Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

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mixedup
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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby mixedup » Sat 20 Nov, 2010 06:06

I have heard that the Pentair Intelliflo would save electricity costs compared to my existing pool filter pump & pool solar heater pump. I heard it could actually handle the needs of the filter and the heating system.

Q1 - Can anyone confirm if one Intelliflo unit could be used to replace both pumps here, and if so how would this work?

I have noted below the filter & heater pumps I have. I have the existing controllers for each of them. So the filter pump has a controller with a timer (part of the chlorinator cell system used) that turns the filter pump on/off. The solar heating pump has a means of turning it's pump off/on when required via it's controller. So how would I use these existing separate controllers with a Intelliflo that replaced both existing pumps? Also if the pump was turned on for the filter, how do you ensure the water for the solar heating isn't pumped through at the same time? So all up I guess I'm asking if it is possible, what would the configuration be.

Q2 - Second question would be how much of power saving would it be? My existing two pumps when both working must be around the 2.2kW, so anyone know what the average power consumption would be for an Intelliflo?



My Existing System:

(a) Pool Pump
* Poolrite SQI-500 Quiteline
* Input Power 1300W
* Output: 930W / 1.25hp
* Min Suction Pipe Size (mm) 40-50
* URL: http://www.poolrite.com.au/products/19

(b) Heater Pump
* Waterco Aquastream 150E, Product Code 2431150
* Power, 1.15kW, 1.5hp
* Input Watts: 1100W
* URL: http://www.waterco.com.au/CMS/default.a ... page_id=43


thanks


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mas985
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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby mas985 » Sat 20 Nov, 2010 11:10

Assuming your panels are not installed too high (< 15m), the Intelliflo should not have problem with the panels. In fact, I am surprised that you have a solar pump anyway. The pump you have should have more than enough head for solar. I run my solar, 25' high, with a 1/2 HP pump.

To use the Intelliflo you will need to program the pump for a higher flow rate with solar than without solar. This is not only to keep the heat transfer efficiency up but also to keep the vacuum release valve closed that is usually installed near the top of the panels. Depending on the Intelliflo you are looking at, you might need a controller to switch between the speeds with and without solar or at least the interface unit.

As for energy savings, it really depends on the pump speeds chosen and run times which is then dependent on your specific setup, panel height, plumbing size, run lengths, etc. However, if I were to use the Intelliflo for my plumbing/solar setup, it would use about 859 watts with a flow rate of 51 GPM and a RPM of 2400. Without solar, you could run the pump at much lower flow rates and get below 150 watts of energy usage. But remember that the lower the flow rates, the longer the pump will need to be run in order to get the same turnover rates.
Mark
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18'x36' 20k gallon plaster/gunite pool, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge Filter, Solar Panels, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater
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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby dalehileman » Sat 20 Nov, 2010 14:35

Mix, clearly Mas above has a more comprehensive handle than I but I had entertained many of the same questions in switching over to Intelliflow since I am using a separate booster for my sweep

First though, upon firing up your new system you may discover that at lowest speed it doesn't appear to work at all, presumably owing to air at its input which I speculate is most likely where your pumping equipment is significantly higher in altitude than the level of your pool though a more expert participant like Mas may have better insight to its cause

In any case my excellent Engineer-Installer-Friend Ike immediately reprogrammed the system to first prime by running full speed for a few minutes before dropping to low, a move proving to offer a side benefit: At noon when my system comes on at the high speed, I may then if necessary flush the filter without any need for interrupting the program

But more pertinent to your OP, at low speed my vf can't meet the requirement of my Polaris booster while we are warned by our Friendly Local Bill's Pool and Spa that allowing it to suck air even momentarily can cause it to self destruct at a repair cost over $100

Although some participants might resolve this issue by reconnecting it at a different juncture of the system, say at the input of the fitter instead of its output, Ike instead simply programmed vf to run at half speed (2300 rpm) during the hour my sweep is also set to run; this too having an unexpected advantage: During the hour of faster surface flow the flotsam is better carried to the skimmer port

Mix I hope our experience might prove of some value in your quest but if not I am dalehileman@me.com

Completely OT, Mix, but if its not too late you might wish to orient the pool so your prevailing wind helps carry flotsam in the same direction

Also incidentally this vf consumes around 200 w at low speed. But I will Fwd a link of this thread to buddy Ike who can corroborate my speculation or correct any ambiguities whereupon I will report back, and good luck as the entire megillah is vastly complex if not somewhat unpredictable
mixedup
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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby mixedup » Sat 20 Nov, 2010 14:59

thanks mas/dalehileman (I'll number my points if this helps reference later)

(1) I'm still a bit confused about how physically the water would be cutoff from the solar system when it needs to? I'm assuming there is only water outlet for the pump so it would physically need to connected to both the filter system and the solar system - so when the pump goes to the solar off mode (to chew less power) how does the water to the solar get prevented from flowing?

