Running Pump at Night

ntpd

Active member
Apr 27, 2020
37
NJ
Hi there -

I need help wrapping my head around a thought process...

Problem:
Return jets are very strong and are in my shallow / sun shelf end. The agitated water makes it hard to see the step down into the shallow end. When the pump isn't running, it is very obvious and clear to see the step.

Planned Resolution:
Don't run the pump while people are swimming. Potentially just run it at night, which I have also read helps regulate escalating water temps.

Confusion:
I have a SWCG, so I know running my pump creates my chlorine. I think, if I run my pump at night, I need to generate enough FC to last throughout the day, without my FC level dropping below my FC/CYA min guidance. However something about this feels odd... I am not sure why.

Does anyone have any thoughts or advice here?
 

batesjer

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Jun 26, 2019
79
East Lansing michigan
I run mine in the morning and evening due to cheaper energy costs but running overnight isn't really an issue. You may have slightly elevated FC levels at the start of the day and then burn off to reach target by the end of the day. Just a question though with your ic30 and 8k pool shouldn't you really only have to run for 5 hours a day to maintain FC levels? You'd have to run the swg at 100% but the benefit would be shorter pump run times. I'd rather run my SW generator at 100% for 5 hours then 60% for 8 hours. Is that pump a VS or single speed?
 

ntpd

Active member
Apr 27, 2020
37
NJ
I run mine in the morning and evening due to cheaper energy costs but running overnight isn't really an issue. You may have slightly elevated FC levels at the start of the day and then burn off to reach target by the end of the day. Just a question though with your ic30 and 8k pool shouldn't you really only have to run for 5 hours a day to maintain FC levels? You'd have to run the swg at 100% but the benefit would be shorter pump run times. I'd rather run my SW generator at 100% for 5 hours then 60% for 8 hours. Is that pump a VS or single speed?
Interesting, on the advice of my builder, I run it for 12 hours (8a - 8p) at 25-40% depending on weather and other conditions.
 

batesjer

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Jun 26, 2019
79
East Lansing michigan
I get cheaper energy rates with Consumers in MI if I push my energy usage out of the 2-6 time frame during the summer so I choose to run my pump outside of that time frame 8-11 and 7-9 every day. Determine Pump Run Time - Trouble Free Pool If you are a single speed pump you really only need to run it for 4 hours a day as long as you can generate enough FC to maintain target levels which you should be able to do easily. Or you may choose to run it for longer because you need to to keep your pool clear of debris. Running the SWG at 100% for 5 hours or 60% for 8 hours doesn't make a difference for the unit, it is just operating 60% of the 8 hour period so it won't affect the life of the unit to opt to run it at a higher %. Edit: I'm guessing you lose about 2.5 ppm of FC daily, maybe 3. Use the poolmath calculator to see what your run time needs to be with the % you settle on and make sure you aren't seeing a significant rise or fall in FC levels after a few days of whichever schedule you decide upon. You may already know this but keep in mind that you'll need to adjust your schedule as the days get short and your FC loss drops.
 

ntpd

Active member
Apr 27, 2020
37
NJ
I get cheaper energy rates with Consumers in MI if I push my energy usage out of the 2-6 time frame during the summer so I choose to run my pump outside of that time frame 8-11 and 7-9 every day. Determine Pump Run Time - Trouble Free Pool If you are a single speed pump you really only need to run it for 4 hours a day as long as you can generate enough FC to maintain target levels which you should be able to do easily. Or you may choose to run it for longer because you need to to keep your pool clear of debris. Running the SWG at 100% for 5 hours or 60% for 8 hours doesn't make a difference for the unit, it is just operating 60% of the 8 hour period so it won't affect the life of the unit to opt to run it at a higher %. Edit: I'm guessing you lose about 2.5 ppm of FC daily, maybe 3. Use the poolmath calculator to see what your run time needs to be with the % you settle on and make sure you aren't seeing a significant rise or fall in FC levels after a few days of whichever schedule you decide upon. You may already know this but keep in mind that you'll need to adjust your schedule as the days get short and your FC loss drops.
Just so you can see, here is pics with the pump on and off:

IMG_8273.jpg

IMG_8490.jpg
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,647
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Dang, you aren't kidding. Before the pictures I would going to suggest adjusting the returns to point a bit less to the surface, but I'm not sure what would do the trick.

We did a small line of tile on our steps in our build for that very reason. I wonder if there is something you can do to outline the steps after the fact. Decorative stickers or some such?

Edit - Something like this? They have some cheesy decorative stickers for fiberglass, but also some step markers that mimick tiles that look good. That was from a quick google, so I'm sure there are other options.

 

Rocket J Squirrel

Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
932
Alamo, CA
Problem:
Return jets are very strong and are in my shallow / sun shelf end. The agitated water makes it hard to see the step down into the shallow end. When the pump isn't running, it is very obvious and clear to see the step.
Your signature shows you have a SuperFlo pump but doesn't specify 2-speed or variable speed. In either case, wouldn't running the pump at a low speed improve the visibility of the step?
 

ntpd

Active member
Apr 27, 2020
37
NJ
Dang, you aren't kidding. Before the pictures I would going to suggest adjusting the returns to point a bit less to the surface, but I'm not sure what would do the trick.

We did a small line of tile on our steps in our build for that very reason. I wonder if there is something you can do to outline the steps after the fact. Decorative stickers or some such?

Edit - Something like this? They have some cheesy decorative stickers for fiberglass, but also some step markers that mimick tiles that look good. That was from a quick google, so I'm sure there are other options.

Interesting idea - I was trying to avoid draining 15" of water, but that could be a good solve. Might just wait til we close/open for that next season.
 

Hootz

Bronze Supporter
Feb 5, 2018
258
Rogers, AR
Looks like you have a one speed pump and the flow rate is fairly high. It is advisable to run a swg during the day to catch up what is lost and then coast through the night. As long as you keep an eye on it, there would be nothing wrong to try running the pump at night. 12 hours pump run time at 40% will add about 3ppm, the average daily loss of most pools. If you want to run your pump during the day you should consider this to be a safety issue. One solution is to slow the pump speed, rpm does not have much effect as far as chlorine distribution with a swg. If you have a single speed your options would be to replace the entire pump or the motor with 2 speed or variable speed. You may be able to alter the direction of the returns as was suggested above.
 

jb

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2011
85
North Texas
I would do some spotter tiles as suggested. We had a similar problem and when we replastered we did spotter tiles. A world of difference then run your pump as you see fit.