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Thread: Bought house with pool - Pump run times - Reduce electricity

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    Bought house with pool - Pump run times - Reduce electricity

    Hello all,
    I bought a house with a pool 2 months ago, and I've been diving into pool maintenance. I live in the Bay Area with max summer temperatures typically around 80F.

    When we moved into the house, the pump was set to run at only 3-4 hours per day, and the booster pump at 2 hours. I initially neglected adding any chlorine, but for a full month, there were no adverse effects. The water stayed crystal clear. I bought a chemical tester, and the chlorine slowly dropped to 0.8ppm. At that point, at the end of the day, I get brownish/black stains at specific locations of the pool. They look at bit like a comet and its tail. In the morning, those stains are usually gone again. Not sure what those are. (Black algae?)

    Anyway, after a visit to Leslie's, I did a pool shock, and I'm now running the pump at 8 hours and the booster at 3 hours.

    We just got our first electricity bill, and it's quite a whopper at $270. After a deep dive, it's obvious that the pool is responsible for 80% of that. (We don't have airco.)

    My question is: is it really necessary to run the pumps for this long?

    I assume I can reduce the booster pump running time from 3 to, say, 1.5 hours as long as everything stays nice and clean?

    What about the main pump? Why does it have to run for so long? As I understand it, chlorine level is what keeps algae away. So what's the primary usage of the filter? Is it just to remove small debris? What am I missing?

    Thanks!
    Tom
    Pool: in-ground, kidney shaped. 20000 gallons. Pump: Pentair Whisperflo WFE-3 3/4 HP. Booster pump for robot: Pentair LA01N. Filter: Pentair CCP320 (cartridge). 1 skimmer. CA - Water restrictions. ColorQ water test kit.

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    Re: Bought house with pool - Pump run times - Reduce electricity

    I don't see that you have a SWG listed. If not, then you only need to run the pump enough to keep the surface clean and to make sure the liquid chlorine you add is completely distributed.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Now having said that. Welcome to TFPC! If you want to take control of your pool care and take it back from the pool $tore, you've come to the right place.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Bought house with pool - Pump run times - Reduce electricity

    So this temperature/10 = hours per day only really applies to pools with chlorine generators? Very interesting!

    For now, I haven't used any liquid chlorine. I just use 4 big tablets in 2 floaters. And I used these 2 chlorine power packets from Leslie's (Chlor Brite, I think) to shock it to 9 ppm.

    I'm totally open to using different recipes.

    (Thanks for the welcome!)
    Pool: in-ground, kidney shaped. 20000 gallons. Pump: Pentair Whisperflo WFE-3 3/4 HP. Booster pump for robot: Pentair LA01N. Filter: Pentair CCP320 (cartridge). 1 skimmer. CA - Water restrictions. ColorQ water test kit.

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    Re: Bought house with pool - Pump run times - Reduce electricity

    All we use around here is liquid chlorine (bleach) and sometimes something to adjust pH. That's about it.

    It's based on a good test kit and just giving you pool what it needs to stay balanced.

    Pool School - What is TFPC?
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Bought house with pool - Pump run times - Reduce electricity

    Hello Tom and Welcome to TFP ,

    Here is a link that might help:http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...-pump-run-time

    It is only necessary to run your pump long enough to keep your pool clean, clear, and allow added chemicals to be adequately circulated, no more, no less.
    Since there are so many different pump and pool types there's not an absolute set amount of time to run it.
    You'll just need to figure out what run time works best for your pool.

    If you decide you do want to switch to using the TFP method to maintain your pool we will be glad to help you. I hope this helps. Again welcome to TFP, and have a fun and safe Labor Day.
    24' Round x 4.5 ft deep AGP (15,200 Gallons), Vinyl Liner, Hayward Vari Flo XL Sand Filter- (model SP0714T1),
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, SLAM & the Chlorine/CYA CHART. Support this Site! TFP Totally Rocks.

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    Re: Bought house with pool - Pump run times - Reduce electricity

    Welcome to TFP!

    That formula doesn't apply to saltwater pools either. It is just that you need to run your SWG long enough to produce enough chlorine for your pool. That number is usually longer than you need to run the pump for filtration purposes, but depends on the size of the pool, SWG, sun exposure and swimmer load.

    You should be fine with a few hours per day.

    Using pucks or powdered chlorine adds CYA to your pool, so keep an eye on it. TFP recommends using liquid chlorine, bleach or liquid shock. More here, Pool School - How to Chlorinate Your Pool

    And more here, Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
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    Re: Bought house with pool - Pump run times - Reduce electricity

    So I'm reading my way going through Pool School.

