What pump are you using?

lindamarieDecember 9, 2011

We have a 30,000 gal gunite in ground pool with a small kiddie pool, in MS

Scott recommended a Pentair maxio pro 2 stage pump. Which I can't find in our area and on line is $700+

The pool supply store near me suggested a Hayward pump stating they last longer. I can get one on line at A1 Pool parts for @291 a 1.5 HP and a Pentair Super Flo 1.5 at $337.45

I would appreciate opinions and experience please.

Our last pump runs hot and stops, it is about 3 yrs old

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As a pool contractor I can say with confidence that the person who told you that Hayward will last longer is completely full of it. Dont get me wrong Hayward makes a decent product but not even the nice folks at Hayward would make that claim. Hayward represents the lower end, cost and quality, for pool equipment - which IS what most pool owners want. Cheap and gets the job done.

That being said the Pentair pump is better. Period. Higher quality components, better design, more longevity but a higher price tag.

The only solid advice for pump selection these days is to purchase a variable speed pump. If you can crunch the numbers of cost to run a variable speed pump - either Hayward Ecostar or Pentair VS will the the cheapest way to go in the long run. Also better for the planet =)

Be careful though as both manufacturers require a 2" suction with a specific installation at the suction side of the pump. You must have 5x the pipe diameter in a straight run in front of the pump with no obstructions (valves, fittings) or risk cavitating the pump and likely burning it out early. Dont trust your pool guy to know this.

In bad cases where these pumps are installed on older plumbing systems with insufficient pipe diameter the pumps will not come out of error mode as they are starved for water.

I actually wrote a pool pump comparison article that looks at these two brands, Hayward vs Pentair already that you might be interested in. It goes into a little more detail than I can cover here including pump noise, bearing failure etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pool pump reviews

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 12:50PM
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@coastal: Please click on my "My Page" link and email me. I'd like to discuss some things in your review off line from the forum.



    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 11:48AM
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I read your article and have a few comments:

First, comparing a SuperPump with a WhisperFlo is kind of like comparing apples and oranges. The SuperPump is a low end Hayward product and Pentair specifically designed the SuperFlo to compete with it on both price and performance. Comparing those two pumps would be a much fairer and comparing the WhisperFlo to the Northstar or Tristar would be a fairer as well.

Second, I don't agree completely with this statement:

"The rating on a Hayward pump includes an X factor rating. Essentially the Hayward can maintain 3/4 horsepower only in short periods, similar to an overdrive or turbo setting, where the Pentair can maintain 3/4 horsepower indefinitely and can produce more during short periods of heavy draw."

If by "X factor" you actually referring to service factor, a pump motor actually is designed to work for long periods of time at the service factor rating. In fact, the right side of the head curve is where many pumps operate very close to the service factor HP. For other applications, a motor may not be able to operate at the service factor loading but for pool pumps, this is not a problem. Joe Evens, from Pentair has a very good article on this very topic: http://www.pumped101.com/motorstartup.pdf, and this one on page 72: http://www.pumped101.com/puzcomplete.pdf

As to who builds a better pump, it really depends on what you consider as being better. Based upon the postings on this and several other sites, there seem to be just as many Pentair pump issues as Hayward so I question if Pentair is really more reliable although your experience may be different. However, usually it is the motor which will fail first in a pump and since both pump manufactures tend to use the same motor manufacture, primarily A.O. Smith/Century motors, the reliability of both should be about the same. About the only thing that can fail in the wet end is the impeller connection to the motor shaft or the housing/lid could crack.

In terms of performance, you can download the California Energy Commission's test a see for yourself but the performance between Pentair and Hayward pumps are fairly similar for similar SFHP (THP) ratings so both are comparable in this respect although there a specific examples where Hayward has a slightly better efficiency. However, the EcoStar has about a 35% better efficiency than the Intelliflo for Curve-C for the CEC measurements at 1000 RPM which could explain why Pentair is going after Hayward with a law suit.

And finally, for your post above:

"The only solid advice for pump selection these days is to purchase a variable speed pump. If you can crunch the numbers of cost to run a variable speed pump - either Hayward Ecostar or Pentair VS will the the cheapest way to go in the long run."

I have done the economic analysis for many people in this regard and it is not always a slam dunk for a VS. It depends on the total cost of implementing a VS, including controllers, and the cost of electricity. Many times a two speed will have a much lower lifetime cost than a VS.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 12:46PM
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Like mas985, I'm also a pool owner with no affiliation to the pool industry.

For the reasons he mentions above, I'm a big fan of 2 speeds.

The variable speed options from Pentair, Hayward and Jandy continue to be too expensive for the marginal efficiency gains over 2 speed. There is also no comparison in replacement costs once components start failing. The variable speed parts are expensive...especially the drive which can cost as much as $800-1000 to replace.

I have 4 Jandy Stealth pumps in my backyard (2 of them are 2 speeds). They have been in service year-round here in Louisiana for 6 swim seasons now and have had no problems with any of them.

Hope this helps.

