Pool Pump Efficiency

Pumps for swimming pools and spas are expensive to operate but they are necessary in order to filter the water and circulate sanitizing chemicals. Electrical energy is wasted if the pump runs too long, 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% 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 is important, too, since it is cheaper to run a smaller motor for a longer period of time than to run a large motor for short cycles. Be sure to size any replacement motors or pumps according to the smallest specification allowed by the pool or spa manufacturer.

Most filtration pumps run from 6 to 24 hours per day. Pumps should be 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 a little at a time and observe the water quality of your pool or spa for a few days. You might find that you need to run the pump as little as 4 hours a day. The less the motor runs, the more you’ll save. Avoid running the pump between 12 noon and 6 in the evening because this is the utility’s peak electricity usage.

See The Homeowners Handbook to Energy Efficiency for simple practical energy-efficiency ideas.