    First question: in terms of kits, I bought a Lamotte ColorQ 7. It seems to have all the stuff that's listed on the 'Test Kits Compared' page, except that it lists Free Chlorine (DPD) instead of (FAS/DPD). Is the thing that I have sufficient?
    Pool: in-ground, kidney shaped. 20000 gallons. Pump: Pentair Whisperflo WFE-3 3/4 HP. Booster pump for robot: Pentair LA01N. Filter: Pentair CCP320 (cartridge). 1 skimmer. CA - Water restrictions. ColorQ water test kit.

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    Re: Bought house with pool - Pump run times - Reduce electricity

    It might be. As long as your CYA isn't off the chart and the FC is within the reading capabilities of the kit. It wouldn't work if you ever have to SLAM your pool. FAS/DPD goes up to 50ppm. Most other kits only go to 5 or at most 10. Also, I would be concerned with the accuracy. I believe that the kits we list on the comparison page, are similar in quality.

    I'm sure one of the resident chem experts will be along soon.

    I just checked and that kit only goes to 10ppm
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Bought house with pool - Pump run times - Reduce electricity

    Quote Originally Posted by pabeader View Post
    It might be. As long as your CYA isn't off the chart and the FC is within the reading capabilities of the kit. It wouldn't work if you ever have to SLAM your pool. FAS/DPD goes up to 50ppm. Most other kits only go to 5 or at most 10. Also, I would be concerned with the accuracy. I believe that the kits we list on the comparison page, are similar in quality.

    I'm sure one of the resident chem experts will be along soon.

    I just checked and that kit only goes to 10ppm
    Ok. Speaking of which: here are the latest readings of my pool:

    Free Chlorine: 1.7ppm
    Total Chlorine: 2.1ppm
    Ph: 7.5
    Total Alkalinity: 94ppm
    Calcium Hardness: 358ppm
    Cyanuric Acid: "Hi". <----- The test tube has a dense cloudy milk-like color.

    I assume this "Hi" may be what you mean by 'off the charts'.

    The obvious follow-up question is: what to do about that?

    Due to water restrictions, we're not allowed to drain the pool and refill...
    Pool: in-ground, kidney shaped. 20000 gallons. Pump: Pentair Whisperflo WFE-3 3/4 HP. Booster pump for robot: Pentair LA01N. Filter: Pentair CCP320 (cartridge). 1 skimmer. CA - Water restrictions. ColorQ water test kit.

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    Re: Bought house with pool - Pump run times - Reduce electricity

    Hello Tom,

    If your test kit has reagents to test CYA, to get a more absolute reading you can do a diluted CYA test The directions for the diluted CYA are in comment #8 of this thread. http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...Kit-Directions

    High CYA without a number offers little clarity in what your actual CYA number is. Also it is certain that your FC level is way too low for your current CYA-(whatever it may be), (but I'm not certain exactly How low exactly your FC level is? I'm assuming your CYA is well above 100, at least, if not much higher ).

    The pucks in the floater are what is causing your CYA to be so high. Since you can't drain and refill, you really should consider using regular liquid bleach, instead of the pucks to prevent the CYA level from raising any higher than it already is.

    With the 2.1ppm CC reading it appears you have algae growing in there already. . (this was caused by the high CYA level and too low of chlorine being added to compensate for it, so it allowed the algae to be able to start growing).

    This also means you are going to need to SLAM your pool to get it killed out. http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...tain-shockingl (I'm so sorry , but do not fear we will all be here to help you every step of the way in getting it killed out.

    On the high CYA level, If you can't drain it out, then the only other options you have is have it removed with reverse osmosis which a pool shop in your town most likely does, or attempt to SLAM it with that high CYA level.

    NOTE: Attempting to SLAM with an extremely high CYA is going to be very hard, and next to impossible to do as you will need to Maintain an FC level of at least 39ppm, or slightly higher (that is IF your CYA is ONLY 100ppm, but odds are your CYA is much higher than 100, so the chlorine level would need to be increased even higher, and Maintained at that high level until all the algae is killed out).

    So, what we really need 1st, and would help us the help you the most right now, is an exact CYA reading, so we know exactly where you need to raise your chlorine level to, and then we can move forward from there in getting the algae killed out.

    Also, Prior to beginning the SLAM You'll need to lower your pH level to 7.2ppm using muriatic acid per POOLMATH calculations, http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html

    For the SLAM you will be using a lot of regular chlorine bleach, or Liquid Shock, NO- splashless or concetrated formulas, just regular chlorine bleach from Walmart, or liquid shock from wherever, as long as it is Sodium Hypochlorite.

    Plus, prior to beginning the SLAM you will need to get one of the recommended test kits because, unfortunately, your kit will not be able to acquire a high enough reading to test the Chlorine levels you'll need to maintain to kill the algae out.

