Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Best schedule for timer w/ multiple interval capability

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Best schedule for timer w/ multiple interval capability

    Hey guys and girls. I've googled around and found lots and lots of different "answers" to this question, so I know it's likely a judgment call and basically just whatever I'm comfortable with ... but I wanted some opinions from you anyway.

    If I have a timer running my pump that's capable of setting 9 different on/off intervals, what would you suggest for a run schedule? I'm looking to conserve energy, but keep my pool nice and clear too. What I'm considering right now is three 4 hour "on" intervals which would look like this:
    0400-0800 hrs - ON
    0800-1200 hrs - OFF
    1200-1600 hrs - ON
    1600-2000 hrs - OFF
    2000-2400 hrs - ON
    2400-0400 hrs - OFF
    In my Googling I found multiple sources that state that the water takes approximately 4 hours to become truly "still", so I figured 4 hour intervals would work well. Does this seem reasonable? 8 of the 12 hours a day that the pump would be running would be at "off peak" times, which would save me significant $$ since our hydro provider has just changed our meters to "smart meters" which read peak and off-peak usage.

    Opinions? Comments? Suggestions? All are welcome!! Thanks in advance!
    Wes
    1) In-Ground pool with vinyl liner
    - ~25,000 gallons
    - Sand Filter
    - 1 HP pump
    - BBB method working perfectly since 2010
    2) Four Winds Honolulu Spa
    - ~450 gallons
    - 3 step bromine

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: Best schedule for timer w/ multiple interval capability

    I let mine run for an hour during peak sunlight just to get some circulation, and 4 hours off-peak. We are gtting smart meters installed and then it's just a matter of time before we get tiered rates. So I'm ready for 'em! Plus I remember the rolling blackouts in California that spelled the end of Grey Davis, just got used to not running heavy loads during the day. 5 hours is plenty for my pool, plus it gets some extra when I'm vacuuming and stuff.
    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!

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Best schedule for timer w/ multiple interval capability

    5 hours a day is all your run your pump? And only an hour at a time? I wouldn't think an hour would come even close to a full "turn over".... And then all those hours that the water is standing "still"... Do you find yourself with algae problems very often?
    Wes
    1) In-Ground pool with vinyl liner
    - ~25,000 gallons
    - Sand Filter
    - 1 HP pump
    - BBB method working perfectly since 2010
    2) Four Winds Honolulu Spa
    - ~450 gallons
    - 3 step bromine

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Best schedule for timer w/ multiple interval capability

    Having the water become "still" for a while is just fine, as long as there is enough total water movement over the course of the day.

    How many hours you need to run the pump varies dramatically from pool to pool. The ideal pump run time depends mostly on the relative size of the pump and the pool, and to some extent on the water temperature and the quality of your circulation pattern. Spreading your run time out across the day is a good idea, but is not at all crucial. If time of day metering or some other issue requires running the pump at a particular time, that is fine.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Best schedule for timer w/ multiple interval capability

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Having the water become "still" for a while is just fine, as long as there is enough total water movement over the course of the day.

    How many hours you need to run the pump varies dramatically from pool to pool. The ideal pump run time depends mostly on the relative size of the pump and the pool, and to some extent on the water temperature and the quality of your circulation pattern. Spreading your run time out across the day is a good idea, but is not at all crucial. If time of day metering or some other issue requires running the pump at a particular time, that is fine.
    So are you saying that since my off-peak rates are from 9pm until 7am, I could run my pump only through those 10 hours, and leave the pool "still" for the entire day (except a few swims here and there)?
    My hydro provider has "peak" rates applied from 0700-1100 hrs and 1700-2100 hrs. "Off peak" hours are from 2100 hrs to 0700 hrs and rates at these times are literally HALF of the "peak" times. Then they also have "mid-peak" times which are from 1100 to 1700 hrs and these rates are just slightly lower than the "peak" rates. Obviously, I'm trying to run my pump at the cheapest times possible while still keeping my pool water in good condition.
    Wes
    1) In-Ground pool with vinyl liner
    - ~25,000 gallons
    - Sand Filter
    - 1 HP pump
    - BBB method working perfectly since 2010
    2) Four Winds Honolulu Spa
    - ~450 gallons
    - 3 step bromine

  6. Back To Top    #6
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Best schedule for timer w/ multiple interval capability

    Yes, running at night only is fine as long as you have enough total hours for your particular setup (which may be more or less than 10 hours).
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Best schedule for timer w/ multiple interval capability

    And by enough total hours, are you referring to a certain number of "turn overs" that should be done? I checked the label on my pump and it doesn't state a flow rate. It's a 1 horse pump, so maybe flow rates are standard for given HP ratings...?

