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Thread: Splitting up pump run time

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Splitting up pump run time

    After plugging my pump into a cheap timer which burned up in one day , I've been manually turning my pump on at night when I add bleach and off in the morning when I leave for work, about 10 hours or almost 2 turnovers. That means the pool is sitting stagnant for 14 hours, which I know is not a problem as the bleach does the disinfecting and the water is staying crystal clear.

    Yesterday my wife and kids decided to swim at about 4 pm. The pump had been off for 8 hours. They turned it back on because they complained about the dead bugs and other things that had blown into the pool, and thought it was gross. I don't want to go back to longer run times just to avoid this (which has never bothered me ), but it had me thinking about splitting up the run times 3 or even 4 times per day.

    I am going to install a paragon timer soon that will allow me to run up to 7 cycles daily. I had originally thought of going to twice per day, which I still may do and monitor the situation, but I'm wondering if I split the run time even further, am I potentially creating any problems since each cycle would be less than what it takes for one complete turnover?

    At this point my options seem to be 1 10 hour cycle, 2 5 hour cycles, 3 3.33 hour cycles or 4 2.5 hour cycles. If it makes no difference, it seems 4 2.5 hour cycles would be best to keep the surface of the water clear.

    Thoughts?

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Enid, Oklahoma
    Posts
    53
    Are you doing this to help with your electric bill? If so, have you looked in to a Time-Of-Use billing plan from your electric utility? I have a digital meter on my house that reads peak and off-peak usage. Our peak time is from 1 PM to 7 PM on weekdays from June 1st to September 30th. Weekend and holidays are off-peak. The peak charge is $0.229/KwH and the off-peak is $0.047/KwH. Normal rates here are $0.085/KwH so my off-peak time is almost half of the normal rates. During the peak times I shut off the pool pump and A/C in the house. Right now I'm averaging only about 4 KwH per day during peak times and about 50 Kwh during off-peak. During the weekends I run the pump 24 hours and keep the house nice and cold because the rates are so cheap during that time.

    The main caveat with a TOU plan is whether you can tolerate having the AC turned way up during peak time...and don't ever turn on a clothes dryer unless you are in an off-peak time.
    20K IG Fiberglass, 3/4 hp Sand, Hayward ColorLogic

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Our utility doesn't offer peak/no peak times.

    We're all peak all the time...

    Yes, electrical use is the main concern. Our state recently ended a 10 yr long electricity rate freeze, and our rate took a big jump. I had been running my pump 24 hours, but now that costs me about $115 a month and turns over my water almost 5 times, which isn't necessary.

  4. Back To Top    #4
    I'm not an expert, but I would try and keep the on/off cycles on the pump to a minimum. Again, not a pro, but every time you flip on a pump, it does a bit of damage, as it will be repriming, and coming up to speed. Way back when, when electricity was cheap, people just left their pumps running 24/7 to save money, since it put less wear and tear on the pump, and at least the "urban legend" was that leaving a pump running all the time was easier on it.

    With that in mind, I can see 2 five hour run periods being alright, but I'd at least look into it a bit before trying to space your 10 hours out over more than that.

    The other thing I think might be an issue is that bunches of shorter pump times might not turn over the entire pool as well, and you might end up with those hard to reach "dead zones" that most pools have to some extent getting turned over even less.

    A low tech option is to try and trick your kids into thinking using a skimmer on the end of a pole is a fun game to play before they jump in the pool, they can compete to see how many bugs they can collect!
    Jim

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob
    I'm not an expert, but I would try and keep the on/off cycles on the pump to a minimum. Again, not a pro, but every time you flip on a pump, it does a bit of damage, as it will be repriming, and coming up to speed. Way back when, when electricity was cheap, people just left their pumps running 24/7 to save money, since it put less wear and tear on the pump, and at least the "urban legend" was that leaving a pump running all the time was easier on it.
    Rob, my pump stays primed when I shut it off, so that wouldn't be a concern. As for damaging the pump/motor with infrequent on/offs, I'd sure hope they are built better than that.

    With that in mind, I can see 2 five hour run periods being alright, but I'd at least look into it a bit before trying to space your 10 hours out over more than that.
    Looking into it is what I'm trying to do

    The other thing I think might be an issue is that bunches of shorter pump times might not turn over the entire pool as well, and you might end up with those hard to reach "dead zones" that most pools have to some extent getting turned over even less.
    This is what I was thinking too. I guess it would be partially offset by swimming stirring up the dead zones, but on non-swim days I think there would be potential to actually filter some of the water twice, and some of it maybe not at all. I agree, starting with 2 5 hour run times, which in theory should assure complete turnover twice daily (for my set up), but then again dead zones are dead zones, and should it really make a difference? I don't know. More frequent cycle times should skim the surface better, but I don't want overall water clarity to suffer.

    A low tech option is to try and trick your kids into thinking using a skimmer on the end of a pole is a fun game to play before they jump in the pool, they can compete to see how many bugs they can collect!


    At this time I don't have a skimmer attatchment for my vac pole. Owned a pool almost 13 years and have never had one. I guess it's about time I should look into one...

    Thanks for your comments

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Round Rock, TX
    Posts
    529
    My kids tend to swim at the same time each day. I have set my timer to start running ~2hours before they play. This cleans all the bugs and stuff off the pool.

    Our peak/off peak times are denoted by months in the year, not hours of the day so there is nothing much I can do about that either.

    I have introduced them to the skimmer on the end of a pole, that has limited success
    15,500 gal, inground gunite pool with 7 ft spa, 2 speed pump 2hp/.33hp, 3/4 hp booster pump, Intermatic P1353 timer, AutoPilot SC-48, Sand filter with ZeoBest, Heater, that I never use . . .

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