Is the salesman being honest, or is he just trying to sell me a $1300 pump?

Grant

New member
Aug 4, 2014
4
Bakersfield, CA
We bought a house 4 months ago and have had "fun" with the pool ever since. Our first power bill (for 17 days in June) was for $850. The house was built in 1955, but the A/C was built (and I guess installed soon after) in June of 2012 so it's 2 years old or less. As soon as we got the water balanced in the pool, I cut back the filter time from 6 hours twice a day, to once a day for about 4 1/2 hours and the pool is crystal clear and beautiful for the last 2 months. However our power bill is still running about $550 a month and we no longer need the A/C. The only thing that we can see using that much power would be the pool pump.

I was just wondering if what the guy at the chain Pool Supply place told me is accurate. According to him, our pool pump is actually sized for a hotel sized pool and the fact that we can hear it running from across the yard, means it is about to go out. We currently have a WhisperFlo WFE-6 pump with a 1 1/2 HP motor with a SF of 1.47 and SFHP of 2.20 in a pool that is approximately 18,500 gallons.

If this is correct, how do I size the pump properly for best efficiency?
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,260
Tucson, AZ
:wave: Welcome to TFP!!!

That is a pretty big pump, but I don't think it could be raking up that much power usage for only running 4 hours per day.

What is your electrical cost per kW?

The hotel-size bit is non-sense, if you have waterfeatures or a spa that require high flow rates. If not, then you could get a much smaller pump, either a 2-speed or VS and save a good bit of power.

Can you provide more details in your signature please?
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
That pump should draw 1600 to 1800 watts. Running 4.5 hours a day means roughly 230 kWh/month. Even at an electrical rate of $0.40/kWh that would still be less than $100/month.

That pump is a very plausible choice as of a few years ago if you have a spa or waterfall, a little over-sized if you don't. Replacing it with a two speed or a variable speed pump could save you 50% or more on your electrical bill, and is what I would expect to see these days. Regardless, before people worried about electrical costs, it was very common to see a pump like that on a pool like that.
 

Grant

New member
Aug 4, 2014
4
Bakersfield, CA
Updated my signature, don't know what else to add as far as the pool is concerned.

Our electric charges for the most recent month just arrived. Seems PG&E corrected our bill and dropped the bill by about $155/month for summertime use. Looks like 100+degree weather can REALLY kick up the bill in an old house. Current bill is only $115 for electric so I really think the salesman was full of it and looking for a good commission.

Our electric rate is $0.14707 per kWh

Thanks for all the quick replies.
 
Last edited:

Grant

New member
Aug 4, 2014
4
Bakersfield, CA
Almost forgot, pump and filter are on a concrete pad, easily audible from over 100 feet away. Salesman told us that a WhisperFlo should be unnoticeable from 20 feet away.

We do have some VERY minor leaks, but it looks like a total replumb of all above ground PVC will be required to solve the issue. I do get a quick squirt from the base plate between the pump and motor at startup, but it stops within 2 seconds, looks like a gasket needs to be replaced. I work in the oilfields so tearing a pump apart doesn't scare me at all. I just need a good diagram, tips on quirks of the pump and usual replacement parts and gaskets on hand before I start.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,260
Tucson, AZ
If the motor is loud (there is a neighbor behind me I can not even see the house through all the trees, etc, but their pump is getting louder and louder and louder whereas I can not hear mine at all), that could certainly be the bearings starting to go bad. One option would be to just replace the motor with a 2-speed version. Then manually select the speed (low most of the time, high for backwashing, vacuuming, etc). There would be no plumbing involved then. Just a few bolts, install a new shaft seal, hook up the electrical (after necessary precautions) with an added switch and fire it. Pretty easy if you have any DIY skills.

The next option would be to replace the motor with a new SMALLER 2-speed motor plus a matching impeller. This might even be cheaper and would use even less electricity.

Beyond that, you could get a smaller 2-speed pump (like the Superflo) for not much more than the above options which should lower the electrical even further.

BUT, like Jason said, running 4.5 hours with power of $0.15/kW should only be costing about $35/month.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
Even a quieter than average 1.5 HP WhisperFlo makes a very very obvious sound when you are next to it. Standing right next to it, you can talk over it, but it affects the conversation. If the bearings are going bad it can get much louder than that.
 

prs

Silver Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Sep 8, 2014
155
Bakersfield, CA
Back in March I paid $1199 for my Pentair Intellipro variable speed pump and the pool store (Top Dog) applied a PG&E $100 rebate to this price.

My old single speed pump was very noisy and we could hear it inside the house. The new pump is so quiet I have to go look at the pressure guage to check if it's running.
 

Grant

New member
Aug 4, 2014
4
Bakersfield, CA
It's been a while since I started playing science experiment in the backyard. I can't seem to keep any chlorine in the pool, no matter how much I add. In January I had to drain and pressure wash the pool so I got better accuracy of the depths. I think my size is wrong because 3 gallons of 13% only raised the total chlorine by .5 ppm.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,522
Evans, Georgia
How are you testing? What are your full test results (pH, FC, CC, CH, TA, CYA) and how does your water look??

Why did you have to drain and pressure wash your pool? Sort of unusual to pressure wash a fiberglass pool, isn't it?

How new was the 13% liquid chlorine? Could it have been degraded by storage in the heat?
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,380
Franklin, NC
The age/potency of anything above 8.25% bleach always has me concerned. I have started using 10%, but still question the potency.

I was at. a Lowes today and they had a a nice pallet of 10% KemTec 10%. Sitting in the sun with a date code of 15082. No thanks, too old, too warm.
 

BuckeyeChris

Well-known member
Jan 28, 2014
816
Buckeye AZ
You have access to your meter. Write down your meter one day before the pump then again when it shuts off, then the next day, trying make all other things equal, don't run the pump and check the meter at the same times. You should be able to calculate the difference and price it out for one day>>one month.

I'd also suggest selectively switching off appliances and whole breakers and checking the meter...make sure there isn't a device somewhere running all time or a neighbor cross wired in somewhere.