In anticipation of the summer high energy months, a few folks I know were talking about running their pumps every other day. That doesn't seem feasible to me - I know what mine looked at after a day without a pump. What do you guys think?
It would be better to reduce the run time by half and run every day, IMO. If you have a chlorinator of any type, you are asking for problems going a full day without chlorination. For the sanitizer to be truly effective, you need circulation.
Ideally you want to run the pump two or three times a day, assuming that is practical in your situation (your timer supports that, fits with time of day electrical rates, etc). Once a day is about the least frequent that works reasonably well.
If you only need a basic on/off timer, I highly recommend the Intermatic T100 series. I got a T101 from my local independent hardware store for $45. It's a 40amp/2HP timer. Lowe's has the T103 in my area for $52.18. I picked up an extra set of trippers for $2.50 to run mine twice a day. Home Depot also appears to have a T100 series for $39.93 although they use their own part number so I can't tell exactly which one it is.
I would lessen the run time to no less than 6-8 hrs per day. Also check with your local power company to find out what the peak and non-peak kilowatt hours will be. And try to run your pump in the non-peak hours in the morning and late evening. I've already been doing this.
This is the rate schedule for those on Georgia Power (Southern Company)
SUMMER - June through September
First 650 kWh...4.5991Â¢ per kWh
Next 350 kWh...7.6450Â¢ per kWh
Over 1000 kWh...7.8765Â¢ per kWh
The On-Peak period is defined as the hours starting at 2:00 p.m. and ending at 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday for the calendar months of June through September (Summer Months). The above hours on days in which the following holidays are observed shall be considered Off-Peak: Independence Day and Labor Day.
The Off-Peak period is defined as all hours not included above in the On-Peak period including all weekends and the calendar months of October through May (Winter Months).
The rule of thumb, which has worked well for me, is to run your pump one hour for every 10 degrees of your average temperature. If it's in the 80's - 8 hrs, in the 90's = 9 hours.
I run my pump for a few hours in the morning, along with the pool cleaner to get any debris that has fallen in the pool overnight, and then I run the pump the rest of the time in the evening after the pool is in the shade. This allows the sanitizer (chlorine) the greatest amount of time to effectively kill pathogens in the water without being consumed by sunlight.