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Running a pool pump like a miser


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Has anyone compared flow rates by pool pump size and used some sort of empirical method to calculate the absolute shortest duration you can run a pool pump daily and what is the most efficient pump size etc.

The advice on the internet is generally around 4-8 hours a day but I have read claims of people running their pool pump an hour a week in winter etc.

Would be interested in hearing if anyone is able to keep the daily consumption to around 0.5kwh or better.

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I think the link below gives a good guideline. It basically comes down to working out the runtime to turn over your specific pool a minimum number of times per day, rather than to work from a rule of thumb for a set number of hours per day. Idea is that even if your pump is passing the entire volume of the pool one time, that in reality only 40% or so of unique water volume is passed through the filter in that time. For two turnovers, and around 80%-odd will have passed through the filter, and after 3 times turnovers you will have pushed around 95% of all the pool water through the filter. Diminishing returns, any longer runtime is of little practical value. Exact percentages depend on the shape of the pool and positions of the inlet and weir, etc, but I think the idea is clear.

I'd suggest using the datasheet for your pool pump as a starting point for flow rates, then consider if there is any difference in elevation between your pool and the pump that could affect the flow rate. I'd also be conservative and adjust to your conditions from the point of view that your flow rates could vary more if there's a higher loading of debris like leaves from nearby trees that can start clogging your baskets and filter, or if there's a pool cleaner operating. Conversely, if you've got a full cover that prevents debris and sunlight from entering, you could reduce the amount of filtering you need to do. Could also be affected by when your rainy season happens, if you're running water straight from a roof, how much incoming water needs filtering.

Maybe. Just my 2c, pinch of salt, to be assessed for your conditions, and a real expert to be consulted. Still a bit of a thumbsuck, but it's a more "scientific" starting point as to how long to run. In Winter I run a 750W pump for an hour per day, but past experience is that saving a few Rands a month by running the pool pump too little is false economy.

How long should I run my pool pump? | The Pool Team

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think my pool look beautiful.

My swimming pool pump runs just from solar - but I switch it off when solar is low due to rain and clouds  It is a 1.5kw pump with a 70kl approx. pool.

It is managed by a sonoff that also measures the power consumption and running hours.

In March I ran it for 138 hours with 17 days where it did not get to 5 hours for the day. It was on stop for 3 days. It is set for 7 hours per day. 

The coming winter I’ll set it up for 4 hours per day. Last winter it was eskom set to run for 4 hours per week. I had it remarbelite for this season so it needs tlc. We swim every day when the weather is good - in summer that means about 18 days per month 😂 

It is heated to 30 degrees C - depending on the sunlight. With the weather turning now I’m thinking to cover it for winter.

My pumping system is dual purpose - cleaning as well as heating. 

You did not mention why you want to minimise pump hours. 

Edited by Johandup
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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm a mechanical engineer but what follows is strictly empirical experience. I run my pool like a settling tank and let the Kreepy earn it's keep. The pump gets a 1 hour midday slot between the two geysers ... Before solar it was 30 minutes per day. When it gets cloudy I add a flocculant and run the pump a little longer.

Edited by Scubadude
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