Broken pump motor, replace or upgrade suggestions?

mjmeans

Active member
Jul 21, 2018
26
Tucson
So I have a Whisperflo 1 HP pump and the motor finally gave out after more than 10 years of service running 6-8 hours a day. I need to either replace the motor or replace the entire pump and I wonder if someone could advise me. I'm an electronic and software engineer, and know almost nothing about pool hydrodynamics.

With all this variable speed motor hype (and laws) I'm concerned that my particular pool setup would not benefit at all from a variable speed motor that might have to always be running at max speed anyway (i.e. functioning as a single speed motor). And therefore the higher cost of a variable speed motor and pump *might* be a supreme waste of money or at least provide so little benefit that it is not financially sound (i.e. cost $1,000 more but saves only $50 a year). I have a limited time (until July 18 IIRC) in order to be able to buy single speed motors and/or pumps before federal law forbids it.

My setup below has run perfectly fine for over 10 years.

Equipment:
- Approx 14,000 gallon oval shaped pool with attached spa and Pebble Tec (not polished) surface
- Whisperflo WFE-4 (1 HP 3450 RPM)
- Pentair Sta-Rite System:3, model S7M120, Modular cartridge
- 2" inlet & outlet
- Max pressure 50psi
- Flow rate 50-100gpm
- Pentair Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm heater, model SR400NA, 2" inlet & outlet
- AquaRite salt chlorinating system, 2", T-15 cell
- Zodiac Caretaker 5-port valve and in-floor pop-up cleaning heads
- 2" inlet, 1.5" x5 outlets
- Optimum pressure rating 15-22psi

Notes:
- The pop-up cleaning heads for the in-floor Caretaker system are the normal ones. Apparently the screw in mounts are designed for 2" PVC. But the Caretaker 5 port valve outlets are 1.5". At some point under the pool the 1.5" PVC is sized up to 2". I think it is likely that the pipe was upsized right at the pop-up head mounting.
- All pool equipment is within 10 feet from the pool skimmer and within about 1 foot from the water surface.
- Since the Pebble Tec is not the smooth polished surface variety, it requires higher water flow for the in floor cleaning system to work and with the current a 1 HP Whisperflo there are a few spots where the water flow is just a little too weak to pick up sand that blows into the pool (I live in a desert).

Water flow:
value (from pool or spa) -> pump -> filter -> heater -> chlorinator -> value (to spa jets or pool)
-> If to spa, then to tee with air blower and on to 3 spa jets
-> If to pool, then to another value (bypass or Caretaker)
-> If to 5-port value then 1 zone to 1-way check value and to pool wall, the other 4 zones to popup heads
-> If to bypass then to it goes into a tee on the other side of the 1-way check value to prevent back pressure into the Caretaker.
 

willygee

Silver Supporter
Aug 24, 2020
180
central fla
Pool Size
10000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
My 11 year old Hayward still pumping like a beast..wet end is in very nice condition, motor end still quiet and strong. I have a 1.65 Vgreen on standby...and no replumbing needed.
 
Last edited:

mjmeans

Active member
Jul 21, 2018
26
Tucson
It looks like Vgreen has a control panel. I'm also concerned about any pump that has a control panel on it. My pool equipment sits in full sun most of the day in the middle of a south western dry desert where it gets to over 110 degrees F for several days each summer. I have to replace pressure gauges every 2 years or so because the sun destroys most plastic due to heat as well as desiccating the plasticizers in any clear plastic. Control panels with any kind of display under a black or dark colored plastic that will just soak up the heat will easily reach to temps over 180 F. I've seen people use the hoods of their cars to fry eggs. So anything with a control panel will not be an option. And shade is not option at this time. But thanks for the suggestion. Any other low cost solutions out there?
 

mjmeans

Active member
Jul 21, 2018
26
Tucson
I also want to add that none of my valves are electronically controllable and I don't want them to be. I don't want yet another thing that can break or needs periodic replacement or continuing maintenance. And trying to set up some kind of automatic thing that will turn valves on and off to switch from circulation to cleaning and back again is also not an option. I've also read that the motorized valves (actuators) won't last more than a couple of years in my environment and have no intention of making any change that is not ultimately durable. Spending $300 every other year to replace actuators that save $50 a year in electricity is also not financially sound. Durability when paired with the lowest total cost of ownership (which automatically means virtually no added maintenance) is best.

So what I'm looking for is a motor or motor+pump option that will be as durable and reliable as my original WhisperFlo. Any option with a 3-year (or less) total cost of ownership lower to just replacing the original motor would be better, if something like that even exists. But an alternative that would take longer than 3 years for it's total cost of ownership to be lower is not financially sound.
 

mjmeans

Active member
Jul 21, 2018
26
Tucson
Valve actuators wouldn't work anyway. For circulation without the in floor cleaning, the valves needs to be turned part way between pool and spa so that the spa receives more water than is pulled from it so that the spa spill over into the pool keeps the spa from completely draining. Of course there is probably, somewhere, actuators that can be programmed to stop at multiple specific angles according to need, but that adds yet another unnecessary initial cost that is likely to eliminate months of potential electricity cost savings to pay for itself.
 
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