Saving $$$ at the [Pool] Pump

by Myles McMorrow, August 19, 2009

Pool pumps are at the forefront when it comes to the operating costs associated with swimming pools.

Pumps can cost anywhere from $60 and up each month in electricity costs depending on how much you run your pump and the size of your pool (and how much you are being charged per KWH). Many pool builders in the 80’s and 90’s thought bigger is better and would oversize pool pumps costing the home owners more money to run them.

When it comes to pump sizing - as a rule of thumb, you want to turn over or “move” every gallon of water in an 8 hour period of time. If you get a pump that will do this, and your filter is sized properly, you may only have to run the pump 8 hours. That will save you a lot if you run your pump 24 hours a day, cutting your bill to 1/3 of what it was.

If you want to reduce the pump operation time even more, use a better filter and proper water chemistry and sanitation. Monitoring and optimizing your circulation, in a circular pattern ~ so that there are no dead spots, can also help reduce pump operation time.

Many power companies have peak and off peak rates. It is always cheaper to run it in the off peak hours. This is where a good pool timer comes in handy. There are many timers on the market and if you want to save you should invest in one for your pump and your pool cleaner pump. I recommend the Intermatic digital timers. One will operate 3 "loads" or pool equipment items, and can have as many on and off settings as you want.  That way you can run for 4 hours during peak times and 4 off peak times and save even more money without compromising your pool water clearity. Timers also should increase the life of your motor, as it is put under load for fewer hours per day.

Many power companies and states are offering rebates for the next generation variable speed pool pumps that have hit the market in the past few years. Let me tell you they are amazing on how much they will save you. What if I told you these new pumps, although the initial cost is much higher than a standard pool pump, would pay for itself in two and a half years in power savings? Sound like it would be worth it? You bet, the life of a pump is about 10 years and with energy savings of up to 90% per month it will save you a lot. These pumps have a built in computer that will optimize the pump for your pool size using one or many of their 30,000 speeds (yes 30,000 not a typo). Variable speed pumps are getting the biggest rebates at this time from the power companies. They want you to use them to relieve stress on their power grids.

If you want to know how much you are spending on your pump and how much you will save , just grab your current power bill and click here for the Pool Pump Cost Savings Calculator

Here is how they can do this:

Permanent magnet motors assure a 30% base savings compared to induction motors. Then, savings build up to 90% with the ability to custom program the optimum pump speed or water flow for different functions—filtering, heating, cleaning, spa jets, and water features.

These are the best money saving pumps out there. To find out your local rebates, check with your power company or your state department of energy.

Here are the current pumps in this field of new power saving motors

Sta-rite IntelliPro VS-3050
Pentair Intellifo VS-3050
Pentair Intellifo VS+SVRS
Pentair Intellifo VF Pump

Stay tuned for my next article on swimming pool rebates and what is out there for you