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Thread: Pump and filter selection - Want to lower the electric bill

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    Pump and filter selection - Want to lower the electric bill

    Hello. I'm new to the forum and new to pool ownership. I'm concerned that my electric bill is way too high for a pool that's not even heated. The pump is using more electricity than everything else combined.

    I see two speed and variable speed pumps that seem like they could help me out. My sand filter seems to work just fine judging by the water, but it is very old. My piping around the pump/filter sucks--it looks like the previous owner "do-it-yourselfer" went to town cutting, joining, etc. everytime something went bad.

    Current setup: 19" Hayward sand filter, 1 HP UtiliTech (Lowe's brand) pump connected 110V (will be switching to 220V soon), 14x32 vinyl-lined inground pool, approx 12,000 gallons (?). I've been running the pump about 6-12 hours/day (depending on my work schedule, etc.).

    So I want to clean up my piping, get a more energy efficient pump, and maybe replace the filter just so that all the plumbing will match up for years to come.

    I would also consider re-configuring my vacuum line to another skimmer or to a jet if it would help skimming with a lower speed pump. I always vacuum through the skimmer.

    My pool guy said, "You just need a 3/4 horsepower pump." But I'm not sure what he was basing that on--I know the HP is only part of the equation. I wasn't aware of the electricity usage yet when he was there opening the pool.

    I pulled these questions from another posting, maybe someone can help me figure out what I need.

    Suction pipe diameter: 2"
    Average length of suction pipes: Guessing 25 ft to main drain, 40+ ft to skimmer, 25 ft to vacuum (vacuum is always closed)
    Number of individual suction pipes from the pool/spa to the equipment: 3
    Number and type of suction side valves: I don't know what a suction side valve is.
    Height of pump relative to the water level: Just barely higher than the water surface--hard to tell by looking b/c the pump is in the garage.
    Pipe size between pump and filter: Unsure (Can be easily changed)
    Filter type, size and multi-port valve size: Sand, 19" in diameter, unsure how to measure a multi-port valve.
    Filter PSI reading at the desired valve settings and pump's highest speed setting: No working pressure guage, sorry. Pool guy told me they just break anyway.
    Height of pressure gauge relative to the pump center line: N/A
    Heater - No
    Number and type of return side valves: Two... not sure what "type"
    Return pipe diameter: 2"
    Average length of return pipes: One prob @ 25 feet, other at 50 feet
    Number of individual return pipes from the equipment to the pool/spa: Only one leaves the filter, so I'm guessing one.
    Return eyeball inner diameter: Probably 3/4"
    Number of return eyeballs (usually more than the number of pipes): One eyeball on each jet, so 2

    Thanks for any advice.

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    Re: Pump and filter selection - Want to lower the electric b

    How much do you think the pump is costing? That size pump run 8 hours daily should probably run less then $25.00 monthly, off the top of my head.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pump and filter selection - Want to lower the electric b

    Where are you located and what's your cost per kwh?
    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: Pump and filter selection - Want to lower the electric b

    Cost per kwh is $0.0802. (Electricity is relatively cheap in Lexington, KY.)

    I'm not exactly sure how much of the bill it is running because I've never lived in this house without it, but I would guess it is about $60/month, give or take. My house heat (not the pool) is an electric heat pump as well, so I'm even unsure of the HVAC cost since I never have a month without heat or air on my electric bill.

    Thanks!

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    Re: Pump and filter selection - Want to lower the electric b

    And one more thing... I did the gallons calculation, and I'm probably closer to 14,000 rather than the 12,000 I meantioned before. It is a little hard to calculate quickly as the corners of the pool are rounded off. I come to 15,100 before considering the corners.

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    Re: Pump and filter selection - Want to lower the electric b

    That size pump run 8 hours daily should probably run less then $25.00 monthly, off the top of my head.
    With your kwh rate, you are probably less than $20 monthly.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Pump and filter selection - Want to lower the electric b

    So it sounds like I should have a 2 speed or variable speed pump on a timer. But what combination of those things work together? It seems to me that variable speed requires that it gets power all the time, so a timer would interrupt the electricity flow. Of course my concern with lower speeds is also that it would cause the skimmer to not work as well.

    Thanks!

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Pump and filter selection - Want to lower the electric b

    Actually, I think what Dave was suggesting, and I agree, is that it may not be the pump that is causing your high electrical costs. Plus a very easy way to reduce run time cost is to simply reduce run time and a timer would help that. I doubt that you need anywhere close to 8 hours for a 12k pool. But it isn't clear from your posts, exactly what is your total electrical bill? The pump should be between $20-$30 but again, go to 4 hours of run time and you can halve that.
    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: Pump and filter selection - Want to lower the electric b

    I finally got the next electric bill. As suggested, I reduced the run time of the pump down to about 4 hours/day.

    My bill dropped $6 overall. The average outside air temp for the billing cycle was 6 degrees higher, meaning the central a/c for the house presumably ran longer than the previous month (a/c stays on all the time due to family allergies).

    The pool seemed to stay just as clean as before from a filtering standpoint. My chlorine levels have been all over the place. My chlorine feeder set to "1.5" seemed to keep the levels appropriate before, but not now. I'm up to "5" and it seems like it's getting closer for the 4 hour run time.

    Thanks for your help, folks. Now I'll get started on reading about pool heaters!

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    Re: Pump and filter selection - Want to lower the electric b

    I would not be concerned with the pump and getting a 2spd or variable speed, not worth it. As others suggested you are barely hitting $20/mo.

    1hp pump (dont have your pump model or spec so assuming here) is lets say 1200watts (lets shoot on the high side). At 6.5hrs a day you are using 7800watts or 7.8kWh. That times 31days is 241.8kWh. That multipled by $0.0802 gives you $19.39 a month in electricity costs. Even if you got a 2spd or variable speed, you cost at most is going to drop in half, so thats only a savings of $10/mo. It will take you 5+ yrs to recoup the cost for a variable speed pump. Plus anything lower than 11-12cents a kWh is not worth the variable speed pump benefits vs the upfront cost and recoup costs.

    And doing the math of dropping the pump to 4hrs I got just about a $6 savings a month, so that goes in line with my estimate of maybe 1200watt motor. As long as you can keep the chlorine levels good and try to hit around 1 changeover in that 4hr period you should be fine. There are others who do less than 1 change over and still good, but you have to monitor the levels to see if that works for you and your pool.

    Dixit
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    14,000 Gallon Freeform Plaster based pool. 1,000 Gallon Spa with Spillage Basin. Jandy Aquapure Ei Salt Water Chlorine Generator. Jandy CL580 Cartridge Filter. Sta-Rite P6E6G-208L Filter Pump. Jandy JHP2.0 Spillage Pump. Jandy LX400 Heater. Caretaker 99 Floor cleaner. Polaris Leaf-B-Gone. iAqualink.

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