Friday, March 1, 2019

I Finally Gave Up On My Hayward Variable Speed Pool Pump.

Several times over the years I've mentioned my Hayward Variable Speed Pump. When I got it, it was a dream come true. Here was something that could filter my pool and save me money doing it. I could control the speed and pretty much design my pool filtering around the power company's lowest rate requirements.
But, right off the bat, it failed. Hayward fixed it and all was well with the world. Then, it failed again. Hayward fixed it again. Then, you guessed it, it failed again. This time Hayward told me it was out of warranty and would cost me $550 to get the new 'drive' unit. I bought one, but from a supplier on ebay because I didn't want to pay the required installation fee they wanted to hook up the wires that replacement would require. I'm perfectly fine with hooking up wires.

It failed again a few days ago. At that particular time it was actually snowing here in the Arizona desert. Surprisingly, we had about four inches of snow on the ground that morning. No, it wasn't frozen, I checked and the darn thing failed before the temperature dropped below freezing. Remember, I record the power usage of the house and monitor the status of the pool as well. The way I discovered the pump had failed was noticing a thin layer of ice on the pool. That has never happened because the no freeze controls on the pool keep the water moving.



Looking at it, there was an error message, "Motor Stalled". I actually believed that message and took the pump loose from the plumbing (yes, in the snow) and turned the impeller. The motor was not frozen. It did cog a bit from the magnets, but it turned freely. Next, I pulled the wiring loose and took it to the patio table (out of the snow) and pulled it further apart. There was nothing mechanically wrong. Fine, look on the internet.

There was story after story about this pump. "Drive Error," and "Motor Stalled" were the two that most often occurred. I asked around, and a friend recommended a place that specialized in pool pumps. I called them. and they were very nice to me, consoling me on the problems with that pump, but didn't offer much in the way of suggestions other than replacing the electronics for $650 plus a small labor charge.

Gag!

I asked about just replacing the dog gone thing. For a little over $500 I could get a 2.6 HP two speed pump motor installed on the existing impeller housing. Really? You can do that? Yes. I'll be down tomorrow morning. Here's the pieces sitting on the garage floor waiting for me to do something else to it:



I loaded up the Hayward VSP pieces into the Jeep and took it in. True to their word, they fitted the motor to the impeller housing and replaced all the gaskets and worn parts as well. These folk actually did it while I waited, and I got to talk to several people that came in for various problems and parts. 

I noticed on their outgoing shelf waiting for pickup were three pumps just like mine. All of them waiting for pickup after having some similar problem. Of course the "doctor" analogy applies. I'm at a doctor's office so everyone I see is sick, but it certainly made me feel better because, "Misery loves Company."

Here's what it looks like with the old impeller housing and new motor.



I'm sure someone wants to know what the motor is, so here's a picture of the label on the side of the motor. Thinking about it, I need to put clear packing tape over that so I'll be able to read it in a year or two.






























And, here are the pieces that should go in the trash, but I want to play with that motor some. I suspect I may be able to used a three phase converter from some ebay supplier and turn this into a variable speed motor for my drill press. A three horsepower variable speed drill press !  Sweet.




So, the only piece that is going in the trash (after I see if there's anything inside worth keeping) is the part with the heat sink on it.

I brought the new assembly home and have it sort of installed. I didn't have to change the plumbing at all since it was the same impeller housing. I do have to add a wire for low speed, but (surprise) I want to change some things.

I want to add multicolor wiring for the various line power items. I had a heck of a time chasing down which wires went where and it was a real pain walking back and forth from the power panel each time I wanted to shut off the power to the pump. So, since the controller housing has facilities for breakers, I'll add breakers right where I can get to them and multicolor wiring so I can tell which things hook to what. That should make it much easier to work on next time.

But, since the motor technology is over a hundred years old, all I'll need is bearings, seals and an occasional start capacitor. If the motor wears out entirely, there will be plenty of choices on what I can stick in its place.

Heck, for that matter the Goldline controller I use is not made anymore and I probably can't get parts for it when it fails, so next time it fails, I'll gut it, keeping the power supply, power relays and tossing everything else. That complex, ever failing, mess will be replaced with a simple XBee, Arduino, and the power relays that the controller already has.

Yes, the VSP was a cool piece of technology, and did save me money on power usage. However it simply didn't save me as much as I spent on it to keep it working. Where's the fun in that?

And, yes, that means all the research I did on the protocol and operation of the motor won't ever be used by me. Others have leveraged that work and I know there are some control systems for this motor out there based in part on that work, plus it was fun to work on.

But what about saving energy? I have friends that are energy conscious, and they don't understand my motives. I'm not energy conscious as much as I'm MONEY conscious. The latest rate increase my power company put into place played right into my hands. Without thinking about it, they gave me the periods of greatest need at the lowest rate. I need to run the motor while the sun is at its peak, around noon or so, so the solar heater can have maximum impact. That's also the time for sitting by the pool and cooling off from the intense summer sun. The (idiotic) power company in their infinite greed made the peak sun period part of the "off-peak" period so they could screw over the solar installations since that is also peak solar production hours and they get to credit the solar folk less.

