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Thread: New pump, no idea what rpm should be

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    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Palm Harbor, Florida
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    New pump, no idea what rpm should be

    Probably a subjective question, but I'm trying to figure out what kind of RPM numbers I should be using for our new variable pump (see my newly updated profile signature below). I guess the goal is to find the lowest RPM we can use and also have our pool properly operating but I have no idea how to reach that number. What variables do I look at for determining the answer to that question?

    Right now I think our pump is running in neighbor of 3000 rpm, and I'm concern that it's consuming a lot of watts than what is necessary.

    Thanks in advance
    Florida-style enclosure (lanai) housing 18,000-gallon outdoor in-ground salt pool/spa, PeebleTec finish. Spa water waterfalls into pool. Hayward model 17502 cartridge filter system, Hayward SP3400VSP EcoStar Variable-Speed Pool Pump. One skimmer, Baracuda Zodiac MX-8 cleaner. Palm Harbor, Florida

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Re: New pump, no idea what rpm should be

    For maximum cost savings you should run the pump around 1000 RPM, perhaps a little higher, for filtering. You will need to use a higher speed for the spa and probably for the Baracuda Zodiac MX-8 as well. But for just filtering and circulation 1000 RPM usually works well. Start by trying out 1000 RPM and check to see if the skimmer still skims effectively. If the skimmer stops skimming you may need to turn that up a little. You will need to experiment to find out what speeds are optimal for the spa and Baracuda Zodiac MX-8. In each case you want the lowest speed that still works well.
    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

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    Re: New pump, no idea what rpm should be

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    For maximum cost savings you should run the pump around 1000 RPM, perhaps a little higher, for filtering. You will need to use a higher speed for the spa and probably for the Baracuda Zodiac MX-8 as well. But for just filtering and circulation 1000 RPM usually works well. Start by trying out 1000 RPM and check to see if the skimmer still skims effectively. If the skimmer stops skimming you may need to turn that up a little. You will need to experiment to find out what speeds are optimal for the spa and Baracuda Zodiac MX-8. In each case you want the lowest speed that still works well.
    How do I tell if the skimmer has stopped skimming? No debris collection in the skimmer basket, basically?
    Florida-style enclosure (lanai) housing 18,000-gallon outdoor in-ground salt pool/spa, PeebleTec finish. Spa water waterfalls into pool. Hayward model 17502 cartridge filter system, Hayward SP3400VSP EcoStar Variable-Speed Pool Pump. One skimmer, Baracuda Zodiac MX-8 cleaner. Palm Harbor, Florida

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Silver Spring, MD
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    37,879

    Re: New pump, no idea what rpm should be

    Correct. In most cases the skimmer either works fine or doesn't work at all, so it should be fairly obvious.
    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

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    Join Date
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    Re: New pump, no idea what rpm should be

    Ok -

    Right now it's set to 2500 rpm - but in order to get pressure numbers reading of 3.5-4.0 for Zodiac MX8, I have to turn handle to block some on the "skimmer" (thus more will come through the "vac" line, which my MX8 is connected to). Will keep eye on skimmer, whether's it's collecting or not.

    However, for some reason, our MX8 hasn't been able to climb walls at all, whereas it used to be able to on our original pool surface (plaster), at same reading (3.5-4.0). It just struggles at the start of wall and gives up, so it basically only does its cleaning around the bottom of pool, nothing for our walls. This is worrying for us. We're not sure if this means MX8 might need servicing - like new tread bands (wheels), or something else.

    If we increase pressure reading to 6+ on MX8 it does finally climb up our walls, but 6+ is way above what was recommended by manufacturer.

    As far as we can tell, there's no "stuttering" or stuck debris interfering with our MX8 operation inside the unit.

    Any ideas?
    Florida-style enclosure (lanai) housing 18,000-gallon outdoor in-ground salt pool/spa, PeebleTec finish. Spa water waterfalls into pool. Hayward model 17502 cartridge filter system, Hayward SP3400VSP EcoStar Variable-Speed Pool Pump. One skimmer, Baracuda Zodiac MX-8 cleaner. Palm Harbor, Florida

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