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Thread: Power Bill for running Pool Pump 24x7? Pump too big?

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Power Bill for running Pool Pump 24x7? Pump too big?

    My father-in-law just moved into his new house this past month. The house appears reasonably well insulated with replacement windows and a sealed crawlspace. The pump on the pool was running close to 24x7 this month due to initial algae and subsequent desire to keep things nice and sparkly - but my plan is to take that down to about 12-14 hours a day. His power bill arrived and it was GASP around $350.00 which is 2x what we pay for a larger house in the same neighborhood.

    KW/h rates are $9.2896 and the meter charge is $9.90
    He's not crazy with thermostat - really the opposite; keeps the house on around 77 or 78.

    Recently I added the Polaris 380 but it's only run about 3 hours total so far and probably hasn't been on his bill yet. The booster pump has been used a few times to help aid water circulation during bleach additions but no more than 5 hours a week.

    Here are pics of the pumps:

    Main Pump (A.O.Smith CET40ABM / C48L2N134C1):


    Booster (Polaris PB4):


    I think these are wired 230v so I'm talking about 9.3A for the main and 5.9A for the other when it runs (say 3-6 hours a week max).

    I think I just answered my own question.

    9.3A * 230v / 1000watts * $0.0927 * 30 days * 24 hours = $143 roughly. Or did I miss something?
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Power Bill for running Pool Pump?

    Ooops... I forgot that power factor needs to be used to convert to watts from VA for motors. I found this site:http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...pool-pump.htmland it suggests a .746 power factor which would be a more acceptable cost (about half) from what I calculated.

    I got a value of around $2.50 a day for 24hour pumping. Is that about right?
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Power Bill for running Pool Pump?

    I don't think you need power factor for your calculation. I think you first post had it right...expensive to run 24/7.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Power Bill for running Pool Pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    I don't think you need power factor for your calculation. I think you first post had it right...expensive to run 24/7.
    X2. I think you had it correct the first time. BTW - My pool is about 11K gallons. I run my pump about 4 hours a day and I live in hot sunny Texas and never have any issues. During the winter I lower it down to about 2.5 hours. We do however run the pump when we swim and that is a lot.
    Approx 11K Gal. 10'X30' Semi free-form IG - 6 ' raised spa w/6 jets - 10' circle sun shelf with 1 bubbler - Waterfall - 3 / 1.5 HP pumps - Polaris 280 Cleaner - 3 Pentair Color LED Intellibrite Lights - Pentair 400K Master Temp - 2 Valve Actuators - 5 Fiberstar Mini Laminars - 1 Fiberstars 2004 Illuminator - 2 Skimmers - 6 Returns - Caribbean Blue Pebble Tech - 600+ sq ft kool decK - Auto Fill - 2 Boston Acoustics VOYA RK5 Outdoor Rock Speakers - 2 TIC Corporation TFS5CN 6.5-Inch 150-Watt Terra-Forms Rock Speakers - Apple Airport Express - 1 Awesome View.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Power Bill for running Pool Pump?

    When converting from amps and volts to watts for an induction motor, you definitely need to use power factor. It is usually no less than 0.9 but it could be depending on the situation. Also, label amp ratings are not very good at estimating power usage but it will probably give a good upper limit.

    What is the model# for your Hayward pump (not motor#)? Or if you don't know, what is the pump line? SuperPump, MaxFlo, Northstar, etc .
    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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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Power Bill for running Pool Pump?

    I am learning here ...where do you get the 0.9 for power factor?
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Power Bill for running Pool Pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    When converting from amps and volts to watts for an induction motor, you definitely need to use power factor. It is usually no less than 0.9 but it could be depending on the situation. Also, label amp ratings are not very good at estimating power usage but it will probably give a good upper limit.

    What is the model# for your Hayward pump (not motor#)? Or if you don't know, what is the pump line? SuperPump, MaxFlo, Northstar, etc .
    No clue. I'll have to run over there and check. The only picture I took of the label was washed out by the LED flash and you can't make out anything. Here's an overall picture of the pump if that narrows it down any:

    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Power Bill for running Pool Pump?