That played right into my miserly little hands. I can run the pump at any speed I want to from 8 PM until 3PM the next day. Sure, that falls right across dinner hours, but I can easily work around that little problem.

And while we're at it, take that Hayward. You charged me a small fortune for the pump, and due to your own bad engineering, had to fix it twice (which must have eaten up the profit). I had to fix it once, but learned my lesson, and used part of your mess and created my own custom pump arrangement.

Soon, I'll be looking for a three phase converter to try on that fancy motor.

6 comments:

  1. I can understand why you gave up on it. I haven't had an issues with mine but I simply set the timers to run it. I'll eventually use the wired connection to vary the speeds with a bit more control but I'm not going to mess with trying to vary it by program. As for the power company, we went solar last May. The utility company does everything they can to hide taxes and fees where you can't find them, insuring that you still have a decent bill every month. Case in point, if I were to shut off the main breaker for a month, I'd still have a bill of $11.27. $10.17 is their "customer charge" and the rest is taxes. It's taken me almost 6 months, but I finally annoyed enough people at the utility that they just gave me the HUGE spreadsheet that computes the bills. Talk about an eye opener. My electric cost last month was a little over $3, my electric bill was over $15.... Insane....

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    Replies
    1. I can download the spreadsheet from my power company as well. You're totally right, they have worked out the proper methods of hiding what they actually get from us.

      I love how they say the fees were approved by the government. Yes, after they held hearing for a year and drove everyone that objected away because they couldn't compete with the lawyers hired by customer fees.

      Incredible.

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  2. Variable speed motors are simply evil. Ask any ham radio operator who is active on the HF frequencies and has a variable speed motor in their furnace.

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  3. تقدم شركتنا افض الخدمات لعملائنا في مجال خدمات النظافه بكل انواعها في الممكله العربيه السعوديه والتي تساعد علي التخلص من الاوساخ والحشرات وتقدم شركتنا افضل العروض في مجال الخدمات المنزليه بحيث ان نكسب رضا عملائنا بجانب الخصومات التي توفرها الشركه والي جانب ايضا العماله المتميزه ذوي الخبره في المجال بجانب احدث المعدات الموجوده لدينا وسرعه الاستجابه الي عملائنا ونتشرف باتصالكم بنا في اي وقت
    شركة الصفرات لنقل الاثاث بالرياض
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    شركة الصفرات للتنظيف بالرياض
    شركة الصفرات لمكافحة الحشرات بالرياض
    شركة الصفرات لتنظيف الخزانات بالرياض
    شركة المثالية لنقل العفش بالدمام
    شركة المثالية لمكافحة الحشرات بالدمام
    شركة المثالية للتنظيف بالدمام
    علي عملائنا فقط الاتصال بالارقام الموجوده داخل الموقع لتصلكم شركتنا في اسرع وقت مع تقديم افضل خدمات التنظيف مع افضل الخصومات

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  4. تقدم شركتنا لعملائنا في مدينه القطيف افضل خدمات التنظيف مع اقوي العروض التي تميزنا عن باقي الشركات الاخري في مجال التنظيف والخدمات المنزليه مع وجود عماله متميزه لدينا ذوي خبره في مجالات النظافه ووجود احدث وافضل المعدات التي تساعد علي تقديم الخدمات بشكل متميز وبطرق افضل واسهل تساعد علي كسب رضا العملاء ووجود شاحنات لنقل العفش مع تغليف الاثاث بطريقه ممتازه تمنع تجريحه وتحافظ علي بقاء كما هو فقط عليكم الاتصال بشركتنا للوصول اليكم في موقعكم وتقديم افضل العروض

    شركة تنظيف بالقطيف
    شركة تنظيف منازل بالقطيف
    شركة تنظيف كنب بالقطيف
    شركة نقل اثاث بالقطيف
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالقطيف
    شركة تسليك مجاري بالقطيف
    ونذكر عملائنا ان لدينا عروض خاصه تميزنا عن الشركات الاخري وخصومات هائله تصل الي 30% فقط عليكم بالاتصال

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  5. شركه الصفرات المصنفه رقم واحد علي مستوي الخدمات المنزليه من حيث التنظيف وجوده الخدمه التي تقدمها الي عملائها بجانب الخصومات الهائله التي تمنحها بنسبه كبيره الي جميع عملائنا الموجودين داخل المملكه العربيه السعوديه حيث نتمتع بوجود نخبه من العماله المتميزه ذوي الخبره في مجال التنظيف وجميع الخدمات المنزليه ووجود احدث واجود المعدات المستخدمه في جميع المجالات التي تخص مجال الخدمات بشكل عام ووجود خصومات كبيره عليكم فقط الاتصال بشركتنا
    شركة مكافحة الحمام بالرياض
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    شركة الصفرات لتسليك المجاري بالرياض
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    ونذكر عملائنا باننا متاحين للعمل في اي وقت خلال 24 ساعه يوميا ووجود خصومات تصل الي 40% وضمان مستوي الخدمه

    ReplyDelete