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Thread: What is the most efficient way to use a Variable speed pump?

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    What is the most efficient way to use a Variable speed pump?

    Hi Peeps,

    I have a Hayward Maxflo II VS pump - couple of years old - and wondered what is the most efficient way to run the pump. Is it better to run it 24hrs per day at a slow speed (assuming that the flow is enough for SWG) or an average 10hrs/day or more during the day at a higher speed? I would have like to be able to choose a schedule of speeds for the pump but sadly this Hayward only allows for choosing one of three speeds, which can be user set, but after that the pump will always default to that speed when it restarts.

    thoughts?
    SWG - Exterior
    12x5M
    90,000 Ltrs /24,000US gallons
    Pool Pilot Digital
    Hayward Max Flo VS
    Polaris 280
    Vinyl liner
    Sand Filter

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: What is the most efficient way to use a Variable speed pump?

    It's rare that you'll need to run it 24/7, and perhaps not half that. You need to run it fast enough to provide good skimming, and long enough that it keeps the pool clean and clear to your level of satisfaction. Many of us run less than ten hours per day, somewhere around a medium speed if we have one with VS. Personally, mine does quite well on 7-8 hours a day, broken into three run intervals throughout the day, starting early AM at a little over 2000 RPM. I live in quite a dusty environment, and I get a lot of debris from nearby and overhanging trees as well. You'll have to experiment, but don't be shy about working down your run times to see what works well for you.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: What is the most efficient way to use a Variable speed pump?

    Hi Patrick, thanks for the input. Like you the pool is in a very dusty and hot environment, in the middle of the countryside with fields etc all around. I have tried various speeds, all the way down to 900rpm, although this is then too slow for the SWG to produce chlorine, so not usable. At the moment the pump is running about 2600rpm for approx 7hrs during the day and then again for about 4hrs at dawn, so perhaps I'm overdoing it...Either way the pool stays clean, which is good, but I am not there most of the time so I tend to have to be overzealous with the pumping. I just wondered whether 24hrs at lower speeds was actually just as effective if not more so (I believe that particles passing slowly through the sand filter tend to be stopped more easily and more effectively) than running for shorter periods at higher speeds.

    The best solution would be a truly variable speed pump that could change speeds during the day on it's own, but that would mean buying a new pump and negating any gains that I have made on the electricity usage over the last couple of years.
    SWG - Exterior
    12x5M
    90,000 Ltrs /24,000US gallons
    Pool Pilot Digital
    Hayward Max Flo VS
    Polaris 280
    Vinyl liner
    Sand Filter

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: What is the most efficient way to use a Variable speed pump?

    Here is what I have done with my VS pump.

    Speed 1 is 1100 rpm, draws 150 watts, gives me enough flow for skimmers and SWG to make chlorine. We have lots of trees! During busy tree season we run the pump 24x7 to keep tree stuff skimmed and off the bottom. During not busy season it runs at 1100 rpm for 12 hours 8a-8p. Mostly because I need to make chlorine and I need the water moving for the solar controller. And it costs less than 20c per day to run 12 hours.

    My SWG is on its own timer, right now it runs something like 9a-3p or 10a-4p.

    Speed 2 is 1950 rpm, draws 550 watts. When solar heat is available the solar controller opens the solar valve and switches pump from speed 1 to speed 2.

    Speed 3 and 4 are used manually for brushing, waterfall and other stuff.
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    Re: What is the most efficient way to use a Variable speed pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post

    Speed 2 is 1950 rpm, draws 550 watts. When solar heat is available the solar controller opens the solar valve and switches pump from speed 1 to speed 2.
    Is that the Pentair Solartouch controller? Does this control power to the pump and thus the speed depending on sunlight (through a solar panel)? I'm guessing that it's only compatible with Pentair equipment...?
    SWG - Exterior
    12x5M
    90,000 Ltrs /24,000US gallons
    Pool Pilot Digital
    Hayward Max Flo VS
    Polaris 280
    Vinyl liner
    Sand Filter

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: What is the most efficient way to use a Variable speed pump?

    Yes, it is a Pentair Solartouch controlling a Pentair VS pump. No, it does not control the power, power is wired directly to the breaker, hot all the time. Pump is controlled by a low voltage data cable from pump to controller. There is a temp sensor on the roof near the solar panels and a water temp sensor in the plumbing. When solar temp is above water temp it opens the solar valve to send water to the panels and changes pump from speed 1 to speed 2.

    With pool automation it is usually best to stay with the same brand. Hayward makes several solar controllers. AquaSolar® | Hayward Pool Products
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: What is the most efficient way to use a Variable speed pump?

    ah right. That would assume that I have a heating system, which I don't. The pool enjoys being heated by the sun and currently has already reached 27C. During August it reaches temps of 29C, so end up having to try and cool it down by keeping the cover on during the day.
    SWG - Exterior
    12x5M
    90,000 Ltrs /24,000US gallons
    Pool Pilot Digital
    Hayward Max Flo VS
    Polaris 280
    Vinyl liner
    Sand Filter

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: What is the most efficient way to use a Variable speed pump?

    Aeration, fountains or waterfalls running at night will help cool your pool. But, can also raise PH so watch the PH if you do.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: What is the most efficient way to use a Variable speed pump?

    IMHO the best way to keep your pool clean is to catch surface debris in the skimmer before it has a chance to sink to the bottom. To do this the first step is to optimize the direction and angle of your return jets such that surface debris is moved towards and into the skimmer. After this the speed of the pump can be lowered until you begin to lose skimmer action. Then you adjust pump run hours downwards as much as you can whilst making a judgement if the pool is still clean enough for you.

    I run my pump 3 hours per day and found it best to split the run time between early morning and evening to catch more debris in the skimmer. I have to temporarily increase run time in Autumn when leaf load increases.
    Cheers, Peter
    20,000 gal, 52'x17' kidney shaped IG, Pebble Tec, IntelliPro P6E6VS4H-209L pump. Intellichlor IC40 SWG.
    300 sf Sta-Rite System 3 cartridge filter. Poolvergnuegen 4-wheel suction pool cleaner. TF-100 test kit.

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: What is the most efficient way to use a Variable speed pump?

    yes...really what's needed as far as I can work out is the a high speed for a couple of hours a day to skim (perhaps in towards the end of the day) - and then a low speed for the remainder of the 24hrs to filter.
    SWG - Exterior
    12x5M
    90,000 Ltrs /24,000US gallons
    Pool Pilot Digital
    Hayward Max Flo VS
    Polaris 280
    Vinyl liner
    Sand Filter

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