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Thread: Will replacing pump lower electrical costs

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    Will replacing pump lower electrical costs

    My electric bills have increased from $150 per month for the first three years after my pool was built to $400 - $500 per month the last two summers. I replaced my two-speed pump three years ago as my original 1 hp two-speed pump kept failing.

    Being a bargin hunter, I purchased a 1 1/2 hp two-speed pump from an on-line vendor (have read lots of negative feedback on this vendor since my purchase), and I have worried that the pump is not quite right and I now believe I purchased more hp than I need. I installed the pump myself, so who knows maybe I did something wrong with the wiring. I am willing to do whatever is necessary to lower my electric bills by at least $200 per month.

    There are only two things that run in the summer that do not run other months; pool pump and central A/C for house.

    I have been trying to pinpoint the problem. My pool builder was over yesterday and today, and he said I could take the motor off and take it in to an electrical motor shop and have them check to see if it is out of balance. He also said if the motor was made in China, that is was a piece of junk. He said that is why he switched from selling this manufacturer's products because they are now making their equipment in China. Need to take a picture of the motor and equipment, which may help suggestions.

    He agreed something is wrong given the amount of my electrical costs. I asked about replacing the entire pump with a different brand, and should I consider replacing all my PVC at this time given the age of the pool. One thing I appreciate about him is that his always looks for the least expensive solution. However, I wouldn't not have minded if he provided pros and cons.

    I also obtained my neighbor's electrical bills just to see how I compared. As you can see in the attachment, it is in the summer when my costs are more than double the neighbor's. I am also attaching my electrical usage and costs if that gives any insight.

    Appreciate all suggestions
    Attached Files Attached Files
    18k, 2001 Ft. Wayne 18'x36' oval sport pool with polymer walls, IG, vinyl, 3.5' at ends and 5' in center, Pentair 1 1/2 hp 2-speed pump (new in 2014), Hayward S-200 Sand Filter, new Raypak RP2100 propane heater (installed 4/2013), 3 jets, 1 floor drain, 1 Polaris jet (never used), 2 skimmers, new Garrett liner (installed 4/2012)

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Will replacing pump lower electrical costs

    Looks like you are using more electricity in all months but nov and dec compared with 2009.
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    maxepr1's Avatar
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    Re: Will replacing pump lower electrical costs

    I think a new motor will help. I would like to know how your neighbors bill was $6.40 in the summer! Yours was 63% higher that month!
    40'x19' IG Diamond Brite 29K 4' Waterfall/Dive Rock FNS60 DE Inteliflo VS 2hp Whisperflo pumps Aqualogic(P4) SWG TF100 Tester


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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Will replacing pump lower electrical costs

    The pump's model # would be helpful. Also, how long are you running on high speed and low speed each day?

    Also, did the power company recently "upgrade" your power meter?
    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: Will replacing pump lower electrical costs

    Quote Originally Posted by bjsbuds
    He also said if the motor was made in China, that is was a piece of junk.
    Appreciate all suggestions
    Your pool builder is wrong, a junk is a Chinese boat
    I have a cheap Chinese pump 3/4hp which uses 220w (at 240v) it is 11 years old this year. My skimmer is a high flow model with 2 1/2" plumbing to the pump and 2" plumbing to the returns. I believe the glass media also helps with lower friction through the filter but all in all it is cheap to run.
    I want to fit a new pump this year, a really efficient variable speed version so I can demonstrate it for customers but with such an efficient setup already the actual saving would be very low but considering similar pools running 3/4hp pumps locally are using around 630-650w then something on my setup is most definitely working

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    Re: Will replacing pump lower electrical costs

    my last upgrade on two family pools included all pentair system 'bundle' (3-year warranty) and VF pumps

    during winter the system runs 24hr/day and my FPL bills are below $100 / month (4 br house, 4 separate heatpump systems, well pumps for sprinkler, etc..)

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    Re: Will replacing pump lower electrical costs

    Susa, that one energy efficient house! Why does your system run 24 hours a day?
    40'x19' IG Diamond Brite 29K 4' Waterfall/Dive Rock FNS60 DE Inteliflo VS 2hp Whisperflo pumps Aqualogic(P4) SWG TF100 Tester


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    Re: Will replacing pump lower electrical costs

    >> system run 24 hours a day?

    programmed to use 95 watts power and continuous filtration, SWCG remains off, normally I may add 1 gallon/week of liquid chlorine, pH is automatically maintained by Simpoool so no maintenance required.

