Want to Replace Single Speed Pump

RamenLover

Silver Supporter
Sep 23, 2020
52
Chino Hills
Hey Folks

My pool currently uses a 1.5HP single speed pump. Apparently it's a commercial pump of some kind. I measured the watt draw and it looks like it's pulling little over 3000 watts. Ouch

I've been reading about Variable Speed pumps and all this hoopla about 90% electricity savings. Any truth in that? I tried to read the hydraulics sticky, but its way over my head.

I'm curious about the Pentair InteliFlo, that a good start? I've got an old Aqualink Rs4 controlling the existing pump. Will that need replacement as well? Can someone please point me in the right direction? Thanks all!
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
24,982
Northern NJ
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Yes, energy savings with a VS pump are real...

Variable_Speed_Pump_Electrical_Costs.jpg


What is the rev level of your Aqualink to see if it supports VS pump controls. Read...

 
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ajw22

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TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,982
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
8158 Revision JJ

You need Rev O to communicate with VS pumps. And you have the old version board. So to upgrade you need a complete board replacement.

You can install a VS pump and program it from its own control panel. With your current Rev level the Aqualink can only turn power on and off to the pump.

Right now I am running an older Aqualink with an IntelliFlo VSF pump. It works fine and I will be replacing the Aqualink with an IntelliCenter. Long term I think it is better to have an IntelliCenter.
 
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acKsw

Member
Jan 19, 2021
14
Sydney, Australia
My pool currently uses a 1.5HP single speed pump. Apparently it's a commercial pump of some kind. I measured the watt draw and it looks like it's pulling little over 3000 watts. Ouch

What? No way.
1.5HP is around 1100W. Pure and simple. 1.4HP is 1kW.
I've seen some 1.5HP pumps rated as 1100W output and 1500W input.

Are you sure it's not VA you're measuring? Motors are inductive and may have poor power factor. If you're measuring VA rather than actual Watts you'll get a higher number when measuring an inductive load. Your power meter measures watts, not VA..

I've been reading about Variable Speed pumps and all this hoopla about 90% electricity savings. Any truth in that?

Yes, with a caveat. If you run a 1.5HP pump through skinny piping for 4 hours you might turn over 1 pool volume and use around 4kWh of energy in total to do so.

But instead of that, you may use a VS pump to turn over 1 pool volume of water and use much less than 4kWh, but it takes you 24 hours to achieve it. That's where the 90% energy saving comes in - running a VS pump 24 hours a day at low speed to turn over a fixed volume of water, compared to a single speed pump running flat out for a few hours.

The caveat is that your SWG may not want to run with such a slow turnover speed. You might have to run your pump at full speed for a couple of hours so the SWG can do its thing.

You can also forget about suction pool cleaners and worthwhile skimming if you're running that slowly, IMO. But I may be wrong, I've only owned a pool for 2 months :LOL:

VS pumps will save you energy in terms of filtering water... 100%. But your setup probably won't net you the gains the manufacturer spruiks..
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,983
NY
My 3 HP at its lowest speed drew 90W and at full bore it drew 2800W+. My SWG needed a little more than the lowest and activated around 110W but I raised the RPMs a little to account for variances like a slightly dirty filter. The sweet spot of flow was between 120W and 150W and I only needed it to run about 12 hours to produce enough chlorine. For a measly extra $10 a month ($20ish total) I ran it 24/7 just because we liked the look of the water moving.

a 1.5 HP VS will need to run a little higher to achieve the same flow but will still have a good amount of savings. Your choice if you’d rather spend less on the smaller pump, and just a little more each month to run it, or go big and get the investment back over the life of the pump
 
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RamenLover

Silver Supporter
Sep 23, 2020
52
Chino Hills
You need Rev O to communicate with VS pumps. And you have the old version board. So to upgrade you need a complete board replacement.

You can install a VS pump and program it from its own control panel. With your current Rev level the Aqualink can only turn power on and off to the pump.

Right now I am running an older Aqualink with an IntelliFlo VSF pump. It works fine and I will be replacing the Aqualink with an IntelliCenter. Long term I think it is better to have an IntelliCenter.

This is good to know thank you. FYI, I'm pretty new at this. The way I look at it is if I can save that much in electric costs, I figure the variable pump and IntelliCenter will pay for themselves.

My ultimate goal is to change out to salt water chlorination, variable pump, and to be able to control everything from my phone.

Any suggestions of a combination? :)

What? No way.
1.5HP is around 1100W. Pure and simple. 1.4HP is 1kW.
I've seen some 1.5HP pumps rated as 1100W output and 1500W input.

Are you sure it's not VA you're measuring? Motors are inductive and may have poor power factor. If you're measuring VA rather than actual Watts you'll get a higher number when measuring an inductive load. Your power meter measures watts, not VA..

