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Thread: Thinking about a 2 speed pump...

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    Laenini's Avatar
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    Thinking about a 2 speed pump...

    I'm looking for a bit of advice. Last summer we installed a natural gas heater onto our above ground pool. We really loved the heater and we kept our pool nice and warm with a water temperature in the upper 80's. Now I had expected to have a really high gas bill as a result of that luxury, but the gas bill really wasn't very big at all last summer. What did go up sky high though was our electric bill. To keep water running through the heater, we ended up running our pool pump a whole lot more than we had the previous summer, and I am sure that is what drove our electric bill so high.

    So now I have been thinking, would running a 2 speed pump on the low setting keep water moving enough through the heater to keep the heater running a much as we like? Would the low-speed setting offer a significant savings in electrical usage? Am I going to have to make any wiring changes to convert over to a 2 speed pump? We had 2 separate 120v GFCI circuits trenched out to the pool last summer, one dedicated to the pump and the other dedicated to the ignition on the heater. I'm worried though that a 2 speed pump is going to require something bigger? Any advice on what model of pump might best fit our needs? We have a 24' x 48" round AGP with a Hayward H100 heater and a Hayward sand filter system.

    Any and all advice is appreciated!
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
    Hot tub: 2008 CalSpas, 8x8, 8 seats, 60+ jets, ozonator
    3 step bromine sanitation

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about a 2 speed pump...

    I don't know about the electrical aspects of your situation, but I can vouch for the 2 speed, we have one and I run it on low 24/7, so I leave my heater on and set so it kicks in whenever the water temp drops below 86 degrees. This doesn't impact the electric bill for me very much at all, maybe $15-20 a month.... I rarely use the high speed setting, perhaps for the occasional vacuming.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about a 2 speed pump...

    I don't know what size pump you have but going to a 2-speed unit shouldn't have any different electrical service requirements than the single speed you have now. You may have to change your timer or add a switch but the power should be the same.

    How do you control the pump you have now?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Laenini's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about a 2 speed pump...

    We had a timer installed last summer that turns the pump on and off for us, but I was always overriding it and changing it to keep the heater running as much as I wanted it to. I believe this is the timer we have: http://www.aquasuperstore.com/produc...sure~4951.html

    FPM: If I remember correctly, I think our pool setups are very similar. Can you tell me which 2 speeder you have? Also, do you have any advice about a vendor to purchase it from?

    With our central air running our summer electric bills average right around $300/mo (I know, huge bill already...that huge electric bill was the biggest shock when we moved into this house 6 years ago). Last summer our electric bill more than doubled during the summer months! Really, the only thing different last summer over the previous years was running the pool pump. I am hoping it wouldn't take long for a new pump to pay for itself, even if it only saved a fraction of the increase.
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
    Hot tub: 2008 CalSpas, 8x8, 8 seats, 60+ jets, ozonator
    3 step bromine sanitation

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    Re: Thinking about a 2 speed pump...

    Out of curiosity, a few questions:

    1) what size pump do you have now
    2) how long do you typically run it during the day
    3) whats your electric rate

    Reason I ask is that a pool pump, even a single speed running enough to turn the water over even 2 times a day shouldn't double the electric bill, I wouldn't think. As a comparison, I have 2, 3 ton AC units and 3000 sq ft of house. My electric bill in July runs about $400 and that's running the AC and a 3/4 HP pool pump ~10 hours a day, and a heat pump for 3-4 hours every morning.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Laenini's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about a 2 speed pump...

    I am honestly not sure what size the pump we currently have is, but I want to say its 1HP. I'll try to get out and double check on it in the daylight this weekend. As far as how much time were we running the pump, in all honesty we were pretty much running it 24/7 or close to that. We had a cold summer up here in Minnesota and we were really enjoying that new heater and our "bathtub warm" swimming pool!
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
    Hot tub: 2008 CalSpas, 8x8, 8 seats, 60+ jets, ozonator
    3 step bromine sanitation

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about a 2 speed pump...

    Quote Originally Posted by Laenini
    I am honestly not sure what size the pump we currently have is, but I want to say its 1HP. I'll try to get out and double check on it in the daylight this weekend. As far as how much time were we running the pump, in all honesty we were pretty much running it 24/7 or close to that. We had a cold summer up here in Minnesota and we were really enjoying that new heater and our "bathtub warm" swimming pool!
    I can relate... kept forgetting to turn off my electric heater that I needed in April, enjoyed in May and wasted in June. The mounting utility bills provide an excellent reminder, however.

