Multi Speed Pumps Become Mandatory in California

by Pool Builders on 04-18-2009 in Articles

January 1, 2008, swimming pool pumps that are added or replaced are mandated to have at least 2 speeds or more. If the pump is rated below one horse power, it will not be required to have multi speeds. The rotation rate of the low speed has to be no more than one-half of the motors maximum rotation rate. This is according to California's Title 20 Code of Regulations. The regulation solely applies to the pool filter pump. If you have other water features or spas that demand a separate pump, they will not have to be replaced. As a pool builder, contractor in the Sacramento area, I prefer to use the multi speed pumps. I'm often asked what the electrical savings would be on these variable speed pumps. Here is a popular example of how much you can save with a 20,000 gallon pool that has an electrical rate of .15 per kilowatt per hour by using a variable speed swimming pool pump. The water in your pool should be circulated through your filter at least one time in a 24 hour period:

1)      If you currently have a 1 hp pool pump it needs approximately 5.3 hours to circulate 20,000 gallons of water in a 24 hr period. At a rate of .15 kilowatt per hour the costs would be $458.40 per year.
2)      If you have a 1 1/2 hp pool pump it takes approx. 3.9 hours to circulate that same water. At .15 kilowatt per hour, that comes to $438.89 per year.
3)      Now with the multi speed pump, you can take ten hours to circulate 20,000 gallons of water at a cost of $114.43 per year.
There are several electrical utility companies offering rebates when these multi speed pumps are being installed. This only makes them more attractive. Besides saving you some money on your utilities, the multi speed pumps have many other advantages. The Starite Intellipro 4x160 multi speed pump is so quiet that several of my pool customers have called me asking if the pump is actually working properly. It is one of the quietest pumps on the market today. Another benefit is you no longer need that booster pump for your pool sweep. Typically, you can set one speed for the filter and another for the cleaner. That leaves you with two more speeds to maybe add solar and or a water feature. In my opinion, these facts make the multi speed pumps a much wiser alternative that than the two speed pumps.

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