Real world Power usage comparison of old pump with a new Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018

makesumwake

Member
Aug 20, 2014
15
miami, fl
I recently bought a pentair intelliflo pump to run my water features i just added.

I compared my old skimmer pump power usage with the new Intelliflo power usage.


TEST CONDITIONS
i used a T and a Valve i had already plumbed into the system to divert the flow of the old pump into a 5 gallon bucket
I then timed how fast it would take for the pump to fill up the 5gallon bucket (low speed).

then i tested the new Intelliflo. I changed the speed of the intelliflow to fill up the bucket just as fast as the old pump would do on low, then i tested the power usage
now i can compare actual power used given that the volume of flow was the same for each pump.


RESULTS

Old pump:
4.2 amps X 120volts on low speed - 504 watts. would fill a 5 gallon bucket in 12 seconds

Intelliflo:
108 watts on the pump display (meter actually showed a bit less power being used than the pump showed), about 750rpm - would fill 5 gallon bucket in 12 seconds.

so it is using close to 1/5 the power of the old pump. i was amazed. for once the salesmen at the pool store were actually right. i at first thought the power savings came from the ability to run the pump on super low speed
but thats not the case, the pump is much more efficient as well, regardless of speed.


the question is...is my old pump just really bad? and all the newer 2 speed pumps also energy efficient? or is it just the intelliflo series pumps that are super efficient?
can i buy another affordable pump to replace my main skimmer pump that is also just as efficient at 2 speeds? or do i got to spend anther $1000 on a intelliflo?

i only need a fraction of the power my intelliflo can put out, so i actually bought way more pump than i needed, but im not sure what my other options are



thanks

-Phil
 

txnole

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 18, 2014
544
Amelia Island, FL
Cool test. There's no question that the new VS pumps are much more efficient, but I'm surprised that you measured 5x savings in your test. We have been very pleased with our Intelliflo and it is much more efficient than our Pentair feature pump.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
13,825
Pleasanton, CA
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Most two speed pumps on low speed will be about 50% less efficient than a VS at the same flow rate so your measurement methodology may have some flaws. BTW, what is your old pump make model? There may be some measurement data on it.

So for example, a standard SuperFlo 1 HP 2 speed pump on plumbing Curve-C, will have an operating point of 34.9 GPM @ 326 watts while the Intelliflo at the same 34.9 GPM uses 180 watts. So the SuperFlo is only about 45% less efficient than the Intelliflo at low speed. At high speed, the efficiency difference is about 30%.
 

makesumwake

Member
Aug 20, 2014
15
miami, fl
Most two speed pumps on low speed will be about 50% less efficient than a VS at the same flow rate so your measurement methodology may have some flaws. BTW, what is your old pump make model? There may be some measurement data on it.

So for example, a standard SuperFlo 1 HP 2 speed pump on plumbing Curve-C, will have an operating point of 34.9 GPM @ 326 watts while the Intelliflo at the same 34.9 GPM uses 180 watts. So the SuperFlo is only about 45% less efficient than the Intelliflo at low speed. At high speed, the efficiency difference is about 30%.

ok, thats what i was wanting to know. my old pump is junk, a $150 cheap off brand from china. no published data for it. actual efficiency compared to intelliflo is 4.67 (505/108 = 4.67) it being half the efficiency of a superflo isnt unthinkable.

so i guess i will go intelliflo for both my pumps then.

im just worried about the lifespan of the intelliflo control box, i hear they dont last that long.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
13,825
Pleasanton, CA
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
VS pumps surely don't last long if you don't have it on surge protection.

Your current pump really shouldn't be that much different. My guess is that the Intelliflo flow rate is lower than your pump. Measuring the way you did, is very difficult to get exactly the same conditions for both head loss & flow rate.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,549
Intelliflo:
108 watts on the pump display (meter actually showed a bit less power being used than the pump showed), about 750rpm - would fill 5 gallon bucket in 12 seconds.
If you’re using a regular averaging meter to measure current on a non pure sine wave, it’s going to read lower than actual. To get the correct current, you need a True RMS meter.

Note: The pump pulls power in a way that distorts the waveform of the power supply.