    Also, is there not an amount of time that would be considered "too much" for your pool water to be standing without your pump running? Or is it common for people to leave it off nearly all day long and just run the pump at night? Would it be beneficial to cycle the pump on and off for certain time periods? Or is 8 hours overnight and off the rest of the time sufficient?
    Wes
    1) In-Ground pool with vinyl liner
    - ~25,000 gallons
    - Sand Filter
    - 1 HP pump
    - BBB method working perfectly since 2010
    2) Four Winds Honolulu Spa
    - ~450 gallons
    - 3 step bromine

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: Best schedule for timer w/ multiple interval capability

    Quote Originally Posted by wes8398
    5 hours a day is all your run your pump? And only an hour at a time? I wouldn't think an hour would come even close to a full "turn over".... And then all those hours that the water is standing "still"... Do you find yourself with algae problems very often?
    Why not? Some months ago, I moved valves around and drained my spa section down a few inches, then filled it back up, timing it. Measuring diameter and depth, calculating volume and time, I came up with 60 gpm flow. With a 16000 gallon pool, that means a full turnover in roughly 4½ hours. It won't hurt anything but my bill to run it longer, but why? There's not a great deal of debris falling in, seldom any kids, never any dogs, and the wife and I only use it a couple hours a week. I've never had an algae problem since I bought the place in October.
    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!

  9. Back To Top    #9
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Best schedule for timer w/ multiple interval capability

    Running the pump enough to get one turnover a day is a common rule of thumb, but the perfect run time depends on a number of other factors and is best figured out by trying different run times and seeing what happens.

    Leaving the pool sitting with the pump off all day is just fine. There are some very minor advantages to running the pump every couple of hours, but if you have time of day electrical rates there isn't anything significant enough to justify running the pump at times when you are paying more. Many people with large pumps and small pools run the pump for two to four hours once a day and leave it idle the rest of the time without any problems at all.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    653

    Re: Best schedule for timer w/ multiple interval capability

    Great to see Jason say that. As you gain experience with your pool you learn what works. If you live in a high electric cost area, you can save even more by learning what stresses your pool filtration. I run 6 hours in the Spring, but I cut back to four when the rains and pollen stop (about two weeks ago). Then, if a storm or high dust condition hits, I'll kick it on manually several hours before a scheduled on period. I keep an eye on the light beam at night, and if I see more than the small amount of fine particles I'm used to, I will adjust the fixed schedule or do a few manual starts. It pays $$$ to be proactive on this here in NJ.

    I run 8-10AM to get skimmer action to clean the pool for the day, and 7-9 PM to cover chem adding time. No TOD rates here, yet.
    Current: 28,000G 18'x36' I/G AnthonySylvan Plaster; Waterway 60 sq.ft. DE Filter; 1.0hp x 1.65 SF Two-Speed (B2982) WhisperFlo; 2004-Present
    Previous: 40,000G 20'x40' I/G Koven unlined WWII salvage 5/8" marine steel; Lomart Stainless Sand Filter; 3/4hp Hayward SuperPump; 1946-2003 (managed by me from about 1964)
    Ancient Taylor K-2000, upgraded with Taylor CH, TA, and FAS-DPD, and TFT CYA tests.

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Best schedule for timer w/ multiple interval capability

    I'm glad I posted this question, becaue I'm quite surprised at the opinions you guys are giving. I think it's pretty common for people to think they must run their pumps for at least 12 hours a day (and sometimes up to 24!). Anyone I know with a pool around here would probably laugh at the idea of running their pump only 4-6 hours a day! Just another reason it pays to be a memeber of such a great community here, I guess!

    Richard - I have to ask about how you gathered your flow rate, because your explanation just isn't making sense to me. Did you somehow use your pool pump to re-fill your spa? I don't think I have any way of doing this, so I'll have to find another way to estimate my pump's flow rate.
    Wes
    1) In-Ground pool with vinyl liner
    - ~25,000 gallons
    - Sand Filter
    - 1 HP pump
    - BBB method working perfectly since 2010
    2) Four Winds Honolulu Spa
    - ~450 gallons
    - 3 step bromine

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: Best schedule for timer w/ multiple interval capability

    Quote Originally Posted by wes8398
    Richard - I have to ask about how you gathered your flow rate, because your explanation just isn't making sense to me. Did you somehow use your pool pump to re-fill your spa? I don't think I have any way of doing this, so I'll have to find another way to estimate my pump's flow rate.
    Yes. I have 3-way valves for inlet and outlet on my system. So I set it to draw from spa and return to pool until it went down to just above the first step, set it all to pool while it calmed down, set a ruler on the step and got a reading, then moved valves to draw from pool and return to spa. I ran it 10 minutes or whatever - I can't recall - then back to pool only, and took another reading once it calmed. Since it's pretty well perfectly round I measured diameter, knew the depth I pumped, and calculated the volume it pumped out. Since I had timed it, flow was a cinch. Then it was just some number crunching to figure out how long it would take to filter 16000 gallons.
    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!

