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Just How Long Should I Run My Pool Pump?


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#1 CHRIS-in-AZ

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 07:45 AM

Ok here's the scoop. I have a 3 year old, 17,000 gallon, clorine pool with a 1.5hp 1 speed motor and a sand filter with Zeosand. I live in Arizona where the temps can be 114 degrees and my electric bill on a 1600 sq ft home is 400 dollars in the summer.
I know a huge chunk of it is my workhorse A.C. but I know a good portion of it is my pool too. I was told by the pool company to run it 1 hour for every 10 degrees outside so I currently run it 11 hours starting at 7pm until 6am every single day. The pool is crystal clear and I've never had algae and I work hard to keep chemicals in check. I've never been brave enough to try running it less for fear of a "green pool". Iv'e had people tell me they run theirs every other day, Ive had people say they run theirs only on weekends and they say they do just fine. I'm not brave enough to try that yet.So does anyone know the right amount of time that would keep it clean yet help my electric bill too, I run it at night because thats my electric companies "off peak". I run would hate to see what running it "on peak" would cost. I know alot of people would say to run during the day beacause the sun is out and it needs to circulate, that's not possible as Arizona'a electric bills in summer are ridiculously high enough. I even go out after a storm sometimes and run it a couple hours too I'm just curious what days do people run theres and how long, what is going to be optimal days and times to run and not break the bank too, thank you. :)

#2 USMC_Wifey_1345

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 08:03 AM

I run my pump 6-8 hrs a day and never had a problem. Pool's in Southern Michigan and pool season is about from end of May to (if we're lucky) end of August. Temps range in the 90's. Hope that helps!
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#3 CHRIS-in-AZ

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 08:12 AM

Thanks, also it's only my wife and I that use the pool no kids and we swim 4 or 5 day a week if that helps.

#4 dalehileman

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 11:07 AM

We have a pool twice the size of yours and living in the Mojave Desert where the conditions might approximate yours we run our 1 hp pump three hours a day. Using only a few tabs when needed and a weekly application of supermarket algi-clari the water has kept it mostly clear for well over a decade until finally after a pump failure we did have to to replace most of the water

We swim every day in the summer and it's crystal clear though slightly greenish but I don't think the color depends much on running time and while I had assumed it was reflection of surrounding vegetation it's been suggested instead our low FC level might be responsible

It's quite attractive though and we're curious about the danger of a little algae

At the suggestion of some participants we have also begun adding l lb of granulated shock weekly but consulting other experts we're not sure it's necessary

But get more opinions because my routines are cordially excoriated almost everywhere

#5 Larry K.

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 11:16 AM

I have a 14,000 gallon pool and live outside of Las Vegas, and the pool is in the direct sun all day, and I run my 1.5 hp pump 3 hours in the morning, and three hours in the afternoon. I use the Dichlor then Bleach method, and I never have a problem with it.

#6 Larry K.

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 11:17 AM

I have a 14,000 gallon pool and live outside of Las Vegas, and the pool is in the direct sun all day, and I run my 1.5 hp pump 3 hours in the morning, and three hours in the afternoon. I use the Dichlor then Bleach method, and I never have a problem with it.

#7 Pool Clown

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 07:32 PM

Chris,

I think you could try shortening the pump run time by say, 1 hour, and see how the pool does for a couple of days. If it does not start to get dingy, then shorten the time by another hour, and check. Then so on. Untill you find a time that still keeps the water clear. Of course it is best to do this on hot sunny days with little wind, those being the best "stress" days for the pools clarity.

I believe this to be the best answer, as there is no set amount of time that everyone can set their pump to, and get the same results across the board.

Every pool is different, heat, sun, light, wind, plumbing, run time, etc. are all variables that differ from pool to pool. You as the homeowner should know (in time) exactly what the needs of your pool will be, if you choose to pursue it.

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#8 waterbear

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 07:49 AM

We have a pool twice the size of yours and living in the Mojave Desert where the conditions might approximate yours we run our 1 hp pump three hours a day. Using only a few tabs when needed and a weekly application of supermarket algi-clari the water has kept it mostly clear for well over a decade until finally after a pump failure we did have to to replace most of the water

We swim every day in the summer and it's crystal clear though slightly greenish but I don't think the color depends much on running time and while I had assumed it was reflection of surrounding vegetation it's been suggested instead our low FC level might be responsible

It's quite attractive though and we're curious about the danger of a little algae

At the suggestion of some participants we have also begun adding l lb of granulated shock weekly but consulting other experts we're not sure it's necessary

But get more opinions because my routines are cordially excoriated almost everywhere


"nuff said? green water is not properly maintained.
This is basically bad advice from a poster who regularly posts on various boards and never listens to any of the advice given and then continues to complain when problems are not fixed. I would ignore it.

However, you might be interested in the following about this poster:
Read this. (If you wonder why keep checking out the links)
and this (thread was locked)
and this
and this
and this (This one is a must read!)
and this (This also, he got banned on this board for three days in this thread)
and this
and this
and this (thread was locked)
and this
and this
and this (this is a good example, the thread got locked. Be sure to read the second page also!!)
and this
and this (be sure to read down to the last three posts on page one and the posts at the top of page two, they say a LOT. This thread was locked also!))
There are many more examples.

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#9 waterbear

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 07:55 AM

Chris,

I think you could try shortening the pump run time by say, 1 hour, and see how the pool does for a couple of days. If it does not start to get dingy, then shorten the time by another hour, and check. Then so on. Untill you find a time that still keeps the water clear. Of course it is best to do this on hot sunny days with little wind, those being the best "stress" days for the pools clarity.

