Swimming Pool Blog
by Sean Kerndt March 04, 2013
Save Money at the Pool Pump - Reduce your Energy Use
A pool pump is the heart of your swimming pool. It keeps the pool water circulating so that the filter can clean and to spread chemicals around the pool. It is also one of the most costly in terms of your utility bill. It is not uncommon for a pool pump to account for up to 20% of a household utility bill. That is a great deal of money to spend circulating your pool water, but don't worry, there are steps you can take that will save your hard earned money.
Having a single speed pool pump is a huge drain on your wallet. It's a bit like driving your car. You might occasionally need to put the pedal to the metal to merge with high-speed traffic but if you drove like that all the time you'd be wasting gas and damaging your car. It's the same idea with a pool pump. Your pump doesn't need to run full blast to perform most of it's duties, but with a single speed pump that is exactly what it is doing.
While there are steps you can take such as using a timer on an Energy Efficient Single Speed Pump, it is still unnecessarily using all of your pool pumps power when it's on - wasting energy and your money. This method also runs the risk of leaving your pool with dull, hazy, or cloudy water and could result in algae blooms if you don't run your filter for long enough.
Variable Speed Pumps
The very best way for you to minimize your utility bill and energy footprint is to use a Variable Speed Pump such as the Pentair Intelliflo VS (Variable Speed), the Jandy ePump, or the TriStar Variable Speed Pump. These pumps will vary their speed and power according to the task at hand. They will operate at low speeds for tasks that don't require much power, such as filtering the pool water, while cranking up the GPM's for tasks that require more power like running the heater, pool cleaner or a water fountain.
Running the pump at lower speeds will use far less energy and reduces wear and tear on your pool filter system. If you own a newer single speed pump you can simply replace the existing motor with a variable speed motor.
Variable speed pumps like the Pentair Intelliflo and the Jandy ePump have their own controllers, no need to install a separate time clock. You can use one of the pre-programmed set-ups, or custom configure to run the pump, heater, fountains, spa, etc. - at any time you want.
Some may be turned off by the price tag of newer Variable Speed Pumps but the savings come in a drastically reduced utility bill. Depending on your area, single speed inground pool pumps can cost up to $1000 ormore in electricity per year, while someone down the block, using a Variable Speed Pump could be paying only $250 per year on their utility bill!
Depending on your location, you can literally save 2-5 dollars per day of operation by using a VS pump. Variable Speed Pumps start paying dividends immediately and will pay for itself in just a few pool seasons. With energy costs constantly rising, it only makes sense to make a small investment up front so you don't end up losing big down the road.
Dual Speed Pumps
A dual speed pump is another good way to reduce your energy usage. While it won't offer all the bells and whistles of a newer Variable Speed Pump, it does at least give you the option of running your pump at a very slow speed when you choose. They will only come with two options, high or low power. The low power option is generally 1/8 hp.
The idea is to find the least amount of time you can run your pump at high speed while still maintaining crystal clear water. For most people, they run a 2-speed pump on high for just 2-4 hours daily on high, and then run 12-18 hours on low speed.
Dual speed pump systems require a special timer to be installed, which generally runs about $200. One of the most popular timers for dual speed pumps is the IntermaticT106. If you have an existing Intermatic time clock, you can simply replace your timer guts with a T106M mechanism. Then you can run the fourth wire needed for a 2 speed pool pump.The Intermatic PE153 digital timeclock is also able to run a dual speed pump system.
There are a few things you can do to keep your utility bill as low as possible no matter what kind of pump system you have. One great way is to run your pump during off peak hours, while there is less electricity in demand. This is generally between 8 p.m. and 10 a.m.
Adding the Intermatic Seasonality Timer is also a great way to reduce your energy usage.This timer is set up to run your pool filter longer during the peak summer months, while shortening the run time during the colder months for maximum energy efficiency.
In today's economy pretty much everyone is trying to save some money where they can. Investing in an energy efficient pool pump or making a few routine adjustments is a great way to minimize your utility bill and reduce the energy footprint of your swimming pool.
If you are in the market for a new pool pump in 2013, take a look at our Energy Efficient Pool Pumps. To see how much money you can save replacing your pool pump with an energy efficient pool pump, try one of the pool pump energy savings calculators below.