Pump run time help

#1
Hello everyone,
I'm a rookie and need some advice on running my pump. We finished our pool at the end of July and our pool builder said just let the pump run 24-7. I have read on this site that it doesn't need to run 24-7 so when would be the the best time for it to run and at what RPM's? Also when I set the pump to low RPM's (750) the heat pump would shut off? Any help on what i should try when opening the pool this year would be helpful.
Thanks, Greg
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,860
Bedford, TX
#2
Greg,

You only need to run the pump long enough to skim your pool and to generate the amount of chlorine you need.

Since you have an auto cover, you should not normally have to skim much, as nothing will be falling into your pool. Of course I'm sure you already know that we believe that 3" tab feeder, like the one you have, are like the devil's child, but even so, you will still have to run the pump long enough to generate the chlorine you need.

I run my pump 24/7, because I have a SWCG and like to generate a little chlorine all the time. For my SWCG to work I have to run at 1200 RPM.. For your "Devil's Child" to work you need to push enough water through it to dissolve the tablets... I just don't believe that 750 RPM is going to do it.

There is no way anyone else is going to be able to tell you how long to run your pump or at what specific speed. You will have to see what works for you.. I would start by testing your FC and then run your pump for X hours and see what your FC is then.. Basically you will need to see how long it takes you to generate the amount of chlorine your need.

Are you sure about the HP of your pump? Most IntelliFlo pumps are 3 HP not 1.5... The Pentair SuperFlo VS is a 1.5 HP pump..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
May 3, 2014
12,729
Laughlin, NV
#3
Can you check what pump you have? There is no such thing as a Pentair Intelliflo 1.5HP pump.
If you want to run your heat pump you need to find what rpm it takes to close the pressure switch in it. Then use that rpm to run it.
The length of time to run the pump depends on how much time you need for heating. The only other time frame is skimming and mixing chemicals. Since I do not see a SWCG I assume you are adding liquid chlorine as needed and thus you need to run the pump about 1 hour after adding the liquid chlorine to mix it.

Without the heat requirement, you may be able to only run the pump for a few hours each day and be fine.
 
OP
OP
S
#4
Thank you Marty and Jim for the quick replies!
I have learned a lot from your responses. I did not know that the chlorine feeder were the devil’s child! It seemed to work well enough with my pump keeping chlorine levels where they were suppose to be. I think it was easy for a rookie so I thought it was good. My wife put some tablets in the feeder that dissolve to quick and plug the feeder up causing no chlorine to get to the pool for days and clouded the water. We learned the all tablets are not the same! What would be a better way to get consistent chlorine into my pool other than the feeder? I will to pay attention over time and hopefully find a good balance of the pump running, getting chlorine into the pool and having the water clear. I think when I open the pool I may need to run the pool 24-7 with the amount catch up to get the temp to a reasonable temp. It still has a little ice under the auto cover in the deep end today but snow is melting and our weather is changing quick.

So i may need to edit my signature line for my pump! The manual say it’s a Intellipro VSF 3hp.

I will read thru my heat pump manual a little better to determine what rpm is needed to keep the pump running. I will be using it more in April, May, June and not at all during July, August and September.

Is there a level of rpm’s you like pumps at.

Thanks again Greg
 

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
334
Palm Desert, CA
#5
That’s a great pump, and if indeed is the new VSF, it’s a variable speed and flow-making your question that much simpler to solve. You flow is ultimately more important that the rpm, which can elicit different flow rates depending on different factors (head loss). You want to find a flow rate that gets your heat pump running, SWCG churning, and water filtering turned over efficiently. Each device (heater, SWCG...) has a flow meter that is a safety switch so the unit won’t turn on until the appropriate flow rate is met. Ideally, you want to run your pump at a low enough speed to do all that, as lower VS pump speeds lead to exponentially lower energy use. Your pump will display wattage used and should have 8 speed presets. Check it out, high speeds use exponentially higher electric use.
My heater won’t turn on until I have my pump at at least running at 2000 rpm, but my SWCG requires at least 1100 rpm to turn on, but yours may be different because your flow to rpm ratio is unique. I used to know my rough flow rates off hand, (don’t have a fancy VSF ;)jealous. I have a new pool and I’m still trying to dial in the best rpm/flow for me, but I had my other pool dialed in after a few months. In general you’ll see people running the pump for simple filtering at 1000-1500 rpm for 8-16 hours/day. Depending on season and wind and debris and such this could change.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,860
Bedford, TX
#6
Greg,

Chlorine feeders generally clog up when the water flow rate is too low..

