How to Reduce Your Pool Pump Energy Bill

Written by:  Danny Rhodehamel
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 (3.4 OUT OF 5 STARS ON 58 RATINGS)

Inyo has done a study to find out a few steps that you can take in order to reduce your energy bill. The swimming pool pump is one of the highest energy consumers for a household. Taking these few steps can help save you money each month. Please feel free to comment on the bottom of this page for more ideas on how you reduced your pool pump bill.

Tips & Warnings

Video

Things You'll Need

Step by Step

Step 1

There are several ways that you can reduce the cost of your energy bill with your swimming pool pump. The number one thing to keep in mind is your pump is used to help keep your swimming pool circulating and clean. If you notice a big change in your swimming pool clarity or balance you may want to double think your actions.

Step 2
intermatic pool timer

Amount of time to run your pool pump
The first thing to look at is how long your pump is running per day. If you do not own a timer, get one. Click here for our pool timers. Swimming pool pumps should be run an average 8 hours a day to properly circulate and clean your water. The pump should push your entire pool in gallons in this 8 hour period of time. However, often times swimming pool pump horse power is overrated for their size swimming pool. If it is overrated your pump may be pushing your water through in a 6 hour period or even a 4 hour period of time. In this case you can reduce the time you run your swimming pool pump. According to Florida Power and Electric reducing a pool pump by 2 hours will save you about $10 per month. Here is the average monthly costs for the average 1 HP pump to run.

1 HP - 4 Hours = $21
1 HP - 6 Hours = $31
1 HP - 8 Hours = $41

A pool timer will help you keep your pump running the proper amount of time. Again, check your pool chemical balance if you see a drastic change revert back to the old amount of time your run your pool pump.

Step 3
oversized pool pump

Oversized Pool Pumps
Like stated above many pool builders oversize the pool pump for their swimming pool. For swimming pool clarity reasons it is always better to have a higher HP pump then a lower HP pump, but for energy consumption reasons it is just sucking on your monthly bill. One option is to switch to a lower HP pump. To figure out the proper size of your pool pump HP click on The Horse Power of Inground Pool Pumps. According to Florida Power and Electric reducing the average Florida pump (running 8 hours a day) from 1 1/2 HP down to 1 HP you can save about $19 per month. This is $228 per year.

1 HP 8 Hours = $41
1.5 HP 8 Hours = $58

If you reduce the horse power of the pump your filter will actually preform better. It will most likely be oversized compared to your pump and be able to filter out your water a little more properly. If you decide to go this route please insure your calculations are correct.

Step 4
upgrade pool ee motor

Switch to an EE motor
If you plan on staying in your home longer then 2 years then you definitly should upgrade your motor from a standard to a Energy Efficient motor. Replacing your existing pump motor with an Energy Efficient motor can save your up to 33% on your electric bill. The same 1 HP pump listed above that is switched to a 1HP EE pump motor can save you $13 per month or $156 per year.

1 HP - 8 Hours = $41
1 HP EE - 8 Hours = $28

If you are in need of a new pump you should definitly purchase a EE model. The average cost difference between standard and EE pool pumps is about $100. You will make up this difference in less then 8 months.
Click here for a list of all of our Replacment Pool Pump Motors.
Click here to find out How to Replace a Pool Pump Motor

Comments (1 to 40 of 86)

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User: Inyopools

AG Pool Pump - Yes, an AG pool pump operates with gravity gravity fed water. To operate efficiently the AG pool pump must be installed below the surface of the pool - generally at the bottom of the pool.

User: 

Is it beneficial for the pump and filter system to be lower than the pool on an above ground pool?

User: Inyopools

winterblues - Your energy bill is not going to triple if you run your pump 24/7 for two weeks. I would suspect your house heating cost during the winter has a bigger role.

User: winterblues

We want to buy a house with a large pool 30x15x8ft to 3ft fiberglass. The electricity bill triples in the winter. We live in Dallas, TX, so we have about 2 wks of freezing temperatures. The current family said it was because the pump has to run 24/7 to keep from freezing. It is not a new pump. Does this make sense?

User: Inyopools

techie - Not sure what your question is. If you mean can I automatically set up a pump to run during off peak times of the day when electricity might be cheaper, yes, use a timer.

