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Thread: Variable speed pump

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    Join Date
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    Variable speed pump

    We have an indoor pool. We used to run the pump about 8 hours a day, usually at night when electric rates are lower. However, we had some problems with our HVAC dehumidification system which requires that we run the pump 24/7 for constant circulation. I was concerned about our electric bills so we recently replaced the pump with a Jandy Pro Series Plus HP PHPF.50 at the suggestion of our pool mechanic. He said we would run 24/7 at about the same cost of the previous pump running 8 hours a day.
    I wanted to replace with variable speed pump but our pool guy dissuaded me because we have a solar heating system on the roof and he said a variable speed pump would not be able to pump the water through the roof panels (ironically, my solar installer recommended the variable speed pump).
    Anyway, our electric bill is still pretty high - maybe not as high as it would have been with the old pump but I'm wondering if a variable speed pump would still make sense. From what I have read they are much more economical. Anybody know anything about this??
    Thanks
    12,000 gallons IG Vinyl Liner Cartridge Hayward C800 Jandy Pro Series Plus HP Model#PHPF.50 (single speed)
    Build /Install April 2011
    Nature 2 Cartridge and Chlorine Tab Dispenser Leslie Test Strips
    Helios Solar Water Heater on Roof

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Variable speed pump

    Hi Pulio,
    A variably certainly will pump water to the Solar Panels.

    Depending on how large the pump is, and how many head ft you need to pump water to the solar panels, will largely determine how much more econimcal it will be on the electric bill. When it comes to VS pumps, running larger HP pumps to attain x GPM of flow is actually more cost efficient than running a smaller VS pump. The reason, is because you can run the larger pump at lower RPM than you can the smaller pump.

    RPM = Watts, and thats what you pay for on the light bill.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Variable speed pump

    I have a Pentair Intelliflo, 011018. It is a 3hp pump at max speed, 3450 rpm. I run my pump at 1100 rpm for skimming, filtering and making chlorine with my SWG. It uses 150 watts at 1100 rpm. It also runs in solar standby mode waiting for the Pentair Solartouch to detect solar heat is available. When heat is available the Solartouch opens the solar valve and ramps the pump speed to 1950 rpm, it uses 550 watts at 1950 rpm.

    At 10.25c/kWh I can run the pump 24x7 for 12 bucks a month.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Variable speed pump - what speed?

    I'm not sure if I need a new thread, but a new pool guy, same company, changed the speeds and times of my Pentair variable speed pump last week from last summer's settings, from 1800 to 3000 rpm from 2 pm - 6 pm daily, which is relatively noisy when we're outside. He scheduled low speed from 8 am - 2 pm at 1800 rpm daily. Last summer they told me to run only a few hours per day and high speed maybe 2 hours, later in the evening so we don't hear it. Considering my new SWG 16x36 pool, 7' deep with sporadic use (sometimes 15 kids, then we go days without using it). The pool looks beautiful and there are no trees around for debris. Is this necessary? I'm afraid to see my electric bill this month!


    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    I have a Pentair Intelliflo, 011018. It is a 3hp pump at max speed, 3450 rpm. I run my pump at 1100 rpm for skimming, filtering and making chlorine with my SWG. It uses 150 watts at 1100 rpm. It also runs in solar standby mode waiting for the Pentair Solartouch to detect solar heat is available. When heat is available the Solartouch opens the solar valve and ramps the pump speed to 1950 rpm, it uses 550 watts at 1950 rpm.

    At 10.25c/kWh I can run the pump 24x7 for 12 bucks a month.
    July 2015, IG 22k gal, 16x36', Intellichlor SWG, Pentair Intelliflo var speed (1.5 hp?). Pentair 420 sf cartridge filter. Wet Edge Satin pebble.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Variable speed pump

    No, not necessary at all. Keep lowering the RPM until you get a low flow error on your SWG. For mine it was 900 rpm, which is why I run at 1100 rpm. I never get a low flow error at 1100 rpm, I would get occasional low flow errors at 1000 rpm.

    Once you determine what makes the SWG happy run it at that speed for 6 or 8 hours a day and see how your pool looks. If it is good then you can either shorten the time or leave it alone because it is cheap enough. If it is dirty then you can extend the time to 8 or 10 hours or set a second timer for a higher speed for an hour or two, maybe 1800 rpm to start.

    One more point, pay attention to the watts used, some folks notice that their pump uses the same watts at 1100 or 1200 rpm as it does at 1200 or 1300 so you should set to the higher RPM that still consumes the same watts. Got that?
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Variable speed pump

    FWIW, in case someone comes here looking at pumps for solar panels, the VS pumps will work with solar panels, the VF will not. That is what Pentair told me anyway - so I can't put up solar panels with my current pump.

    Now, back to your question. If you are not needing to power anything (suction/pressure side pool cleaner, etc.) then you can probably get by on running on slow speed all the time. I put together a spreadsheet and found that if I run somewhere between 1700 and 1800 RPM, that is the really efficient range in my pump to turn over the water somewhere between 90% and 110% per day running 24 hours, for the lowest electricity use. You may very well be in the same boat. In fact, my water is so clear right now, I'm considering lowering the RPM even more, because there's some more savings to be had if I go down to 1400 RPM.

    Note I have a really large pool, so you might be able to lower even further than me (if SWG is happy) or be able to run less than 24 hours. In my case, so far running very low for 24 hours is more efficient power-usage wise than trying to run partial days.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Variable speed pump

    I run the VS at 850 RPM from 9AM to 9PM. Solar kicks in when needed, and raises the motor speed to 2600 during those times (It could go lower but then air gets sucked thru the panels which I haven't figured out yet). VS is the way to go because once its tuned right, it will not only save electricity, but should theoretically last longer because its being stressed less. You may never even need the full speed setting.
    20x35 in-ground oval. Wet Edge Luna Quartz finish. Hayes Super Pump with AO Smith V-Green 165 VS motor. Polaris 380. Enersol solar heating with automatic controller. Automated chlorination with Stenner pump.

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