The downside to chlorine feeders is that the tablets contain both chlorine and CYA (a chemical that helps keep the tablet together).. At first this is all perfect and things work really well. The FC (chlorine) is used up by swimming or the sun, but unfortunately the CYA is not. So, over time, the CYA keeps getting higher and higher and soon it starts making the chlorine less and less effective. With the chlorine not working, your pool then turns cloudy and then green... :(

Chlorine feeders can be used, but understanding how they work and what to look for is important. You can't just chunk in tablets and then do nothing else.

I suggest that you read through our pool school and see what we are all about..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
OP
OP
S
#7
That’s a great pump, and if indeed is the new VSF, it’s a variable speed and flow-making your question that much simpler to solve. You flow is ultimately more important that the rpm, which can elicit different flow rates depending on different factors (head loss). You want to find a flow rate that gets your heat pump running, SWCG churning, and water filtering turned over efficiently. Each device (heater, SWCG...) has a flow meter that is a safety switch so the unit won’t turn on until the appropriate flow rate is met. Ideally, you want to run your pump at a low enough speed to do all that, as lower VS pump speeds lead to exponentially lower energy use. Your pump will display wattage used and should have 8 speed presets. Check it out, high speeds use exponentially higher electric use.
My heater won’t turn on until I have my pump at at least running at 2000 rpm, but my SWCG requires at least 1100 rpm to turn on, but yours may be different because your flow to rpm ratio is unique. I used to know my rough flow rates off hand, (don’t have a fancy VSF ;)jealous. I have a new pool and I’m still trying to dial in the best rpm/flow for me, but I had my other pool dialed in after a few months. In general you’ll see people running the pump for simple filtering at 1000-1500 rpm for 8-16 hours/day. Depending on season and wind and debris and such this could change.
Hi Kevin,
Thank you for getting involved with educating the rookie. Maybe I have a fancy pump but have no clue how to run it yet! It does have 8 presets stations with rpm, gpm and wattage. I manually set it last summer at 750, 1,500, 3,250 and let it run. I do know the heat pump ran fine on 1,500 but would not run on 750. I used the high rpm setting for cleaning the pool, I hope to buy a robot this spring and not have to deal with the vacuum anymore! My thought was I can set the pump to come on and off when needed after I learn what is needed? In my orientation (very brief) with the pool builder i was told to run it 24-7 and the water would be clear and turn it up to vacuum. We didn't get into how to program 8 stations to best utilize the pump. I need to do a little research on my heat pump and determine what it requires to operate as you and other have instructed. As you and others have also said it may take some time to figure out how everything will work best for my pool. And maybe i will progress enough that I can know how to use 8 stations?
 

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
334
Palm Desert, CA
#8
Greg, best of luck. I had a Hayward VS that only had 4 speed presets, and it was enough-8 is overkill, but still nice for me. Having GPM (flow rate) in your pump is a huge benefit. I’d advise to throttle back the vacuum off of 3250. Can you try 2800 rpm and see if you get effective cleaning? If so, it’ll save electricity and wear on the pump and plumbing. When I use a manual or suction cleaner I also want to run at higher speed, but the default was often dangerously high, and 3250 rpm is probably too much. These VS pumps can create unnecessary leaks & pressure at higher speeds. I’d advise that. Pool pros have different opinions, and there’s no real issue with running pump 24/7 (at lower speed, & higher speed for cleaner for just 3-4 hours). Running 24/7 reduces pump wear as it won’t have to prime on cold startup everyday, but I've never espoused to that view.
How often are you running heat pump this season?
 
OP
OP
S
#9
Greg,

Chlorine feeders generally clog up when the water flow rate is too low..

The downside to chlorine feeders is that the tablets contain both chlorine and CYA (a chemical that helps keep the tablet together).. At first this is all perfect and things work really well. The FC (chlorine) is used up by swimming or the sun, but unfortunately the CYA is not. So, over time, the CYA keeps getting higher and higher and soon it starts making the chlorine less and less effective. With the chlorine not working, your pool then turns cloudy and then green... :(

Chlorine feeders can be used, but understanding how they work and what to look for is important. You can't just chunk in tablets and then do nothing else.

I suggest that you read through our pool school and see what we are all about..

