Variable Speed Pump Settings

Justin D

New member
Mar 6, 2019
4
San Antonio TX
We just installed a Pentair Intelliflo VSF pump at our new home, and would like some advice on how to set up rpm and run time at each rpm to maximize energy efficiency.
  1. Pool is about 15,000 gal
  2. In-floor cleaning system with it's own pump
  3. Waterfall, spa, each with their own pumps as well,
  4. DE filter 48sq ft
  5. In line tablet chlorinator
  6. 2 skimmers
  7. We also have an attached spa with a heater.
Any guidance is greatly appreciated
 
Last edited:

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
17,857
Bedford, TX
Justin,

Welcome to TFP.. a great place to learn all about your new pool... :shark:

Well, it looks like you have a pump for everything...

It appears that the only thing that you will be using your new VSF pump for is to pump water through the filter.

For energy efficiency slower is almost always better. I run my IntelliFlo at 1200 RPM most of the time. If you have a heater you might have to ran at 1500. Basically your new pump is only being used to suck water from the skimmers, through the filter and then push it back to the pool. The reason for this is two fold.. one, it removes all the little floating things that fall into your pool, and two, it allows you to generate the amount of chlorine your pool needs. As the water passes through your 3" tab chlorinator it will pick up chlorine. If you stick around here at TFP, you will find that we are not too fond of tab chlorinators.. :)

For this simple task, your really don't need a big VS pump. They are generally required when you are trying to use one pump for everything. So you could run slow for skimming and then faster when you wanted the waterfall on, and faster still when you wanted your in-floor system to run..

With a system with four pumps, you are unlikely to have any energy efficiency..

How long you run the IntelliFlo is a matter of personal preference. A few hours a day is all you really need, but if you are like me, and hate seeing even just one leaf floating in your pool, you might want to run longer. I run my pump 24/7 because I like to have constant skimming. At low speeds the IntelliFlo costs about $20 bucks a month to run 24/7..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Justin D

New member
Mar 6, 2019
4
San Antonio TX
Thanks for the quick reply Jim.

A couple follow ups: 1) With a pebble-tec finish, we were warned against liquid chlorine. What do you use/recommend?
2) Is there value in retro-fitting so the waterfall, in-floor cleaner, spa tie into the new variable speed pump?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
17,857
Bedford, TX
Justin,

Not really... An in-floor system is going to consume a lot of energy no matter which pump you use.. I doubt it would be worth the price and it would just make the plumbing more complicated.

I would run the system as it is this year and see what your costs are and then decide what you want to do..

I am not a fan of in-floor system so I am a little biased.. :) If this were my pool I would use it for this next year and see how well it worked.. If it works well I would just continue to use it. If it works like I suspect, then I would just shut if off and buy a Dolphin robot pool cleaner which does not require you to run your pump.

Waterfalls can often be very noisy and they will drive your pH up if used a lot. In a way it is good that it has its own pump as you will then only use it when you want to impress your guests..

The guy who told you not to use liquid chlorine apparently failed his chemistry class.. Chlorine is chlorine, it matters not where you get it.. Once it is in your water it would be impossible to tell the difference. If you take a 3" tab and throw it in your pool it will leave a round mark on the plaster.. that is why you should not do it.. If you take liquid chlorine and pour it on a pebble Tec finish with no water in the pool, it will make a mark on the finish, you would be stupid to to this.. But when adding liquid chlorine to a pool with water in it, the chlorine becomes diluted and does no harm to the finish. From the Pebble Tec point of view, it makes no difference if you use tabs or liquid chlorine.. they are both identical in the water.

There is nothing wrong with the chlorine that is in 3" tabs, it is the CYA that is used to hold the tab together.. Initially CYA is a good thing as it keeps the chlorine from being burned off by the sun. Think sunscreen.. The problem is that the CYA does not go away and it just continues to add up.. Pretty soon you have so much CYA in your pool water that the chlorine is no longer effective as a sanitizer and you end up with algae.. You can either drain and refill the pool and use more pucks, use liquid chlorine or convert to a saltwater pool. Whatever works for you works for us.

The key to the TFP pool care process is not the source of the chlorine, it is routinely testing your pool's water and then using the results to maintain the proper balance of chemicals in your pool water.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
1,618
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
Can you post a picture of your Pad/plumming? Iam more than tempted to offer you ideas on pluming a single VSF for all your needs and canceling infloor cleaner. Selling the other pumps might offset the cost of a robot and the savings on energy will be quite noticeable.

Felipe
 

jonpcar

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2016
522
Gilbert, AZ
Justin, don’t let anyone talk you into abandoning your IFCS too quickly, haha. There are a number of us on the boards who are happy with them. But, IFCSs are NOT specifically designed for efficiency and unfortunately are sometimes ineffective as well. I’m with the other posters...if you are looking for efficiency you would have to eliminate some pumps in your system...and almost certainly implement automation. My IFCS runs 3 hours/day (overkill) and I skim another 8 hours/day at a cost of about $10 a month. IF I had a spa (I don’t), I would definitely still try to use ONE pump to run everything (?IFCS?, skimming, water features, spa), as Felipe suggests.
 
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