What Speed & Time Schedule for Pump w/ SWG

Naxia Lascif

Active member
Jun 9, 2020
28
Plano
Hey all --

I have a new small ~2,000 gallon fiberglass pool with two variable speed pumps. One pump does the skimmer and returns, while the other just does the waterfalls & bubblers.

Given that the pool has a SWG, what sort of schedule should I have my pump(s) on?

Given that my pool is so small, the plan I had was to set the SWG to 50% and then have the pump be only high speed twice a day for two hours each. It seems like my SWG control panel only registers a "flow" when the main pump is at 1750+ rpm, and thus only generates when above that. I am trying to balance good chlorine generation, good filtration, and not consuming a crazy amount of electricity.

e.g.

Main Pump:
  • 10:00a - 12:00p @ 2200 rpm
  • 12:00p - 5:00p @ 800 rpm
  • 5:00p - 7:00p @ 2600 rpm
  • 7:00p - 10:00a @ 800 rpm
Water Feature Pump:
  • 5:30p - 6:30p @ 2800 rpm

Is this a good plan to min/max my filtration & chlorination w/o consuming too much electricity?
 

Naxia Lascif

Active member
Jun 9, 2020
28
Plano
Is 4 hours of SWG runtime (or 2 hours if the cell is running at 50%) going to generate enough chlorine for your pool? I'm guessing not.

Check out this post: SWG Run Time Calculator
Yeah, I guess that's my main point of curiosity -- I don't really have a frame of reference for how quickly a cell can generate chlorine, and also didn't know if it's fine to have to only actively generating some of the time, instead of all of the time.

I guess I don't even know if a cell at 50% running a few hours a day consumes more power than a cell at 10% running almost all the time. Though, I would imagine that the pump is going to dwarf the electric consumption of the cell...

Thanks for that link to the calculator, I must have overlooked it

N,

Tell us what size salt system you have.

Jim R.

It's a Hayward AquaRite AQR3 -- he's just a little boy 🙃
 

Naxia Lascif

Active member
Jun 9, 2020
28
Plano
It looks like 4 hours should be enough time. My follow-up questions would be:
  • Is it better to do 4 contiguous hours, or split up?
  • Is it better to produce when the sun is not out?
  • Will my cell last longer if I change this to 25% for 8hrs?

Thanks in advance!


1649714914251.png
 

pjt

Gold Supporter
Jan 7, 2012
869
The Woodlands, TX
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
There's a SWG calculator in the Pool Math app. Go to "Effects of Adding", then under "Chemical Additions" select "SWG".
 

Newdude

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
18,163
NY
Is it better to do 4 contiguous hours, or split up?
Minus 3 ppm a day needs plus 3 ppm a day. Or whatever this weeks FC loss is. If you get a day behind you are minus 6 ppm and only plus 3 ppm. So as long as you are keeping up, it doesn't matter when you add it. Target range can afford todays loss.

Unless your electric has different rate times, then add when it's cheaper.

Everyone has an opinion on when to add (day/night) and nobody is wrong, so long as they add enough to cover today's or tomorrow's loss
  • Will my cell last longer if I change this to 25% for 8hrs?
The cell will live for about 10k hours and is either on, or off. If that is 10k hours at 100%, or 20k hours at 50%, or 40k hours at 25%, the cell doesn't care.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
27,602
Bedford, TX
N,

I run my pump 24/7, because I like to make a little chlorine all the time, and I like skimming all the time. I can do that for less than $20 bucks a month. It cost next to nothing to run a VS pump at a low flow.

It is not something that you need to do, but I do not see much of an advantage to only running 4 hours a day. I personally like the idea of running your cell's output as low as possible and your pump run time for as long as possible.

I see no reason to run the pump at 2200 or 2600 RPM, what is the point, what are you trying to do at that speed?

I see running at 800 RPM as a waste, because if you are not making chlorine, why run the pump?

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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Naxia Lascif

Active member
Jun 9, 2020
28
Plano
I run my pump 24/7, because I like to make a little chlorine all the time, and I like skimming all the time. I can do that for less than $20 bucks a month. It cost next to nothing to run a VS pump at a low flow.

It is not something that you need to do, but I do not see much of an advantage to only running 4 hours a day. I personally like the idea of running your cell's output as low as possible and your pump run time for as long as possible.

Only $20/mo? huh... for some reason, I thought my new pool (and it's pumps) were having a bigger impact on my electric usage, but maybe not.