Geaux Tigers!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 12:31AM
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Scott gave you three options not just the one. Sounds like you are looking to due this on the cheap so the best route might be to just get a new motor for your pump. (one of Scott's options)

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 8:51AM
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intelliflo VF love it

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 9:40PM
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I have messaged you with my personal email address and phone number as per your request.

Back to the pump reviews-
I have compared whisperflo and superpump specifically to demonstrate the polar ends of the mainstream pump market. With only $80 difference between these pumps any person considering one could likely consider the other. I actually intend to add more pumps to the review but as usual I am far too busy.

As for the service factor (X factor) pump ratings I stand behind my statement in that not every one of my customers wants to hear about service factor, so I just explain that a 1hp Hayward is about equal to a 3/4 Pentair or Jandy pump. While not scientifically 100% accruate I feel this helps to level the playing field a little when trying to explain which pump to buy.

@mas985 - You say that the motor is usually the first this to go on pumps. This is generally not true (IMO). The first this to go will be the main seal on the pump which will fail from overheating, running dry, failure to prime properly at statup and even as little as touching the wrong part on the seal during manufacture. Once this goes there will develop a small drip from the pump that most people do not see / ignore. This dripping water can be pulled through the air intake for the pump and the chlorine is very unforgiving to steel components. This creates the bearing failure that will kill a pump motor.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 6:11PM
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"I just explain that a 1hp Hayward is about equal to a 3/4 Pentair or Jandy pump"

This is not true for all pump lines. To prove my point , here are a few examples. The following are for plumbing Curve-A in the CEC testing so all pumps are tested on exactly the same plumbing:

Pentair Superflo 1 HP Up Rated: 56 GPM
Pentair Superflo 3/4 HP Up Rated: 47 GPM
Hayward Superpump 1 HP Up Rated: 51 GPM
Hayward SuperII 1 HP Up Rated: 56 GPM
The Superpump 1 HP is about 1/2 way between a Superflo 1 and 3/4 HP but the SuperII is about the same as the Superflo 1 HP.

Pentair Whisperflo 1 HP Full Rated: 63 GPM
Pentair Whisperflo 3/4 HP Full Rated: 61 GPM
Hayward Northstar 1 HP Full Rated: 64 GPM
Hayward Tristar 1 HP Full Rated: 65 GPM
In this case both the Northstar and Tristar pumps deliver more flow than the same rated Whisperflo.

So it really depends on what you are comparing.

Also, if was deciding between a 1 HP up rated Superpump and a 1 HP full rated Whisperflo, I would choose the Superpump because it has an energy efficiency that is 20% better than the Whisperflo. This is because the Whisperflo is a larger pump (1.65 THP vs 1 THP) and so consumes more energy per gpm of flow rate.

Most pump lines come in both up rated and full rated version so you need to be careful when you compare pump HP ratings.

BTW, I agree that the seals do fail more often than the motor. But what I was getting at was that the two items that fail the most, seals and motors, the pump manufactures don't actually make which is why I find it hard to believe that either manufacture would be better in that respect. Pump manufactures design the wet end but even manufacturing for that is out sourced. There will be differences in performance and servicing due to design, but reliability should not be all that different between manufactures. The parts are basically the same.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 7:43PM
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Looks like I lost my username in the switch to Houzz. I am (was) coastal_concepts. In the three plus years since I originally replied to this comment the world of swimming pool pumps has changed completely. With variable speed pump technology becoming more mainstream, and with the general shift of public focus from horsepower to energy savings, VS pumps are more popular than ever. As the market grows so does the funding for R&D and product development, and the early generation VS pumps have been installed and running for more and more years allowing a proper review of the potential longevity. Couple this with a general downwards slope in the up front $$ you need to spend to get into the VS pump market and you have yourself a very hot industry...which is what we have as of 2015 when I am writing this.

To address the nay-sayers, variable speed pumps are expensive to purchase and repair should they break. Other than this there is almost no downside at all. A properly sized VS pump will save anywhere from 50%-90% of your electrical costs depending on how often you run your equipment / size of the pool. This represents anywhere from $50 to $90 per month savings for most pool owners. Average cost for VS pumps is slightly below $1000 so the simple math says that after 20 months of operation (2 full years or 4 summer seasons) the pump will have paid for itself. Completely. Most pump manufacturers state an expected life of 7 years so potentially you can actually make money in the long run with a VS pump for your pool.

Yes pumps fail and if your VS pump fails out of warranty then the repair costs will blow this cost savings example out of the water, no pun intended. You can avoid the most common causes for failure by learning how to properly size your pump (and filter) to your pool. PROTIP- do not assume your pool guy actually did these calculations when the pool was installed as most likely they did not. Even today, in 2015, most pool technicians would struggle to explain how to size pool equipment. The best that you can do as a pool owner is educate yourself, and this will help you to informed decisions about your pool and the people that work on it. If you want to learn more about calculating pool size, pump size, filter size, flow and turnover requirements as well as a brand new section on my website devoted to professional reviews of variable speed pumps follow the link - Variable Speed Pump Reviews by Swimming Pool Steve

    Bookmark   February 18, 2015 at 11:58AM
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