    That is a 1.5 HP up rated SuperPump and the power draw as measured by the CEC for Curve-A plumbing should put it around 1390 watts.

    Also if you have one of the new digital smart meters, a direct power measurement is possible by turning the pump on and then off and calculating the power difference from the 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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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Power Bill for running Pool Pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    That is a 1.5 HP up rated SuperPump and the power draw as measured by the CEC for Curve-A plumbing should put it around 1390 watts.

    Also if you have one of the new digital smart meters, a direct power measurement is possible by turning the pump on and then off and calculating the power difference from the meter.
    This seems like a good idea. I do have a couple of meters but I don't think either one is a "Smart" one. I don't have an induction current attachment.

    Is this pump a little much for this? I have dual suction on EDIT: What I think is 2" pipe (I haven't measured it yet - but the 2" backwash hose fits perfectly) and a pair of returns on 2" pipe but one return goes through a booster pump and has a much smaller hose. The other return is shared with two outlets on the stairs and there is a smaller pipe feeding a slide. The filter is a Hayward S210T which has a flow rate of 44GPM for backwash and filtering. My understanding is that a 2" pipe is good up to 73 GPM. My suction side valves are partially closed and if they are opened all the way I get air in the system - I assumed initially that this was due to faulty valves or other problems but I wonder now.

    1.5 HP on a 13,500 gallon system with my filter seems like overkill... but I don't know enough to know any better.

    The system also includes a booster pump for a Polaris 380.
    Filter pressure runs around 10-10.5 PSI freshly backwashed.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Power Bill for running Pool Pump?

    Another estimate on power bills due to pumps is located here:
    http://swimming.about.com/od/poolandspa ... p_size.htm

    This source seems to be more in line with a $75-80 a month total cost for 24x7 use.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Power Bill for running Pool Pump?

    I budget $10/month for every hour of the day that the pump runs.

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Power Bill for running Pool Pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by proginov
    I budget $10/month for every hour of the day that the pump runs.
    I don't see any equipment info, and you don't have a signature so I'm not sure if that's applicable. What size pump do you use with what filter and plumbing?
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Power Bill for running Pool Pump 24x7? Pump too big?

    Just FYI, Vanya, that's my electric bill exactly each month while filtering 24/7. However, I believe the pool differential is about $100 of that, and even though I have 22,000 gal, I believe my pump is 1 hp, not 1.5 hp.

    However, I also run a 110 hot tub, an aquarium with chiller, a commercial dehumidifier in the crawl space 24/7, and a whole lot of sound equipment/amps/PAs in the pool house, where my son (a college music major) fools around

    PS - I now turn my pump off at night if I don't need the heater running for a morning swim. As soon as this one gives up the ghost (it's 12 years old, I believe) we're going to switch to a multi/variable speed because due to heavy leaf fall, life is nicer with the filter running 24/7!
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: Power Bill for running Pool Pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by UnderWaterVanya
    I have dual suction on EDIT: What I think is 2" pipe (I haven't measured it yet - but the 2" backwash hose fits perfectly) and a pair of returns on 2" pipe but one return goes through a booster pump and has a much smaller hose. The other return is shared with two outlets on the stairs and there is a smaller pipe feeding a slide. The filter is a Hayward S210T which has a flow rate of 44GPM for backwash and filtering. My understanding is that a 2" pipe is good up to 73 GPM. My suction side valves are partially closed and if they are opened all the way I get air in the system - I assumed initially that this was due to faulty valves or other problems but I wonder now.

    1.5 HP on a 13,500 gallon system with my filter seems like overkill... but I don't know enough to know any better.

    The system also includes a booster pump for a Polaris 380.
    Filter pressure runs around 10-10.5 PSI freshly backwashed.
    Just based on this description, I estimate that the pump is producing around 69 GPM @ 35' of head and 1400 watts. The 1.5 HP up rated Superpump that you have is actually a fairly small pump and smaller than some pumps with smaller label HP.

