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Please Help Me Optimize My Electricity Usage


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I won't lie, the pool pump sure has increased my electricity bill.  Duh, right?  I know what you are saying: "Having a pool ain't cheap buddy!"  I hear ya.

However, I'm concerned with few things:

1. We are two years into our pool, and the pump settings are the same as the day the builder put the pool in.  My guess is they weren't worried about my electricity bill, just keeping the pool clean until I got settled in and forgot about them.  I'd guess they leaned toward running the pump for longer than necessary every night.

2.  My settings are the same year around (details below).  I'm no expert (that's why I am here) but I'd guess the pool pump needs to run less at certain points of the year.

My goal is to get advice on how I should run it during various time periods throughout the year.  I am happy to adjust it based on "swim season" and "non-swim season" or something as complicated as adjusting it once a month, or perhaps a compromise in between where I adjust it 4 times a year.  I'll leave that up to your expertise.  I also was told our system is "upgraded" with a dual-speed pump.  However, I don't see how to adjust those speeds.  I only see associated "circuits" in the software, with no apparent way to adjust the "circuit" settings.

These are my details:
Pool size: 13,000 gallons
Pool type: Salt
In floor "pop-up" cleaners
Pebble finish
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Pump type: Intelliflo VSF
Pump setting #1: "Cleaner" 9pm-1am, daily
Pump setting #2: "Pool" 9pm-8am, daily
Managed via: Pentair IntelliCenter2 Mobile App
Filters cleaned every 3 months.  Easy basket twice a week, sealed baskets once a week
Water tested at local pool store, brought back into balance as needed.

Thank you in advance for any advice you may offer.


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On 10/5/2023 at 11:21 AM, AZ_Pool said:

with a dual-speed pump


On 10/5/2023 at 11:21 AM, AZ_Pool said:

Intelliflo VSF

You have a variable speed pump, and the speeds are programmed according to the function. Cleaner will run faster than pool to feed the pop-ups for example. 


On 10/5/2023 at 11:21 AM, AZ_Pool said:

Pentair IntelliCenter2

Speeds and functions are programmed here. Not recommended for DIYers.

Without knowing the current settings and resulting flow rates, mathematical optimization is out. 

Given the use of a salt cell, shortened run times will require higher output to maintain sanitation.

Dialing in a system takes time. They started you off playing it safe for sure, since every pool is different and they can't see the future. You can fiddle with run times, adjusting the salt cell appropriately, but I'd leave the speeds alone, they can be tricky. Run them too low and you'll find things don't work when the filter is a little dirty for example. 

On 10/5/2023 at 11:21 AM, AZ_Pool said:

am happy to adjust it based on "swim season" and "non-swim season

If you have a "non-swim season" you should close the pool to save money like the rest of the country. I know it's hot in AZ, but if it's not being used why run it? 

The biggest difference between use and non-use is chlorine depletion, and with a cover on it you will have much less of that as well, so reduced run times may be possible but you'll want to monitor it closely until you get it dialed in.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm also in Phoenix, have a 15-foot 4000 gallon above-ground pool (since year 2000).  My has a sand filter, and from November through April I run the pump under two hours a day.  I stopped using a winter cover a few years ago as they didn't last long, and proved more trouble than they were worth.

Yes, I manually clean leaves from the skimmer, and vacuum like every two months.

I also have a 1988 CalSpa with a cover, and that's left in the thermostatted position at 104F 24/7, and it adds heat less than half-hour per day.

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