To ensure the correct installation and programming of the EcoStar Variable Speed Pump, it’s critical to read the owner’s and installation guides. The EcoStar should be installed in accordance with all federal, state and local codes and regulations.


Before removing the existing pump (if one is already installed), take readings from pressure (discharge) and vacuum (suction) sides of the pump to help with the installation of the EcoStar. These readings can be taken from the two drain plugs: one in the suction part of the basket and the other in the area of the impeller or pressure side. After removing the old pump, follow the wiring requirements in the EcoStar installation guide. In most cases, the existing breaker will not need to be removed and replaced; the EcoStar only needs a 15-amp breaker.
Note: if being installed on a Hayward/Goldline control, the high voltage to the pump should come directly from the breaker and not the filter pump relay. If you’re using a third-party control, the high voltage to the pump should come from the filter pump relay.

Maximizing Flow

Now that the EcoStar is installed, thread in the pressure and vacuum gauges, and ramp up the speed of the EcoStar manually until the readings from the original pump are matched as closely as possible. This gives us a base line or maximum flow setting for the EcoStar. (In other words, we are closely matching the flow of the old pump.) From this reading, a sound assessment can be made when programming the circulation time and other pool functions, such as the cleaner, spa and water features.

Another way to determine the maximum flow rate is to ramp up the speed of the pump until it cavitates. (Cavitation occurs when the suction side cannot provide enough water for the discharge.) Reducing the speed until the cavitation stops gives us the maximum setting. Getting the minimum setting is a little tricky. It important to provide enough water to fill the filter while operating other elements, such as a salt cell. Make sure your minimum speed fills the filter with water (which will be dripping out of the air relief), and that other items required during circulation are operating properly.

Pump Affinity Law

Let’s touch briefly on the Pump Affinity Law. In essence, when you cut the speed of a pump in half (from any speed) you will flow half the water at a quarter of the head pressure along with an eighth of the electrical usage. Note that when you apply the law again, the savings continue. Having the ability to set the right speed has benefits other than energy savings.

1. Each piece of pool or spa equipment that has a recommended flow rate to operate can be set for a specific speed and time.2. Running the water slower through the filter will typically capture smaller particles.
3. Better distribution of chemicals occurs since you are running for a longer period of time.
4. Reducing the flow of water helps to reduce the wear and tear on equipment.
5. Last but not least, low-speed operation yields quiet pump operation.


Let’s address programming the EcoStar standalone model. When you start to program the EcoStar you will instantly notice that it is like programming a Hayward/Goldline control. Fortunately, there’s no learning curve required for understanding a new method of programming.

The EcoStar comes with all you need to control the time settings and speeds you are looking for in a variable-speed pump. It has eight timer/speed settings that can be set for circulation, cleaner, heater, spa, and water feature-operation, along with other features you may need for flow control. In line with setting the lowest speed possible for filtration, refer to the illustration. It shows that shows a typical pool setting to help with programming your EcoStar. To help with timer/speed settings 1-8, 8 is the least dominant with dominance increasing to 1. As an example, setting the circulation to be timer/speed setting 8, and all the other functions 1-7 will override the circulation setting for cleaner, heater, spa or water feature operation as needed. The control panel on the EcoStar can be positioned four different ways along with remote placement up to 500 feet away.


Controlling the EcoStar through a Hayward/Goldline controller is accomplished through a two-wire connection between the two. High-voltage wiring for this connection is between the breaker and pump. Do not run the high voltage from the filter pump relay. With a simple set-up in both the pump and control, the Hayward/Goldline control will take over and provide the same functionality as does the standalone.

The EcoStar pump can also communicate with third-party controllers. Please refer to the installation and technical guide for more information and instruction. As stated earlier, the high-voltage wiring to an EcoStar pump from a third-party control would need to come from the filter pump relay for proper operation.

Author: Scott Petty is the product manager for pumps and above-ground equipment for Hayward Pool Products in Elizabeth, N.J.