Yes, with a caveat. If you run a 1.5HP pump through skinny piping for 4 hours you might turn over 1 pool volume and use around 4kWh of energy in total to do so.

But instead of that, you may use a VS pump to turn over 1 pool volume of water and use much less than 4kWh, but it takes you 24 hours to achieve it. That's where the 90% energy saving comes in - running a VS pump 24 hours a day at low speed to turn over a fixed volume of water, compared to a single speed pump running flat out for a few hours.

The caveat is that your SWG may not want to run with such a slow turnover speed. You might have to run your pump at full speed for a couple of hours so the SWG can do its thing.

You can also forget about suction pool cleaners and worthwhile skimming if you're running that slowly, IMO. But I may be wrong, I've only owned a pool for 2 months :LOL:

VS pumps will save you energy in terms of filtering water... 100%. But your setup probably won't net you the gains the manufacturer spruiks..

I'm using a true rms portable watt meter that does the power factor conversion for me. At least I think I'm doing it correctly. Clamp a wire at the electrical panel, a lead to each hot wire.

I was surprised as well, two 50amp breakers... good God. I'm totally ok with running a pump at lower speeds continuously. Especially if it saves on the electric bill.

Just in case, Im confusing myself with something else I measured recently, I'll check it again today.

My 3 HP at its lowest speed drew 90W and at full bore it drew 2800W+. My SWG needed a little more than the lowest and activated around 110W but I raised the RPMs a little to account for variances like a slightly dirty filter. The sweet spot of flow was between 120W and 150W and I only needed it to run about 12 hours to produce enough chlorine. For a measly extra $10 a month ($20ish total) I ran it 24/7 just because we liked the look of the water moving.

a 1.5 HP VS will need to run a little higher to achieve the same flow but will still have a good amount of savings. Your choice if you’d rather spend less on the smaller pump, and just a little more each month to run it, or go big and get the investment back over the life of the pump

I'm a big believer of buy good equipment now that earns savings later. :)

So ultimately, what would be everyones combination of choice, SWCG, Variable pump, control center? This is where my research begins. On a side note, there is a second pump for the waterfall. Not sure if there's benefit to changing out that pump.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
24,197
My pool currently uses a 1.5HP single speed pump. Apparently it's a commercial pump of some kind. I measured the watt draw and it looks like it's pulling little over 3000 watts.
3,000 watts for a 1.5 hp pump is not going to be accurate for a properly functioning pump.

Even if it's a full rated pump, the watts should not exceed about 2,200 watts.

What is the pump model number?

What does the motor label say for volts and amps?

What are the volts and amps that you are measuring?

Is your meter set up correctly to measure the volts that are going to the pump?

What watt-meter do you have?
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,982
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
So ultimately, what would be everyones combination of choice, SWCG, Variable pump, control center? This is where my research begins. On a side note, there is a second pump for the waterfall. Not sure if there's benefit to changing out that pump.

Pentair IntelliCenter with IntelliChlor IC40 bundle and integrated power center, Intelliflo 011056 VSF pump

You probably don't run your waterfall enough to justify any energy savings on changing to a VS pump. I would run it until it faila and then when the WF pump needs replacement you an switch it to a VS pump.
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
24,197
On a side note, there is a second pump for the waterfall. Not sure if there's benefit to changing out that pump.
How much flow is required for the waterfall?

If the flow rate is not high, you can probably just use the return from the main pump and eliminate the extra pump.
 
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RamenLover

Silver Supporter
Sep 23, 2020
52
Chino Hills
3,000 watts for a 1.5 hp pump is not going to be accurate for a properly functioning pump.

Even if it's a full rated pump, the watts should not exceed about 2,200 watts.

What is the pump model number?

What does the motor label say for volts and amps?

What are the volts and amps that you are measuring?

Is your meter set up correctly to measure the volts that are going to the pump?

What watt-meter do you have?

My mistake, it pulls a bit over 2400 watts. Strange, maybe it went down after I cleaned the filter?
IMG_1668.jpg
Hayward ST2251 Full Rated 1.5HP 3450RPM Single Speed
IMG_1669.jpg
IMG_1670.jpg
IMG_1671.jpg

How much flow is required for the waterfall?

If the flow rate is not high, you can probably just use the return from the main pump and eliminate the extra pump.

The waterfall feature doesn't seem to use much. I looked at the pipe at the beginning of the waterfall and it's pretty small. I'm surprised there's a 1.5HP pump running it. It's just one small little hose.
 

RamenLover

Silver Supporter
Sep 23, 2020
52
Chino Hills
Pentair IntelliCenter with IntelliChlor IC40 bundle and integrated power center, Intelliflo 011056 VSF pump

You probably don't run your waterfall enough to justify any energy savings on changing to a VS pump. I would run it until it faila and then when the WF pump needs replacement you an switch it to a VS pump.

Time to start researching! Thanks for the leads. Going to read up on them. How exciting.

Yep, don't run the waterfall at all. Maybe on rare occasion I will but the motor is so loud, it kind of takes away from the waterfall experience. :) Your plan is good for me.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
24,197
Maybe on rare occasion I will but the motor is so loud, it kind of takes away from the waterfall experience.
The water feature pump is not a correct pump for a waterfall. It is likely to be cavitating because it is not designed to work on a waterfall.

The meter that you show is really not a wattmeter; it measures volt-amps.

Volt-amps only equals real power watts when the power factor is 1.0, like a purely resistive load.

An induction pump motor will have a power factor less than 1.0. The run capacitor improves the power factor, but it rarely gets to 1.0.

For example, if the motor has a power factor of 0.92, the volt amps might be 2,424 VA but the real power in watts will be 2,230.

The volt amps should not be more than 2,254 VA at 230 volts based on the label amperage listed at 9.8 amps.

If you go with an Intelliflo pump, you can probably remove the extra pump and just use a three-way valve on the return to divert the return to the fountain.

The water is going back to the pool in any case. So, it does not matter if it goes back via the returns or the fountain.

If the fountain requires less than 60 gpm, I would remove the extra pump and go that way.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
24,197
My mistake, it pulls a bit over 2400 watts. Strange, maybe it went down after I cleaned the filter?
A clean filter would make the power usage go up because the flow increases.

Less resistance makes the power go down, but the increase in flow makes the power go up more than the reduced pressure lowers the power.
 

RamenLover

Silver Supporter
Sep 23, 2020
52
Chino Hills
That’s still waaaaaaaaay more that the 120-ish that it could be. :ROFLMAO: 20 times actually, which would be a 95% savings.
So a Variable pool pump would save me a few bucks? :D

The water feature pump is not a correct pump for a waterfall. It is likely to be cavitating because it is not designed to work on a waterfall.

The meter that you show is really not a wattmeter; it measures volt-amps.

Volt-amps only equals real power watts when the power factor is 1.0, like a purely resistive load.

An induction pump motor will have a power factor less than 1.0. The run capacitor improves the power factor, but it rarely gets to 1.0.

For example, if the motor has a power factor of 0.92, the volt amps might be 2,424 VA but the real power in watts will be 2,230.

The volt amps should not be more than 2,254 VA at 230 volts based on the label amperage listed at 9.8 amps.

If you go with an Intelliflo pump, you can probably remove the extra pump and just use a three-way valve on the return to divert the return to the fountain.

The water is going back to the pool in any case. So, it does not matter if it goes back via the returns or the fountain.

If the fountain requires less than 60 gpm, I would remove the extra pump and go that way.

You certainly now more than me about this. I use this meter Amprobe NAV51. I always used it assuming it correctly does the power factor conversion. At least that's how it was sold to me. I hope to God it does, you don't want to know how many things I've tested with that assumption. oh boy

I like the idea of a single pump running the entire setup. The fountain can't be moving that much water, so the thought of 2200 watts to run it sounds a little bit on the insane side to me. :D
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,983
NY
I like the idea of a single pump running the entire setup. The fountain can't be moving that much water, so the thought of 2200 watts to run it sounds a little bit on the insane side to me. :D
Very much so. And you will still have the option to run the features whenever you wish, just at a higher wattage than your new normal. For the once in a while ambiance you won’t mind the electricity cost. The overwhelming rest of the time there will be nice savings.

Who Knows ? Maybe once you realize your savings, you’ll turn the features on and enjoy them more often. More enjoyment and more savings is a 2 fer 1 win. Then if you aren’t going to be around for 2 weeks because life has you busy, you can switch back to energy sipping mode.
 
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RamenLover

Silver Supporter
Sep 23, 2020
52
Chino Hills
Very much so. And you will still have the option to run the features whenever you wish, just at a higher wattage than your new normal. For the once in a while ambiance you won’t mind the electricity cost. The overwhelming rest of the time there will be nice savings.

Who Knows ? Maybe once you realize your savings, you’ll turn the features on and enjoy them more often. More enjoyment and more savings is a 2 fer 1 win. Then if you aren’t going to be around for 2 weeks because life has you busy, you can switch back to energy sipping mode.
Give the noise level difference of a variable pump, I'd likely use the water feature often. What you say makes complete sense. Once I've selected everything, I just need to figure out how to plumb it. How hard could it be?! ;D
 
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