Pool Water Pump Electricity Consumption

Reply

  #1  
Old 07-25-07, 08:03 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 409
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Pool Water Pump Electricity Consumption

I have a 3/4 HP in-ground pool pump connected to a 15 AMP receptacle. When I first had the pool installed I left the pump on 24/7 until I realized that drove up my electric consumption to twice what it was before. So I called the utility rep and he told me that it was correct for a pump drawing 14.5 amps around the clock. He suggested I get a timer for the pump.

I went out and got a timer that plugged into the outlet and then the cord for the pump plugged into the timer. This worked well for 1 year when the timer burned up (melted the prongs of the pool plug). I assumed that it was a defective timer and got a replacement and the same thing happened again about a year later. Now I just plug in and unplug the pump manually as I cannot find a reasonably priced timer for this purpose. 3-4 hours per day while the heater is running is all it takes to filter the water to maintain it crystal clear.

Someone told me that if the pump was hooked up for 220 Volts it would consume half as much electricity compared to the way it is now (110 Volts). This makes no sense at all to me, but I am no expert at electricity. Can someone please advise if that is correct, and if so explain why that is?

Thanks
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 07-25-07, 08:27 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
Posts: 4,808
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
there are few thing it will raise few question there .,,

one you say you got the plug in timer well , that is not really rated to handle that much load on motor you should get correct timer that used for swimming pool system because the real hevey duty timer have much stronger concant and it is motor rated.

like example here http://www.intermatic.com/Default.asp?action=prod&pid=9513&did=4&cid=31&sid=323


[note this you may have to check the specs with heater too because there is timer that can work with the heater as well ]


you have to copy and paste this one then it will show the typical mechaial timer this is far much hevey duty than the run of mill plug in timer and it will last much longer as well

the differnce between 120 and 240 volt is only reduce the amprage on 240 volt but the wattage is the same no matter what voltage you are on and typically pretty good size pool pump useally wired on 240 volts to reduce the light blinking but one nice advange that it can wire for much furter distance but you have to understand this part of electrical system on swimming pool is pretty strict it the NEC [ National Electrical Code ] did have almost one chapter covered on this part

and other thing that all the 120 v repectailes must be on GFCI either breaker or GFCI repectaile and you may want to check out with the electrician for latest code related to this because i do know know where ya from because the local codes trump over nation codes

Merci , Marc
 
  #3  
Old 07-26-07, 04:14 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
You should not have this pump on a 15 amp circuit. It needs to be on a 20 amp circuit. This is per the NEC and requirements for pools. When the pool installation was inspected this should have been caught. The circuit also needs to be GFCI.

You cannot run this pump through a cheap plug in timer. You are lucky you didn't burn your house down. You need a good quality 20 amp timer, made for motors and capable of handling the load. I am not aware of plug in models and I think you will need to get a hard wired model.

Unless this pump plugs in at least ten feet from the pool, it is not allowed to have a traditional plug on it, it needs a twist lock plug.

A 3/4 horsepower 240 volt pump will need the same amount of electricity as a 3/4 horsepower 120 volt pump. The difference will be that the current needed will be half as much. Don't get electrical advice from the person who told you otherwise.
 
  #4  
Old 07-26-07, 05:20 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,967
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Higher voltage, lower amps in direct one to one relationship. BUT, the wattage remains the same, and there is no savings.
 
  #5  
Old 07-26-07, 06:45 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 409
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for all your replies.

The pump I have is a Hayward pump and can be used for either 110 or 220. Right now it is hooked up to 110. It draws 14.5 amps and is on a 15 amp GFI outlet about 20 feet from the pool. The plug on the pump is not a twist type plug but a regular grounded push plug.

The timers I used were specifically designed for pool pumps and were obviously of a faulty design because they didn't last and are no longer available. They were made by a popular timer manufacturer, but I can't remember the name now. Manual plug and unplug works fine for me and I am not interested in putting in an expensive timer for this job.

The fellow that told me about the consumption being less with a three phase hookup was the electric utility tech that came to look at my set up; obviously he needs to go back to school because he doesn't know what he was talking about. I thought so at the time, but being no electrical expert I gave him the benefit of the doubt at that time and left things as they were. I am glad that you guys have confirmed my belief that 110 or 220 doesn't affect the electricity consumption. Thanks again.
 
