Help Choosing VS Pump to Replace 1.5 HP Single Speed

wsamon

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2015
104
Largo, FL
So I'm finally getting back to buying a VS pump and I'm wondering about what you guys think I should get for my system.

My pool is about 17k gallons which includes a small shared spa (hard to tell - kidney shaped with a deep end around 8 ft and shallow around 3). I have 1 skimmer and a Poolvergnuegen suction side cleaner. The spa has 4 jets and we've got a Hayward electric pool heater. My current pump is a single-speed 1.5 HP. We run it about 5 hours / day with the pool cleaner running the entire time. We have lots of leaves, twigs, and other debris drop in our pool year round. All the piping is 1.5" to the best of my knowledge (pool is 40 years old). We use liquid chlorine and a few pucks (I don't have any CYA problems)

What makes this challenging for me is that a) with all the debris that drops in the pool, I need to run the pool cleaner several hours a day. Just filtering the water isn't enough (we have one of the large suction-side bags for collecting debris and it gets full 1-2 times / week), and b) I want something that is strong enough to provide strong flow out of the 4 spa jets when needed. Our current pump provides enough suction for the cleaner to climb up to the water line if I have about 95% of the suction coming from the cleaner (the skimmer or spa drain open just a tad to keep it from going above the line and sucking air), and provides adequate, though I wouldn't say amazing, power at the jets. Honestly, I'd prefer more if I could get it.

I was thinking of going with the Hayward Tristar vs900 1.85 hp, but according to this calculator from Hayward, it won't provide as much flow as my current system, even on the max 3000 RPMs. That means the spa jets will be weaker and the cleaner may not climb the walls, which is disconcerting. Is the Tristar vs950 is the way to go? Please note that I'm not stuck on Hayward, but I was leaning that way since it's the same brand as my heater (may be easier for automation in the future?) and mostly because my readings seem to indicate they're a little more energy efficient than Pentair.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,404
Laughlin, NV
For automation, the only items it is best to have from the same manufacturer is the automation, pump, and SWCG. Heaters do not matter.

I would suggest getting a full 2.7-3 hp VS pump so you will have full flexibility to operate your spa and cleaner.
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
556
Marrietta Ga
I have a 18K kidney shaped pool with a Spa and a water fall..I replaced my 1 1/2 Hayward super pump with a 1.65HP VS pureline.. I have a pressure side Polaris and have mine set to 2100 RPM's for 20 hours a day and 2800 for 4hrs to help the polaris. I was worried about it not being strong enough but decided to leave the RPM's low and feed all the water to the spa and waterfall and all return comes form the pool. Whats cool to me is my filter pressure was always around 13psi with new filters not it runs around 4 and I have dropped it to 2 :)
 

wsamon

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2015
104
Largo, FL
For automation, the only items it is best to have from the same manufacturer is the automation, pump, and SWCG. Heaters do not matter.

I would suggest getting a full 2.7-3 hp VS pump so you will have full flexibility to operate your spa and cleaner.
with 1.5" plumbing isn't that extremely overpowered? I've read I could starve the pump or potentially even break the plumbing running it at anywhere near full speed.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,381
Bedford, TX
with 1.5" plumbing isn't that extremely overpowered? I've read I could starve the pump or potentially even break the plumbing running it at anywhere near full speed.
Total bull... VS pumps should be called variable horsepower pumps because that is what they really are...

I have two rent house pools, with 1.5" plumbing and 3 HP IntelliFlo pumps, and they work just fine. I admit that they don't normally run them at full speed, but if they did it would not "break" anything, there is just not that much pressure.

A 3 HP pump will move more water at lower RPMs... so they are slightly more energy efficient.. The pumps run 24/7 and do not even show up on the electrical bill... Less than $20 bucks a month.

That said, there is no reason that you must install a 3 HP pump, but I would not eliminate one just because of the HP rating...

Thanks,

Jim R.




 

wsamon

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2015
104
Largo, FL
I was more concerned about starving the pump. I also don't necessarily trust everyone, such as visitors, to not try and jack it up to full speed when using the spa. If doing that for like 6 hours won't damage the pump or other equipment then it's definitely a more realistic possibility. Other than that, it just seems like I might be paying for a lot of potential power that I'll never use, making it harder too recoup the costs. This is primarily being done as a long-term money saving move. My current pump only costs about $40 / month to maintain the pool since we only use it 5 hours / day, so even a couple hundred dollars extra means another year or two to recoup the costs.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,381
Bedford, TX
W,

You are not going to starve the pump, even running at full speed as long as you don't have a really low water level..

