New Pool Owner planning ahead for pump upgrades

gkw4815

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Aug 31, 2021
3
Houston, TX
Pool Size
30000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
My wife I became owners of a new-to-us 1996 pool earlier this year (our first). I'm slowly getting the hang of maintaining the pool chemistry (took the reins from the pool service co about a month ago) and have successfully completed some minor mechanical service/repairs (replacing booster pump seals, changing light bulb, repairing Polaris cleaner, etc).

The pool equipment includes a total of three pumps:
  • 1.5 hp single-speed main pump - works great, very quiet, previous owner claimed to have "rebuilt" the pump within the last few years but didn't provide any details
  • 1.5 hp single-speed water feature pump (used to operate four waterfalls) - old, works fine but is very loud, possibly motor/bearing noise?
  • Polaris PB4-60 booster pump for pool cleaner - old, works fine, I recently replaced the seals to cure a water leak
All of the pool equipment is controlled by a Jandy iAqualink 2.0 system. In addition to the pumps, we have a spa blower, an inline chlorinator, and a newly-installed Jandy cartridge type filter and Jandy 400k BTU NG pool heater.

For now, everything is working fine except for the noisy water feature pump. I am interested in reducing our energy use associated with running the pool, and am trying to come up with the most sensible upgrade path so I'm not scrambling once one of the pumps decides to go out.

My questions:
  • Can the iAqualink system control only Jandy variable-speed pumps, or would other brands be an option?
  • Is it possible to get one large variable speed pump that could replace two or all three of my existing pumps? The idea of simplifying the whole setup is appealing, if this would make sense.
  • If replacing the existing pumps with one large pump makes sense - is it possible to run these large pumps on 120v? The Jandy pump info I've scanned suggests that this is possible, but I haven't read through the details. I'd be interested in being able to at least run the basic circulation functions during an extended power outage, but I only have a 120V generator (I can always upgrade the generator, of course, but would rather not do so if I could get away with it).
Appreciate any thoughts/information!
 

HermanTX

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May 20, 2020
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Katy TX
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Can the iAqualink system control only Jandy variable-speed pumps, or would other brands be an option?
Welcome to the TFP forum.
The iAquaLink can control the Pentair VS pump. I have a Pentair pump and the iAquaLink. You have to connect a RS-485 communication wire (comes with the Pentair pump) to the automation. Obviously you can connect a Jandy VS pump - the ePump is a good pump.

Is it possible to get one large variable speed pump that could replace two or all three of my existing pumps? The idea of simplifying the whole setup is appealing, if this would make sense.
There is a couple issues to address on this question.
First the Polaris PB4-60 booster pump for pool cleaner has to be kept. It drives your cleaner. Now if you go to a new cleaner that does not require a booster pump, you can remove this pump. You could consider a robot. If not, then plan to keep the booster pump.

It is possible to have 1 pump to drive the filtration system as well as water features however you need to define how the current system is set up. I would assume (that is a big assumption until you post pictures or clarify) that the water feature pump has its own suction intake. You may have what looks like a drain cover on the wall. This could be the suction for that water feature pump. Personally, I like having a dedicated pump to run the water feature because it does not matter if you are in Pool Mode or Spa Mode (you also need to clarify if you have a spa). So once you can provide some more clarity, I would lean towards keep the water feature pump.

If replacing the existing pumps with one large pump makes sense - is it possible to run these large pumps on 120v? The Jandy pump info I've scanned suggests that this is possible, but I haven't read through the details. I'd be interested in being able to at least run the basic circulation functions during an extended power outage, but I only have a 120V generator (I can always upgrade the generator, of course, but would rather not do so if I could get away with it).
Your pumps should be connected to a circuit breaker which is either in your automation cabinet or in a sub-panel to your main electrical panel. Normally a pump is not a plug but wired directly to the circuit breaker (or relay in the automation panel) therefore you cannot simply plug into a generator. You would need to wire your panel to a generator.
 

cowboycasey

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Welcome to TFP :)

This is an easy one and what a great time to change over as the weather is starting to get colder in the fall...

1. booster pump.. 1970 tech, no need for it.. Get a robot to clean the pool for 20 cents a day and WAY BETTER at cleaning the pool and scrubbing the plaster...

You can do one of 2 things...

1. move the good primary pump to the water feature pump..

2. install a 3hp VS pump for your main pump...

You can also get rid of the water feature pump and run everything off the 3 hp VS..

