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Thread: New to forum

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    New to forum

    After months of frustration with my new energy efficient water pump, this week I finally found out that there may be exceptions to the claims that energy efficient pumps save on your power bill. Long story short, even the Pentair tech support admitted that he had learned something from my experience.

    Problem is that I have not seen any reduction in my power bill when I installed the Pentair energy efficient pump last November. After going round and round off and on for months, I found out by hook and by crook that since I have solar electric power production (NOT solar water heater) that my bill is already at tier 1 AND I have a salt water pool, an efficient pump will not reduce your power according to my experience.

    I know, I know that I will probably be the first and only customer that reports this! The only other remote problem, which the company denies completely without checking it out, is that I just might have a defective motor. I have not run any tests because I am just an ordinary customer and the local installer is useless and tried to blame the entire matter on me personally and with the monitoring system! Its a Jandy. I was not happy with that remark and reported him to the Pentair!

    Futhermore, Edison, my power company to which I got a check because they want people to purchase this pumps addmitted that they never had any independent studies that verify the claims of saving "Up to 90% of your water pump power useage" (From the Pentair website). Furthermore, the edison rep said that YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THE PENTAIR NOT US! I was stunned by that remark. I was not accusing them of anything, I was just informing them that they ought to study the claims made by the industry.
    Good news is that Pentair rep FINALLY understood that I may have a point because of the solar energy production that already puts me in the lowest cost. But he wants me to talk to THE expert of the company.

    Thats my story. Bottom line is that if you have a salt water pool (requires a flow rate of about 1000-1500 rpm from the pump) and you have solar power on your house (not solar water heater) and your current pump is fine, you may or maynot get the reduction in your power bill if you decide to purchase the variable energy efficient pump.
    I did not after 8 months of experimenting.
    Any comments?
    Have a good day,
    Steve
    15K vinyl free form, WisperFlo 1hp, Hayward 30" Pro Series Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG

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    Brentr's Avatar
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    Re: New to forum

    This is very interesting. I wonder how many people did in fact see reductions in their electric bills.
    6,000 gal, IG free form,Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish,Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues,Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump,Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15,Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers,Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Pentair IntelliBrite, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer Our New Poolbuild, Jacksonville, FL yr 2009 Solar install Outdoor kitchen upgrade

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    Re: New to forum

    Quote Originally Posted by Brentr
    This is very interesting. I wonder how many people did in fact see reductions in their electric bills.
    According to my local installer, I am the only one (out of 300) who is not happy, but its a bias answer from him. He has no data just what people, the few, who called him. Pentair reps have all said the same thing. I spoke with 4 or 5. I am asking around my condo complex as there are several who have installed and talked with the HOA manager about this. I have not heard anything yet. BTW the HOA is installing the pumps on our four common pools! He was very interested, but the decision was made. Beside as I said, the common pools are not salt water and no solar energy. So the HOA might see a reduction.
    Steve
    15K vinyl free form, WisperFlo 1hp, Hayward 30" Pro Series Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New to forum

    How much of your power do you produce yourself?
    If it's a significant amount I wouldn't expect you to see much reduction.
    You also left our a lot of details. Such as, what size your pool is, which pump you have, how long you have to run your SWCG, how much is your power per KWH, etc.

    We want all the details because if someone comes here looking for recommendations with your particular set of circumstances we'll know not to suggest a high priced pump.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: New to forum

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    How much of your power do you produce yourself?
    You also left our a lot of details. Such as, what size your pool is, which pump you have, how long you have to run your SWCG, how much is your power per KWH, etc.
    We want all the details because if someone comes here looking for recommendations with your particular set of circumstances we'll know not to suggest a high priced pump.
    Answers to your questions:
    produce about 90% of the power we use.
    pay about 12 cents per KWH.
    14000 gal pool,
    4 speed Pentair IntelliGlo VS-3050
    SWCG is on about 6-9 hours, same hours as the pump is on. I was experiementing if I could get a reduction at the risk of generating algae. Nothing worked.

    This is what worked in reducing my power bill. We were on the road all of May in our RV. I am retired. I shut down the electric water heater and of course everything else was not running, Wash/Dryer, electric stove. Only the refrigerator and the pool were still running while we were away. When we got home and looked at the bill for May, I got a huge drop in our power useage for that month. After we got back and turned on the appliances, the electric bill went back up to where its been for the last two years before the new pump and after the new pump. Its more evidence that the pump is not doing what is expected.

