Jandy or Pentair


New member
Jul 20, 2013
Hello all - newbie here in Austin TX.

Building a 25x45 ft free form pool. Looking for expert advice on whether to go with Jandy or Pentair (pumps, heater, filter).

I also have a question re. pipe diameter and VSP: My PB (Dreamer Pools - small time guy with a gret rep) tells me that 2.5" is what he builds with but then I've heard that 3" is better. He says that VSP's are not what they are made out to be and insists on a SSP.

Any advice would be appreciated.


Well-known member
Jul 24, 2012
Redmond, OR
Hello AustinGuy,
Welcome to TFP! :wave:

I can't comment much on the pipe diameter. But the larger the pipe, the less head, which can also be achieved with multiple runs using pipe of a smaller diameter. It just depends on your setup.

Pentair, vs. Jandy. They're all good, it just boils down to preference, deals, warranty, replacement parts availability, etc... I don't have any 1st hand experience with either, just from the chatter here on the forum.

What I do know a fair amount on and can definitely comment with educated certainty, is the pump type.

Yes, your PB is rather wise and it seems not so much after your pocketbook. VS pumps are a waste of money and are generally not recommended unless your electric rates are over 20c/KwH. Otherwise you'll never recoup the cost of the expensive pump. Even then, there are many exceptions.
However, it seems the advise of your pb isn't as wise as it would 1st seem. As single speed pumps are an extremely un-cost effective choice.

The sweet spot is right at where the 2-speed pump lives. You run it on full speed for water features, suction side cleaners/in-floor and solar. As well as backwashing your filter if that applies and when youbwant increased circulation, say after a big pool party or dust storm, or such things. Otherwise, the rest of the time, for daily filtration needs, you run it @ 1/2 speed. Which moves 1/2 the water, yes, but... consumes only 1/4 of the electricity as full speed.
So even if you run it for 8hrs instead of 4,.you still only consume 1/2 the electricity.
See how awesome that is? :mrgreen:

Lastly, the, next and possibly equally most important thing with a pump for efficiency sake, is this. Buy the smallest HP and amperage pump you can for your needs! I repeat, you don't need a 2hp whopping pump just because the pb says so. Of course, unless there's a reaaallllyy good reason for it. Best to ask here 1st if in doubt.

I suggest visiting the "pumping station" topic and reading the sticky thread titled: "Hydraulics 101: Have you lost your head".
The article contains much information on head loss for a given pipe diameter, pump speeds, pump efficiency, filter sizing (double the sizes for all but sand) and so much more.

Do read up in Pool School, link in my sig, while your pool is being built and also take a look at our recommended test kits. Link in my sig titled: "TF100 test kit".
You'll need one of these kits, as well as the knowledge in PS for the proper care and feeding of your new pool.

Lastly, please fill in your sig as instructed in pool school, 1st link, also your location in your profile under user control panel.



TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
SW Louisiana
Mostly what he said on pumps, variable speed pumps only make economic sense in locations where electricity is very expensive, or at least that is the traditional situation with 2.5 HP VSP's , having said that in recent months there have been some smaller and cheaper and more basic (no remote speed control) VSP options showing up on the market, particularly from Hayward, these may change the question of economics of VSP's, to tune-ability advantages of VSP's for water features, etc, only time will tell. For now the smart money is on 2 speed pumps which cost only a little more than single speeds, yet offer substantial energy savings. As to pipe size, traditionally many pools (including mine) were plumbed with 1.5 inch PVC, in recent years with more concern on wasted energy as well as the addition of many water features the industry has mostly moved to 2 inch (which flows basically double the amount of 1.5 inch at the same pressure). 2 inch is generally enough for most pools, particularly if you home run all the plumbing, something I highly suggest you do if for no other reason than it makes finding future underground leaks MUCH easier, when you can isolate off pipes one at a time. 2.5 or 3 inch I would generally feel is massive overkill unless you plan to have some very high volume water feature, which if ran a considerable amount of time could greatly effect your pH and TA through aeration effects. As to brands, Choosing between Pentair, Jandy and Hayward it is much like the classic choice between the big 3 American auto makers (at least like they were 50 years ago), there may be a right choice for you, but all 3 make acceptable stuff, at the moment it seems Pentair is more innovative, but the others seem to be starting to catch up, that is not the whole story though as they also seem to offer the least bang for the buck, at least when I have tried to compare prices, and lets face if if your not going VSP with full automation system, etc, then is most innovative really the bench mark you should be rating companies by.


p.s. the most common mistake I see with new pool builds on here is the plumbing at the pad, it seems most pool builders give NO THOUGHT to future repair or expansion needs, they pack things together tightly, mount valves close to the concrete, etc. Making it so the first time you have a leaking fitting you have to tear out half the plumbing and maybe take a jack hammer to the concrete. Much like my above comment on home running all plumbing, it makes life later on after the pool builder is out of your life much easier if they spread things out a little, put screw together unions and /or screw together union valves on all pipes, and leave enough of a PVC stub sticking up so if you have to cut out a fitting there is still room to splice a new one in. To sum it up, a well designed pad should allow any piece of equipment or valve to be unscrewed, and changed out without having to cut any PVC. This may mean spending an extra $75-$150 on fittings now, but will save you spending many hundreds or thousands later on.

p.p.s. One more comment on automation systems, some basic automation can be nice, depending on the features of your pool, your lifestyle, etc, but others are just bells and whistles that you will seldom use other than perhaps as showing off a gimmick, much like modern cars with voice activated everything, and remote smart phone interfaces, sure hands free voice activated phone features may be nice, but when was the last time you used the voiced activated volume control for your stereo rather than just using the knob or the buttons on your steering wheel. It is much the same way with pools, do you really need to adjust the heater thermostat while your at work over your smart phone, or dim the pool lights?


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
Midland TX
I don't think I will settle for less than a 2 spd pump and I am looking into cost/ROI for a VS right now. No builder in my area has suggested either as standard equipment. Around here at least, most builders seem to be way behind the curve on this issue. In fact, I think so much so, they don't want to get into a discussion about something they know too little about. Some anyway. One even told me I didn't want a VS pump because they were way too noisy, and I would be changing brushes in the motor pretty often. :) He also sells Hayward and wasn't sure they made a VS unit. Sigh....

All three of the top names make some good products, but I think I have decided on Pentair. Jandy is a Cadillac brand though and I don't think you could go wrong with either.

I have also decided I want Ike to come up and plumb my equipment pad. He seems to be the only person besides me that sees the horror of cutting out and replacing valves and fittings on all those cramped up manifolds on every new build we see. :mrgreen:

pool mum

Well-known member
May 31, 2013
We have a Pentair pump which just replaced a Hayward. Got it off of Amazon for around $225 ish. We paid our pool guy $125 to install it, and when we told him what we paid for it, he said that was a great deal, as good a deal as he gets. It's a 3/4 hp, single speed. Our pool isn't very big so I only run it around 4 hours a day. I was surprised that the pressure of the water from the returns is just as strong as it was with the 1.5 hp motor. So far we've been pleased, but we've only had it for about a month.


Silver Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 12, 2012
Middle Tennessee
We haven't had our pool or equipment that long (pool ownership new to us) but we went with Pentair on filter/pump/lights/SWG/automation and have been pleased with service techs answering my numerous questions. Also, they offered to extend warranty to 3 years on all products if you purchased at least 3. Had an actuator switch to malfunction and they just sent me a new one without question. My experience is limited but we really do like the system. We do have the VS pump and our electric rates are low but it has given me the flexibility with my waterfall and filter/pump speeds that I wanted. I am just a person who likes options :)