We had our pool installed last summer. I was quite lost and was given quite a bit of disinformation from the local pool stores. Found this site, bought the TF100 test kit, stopped using my inline chlorinator, switched to bleach, got my CYA under control, and now I am loving life with my pool. Haven't had any problems since. I am now moving on up and ordered boric acid a few days ago, which should be here on Thursday. My TA is a little on the high side at 130, so after doing the boric acid process, I'll probably drop my PH down to 7.2 and let my waterfall bring it back up.
I got all of this information from this site. I even have to enlighten some of my friends from time to time utilizing information from this site.
So down to the question. I have my chemicals running perfectly, pool is perfectly clear, adding the boric acid, etc. Once I get the boric acid circulated and at the optimum level, as well as my TA in check, I plan on reducing my pump time. I was told when I put the pool in that I needed to run it at least 16 hours, so they said I should just go ahead and run it 24 hours a day. After reading several threads and information from the Pool School, this seems rather excessive. I'm not worried about the money, but at the same time I don't mind saving some. My only worry is keeping my prime with my pool equipment at the level it is.
My main concern with reducing my pump time is the prime and the wear and tear on the pump, if that is even an issue. The pool builder indicated that the pump has to work a little hard at first due to the level of the equipment, so I should minimize turning the pump off and on. Also, in case anyone asks, the reason we put the pool equipment at that level is because our backyard has a pretty steep slope and we did not want the pool equipment in the middle of the yard next to the pool (so we put in on the side of the house - about 3 feet above pool grade and about 50 to 75 feet from the pool).
The only time I really lose prime is when opening up the pump basket to clean it. To remedy that, the pool builder has me turn the pump off, close the main drain and skimmer lines, turn the filter to winterize, and then open the pump basket lid. That enables me to keep my prime. After the pump basket is cleaned, I turn the filter to filter, open the lines, and turn on the pump.
I have noticed that when I have lost power or when I simply turn off the pump, I do not lose prime, but usually that is only for a few minutes. We did lose power early this spring for almost 4 hours and when the power turned back on, the pump was running perfectly.
So after all of that and considering that my pool equipment is about 3 feet above the grade of the pool, should I have any concerns about setting my pump on a timer and running it for less than 24 hours? The pump is rated at 60 gallons per minute, so based on my calculations I can get one turnover in about 6 hours. I know that is just a starting point and not necessarily the complete rule. I would plan on starting at 12 hours and reducing from there to see any change in the clarity/cleanliness of the pool.
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Correction: I was using the GMP on the filter to determine turnover. I have no clue what the GPM of my pump are. I'll have to do some digging and figure that out.