    Yes, I agree its a good idea to consult with clients who have similar setup that they may not get the kind of savings that is claimed by so many. It will be rare, because not many have solar electric generating panels on their house, but the fact that you are talking to me, means that the probability is increasing as we head deeper into the 21st century
    Thanks,
    Steve
    15K vinyl free form, WisperFlo 1hp, Hayward 30" Pro Series Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: New to forum

    We may be able to help you if you can post a full set of test results. I run my pump 4hrs a day on a 13.5k gal pool and do not see any algae but I do stay on top of my water chemistry. Let us know and maybe we can help cut down your run time.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New to forum

    At that rate you're not going to see much, if any, reduction in your power bill even if you could run the pump on the lowest speed.

    I'd gladly give up any pump savings if I could produce 90% of my power usage.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: New to forum

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    At that rate you're not going to see much, if any, reduction in your power bill even if you could run the pump on the lowest speed.

    I'd gladly give up any pump savings if I could produce 90% of my power usage.
    Thats what I told Pentair rep. Looks like for people who are in my very unique and fortunate situation of having solar power, no additional savings will happen with these new pumps. Luckily, I am out only $800 dollars, but its information that needs to be told to the industry so that they can consult clients who have solar power that they may not see much power bill reduction. They don't know now, believe me when I tell you. The profession does not know what to make of my situation. They are learning now.

    Still, its hard to figure because all of the reports say that swimming pool pumps use the most power than the other household appliances (electric water heater, washer/dryer, and even AC), you would think I would see some savings.
    thanks,
    Steve
    15K vinyl free form, WisperFlo 1hp, Hayward 30" Pro Series Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG

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    Re: New to forum

    Quote Originally Posted by dmanb2b
    We may be able to help you if you can post a full set of test results. I run my pump 4hrs a day on a 13.5k gal pool and do not see any algae but I do stay on top of my water chemistry. Let us know and maybe we can help cut down your run time.
    I stay on top of the chemistry too. I cut down the pump to about 6 hours, because I could not go lower, the chemicals started to get out of whack and I could see algae growing. I was able to cover a month to see what it did on the power bill, but I could not see any difference.
    Also, I have to keep the rpm at about 1200 to 1500 so that the salt water generator can do its job. I would gladly run it at 750 rpm for 16 hours to experiment, but the SWG will not work.
    15K vinyl free form, WisperFlo 1hp, Hayward 30" Pro Series Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: New to forum

    I would think that you would get a reduction in energy usage. But, if you have a large enough solar system that you have 90% of your electric bill paid by your solar system, one would not think that that buying an energy efficient pool pump would have much dollar impact on your bill.

    The claims of "up to 90%" are just that, "up to". From all I've read and seen of variable speed pump users, 50% or higher savings off your electric usage is to be expected. I just purchased an Intelliflo VF pump, and it looks to be SAVING maybe 2/3 of my old pumps usage. You might estimate your old pumps usage and compare it to what the new pump is using. Add it up for the hours you were and are using each, and I'll bet your new Intelliflo is using less electricity than your old pump.

    Expecting this less electricity use to translate to dollar savings, would be very surprising for you, however, if you already are getting some 90% of your electricity from solar. Since almost all of your electricity usage is free from solar, there just isn't much of an electric bill to extract dollar savings from. But again, the new Intelliflo should be using less electricity than your old pump.

    Any idea of what your old pump was using? My old 1 hp pump was using 1.6 kw, and running it for six hours was over 9.5 kwh per day. My new pump uses about 0.25 kw at 23 GPM (just under 1500 rpm for me). So running the new pump for 13 hours, I use about 3.25 kwh per day. This is a savings of over 6 kwh per day. If you have a smartmeter, you can turn you new pump on and off a couple of times and see the difference in electric use on the smartmeter digital readout.

    Jeff
    40 x 16 (28k gallon) plaster pool, Intelliflo VF pump, Hayward 48 sq. ft. DE filter, using Purifiber, using BBB, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: New to forum

    Also, I wonder if you are getting the flows needed to turn over the amount of water you need.

    I have the Intelliflo VF, and at 1200 rpm, it is flowing less than 15 GPM on my pool. I don't even get at 15 GPM reading until about 1250 rpm. You mentioned you were running the pump 6-9 hours. If I was running mine at 1250 rpm, that would be about 15 GPM. So in the 6 hours you mentioned, that would be 5400 gallons at day. And that's at 1250 rpm, so running it at 1200 rpm would be less gallons pumped per day. You pool is 14,000 gallons so you may be only turning over less than 40% of your pool per day.