  #6  
Old 07-27-07, 03:58 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,967
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
A three phase installation on your house would be cost prohibitive, anyway. And 240 volts is not three phase in a residence. If the pump is pulling 14.5 amps while running, it is the start up spike amperage that is frying your timers. Like Bob said, it should be on a 20 amp circuit, 12 gauge wire, and protected with a GFCI.
 
  #7  
Old 07-27-07, 04:21 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
One additional comment about 240 verses 120. As we have told you, a 240 volt draw uses less current. This less current means less heat loss in the wires, meaning less energy. However, this less energy is too small to make a difference in a home setup like this.

I am glad you have provided some more details on your pump setup. As long as the plug is more than ten feet from the pool, it is allowed to be a non twist lock plug. You still need GFCI protection, but you say that you have that. The circuit size (15 amps), however, is wrong. Code requires a 20 amp circuit.

To go to 240 volts, you would need to change the circuit breaker. However, you would need to install a more expensive GFCI circuit breaker. You would then need a different receptacle and a different cord and plug. Well okay, the cord could be used, it would just need a new plug on the end.

As for a timer, I don't know what you mean by expensive. My timer cost me about $65. Sure worth it so I don't have to plug in and unplug my pump each day.
 
  #8  
Old 07-27-07, 07:11 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 409
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by racraft View Post
One additional comment about 240 verses 120. As we have told you, a 240 volt draw uses less current. This less current means less heat loss in the wires, meaning less energy. However, this less energy is too small to make a difference in a home setup like this.

I am glad you have provided some more details on your pump setup. As long as the plug is more than ten feet from the pool, it is allowed to be a non twist lock plug. You still need GFCI protection, but you say that you have that. The circuit size (15 amps), however, is wrong. Code requires a 20 amp circuit.

To go to 240 volts, you would need to change the circuit breaker. However, you would need to install a more expensive GFCI circuit breaker. You would then need a different receptacle and a different cord and plug. Well okay, the cord could be used, it would just need a new plug on the end.

As for a timer, I don't know what you mean by expensive. My timer cost me about $65. Sure worth it so I don't have to plug in and unplug my pump each day.

I think I saw inline timers somewhere for about $200. And. thanks for all the information but I know what I'd have to do to change the circuit to a 20 ampere one, I've installed other circuits before using GFI breakers and higher amperage. When I put in the 15 amp for the pool pump I had no idea what pool pumps required and thought the 15 amp would be adequate. The area the circuit runs through is finished now and I am not about to rip open the walls to modify it, that's why I went to the 3/4 HP pump instead of 1 HP.

My present set-up works just fine and has for years as far as the 15 amp outlet is concerned.

Codes are things developed by committees of people who are learned in a certain discipline and later those codes are taken by governments and legislated into law. Those committee people are fallible just like any one else and subject to political and economic pressures which explains why so many parts of codes change faster than the wind. I have been a member of such a committee. Although it is good to have codes for people to follow, a code is not necessarily a bible, and codes are different in different jurisdictions. I have not checked to see if my set-up meets code in my jurisdiction, but have no problems personally with it being safe.

Again, thanks for all your views and comments.
 
  #9  
Old 07-28-07, 10:39 AM
Pendragon's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 1,844
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Provided you have a dry location, why not use one of the timers designed for water heaters? The clock side probably runs on 120v.

FWIW, I ran my pool pump 24/7 and didn't notice a significant difference in the power bill, maybe another $30 or so. Maybe our rates are just lower.
 
  #10  
Old 07-28-07, 02:55 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
You had no idea what pool pumps required because you did not do your research. Nor did you research the code for pool electrical.

You could, and should, bring your circuit up to code. The fact that you might have to open some drywall is a small price to pay.

When you try to sell the house, a good home inspector will catch your mistake. A smart buyer will make you fix it. Whether you do or not may determine if you sell to that buyer.

Your installation is unsafe. It may not be electrically unsafe, but it does not meet code. The code is all about safety. Yes, there are some things that are more anal than others, and even a few that we could do without. However, electricity and water do not mix. Codes for pools are strict for a reason.
 

Last edited by John Nelson; 07-28-07 at 07:46 PM.
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: