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Thread: Which pool cleaner is a good companion for a variable speed pump?

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    Which pool cleaner is a good companion for a variable speed pump?

    Hello Everyone,

    I have a Jandy Epump 2.2 HP pump on my 13x26 gunite pool which I'm running at 1400 rpm while consuming 141 watts for approximately 8 hours a day. I have several cycles where I've programmed the pump to ramp up to 2250 for several minutes in order to do a surface skim. I'm attempting to find a solution that won't add to my current energy footprint. I'm currently vacuuming and brushing my pool by hand but I'd like to pick up a pressure side cleaner to save me a little elbow grease.

    I was looking at purchasing a Polaris 360 but I'm not sure if my current pump speed will provide the cleaner enough pressure to properly function.

    Does anyone know if a Polaris 360 will function at 1400 rpm? I know that my current GPM might aid in answering this question but I don't have a completely accurate figure.

    I also considered going with an aquabot jr but that little guy consumes about 230 Watts by itself which doesn't quite fit my criteria.

    Does anyone know if any pressure side pool cleaners, new or old that will help me achieve my goal?

    Thanks!

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Which pool cleaner is a good companion for a variable speed pump?

    Rottlover,

    Are you also looking for a rotary dial telephone?

    Check out the current robot lines that use DC power. In my opinion, a much better solution than ramping up your pump speed or adding a booster pump.

    See this thread... http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...ny-s-Discovery

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    Re: Which pool cleaner is a good companion for a variable speed pump?

    Hey Jim,

    I grew up using a rotary phone but your analogy isn't quite correct. Those "DC" cleaners(it's a misnomer as it still uses AC) aren't energy efficient at all. They are very inefficient as far as power consumption goes. Even though it's powered by DC internally it has a converter that converts AC to DC which is quite wasteful and inefficient. That thread you linked me to shows that they're pretty good cleaners but I'd bet that it's no more efficient than other robotic cleaners actually.

    I was told that the cleaner consumes .5 cents an hour which is actually worse than the Aquabot Jr, although it seems like a killer/better cleaner at a good cost.

    The Maytronics S200-300 cleaners consume about 450 watts across the whole line.

    My current power consumption is 145 watts at 1400 rpm's. My pump consumes 584 watts at 2250 rpm which is actually less than running the pump and the Maytronics robot at the same time.

    So in the end it's actually cheaper to ramp up my pump speed and use a Polaris for a few hours then turn it down. The Polaris seems to be a worse option as far as maintenance costs which makes the S200 attractive on the other hand.

    Decisions, decisions.

    Looking at the numbers I don't see how my calculation can be wrong.

    Maybe I'll be forced to bite the bullet either way and raise my power consumption but I'm trying to find the best solution that will lower my 470 dollar power bill! Running at 1400 rpm is a good start though.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Which pool cleaner is a good companion for a variable speed pump?

    Yep, I run my VS pump at 1100 rpm for skimming, filtering and making chlorine for the swg. It uses 150 watts, at 10.25c/kWh I can run it 24x7 for less than 12 bucks a month. I have to ramp to at least 2000 rpm, 600 watts and turn on the booster pump (1000 watts?) to run my pressure cleaner. And it doesn't do a very good job. It needs to run at least twice as long as the Doheny's Discovery at 470 watts and leave the pump at 1100 rpm. The robot 2 hours every other day does a much better job than the pressure cleaner did 3 hours per day.

    BTW, the Doheny's Discovery is pretty much the same as the S200.
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    Re: Which pool cleaner is a good companion for a variable speed pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by rottlover0 View Post
    Looking at the numbers I don't see how my calculation can be wrong..
    You assume you get the same efficiency with a "dumb" pump-driven cleaner as an autonomous robot. The robots are designed to give you effective coverage of the floor and walls in about 2-3 hours and have some degree of "intelligence" to accomplish this. The pump-driven cleaners don't necessarily give you full coverage in that time frame. They're intended to give you a random sweep of the pool but there's "random" and there's "random" so depending on your settings and your individual circumstances you might need more time on a Polaris-type cleaner than a robot for the same level of coverage/cleaning.

