VS Pump Schedule and Speeds

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
466
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Our pool was filled on Aug 28th, and the Pentair VSF pump has been running 24x7 since. It was initially set to run at 2500RPM from 8am - 5pm, and then 1600RPM from 5pm - 8am. The waterfall is on it's an Aux circuit, and is set to operate the Jandy valve and run the pump at 2800 RPM when activated.

A few days in, I changed it up a bit. I set the POOL circuit at 1800 RPM, and set it to run 8am - 7:59am (so 24x7), then set the HIGH SPEED Feature circuit (2500 RPM) to run for only 1 hour in the morning (8am - 9am), and also set the WATERFALL Aux Circuit (2800 RPM) to run for 1 hour in the evening (7pm - 8pm).

This seems to work well for keeping the water surface skimmed, and for keeping the pH moving as I want it to (rising slowly, adding MA to lower, and getting the TA in line).

But now that the water chemistry is becoming stable, and I'm getting a handle on the maintenance ... I wonder if I really need to keep the pump running 24x7 anymore.

I'm thinking I need to balance the needs of the pool along with the cost to operate. So I checked out my power companies billing, and right now, I'm on flat rate billing plan:

1599313812949.png

I do have the option for a Time-of-Use power rate plan though, which I can switch to:

1599313877204.png

Thew power company also has a tool to analyze a home's 12 month consumption, and compare the flat rate plan to the Time-of-Use plan. For me, it's never made sense to switch, but that may change with the pool equipment

1599314144121.png

So if I were to establish a schedule for the pump, that is within the ranges of the Time-of-Use plan, what would be an effective speed and times for the pump?

Is running it at 1800 RPM a good "low speed" setting? It seems to skim decent at this speed (with my Paramount Venturi Paraskims), and of course, when it runs at 2500 RPM, the skimmers really kick up their suction. Or should I lower this back to 1600 RPM, or even something lower?

I know I also need to take into consideration the fact I will be enabling the IC40 in the next 3-4 weeks; so I need to account for the POOL circuit being run enough to enable the IC40 to deliver proper chlorine generation, as well as a proper flow rate to activate the flow switch.

Another piece I'm reading about is needing to account for proper run time and RPM to ensure effective water turnover.

The last thing I'll add is that the pool equipment is outside of our master bedroom's exterior wall. So when the pump is running at 2500 RPM, we can hear it when sleeping. So I'd like to refrain from running the high speed during the night hours.

So, I think the variables I need to account for are:
  • Pool water turnover
  • Power rates
  • SWG run time & flow switch
  • Skimming effectiveness
  • Noise levels overnight

As a new pool owner, trying to take all of this into consideration is a bit overwhelming, so I'm just looking for some input and advice on how to go about determining a good schedule.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,267
Bedford, TX
S,

There is just no truth in the old turnover myth, so you can just ignore that one..

The two keys in my mind are first, the amount of time needed to generate the amount of chlorine your pool needs each day.. And second, the speed that allows your skimmers to work well.

There is absolutely no requirement that you run your pump 24/7.. That said, it is exactly what I do.. I run my pump 24/7, at 1200 RPM most of the time, for less than $20 bucks a month.. I do this because I like generating a little chlorine all the time, and I like skimming all the time. My skimmers still work at 1200, but it does take a little longer. I use hair nets in my skimmers so I have a pretty good idea how well they work..

This is one of those things where there is no "correct" answer.. You just need to experiment and see what works best for you. The cost to run the IntelliFlo is so low, I can't see where in the big picture it will make much of a difference.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
4,781
Fletcher, OK
  • Pool water turnover: Old pool myth and no need for it.. Run the pump long enough to filter the pool to your liking, some do 24/7 and others run 2 hours.
  • Power rates: I have debated it many times and I still use the flat rate.. there is no way I am letting them change my air conditioner setting to 82 degrees or off completely, make sure you read about everything they can do to your house and power...
  • SWG run time & flow switch: Run the lowest you can and still have it create chlorine, mine runs at 1100 rpm :)
  • Skimming effectiveness: run fast enough to skim for your liking
  • Noise levels overnight: run on the lowest setting to create chlorine..
Basically run the pump long enough to get your level of chlorine in the pool for your CYA level and keep the pool skimmed and filtered to your families needs and wants... (y)
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
466
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Thanks @Jimrahbe ... so the 1200 RPM produces enough flow to activate the IC40's flow switch?

