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Thread: Just got electric bill - time for a variable speed pump?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Way north of Chicago

    Just got electric bill - time for a variable speed pump?

    Looks like approx 800 KWH/month to run our pool pump! This month's electric bill happened to start just the time we opened up the pool. Makes sense, as it's a 1.5 HP pump running for about 16 hr/day. So, is it time to think about a variable speed pump? Here's the dope on our setup:

    25000 gal fiberglass/concrete pool
    4 skimmers + main drain, 5 eyeball returns
    1.5 HP Magnetek/Starite pump, could be 10 or 15 years old on a mechanical timer + GFI
    Jacuzzi Sherlock 120 cartridge filter
    All plumbing 1.5"
    Pump, filter, heater in basement about level of bottom of pool
    Gas heater
    Have a booster pump for cleaner, but use electric robot instead

    I believe I have the skills to do an install myself. Worth doing? Which pump? What kind of KWH savings could I expect? Is there a simple way to interface with the heater (now it's connected to the pump timer)?

    Thanks for any advice.
    25000 gal inground curved L shape - concrete, fiberglass walls - with Jacuzzi Sherlock 160 cartridge filter, Laars Lite LLG gas heater & Klean-a-tron robot
    near the pool: Cookshack Smokette, Akorn Kamado grill, putting green
    in the shed: Deere greens mower, Simplicity FC-16 front cut mower

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Just got electric bill - time for a variable speed pump?

    A two speed pump run on low speed will save you 50% off the pumps electric bill. However, a much simpler approach would be to shorten your pump run time. Most pools are just fine with the pump running 4 hours a day, a few require 5 or 6 hours a day. I can't imagine you needing 16 hours a day. If you cut that back to 4 hours a day that would save you 75% right away with no investment.

    A variable speed won't save you all that much more. If your electric rates are low it might not save you anything more. Having four skimmers limits just how far you can turn down the pump speed, which is where the largest savings come from.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)

    Re: Just got electric bill - time for a variable speed pump?

    Why so long?

    I keep my pool clean on 3 hours a day plus whatever it gets when I'm vacuuming. Have you read the article on determining run time?
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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