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    Re: Will replacing pump lower electrical costs

    Quote Originally Posted by maxepr1
    I think a new motor will help. I would like to know how your neighbors bill was $6.40 in the summer! Yours was 63% higher that month!
    Yes, she complained that her electric bills in the spring were higher than normal and something must be wrong, so they gave her a credit!
    18k, 2001 Ft. Wayne 18'x36' oval sport pool with polymer walls, IG, vinyl, 3.5' at ends and 5' in center, Pentair 1 1/2 hp 2-speed pump (new in 2014), Hayward S-200 Sand Filter, new Raypak RP2100 propane heater (installed 4/2013), 3 jets, 1 floor drain, 1 Polaris jet (never used), 2 skimmers, new Garrett liner (installed 4/2012)

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    Re: Will replacing pump lower electrical costs

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    The pump's model # would be helpful. Also, how long are you running on high speed and low speed each day?

    Also, did the power company recently "upgrade" your power meter?
    Does the attached photo of the label provide the pump model, or are you talking about a Hayward Super Pump 2-Speed? I also attached a photo of the pool equipment setup, and a photo of the pump when it was brand new in 2008. I thought I installed it in 2009, but I found photos dated 2008.

    Running the pump 24/7 on high speed. A constant fight in my house to get everyone to agree the pool remains clean on low speed.

    Nope, the meter has not been updated.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    18k, 2001 Ft. Wayne 18'x36' oval sport pool with polymer walls, IG, vinyl, 3.5' at ends and 5' in center, Pentair 1 1/2 hp 2-speed pump (new in 2014), Hayward S-200 Sand Filter, new Raypak RP2100 propane heater (installed 4/2013), 3 jets, 1 floor drain, 1 Polaris jet (never used), 2 skimmers, new Garrett liner (installed 4/2012)

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    Re: Will replacing pump lower electrical costs

    That pump draws approximately 8 amps at 240 volts on high speed and 2.5 amps, again at 240 volts, on low speed.

    That is around 2 kWh per hour on high speed. If you run the pump 8 hours a day, that would be just under 470 kWh/month. With my electric rates of $0.12/kwh, that is $56/month. On low speed it is around 0.6 kWh/hour, 8 hours a day would be about 145 kwh/month, at $0.12/kwh that is around $17/month. Of course your run time or electric rates might be very different than mine.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Will replacing pump lower electrical costs

    Quote Originally Posted by bjsbuds
    Running the pump 24/7 on high speed. A constant fight in my house to get everyone to agree the pool remains clean on low speed.
    Exactly what is the complaint when runing on low speed? If it is because the skimmer does not collect enough debris, that is normal for some pools and a trade off with run time. But on to your pump:

    If that pump is a 1 1/2 HP SuperPump and your plumbing is 1 1/2", then the operating point for the pump should be around:

    High Speed: 61 GPM @ 1639 watts
    Low Speed: 30 GPM @ 384 watts

    A pool should need between 1 to 2 turnovers per day. At full speed, that would be only 5 hours and at low, 10 hours. 24/7 is way too much for your pool and will cost you a fortune to run it that way. That is close to 1200 kwh per month.

    I would run the pool for 2 hours on high and 6 hours on low speed and see how it goes. If you hear any complaints from the family, tell them they are killing polar bears and show them where the leaf net is located.
    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: Will replacing pump lower electrical costs

    Well, that all makes sense. Since we are running our pump 24/7 on high, it is probably accounting for $168 a month in electric costs, and the remainder is probably due to an inefficient central A/C unit. Are you saying you run your pump just 8 hours a day?
    18k, 2001 Ft. Wayne 18'x36' oval sport pool with polymer walls, IG, vinyl, 3.5' at ends and 5' in center, Pentair 1 1/2 hp 2-speed pump (new in 2014), Hayward S-200 Sand Filter, new Raypak RP2100 propane heater (installed 4/2013), 3 jets, 1 floor drain, 1 Polaris jet (never used), 2 skimmers, new Garrett liner (installed 4/2012)

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Will replacing pump lower electrical costs

