Hayward MaxFlo VS
The Hayward MaxFlo VS (variable speed) pump is one of the best entry level variable speed pumps available on the market. This pump was released at the same time as the Super pump VS pump to gain market share for smaller variable speed pump motors. The first variable speed pumps to the market were all 3 horsepower in size and simply far too large and powerful for pools with 1.5" plumbing (which most have). The MaxFlo and the Super pump VS have a much smaller motor design suitable for pools with 1.5" plumbing. They both however lack integration ability with other equipment without also having an automation system installed but can operate independently with the built-in control features.
In total Hayward has 4 variable speed pumps which are the EcoStar, the TriStar VS, the SuperPump VS and the MaxFlo VS
Limitations Of The MaxFlo VS Pump
Priced much more aggressively than the more robust EcoStar and TriStar variable speed pumps, the MaxFlo VS is intended to be an entry level variable speed pump. So
what are you giving up with this versus a larger, more expensive VS pump? The biggest thing you are giving up is motor size, and potential for water flow. Fortunately, the larger VS pumps such as the EcoStar move far more water than the average swimming pool needs to move for any reason. For most swimming pools even the smaller VS pumps such as the Super Pump or the MaxFlo will have the ability to move far more water than you actually need.
The MaxFlo VS does not have the ability to communicate directly with other equipment on your pad without also having a control system like an automation panel. The newer models of the MaxFlo have the ability to connect to an automation system however the first models, SP2300VSP and SP2302VSP, do not have this option. An example of this would be if you have a digital heater. When the heater wants to turn on it can send out a signal requesting for the pump speed to temporarily increase.
With the MaxFlo you would need to have an automation panel in between the pump and the heater if you want your pump to automatically turn up when there is a call for heat. Without an automation panel the MaxFlo will not recognize the call for heat and will not change the programming. In this case the heater would simply wait until the pump speed increased before it could turn on, whether through the regular programming cycle or by you manually increasing the speed on the pump. If you do not have a digital heater, or you do not mind having your heater wait until the program cycle changes to a higher speed, then this will not apply to you.
The only other major complaint that many people have said about the MaxFlo pump is that the display screen is not able to be mounted remotely (or rotate 360 degrees like the EcoStar or TriStar VS) so it can be slightly inconvenient to read and interact with the display screen depending on your installation orientation. This was something that was changed after the SP2300VSP model with the SP2302VSP having a screen twice the size. The newest SP2303VSP and SP23115VSP models now use the same higher end screen and interface that has been used on the EcoStar and the variable speed TriStar successfully for years. This is a large value increase with a very small price increase when considering if you should get the newest model, SP2303VSP or SP23115VSP pumps. In my opinion this is the best value MaxFlo and a perfect choice for price conscious shoppers looking for good value for their investment.
Hayward MaxFlo SP2300VSP
SP2300VSP - The first generation of MaxFlo variable speed pumps, model number SP2300VSP, is no longer in production by Hayward. This original model came with a 1.5 horsepower, four speed motor, that was capable of a maximum of 87 gallons per minute (assuming 30 feet of head resistance). This first generation did not have the ability to integrate with other equipment on the pad such as a digital heater or automation panel. This was very limiting and something that Hayward does offer through the EcoStar and TriStar VS models. The SP2300VSP MaxFlo is only compatible with 220v electrical connections. The display screen on this model did not have the ability to rotate which is something that Hayward revisited in future models.
Hayward MaxFlo SP2302VSP
SP2302VSP - The second generation of the Hayward MaxFlo VS was the SP2302VSP model. The major changes in this model update was the addition of a rotating screen display as well as the addition of a built in time clock for more advanced programming of times and speeds. It should be noted that this internal timer is only for the internal programming and you can not run peripheral equipment like a salt chlorine generator off of the built in timer. This model was the last MaxFlo model with a single line display screen was used. In the future model this limited display was dropped in place of a two line display screen which allows for three times as much character display area (8 versus 24 characters).
Hayward MaxFlo SP2303VSP
SP2303VSP - The newest generation of the MaxFlo VS pump is the SP2303VSP which is a 220 volt only pump with a few notable upgrades over previous versions. Most notably the display interface has changed and the new display is now the same as those used on the EcoStar and the TriStar VS. The other big change with this pump is the ability for this pump to communicate with external automation devices which is something that was most notably lacking in the prior models. While the pump specifications have changed slightly with this newest model, being slightly less efficient that previous model numbers, this change was likely made to increase the longevity of the pump and the ability for the motor to safely dissipate heat. In doing this the maximum output for the flow volume decreased slightly down to 82 GPM based on 30 feet of head resistance. Still, with 2" connection unions, the new higher end interface, and being available in either 115 volt or 230 volt models the MaxFlo VS is a standout in terms of entry level variable speed pumps. If you are looking to save money on electricity costs but can not justify the much more expensive upfront costs for the EcoStar or TriStar VS pumps then the SP2303VSP (or 23115VSP) MaxFlo pumps are one of the best options on the market.
Hayward MaxFlo SP23115VSP
SP23115VSP - When the SP2303VSP MaxFlo was released, it was released along with this model, SP23115VSP. The SP23115VSP is identical to the SP2303VSP except that it is designated as a standard 115 volt pump. Up until now all MaxFlo pumps were 230 volt pumps only with no option of 115 volts which is limiting for pool owners who do not want to draw a new electrical service to the pump location. Most swimming pool pumps under 1.5 horsepower are dual rated in that there is a selector switch where you can select either 115 volts or 230 volts. This might confuse some shoppers who purchase the SP2303VSP expecting to be able to wire it for 115 volts. If you need a 115 volt MaxFlo pump then be sure to order SP23115VSP and not any of the other models. Other than the electrical connection, and the size of the motor being smaller with the SP23115VSP model, this pump is identical in features to the SP2303VSP MaxFlo.
If you are looking at a Hayward MaxFlo but the part number ends in "ND" such as SP2302VSPND then this means this model does not have an attached display screen and is intended only for use with Hayward automations systems as the control interface for the pump.
Hayward MaxFlo Review
As an entry level pump into the world of variable speed technology the MaxFlo series represents a solid investment. With a low upfront price tag and the ability to
save a huge amount (up to 80%) off of your current pool pump electrical usage there are a lot of reasons why a MaxFlo would be a good choice. If you have any
existing series of MaxFlo pump, variable speed or single speed, then the MaxFlo VS will fit exactly in as a replacement pump without needing to alter the plumbing.
For 2016 and 2017 the SP2303VSP and SP23115VSP are the best choices if you want to have the ability to integrate your equipment with other devices such as automation, heaters, or salt water, due to the ability for the pump to control a relay circuit. The upgrade to the same display as used in the EcoStar and TriStar VS was a smart move by Hayward and something that is sure to be an improvement from the previous design.
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.