    You might want to try running the pump something a bit higher. With my flow set to run at 23 GPM, my VF will runs just a bit less 1500 rpm (clean filter), which seems to get the most flow per kw (for my pool).
    40 x 16 (28k gallon) plaster pool, Intelliflo VF pump, Hayward 48 sq. ft. DE filter, using Purifiber, using BBB, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: New to forum

    This may be a too simplistic way of looking at it, but it seems to me that any $$ savings of electrical usage for any of your appliances (pool pump, refrigerator, range, etc.) will only be about 10% of what is typically quoted because typically people pay for 100% of their energy usage, not 10% as you do.

    So, if you go shopping for other energy-efficient appliances (not just pool pumps), remember that you have already paid a large sum toward energy efficiency in the form of your solar power. In other words, it may not make much economic sense to invest in energy-saving appliances, light bulbs, and so on since you already invested in the solar power system. You've reached the point of diminishing marginal return.
    25 K gal, vinyl, IG, next to forest,liquid chlorine and tab chlorinator backup,55gpm sand filter,1.5hp pump

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    Re: New to forum

    Quote Originally Posted by ride525
    I would think that you would get a reduction in energy usage. But, if you have a large enough solar system that you have 90% of your electric bill paid by your solar system, one would not think that that buying an energy efficient pool pump would have much dollar impact on your bill.

    The claims of "up to 90%" are just that, "up to". From all I've read and seen of variable speed pump users, 50% or higher savings off your electric usage is to be expected. I just purchased an Intelliflo VF pump, and it looks to be saving maybe 2/3 of my old pumps usage. You might estimate your old pumps usage and compare it to what the new pump is using. Add it up for the hours you were and are using each, and I'll bet your new Intelliflo is using less electricity than your old pump.

    Expecting this less electricity use to translate to dollar savings, would be very surprising for you, however, if you already are getting some 90% of your electricity from solar. Since almost all of your electricity usage is free from solar, there just isn't much of an electric bill to extract dollar savings from. But again, the new Intelliflo should be using less electricity than your old pump.

    Any idea of what your old pump was using? My old 1 hp pump was using 1.6 kw, and running it for six hours was over 9.5 kwh per day. My new pump uses about 0.25 kw at 23 GPM (just under 1500 rpm for me). So running the new pump for 13 hours, I use about 3.25 kwh per day. This is a savings of over 6 kwh per day. If you have a smartmeter, you can turn you new pump on and off a couple of times and see the different electric use on the smartmeter digital readout.

    Jeff
    Hi Jeff,
    Thanks for the suggestion about comparing my old pump with the new pump. I am looking into that. Unfortunately, all I can do is measure what the new pump uses. The old pump which was 1.5 horse power pump and, "too big" for my pool I was told, is all I know. The installers took it when they installed the new pump. Its been nine months since they took it so I doubt if they still have it, still I will call and ask just to get the specs.

    This is the problem I see with the claims of up to 90%. I know that as well as anybody, if I could get 20% savings I would not be here complaining. However, when our city and power company are offering rebates on these new motors and neither has studied the actually energy saving performance, I get alarmed. I am retired and will be going to the board meetings at Edison and my local city to inform them that they should study this before putting more tax payer money into something that is not doing what its supposed to be doing.

    Thanks again,
    Steve
    15K vinyl free form, WisperFlo 1hp, Hayward 30" Pro Series Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG

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    Re: New to forum

    Quote Originally Posted by DWSPool
    This may be a too simplistic way of looking at it, but it seems to me that any $$ savings of electrical usage for any of your appliances (pool pump, refrigerator, range, etc.) will only be about 10% of what is typically quoted because typically people pay for 100% of their energy usage, not 10% as you do.

    So, if you go shopping for other energy-efficient appliances (not just pool pumps), remember that you have already paid a large sum toward energy efficiency in the form of your solar power. In other words, it may not make much economic sense to invest in energy-saving appliances, light bulbs, and so on since you already invested in the solar power system. You've reached the point of diminishing marginal return.
    This is what I have painfully learned and I think the pool industry, the local cities and the power companies should know about. If you already have solar power (which is rare now, but won't be as we move foreward), the savings will not be there. It would save tax payers and power company expenses as well as angry customers with solar energy. Thats all I am saying.
    Thanks,
    Steve
    15K vinyl free form, WisperFlo 1hp, Hayward 30" Pro Series Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: New to forum

    Here's a thought: swap your new energy-efficient pump for a new, not-so-energy efficient pump plus cash for the differential value with someone else who doesn't have solar power. Sock away the extra cash in your solar power maintenance fund.
    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

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    Re: New to forum

    Quote Originally Posted by sschullo
    Hi Jeff,
    Thanks for the suggestion about comparing my old pump with the new pump. I am looking into that. Unfortunately, all I can do is measure what the new pump uses. The old pump which was 1.5 horse power pump and, "too big" for my pool I was told, is all I know. The installers took it when they installed the new pump. Its been nine months since they took it so I doubt if they still have it, still I will call and ask just to get the specs.

