Replacing/Upgrading Pump


New member
Aug 7, 2014
Saint Charles, MO
We opened our pool on April 1 to the cleanest, most amazing water ever thanks to all the tips & tricks here, thank you very much! 8 days later we go to backwash due to tons of rains and the pump made the most horrible noise ever, turn it off, find a bolt in the basket, take the pump apart and find the bolt has come free from the impeller, and the impeller is shot. We're not surprised as last year the pump was struggling at the end of the year.

We're looking to replace the pump with a Variable Speed pump as the equipment pad & all the equipment is 8ish feet above the pool. This necessitates the running of the pump 24/7 to not lose prime/suction. The Pentair Challenger 1HP is what we have/had. Husband feels it was slightly undersized due to the elevation of getting it up the hill.

Any VS Pumps that are workhorses that can withstand the 8 foot elevation above the pool, or any that aren't recommended. We're struggling to pull the trigger and need to make a decision very, very soon.



Well-known member
Aug 30, 2016
Riverside, CA
Just got a Pentair SuperFlo VS and it works great! Right now Pentair is giving back a $50 rebate on them and you may get one from your power utility too. You will need to run it on clean cycle for a couple hours a day but the rest of the time you can run it down low and save some money! You may want to consider the IntelliFlo to overcome that extra head though but probably can get away with the SuperFlo.


TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
Quaker Hill, CT
If your pump is losing prime you have a suction leak or failed check valve that needs to be addressed. No upgrade in pump will fix that issue. A VS pump will be a great addition to you pool and should save you a lot on your electric bill. You will be able to dial it in to suit both your heat pump and SWG. The superflo pump is enough to suit your needs but if you can swing it the intelliflo will be a more efficient choice.


New member
Aug 7, 2014
Saint Charles, MO
Thanks for the input! They both look like good pumps, now to make the decision. The husband can't pull the trigger and keeps coming back to Haywards and then worrying about warranties. He's a diy'er.

I'll clarify one thing. The only time we lose prime is if we have a power failure, or if a kid takes the side suction cleaner out above the water line when it's in use, even though they've been told 10,000 times they still do it! It's a pain to prime due to the elevation. We use a bladder on the garden hose to push water up the pipes, close the valves to retain the water once the pump basket fills, and then start the pump once both skimmer lines are filled. Never, ever again will I agree to equipment being installed that high above the pool. Lesson learned!
Apr 12, 2017
You can install something called a 'check valve' which will hold the water inside the pump near the base of the pipe. The valve only allows one direction of flow, so if you lose power or the pump stops the valve stays closed since it wont move in the other direction.

Variable speeds are still the much more efficent choice if you're still thinking about single speeds.

Stay away from hayward.. pentair is the golden standard with the superflo/intelliflo/whisperflo.

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