    But also, running 24x7 is rarely if ever required. Under normal circumstances, most pools can get away with less than a turnover per day. I am currently running only a 1/2 turn per day and the pool is kept fairly clean. So a much simpler and cheaper solution would be run the pump 3 hours per day and see if that is enough to keep it clean. Just make sure that you get enough chlorine in the pool.
    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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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Power Bill for running Pool Pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    Just based on this description, I estimate that the pump is producing around 69 GPM @ 35' of head and 1400 watts. The 1.5 HP up rated Superpump that you have is actually a fairly small pump and smaller than some pumps with smaller label HP.

    But also, running 24x7 is rarely if ever required. Under normal circumstances, most pools can get away with less than a turnover per day. I am currently running only a 1/2 turn per day and the pool is kept fairly clean. So a much simpler and cheaper solution would be run the pump 3 hours per day and see if that is enough to keep it clean. Just make sure that you get enough chlorine in the pool.
    What additional info can I get you to help me understand if this is the case? Will the missing pump info be of use? When I took over the pool it was set for 14 hours a day already and the moron who was in charge of the sale of the house (a trustee many states away) did not live up to his agreement to turn over a ready to go pool. The first few days of my experience were detailed here: cloudy-but-i-think-i-m-on-the-right-track-newbie-t47425.html

    During the recovery from that algae I started running the pump 22-23 hours a day. The water got sparkly and I tried turning it down and I got nervous when I saw less sparkle. I'm still not sure the circulation is great - the returns are oddly setup - but I'm slowly turning the time down to see what happens if I maintain the FC and don't run the pool pump as much.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Power Bill for running Pool Pump 24x7? Pump too big?

    I gave you my best estimate so the only way to improve on that would be to measure it directly but the estimate error should not be that great and is probably within 50 watts which should good enough.
    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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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Power Bill for running Pool Pump 24x7? Pump too big?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985
    I gave you my best estimate so the only way to improve on that would be to measure it directly but the estimate error should not be that great and is probably within 50 watts which should good enough.
    Thank you!

    For my peace of mind - can you clarify if a 2 speed pump is likely to be a good choice if I ever need to replace this pump? If I get the runtime down to let's say 3 hours a day (to use your example) with this pump, would moving to a 2 speed pump that was moving 50% of this flow rate and going 6 hours a day ever make sense? I'm not sure I understand the math since people say the 50% flow rate takes 1/4 the power - but then you run it 2x as long - it seems like a wash to me - do I have that right?

    Again - plan now is to cut runtime down and see what the impact is to pool and bill - so this is mostly academic - that is my nature.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Power Bill for running Pool Pump 24x7? Pump too big?

    6 hours on low takes half the total watts that 3 hours on high takes (approximately). i.e. 1400*3= 4200 total watts on high but (1400/4)*6= 2100 watts on low.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Power Bill for running Pool Pump 24x7? Pump too big?

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    6 hours on low takes half the total watts that 3 hours on high takes (approximately). i.e. 1400*3= 4200 total watts on high but (1400/4)*6= 2100 watts on low.
    So I'm NOT crazy. The sites pushing multispeed pumps act like you'll get 4:1 savings - but the truth is with this example at least you'd get 2:1 save. Not useless but not the kind of savings they want to make you think you'll get.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Power Bill for running Pool Pump 24x7? Pump too big?

    I still think you crazy

    Interesting...I am not familiar with many sites that push the two speeds, usually the emphasis is on bigger is better for pumps.

    There are some other more subtle advantages as well:

    - Better filtering in some cases since the flow is lower through the filter media
    - Lower flow means less head loss, slightly more gpm/power efficiency though not enough to get close to 4:1...still much closer to 2:1
    - One pump can do water features on high and good filtering on low.
    - Quieter on low.
    - Some suction side leaks "disappear" on low, though this is probably not really an advantage since one would want an air tight system.
    - A few others...
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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