Can I replace single speed motor with variable? Is it feasible?

internet

Active member
Aug 22, 2016
35
Martinez
Current pool pump is a Pentair WhisperFlo 1.5 HP single speed. For all intents and purposes the pump is fine but the motor is showing its 7-year age. (1) Can I replace just the dying single-speed motor with a variable speed motor? (2) Is that even worth it, or does replacing the whole pump make that much difference?
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
14,735
Pleasanton, CA
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
(1) Yes you can but you would need to change the impeller to a 1 HP impeller: A.O. Smith 1.65 HP Variable Speed Pool Pump Motor Square Flange - ECM16SQU - INYOPools.com

(2) For you it is probably worth it (CA rates). The pump wet doesn't add anything to efficiency. In fact the Intelliflo uses the same wet end as the Whisperflo WFE-12.

But you can save almost as much in energy costs with just a two speed motor: Century A.O. Smith B2983 56Y Square Flange 1-1/2 or 0.19 HP Dual Speed Full Rated Pool and Spa Pump Motor

So you have a couple of options.
 

internet

Active member
Aug 22, 2016
35
Martinez
(1) Yes you can but you would need to change the impeller to a 1 HP impeller: A.O. Smith 1.65 HP Variable Speed Pool Pump Motor Square Flange - ECM16SQU - INYOPools.com

(2) For you it is probably worth it (CA rates). The pump wet doesn't add anything to efficiency. In fact the Intelliflo uses the same wet end as the Whisperflo WFE-12.

But you can save almost as much in energy costs with just a two speed motor: Century A.O. Smith B2983 56Y Square Flange 1-1/2 or 0.19 HP Dual Speed Full Rated Pool and Spa Pump Motor

So you have a couple of options.

Still learning a bit about all of this. What does this mean: "The pump wet doesn't add anything to efficiency. In fact the Intelliflo uses the same wet end as the Whisperflo WFE-12." As this just saying that the only thing different between the IntelliFlo and WhisperFlo is the "dry end", aka the variable vs single speed motor?
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,257
Most variable speed pumps are just regular pumps with a variable speed motor instead of a single speed motor.

The IntelliFlo uses the 3 hp whisperflo with a 3 hp variable speed motor.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
14,735
Pleasanton, CA
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Still learning a bit about all of this. What does this mean: "The pump wet doesn't add anything to efficiency. In fact the Intelliflo uses the same wet end as the Whisperflo WFE-12." As this just saying that the only thing different between the IntelliFlo and WhisperFlo is the "dry end", aka the variable vs single speed motor?
Yes! That is the only difference. And yes, it is the motor which improves efficiency. That is why a simple two speed motor can save over 75% in energy costs on low speed vs high speed.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,257
There's also an IntelliFlo i1 model that uses a 1 hp impeller to make it a 1 hp variable speed pump.

This was made to address situations where the plumbing or wiring would be too small for a 3 hp model.
 

internet

Active member
Aug 22, 2016
35
Martinez
Thanks for the input. Requested some more info from Inyo Pools. They seem really good about their support and whatnot. Any suggestions of other retailers check with? This is the first bit of actual equipment I'll be replacing, so I don't have a lot of experience on that end. Thanks!
 

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