Plumbing, Electrical and Equipment Overview
Equipment selections is probably one of the most critical decisions you may make since it can impact your ongoing costs to run a pool. A long-term view is critical. A more expensive investment in the right equipment can pay for itself quickly by reducing energy usage. For example, the pool pump is, typically, the second biggest user of energy in a home after the air conditioner. The wrong pump selection can cost 90% more than other smarter choices.
The list of pool equipment is long and only a pool expert can help guide you to the right choices depending on the size of your pool and how you use it. The pool pump is probably the most critical decision of all. Running the pool pump on a daily basis can be expensive if you don’t purchase the right size or run it properly.
Years ago, the school of thought was to run the pool pump at the highest horsepower possible and turn over (re-circulate) the pool water as quickly as possible. That is why so many older pools have 2 HP pumps for pool circulation. We now know better. This approach was wrong for two reasons:
- Running pool pumps at high speeds use the most energy and come with high costs.
- Circulating the pool water quickly in a 24 hour period allows the pool to sit un-circulating for most of the remaining hours permitting the chemicals to sit in the water and attack the pool finish.
Today, we know that Variable Speed Pumps are the better and more economical solution. A variable speed pump can be set to automatically run at low speeds (typically (?) HP) to circulate the water in 8 to 12 hours, depending of water volume, and will cost a fraction of the high speed pump – in fact will save 90% in cost over a 2HP pump. A Variable Speed pump can then be set to a higher HP to allow the pool cleaner to function. All of this can be automated and will save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year. The ROI (Return on Investment) for a Variable Speed Pump is typically 18 months and well worth the initial investment.