    This is the problem I see with the claims of up to 90%. I know that as well as anybody, if I could get 20% savings I would not be here complaining. However, when our city and power company are offering rebates on these new motors and neither has studied the actually energy saving performance, I get alarmed. I am retired and will be going to the board meetings at Edison and my local city to inform them that they should study this before putting more tax payer money into something that is not doing what its supposed to be doing.

    Thanks again,
    Steve
    Steve,

    I would be surprised if you are NOT getting energy savings of at least 50% off your old pump's usage. I posted some numbers, and my pump was 1 hp, smaller than your 1.5 hp, and I'm getting well over that savings. Also, I believe the California Public Utilities Commission has studied, or published performance, for these pumps.

    You are in a most unusual situation. In fact, in my mind, doubly unusual. First you are in the extreme minority, a residential customer with solar electric generation. And second, most customers who size solar, don't size it to anywhere near what you did, that is, getting 90% of your electricity from the solar system.

    And as DWSPool pointed out, you have a wonderful solar system, that you know is paying some 90% of your electric usage. So your DOLLAR savings from any further energy efficiency efforts you make will be minimized, since your electric bills to Edison are already be so low.

    Again, I think you probably are getting ENERGY savings of 50% or likely more from what little I know about your setup. It's just that it is hard to see those energy savings translate to dollars on your Edison bill, since your solar system pays for so much of your electric bills.

    Finally, check my post above about flows. You may be getting less total gallons flowed now with your new pump than you were with your old pump, if you are running at pretty low RPM (like 1200), and just six hours.

    Jeff
    40 x 16 (28k gallon) plaster pool, Intelliflo VF pump, Hayward 48 sq. ft. DE filter, using Purifiber, using BBB, TF-100 test kit

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: New to forum

    Hi Jeff,
    Yes, our solar is doing exactly what its supposed to do and Real Goods Solar knew how to match our needs to the number of panels that we bought. Just about a perfect match. As I said in another post, that is what I have learned. I innocently thought that I could eek out more savings with the new pump, since pool pumps use so much energy compared to all other house appliances. But combined with the salt water generation demands of a decent flow rate, those savings are minumal at best or nothing at all. At least, the new pump is not using MORE energy (Although the first month after installation, I was so excited to read my bill and the bill was higher, I was shocked!, but then started to go down as the months went by).

    What I really take issue is that I thought that the new pumps in of itselft was a new technology that whatever speed it ran, it used electricty more efficently. Who knows, perhaps my old pump was a very good pump.

    Ill keep you posted.
    Steve
    15K vinyl free form, WisperFlo 1hp, Hayward 30" Pro Series Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: New to forum

    Steve,

    The new variable speed pumps are more efficient. If you could compare usage with just your old pump running before, and usage with just your new pump, I would think you would see substantial less energy used on the new pump. But it may be hard to see on your total bill, since you have such a huge amount of your total usage paid each month by your solar system. You can estimate usage on your old pump, if you remember the pump model and can look up the specs online.

    Second, the variable pumps really shine when you run them at lower speed. For instance, say you were running your old pump at 50 GPM average for six hours a day. You could run the variable speed speed pump at 25 GPM and run it 12 hours a day. For me, a similar setup saves 2/3 of my energy, I would think your energy savings would be similar. It's just that solar is paying so much of your bill, the energy savings are hard to see or getting masked by your other usage, and the solar generation that is 90% of usage.

    Your old pump was a one speed pump, correct? If it was a two speed, that would explain why you would not see too much energy savings. (Going from one speed to variable speed is much more dramatic for energy savings, than moving two speed to variable speed.)

    And I and others have found that the very lowest speeds are not necessarily the most efficient. First, keep in mind, that you want to get a certain amount of gallon turnover in a day. So, in my example, six hours at 50 GPM , or 12 hours at 25 GPM. (Or 15 hours at 20 GPM). All these will turnover 18,000 gallons in a day. I found that my VF pump ran most efficient (most gallons per kw) on my pool setup at 23 GPM (about 1500 rpm). One other found, on his pool, the VF ran most efficient at 26 GPM (slightly higher unknown rpm). You do have the speed consideration for your SWG, but it sounds like it's minimum needed flow is well below both of these.

