Featured Pondering plumbing upgrades

sean.a.hyde

Member
Jun 5, 2018
20
Pittsburgh, PA
My coworker just replaced his single speed 1HP Superflo with a Superflow VS. Power went from 1.4KW to <200W (at 1400RPM). Tons of flow on the skimmer still. That's fantastical!
Pretty sold on the VS upgrade. Three options
  1. Upgrade the motor on the pump I have now (1 HP single speed high pressure). Gets me the VS for about $427, re-use the existing pump head
  2. Change the unit for the SuperFlo VS. ~$700.
  3. Change the unit for the Intelliflo VS. ~$1200.
I have no other Pentair controls, but I have a Raspberry Pi that I'm playing with that monitors temp, pH and ORP (for information rather than control) and I could use that to twiddle the Digtal I/O interface of whichever pump (though, I'm not sure why).
I know the Intelliflo is higher HP, but is it really worth almost double? My pool may have higher head than my coworkers (equipment is higher and further away). So I may need to run the SuperFlo VS at a higher RPM than the Intelliflo? The Intelliflo may be more efficient, but if the SuperFlo VS is really like 200W, it would be hard to justify the $500 difference.
What about the difference in the SuperFlo VS pump head vs the Pentair Challenger pump head? Worth the $250?
 

cfherrman

TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
2,355
Hays, Kansas
How often do you vacuum, is your current 1 hp pump good at vacuuming, are you happy with your pump at everything but general circulation? (General circulation as you can see takes little hp)

If yes go with the ~ 1.5 hp versions of the vsp or change the motor of your pump.

If no you definitely need the 1.5 hp vsp or higher, if you just have a simple pool, like everyone, I find it tough that you would need more than 1.5 hp unless you might get roof solar or waterfalls or sprayers or......

I often hear people using 200-250 w on their vsp.

The vsp is often called a variable horse power pump, notice you are already listing it as that when you are talking about watts, so you get to dial in the exact hp you need for your pool up to a maximum of the impeller/motor hp, so I would figure out the max hp you guess you would need and choose that pump.

Also see your filters Max flowrate and compare that to the psi you run now to the pump head on your pump, not much point in getting a bigger hp if your filter is maxxed out.
 

sean.a.hyde

Member
Jun 5, 2018
20
Pittsburgh, PA
How often do you vacuum, is your current 1 hp pump good at vacuuming, are you happy with your pump at everything but general circulation? (General circulation as you can see takes little hp)

If yes go with the ~ 1.5 hp versions of the vsp or change the motor of your pump.

If no you definitely need the 1.5 hp vsp or higher, if you just have a simple pool, like everyone, I find it tough that you would need more than 1.5 hp unless you might get roof solar or waterfalls or sprayers or......

I often hear people using 200-250 w on their vsp.

The vsp is often called a variable horse power pump, notice you are already listing it as that when you are talking about watts, so you get to dial in the exact hp you need for your pool up to a maximum of the impeller/motor hp, so I would figure out the max hp you guess you would need and choose that pump.

Also see your filters Max flowrate and compare that to the psi you run now to the pump head on your pump, not much point in getting a bigger hp if your filter is maxxed out.
Thanks Casey.

The only time I vacuum is during opening. The rest of the time I generally have the Autocover closed and that keeps out practically everything. I also have a Dolphin robot that does a great job keeping the occasional leaf, seed and bug off the bottom. Plus, I figure I can still vacuum since the new pump will be >1HP (I'll just have to run it on high for vacuuming).
I don't have any crazy features like sprayers or waterfalls. Just 2 skimmers, a floor drain (which I generally don't use) and 2 returns. My equipment is 5-10 feet above the pool, however, and I notice that whoever designed the pool spec'ed a "high flow" pump (whatever that means).
My main gripe with my current pump (aside from how much power I use) is mediocre flow -- but I think this is the filter's fault. Even without DE, my filter pressure is like 18 PSI, and that quickly gets to the low 20s. Above 25 the flow goes way down.
My plan is to replace the filter with a CC RP200 or CCP420. That should dramatically reduce the back pressure.

Looks like my current filter is rated for 72 GPM.
Here is the graph from the motor brochure:
1568032257599.png
The table on the website says to use the 'B' curve for my motor, but the chart says that 1HP motors are the 'C' curve... but I'm not sure what to do with this anyway.

For the replacement filters, again Pentair is confused. Their website (and all others) says 150 GPM for the CC RP 200 (and for the CC200 for that matter), but the brochure says 75 GPM
1568032442354.png
1568032496900.png



My intuition is that if my 1HP pump works now, and I reduce the back pressure on it by going to a cartridge filter and one that is much larger, then everything will work. I think the only question will be how low I can turn down the RPMs.
 

cfherrman

TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
2,355
Hays, Kansas
18 psi is 42 ft hd, so the b line is 70 gpm and the c line is 90 gpm, so your filter is not big enough for that pump and could be the reason you think it should have more flow.

