its maximum speed, you may not see much savings over a single speed. A 3 hp Intelliflo can be run at 1000 rpm using less power than a single 100w light bulb.
 
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chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,237
Tucson
#13
Several years ago Top Gear proved that a 300 hp BMW M3 could get better gas mileage than a Prius. They put the Prius on a race track and told the driver to lap the track as fast as he could. The M3 driver was told to keep up with the Prius. Two hours later the Prius had burned more gas than the M3. It takes a lot more energy to run at maximum output vs idling along.

Similarly, a large pump can move a lot of water while running at a very low speed. A smaller pump will need to run near max speed which requires much more energy to move the same amount of water.
 
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tstex

Silver Supporter
Aug 28, 2012
1,487
Houston, TX
#14
-whatever you buy, DO NOT BUY the SP3400VSP Hayward EcoStar VS ($879) 2.7hp..Its notorious for controller failures and bad designs...the 3hp Pentair seems by far to be the Boards pump of choice...
 
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chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,237
Tucson
#15
When installing any VS pump be sure to have whole house type surge protectors in place. The primary cause of VS pump failure is power surge damage to the drive/control unit.
 

Ale_Brewer

Well-known member
Aug 7, 2015
223
Plano, TX
#16
It looks like the Pentair Intelliflo 3HP is the crowd favorite (011018). My only concern is if it will fit where my current 2.5 HP Jandy Stealth pump sits. The control board not turning isn't a concern because I believe my Aqualink RS8 will control the Pentair. Anyone have any experience with the overall size of this pump/motor/control board vs. the Jandy Stealth?
 

tstex

Silver Supporter
Aug 28, 2012
1,487
Houston, TX
#17
The most automation will do for other brand VSP's is turn on / off the diff settings your programmed at VSP Panel. The amt of speeds you can turn on & off is usually predicated on his many avail auxiliaries you have open on control panel
 

tstex

Silver Supporter
Aug 28, 2012
1,487
Houston, TX
#19
When you have an automation system by Pentair, you can only program pentair VSP's (it's RPM speeds, the times it go on and off, the length of time, etc) from a pentair automation panel/remote. In essence, if you have Jandy Automation & another brand VSP, you are really limited to turning an Auxillary port on & off. If you have 3 AUX open, then you can program to turn on & off your VSP by only those 3 times/speeds.

However, you can program from your VSP panel anything you want, but will have very limited functionality from another brands automation remote or from the automation panel. Therefore, w VSP's, it is highly recommended to buy both the same VSP w the same brand automation panel/system.

Hope this helps
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,519
Bedford, TX
#20
Curtis,

Some Jandy systems can control some IntelliFlo pumps.. The problem of course is all the different Jandy systems and IntelliFlo pumps... I'm pretty sure that the older 011018 can be controlled by some Jandy systems. I am not so sure about the newer IntelliFlo VST and the VSF models. You will need to check your manual to see if your system can be configured to control the IntelliFlo...

Here is a link showing how it is done...

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct...=0wmwcUlVvnI&usg=AOvVaw3aKd8CfmRQL3zDtFTRGVTx

We always recommend using the same brand of pump as your automation just to keep the confusion down. If you have one brand of automation and another brand of pump, and the pump does not work, you can count on no one claiming responsibility...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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