    I have a friend who keeps his Polaris in his pool 24/7 and it's effectively cleaning all the time. Even then he ends up with occasional dead spots.
    Geebot
    Chicago, IL
    30K gal, InGround Plaster Finish, 3.5'-9.5', Maytronics S300 Cleaner

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    Re: Which pool cleaner is a good companion for a variable speed pump?

    I run a vacuum mx8 with my vs. I ramp it up to 2800 rpms (I think it's that high)for 2 hr and back to 800 for 22hr. I have a sport style pool so it's not deep but pretty big footprint about 36 x 15. Works well for me. I am able to skim and vacuum at the same time as I have a couple skimmers
    aprox 18k in ground

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    Re: Which pool cleaner is a good companion for a variable speed pump?

    Hey barnnns1,

    I looked at the mx8 because of my pool being so small but I only have one skimmer and no dedicated suction line so I envy you. I'm considering going way down on my RPM's like you but I need a flow meter first to know if I'm getting turnover. My pump consumes only 29 watts at 800 rpm but at that speed I'd have a lot of surface bugs. I tried the Skim Doctor at 1400 rpm's and it didn't quite cut it but that's another post.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Which pool cleaner is a good companion for a variable speed pump?

    Turnover is completely irrelevant. The only thing that really matters is getting enough chlorine in the pool.

    Pool School - Determine Pump Run Time
    Mark
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    Re: Which pool cleaner is a good companion for a variable speed pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    Turnover is completely irrelevant. The only thing that really matters is getting enough chlorine in the pool.

    Pool School - Determine Pump Run Time
    I wouldn't say irrelevant. Yes chlorine is very important but if you keep that bleach moving I would think it would work better. Stagnant water is worse than moving water so if these vs pumps can keep water moving for next to nothing then I will keep my water flowing
    aprox 18k in ground

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    Re: Which pool cleaner is a good companion for a variable speed pump?

    True, but you also must move that water fast enough to have effective skimming action, so shorter bursts of running at effective skimming speed is better than a constant slow speed below that of effective skimming.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Which pool cleaner is a good companion for a variable speed pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by barnnns1 View Post
    I wouldn't say irrelevant. Yes chlorine is very important but if you keep that bleach moving I would think it would work better. Stagnant water is worse than moving water so if these vs pumps can keep water moving for next to nothing then I will keep my water flowing
    The evidence does not support that claim.

    You are relatively new on this forum so you probably haven't had a chance to see or read this evidence that is routinely discussed.

    First, read the pump run time study in my sig. It finds that after about 2 hours of run time is no appreciable change in water quality for the dozens of pools studied.

    Second, we have people on this forum that run their pumps as short as 30 minutes per day and are able to maintain very high water quality with algae never being an issue. However, there are also people on this forum that routinely have water quality issues (mostly algae) even with very long run times. So there is little to no correlation between run time and water quality. It simply does not solve water quality issues.

    The largest determining factor for good water quality is proper water chemistry management.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Which pool cleaner is a good companion for a variable speed pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post

    The largest determining factor for good water quality is proper water chemistry management.
    +1 ^^

    Agreed. I live in an extreme climate (desert) with hot summer (May-Aug) days routinely above 95F and peak temperatures during the month of June at 105F or higher. My water temperature by July 4th is always in the low 90's and I have 4 young kids using the pool all summer long. However, even with those extremes, I have been able to run my pump between 5-6 hours per day (probably not much more than 1 to 2 turnovers per day) with absolutely no algae or water quality issues whatsoever. This happens because I very carefully manage my water chemistry. There are folks here in southern AZ and on this forum in general, in cooler/less-extreme climates than mine, and they constantly report algae outbreaks or get at least one bout of cloudy water per season that needs a SLAM and they are running their pumps in excess of 16 hours per day, some running them 24/7.

    The idea that turn-over and filtration is the primary factor in keeping a pool clean and clear is simply a myth the pool industry tells itself to make up for poor water chemistry management. Filtration is certainly a necessary part of the pool but, if my pool can be run on less than 6hrs/day of filtration during the most extreme conditions, then that tells me that other factors are way more important in determining water quality.