I believe this to be the best answer, as there is no set amount of time that everyone can set their pump to, and get the same results across the board.

Every pool is different, heat, sun, light, wind, plumbing, run time, etc. are all variables that differ from pool to pool. You as the homeowner should know (in time) exactly what the needs of your pool will be, if you choose to pursue it.


This is excellent advice and is what I would suggest also. In addition, make sure that your always maintain the FC at the right level for your CYA (stabilizer) level. This chart will help you.
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#10 CHRIS-in-AZ

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 10:08 PM

Thanks for all the useful info, Im going to reduce my time by 2 hours and see how things look and I will have to get a Taylor K-2006 I usually only check my Chlorine and PH and my pool seems to smell like chlorine and burns my eyes so I guess something may be off.

#11 waterbear

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 02:20 AM

Thanks for all the useful info, Im going to reduce my time by 2 hours and see how things look and I will have to get a Taylor K-2006 I usually only check my Chlorine and PH and my pool seems to smell like chlorine and burns my eyes so I guess something may be off.


Classic symptoms of combined chlorine from organics in the water. Your pool needs more chlorine to get rid of it! Ideally, combined chlorine should be 0 ppm but if it is .5 ppm or less it is acceptable. The cutoff for many to detect the smell of combined chlorine is often .4 ppm.

The first step to eliminate it IS proper testing and until you know your free chlorine, cyanuric acid and pH you are just guessing and throwing in chemicals and hoping for the best so get that K-2006 ASAP!
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#12 CHRIS-in-AZ

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 11:47 PM

Yeah I went to Leslies today to get the kit and they dont have that one they had the cheaper one so Im going to order my test kit online, but I had my water tested for the heck of it test results as follows : Free Available Chlorine 5.0, Total available chlorine 5.0, Cyanuric acid 99ppm, Total alkalinity 110, PH 7.6, Iron Copper OK, Total dissolved solids 1100, Phosphates 500ppb
Every time I go in they push that Phosfree on me Iver never gotten it down and it cost a fortune so I dont worry about that so much. But as far as the other results what do you think? He said tests great water is perfect but does have chlorine odor to me
thanks

#13 waterbear

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 02:25 AM

Yeah I went to Leslies today to get the kit and they dont have that one they had the cheaper one so Im going to order my test kit online, but I had my water tested for the heck of it test results as follows : Free Available Chlorine 5.0, Total available chlorine 5.0, Cyanuric acid 99ppm, Total alkalinity 110, PH 7.6, Iron Copper OK, Total dissolved solids 1100, Phosphates 500ppb Every time I go in they push that Phosfree on me Iver never gotten it down and it cost a fortune so I dont worry about that so much. But as far as the other results what do you think? He said tests great water is perfect but does have chlorine odor to methanks

With a CYA if 99 you need to maintain a FC of about 10 ppm normally and you would need to shock to about 25 ppm to maintain EFFECTIVE chlorine levels. so that is probably why you smell chlorine. http://www.poolforum...faq_bg_chlorineAs far as phosphates go, they are a great moneymaker for pool stores. Ignore them.Get your test kit and retest yourself. The K-2006 will allow you to test the higher chlorine levels you need easily. You might want to consider lowering the CYA a bit by water replacement but a CYA of 100 is not necessarily a bad thing in Arizona if it does not get higher. However, around 60-80 would be more "workable". Realize that if you are chlorinating with trichlor or dichlor your CYA will continue to rise and that will become a problem. You really want to keep it below 100 ppm, IMHO. Best advice I can give you is order the kit ASAP, post a full set of results, and we can take it from there.
I noticed that calcium hardness was not tested. You really need to know that. Arizona tends to have very hard water and very high calcium can contribute to scaling if you let the water balance get out of line.
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#14 CHRIS-in-AZ

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 10:47 PM

Great and useful information, thank you. I just shocked it with Trichlor tonight too. Seems like a battle using clorine pucks and shock made with trichlor and dichlor and elevating CYA levels. I'll be backflushing this weekend and Ill make sure to drain a little extra. The guy at the pool store also said that it's a good idea to completely drain and refill every 2 years too. Seems like a waste when my water isnt that bad. Ill be buying the test kit this weekend and I'll post my results. I know the water is very hard here. I always get a serious white ring around the tile and usually go through 6 earthstones each summer trying to keep it clean.

#15 waterbear

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 07:57 AM

Great and useful information, thank you. I just shocked it with Trichlor tonight too. Seems like a battle using clorine pucks and shock made with trichlor and dichlor and elevating CYA levels. I'll be backflushing this weekend and Ill make sure to drain a little extra. The guy at the pool store also said that it's a good idea to completely drain and refill every 2 years too. Seems like a waste when my water isnt that bad. Ill be buying the test kit this weekend and I'll post my results. I know the water is very hard here. I always get a serious white ring around the tile and usually go through 6 earthstones each summer trying to keep it clean.


Interesting that the pool store does not test for calcium where the water is known to be hard but not surprising. Otherwise they could nlt tell you your water wst "perfect". If liquid chlorine is available in your area switch to it. If not use plain, UNSCENTED laundry bleach for chlorinating and shocking. Both are sodium hypochlorite. There is no difference between them except for the strength and that can even be the dame (both laundry bleach and pool chlorine come in 6%, among other concentrations.) Downside is that you will have to add chlorine evey day or every two days BUT you will find that if you take the five minutes to do this you will maintain a sparkling pool that very rarely needs shocking. If you want to automate this you could consider installing a salt water chlorine generator, which manufactures sodium hypochlorite in your pool, but they are a bit pricey.
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