Variable Pool Pump?

Nick's Pool

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 31, 2014
38
Naples, FL
#1
Good evening,

I am in the market for a new pool pump and I was looking into variable speed because I've heard they're more energy efficient. I am currently running 1.5 HP (specs below) to power a rock waterfall feature. Originally, I was looking at the Pentair Superflo vs Variable Speed Pump 342001, 1.5HP 115-208/230 1 phase, however, one of the installers I asked said he's seen a bunch of problems with those and is recommeding the Hayward Ecostar Variable 1/4HP - 3HP. When I told him I need enough juice to power the waterfall, he said it might not be worth it then to go variable speed. I am completely lost!! If I got the Pentair that runs 1.5HP to replace the non variable speed pump I have, would that not save in energy? My question is, do you recommend any particular variable speed pump or should I just look into purchasing the normal traditional single speed pump at 1.5 HP and call it the day? Thanks for your assitance.

Nick A.

Size and Type : IGP, 7500 Gallons
Finish: Wet Edge Satin Matrix Finish (pebble), Cartridge: Unicel Model C-8409, 12 PSi, Pump: 1.5 HP A.O. Smith Model USQ1152 (not sure if it's two speed or variable), Pool Date Remodel: May 2009, Accessories: SWG Auto Pilot Digital Nano Model 75041, Rock Waterfall
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,194
Quaker Hill, CT
#2
According to you motor model number you have a single speed uprate motor.

As for the superflo pump many people here as well as myself are really happy with that pump. It has more than enough power for a pool of your size.

The ecostar will also be plenty of pump, and then some, for you. It will also save money on electrical costs because even if you are able to run it 500 rpm lower than max it uses half the energy.
 

GaryT58

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 26, 2016
571
Monroe, GA
#3
Love my Pentair SuperFlo VS - no issues with it. I can run as low as 650RPM and still meet the low flow rate of my autopilot swg. But the min I run is at 800 RPM, to allow for lower flow as the sand filter gets dirty. Huge savings over my previous 1HP single speed pentair superflo. The Superflo is nice as you can program it to run at different speeds for different periods - i.e. come up and run at 2800 RPM to perform good water movement and cleaning, and then switch to lower rate (1400) for some decent circulation.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,535
Bedford, TX
#4
Nick,

You seem to be trying to match your new pump with the HP of your old pump. This is not at all necessary with variable speed pumps. These pumps should really be called Variable Horsepower pumps.. because that is what they do. You adjust the HP that the pump runs at for your specific needs. So if you only what a slow flow for your SWCG, they only run at a fraction of a HP. If you want to run your waterfall, you just crank the HP up.

For reference I have the 3 HP Intelliflo. Way more HP than I need, but I can run that pump, 24/7, for less than $20 bucks a month.

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
12,835
#5
To get good waterfall action without using a lot of power, you can close off other returns.

How much flow does it take to get good waterfall action (flow just to waterfall)?

Do you have a heater?
 

Nick's Pool

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 31, 2014
38
Naples, FL
#6
Thanks for all of your responses. Yes, I do have a heater I am running. Probably not so much in the summer since I live in FL. Not sure about how much flow it takes to get a good waterfall action or even how to test that? It sounds like the Pentair SuperFlo then is a good route to go maybe?
 

drpepper68

Active member
Aug 9, 2014
40
TX
#7
I have the same problem with my VSP, running it at lower RPM's isnt enough to run the waterfall. Since electricity here is cheap it really hasnt bought me much and I ended up cranking it back up to 3450 all the time. Just seems to circulate water better, pool wasnt staying clear before. Plus I already have a controller and now I have a seperate controller on the VSP which sucks since I have to set both to match. I wish I'd have gotten the superflo which would have worked with my automation system but I was too cheap. :)

I bought the ECM27SQU 2.7HP and it works great though. $600 and you can mount the controller on the wall without the expensive kit, just need the wire at any home depot.

- - - Updated - - -

You wont lose anything with getting a VSP even if you have to turn it up for the waterfall you have the option of running it lower if you need it. I forgot to mention also that its saved me tons during winter freezes since I do run it at a lower speed. It defaults to 2450. With my old pump it ran 2 weeks straight during the bad freeze here and my electric bill was super high. Ofcourse I didnt realize I could drain and not run the descent, waterfall and cleaner pumps. :) I was paranoid about freezing.

Thanks for all of your responses. Yes, I do have a heater I am running. Probably not so much in the summer since I live in FL. Not sure about how much flow it takes to get a good waterfall action or even how to test that? It sounds like the Pentair SuperFlo then is a good route to go maybe?