Best time(s) to run pump

miked1675

Member
Nov 19, 2017
8
San Tan Valley, AZ
I live in San Tan Valley, AZ where it can get up to 122 during the monsoon season, we are in it now. I have both solar for our house and a separate system for our pool. Our electrical company is SRP and since I have solar the program I am on is one to watch the kWh between 2-8 PM. Thus I am currently operating my pump from 6 AM to 6 PM on low cleaning and then in between, heavy cleaning from 9 AM to 12 Noon and finally again for solar between 1 PM to 5 PM for a total run time of 12 hrs. I'm doing the solar time at the time SRP states to watch the kWh because the time is the hottest time of the day and I am producing the most energy. Does anyone believe the 12 hrs is way too much? My pool is inground 10680 gals kidney-shaped no trees around or the neighbors. My pump is a Hayward TriStar VS model SP3202VSP.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,676
Pleasanton, CA
It is difficult to judge how much run time a particular pool will need. But consider this, the pump run time study in my signature suggests that most pools need less than 4 hours of run time to be maintained properly and the average pool needs only about 2 hours of run time. Any more run time is purely for aesthetic reasons (i.e. debris removal). Some on the forum like to run 24/7 just to keep the pool pristine and constantly free from debris. Others like myself, want to minimize run time as much as possible given what we pay for electricity.

However, given your situation, you may want to make sure you run during the part of the day where the water (not air) is at it's warmest since this the period of time where the FC levels will drop the fastest. Also, keep in mind that when you reduce run time, you need to increase the SWCG % setting to compensate. If you are running at 50% for 12 hours, you can only reduce run time to 6 hours. If you are already at 100%, you can;t reduce run time at all.
 

RC121

Bronze Supporter
Jul 9, 2011
63
Scottsdale, AZ
I'm in scottsdale and have solar but have APS, although its a similar plan with peak time from 12 to 7. I'm not sure I'm understanding your run times. If you want to run it for 12 hours, why are you running it at all between 2 and 8pm? If the SRP program is at all like APS, you'd be building up a lot of credits between 2 and 8 pm for the less kwh you use during that time frame which would offset your off-peak times but you'd still be paying money when you use energy on-peak. If I were you, I'd eliminate the pump from running between 2 and 8pm and take my time down to 10 hours. Try it out for a week and if your pool is still clean, kick it down to 9 or even 8 hours. Keep doing that until the pool isn't as clean as it was before and then go back to the previous run time.

I've not had a SWCG so that will certainly effect how much time you have to run the pump. You'll need to find the ideal pump run time to keep your pool clean but also generate enough chlorine.
 

miked1675

Member
Nov 19, 2017
8
San Tan Valley, AZ
Thanks, and yes, I have gotten a lot of info from people to cut back. I do believe I'll run 6 hrs at night and 2 hrs during the day for the solar heating bringing me to a total of 8 hrs run time.
 

mswlogo

Well-known member
Jul 6, 2017
73
MA
Time isn't the only factor. How many gallons do you want filtered? I run 24x7 now but I'm only at 80 watts.
Pool is normally covered so skimming isn't that critical.

One other factor is controlling your temps. Circulating the pool at night helps cool it, circulating during the day helps warm it (more so with a solar cover).
 

RC121

Bronze Supporter
Jul 9, 2011
63
Scottsdale, AZ
Thanks, and yes, I have gotten a lot of info from people to cut back. I do believe I'll run 6 hrs at night and 2 hrs during the day for the solar heating bringing me to a total of 8 hrs run time.
While I understand why you would run it during the day for solar heating from October - March, why would you be doing that now? Unless your pool is completely shaded, i would think your pool is bordering 90* right now like mine is. It might be a good idea to have a pump schedule for when its warm and a different schedule for when its cooler.
 

miked1675

Member
Nov 19, 2017
8
San Tan Valley, AZ
Wow! You woke me up. I never gave it a thought to run the solar October - March. With our temps now around 110* you're right, my pool is reading in the high 80's to the low 90's. I do believe I will turn off my solar and try that for a week and at the same time, I will run the pump at night for 8 hrs. We have total sun no shade what so ever. What do you run your pump at during the winter months here?
 

RC121

Bronze Supporter
Jul 9, 2011
63
Scottsdale, AZ
I will say that every pool is different and I've had 2 different pools here in the valley, both that needed different run times. During the winter months here, I found I could run my 1st pool's pump only about 6 hours with 1.5 hours of that being at a higher speed to run the in-floor system. But I also didn't care as much if it was spotless since I wasn't swimming in it.

My current pool doesn't have an in-floor system and I'm currently only manually vacuuming and brushing it til i buy a robot. But I run it at about 1500 rpm for 8 hours pretty much all year round. The only difference is i run it on high for 30-45 minutes every couple of days to vacuum it.

You have a fairly complicated system since you have 3 variables (in-floor, solar, SWCG) that could effect your runtimes and the speeds you need to run. With the in-floor system, i would suggest you test out a couple different speeds to see what gets the pop-ups to work well. Then try and run it on that speed for an hour and see if the bottom is clean. If it's clean, then you've figured out how to keep the bottom of the pool clean. Your other 2 variables are a little contradictory in the cooler months. On the one hand, you shouldn't need to replenish the chlorine as much so you could run the pump less. On the other hand, you'd need to run it through the solar for a good amount of time to bring the temps up for swimming. I'd probably figure out how long you need to run it for the right chlorine levels and then just manually run it for the solar on days you'd want to swim. But I don't like to swim here when it gets below about 90*, so you may use it more often and want to heat the water with the solar more.
 
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