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Thread: Determine pump runtime

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    Determine pump runtime

    I've read the pump run-time article in the Pool School but thought I'd get some opinions on how I should setup my pump. It's my first pool. I've had it running max speed 24/7 since it was installed ten days or so ago in order to clear the iron from the well fill water. Now that it's cleared up, I'd like to get the pump running on a schedule.

    The pump is a variable speed pump from 600-3450RPM (increments of 250RPM.) It has three "steps" that I can program a duration and speed for. Every 24 hours it cycles through these steps. The default program is:
    Step 1: 3100RPM for 4 hours
    Step 2: 2600RPM for 4 hours
    Step 3: 1600RPM for 8 hours

    The Pool School article states four hours of circulation for proper chlorination, eight hours if using a variable speed pump, but to adjust if the pool isn't as clean as I'd like. I typically clean the skimmers and add the day's chemicals around 5:00. The pool is under a lot of trees and typically gets a lot of leaves and pine needles. How does this sound?

    Step 1: 1600RPM for 9 hours (6:00AM-3:00PM)
    Step 2: 3100RPM for 4 hours (3:00PM-7:00PM)
    Step 3: 2600RPM for 4 hours (7:00PM-11:00PM)
    Pump off for 7 hours (11:00PM-6:00AM)

    Does that sound like too much? My concerns are making sure it's circulating when I add my chemicals, enough to skim the debris, and also to be running when we might be using it.
    ~16,200 gallon 18x34 Doughboy AG pool. Fully above ground (not buried, no deep end). TF-100 test kit. Variable speed pump. Cartridge filter.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Determine pump runtime

    You only need to circulate for an hour after any addition. I would try getting rid of Step 3. Even then it is likely more than enough and I would not run on full speed for so long. Also might be able to lower the RPM to closer to 1000rpm for Step 1.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Determine pump runtime

    Which specific pump do you have? The 1,000 RPM suggestion only applies to some of the larger variable speeds, not the newer smaller variables.
    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: Determine pump runtime

    I have the Waterway 165 variable speed pump:
    http://www.waterwayplastics.com/prod...le-speed-test/

    The motor on it is the Century V-Green 165:
    https://www.centuryelectricmotor.com...&id=6442450977
    ~16,200 gallon 18x34 Doughboy AG pool. Fully above ground (not buried, no deep end). TF-100 test kit. Variable speed pump. Cartridge filter.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Determine pump runtime

    Great. You have one of the newer small (1.5ish HP) variable speed pumps.

    One thing you want to figure out is what the lowest speed you can run it at is that still skims effectively. As the speed goes down the skimmers will eventually stop skimming. I suggest starting at 1600 RPM and seeing how it skims. If everything is good, try turning down the speed and see if it still works, until you have found the lowest speed where skimming is still reliable. That speed is the speed you should use for all of your pump run time (except the very beginning). You want the pump to startup on a somewhat higher speed, just to be sure it primes correctly, but only run at the higher speed for 15 minutes (or as short as you can program it to do).
    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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    NoFear95's Avatar
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    Re: Determine pump runtime

    I am FAR from a expert but that seems like alot of run time. But you know your pool best, run it till it looks clean. My pool looks amazing with a 4 hour a day cycle. I run it from 4am-8am everyday, 3 hours it runs at about 1200 RPM, 1 hour at 2600 RPM to engage the pump. I don't have alot of air borne tree stuff (this is the desert afterall).

    I would shoot for the lowest amount of run time that keep the pool looking great.
    IG, 18K gallons, 100' Perimeter, 565 SF surface area, 980sf interior area, Max Length -36', Max Width - 16', Pentair 520 Clean and Clear Cartridge Filter, Stenner Chemical Injection System (Chlorine, Acid Coming Soon) , Pebble Tech - Blue Granite, Pentair variable speed filter pump, Zodiac MX8 Cleaner, Multi-Colored LED Lighting, Travertine coping & Decking, Boulder Water Fall....

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    Re: Determine pump runtime

    Alright... revised run-time according to everyone's advice. Regarding ensuring the pump starts at a fast enough RPM to prime, the manual indicates the pump automatically goes into a priming stage when starting from the off state (2600RPM for 3 minutes.) Does anyone know if this includes when the schedule has a duration after the 3rd step where the pump is off before repeating step one after 24 elapsed hours? As I understand it, the pump is not in the "off" state during this time. If that's the case I would need to have the first step at 2600RPM to prime it. I'm leaning towards that, because the default step 1 is at 3100RPM, not requiring the priming.

    Revised schedule:

    Step 1: 2600RPM for 1 hour (3:00-4:00PM) -- in order to ensuring priming, the shortest duration I can set a step to
    Step 2: 1600RPM for 4 hours (4:00-8:00PM) -- for circulation, skimming
    Step 3: N/A
    Pump off for 19 hours, 8:00PM-3:00AM

    Not sure if I can set Step 3 to be 0 duration and/or 0RPM. If not I'll split step 2 up into two steps of 2 hours.

    Thoughts?
    ~16,200 gallon 18x34 Doughboy AG pool. Fully above ground (not buried, no deep end). TF-100 test kit. Variable speed pump. Cartridge filter.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Determine pump runtime

    Is the pump losing prime when it is shut off? It shouldn't.
    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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    NoFear95's Avatar
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    Re: Determine pump runtime

    Exactly, my variable speed will automatically prime if needed on start up.
    IG, 18K gallons, 100' Perimeter, 565 SF surface area, 980sf interior area, Max Length -36', Max Width - 16', Pentair 520 Clean and Clear Cartridge Filter, Stenner Chemical Injection System (Chlorine, Acid Coming Soon) , Pebble Tech - Blue Granite, Pentair variable speed filter pump, Zodiac MX8 Cleaner, Multi-Colored LED Lighting, Travertine coping & Decking, Boulder Water Fall....

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Determine pump runtime

    The point is, the pump should not lose prime (drain) when it shuts off. There should only be a need to prime on high speed after you open up the pump and the water drains.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Determine pump runtime

    For people with both floor drains and skimmers: is it advisable to shut-off the floor drains so that you can get better skimming at a lower pump rpm?
    20x44 IG vinyl. Intelliflo, Pentair Cartridge Filter (420ft^2), Raypac 336K, Kreepy Krauly

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Determine pump runtime

    Quote Originally Posted by jmhjgh View Post
    For people with both floor drains and skimmers: is it advisable to shut-off the floor drains so that you can get better skimming at a lower pump rpm?
    Yes that can help. Usually good to keep a little flow coming from the floor though so the water is not stagnant.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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