Help Selecting new pump

PSJ

Active member
Apr 8, 2020
35
Dallas, TX
I had a pentiar challenger pump, with a Century 1.5 HP motor and a SF of 1.10. The pump strainer pot cracked in the freeze which is going to run me about $150, and while it looks like the impeller is ok, I probably have some more expenses associated to this pump. Additionally, my mechanical timer is fritzy, and thats also expensive as it has freeze protection, so I'd rather just invest this money to a new more energy efficient pump.

I've reviewed the Pump Basics and Hydraulics 101 but I'll be honest that a lot of its going over my head (sorry, I couldn't help myself) and I need some assistance finding a new pump. Ideally, a drop in for my challenger pump would be best, but that's not necessarily a requirement at this point.

  • I have no water features, no spa, no heater, and my pool is only about 12K gallons.
  • A heater may be in the future in a few years, but not soon.
  • All plumbing is 2 inches.
  • I do have a circupool RJ45 SWG, which requires a minimum of 20GPM to turn on.
  • My filter is a Pentain FNS 48 - which I believe has a max flow rate of around 96GPM.
  • I have is a Polaris 280 with a booster pump. I'd like to keep that for a couple more years before switching to an electric, as I've already had to blow my pool budget this year on freeze repairs.
  • Lastly, I do get a lot of crud in my pool 3/4 of the year because of the trees around it, so having a higher flow rate at some points of the day would be nice to more effectively skim.
Based on 1 turnover every 24 hours it seems like I only need 8+ GPM of flow. In the peak of summer, I really only needed to run the SWG at a max about 25% on an 8 hour run, so I think I could probably run a "skimmer + chlorination" cycle for a few hours, with a lower flow circulation the rest of the time.

Any recommendations on what would be good for my replacement?

Thanks in advance. Happy to provide more info!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
35,949
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Now is a great time to switch to a VS pump. Turnover is a myth so no need to bother with that calculation.

If you are doing this DIY, the major suppliers will limit warranty. Is that a concern?

From Pentair, a Superflo VS sounds like it work well. You would need a timer (repairing your current one) for the SWCG.

Other manufacturers, Circupool, InyoPools, etc have VS pumps with good warranty for DIY.
 

PSJ

Active member
Apr 8, 2020
35
Dallas, TX
I will likely diy. From what I can tell the warranty requires a professional installer, which will probably take me 5 weeks, and install cost can be more than 50% of the pump...

One of the things I saw when reading is a "minimum" or "ideal" flow for a filter, but I couldnt really decipher it. Do I need to run my pump at a specific gpm for my de filter to be effective?
 

PSJ

Active member
Apr 8, 2020
35
Dallas, TX
Additionally I'd like to stick with a major manufacturer to get parts more easily....while I try to order online sometimes being able to fix things mid project on a weekend is nice.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
35,949
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Do I need to run my pump at a specific gpm for my de filter to be effective?
There are maximum flow rates for filters. There are no minimum flow rates for filtering.
 
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PSJ

Active member
Apr 8, 2020
35
Dallas, TX
Marty, thanks for your input. I've done some more research on the Superflo this evening and had a couple questions
  1. Based on my low requirements, why go VS over a 2 speed pump? My energy costs are relatively low (<7 c/kwh)- a Hayward powerflow 1.5 hp matrix is $400 vs a $900 superflo.....might take a few years to earn back that energy savings
    1. I will admit I didn't do a ton of research to see if that hayward was the best dual speed for what I need, I was just looking for a general price point
  2. It doesn't seem like the Superflo has any freeze protection. It's probably not a huge deal, but being in TX and just been burned by the recent storms, some added insurance there would be nice. If I'm out of town during a cold spell, I wouldnt be able to turn on the pump to run all night
  3. I actually started a thread several months ago when I first started thinking about VS. You actually mentioned that I wouldnt be able to communicate with my booster pump once I installed a VS pump. Is there a general convention of how to properly operate the booster (other than getting an electric robot?)

I've definitely looked at VS more than Dual speed, so I'm not as familiar with the pros and cons, just throwing the idea out there
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
35,949
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
You can get a 2 speed. When the motor fails you will then have to get a VS motor. Might be a few years.
I do not see freeze protection on the newest version, Supermax VS. I do know Pentair has a pump control that is Wifi and has freeze protection. It is called Intellisync. $200.
The booster pump may be an issue. Pentair also has IntelliConnect that will control the booster too. $300.