With the Paraskim's venturi ports, and having the ability to actuate a valve to direct the return flow to the 4 pool returns or to the venturi ports, I can definitely get effective skimming even at low RPM. I thought the IC40 needed a higher flow though. I suppose once it's installed, I can play with the RPM to see where the flow switch is activated; as I understand the plumbing will affect this as well (ie: bends in the piping leading up to the cell).

I also have two additional valve actuators which aren't connected to anything right now. I was thinking of installing one on the valve which directs water between the returns and the venturi ports. And connecting it to the SPA circuit. So for the low flow rates (ie: 1200 or even lower), I could use SPA mode, and have the valve actuate to direct 80% or so through the venturi ports, adn then could also have a different % on the IC40 during the low flow times.

Are you doing something similar to this?
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
466
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
  • Pool water turnover: Old pool myth and no need for it.. Run the pump long enough to filter the pool to your liking, some do 24/7 and others run 2 hours.
  • Power rates: I have debated it many times and I still use the flat rate.. there is no way I am letting them change my air conditioner setting to 82 degrees or off completely, make sure you read about everything they can do to your house and power...
  • SWG run time & flow switch: Run the lowest you can and still have it create chlorine, mine runs at 1100 rpm :)
  • Skimming effectiveness: run fast enough to skim for your liking
  • Noise levels overnight: run on the lowest setting to create chlorine..
Basically run the pump long enough to get your level of chlorine in the pool for your CYA level and keep the pool skimmed and filtered to your families needs and wants... (y)
Thanks Casey. I've found the same in terms of comparing the rate plans, which is why we haven't switched. Although if we did, they couldn't grab control over my HVAC. I actually installed new HVAC equipment last year, and now have a 5 stage inverter driven outdoor unti, with zonign enabled inside. So it's fairly efficient as it is.
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
4,781
Fletcher, OK
Thanks Casey. I've found the same in terms of comparing the rate plans, which is why we haven't switched. Although if we did, they couldn't grab control over my HVAC. I actually installed new HVAC equipment last year, and now have a 5 stage inverter driven outdoor unti, with zonign enabled inside. So it's fairly efficient as it is.
I did the same thing :) It stays 16 hours in stage 1 ton, greatest thing in life... dropped our power bill 120 dollars a month... Did you add a whole house surge protector? Amazon.com: EATON CHSPT2ULTRA Ultimate Surge Protection 3rd Edition, 2.38" Length, 5.25" Width 7.5" Height: Industrial & Scientific

I also installed this one on my pump and I am debating installing directly on my HVAC system Amazon.com: Intermatic AG3000 120/240 VAC Universal HVAC Surge Protective Device, Color: Home Improvement
 

sbcpool

Well-known member
Mar 10, 2015
585
Upland, CA
1. I was able to dramatically lower my bill by switching to a time of use plan. The electricity is so cheap at night that I can pre-cool my house at the discount rate far enough that I don't need the A/C during the high rate period. This cut my summer bills from $500-ish to $350-ish. Our utility caught on to this and pulled some trickery with the state regulators to stop people from doing what I've done. They got approval to create new time of use plans that have a dramatically higher rate for off-peak (double my current rate). The regulators approved because it's not technically a rate increase, just a new plan available to choose. After receiving approval the utility announced that our current plans would no longer be available after October. So they effectively sneaked a 127% rate increase through the state regulators without anybody noticing while there was time to protest it. I'm going to love my power bills starting in November. Don't discount TOU plans right off, if you can shift high-demand uses to the off-peak they can save money.

2. Every pool is different, but my pool stays sparkly clear with relatively low run time. I was running my single-speed pump for 4 hours, but recently installed an Intelliflo. Because it's more efficient at slower speeds I just calculated the run time needed to filter the same volume at a much lower flow rate. My old pump used 6 kWh to move ~10,000 gallons through the filter in four hours every night. The Intelliflo is set to run a 30 gallons per minute program for 6 hours each night. Same volume of water but using only 1.1 kWh per night. With the new electric rates coming that will save me $37 per month.
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
466
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
@cowboycasey : I added this to protect the outdoor inverter (not whole house, but just the inverter).