But, I fully understand your economic point of view.. My post was just to rebut the idea that a 3 HP pump was too big.. In my mind you can almost never go too big on a VS pump..

Cost is a different subject all together... If you are looking at cost, why not just install a new 2-speed motor.. About 85% of the savings with little additional cost.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

wsamon

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2015
104
Largo, FL
W,

You are not going to starve the pump, even running at full speed as long as you don't have a really low water level..

But, I fully understand your economic point of view.. My post was just to rebut the idea that a 3 HP pump was too big.. In my mind you can almost never go too big on a VS pump..

Cost is a different subject all together... If you are looking at cost, why not just install a new 2-speed motor.. About 85% of the savings with little additional cost.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thanks. I had read in multiple sites that reviewed VS pumps that the big ones could get starved with 1.5" piping so I was obviously a bit concerned about that.

I'll look into the 2-speed motors. My first impression was that they might not last as long or be as efficient while running at the same RPMs, and that I may be best served with 3-4 speed settings: really low most of the time, medium for a couple hours a day to run the cleaner, then high and/or "really high" for spot periods when I want the cleaner to climb the walls or the spa to run. With a 2 speed I'll have low for maybe 6 hours and then climb walls / spa power for 2 hours with nothing in between.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,381
Bedford, TX
W,

The majority of VS and 2-speed pumps last a long time... That said, VS pumps are full of electronics and fail much more often then 2-speed pumps..

It sounds to me like you have talked yourself into a 1.5 HP VS pump... If this is true, then one of the best ones around, assuming you have no automation, is the Pentair SuperFlo VS..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

wsamon

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2015
104
Largo, FL
I have a 18K kidney shaped pool with a Spa and a water fall..I replaced my 1 1/2 Hayward super pump with a 1.65HP VS pureline.. I have a pressure side Polaris and have mine set to 2100 RPM's for 20 hours a day and 2800 for 4hrs to help the polaris. I was worried about it not being strong enough but decided to leave the RPM's low and feed all the water to the spa and waterfall and all return comes form the pool. Whats cool to me is my filter pressure was always around 13psi with new filters not it runs around 4 and I have dropped it to 2 :)
How do you like your Pureline? I was sticking mainly to brands like Hayward and Pentair because I know they're high quality. The Purelines are a lot cheaper though which makes them an interesting value proposition if they have longevity.
 

wsamon

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2015
104
Largo, FL
W,

The majority of VS and 2-speed pumps last a long time... That said, VS pumps are full of electronics and fail much more often then 2-speed pumps..

It sounds to me like you have talked yourself into a 1.5 HP VS pump... If this is true, then one of the best ones around, assuming you have no automation, is the Pentair SuperFlo VS..

Thanks,

Jim R.
Most of my research was previously on VS pumps so I'm trying to research the 2 speeds now / look up some options and costs.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,381
Bedford, TX
My father taught me a long time ago that you only cry once when you buy a good tool (When you buy it).. But you will cry every time you use a bad tool.. That is why I only buy certain kinds of cars, appliances and TVs... Fool me once, but you can't fool me twice... :mrgreen:

Jim R.
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
556
Marrietta Ga
How do you like your Pureline? I was sticking mainly to brands like Hayward and Pentair because I know they're high quality. The Purelines are a lot cheaper though which makes them an interesting value proposition if they have longevity.
I have had it for around 4 months and love it so far, a lot quieter then my old 1.5hp super pump..
It was a good price and easy to install...Not sure how it compares to other models but the basic one doesn't a have lot of features which is OK for me..I have 3 settings and can set it to run at different speeds for a set number of hours but if you want more "clock" control you need the extra card..For me I am happy, run mine at 2100 for 20 hours and 4 at 2800 and I just pushed start around 7am and don't really care :)
 

wsamon

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2015
104
Largo, FL
My father taught me a long time ago that you only cry once when you buy a good tool (When you buy it).. But you will cry every time you use a bad tool.. That is why I only buy certain kinds of cars, appliances and TVs... Fool me once, but you can't fool me twice... :mrgreen:

Jim R.
That's why I've been leaning toward Pentair and Hayward, but if someone has experience with something else I might as well find out.