User: Inyopools

hernana70 - Suggestions from easiest (cheapest) to harder: 1- reduce the run time of your pump to no more than 8 hrs - less if your pool stays clear; 2- hook your pump up to a timer so timing is automatic; 3- change your motor to an Energy Efficient motor - uses less amperage and saves 20% on operating costs; 4- change your motor to a 2 speed motor - saves more than 25& on operating costs; 5- change your motor to a variable speed motor - can save up to 80%.

User: techie

are there devices in the market that run a pool pump based on time of use electricity pricing? are there systems I can look into? thanks.

User: hernana70

I just moved into a house that has a 15.000 gallon fiberglass salt water pool. I am slowly learning how to balance the chemicals and now am concerned on how to efficiently run the pump and all it's electrical systems. My electric bill was over $400 this month and I live in Houston, TX. I know it has to be the pool. I think I was running the pump 24hrs for several days. Please advise on what I can do to cut back on my costs.

User: Inyopools

Derek - I would go with the VS pump if you can. The EE pump saves about 20% in operating costs but the VS pump can save up to 75%. The VS pumps are designed better for efficiency and durability and can last 2-3 times the life of a standard pump. See our guide on "How to Save Money Using a Variable Speed Motor".

User: Derek

Hello I currently have a 3/4hp pentair whisperflow pool that is almost 10 years old. I want to upgrade any save money on utilities with either a 3/4 hp hayward tristar EE model or a hayward tristar variable speed model. I am worried that the vs model will have more computer/electrical issues down the road and am wondering if i should just get the energy efficient model? And lastly, what is the installation cost of a new pump? Thanks

User: Inyopools

Pool Newbie - Yes that is the device that can automatically turn your pump on and off during the day. Here is a link to its "Owner's Manual".

User: Pool Newbie

I am a new homeowner with an in-ground pool. I have read a lot about pump timers, and I'm not sure if I have one. There is an INTERMATIC PF1103T on the wall by the equipment, but no green/red plug things. It says it is a Time Control with Freeze Protection. Is this what I would use to control when the pump runs? Since I had the pool opened, it has run 24/7, and I'm afraid of the sticker-shock when I get my first electric bill. I can't even find an on/off switch on the pump. I believe it is a Whisperflo? I also have a Polaris robotic vac with a scrubby thing on the end. Haven't been running that lately, as the pool has been crystal clear. Any comments/suggestions would be most appreciated!

User: Inyopools

Joe - Most customers run their pumps 8-10 hours a day on a timer. It has no adverse effect on the pump motor. They are designed to stop and go. You might consider getting a 1 1/2 HP motor for your size pool. And look at the Energy Efficient pumps for a 20% savings in operational costs.

User: Joe

We have a 20,000 gal in-ground pool and will finally be replacing the pump this Summer. We are replacing with the same pump, a Hayward 1HP Super Pump. We do not use our pool that much during the Summer months and would like to cut down on the cost of running the pump system during the day. We have always ran the system 24/7 but I have read that most pool filter systems really only need to run 8-10 h/day. My question is if we put in a timer to run in on/off cycles, will this constant start/stop cycling damage the motor (or void a warranty) or mess-up the filtering system? Thank You.

User: Inyopools

reggie - Several factors make up your pool operational costs. Assuming your electrical cost is 13.5 cents/KWh and your 1.5 HP pump is using 1.5 KWs /hour, that's 20 cents per hour. If you run your pump for 8 hours a day, that's $1.60 per day or $48 /month. Running 4 months gets you to $192 per season. An EE pump can save you 20% in operating costs. 20% of $192 is $38. A 1.5 HP EE pump can cost $550. At a savings of $38 /season, it would take you $550/$38 or 14.5 years to justify a new pump. Wait till your current pump breaks.

