Variable Speed Pumps Vs. Single Speed Pumps
A variable speed pump has multiple horsepower settings to accommodate most pools filtration needs. However, they are quite costly and require you to use the turn-over rate formula to determine how long the pump needs to run. Yes, they consume very little electricity on their low setting, however, the low speed will drop your flow rate, requiring you to run the pump twice as long.
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"Saul, thank you for the new equipment installation. You provided clean, mechanical workmanship. Everything is working great. You can use me as a reference anytime." Ed, Sonoma
The best way to acheive energy efficiency without changing any piece of pool equipment, is to be mindful and creative with your equipment run schedules. All pools should turn over once a day, meaning every drop of water should run through your filter at least one time every day. This is calculated by your flow rate divided by the gallons of water in the pool. For instance, if your system pumps 60 gallons per minute, that equates to 3600 gallons per hour. For a 20K gallon pool, that would require 5.5 hours of filtration time. PG&E does not want to see high energy consumption during peak hour, Noon - 6pm, which is also prime time for pool filtration and to maximize your solar system. It's helpful to look at your pool equipment as an annual energy consumption. We've had great success by being creative with run times in the off-season, by doing so, you can offset your peak pool season energy use resulting in a lower annual energy consumption.
A majority of pools use a simple timer mechanism to operate their pool equipment. These devices are quite reliable and simple to operate. Newer digital style timers have the ability to utilize several different run schedules per day, mechanical timers do not have this capability. For example, if you have a weekend home equipped with a solar heating system, perhaps you don’t need your solar running all week long. If conducive, you can schedule your pool to run Monday - Thursday for the required filtration times, and ramp up your system to heat Friday - Sunday. This is a simple retrofit to your pool system that will save you energy.
TECH TIP: Reduce heat loss by using a pool cover. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, savings of 50% - 70% are possible.
If you use your pool only on weekends, reduce your heater thermostat settings by eight to ten degrees during the week. When leaving for vacation for more than a week, don't forget to turn off the pool heater.