Variable speed pool pumps slow down the RPMs of the pump motor to have you hundreds of dollars a year, it's comparable to driving a Pruis versus a dragster to the grocery store. The magnetic drive is super quite and your pool is actually left cleaner because the water spends more time overall circulating and passing over the pool filter.
To fully realize the potential of your variable speed pool pump you will want it properly calibrated. A variable speed pool pump left uncalibrated can end up costing you money if left unchecked.
Their are several items that go into a pool pump calibration including:
1. Pool volume
2. Type of filter and cleaning system
3. Static pressure of the suction and discharge lines
4. Hours of operation
5. Amperage and watts used of the variable speed pool pump
Both APS and SRP follow the National Sanitation Organization guidelines for pool pumps, stating that for a clean pool, the pump needs to turn the pool over completely once a day. If the pump turns your pool over more than once per day on a regular basis, that is overkill and wasting energy. If we have a dust storm, of course you should run the pump more, but certainly not everyday. Unfortunately, a variable speed pool pump calibration cannot be completed without suction, vacuum gauges, and a watt meter, but homeowners can make some headway by following these guidelines.
Use the following as reference starting points:
• 1200 RPMs is the base starting point for filtration for Pentair pumps. Produces 30-42 gallons per minute
• 1400 RPM is the base starting point for filtration for Hayward and Jandy pumps. Produces 40-45 gallons per minute
• 1800 RPM is the base starting point for suction-side cleaners for all three variable speed pumps. Produces 65-80 gallons per minute
• 2600 RPM is the is the base starting point for in-floor cleaning systems for all three variable speed pumps. Produces 70-85 gallons per minute
- Calculate your pool volume
- Establish a turn-over rate. This is the time it takes to filter all of the water one time through the filter.
- Calculate the resistance (friction factor) of the piping system. Best practices are to use 2.5" pipe and to minimize the 90 degree bends to minimize the friction loss and total dynamic head.
- Set the speed and run times into the pump and be sure the pump runs off peak.
The Department of Energy also publishes a good resource for more information at the link below.
You can also download the IntelliFlo pump curve below.