Connect the cleaner port to the returns so it gives you another return..

I would STAY FAR AWAY from Jandy pumps or automation.. They have to be bought from a certified dealer and have no support if not through them...

Most VS pumps can be run from the pump itself with no automation at all.. Right now you can get a no automation VS pump for 500 bucks but I would not recommend getting it if you want it connected to both water feature and main pool pump, only get it if you run the main pump...

If you decide to go away from Jandy then Pentair and Hayward are both great, I happen to like Pentair more as they seem to be better quality and last longer.. My pump body and filter is going on 9 years with 0 issues...

Here is another interesting option and the way I went.. Upgrade you existing 1.5 hp pumps to VS and call it a day... The Century V Green motor is awesome and has worked great for me for a year now.. It can be used with automation and has many options.. I do believe others have figured out how to get Jandy to talk to it...



If you do this option I would upgrade your seals to salt or SCS seals and a pump rebuild kit for both pumps, Inyo can help get those as they are really great at this.. :)
 

gkw4815

New member
Aug 31, 2021
3
Houston, TX
Pool Size
30000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
THANK YOU for all of the information! And apologies for posting this in the wrong forum - I only realized after posting that there was a dedicated forum for pumps+filters.

It sounds like the only way to operate the pressure-side cleaner is with the booster pump. That makes sense...I had read somewhere that a VS pump can operate pool cleaners, but they must have meant suction-side pool cleaners.

I may switch the Polaris to a robot cleaner at some point. The Polaris works decently well except that it can't reach the furthest ends of the pool.

Glad to hear that iAqualink can control at least some non-Jandy VS pumps. I'd prefer to keep all of the pool controls within the iAqualink system if possible. I struggled with keeping the system reliably connected to wifi for awhile, but I seem to have worked out the kinks and it's rock-solid now. Also have it connected to Alexa which is nifty.

I do have a spa. I haven't seen a separate intake for the waterfalls, at least not anywhere on the sides of the pool. The deep end has three drains, perhaps one of them is connected to the waterfalls. FWIW, I can currently run the waterfalls in pool or spa mode or with the main circulation pump switched off.

I like the idea of swapping the good pump over to the waterfalls and then replacing the main pump with a new VS unit. As little as I use the waterfalls, I doubt I'd see much cost savings associated with having a VS pump there vs a single-speed pump. And it seems like a waste to toss the perfectly-good main pump. I'll explore this option for now.

Regarding the generator back-up consideration - I'm not planning to directly connect my generator to the pool equipment. I'll be installing an interlocked generator inlet on my main panel (which has a few breakers to run the pool equipment). I'd like to be able to power the main circulation pump with a 120V generator if possible. Is there any downside to operating a 120V/240V VS pump in 120V mode? I assume that a larger wire gauge between the pump and the breaker panel would be needed.
 

HermanTX

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May 20, 2020
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Katy TX
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The Polaris works decently well except that it can't reach the furthest ends of the pool.
That is a function of your hose length. The hose, without the cleaner attached to it, should be 6-12inches longer then the farthest point in the pool from the wall connection. Do not include your steps because it normally does not go too high up on steps.

The deep end has three drains, perhaps one of them is connected to the waterfalls. FWIW, I can currently run the waterfalls in pool or spa mode or with the main circulation pump switched off.
You are probably correct if there are 3 drains in the deep end. Also, if you are only using the water feature pump with the main filtration pump off, then suction has to be from somewhere in the pool as the water flows back to the pool.
I like the idea of swapping the good pump over to the waterfalls and then replacing the main pump with a new VS unit.
Great.

'll be installing an interlocked generator inlet on my main panel (which has a few breakers to run the pool equipment). I'd like to be able to power the main circulation pump with a 120V generator if possible.
I cannot answer the wiring connection but what about the booster pump and water feature pump. Do you want those to run on generator? If not, you will need to drain them to prevent freezing if that is one of your concerns.
 

gkw4815

New member
Aug 31, 2021
3
Houston, TX
Pool Size
30000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
If another severe winter storm strikes, I'll likely just drain all of the equipment (FWIW, the house was vacant when the TX winter storms hit and, almost miraculously, no significant damage to the pool equipment or house occurred).

However, if we face an extended outage following a hurricane/tropical storm, I'd like to be able to circulate and manually vacuum the pool while on generator power. I'd be fine not running the waterfalls or other equipment - running the main circulation pump would be good enough.
 
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