    You can get the TF-100 test kit HERE: http://tftestkits.net/TF-100-Test-Kit-p4.html (They have an XL option for the chlorine test which you'll probably want to get too as to have plenty of supplies as attempt to not run out during your SLAM because you'll be doing a lot of testing at 1st Here is the link for the XL option to add in with your test kit above: http://tftestkits.net/XL-Option-p62.html). ( A lot of people also get the Speedstir as well as it makes testing quicker-but this is not something you absolutely have to have to SLAM your pool but here's that link if you're interested in it too http://tftestkits.net/SpeedStir-Magn...irrer-p56.html).

    (Just as a quick FYI If you become a Supporter of our site, and make a donation at http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-com-Supporter You will also receive a 10% off coupon code in your email box to use at checkout for this kit for TFTestkits too!!!

    OR

    You can get the Taylor K-2006, which can be purchased from several places online, and some pool stores carry them as well. (These have less testing supplies in them than the TF-100 does and you'll probably have to order more supplies before the SLAM is complete).

    These are the only 2 kits recommended to use during a SLAM because of their accuracy, and their ability to read the chlorine at the levels required to kill out the algae.

    This is the only way to kill out the algae that's in there, so if you want us to be able to help you get that algae killed out of there just order your kit, and we will get started.

    Until your kit arrives, I recommend you 1st lowering your pH to 7.2ppm,
    and then after the pH is lowered begin adding 1 gallon of regular bleach DAILY to try to keep the algae from getting any worse before your Slam begins.

    (Also please remove the pucks from the floater because they are going to continue to increase your already high CYA level).

    I hope this helps, and have a wonderful night.
    24' Round x 4.5 ft deep AGP (15,200 Gallons), Vinyl Liner, Hayward Vari Flo XL Sand Filter- (model SP0714T1),
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, SLAM & the Chlorine/CYA CHART. Support this Site! TFP Totally Rocks.

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    Re: Bought house with pool - Pump run times - Reduce electricity

    Hello crackerjack,
    Thanks for the advise! I've removed the pucks and I'll be buying lots of bleach tonight. I've also ordered the TF100 test kit.
    Pool: in-ground, kidney shaped. 20000 gallons. Pump: Pentair Whisperflo WFE-3 3/4 HP. Booster pump for robot: Pentair LA01N. Filter: Pentair CCP320 (cartridge). 1 skimmer. CA - Water restrictions. ColorQ water test kit.

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    Bought house with pool - Pump run times - Reduce electricity

    On the way to work, I did a quick stop to Leslie's with a water sample:
    CYA: 200

    Anyone has a suggestion for a company that provides pool reverse osmosis in the Bay Area?
    Google isn't very helpful...

    I've owned this house only for less than 2 months. I assume this CYA issue has been long in the making? IOW: this hasn't happened overnight? Would be great to be able to tell my wife that.
    Pool: in-ground, kidney shaped. 20000 gallons. Pump: Pentair Whisperflo WFE-3 3/4 HP. Booster pump for robot: Pentair LA01N. Filter: Pentair CCP320 (cartridge). 1 skimmer. CA - Water restrictions. ColorQ water test kit.

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    Re: Bought house with pool - Pump run times - Reduce electricity

    What really is a bummer, is that pool $tores rarely get CYA or FC, right. So you still aren't sure what it is until you get your testkit.

    But on a happier note, what ever it is, it didn't happen overnight.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Bought house with pool - Pump run times - Reduce electricity

    Hello Tom,
    The puck removal, getting liquid bleach instead, and ordering the test kit, are all steps in the right direction in attempting to get your pool issues resolved.

    I too agree it wasn't something that just happened over night, the CYA level has been in there building up for awhile with continued puck use, powder shock use, etc. you just ended up being the lucky-(not so lucky) one that ended up with the ball in your court, (or in this case your pool), having to try to fix the long time problem.

    Bob above is correct that, sadly, even the CYA level reading you got from Leslie's still may not be correct, but I'm not surprised to see that it was registering 200 (and it's possibly even higher than that), which is what we see happen so often with long term puck use. The CYA level rises so much that there's no way the owner can maintain an adequate chlorine level in there to prevent algae growth, or provide adequate necessary sanitation for their pool.

    When Your Kit arrives you will know for sure what your level is. That's why the recommended kits are so necessary for properly leveling, sanitizing, and maintaining of your pool. (That test kit with the ability to read the higher levels will be one of, if not The, best investment you can make to help in resolving this long time building up issue). But all of us here will do our best to help you, help your pool, and we'll be with you every step of the way.

    I'm not from that area so I don't know who around there does reverse osmosis but I know a lot of companies are now doing it so hopefully someone from your area will chime in on that, or perhaps just grab a phonebook, and start calling the places in your area and asking the ones who don't do it, if they know who in the area that does.

    Have a wonderful day Tom.
    24' Round x 4.5 ft deep AGP (15,200 Gallons), Vinyl Liner, Hayward Vari Flo XL Sand Filter- (model SP0714T1),
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, SLAM & the Chlorine/CYA CHART. Support this Site! TFP Totally Rocks.

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