What is the best way to determine the ideal pump run time? For that matter, what is the criteria for determining the ideal run time?
I know of two approaches, both of which have some problems. The first is to guesstimate your flow rate and then aim for one turnover. The second is to experiment with different run times, examining water quality carefully to see how short the run time can be without impacting water clarity significantly. These two approaches imply different criteria, either one turnover, or water clarity, are the most important factor.
The aim for one turnover approach can be problematic because it requires a fair bit of knowledge to make a plausible guess at the flow rate. The experiment based on water appearance approach takes weeks, or months, requires some practice at judging water clarity, and can be thrown off by unexpected events that impact clarity (major rain storm, swim party, etc).
As a result of the problems with the two common approaches, we often resort to saying something overly simplistic like, try 12 hours, which works well enough a good portion of the time, but is hardly optimal.
As energy costs continue to increase, finding a minimal acceptable run time becomes more important. Is there some way we can simplify that process for people?