Hayward Ecostar Review
The Hayward Ecostar pool pump is the flagship variable speed pump from Hayward. If you are looking for a pump that is very powerful but also has the ability to
reduce your electrical running costs then the Ecostar is one of the pumps you should be looking at. With a 2.7 horsepower motor this pump will meet and exceed the
flow requirements for all but the very largest of residential swimming pools - in fact the larger concern is whether your filter is able to handle the amount of flow
that you will be putting through it with this pump. An additional consideration is that the plumbing line size may be a flow restriction for this pump if you have 1.5"
** The Hayward EcoStar brand name and model number SP3400VSP was discontinued in 2017 and 2018. This pump has been rebranded as the Tristar 2.7 HP. All EcoStar models still available and being sold as new are covered by the normal Hayward warranty. The flow rates and energy efficiency for the newly named TriStar 2.7 (SP3206VSP) are identical to the discontinued EcoStar SP3400VSP pump.
What Is The Most Efficient Variable Speed Pump?
If you are shopping for a variable speed pool pump you already understand that using less electricity is going to lower your ongoing running costs of your pool pump.
More than just saving a few dollars, installing a variable speed pump like the Ecostar can improve the filtration of your pool while saving enough money to actually
pay for the entire purchase price of the pump in only a few years of daily use. At some point during your research you will probably wonder "which is the most
efficient pool pump" and the answer to that is the Hayward Ecostar.
Comparing Pentair, Hayward and Jandy products is almost exactly like comparing Ford, Chevrolet and Chrysler - everyone has strong opinions on the matter but the truth is that any of the three are good options. When it comes to comparing pool pumps it is important to understand that it is very likely that any of them will work well and provide you years of service. If you really want to get into the technical specifications to differentiate one from another then you can identify specific aspects of the product that might appeal to you. For example, the Pentair Intelliflo motor is larger than the Hayward Ecostar motor. If you have a hugely demanding pool system with a built in hot tub, waterfalls and a volume exceeding a 20x40 pool then perhaps the Pentair would perform better in the long term. This would be like looking at the payload of a big truck. The Pentair Intelliflo would be considered to be a more heavy duty product than the Ecostar in this regard.
When you look at the efficiency of variable speed pool pumps the Ecostar outperforms the Intelliflo. The larger, more durable and more capable motor of the Intelliflo is not as efficient as the smaller, leaner design of the Ecostar. What is interesting is that for a pool application the full potential of the Intelliflo can not be realized. Essentially it is overbuilt for the application which may pay dividends on longevity but the Ecostar appears to be optimally sized for pool and spa applications. At maximum RPM the Ecostar uses 15% less electricity while actually delivering slightly more flow than the Intelliflo. At lower speeds the margin is even higher with the Ecostar using 36% less power to move 93% the volume of flow of the Intelliflo. If you are buying a variable speed pool pump to save electricity costs as fast as possible then the Ecostar is the most efficient pump on the market.
Hayward Ecostar Flow Rates
In order to properly size a pool pump for your pool you need to know your pool volume. A pool pump should be able to pump your entire pool volume 3 times in a 24 hour
period. While you might not always have a turnover rate so high, a turnover rate of 3 would represent the high end of what you would ever need for a residential pool.
It is very common for most pool owners to turn the water over only one to two times per day - which is enough to keep most pools clean and clear.
Average Pool Volumes:
12 x 24 = 8000 - 12,000 gallons
16 x 32 = 16,000 - 18,000 gallons
20 x 40 = 26,000 - 30,000 gallons
The Hayward Ecostar has a maximum flow rate of around 230,000 gallons in a 24 hour period under ideal circumstances based on the maximum rated flow of 160 gallons per minute. Ideal circumstances are the theoretical maximum potential of the pump - which you will not get in your pool. The restrictions to flow in your system, specifically head loss and friction loss, will prevent you from ever getting flow rates like this for an average residential pool. However with this much maximum potential you will have no trouble at all meeting the turnover rates for even the largest of pools. The goal is to keep your pool clean and clear while running your variable speed pump on the lowest possible settings to use the least electricity.
Hayward Ecostar Problems
The biggest problem that you might have if you buy a new Hayward Ecostar pump is actually that the pump will provide too much flow! Many pool circulation pumps are in
the one to two horsepower range. A pump like the Ecostar with a huge 2.7 horsepower motor has the ability to push hard enough to actually damage other pool equipment
- or even itself if you don't feed it enough water!
Pool Filters - The Hayward Ecostar has the ability to deliver up to 160 GPM. If you have a cartridge filter or a D.E filter then this is most likely not a concern. If you have a sand filter then you need to be aware that your filter has a "maximum design flow rate" above which damage to the filter can happen. The Ecostar can easily meet and exceed the design flow rate for most sand filters. To check your filter maximum design flow rate you can reference this article on pool filter reviews. If you have a sand filter then you will need to lock out the maximum RPM that your Ecostar operates at. If you have a sand filter and you want to use an Ecostar then you should consider installing a flow meter so you can dial in the exact flow that you need to stay within the limits of your filter head. You will need to know whether you have 1.5" or 2" pipe size and then order either a 2" flow meter or a 1.5" flow meter.
Plumbing Line Size - If you have 1.5" plumbing lines this is less than ideal for the Hayward Ecostar. The Ecostar moves far more water than a single 1.5" pipe can provide without extreme efficiency losses due to friction. Even dual 1.5" suction lines like you would have from isolated skimmer and main drain suction lines would still technically not be enough flow to meet the ultra efficient and ultra powerful Ecostar needs. If you have 1.5" plumbing lines the best option for you would be to program the Ecostar to run at lower "maximum" RPM's to reduce the strain on the pump and potential for cavitation due to lack of water flow under full load. While the Ecostar still uses full RPM's for the priming cycle you can also program the Ecostar to have a reduced priming cycle time. 2" or larger pipes are certainly ideal for the Ecostar but 1.5" pipes will work for installations of this pump provided you change the default programming.
Hayward Ecostar Warranty
Hayward Ecostar Warranty USA - The Ecostar carries a standard 1 year parts warranty when sold and installed in the USA. The Ecostar qualifies for a 3 year
parts warranty where it is installed by a professional. If you buy the pump online and install it yourself then you will have only one year of warranty. If you pay a
professional to install it for you, and you can prove this via a receipt to Hayward, then you will qualify for the three year warranty protection.
Hayward Ecostar Warranty Canada - In Canada the Hayward Ecostar carries a full 3 year parts warranty regardless of where you buy the pump or who installs it. If a Canadian were to purchase a pump online from the USA the Canadian 3 year protection will apply. The location the pump is installed dictates which warranty protection will apply.
This is the lowest price you will find for the Hayward Ecostar as Hayward has a minimum advertised pricing policy in effect that keeps product pricing equal between product dealers.
Tips For Installing Variable Speed Pumps
Before you attempt to install any swimming pool equipment you should take a look at the video series from Swimming Pool Steve that reviews installations of pool
equipment for deficiencies. Additionally there are sections on pipe materials, plumbing fittings, glue, primer, unions and valves commonly used for installing pool
and spa equipment. If you would like to learn more about how to install a variable speed pump correctly as part of a pool system check out the Installation Tips from Steve.