Help Your Pool Operate More Efficiently

By Chris Dorsi

If you have a swimming pool or spa, you may have already learned that they are expensive to operate. The largest expense for most pool or spa owners is for heating the water to a comfortable temperature. However, the cost of operating circulating and filtration pumps can be considerable, too.

Pool and spa pumps use electrical energy to move water. An electric motor turns a pump, and the pump pushes water through pipes, filters, and valves. Some of that energy can be wasted if the motor is oversized, if the piping is too small, or if dirty filters restrict the flow of water.

Modern high-efficiency motors can consume up to 20 percent less electricity than the standard motors used in most pools or spas. If you need to replace an existing motor, be sure to specify a high-efficiency motor. Motor and pump size are important, too, since it is cheaper to run a smaller motor for a longer period of time than to run a motor that is too large for short cycles. Be sure to size any replacement motors or pumps according to the smallest specification allowed by the pool or spa manufacturer.

Filtration motors run only part of the time and are controlled by a timer that turns the motor on and off only as needed to keep the water clean. You can save a substantial amount of electricity by reducing the time that your circulating motors operate. Try reducing this run time and observe the water quality of your pool or spa for a few days. You may discover that you don’t need to run the filter motors all the time. The less the motor runs, the more you’ll save.

Chris Dorsi is a nationally recognized expert on energy efficiency.