1599317441899.jpeg

and I also added two of the Intermatic smaller units to protect both 240v Lines in the attic (backup heat strips and air handler).


1599317585057.jpeg
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,267
Bedford, TX
so the 1200 RPM produces enough flow to activate the IC40's flow switch?
S,

My theory of operation is that I set the my lowest pump speed to the RPM that will just close my IC40's flow switch plus 100 RPM.. For me that is 1200 RPM.. This means that my SWCG will run no matter what else is running or in operation. The speed that closes your flow switch may be higher or lower, it just depends on your plumbing, filter size, heater, etc... I would not run less than 1,000 RPM as you really don't gain much..

I don't have fancy skimmers, but your plan to control them by using the Spa mode, sounds solid to me.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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sbcpool

Well-known member
Mar 10, 2015
585
Upland, CA
The speed that closes your flow switch may be higher or lower, it just depends on your plumbing, filter size, heater, etc.
The Intelliflo model I have allows you set programs by flow rate instead of RPM. The pump will manage the speed to reach the programmed flow rate. This is my first Intelliflo so I don't know if this is a new feature, but that ability is great since everyone can set their pumps to the same flow rate and let the pump worry about how fast or slow it has to go given the circumstances of the pool it's working with. It also makes it convenient for programming minimum flow for heaters, SWGs, etc. since the pump will continuously adjust power to ensure the programmed flow rate.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,267
Bedford, TX
SBC,

If I had a VF pump, I would still adjust the Flow or RPM to what fit my pool and plumbing.. Just because the flow switch is supposed to close at XX flow, does not mean that it won't close at a lower flow or maybe need a higher flow.. To me it does not matter if you have a VF or VS or VSF pump, it still makes sense to adjust the pump to match your pool.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
466
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
The Intelliflo model I have allows you set programs by flow rate instead of RPM. The pump will manage the speed to reach the programmed flow rate. This is my first Intelliflo so I don't know if this is a new feature, but that ability is great since everyone can set their pumps to the same flow rate and let the pump worry about how fast or slow it has to go given the circumstances of the pool it's working with. It also makes it convenient for programming minimum flow for heaters, SWGs, etc. since the pump will continuously adjust power to ensure the programmed flow rate.
Thanks ... My Intelliflo VSF is both variable speed, as well as variable flow. In the EasyTouch pump speed/flow menu, I have 8 pages ... 4 are for variable speed, and 4 are for variable flow.

I'm just using variable speed right now though, as it seem more common; so it's easier to get assistance from the community while I'm learning. I'm sure once the IC40 is hooked up, and I have a bit more knowledge, I'll try different configs to see how they react.
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
466
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
S,

My theory of operation is that I set the my lowest pump speed to the RPM that will just close my IC40's flow switch plus 100 RPM.. For me that is 1200 RPM.. This means that my SWCG will run no matter what else is running or in operation. The speed that closes your flow switch may be higher or lower, it just depends on your plumbing, filter size, heater, etc... I would not run less than 1,000 RPM as you really don't gain much..

I don't have fancy skimmers, but your plan to control them by using the Spa mode, sounds solid to me.

Thanks,

Jim R.
I gave 1200 RPM a try, and the pressure meter on the filter's relief valve showed zero. So I bumped it up 100rpm at a time, adn didn't really get any movement on the gauge until 1500.

Is it a problem to run at a speed where there's no pressure being created?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
20,267
Bedford, TX
S,

There is nothing wrong with a 0 to 60 pressure gauge reading zero at 1200 RPM.. My filter pressure is normally between 0 and 1 lb when running at 1200 RPM.. What is important is the amount of water flow going back to the pool, not your filter pressure..

Filter pressure is backwards from what most people think.. It is not a measure of how well your pump is working, but rather the amount of effort it takes to push water through your filter.. This is why the pressure goes up when the filter is dirty..

I use a 0 to 30 PSI gauge on my filter as my pressure rarely goes above 10..

Thanks,

Jim R.