    Also, to the OP, I have a suction side cleaner that runs pretty much all day long but does only a mediocre job at cleaning the pool. In order to get it to fly around the pool as the sales literature promises, I would have to run my pumps at very high speed which makes the suction side cleaner use as much, if not more, energy than a robot. When my suction cleaner finally dies, my plan is to go with a robot as it will allow me to dial back my pump speeds a bit (saving me money) and, based on what I've read here, it will likely do a better job in 3 or 4 cleaning cycles than my current cleaner can do running all the time.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Which pool cleaner is a good companion for a variable speed pump?

    Only posting my situation. It's cheaper for me to run 24hr on low than 5 or 6 on high. I use about 5.6 kw a day and this includes my vacuum that does a real good job. I just don't see why I should even think about changing my settings.
    aprox 18k in ground

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    Re: Which pool cleaner is a good companion for a variable speed pump?

    How about then running 5 or 6 hours per day at whatever the minimum speed needed to do effective skimming?
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Which pool cleaner is a good companion for a variable speed pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    How about then running 5 or 6 hours per day at whatever the minimum speed needed to do effective skimming?
    I have thought about trying this and I might as I have been winging off the pucks and just doing bleach. I plan on doing a 50 percent drain this winter(to lower cya). This should probly be in a different thread but I know motors tend to last longer when they don't run as hot so have there been any studies on longevity of pumps that run slower and stay cooler vs higher and hotter.
    aprox 18k in ground

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    Re: Which pool cleaner is a good companion for a variable speed pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by barnnns1 View Post
    Only posting my situation. It's cheaper for me to run 24hr on low than 5 or 6 on high. I use about 5.6 kw a day and this includes my vacuum that does a real good job. I just don't see why I should even think about changing my settings.
    I don't run my VS pump at high speed. At 2250rpm, my normal speed for daily operation, my VS pump pulls 695W for 5 hours or a total of 3.475 kW-hr/day. That's all I need for filtration and FC production. My SWG runs at 50% output so that's another 200W at 2.5 hours or 0.5kW-hrs. So in total I use about 4kW-hr of energy per day for my pool's needs. Since running 24/7 would almost certainly cost me more money (even if most of the time was spent on a very low speed) with no apparent improvement in water quality, it would make no sense for me to run my pool based on a turn-over per day model.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Which pool cleaner is a good companion for a variable speed pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    I don't run my VS pump at high speed. At 2250rpm, my normal speed for daily operation, my VS pump pulls 695W for 5 hours or a total of 3.475 kW-hr/day. That's all I need for filtration and FC production. My SWG runs at 50% output so that's another 200W at 2.5 hours or 0.5kW-hrs. So in total I use about 4kW-hr of energy per day for my pool's needs. Since running 24/7 would almost certainly cost me more money (even if most of the time was spent on a very low speed) with no apparent improvement in water quality, it would make no sense for me to run my pool based on a turn-over per day model.
    Does this include your sweep
    aprox 18k in ground

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    Re: Which pool cleaner is a good companion for a variable speed pump?

    That includes running my suction side cleaner the entire time. I have separately programmed feature circuits for high speed cleaner and manual vacuuming but those are not scheduled; I run them on a ad-hoc basis. If I switched to a robot I could remove the suction cleaner entirely and very likely run at an even lower speed. With only the skimmer and MD applied to the suction side of the pump, I can run as low as 1600rpm and still generate chlorine. That would use almost half as much power as I use now.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Which pool cleaner is a good companion for a variable speed pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    That includes running my suction side cleaner the entire time. I have separately programmed feature circuits for high speed cleaner and manual vacuuming but those are not scheduled; I run them on a ad-hoc basis. If I switched to a robot I could remove the suction cleaner entirely and very likely run at an even lower speed. With only the skimmer and MD applied to the suction side of the pump, I can run as low as 1600rpm and still generate chlorine. That would use almost half as much power as I use now.
    Thanks. I want to put in a swg before next summer but was worried about the added ele usage. Sounds like I can modify run time and still be good
    aprox 18k in ground

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    Re: Which pool cleaner is a good companion for a variable speed pump?

    you can clean way less with a robot than you can suction/pressure cleaner. i run my robot less than once a week at 4 hours, and i keep my pump on 1900 rpm for 5 hours a day. that is with swg.
    19K IG Pebbletec with attached spa. 60sqft Cartridge filter, Intelliflow VS, 399k BTU Gas Heater, Pentair IC40. Phoenix, AZ, full sun.

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