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Posts
    84

    Re: Best schedule for timer w/ multiple interval capability

    I'm glad I found this thread! I run our pump 24/7 but lately (since going with BBB method) I have been considering cutting back on run time. Several years ago, we had a combined ozonator/SWCG and were told by the manufacturer that running 24/7 was advisable - of course, it will only generate chlorine and have ozone output when the pump is running. However, for several years, we also had problems with the ozonator/SWCG unit, so running 24/7 was probably necessary to keep a minimum FC level. We finally laid the Oz/SWCG to rest and this summer we have been maintaining a very steady, simple BBB approach, it is working extremely well, and I think we can save some $$ by shutting the pump off about 8 hours during the peak electricity hours. Excuse me while I go turn off my pump.....

    After a few weeks I'll report on how it's working.
    25 K gal, vinyl, IG, next to forest,liquid chlorine and tab chlorinator backup,55gpm sand filter,1.5hp pump

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Best schedule for timer w/ multiple interval capability

    I have had my pump set to run 4am - 7am, noon - 3pm, and 8pm - midnight for the last few days. The water's looking a tad cloudy to me, and there's definitely more debris settling on the bottom of the pool (since the skimmer's not grabbing it 24/7). I'm still not convinced that this schedule is running the filter/pump enough.
    Wes
    1) In-Ground pool with vinyl liner
    - ~25,000 gallons
    - Sand Filter
    - 1 HP pump
    - BBB method working perfectly since 2010
    2) Four Winds Honolulu Spa
    - ~450 gallons
    - 3 step bromine

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Posts
    84

    Re: Best schedule for timer w/ multiple interval capability

    I have been cutting off my pump between about 8 am and 8 pm the last 3 days; so, about 12 hours on at night, 12 hours off during the day - no ill effects observed yet, but still too early to tell. About a half-hour to an hour after turning the pump on in the evening, I check chemical levels and add chlorine, as needed. My pool parameters have been stable - FC between 4 and 6, pH stable at 7.5, <0.5 CC.

    Wes, I noticed you have a pool profile almost identical to mine - will be interesting to see if we get the same results for pump-on/pump off time that will work. However, you are much farther north - we have been having 90+ degree days here since July 4th. I should also add that we are in a heavily wooded area and the pool backs right up against the forest, so I think I have extra natural organics to deal with, especially in the spring.

    Have your FC levels been staying in the right range and CC below 0.5 ppm ?
    25 K gal, vinyl, IG, next to forest,liquid chlorine and tab chlorinator backup,55gpm sand filter,1.5hp pump

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Best schedule for timer w/ multiple interval capability

    DWS - We've been getting the same weather here. Hotter, actually. We just finished nearly a week straight of ~100 degree days!
    Anyway ... As I'm sure you've read, many proponents of utilizing pool timers will tell you that running your pump constantly for more than a few hours at a time is a waste. This is why I've switched to three 4 hour "on" intervals (as of today). Many would suggest that this is still overkill, but I want to see if my water gets back to as clear as it was when I was running the pump 24/7. If it does, I'll cut a few hours out here and there and see what happens.
    I've yet to have ANY cc's register on my TF-100 test, and I've figured out that sunlight consumes about 2 litres of 12% chlorine through a sunny day, so I've been adding 2 litres of chlorine every night to hold my FC around 3-4ppm. By the time I test later in the evening, it's usually around 1ppm.
    Wes
    1) In-Ground pool with vinyl liner
    - ~25,000 gallons
    - Sand Filter
    - 1 HP pump
    - BBB method working perfectly since 2010
    2) Four Winds Honolulu Spa
    - ~450 gallons
    - 3 step bromine

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Posts
    84

    Re: Best schedule for timer w/ multiple interval capability

    So, 2 liters of 12% - that's a bit over half a gallon (or about 64 oz). I use 6% chlorine bleach and generally put in about 96 oz. each night after sunny days to keep the FC between about 4 to 6 (more like 3 to 5 the last several days). So, our usage is similar. I don't have a timer, but I work out of my home, so I can manually set just about any off/on schedule.

    I have been on a 12-hr on / 12-hr off schedule since July 14 and so far, no deleterious effects. FC usage is about the same with running 24/7 and the 12-hr on/12-hr off schedule. On July 16th, you posted that you were observing some cloudiness. Is it still cloudy? Did you increase your FC, pump-on time, or both?
    25 K gal, vinyl, IG, next to forest,liquid chlorine and tab chlorinator backup,55gpm sand filter,1.5hp pump

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Best schedule for timer w/ multiple interval capability

    Actually, the day after I hooked up the timer and set it to the 3 four hour intervals, my wife and I took a trip to Chicago for 3 days. A family member who was over to use the pool while we were gone said she thought it looked a little cloudy. I got home the next night and it looked fine to me. Not sure what caused it, or if it was even really cloudy. Anyway, the point is, I've had no issues to speak of, really. Sooner than later I'm going to cut out a few more "on" hours and see if the pool still does well at maybe 9 hours of run time (3 three hour intervals). I suspect it will, but will post back with any issues.
    Wes
    1) In-Ground pool with vinyl liner
    - ~25,000 gallons
    - Sand Filter
    - 1 HP pump
    - BBB method working perfectly since 2010
    2) Four Winds Honolulu Spa
    - ~450 gallons
    - 3 step bromine

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •