Will a 2 or VS motor save me $?

LostinCTMay 9, 2011

The bearings are shot on my my 3 hp AO Smith B131 motor for the second time in 15 years. I'm wondering if I should look for something more "efficient." I've got a 36,00 gallon gunnite pool, 2" inner diameter throughout, with 2 zone Jandy floor cleaning system, spa, Triton TR100 sand filter, Aquapur salt, Sta-Rite SR400HD heater, Aqualink RS. The pump is Hayward 3025AQ. I have historically run the floor cleaning system in lieu of the surface returns primarily because it does an excellent job of distributing the heat. I also found that after I switched salt that I had to run the system more than when I used bromine to avoid algae -- at least 12 hours a day. Question is, will a two, multi or VS/VF motor work for me, or do I have to run at such high pressure all the time that there's little savings to be had (As I understand it, a VS motor uses more energy flat out than a single speed). Also, can I keep the pump or would it need to be replaced, too.Thanks!

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I would say you should look. 2" plumbing and a 3HP single speed pump equals a lot of wasted energy.

A 2 HP 2-Speed motor, 2 speed relay, and valve actuator can result in a reasonable cost upgrade if there is room in your RS.

On High, the 2 HP will push nearly the same volume because of the plumbing. The relay can switch between high and low and the valve actuator can switch between floors and normal returns.

On low, your regular filtering and sanitation needs will be met. On High, your skimmers will work better and the floors can come on.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 6:09AM
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Thanks. I suspected the 3hp might be more than the plumbing or filter could handle. The valve actuator currently switches between the 2 floor cleaning zones with just a manual valve to switch completely to the surface returns. Since the surface returns are part of the floor rotation, could I run the floor (i.e., entire) system on low part of the time, high other, or should I add another actuator?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 8:15AM
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lostinct...Thanks for the additional information and sorry for the late reply...been traveling hard the last couple of days.

You're setup is very similar to ours.

We have a 34K gallon pool with both surface returns and floor cleaning returns (Paramount PV3 to be exact). Our control system is a Jandy PDA-P8.

Our circulation pump is a Jandy 2HP 2 speed. At low speed, the surface returns are shut off to direct all flow to the floor heads. At high speed, the surface returns are enabled providing both surface cleaning (via skimmer) and high-speed floor cleaning.

Instead of valve actuators to control the surface return circuit, I'm using a $30 24V 2" irrigation solenoid. I like the solenoids better for on/off control because they are more reliable and faster responding...also significantly cheaper in cost than valve actuators.

The only trick to making the solenoid valves work reliably is to understand how the JVA sockets on the Aqualink control board work. When a circuit/relay is energized, the JVA socket is actually de-energized...meaning when the circuit is off, the JVA socket is energized. I failed the first solenoid after about a week because it was actually on while the pump was off causing a situation where there was no flow and overheating of the solenoid ($8 replacement part).

Now, when the pump is off, I program the low speed relay to turn on which de-energizes the JVA socket/solenoid.

Hope this makes sense.

If you're looking to make a significant upgrade in energy efficiency, I would do as poolguynj suggests and get the 2 speed motor along with 2 speed relay.

The surface returns can be controlled by either a traditional valve actuator or an irrigation solenoid as I'm using...just make sure to program the Aqualink low speed circuit to turn on when the pump is off if you decide to use an irrigation solenoid!

You could try the low speed without a valve actuator to see if the floor heads still cycle. You may have enough low speed flow to adequately cycle the heads. If cycling does not happen, the actuator or solenoid can be added.

Also, to make the 2 speed motor work in your system, you will need an open/available circuit on the Aqualink for the low speed...just thought that should be mentioned in case you're already using all the available circuits on your control system.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 9:20AM
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