User: reggie

Hello,
I currently have a 1 1/2 HP single speed Haywood power-flo LX pump for my 13,500 gallon above ground pool. I live on Long Island ( N.Y.) and I only run my pool for 4 months a year.
Would it be worth the investment to buy an energy efficient pool pump ? How long would the payback time be ? Thank You

User: Inyopools

PandO - How long you run your pump varies. It depends on the time it takes to run all of the water in your pool thru the filter which is determined by the size of your pool and the size of your pool's pump. Like you indicate, most people cut the run time in half during the winter because it's too cold for algae to grow substantially. Finally, when you run your pump is generally by convenience. Your goal is to maintain correct chemical levels over time. As long as your circulation system is replenishing chemicals, mainly chlorine, on a daily basis, it does not matter if you run during the day or at night.

User: PandO

Seems like almost none, or none, of responders don't say what time of day they run their pool pumps. I assume the best time for algae prevention is the warm part of the afternoon, like the middle 6-10 hours of sunlight time, varying from 10 in mid-summer to 6 in mid-winter.

User: Inyopools

Jun - I'm not sure what you mean by "without changing any electrical connection". Anytime you replace a motor or pump you will have to rewire the motor. If you change out the whole pump, you will probably also have to adjust the plumbing to the pump. The Pentair 3/4 HP EE pump is p# 011512. If you want to replace just the motor, p# is B661. The Pentair Variable Speed Pump p# is 011018. It adapts to any HP requirement 1/2 to 2.5 HP. A good alternative smaller Variable Speed motor for 1.5 HP and below is the Hayward Super Pump VS Variable Speed Pump just out p# SP2600VSP.

User: Jun

I have 1hp pentair sf n1 1a which I want to replace with 3/4hp either variable speed or ee pump to reduced energy consumption (6hrs/day $95/mo in Ca). Pool size is 14'x28'x3'4"-6' Grecian vinyl with 92"dia spillover spa. Pls advise the appropriate model/brand compatible without changing any electrical connection. Thanks a lot.

User: Inyopools

George - An 8 hour run is typical for most pools, but if you want to set it back to 6 hours, that's easy enough. Assuming you have a separate external timer, see our guide on "How to Program an Intermatic T100 Series Timer" for instruction on how to set a common timer. It sounds like too much water is being diverted to the pool return jets. You may want to look at opening up some of the other return diverter valves. If your automatic floor cleaner is the system with pop up ports off the floor, you might look at opening up the flow to those ports. See our guide on "How To Set Up Pool Diverter Valves For Pool, Spa, Water Features" for instructions on setting up diverter valves. If your automatic floor cleaner is a self-contained cleaning unit, its operation is independent of your pool circulation system.

User: george

My pump was just repaired and for no known reason the mechanic change the timer to run for eight hours, instead of six as before. Six worked fine as the pool is hardly used. Also, now the incoming water rushes in and actually creates waves. Before, there was movement but not this nonsense. Finally, now the automatic floor cleaner no longer works. Do you think all these problems are related and can they be fixed easily?

User: Inyopools

Nevada - Sounds like you live the good life. Most people aren't that fortunate with their pools.

User: 

i live in nevada where it gets 115 degrees in the summer. i got a 12x28 inground fiberglass pool its about 10,000 gallons.i am running a 1 hp pump with a timer and a automatic chlorinator. i run my pool pump 4 1/2 hours a day. i havent ever seen algae in my pool. in fact i quit shocking it once a week. to every few weeks or unless the pool gets alot of use. i check my water readings every two or 3 days.

ph is always 7.4 chlorine is always 1 to 3 ppm. total alkalinity 80 to 120 ppm

User: Inyopools

nurse jen - It depends on the size of your pool pump, but if you have a 1 HP, 5-6 hours of operation sounds about right.

User: nurse jen

This is helpful thsnk you. I am a new inground swimming pool ownwer ( we replaced our above ground this summer) so I am sill trying to figure out how long I ned to run my pump daily to keep it clean, our pool is 8000gallons after inquiring with others the general answer to that question seems to be about 5-6 hpurs per day, any suggestions

User: Inyopools

CJ - Please review our guide on "How to Save Money Using a Variable Speed Motor". It provides more comprehensive information on saving energy with a variable speed pump. On life expectancy of the control unit, a motor manufacturer commented that: "The units should actually hold up better than the [older] ODP motors, since both the motor and control are sealed".

