89 of 91 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2013
I bought this pump over a year ago to replace my 2HP single speed pump for my 34,000 gal. inground pool.
Pump Control & Programming
After first experimenting with using this pump with my existng pool system pump controller I determined that my existing system really did not offer the level of control I wanted. I switched to using the built in pump timer and controller.
The built in control is easy to use and offers the ability to program 8 different time schedules, each operating at a different speed. I use all 8 to operate my pump for about 18 hours a day.
The EcoStar provides a built in watt meter. Although I do not know if it really provides accurate watt measures it does allow you to understand how significantly you will effect power use as you turn up the pump RPM.
Previously I was operating my pool pump between 4-8 hours a day depending on the time of year and pool use. According to my TED 5000 power meter the old pump used about 2000 watts of electricity. At an average of 6 hrs per day, 30 days a month (360kwh) and a cost of $.30/kwh for peek power rates the old pump cost me $100/month to operate. After switching to the EcoStar and settling on a timer+speed schedule that works well I have dropped my power use to less than 100kwh/month or roughly $25/month. This gives me a savings of $75/month so in just over a year I have paid for the pump cost in electricity savings.
Since I now run my pump much longer, going from ~6 hours to 18 hours, the water is almost always circulating and very clean. I found that by varying the pump speed throughout the day with most of the time spent running 800-1200 RPM, with a couple of brief intervals between 1400-1700 the water is extremely clear. It also seems that it is easy to keep the water quality balanced.
At the highest speed the EcoStar seems slightly quieter than my old pump. However I never operate it at the highest speed. In fact I programmed the pump to never exceed 2400 RPM. My pump is installed in a small pool house and the vast majority of the time the pump runs at a low enough speed that it is inaudible from the pool area.
I am extremely happy with my purchase and would buy this product again.
100 of 105 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2011
I have had this pump for about 1 month now. I have 2 homes, both with pools and have a lot of experience with pool pumps. Our 14 year old pump was going out so we had to decide on a replacement. After doing much research on 2-speed vs variable speed, the price with the rebate was negligible so we went with the variable. We looked at the Pentair and the Hayward. The main difference being that the Hayward EcoStar has a removable control panel which we could mount anywhere. We had our pool company install the Hayward (which only took an hour) he explained the programing and away we went. A big factor in chosing a variable vs 2 speed or single speed, was noise. Let me tell you, this pump runs so quiet its hard to tell that it is running. It primes for 3 minutes each time you turn it off and on which is a bit louder, but other than that, its sooooo quiet. Highly recommend this pump. Hayward also gives a 3-year warranty
64 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2013
I have had my EcoStar for about 3 months. I replaced a 2 year old WhisperFlo. The only time the whisperflo "whispered" was for the first 2 months. It gradually got louder and louder until I started getting questions from neighbors. Anyway, sound is a big issue to us since the pool equipment is right behind our master bedroom wall (brilliant placement). More on sound in a minute. I have found that variable speed pumps are an example of a products you need to own for a while before you truly "get it". I think VS pumps are particularly good for this climate (Texas) and other mild winter climates in the south and elsewhere. We get quite a few nights in the winter where the temp hovers right at or above freezing for several hours. What really bugged me with previous one speed pumps is that when the freeze guard kicked in I was pulling 2500+ watts. This is complete overkill and a massive waste of energy over time. I don't want to know how much money I flushed with this nonsense! With the EcoStar, I have the freeze guard set at 1500 RPM (about 40% of full speed) which uses about 750 watts (it tells you on the screen) In our climate, it makes no sense to run the booster for typical freeze guard purposes unless the temp gets down below 28F or so for an extended period. I am not a pool expert and one must consider the placement your equip. (is it exposed to wind?). Obviously, when is gets really cold, I manually set the pump to run at a higher speed (about 60%) and turn on the booster pump to run all night. During the day in the winter I have my pump set for 1175 RPM for 8 hours a day which uses 190 watts (almost totally silent unless you are standing next to the pump). For 2 hours a day (when the booster pump is running) I have the pump run at just enough of a speed to prevent cavitation in the booster, about 60%. You learn quickly that the energy usage to gal per minute relationship with all pumps is a steep curve as you go up - meaning that pool pumps running at 50% rpm are using a lot less than 50% of the electricity.
I believe that all pool owners including me got sucked into the "V8 mentality" with pumps. As it turns out, the big overpowered pumps waste energy and money, stress equipment like filters, plumbing connections, and probably heaters
Here are my pros and cons - most specific to the EcoStar:
-Save money on electric bills, save energy
-EcoStar is very quiet period, but almost silent at low speeds, low vibration
-Control panel is easy to read and program. Lights up at night
-Control panel can be rotated or removed and mounted on a wall with basic CAT 6 cable - if you don't have an auto controller system, this is a godsend
-Built-in freeze guard works well. Doesn't turn itself off and on (i have heard this is an issue with some VS pumps) Keep in mind it will not turn on you booster pump (I do not have an automatic controller system)
-Gradual wind up of motor puts less sudden stress on equipment, safer
-Im not crazy about the auto-prime feature. When the pump first turns on it goes through a 3 minute priming function. It's a little long.
-Owner's Manual could be better.
