In the Virgin Islands electricity is expensive – very expensive. While trying to lower my WAPA bill I did some research and found that my pool pump was costing me over $1,200 per year to run! So I did some more research.
This chart shows just how expensive it gets to use a bigger pump than you really need. Notice how fast the energy used rises in relation to the water flow. This means that if your pump is pushing four times more water per minute than you really need it may be costing you 40 times as much $ – OUCH.
If you are only running your pump 3 or 4 hours per day to save money, you need to rethink that. You will save much more than the cost of the pump by either getting a variable speed pump or a smaller pump. Ideally you should have your pump running 24 hours per day at the lowest speed necessary to satisfactorily clean the pool. Another big money saver is increasing the size of the pipes, increasing the number of return jets, making sure the filter is clean or installing a larger filter. All of these can save you some real money.
A variable speed pump will allow low settings for filtering and higher flow for vacuuming or dealing with that algae bloom that happened when you were away and the chlorine level got too low. There is a wide variation in the energy efficiency even in pumps of the same size. The cheapest pumps don’t even publish the data needed to calculate how efficient (or inefficient) they are.
The California State Energy Commission has an Energy Efficiency Database where you can compare actual test results of numerous pumps and not have to rely on advertising hype.
After carefully studying the data I selected the Badu M3V. It is very efficient, is actually available on the market (some of the pumps shown are “in testing” and not available for sale), and will run at 20 gals/min – which is the minimum needed to run my chlorinator. This pump is available for sale at Paradise for $749