5 Ways to Dial in Your Swimming Pool Pump to Reduce Electricity Costs
- Run your pump long enough to achieve at least one full turnover per day. Depending on the horsepower of your pump and the size of your pool you can figure out what the bare minimum of pump run time would be (all numbers are estimated): ¾ HP pump – turns 4,000 gallons per hour, 1 HP pump – turns 4,500 gallons per hour, 1.5 HP pump – turns 4,750 gallons per hour, 2 HP pump – turns 5,250 gallons per hour, Variable speed pump – varies depending on set speed
- Since electricity is still cheaper than algaecide, you need to run the pump when the sun is directly above the pool. If your pool is in full sun, you probably need to run the pump at least 8-10 hours per day. Sunlight is the biggest consumer of chlorine, so the pool needs to be circulating when the sun is shining down on the pool. That way the chlorine is constantly moving around the pool.
- Maintain 2-4 ppm of chlorine in the pool to keep it safe to swim and algae free. Most pools use chlorine tablets/sticks, a liquid chlorine feeder, or a salt system to deliver chlorine into the pool. The more the pump runs, the more chlorine is introduced into the pool. If you use tablets or sticks, one option may be to increase the number of tabs or sticks instead of increasing the pump run time. If you have a liquid chlorine feeder or a salt system, make sure they are set to 100%. Then you can adjust the pump run time up or down to raise or lower the amount of chlorine in the pool. If you have a salt system on a big pool that gets lots of use, you may have to run the pump 12+ hours per day in order to keep up with the chlorine demand.
- Keep the pool clean. Flow restrictions cause pumps to work hard and consume more electricity. Dirty pump and skimmer baskets, leaves on the main drain, and filters that need to be cleaned all cause the swimming pool pump to suck down more electricity.
- Replace your perfectly good pump with a more energy efficient one. Variable speed pumps are the biggest technologic advance to the swimming pool industry in the last 10 years. Most pool pumps were designed to handle the swimming pool’s largest water need, such as spa jets or a waterfall. However, for daily circulation that large pump is overkill and an energy hog. Variable speed pumps allow the pool pump to run at a low speed for all of the purposes above, but still be able to ramp up to deliver the extra water when needed. The best of both worlds. We are seeing these pumps pay for themselves in electrical savings in just a couple of years. Saving $50 a month on your electric bill adds up quickly.