You are a good candidate for a cartridge filter since you don't vaccum much and have a robot.

Either the vsp motor replacement or the new 1.5 hp vsp will probably run at the same watts for your preferred lowest speed. Granted I'm not positive on that.

Watts to move water and motor/pump efficiency decide on total watts used. If you want 200 watts of water to be moved you put in like 220 watts to move it, most pool pumps will have around the same efficiency.

See if you can change just the filter and run it with your single speed pump, see if the flow is good for your high speed if you changed the motor.
 

sean.a.hyde

Member
Jun 5, 2018
20
Pittsburgh, PA
My coworker just replaced his single speed 1HP Superflo with a Superflow VS. Power went from 1.4KW to <200W (at 1400RPM). Tons of flow on the skimmer still. That's fantastical!
Pretty sold on the VS upgrade. Three options
  1. Upgrade the motor on the pump I have now (1 HP single speed high pressure). Gets me the VS for about $427, re-use the existing pump head
  2. Change the unit for the SuperFlo VS. ~$700.
  3. Change the unit for the Intelliflo VS. ~$1200.
I have no other Pentair controls, but I have a Raspberry Pi that I'm playing with that monitors temp, pH and ORP (for information rather than control) and I could use that to twiddle the Digtal I/O interface of whichever pump (though, I'm not sure why).
I know the Intelliflo is higher HP, but is it really worth almost double? My pool may have higher head than my coworkers (equipment is higher and further away). So I may need to run the SuperFlo VS at a higher RPM than the Intelliflo? The Intelliflo may be more efficient, but if the SuperFlo VS is really like 200W, it would be hard to justify the $500 difference.
What about the difference in the SuperFlo VS pump head vs the Pentair Challenger pump head? Worth the $250?
Small update:
Went with the SuperFlo VS. My camelcamelcamel went off and I hit buy.
Went with the RJ-60+. Should be massively overkill for my 23k pool since I have an autocover and keep it closed most of the time for safety.

Just closed the pool (temps keep dipping into the mid 30s).
I mentioned to the PB that I was going to do SWG. "No! Don't do that! You'll destroy your autocover and motor!" I pointed out that I know 3 people in the area with SWGs (2 with autocovers) and they don't seem to have a problem. Plus, I'd already had one Pentair Challenger Crud out before the SWG. He said "I hope you like spending money."

I should add that I have tracks on top of my concrete deck (not under the coping). Should I try to bond these with a Zinc anode? They are current not electrically connected to anything else (not each other and not the drum/motor/mechanism).

Then I mentioned I was getting the SuperFlo VS. He wondered how much difference it would make. I told him my co-worker has one running at 1200 RPM. "That's way too slow!" I told him neither the Pentair heater, nor the salt cell seemed to mind. He couldn't believe it.
Then I mentioned I was thinking of swapping the DE filter for a cartridge. "Don't do that! You'll have to clean them!" I pointed out that I already have to "clean" (backwash) the DE filter more often than I like, I hate dealing with DE and I don't like having to go buy it. I also pointed out that I have a 36 sq ft DE filter and I'm looking at a 200-320 sq ft cartridge filter, so I really shouldn't be cleaning it so often. He acknowledged that they sell the CCP line, but couldn't really explain why he didn't recommend them.

Nice guy, but he definitely thinks I'm an idiot.
 
Last edited:

sean.a.hyde

Member
Jun 5, 2018
20
Pittsburgh, PA
It's ok, pb are for building pools, not maintaining them.

You don't ask a construction contractor how to run the office he's building.
Should I bond/connect the rails to the drum? It also doesn't seem like the drum is bonded. The motor is definitely grounded (though not bonded), but due to the clutches, I'm not sure the drum is actually bonded to anything.

@JasonLion has previously mentioned "burying" a zinc anode. Is this a purchase part? Seems like most of the stuff I see for sale is for hanging off a boat or inside a water heater.
 

cfherrman

TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
2,355
Hays, Kansas
Out of my expertise here but I'll give ya something until a expert responses.

All metal should be bonded around the pool, if it conducts electricity, hook it to the loop. If the motor has a green wire from it's case (or green lug), that's the bonding wire and hook it up too, if none it's fine.

Zinc anodes are mostly seen as unnecessary here, but I've seen it recommend to place the anode in wet soil next to the pool, I'm sorry I don't remember what you hook it too.