User: CJ

I calculated the true cost of my 2 HP pool pump... I selected a day that the heating and the air conditioning was off and other appliances not on.... I read our meeter for one our with, and one hour with the pool pump on..... then the kilowatt hour's cost times 6 hours..... it came out to 25 dollars a month... I calculated the distance from the pool our 2 skimmers and the kreepy line from the house 80 feet... gallons 30,000 of water.. all formulas said I needed the 2 horse power esp. if I wanted the spa to heat rapidly.and as someone mentioned the tablet chlorinator needs a certain flow rate..... I don't see that the variable speed would work for us... I could save all of 10 dollars a month..... (It turns out that each cable TV box burn 10 dollars a month in the off position )My main concern is the life expectancy of the variable speed... we live on the intercostal waterway, so I wonder if the salt spray would corrode the controls to the variable speed... our airconditioning units only last 10 years, vs. 25 years.... I was so glad that both our pool pump and spa pump lasted 20 years.... considering replacing just the motor to the spa pump that died recently

User: Inyopools

Mike W. - Many people run their SCGs at 50% for 8-12 hours a day but that depends on several factors: usage, rain, size of pool and size of cell. After you have reduce your pump time, check your chlorine level every day for a week or so to establish the right working level. And remember to keep your pool chemicals within their acceptable ranges.

User: Mike W.

I have a salt system and am thinking about turning my timer back on,it runs 24/7 now.would like to cut it back to 12hr.would I need to raise the percent of time on the control panel.it is set on 50percent right now,it an aqua-rite system,Thanks

User: Inyopools

24/7 - Most pool owners run their pool pumps 8-10 hours a day. The motors are designed to turn on and off daily.

User: 

We moved into a house with a pool about 4 yrs old. The company that opened our pool told us that we NEED to run our pool 24/7 for it to run properly. He said the on/off wears down the motor on the filter. Grew up with a pool which my parents had since 1977. They have always and still do use a timer. Is it ok to get a timer put on our pool system? It's inground and chlorine (not saltwater).

User: Inyopools

Chicagobob - Yes, you can shut power off to your SCG after 12 hour. Most people only run them for a partial day when the pump is running.

User: Chicagobob

If you have salt system for chlorination, can you still shut your power off at night. I would only like to run my filter for approx 12 hours during the day, mainly for the noise factor

User: InyoPools

New pool customer - The amount of energy your pump uses is based on its amperage rating (printed on the motor label) and the length of time the pump runs. If your pump is not running properly, its amperage can go up thus increasing your energy usage. To reduce your energy usage on your water filtration pump, you might consider switching to a 2-speed or variable speed motor. They can reduce your energy costs by 75%.

User: InyoPools

Chris - Generally your water features will not run on a small motor - less than 1 HP. If you want some flexibility, you might replace your current features motor with a 2-speed motor or if you don't need the lower level of flow, only run the features pump when you need it.

User: New pool customer

I just moved to a house that has a pool that's prob. 30 yrs old. I can't tell what kind of pump it is, but my elect. bill was very high. Also, the pump that manages the water flow was not working properly, so the pool tech fixed it and the elect bill dropped about $100; so my question is "does the pump that manages the water flow use a lot of electricity"? Thanks,

User: Chris

Hi - I have a fairly new pool (4yrs old) with two pumps. 1 variable speed Pentair that runs the filter, etc. and one 1hp single speed that exclusively runs a water feature. We leave the 1hp running about 5-6 hours per day and we are getting hammered on our electric bill.

Would it be possible to replace the 1hp single speed with a 1/2hp single speed to reduce the amount of electricity used?

Also - the water feature / fountain is connected to a manifold which we have turned all the way "down". It's a fountain that could be shooting water about 4 feet. We only have it shooting the water about 6 inches.

Please let me know.

Thanks very much.

User: InyoPools

newpoolguy - If I understand right, you have a Pentair Whisperflo WEF4 pump and you replaced its 1.0HP/ 1.65sf motor with a smaller .75HP/ 1.65sf motor. If that is correct, you also have to replace the impeller with a smaller one matched with the .75 HP motor (mfg # 073127).

User: newpoolguy

I have a Pentair Whisperflo WEF4 1.0hp/ 1.65sf pump with an Emerson T55CXLL-1386 .75hp/ 1.65sf motor. Is this combination correct.

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