Question about variable speed pump

mmardini

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
82
Palm Springs, ca
Hey everyone! Thanks to this great site we are thinking of changing from a single speed pump to a variable speed. The one question we have is that when our current pump is on, we have a spill over from the spa to the pool (3 waterfalls). If we install a variable speed pump, will the water fall still work during the time that the pump is on a low setting or will it just “dribble” down the spa wall into the pool? It’s not aesthetics that we are worried about but we get a lot of calcium build up on that area due to our hard water and don’t want it to dribble over and cause even more calcium build up on our new glass tiles. Currently we have build up only on the sides of where the waterfalls flows over into the pool. Thanks for the help!!
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,732
Prosper, TX (DFW)
It really depends on your plumbing and any automation. Most spas have the option to turn on/off the overflow. That way you could run the majority of the time on a low speed with no spillover, then schedule a time where your pump runs higher and turns on the spa overflow.

Do you know if you have that? If not, post up a picture of your equipment pad, and fill in your signature with your equipment types including automation.
 
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mmardini

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
82
Palm Springs, ca
It really depends on your plumbing and any automation. Most spas have the option to turn on/off the overflow. That way you could run the majority of the time on a low speed with no spillover, then schedule a time where your pump runs higher and turns on the spa overflow.

Do you know if you have that? If not, post up a picture of your equipment pad, and fill in your signature with your equipment types including automation.
We don’t have automation. Hope to in the future. You should have seen the state of the pool
Equipment when we bought the house, had the have it all repiped but unfortunately the previous owners purchased a new pump
Prior to closing rather than giving us a credit like we requested. I will post a pic of the equipment pad tomorrow morning as it’s dark now here. Hopefully it’ll make sense to someone! Thank you!!
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,732
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Without automation you would have to manually open/close valves for your spillway. To avoid the "dribble effect" you may not get the full value out of a VS by being able to run it on low speeds.

We can help you manage your calcium deposits though. Mind adding your equipment to your signature and adding your test results, ideally in pool math?
 

mmardini

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
82
Palm Springs, ca
Without automation you would have to manually open/close valves for your spillway. To avoid the "dribble effect" you may not get the full value out of a VS by being able to run it on low speeds.

We can help you manage your calcium deposits though. Mind adding your equipment to your signature and adding your test results, ideally in pool math?
Here is a pics of the equipment pad as well as how the pool looks. With the pump running, water flows from the spa to the pool since the spa is elevated. No automation at this point. I Am using total pool care DPD test kit from leslies (made by Taylor) and will be ordering the FAS/DPD add on from this site. I would definitely appreciate help managing the calcium as thats a problem in my area (Palm Springs). I can post current test readings, however we are draining the pool for a replaster and re tile next week so the current water chemistry won’t be applicable after we refill. I will say I tested the calcium when I got the kit and it was very high, no idea when the last time this pool has been drained and refilled. Thanks for all your help!
 

mmardini

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
82
Palm Springs, ca
Here is a pics of the equipment pad as well as how the pool looks. With the pump running, water flows from the spa to the pool since the spa is elevated. No automation at this point. I Am using total pool care DPD test kit from leslies (made by Taylor) and will be ordering the FAS/DPD add on from this site. I would definitely appreciate help managing the calcium as thats a problem in my area (Palm Springs). I can post current test readings, however we are draining the pool for a replaster and re tile next week so the current water chemistry won’t be applicable after we refill. I will say I tested the calcium when I got the kit and it was very high, no idea when the last time this pool has been drained and refilled. Thanks for all your help!
Forgot to post the pics!
 

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JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,732
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Its hard to tell, but it looks like there are 3 pipes for the returns, but 2 of them are tied to the same valve. I'm assuming those 2 are the pool returns and spa overflow (likely a return in the floor of the spa). If that is the case you could add another valve to control the spa overflow separately, but I would not do that without adding automation.

As for your calcium management, use pool math to help manage your CSI. You likely want to keep the pH a bit higher ~7.8 to make sure your CSI is slightly negative.
 

mmardini

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
82
Palm Springs, ca
Its hard to tell, but it looks like there are 3 pipes for the returns, but 2 of them are tied to the same valve. I'm assuming those 2 are the pool returns and spa overflow (likely a return in the floor of the spa). If that is the case you could add another valve to control the spa overflow separately, but I would not do that without adding automation.

Thank you! Once we refill the pool I’ll run the tests and add them to see where I’m at. That helps a lot

As for your calcium management, use pool math to help manage your CSI. You likely want to keep the pH a bit higher ~7.8 to make sure your CSI is slightly negative.
 

mmardini

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
82
Palm Springs, ca
Thank you!! Once we get the pool refilled I’ll run some tests and see where we are at. I’ll def keep those recommendations In mind. The calcium build up out here is a constant battle. I actually bought a wet suit so I can go In the pool In the winter to keep the tiles clean! 🤣
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
1,622
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
If you're not getting enough flow into the Spa at lower speeds, you can just adjust your return valve to direct more water to the spa. Since calcium scaling is an issue for you, search pool school for calcium saturation index (CSI) and start reading up. Since you're draining down the pool, it might be a good time to have your tile media blasted. This will remove all the scale and give you a fresh start. In my area, the service costs approximately $4 per linear foot.
 

mmardini

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
82
Palm Springs, ca
Its hard to tell, but it looks like there are 3 pipes for the returns, but 2 of them are tied to the same valve. I'm assuming those 2 are the pool returns and spa overflow (likely a return in the floor of the spa). If that is the case you could add another valve to control the spa overflow separately, but I would not do that without adding automation.

As for your calcium management, use pool math to help manage your CSI. You likely want to keep the pH a bit higher ~7.8 to make sure your CSI is slightly negative.
I think your right about the plumbing we do have a return in the plumbing. Do you recommend we stay with our current pump until we are ready to add automation? We are already forking out a lot of cash to pebble and retile the pool and can’t afford that right now!
 

mmardini

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
82
Palm Springs, ca
If you're not getting enough flow into the Spa at lower speeds, you can just adjust your return valve to direct more water to the spa. Since calcium scaling is an issue for you, search pool school for calcium saturation index (CSI) and start reading up. Since you're draining down the pool, it might be a good time to have your tile media blasted. This will remove all the scale and give you a fresh start. In my area, the service costs approximately $4 per linear foot.
Thanks I will read that today! We are having the tile re done but going with glass tile so it’s a bit pricey and want to try to keep the calcium scale to a minimum. Thanks for the reply!
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
1,622
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Thanks I will read that today! We are having the tile re done but going with glass tile so it’s a bit pricey and want to try to keep the calcium scale to a minimum. Thanks for the reply!
I just read up a couple posts and realized you're having your tile redone. My bad. In our area the best you can do is reduce calcium scaling. It will always be a battle for us.