    Even if the pump wasn't solely responsible for the large increase in your electrical bill, you can use the answers to the questions suggested by bk406 to determine how much you might hope to save by changing to a 2-speed or multiple speed pump. At minimum, you'll want to write down the make/model and horsepower (HP); also look for service factor (SF) and amps - often displayed on the pump label. You should be able to compare costs using the excel spreadsheet discussed in the first post to the following thread.

    pool-pump-energy-cost-comparison-t18378.html (If you need help figuring it out -- I did -- post back.)

    To quickly figure your electric rate, take a monthly bill and divide the total dollar amount for electricity (amount due, usually) by number of kWh used during the month. Eg. $250 / 1750 kWh = 0.14286 Rounds to 14 cents per kWh.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    View of spiral galaxy in Ursa Major NGC6217 - Hubble Telescope 2009

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    Re: Thinking about a 2 speed pump...

    You probably dont need to run the pump as much as you have been to maintain your desired temperature. It all has to do with pump size, heater size, and how you use your pool (every day, couple times a week, weekends only). Post back you heater size (BTU output), pump size, gallons of water in your pool, optimal water temp that you guys like to maintain, and how you use your pool. My bet is that you can run your pump half as much and still keep your desired water temp. If you post the above info with your electric rate, we can figure out how many BTU it will take to keep your water at the temp you like, and how long your heater needs to run to maintain it, and cost to do so. Also, post your gas rate as well.
    Do you use a solar cover?
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Laenini's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about a 2 speed pump...

    Well, I've been looking some more at this issue. Our current pump is a Hayward model with 1 speed and its 1HP. Our pool is 13,500 gallons, 24' round AGP with a Hayward H100 (100,000 BTU) natural gas heater. We use a sand filter. Hayward makes a 1HP 2 speed pump (example here: http://www.poolproducts.com/SPP/prod...sp?pf_id=E2190 ). Is this what I am looking for? I've also found a similar pump made by a company called Waterway that is much cheaper. I've never heard of waterway though, anyone know if they make a good pump? Here is an example of what they have to offer: http://www.electricmotorwarehouse.co...round_pump.htm . We swim daily in the summer, and often in the evenings after dark. We like the pool really warm (honestly, like 92 degrees for night swimming). Any advice is appreciated!

    Leanne
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
    Hot tub: 2008 CalSpas, 8x8, 8 seats, 60+ jets, ozonator
    3 step bromine sanitation

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about a 2 speed pump...

    If your current pump is in good shape you might consider just changing the motor. Just look at the nameplate on the motor and match it except for the speed. High speed will be the same as what you have now and low speed will be half that. If you could post a pic of the nameplate we can help you with selecting a replacement.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Thinking about a 2 speed pump...

    Well, after looking at your specs, i'm not sure a different pump would help much. It might a bit, but i dont think thats the main problem here. You like a REALLY hot pool. To keep your pool that warm, honstly your heater is very undersized, IMO. You have to run the pump an inordinate amount of time to warm the pool and keep it that warm with a 100,000 BTU heater. For a 10 degree rise in temp, you will have to run the pump and heater 11 hours. Depending on the use of a solar cover, how much heat is lost at night, etc, the pump run time can vary. But, at 100,000 BTU's, your heater is really undersized for the temps you want to maintain. Even using a 2 speed pump, the run time to keep the pool at those temps will be the same. A 2 speed would save a bit of electricity, but honestly, i would forgo the new pump and save up a bit for a bigger heater. A 400K heater would heat that same 10 degrees in about 3 hours.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about a 2 speed pump...

    Quote Originally Posted by Laenini
    Well, I've been looking some more at this issue. Our current pump is a Hayward model with 1 speed and its 1HP. Our pool is 13,500 gallons, 24' round AGP with a Hayward H100 (100,000 BTU) natural gas heater. We use a sand filter. Hayward makes a 1HP 2 speed pump (example here: http://www.poolproducts.com/SPP/prod...sp?pf_id=E2190 ). Is this what I am looking for? I've also found a similar pump made by a company called Waterway that is much cheaper. I've never heard of waterway though, anyone know if they make a good pump? Here is an example of what they have to offer: http://www.electricmotorwarehouse.co...round_pump.htm . We swim daily in the summer, and often in the evenings after dark. We like the pool really warm (honestly, like 92 degrees for night swimming). Any advice is appreciated!

    Leanne
    Hi Leanne - I'm sorry I never saw your post back to me from January!

    I have a Waterway 2 HP 2 speed pump, and I have a 125,000 btu heater. I run my pump on low 24/7 - I don't notice much of an impact to the electric bill at all - it's the gas bill that can avg an extra $60 a month when the heater is in use...more when we have unseasonably cold temps. I was worried about the pump last year - this is is 9th season I belive... we'll see if it lasts but I've been very happy with it.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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