Just to make you feel better you can run your pump as low as the flow switch closes on the swg and as low as the pressure switch turns on the heater, then add ~200 rpm and that's your minimum speed.

Cartridge filters are excellent with pools that are taken care of correctly. If you follow tfp and have low to no algae outbreaks that filter is awesome. Many use hairnets on the skimmer and that takes a lot of dirtyness away from the filter.

Swgs don't ruin stuff, bad pool management does.
 

sean.a.hyde

Member
Jun 5, 2018
20
Pittsburgh, PA
Out of my expertise here but I'll give ya something until a expert responses.

All metal should be bonded around the pool, if it conducts electricity, hook it to the loop. If the motor has a green wire from it's case (or green lug), that's the bonding wire and hook it up too, if none it's fine.

Zinc anodes are mostly seen as unnecessary here, but I've seen it recommend to place the anode in wet soil next to the pool, I'm sorry I don't remember what you hook it too.

Just to make you feel better you can run your pump as low as the flow switch closes on the swg and as low as the pressure switch turns on the heater, then add ~200 rpm and that's your minimum speed.

Cartridge filters are excellent with pools that are taken care of correctly. If you follow tfp and have low to no algae outbreaks that filter is awesome. Many use hairnets on the skimmer and that takes a lot of dirtyness away from the filter.

Swgs don't ruin stuff, bad pool management does.
Thanks for the input. The motor definitely has a green wire. I'm going to go poking around and see if the rails were ever bonded to the rest of the autocover system (motor, gearbox, drum, etc). This is definitely called out in the instructions, but I'm not sure if it ever happened.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
9,885
Northern NJ
Green wires are grounding wires and should go to the electrical ground.

Bonding and grounding are separate and should not be mixed. Although they ultimately go to the same place.

There should be a bonding lug on pumps that the bare copper bonding grid wire connects to.
 

sean.a.hyde

Member
Jun 5, 2018
20
Pittsburgh, PA
Green wires are grounding wires and should go to the electrical ground.

Bonding and grounding are separate and should not be mixed. Although they ultimately go to the same place.

There should be a bonding lug on pumps that the bare copper bonding grid wire connects to.
This was my hunch. I am sure that they didn't run a bonding wire from the pad down to the autocover motor. This is a bit concerning.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
9,885
Northern NJ
Anything electrical within I think 5 feet of the water should be connected to the bonding grid. I assume the cover motor is that close.

The motor bond connection can be to anything else near it that is bonded. Deck rebar, Pool light, hand rail, etc.
 

sean.a.hyde

Member
Jun 5, 2018
20
Pittsburgh, PA
Anything electrical within I think 5 feet of the water should be connected to the bonding grid. I assume the cover motor is that close.

The motor bond connection can be to anything else near it that is bonded. Deck rebar, Pool light, hand rail, etc.
There is nothing of that sort around. I mostly watched them install this and also didn't notice a bare copper wire.
 

sean.a.hyde

Member
Jun 5, 2018
20
Pittsburgh, PA
It only gets connected in areas that have inspections by the town. Rural areas they skip all of it 90% of the time because they can and it saves money and time with no concern for code
Yeah, I located the lug. Definitely no bonding wire. I wonder if this is why all the auto-covers corrode...
I feel like I should add it. All the other bonding wires for my equipment go under the equipment pad... for... reasons? Seems like that's just asking for the copper to corrode? Can I run buried bare copper for this, or should I use insulated? There is conduit running down to the motor, but I doubt I can shove 8ga solid wire through it.

Also, should I connect the track to the bracket? What about the drum?
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Aug 10, 2017
1,278
Morris Cnty NJ
The copper wont corrode it will just change color on surface and it stays solid for a long time longer than the pool life span. Corrosion isn't from not bonding it has nothing to do with that aspect it's all about equalizing static type electricity in poor terms. If you have a bond lug and a way to attach wire to bond lug and actually connect to the grid I would do it. Even insulated stranded copper fished thru conduit is still safer than nothing
 

sean.a.hyde

Member
Jun 5, 2018
20
Pittsburgh, PA
Got it. I can run this up to the equipment pad where the other bonding wires are visible. I guess I'll just bury it deep enough not to disturb it.
Thanks everyone for the help! I ran an 8ga solid wire down from the pad (where I had tied into a lug with the bonding wire for the heater). Connected to the bracket by the motor on the autocover.
But then I noticed that the rails weren't connected to the bracket. So I ran a wire from the rail to the bracket. Then I noticed the other bracket also had a lug. So I ran a wire from the far rail to its bracket and then across to connect the two brackets together. The drum also isn't well connected... but I have no idea what to do here.