California Title 20 Pool & Spa Amendments Adopted

by Rob Cox, December 29, 2008

New Laws in California require the use of a 2 speed pump

The California Energy Commission adopted some "amended language" to the Title 20 Appliance Efficiency Standards. These standards specifically relate to swimming pool and spa pumps and motors. Passed on December 3, 2008, these changes were a result of nearly a year of review of comments and recommendations from pool and spa manufacturers, trade groups and pool and spa contractors. (editor's note: No one bothered to contact internet retailers? 'snif!)

“We’ve had differences of opinion on how to get the best results, but the good news is, generally everyone is focused now on energy efficiency,” said Gary Fernstrom, a staff augmentation employee at Pacific Gas & Electric Co., who has been heavily involved in creating legislation to improve energy efficiency in pools and spas.

As of January 1, 2008, filtration pumps sold with a capacity of 1hp or higher must be capable of operating at two or more speeds. This would include the variable speed pumps made by Pentair, such as the Intelliflo, which will seek the lowest possible energy usage.

New language to Title 20 now includes replacement motors as well. And "capacity" is further defined as the sum of horsepower x service factor, or hp x sf, both of which can be found on the motor rating plate.

But don't rush right out to replace your perfectly good pool motor just yet! Currently operating motors and pool pumps will be grandfathered in ~ no need to worry. Until your motor dies! But very soon, all new motors and new pumps sold in the Golden State will have to be multi speed or variable speed. This will reduce the demand on the PG&E power grid, and save pool owners money at the same time!

This author hopes the great state of Texas will follow suit. Per Capita, Texas has over twice the amount of Electricity Consumption! Let's Go, Texas! Get on the stick, and reduce your energy reliance. We'll all swim easier when we pay less to enjoy our pool!