(2) following on from the above, would I need a new controller? i.e. there's no way of just connecting the separate individual controllers that triggers the existing 2 pumps to the new single pump system? But then again it seems like you have to be able to program the Intelliflo to run at certain speeds when you want the solar to cut in/out? In particular the existing solar controller has the temperature detection functionality built into it, so you would still need this no doubt...

(3) also would it be possible to have 4 separate possible states here: pump off, solar only, filter only, solar & filter

(4) My pumps are about 1m above the top level of the water in the pool I guess. Not sure how this affects things. I note for my existing filter pump it typically seems to retain the water in the pump even when off, however if I clean out the leaves from the basket and turn it on it does take 30 sec or so for it to suck up the water into itself again

(5) Have a 2 storey house (re solar blanket on the roof) and the pump is about 2-3m below the bottom of the house - so I guess about 9m height for the solar pump to work - sounds like this might be OK then re the Intelliflo then being powerful enough?

(6) Any advice on what the process is to calculate how much power the unit would consume for me, in both solar off and solar on states? I'm guessing size of pool, head size (which I assume is size of pipes), heights etc seem to come into play.

thanks
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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby mas985 » Sat 20 Nov, 2010 15:56

(1) Normally a solar valve is used.

(2) Yes normally a solar controller is also used but if you are going with the Intelliflo you might as well get a full controller for both the pump and solar together. Pentair has a couple of different choices.

(3) Yes, with a full controller.

(4) One way to help with that is to use either a suction side check valve or a 2-way valve that will prevent the lines from draining when the pump basket is open.

(5) Yes, the Intelliflo could prime panels at twice that height.

(6) This is a pretty difficult task since there are a lot of variables. I have done it for my setup which is why I posted those values. Yours should not be that much different but again it depends on many different factors.

I have some pump modeling tools located on this site that might help but you need to know something about your plumbing. Generally, the CEC plumbing Curve-C is pretty close to decent plumbing (without solar) so I usually recommend using that for 2" plumbing. With solar, you can use Curve-A which is about twice the head loss of Curve-C and is a pretty good approximating of the effect of solar. Solar height only comes into play during the priming process but after prime, the height no longer adds to head loss since static head is only the net change in elevation. This will give you an idea of how the pump will perform under different operating conditions including turnover rates and energy costs.

If you know every fitting, pipe length and diameter in your plumbing you could go through the trouble of calculating head loss for each pump RPM value but you may find it doesn't get you that much closer than the method above.
Mark
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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby dalehileman » Sat 20 Nov, 2010 16:07

(3) also would it be possible to have 4 separate possible states here: pump off, solar only, filter only, solar & filter

Mas can better fill you in but the Intelliflow does have four speeds and is capable of separately timing a couple of additional devices. Maybe Ike will chime in too

(4) My pumps are about 1m above the top level of the water in the pool I guess. Not sure how this affects things.

I'm not entirely sure either but I suspect it increases the probability of sucking air as I mentioned. While that happenstance wouldn't damage the Intelliflow it might destroy a booster. So far I've been lucky in that respect but I don't know what would happen if this level should inadvertently drop below the bottom edge of the skimmer port. Eventualities such as that being unimagined in early pool technology, literally requiring a high-level Aerospace computer program manager to set up your system and to program the controller
mixedup
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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby mixedup » Sat 20 Nov, 2010 17:17

thanks again for the great info, can I clarify

(a) Re needing new controller then, what would be an example of different components I would need to buy for a new system, so it would be:
- Intelliflo pump
- controller - any example of brand/model? (which Pentair model for example)
- solar valve - any example of brand/mode? (to stop water to solar when off)
- valve for filter?? - same as above but to stop flow to filter?
- suction side check valve or a 2-way valve
- anything else?

(b) re needing a new controller - so does this mean it would do the temperature sensing for the water itself? so I could literally through the old solar controller away then?