Is power consumption linear on a VS-pump? I.e., does 3200 rpm use twice as much electricity as 1600 rpm? Or is it a more dynamic scaling? My intuiting leads me to think 3200 rpm uses more than twice as much as 1600 rpm

I see no reason to run the pump at 2200 or 2600 RPM, what is the point, what are you trying to do at that speed?

I was having the pump go high rpm for those duration to help with overall cleaning. But it sounds like you'd just suggest I keep my pump at the exact same speed 24/7? And a speed that is just above the required flow to produce chlorine from the cell? (That would be about 1800 rpm in my case)

I see running at 800 RPM as a waste, because if you are not making chlorine, why run the pump?

Was thinking that some small amount of circulation would just be good for keeping the pool clean
 

Newdude

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
18,163
NY
Is power consumption linear on a VS-pump? I.e., does 3200 rpm use twice as much electricity as 1600 rpm? Or is it a more dynamic scaling?
Totally dynamic. Each bump of 100 RPMs adds more increase in wattage than the last. The last several clicks are doozies. 1200 RPMs was about 120 W for me and 3450 RPMS was 2800 W.

Find lowest RPM that operates the SWG *and* skims well. Add 100 RPMs to that # to account for less flow as the filter gets dirty. That is your operating need RPM. If you want more ambiance while you read a book out there, or strong jets becasue kids are playing in the pool, then jack it all you'd like for the time being, then go right back to operating speed.

Mine was 1200 RPMs, 24/7. Whatever time I needed for filtering was LONG covered. Skimming and SWG production was also around the clock with just a little at all times. I only juiced the RPMs to manually vac or if the kids were playing.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
27,602
Bedford, TX
N,

You don't have to run 24/7, it is just an option. Even at 1800 RPM, it should not cost a lot to run your pump. Let's see if @PoolGate can show us his VS electrical cost chart.

I assume you have a heater, if so, that is why you have to run at 1800 RPM..

Show us a couple of pic of your equipment pad. Maybe we can see a issue with your flow..

There really only three reasons to run the pump...

1. Making Chlorine
2. Skimming
3. To run the heater.

Thanks,

Jim R
 
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Naxia Lascif

Active member
Jun 9, 2020
28
Plano
I assume you have a heater, if so, that is why you have to run at 1800 RPM.

Show us a couple of pic of your equipment pad. Maybe we can see a issue with your flow.

No heater (yet), so it does sound like 1700-1800 is a bit higher than expected. Tomorrow, I can go out and grab a picture of the equipment and see if ya'll have any additional feedback

~Thanks!!
 
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pjt

Gold Supporter
Jan 7, 2012
869
The Woodlands, TX
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I operate my pump at 1,000 rpm 24/7, which uses around 75 watts. That equates to ~$6/month in electricity. I like the non-stop skimming, chlorinating, filtering, and circulation. Run your pump for a purpose.
 
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Naxia Lascif

Active member
Jun 9, 2020
28
Plano
Show us a couple of pic of your equipment pad. Maybe we can see a issue with your flow..

Sorry for the delay -- the week ended up being crazy busy!

I cleaned the filter again, and also detached and rinsed out the salt cell. Buckled everything back up, and it looks like it's registering 1400 rpm as enough flow to start chlorination.

I went ahead and turned on "Super Chlorination" because when I tested today, it was < 1ppm. Hopefully after all this cleaning, it should produce as normal.

This is the new schedule that I have envisioned:

Main Pump:
  • 12:00a - 6:00p @ 1400 rpm
  • 6:00p - 8:00p @ 2000 rpm
  • 8:00p - 12:00a @ 1600 rpm
Water Feature Pump:
  • 6:30p - 7:30p @ 2800 rpm
 

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Naxia Lascif

Active member
Jun 9, 2020
28
Plano
Okay, I am a bit confuses.

For a day or so, it seemed perfectly happy to generate chlorine at 1,400 rpm. Now, as of today, it won't kick in until I cranked it all the way up to 2,000 rpm -- what could be going on?
 

Naxia Lascif

Active member
Jun 9, 2020
28
Plano
I just have the valve set in the middle -- half of the water going to the pool returns, half of it going to my "spa jets" (on the side of the pool)

Attached at readings of my pressure at these RPM:
  • 1600
  • 2000
  • 2200
  • 3250 (priming)
 

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