    In the winter, I run my pump about 2 hours per day. I only get up to 8 hours a day in the heat of the summer to keep the water circulated while the sun is on it but then it is mostly on low speed.
    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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Will replacing pump lower electrical costs

    My pool is about the same size as yours. I have a 1/2 HP pump that I run seven hours a day in the summer.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Will replacing pump lower electrical costs

    Before I put my concern about the pump to rest, I thought I would provide a little repair history on this pump. I purchased the pump, Model SP2610X152S from Pump Warehouse in Sept 2008. The pump ran very hot from the beginning, and you could not touch the housing when it was running. The pump did not come with a Diffuser, so we used the one off the old 1hp 2-speed Super Pump, which I now know was a no, no from reading other posts on this web site. The ground screw never stays in place, and seems stripped.

    When I opened the pool in the following spring, I noticed after three weeks running, that it sounded very noisy. The pump was running on low speed and when I shut it off and back on, it just hummed. My electrician was at the house working on something else, so I had him take a look. He first tested to see if the electric was sending 240 volts out, and it was. Then he took apart the motor from the pump housing and the impeller fell right off. He tried to put it back on when we noticed that the threads were stripped near the end. We tried to put it back together, and noticed that the impeller wobbled. We tried to rethread the impeller back on the motor, and it was very difficult. We finally got it all back together, but the pump would not prime. At this point I took the motor off the pump housing and took the motor into a local pool company. They put it on the bench and replaced the seal assembly and replaced the impeller.

    You ask, 'how do you remember something that happened three years ago so clearly', well I have typed up notes when I was trying to get Pump Warehouse to take some responsibility, and I just found them tonight.

    Given this pump's history, is why I am concerned it is still not right, and possibly contributing to the increased electrical costs?
    18k, 2001 Ft. Wayne 18'x36' oval sport pool with polymer walls, IG, vinyl, 3.5' at ends and 5' in center, Pentair 1 1/2 hp 2-speed pump (new in 2014), Hayward S-200 Sand Filter, new Raypak RP2100 propane heater (installed 4/2013), 3 jets, 1 floor drain, 1 Polaris jet (never used), 2 skimmers, new Garrett liner (installed 4/2012)

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    Re: Will replacing pump lower electrical costs

    Was the motor shaft bent at all and did you check for the impeller for wobble after fixing the motor?

    Also, did you put the old/proper impeller back on the motor?

    Any imbalance in the impeller or an oversized impeller will quickly burn out a motor.
    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: Will replacing pump lower electrical costs

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Was the motor shaft bent at all and did you check for the impeller for wobble after fixing the motor?
    No, I didn't check it after it was repaired.

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Also, did you put the old/proper impeller back on the motor?
    No, a new impeller was installed by the pool shop

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Any imbalance in the impeller or an oversized impeller will quickly burn out a motor.
    Since the motor has been running since 2009 is it past the 'quickly burn out' stage? Could any of this be causing increase in electrical usage?
    18k, 2001 Ft. Wayne 18'x36' oval sport pool with polymer walls, IG, vinyl, 3.5' at ends and 5' in center, Pentair 1 1/2 hp 2-speed pump (new in 2014), Hayward S-200 Sand Filter, new Raypak RP2100 propane heater (installed 4/2013), 3 jets, 1 floor drain, 1 Polaris jet (never used), 2 skimmers, new Garrett liner (installed 4/2012)

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    Re: Will replacing pump lower electrical costs

    Any failure that will significantly increase the electrical usage will create a lot of heat. Pumps with that kind of problem almost always fail very soon after they first start using extra power.

    It can get a little tedious, but your best bet might be to map out how much power all of your major appliances, including the pool, are using. This can be done by turning things on and off one at a time a watching how this changes your rate of electrical usage. You can determine electrical usage by timing how long it takes the disk in the electric meter to make a revolution. It takes some care, but that will tell you how much electricity most things are using. It isn't really precise with things like refrigerators, because you also need to know how often the refrigerators coloring system is running, but this approach is quite good for things like pool pumps.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Will replacing pump lower electrical costs

    Or get something like TED5000 ( http://theenergydetective.com ) and you can SEE what is running up your electric bill.
    16x32 IG 19,000 gallons, Pentair 1.5 hp Energy Efficient Superflo pump (348024),vinyl liner, Chlorine dispenser, Hayward S-244T sand filter

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