(c) re a new controller - the existing filter controller I have is what actually comes with the clorinator cell I have (Zodiac LM 330) - so would new controller still need to connect to the Zodiac controller then?

(d) to really get a confirmed configuration perhaps I need to get a professional in? or if I read up could I do it myself do you think

(e) ordering the unit from the US went OK then overall? would you recommend this to someone else

thanks again
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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby mas985 » Sat 20 Nov, 2010 18:13

a) Controller - Easytouch or Intellitouch from pentair - You can read up on the features here. The Intellitouch is more advanced and has many more features than the Easytouch but it is also more expensive of course.

Valves - I would stick with either Jandy or Pentair valves. The filter should have a check valve as well so the solar doesn't drain backwards. But if you have a check valve on the suction side, then you won't really need a filter check valve but if you go with a 2-way on the suction, then you will need a filter check valve.

b) Yes, the cotnroller will measure water, air and solar temperatures. Some controllers will also support a SWG if you want that as well.

c) Normally, the SWG will have a flow sensor and automatically shut off when the flow stops so it shouldn't need to connect to the pump controller but it could.

d) Kind of up to you but if you take the time and learn about the equipment and features, the more likely you will be satisfied with the results. However, installation is another matter. Only you know if you are up to it. Also, if you plan to go it alone, I would recommend TFP as a very good source of information. There are a lot of pool professionals there that would be happy to help you with the layout and installation advice.

e) Not sure what you mean by this. You can certainly order it from the US although I think there are now distribution centers in other countries so you might search for some online dealers in AU. There are a few Aussies on TFP that might help you.
Mark
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18'x36' 20k gallon plaster/gunite pool, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge Filter, Solar Panels, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater
mixedup
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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby mixedup » Sat 20 Nov, 2010 18:21

thanks Mas - I'll read up on the info you've given - I'm assuming these valves will be controlled by the new controller, so they'll be opened/closed when required, but I'll read up on them to confirm
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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby mas985 » Sat 20 Nov, 2010 19:02

The valves require a valve actuator which will automatically open or close the valve based upon the controller settings.
Mark
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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby Guest » Sun 21 Nov, 2010 02:34

actually I wonder if may be actually almost as cost effective to get two separate Intelliflow pumps that use the existing solar & filter/chlorinator controllers, as opposed to trying to buy the new values/actuator/smart controller to allow the one Intelliflow to be used for both filter & solar heating?
dalehileman
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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby dalehileman » Sun 21 Nov, 2010 11:43

You think you're mixed-up? For days before and during my installation and for a week afterward while I stood on the sidelines observing the results did I exist in a state of utmost confusion and anxiety

Also, if you plan to go it alone, I would recommend TFP as a very good source of information.

Mix, it's probably Mas' very good advice in this day and age of vast complexity. Without the auspices of our good buddy Ike we would never have undertaken the switch to vf which proved far more involved than I ever would have guessed. However I'd suggest similarly eliciting the help of, say, a highly qualified hardware/software engineer perhaps from the Aerospace Industry to resolve forthcoming problems you could never have anticipated

And possibly also a second software genius such as my No. 1 Son Rhee Zalot

If I believed in its efficacy I'd pray for you're success


....actually I wonder if may be actually almost as cost effective to get two separate Intelliflow pumps.....

I hope User is wrong. As I had mentioned, the Intelliflow has control capabilities for auxiliary equipment independently timed. In my case with separate booster as I had mentioned no additional equipment was required though with solar etc, especially on a roof distant from the pool I'll concede your obstacles are far greater than mine were

My installation will have paid for itself in 1 to 4 years depending on contingencies like the cost of electricity but if yours turns out as complex as you imagine you might double that estimate

....while I do hope and plan to live past 88
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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby chem geek » Mon 22 Nov, 2010 02:21

The IntelliFlo is not an inexpensive pump so getting two would be overkill. It's not expensive to plumb in a valve and connect it to a controller, though the IntelliTouch is more expensive than the EasyTouch. I replaced two pumps I had with an IntelliFlow, but my second pump was a booster pump used for a Letro Legend pool cleaner on a dedicated line. I had already had a valve for the solar which was driven from the main pump. Now I have the IntelliFlow running with several different scenarios as follows where you can set the flow rates for each independently.

