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Thread: Higher Than Expected Utility Bills

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    Higher Than Expected Utility Bills

    We just had an in ground pool built and love it. However our first 2 utility bills were about $100 more than usual. Based on what we were told, we expected it to be around $50 more a month. Our contractor told us to run the pump 24 hours a day all the time, which we have been doing. However, from my research, very few people do this. Most say 8-10 hours a day should work. We have a Hayward Super Pump. I am considering getting a timer. Our contractor is against timers because he says that they will destroy the pump faster. It seems a lot of people use timers though. Should I consider getting a timer and running the pump around 10 hours a day? Thanks for any suggestions.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Higher Than Expected Utility Bills

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Any extra wear and tear on a motor from turning on and off is negligible. I suggest you take a look at the Determine Pump Run Time article. In fact, you may only need about 4 hours of run time.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    epro05's Avatar
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    Re: Higher Than Expected Utility Bills

    Get a timer. I run my pump about 2 hours a day and my pool stays clean. Running my pump costs about $0.23 per hour (so less than $0.50 per day). I don't have a SWG, but if I did, I might need to run the pump longer.
    27,500 gallon in ground gunite/plaster (1995). Attached Spa with fountain, spillway, and 2 lion heads streaming into the pool. Hayward pump and AO Smith UST1152 1.5 hp motor (single speed). Hayward 60 sq ft DE Filter (Model DE-6000). Kreepy Krauly cleaner.

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Higher Than Expected Utility Bills

    I don't know what I would do without my timer. Your contractor is... I'll be nice here... wrong. I run 2 different "sessions" of pump run time of 3 hours each. It's more than enough for my pool (probably too much) and I'd hate to have to make 4 trips to my equipment pad each day to do it... or forget to turn it on or off. It will not increase wear on your pump. In fact, your pump will last longer in terms of calendar time as it will be running less.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    jtaves85mcss's Avatar
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    Re: Higher Than Expected Utility Bills

    +1 on your contractor being 'wrong'. I had a timer installed two years ago. GE push tab timer was about $60 and install was another $50 because I scheduled it with my seasonal opening there was no trip fee. I also run two on times. Two hours late morning and three hour early evening. My electric bill went down about $50 per month.
    Pool: IG 22k- 16x32 clipped corners- vinyl liner, w/ a great board. Built in 3/99, new to me 2/2011.
    Equip: Hayward 3600 DE filter, Hayward CL-200 Chlorinator (empty since 7/5/2013).
    K-2006 Test kit with Speedstir
    Located in Cincinnati, OH. TFP lurker since 9/2011, BBB interested since 5/2012 and converted 7/2013.

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    Re: Higher Than Expected Utility Bills

    Thanks. You guys are confirming what I thought. We do have a salt water generator. Any suggestions on a timer?

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Higher Than Expected Utility Bills

    Gosh.... I had no idea! I replaced my pump motor a few years ago (Pool shop guy looked at numbers and guessed it was 11 years old) and have had the current motor in place about two years, on a the same timer that killed the other pump 365 days a year!

    It's really easy for the builders to say run it 24/7... it won't hurt anything but your wallet. Not his, notice.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Higher Than Expected Utility Bills

    The mechanical Intermatic timers are near bulletproof. The T101 or the T104 depending on whether your motor is 115V or 230V.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    KineKilla's Avatar
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    Re: Higher Than Expected Utility Bills

    Quote Originally Posted by BigCTM View Post
    Thanks. You guys are confirming what I thought. We do have a salt water generator. Any suggestions on a timer?
    I have an Intermatic timer which seem to be the most common but I'm guessing just about any timer would do the job. You need to do a little math and see how much run time you actually need to circulate the pools' contents once a day. Once you have that nailed down, then adjust your SWG % to make sure you are keeping enough chlorine in the pool. If you are at or above 100% on the SWG and still can't maintain the FC level then you will likely have to run the pump longer to allow the SWG to produce more chlorine.

    I run a VS pump about 12 hours a day @ 2500rpm with my SWG at 30% to keep my FC level at 6 or so.
    Polar Pools, 19' x 39' Vinyl Lined IG, 3' to 9' deep, 33,300 Gallons?
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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Higher Than Expected Utility Bills

    Quote Originally Posted by KineKilla View Post
    I have an Intermatic timer which seem to be the most common but I'm guessing just about any timer would do the job. You need to do a little math and see how much run time you actually need to circulate the pools' contents once a day. Once you have that nailed down, then adjust your SWG % to make sure you are keeping enough chlorine in the pool. If you are at or above 100% on the SWG and still can't maintain the FC level then you will likely have to run the pump longer to allow the SWG to produce more chlorine.

    I run a VS pump about 12 hours a day @ 2500rpm with my SWG at 30% to keep my FC level at 6 or so.
    Mostly correct but pool volume turnover really doesn't matter either. Enough run time to adequately circulate chemicals or generate chlorine and maintain your desired clarity. There's no chance that I turn over my entire pool volume daily at 4 to 6 hours of run time, but it's plenty with my manual chlorination. I'm probably only turning 40-60% pool volume daily.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Higher Than Expected Utility Bills

    I am getting a timer installed by my contractor later this week. I kind of wish I had went with a variable speed pump now but will roll with the one I have for now. Thanks again for the responses.

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    Re: Higher Than Expected Utility Bills

    If you are on an electric plan where it is more expensive in the afternoon, run the pump in the morning and/or evening.

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