In 2017 and 2018 Hayward made some changes to their pool equipment lineup. Specifically Hayward responded to pressure from pool stores, pool contractors, and pool dealers expressing frustration over rock bottom internet pricing stealing business away from them. It is very common to find pool products for sale to the public on Amazon.com that are priced as low, and even lower, than pool professionals can purchase for through protected wholesale distribution channels. This is something that I have written about previously in this article about buying pool equipment online that explains how and why pool products are being priced cheaper online than dealers can purchase for. In short, pool companies are very upset that the general public has access to the same pricing, or better, than the committed industry professionals are able to get.
In response to backlash from pool dealers, contractors and retail stores, pool equipment manufacturers like Hayward (and Pentair and Zodiac / Jandy) have all created an exclusive line of products that are only available through authorized dealers and specifically not online. The logic is simple enough however the real world implementation of something like this is easier said than done. There have been a number of technical challenges with not allowing products to be sold online, such as policing these policies. In order to help facilitate this change, from an open product line to a restricted product line only available through dealers, manufacturers have created a completely new line of products...kind of.
The fastest, easiest and cheapest way to appease pool dealers as well as pool owners was for pool equipment manufacturers to split up their product lines. It costs a lot of money to design all new products to bring to market. Instead of doing this the product names (model numbers) have been changed, as well as some minor physical changes to the product such as an upgraded pump seal material, and manufacturers now run concurrent product lines - one exclusively for dealers and one open to the general public.
What Is The Difference Between The EcoStar And TriStar 2.7 HP
The EcoStar and the Tristar VS 2.7 are the same pump. The EcoStar (SP3400VSP) has been the flagship pump from Hayward for years. Unfortunately the EcoStar name has been somewhat tarnished due to drive issues that you can find complaints about online easily enough. In the world of variable speed pump technology the biggest and most valid complaints relate to cost and the potential for expensive high end tech to break down. There are no cheap and easy solutions should you encounter a drive failure outside of warranty protection on a variable speed pump. This results in pool owners speaking up and complaining loudly online when they have an expensive failure like a drive unit...I can only imagine that this is a reputation that Hayward would prefer to not have for their flagship product. Since they are restructuring their entire product line to have both dealer exclusive and open lines, this was the perfect time to re-brand the EcoStar with a different name.
This is the replacement motor drive for the Hayward EcoStar. If you have a drive error failure outside of warranty protection then this is the product that you will need to buy and replace on your pump.
**Hayward has an extended warranty program in place for failed EcoStar drive units so contact Hayward warranty department with your serial number if you experience a drive error on your pump. Hayward is aware of this issue and has made corrective steps that has reduced the number of failed drives on newer models of EcoStar and TriStar, SP3400VSP, SP3206VSP, SP32900VSP and SP32950VSP.
The TriStar VS (SP3202VSP) is an existing pump that Hayward produces that enjoys a comfortable existence as a pump without many other competitors. If you have 1.5" plumbing lines on your pool then the larger 3 HP pumps like the EcoStar or the Pentair IntelliFlo are simply too large and will starve for water when running on higher speeds. The TriStar VS however is "right sized" at 1.85 HP and outperforms the entry level VS pumps like the Hayward Super Pump VS or the MaxFlo VS, or the Pentair SuperFlo VS. This has lead to the TriStar VS being a very popular pump with strong (and positive) name recognition within the industry that is perfect for retrofitting to older, exisiting pool installations. In the transition to dealer exclusive and open line products, the Hayward EcoStar name and SP3400VSP model number has been discontinued and will be eventually replaced with the rebranded badge "Hayward TriStar 2.7 HP SP3206VSP".
The Hayward expert line of dealer exclusive products includes the same pump options as the open line does, but with different names. The TriStar SP3202VSP from the open line is called the TriStar 900 (SP32900VSP) from the dealer exclusive line. The EcoStar SP3400VSP from the open line was changed to the TriStar 950 (SP32950VSP) in the dealer exclusive line. When this change was implemented the EcoStar SP3400VSP was retired and the TriStar 2.7 HP (SP3206VSP) was introduced replacing the EcoStar in the open line of products. As of summer 2018 there are still lots of EcoStar pumps being sold online and in stores, and these pumps all will have the same warranty coverage that they have always had until eventually all units will be sold out. At this point the TriStar 2.7 (SP3206VSP) takes over as the largest variable speed pump and main competing product to the flagship Pentair IntelliFlo.
The Hayward TriStar SP3206VSP 2.7 HP now replaces the SP3400VSP EcoStar as the flagship pump from Hayward and main competing large variable speed pump to the Pentair IntelliFlo.
The California Energy Commission publishes energy efficiency information for consumer products. The flow rates and energy use for the SP3400VSP EcoStar and SP3206VSP TriStar 2.7 HP are identical as you can see here:
@ 3450 RPM
SP3400VSP = 83% motor efficiency
SP3206VSP = 83% motor efficiency
SP3400VSP Curve A Flow = 71 GPM
SP3206VSP Curve A Flow = 71 GPM
SP3400VSP Curve A Wattage = 2005 Watts
SP3206VSP Curve A Wattage = 2005 Watts
What this information displays is that these pumps are identical, not just similar pumps. Any changes to the motor, efficiency, impeller or internals all would result in at least minor changes to the flow and energy characteristics. In this instance the numbers reviews by the energy commission were found to be identical between the SP3400VSP and the new SP3206VSP.
Pentair Pool Pumps
Hayward Dealer Exclusive Products
Variable Speed Pump Reviews
EcoStar Versus IntelliFlo
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