    Hope this helps,

    Jeff
    40 x 16 (28k gallon) plaster pool, Intelliflo VF pump, Hayward 48 sq. ft. DE filter, using Purifiber, using BBB, TF-100 test kit

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: New to forum

    Quote Originally Posted by ride525
    Steve,

    The new variable speed pumps are more efficient. If you could compare usage with just your old pump running before, and usage with just your new pump, I would think you would see substantial less energy used on the new pump. But it may be hard to see on your total bill, since you have such a huge amount of your total usage paid each month by your solar system. You can estimate usage on your old pump, if you remember the pump model and can look up the specs online.
    I will do this, thanks.
    Second, the variable pumps really shine when you run them at lower speed. For instance, say you were running your old pump at 50 GPM average for six hours a day. You could run the variable speed speed pump at 25 GPM and run it 12 hours a day. For me, a similar setup saves 2/3 of my energy, I would think your energy savings would be similar. It's just that solar is paying so much of your bill, the energy savings are hard to see or getting masked by your other usage, and the solar generation that is 90% of usage.
    Where is the evidence that the new pumps in and of itself are more efficient? This comment negates your first comment. If you lower the speed, of course, you will save energy. The fact that my solar obscures any savings is beside the point.


    Your old pump was a one speed pump, correct? If it was a two speed, that would explain why you would not see too much energy savings. (Going from one speed to variable speed is much more dramatic for energy savings, than moving two speed to variable speed.)
    Yes it was a one speed, 1.5 horse which I was told was too powerful. Thats why I am disappointed with the entire matter.

    And I and others have found that the very lowest speeds are not necessarily the most efficient. First, keep in mind, that you want to get a certain amount of gallon turnover in a day. So, in my example, six hours at 50 GPM , or 12 hours at 25 GPM. (Or 15 hours at 20 GPM). All these will turnover 18,000 gallons in a day. I found that my VF pump ran most efficient (most gallons per kw) on my pool setup at 23 GPM (about 1500 rpm). One other found, on his pool, the VF ran most efficient at 26 GPM (slightly higher unknown rpm). You do have the speed consideration for your SWG, but it sounds like it's minimum needed flow is well below both of these.
    Once again, the slower speeds have nothing to do with the new technology. If my old pump had a lower speed and it didn't, technically, it would use the same amount of energy as the new pumps at the same slower speed. What am I missing?
    Hope this helps,

    Jeff
    15K vinyl free form, WisperFlo 1hp, Hayward 30" Pro Series Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: New to forum

    Steve,

    First of all, lower the speed of a pump, say by half. You are right, of course, that the pump will have less electric demand. But that's not the point. If you lower the speed of a pump by half, you need to pump twice the number of hours to get the same daily flow. So, if the energy usage was only half, at half speed, you wouldn't gain any energy savings. But it doesn't work that way. Pumping at half speed, uses way less than half the energy, because you are not pushing water through the pipes as hard.

    My old (1hp) pump used about 1.6 kw, and pumped about six hours. That's 9.6 kwh per day. My new pump pumps almost half the flow, and uses 0.25 kw, pumping 13 hours. That's 3.25 kwh per day. A huge 6.35 kwh savings, or over 66% savings. Your energy savings on the new pump should be somewhat consistent.

    If you have a smartmeter, turn the pump on and off a couple of times, and check the kw demand difference on the smartmeter with your new pump. This will show you how really low the usage is on the IntelliFlo pumps, you might try it at 1300, 1400, or 1500 rpm. The higher rpm will or course have more kw demand, but there will be more flow. (as I mentioned my VF seems to runs most efficient at about 23 GPM, just under 1500 GPM, for my pool.)

    Second the "IntelliFlo uses an exclusive permanent magnet motor (used in hybrid cars), a fundamentally more energy efficient design compared to traditional induction motors." This is from Pentair's website, but others have made the claim that this alone makes the Intelliflo 30% more efficient.

    Also, the Intelliflo incorporates a controller to allow programming of optimal pump speeds.

    The last two points, outline why the IntelliFlo, can be more energy efficient, than even a two speed pump, even running at half speed.

    Jeff
    40 x 16 (28k gallon) plaster pool, Intelliflo VF pump, Hayward 48 sq. ft. DE filter, using Purifiber, using BBB, TF-100 test kit

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