64 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2015
I purchased this pump June of 2012. I does save quite a bit on the electric bill. This last weekend March 1 2015, it failed with a drive error "pump has stalled" message. today I spent a lot of time talking to pool companies. turns out this is an extremely unreliable pool. I am told you are lucky to get 3 years so be sure to figure that into your savings. As far as repairing my pump, I was told that the problem was most likely what Hayward refers to as the Drive - this is the motor drive electronics. It probably costs Hayward under $60 to manufacture yet the replacement cost is near $800 plus labor. When I went to my local Pinch a Penny, they concurred that it was probably the "Drive" based on the fact that I was the 3 person with this same problem over the last 30 days ant the other two were both fixed with new "Drive electronics"
I am an Engineering Manager with both computer hardware and mechanical engineering falling under my area of responsibility. When I started to disassemble the Hayward unit I was appalled the number of poor engineering decisions which ultimately lead to premature failure.
Clearly Hayward is more interested in making money than making quality products. It does not cost that much more to engineer product properly. Most engineers want to build the best possible product but are typically directed to by upper management to take short cuts, use less expensive materials and reduce part counts to save money. Clearly this is why Hayward and many other companies like Hayward only have a 1 year warranty. The products just are not designed to last, or be repaired.
46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2012
The pump installed with no issues. However, you will need a data cable if you want the controller mounted away from the pump. This will help prevent you from having to cross over the pump when starting and stopping. The pump has a delayed start so you can move clear of the pump/filter when it starts. You shouldn't be too close to a filter when the pump starts. You should have a power cut-off switch mounted at least 5 feet away in any case (this is a relatively new requirement that had to be implemented for this installation).
The pump controller is highly intelligent and will auto-prime and throttle itself according to various load conditions. There is a button to allow you to clean the pool at higher suction. The pump will automatically resume normal speed if you forget to turn it off. It also defaults to the normal slow speed when you turn it back on after cleaning the basket anyway.
If you are concerned about the significantly higher cost of the pump, there is more to consider than just the savings on the electric bill. The pump runs almost 24 hours a day, though at substantially less power than a single speed pump. Therefore, the water surface is skimmed and the water is circulated almost constantly. The amount of chemicals required is significantly reduced.
After an entire season of use and despite the hottest summer on record, the pool has easily been the cleanest it has been in over 25 years.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2014
Worst Customer Service I Have Ever Had The Displeasure Of Experiencing! I will NEVER buy a Hayward product again! Bought a EcoStar pool pump for over $1,400 dollars and it did not even last the year warranty! Contacted the company 5 times in 4 days and was put on hold each time for over 45 minutes before I could even talk to someone! After being told I would have to go through one of there dealers in my area they could not get one of there so called dealers to even work with them. Every dealer listed in my area (5 in total) told me on the phone they will not do anything for this company! After 3 weeks of frustration with this company they finally sent out the parts they said I needed and the pump still does not work. I ended up just buying a new pool pump of a different brand. I will never make the mistake of dealing with this company ever again!
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2013
This pump came with the pool install, we opted for the varible speed pump, trying to be more energy efficent. It worked great for about 14 months, just long enough to get thru the warranty period! Now I am looking at $1000 to replace the pump, so much for the energy savings! I would NOT recomend this pump to anyone.
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2013
Do not buy this. The bearings went out after a few months. I called two of the Hayward dealers and had to pay service fees to get them to come out and they refused to repair it since I bought it on the internet.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2014
I got mine from a local distributor. Installed fine. Had early intermittant issues with priming - maintaining prime speed. After 6 months it would not prime at all, Hayward service replaced entire pump under warranty. Ran fine after that, no issues, variable speed energy savings are very tangible. Now at 2 years 8 months motor bearing and shaft seal failed, apparently allowing water into the motor. Tech also shows me digital interface is not working - button to pause or turn off pump does not work at all, (have to cut power) and extremely difficult to get into any menus. Pump and seal kit repair $815 quote. I highly recommend looking elsewhere. I found all the extra features of multiple speeds for multiple given times and even the internal clock regulating startup were completely unnecessary if you have a mechanical timer. Ideally all I need is the pump to prime and run at higher speed for 4 hours and low speed for about 6, which worked well on my 30,000 Gal pool. I put in a lower model Hayward Max Flo VS (from Amazon) with mechanical timer on different much smaller pool and it works just as well as this one - much simpler interface- fast at first, slow rest of day, same savings, but it is only 6 mos old, hopefully I'll get better reliability. Probably will replace the 3400 with a Pentair.
EDIT: Ended up replacing with new same model hayward off amazon, could not beat price and 1 day delivery, local wholesale pool supply house was $123 higher, equiv Pentair about $225 higher, Retail outlets add another 30%. My original unit was a problem from day1, and right off the bat the replacement unit seems much smoother running, had no issues priming, and seems a bit quieter. I also checked with an independent pool pump repairman with 20 years experience and while he gave an edge to Pentair reliability he qualified it with the higher out of pocket cost of a Pentair, and stated in recent years on high-end consumer products like the Echostar they are now about even. I am hoping the first one I got was just new model problems since the new one is clearly a better unit out of the box. My other lesson learned - Like all computers and computer controlled devices, if you have strange intermittent problems out of the box don't mess around, get it replaced - not repaired. Due to repairman's experience and my much better experience with new replacement unit I'm bumping this to 2 stars, and may edit again depending on performance over time.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2014
I bought this pump last year based on research and loved it. This year, after running the pump for 4 months total, it would not start. My pool people do not deal with Hayward and told me it was a bad company - which I did not know until after I bought that pump. Pool people get on with tech, tech says it is a bad motor. Find a repair person and they are going to charge me $250 labor to fix it. Call Hayward and they tell me too bad too sad, get over it. But they promise if I have the same problem next year they will pay the labor. If it happens next year I will trash the pump and go with another brand. overall the customer service sucks and they pump is obviously a POS.