Thanks,

Jim R.
Hi Jim,

Thanks again for your help! As a new pool owner I just want things to be easy and not have to focus on so many things! I have started to read Pool School and hopefully can get a better grasp on the big picture. For now it appears I will be going back to school!
 
OP
OP
S
#10
Greg, best of luck. I had a Hayward VS that only had 4 speed presets, and it was enough-8 is overkill, but still nice for me. Having GPM (flow rate) in your pump is a huge benefit. I’d advise to throttle back the vacuum off of 3250. Can you try 2800 rpm and see if you get effective cleaning? If so, it’ll save electricity and wear on the pump and plumbing. When I use a manual or suction cleaner I also want to run at higher speed, but the default was often dangerously high, and 3250 rpm is probably too much. These VS pumps can create unnecessary leaks & pressure at higher speeds. I’d advise that. Pool pros have different opinions, and there’s no real issue with running pump 24/7 (at lower speed, & higher speed for cleaner for just 3-4 hours). Running 24/7 reduces pump wear as it won’t have to prime on cold startup everyday, but I've never espoused to that view.
How often are you running heat pump this season?
Hi Kevin,
I was instructed to run the suction cleaner at 3250 but quickly learned and was frustrated when I kept getting stuck on the bottom. I ended up being able to run it at 2450 but it didn't seem to pick up as well but didn't get stuck, 2800 would be just about right maybe. I did tell my wife that we needed a Auto robot cleaner and it is on our to do list for this spring. I have read what seems like a 1,000 pages on this site and have a good idea on what we need.

We haven't opened our pool yet so I am in the process of coming up with a plan on how ? Early on I will need to run the heat pump a lot to bring the water temp up from maybe 40 to 83 (wifes temp). After getting up to temp I would guess based on September (last year) I would need to run it 4 or 5 hours per day to keep the at 83. When it warms up the heat pump won't be needed at all from sometime in June thru August. I thought if we aren't swimming a lot swimming on week nights this spring i would set it to run on a Friday night for the weekend?
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
Aug 10, 2017
497
Morris Cnty NJ
#11
do you have a tft test kit? if not get one. using pucks is going to run the CYA too high and there is no going back without draining and adding fresh water. you would be better off with liquid chlorine. you will never get good results without a quality test kit. when you are ready to open the pool you will do a "mini slam" and run the pump 24/7 until your water levels are right then go to a normal program. you should run your heat pump a full day earlier than you want to swim to get water temp up, and expiriment with the speed on your VS pump by 100rpms until your heater turns on with enough flow. add 100rpms to be safe to that number and that is your daily run speed. no need to run 24/7 at all unless you are trying to make heat
 
OP
OP
S
#12
do you have a tft test kit? if not get one. using pucks is going to run the CYA too high and there is no going back without draining and adding fresh water. you would be better off with liquid chlorine. you will never get good results without a quality test kit. when you are ready to open the pool you will do a "mini slam" and run the pump 24/7 until your water levels are right then go to a normal program. you should run your heat pump a full day earlier than you want to swim to get water temp up, and expiriment with the speed on your VS pump by 100rpms until your heater turns on with enough flow. add 100rpms to be safe to that number and that is your daily run speed. no need to run 24/7 at all unless you are trying to make heat
What is a tft test kit? I do have a test kit but probably need to get a better kit that is more accurate. Mine is one when I mix the solutions it needs to fall into color ranges and sometimes its really hard to determine where I'm at. Good idea on bumping the speed up 100 at a time to determine where it needs to be.
As others have said I need to study up in the pool school so i can manage and understand what I'm doing. This CYA has always meant something different to me and it had nothing to do with pool chemistry! I will do my homework and hopefully be ready with new plan when we open the pool. After listening to everyone i have learned a lot and now I'm more nervous about things that I wasn't even thinking about! Thanks guys! Kidding aside I appreciate all the good feedback and now know more about what I need to do. I had a pool company close and winterize my pool and they will be out in 2 to 3 weeks to open it. I will make sure to pay close attention to what they do and I'm guessing part of that will be doing a mini slam?
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
Aug 10, 2017
497
Morris Cnty NJ
#15
Get the test kit and we will walk you right thru what to do. Pool company will do things different than we do here. When they service pools weekly they ride a chemical roller coaster overshooting the numbers to compensate. We keep them right on spot everyday it's a much better system. You need the kit period. Pool stores and such are clueless they wanna sell you chemicals you dont need