Generator back up and Inrush Current on a Pentair INTELLIFLO IntellIgent VarIable Speed pump

Z-27

New member
Feb 16, 2021
4
Texas
My home is equipped with a standby generator. Space and noise regulations did not permit a generator that would power the entire house. Instead, we took the "Essential Circuits" route. Living in Texas we made a decision when the house and generator were new, not to put the pool equipment on the standby generator. After the recent record breaking cold weather I'm now taking a look at putting the pool equipment on the load center that is backed up with the standby generator.

When I turn on everything that is on the generator circuit now, it draws about 40 Amps on each leg. The generator can provide 75 Amps. With the Intelliflo pool motor running and the boost pump for the Polaris also running, together they draw 9.5 Amps. As you can see, that total of about 50 Amps is still well below the 75 that the generator can do. However, as many of you know, an electric motor can draw 5 times it's running current in the first 1/4 second of operation.

I know that soft start capacitor's exist for air conditioners and other inductive loads that can eliminate the inrush current problem. Somewhere in my memory banks I have a recollection that the Intelliflo pump starts up slowly and this may avoid the inrush current problem. Does anyone know about this? Does anyone have experience running their pool equipment on a standby generator?
 
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wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
2,115
Spring Valley, NY
I would imagine you would want a high quality surge protector for the pool equipment. Lots of sensitive electronics that can go up in smoke in a split second. I have one on my high efficiency boiler protecting the electronics. When the green lamp is out I'll know it's time for a new surge protector and that it did it's job.
 

Z-27

New member
Feb 16, 2021
4
Texas
I would imagine you would want a high quality surge protector for the pool equipment. Lots of sensitive electronics that can go up in smoke in a split second. I have one on my high efficiency boiler protecting the electronics. When the green lamp is out I'll know it's time for a new surge protector and that it did it's job.
I have two surge suppressors. One at the main panel, and one at the pool equipment sub-panel. I would still love to hear if anyone has any experience about the inrush current question above.
 

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
3,873
Stuart/FL
Pool Size
12800
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-30 Plus
I can't help on the inrush current information but I do have several years experience with pool equipment on the standby generator. Mine is a 22KW Generac. In S Florida my power loss risk is hurricanes and lightning. For the lightning I use a type 1 and type 2 surge protector. Did this after a major strike that cost me about $5K. No issues since even with severe, close strikes multiple times each year. For power we have a similar situation where running loads are handled easily but simultaneous starts could be a problem. We have a load shedding module to prevent generator damage for this case. Load shedding is much easier and cheaper to deal with using these modules that can be mounted anywhere. They monitor frequency of the power and drop loads as the frequency decreases to a certain level. As I recall, it will tolerate small drops for a longer period of time but when it drops to 58.5 HZ for 1.5 seconds the loads are disconnected to avoid genset damage. This allows us to run the pool equipment including the VS pump (not Pentair brand) with just a little attention to what we run. For example we'll turn off an AC before running the electric stove or clothes dryer. Pool equipment loads don't seem to be the biggest culprit in our system.

I hope this helps.

Chris
 
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