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Pool Pump Energy Saving


Pool Pump Energy Saving

Swimming pool pumps are huge consumers of electrical energy. Most pumps run constantly for 6-8 hours a day, drawing large electrical loads the whole time. There are several steps that can be taken to reduce the energy used to run a pool pump, and I will cover them here from the cheapest and easiest upgrade to the largest energy saving measures.


High Efficiency Motors

  • Energy Savings - Approximately 15% - 20%
  • Cost - $200 to $400

High Efficiency Motors run at the same rpm as standard pumps motors, but they use less electricity. Energy efficient motors use 15% to 20% less energy than standard efficiency motors. Energy efficient motors are often recognizable by the large hump on the top of the motor. This is a capacitor that aids the efficiency of the motor. If your motor does not have this hump, you do not have a high efficiency motor. Most pumps that are 1-1/2 horsepower and higher will have an energy efficient motor already installed.

To determine what style of energy efficient motor you need for your pump, call our expert staff at 1-866-400-2782.

Seasonal Run Times

  • Energy Savings - Approximately 15% - 25%
  • Cost - $100 to $200

For those of us in the sun belt who don't have to close our pools in the winter, cooler temperatures can be used to our advantage. By running pool pumps significantly fewer hours during the winter, you can greatly lower your electricity bills during that time. Pools don't need nearly as much circulation when the temperature is lower, so running a full 8 hour cycle is a major waste of energy. There is a special electronic timeclock that will automatically adjust the pump run time as the year progresses. The TightWatt Pool Controller is a great first step for those looking to save energy.

Two Speed Pumps

  • Energy Savings - Approximately 30% - 70%
  • Cost - $300 to $600

The biggest energy saving upgrade you can make to your pool equipment is installing a two speed pump. By using the low speed on a dual speed pump you circulate 1/2 as much water as high speed, but use 1/8 as much energy! This means you can double the run time of the pump, circulate the same amount of water, and use 1/4 as much energy. Most pools will still need to run on high speed for at least an hour or two in order for the cleaning system to be effective.

Changing to a two speed pump is fairly simple. In most cases you only have to replace the pump motor and the timeclock that runs the pump. This is a job that can be done by homeowners that are comfortable doing a little wiring, otherwise a professional can usually complete the job in an hour or two.

Eliminating Back Pressure

  • Energy Savings - Up to 25%
  • Cost - Varies

The efficiency of any pool pump is greatly affected by the amount of back pressure in the plumbing system. Back pressure is a measurement of resistance to flow. There are many things that can contribute to the amount of back pressure in a pool circulation system. Here are some of the big ones:

  • Undersized pool filter
  • Undersized pipe
  • Extremely long pipe run from the pool to the pool equipment
  • Lots of twists and turns in the plumbing

Pools that have any of these problems will make the pump work much harder to move water through the system. The end result of these issues is that the pump has to be bigger, or the system has to run longer in order to get enough circulation. Obviously this increases the amount of energy that the pool uses. By giving some thought to the efficiency of the plumbing system when the pool is built, you can save a significant amount on the operating costs over the life of the pool.

If you already have a pool in place, and you think that you have excess back pressure, there are some things that you can do about it. The easiest change to make is replacing the plumbing around the pool equipment. If there are a lot of unnecessary elbows in the pipes, cutting them out will help to reduce back pressure. It is also a good idea to make sure that your pool filter is properly sized to match the size of your pool and the flow rate of your pump. If you have a pump that is made to deliver 100 GPM (gallons per minute), and your filter is only rated for 75 GPM you will be wasting a lot of energy trying to push the water through the undersized filter.