Normal filtration -- 26 GPM -- very low cost operating mode
Solar On -- 48 GPM -- higher cost due to higher flow and long runs -- 12 solar panels (4 GPM each)
Pool Cleaner -- 15 GPM -- The Pool Cleaner on a dedicated line run a couple of hours at night
Gas Heat -- 40 GPM -- for gas assist in spring and fall

Unfortunately, one can't run the gas heater and the solar at the same time (except in manual service mode) -- the IntelliTouch treats solar as a special program from the gas heater -- both are special in that they are controlled by temperature sensors.

I had no problems with my installation nor operation since getting the IntelliFlo in June, 2007. I've cut my total pool pump electricity costs in half and with the expensive marginal electricity rates in my area at 32 cents per kilowatt-hour, I'm at $750 per season whereas I used to be at $1500. Definitely worth it in my situation.
mixedup
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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby mixedup » Mon 22 Nov, 2010 02:35

thanks chem geek,

I'm be interested in understanding what are the different components you have then in your system? e.g. like a break down of what items you needed to make it all work (well even just for pool filter & solar). For example:
- Intelliflo pump
- controller - eg IntelliTouch
- valve(s) - i.e. which the controller would trigger to open/close when required
- suction side check valve or a 2-way valve
- etc

BY THE WAY - Re replacing my existing filter/chlorinator controller (which comes with the chlorinatorcell), I remember now it actually has a means to say how much chlorine should be produced. How would the IntelliTouch replace this functionality here for the chlorine cell?
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Pentair Intelliflo Pump - can it replace 2 existing pumps?

Postby chem geek » Mon 22 Nov, 2010 13:45

My pool is 16,000 gallons and is shown here and here. I have two floor drains connected together to a 1.5" pipe going to the pump. I have one skimmer connected to a separate 1.5" pipe going to the pump. Each has a manual 2-way valve so that they can be turned on/off independently (not usually needed to be done -- I shut both off with the pump off before cleaning the filter -- one can be on when the pump starts up if there is air in the lines to increase suction in one line for priming, but I haven't needed to do this since it was installed). I have 3 returns coming from a single 2" line from the pump that splits into 3 1.5" lines (one to each return). I have a separate dedicated 1.5" line from the pump for the pool cleaner that is switched by an automatic valve (more on valves later).

Most plumbing at the pad is 2" piping. The two separate suction lines tee together to a 2" pipe that goes into the suction side of the pump through a visible check valve (has a clear plastic window with a red indicator when there is flow). The input side of the IntelliFlo pump has a pump basket with a clear plastic window top for viewing. The output of the pump goes to my Jandy CL340 oversized 4-cart cartridge filter. The output of the filter goes to an axial spring check valve I'm likely to replace in the future with a swing check valve that should have far less resistance. The pipe then goes to an electrically selectable Jandy 3-way valve (1 input, selecting between 2 outputs) that with one of the outputs goes to the solar system (there's a manual 2-way valve as well just before going into the ground that may also be a check valve). Pipe comes back from the solar system and joins the main pipe in a tee (with another manual 2-way valve that may also be a check valve in the solar line combing back close to the tee). The pipe then goes to the gas heater and the output from the gas heater goes to another electrically selectable Jandy 3-way valve that can optionally go to the dedicated 1.5" line to the pool cleaner -- normally it goes to the 2" line to the returns.

Most of what I described was already there before the IntelliFlo. The main change was to add the Jandy 3-way valve to selectively go to the pool cleaner. Before the IntelliFlo, the line from the main pump was split with flow able to go to the booster pump for the cleaner which in practice was blocked unless the booster pump was on. Of course, in the new setup, the booster pump was removed. I had a wired control panel for the IntelliTouch added to be in the house which is really convenient.

There are some quirks with the IntelliTouch system which I workaround. The main one is that I run the pool cleaner at night after the sun is off the solar panels to ensure that the cleaner only gets 15 GPM. Otherwise, if the solar went on, the pool cleaner would get the solar rate of 48 GPM which is way too high. The solar and the gas heater are separate "automatic" programs in that they are temperature controlled and while each can have its own flow rate, for any of these special programs the highest flow rate wins. Also, one cannot have the gas and solar on at the same time, unfortunately, except in manual service mode. The IntelliTouch accepts temperature sensors for the water temp in the pipe near the pump and for the water temp at the solar. We just wired that existing solar temp sensor to the IntelliTouch replacing the previous solar controller.

I don't have a saltwater chlorine generator, but the IntelliTouch is able to monitor and control most such systems. It can also control lights, waterfalls and other features. You can read more about the IntelliTouch here.

Richard

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