Would you be surprised if I told you that a swimming pool could be one of the largest consumers of electrical energy around your home? Well, that just might be the case. But what's even more surprising is it doesn't have to be that way.
Let me show you something. Now every pool has a pump, this is mine right here, and its job is to circulate water through the filter. Now this pump can consume a whole lot of energy. Now in my case, I'm running my pump and filter 12 hours a day.
Now based on local electricity costs, that adds up to $100 a month during the pool season. That's a pretty tidy sum. So I decided to do a bit of online research to see if I could find a better alternative. What I discovered was an intelligent swimming pool pump, one that the manufacturer, Pentair said could reduce energy costs by as much as 80 percent.
Now that sounded pretty good to me, so I picked one up and brought it back to the house. Now I probably could have installed the pump myself, but since this was brand new technology and I'm not a pool expert, I asked for and received some help from the Pentair folks.
Product specialist John Belcher, senior trainer James Overton and service manager Steve Paris. The first thing James and Steve do is check and see exactly how much electricity my current pump is consuming. Yeah, it amounts to 100 bucks a month if I operate the pump and filter only 12 hours a day. Removing the old pump is a matter of unscrewing the water lines and disconnecting the power. The new pump sits on the same pad as the predecessor. Step one is to connect the return water line from the pool. Pipe sealant is applied to the threads of a plastic nipple which is then screwed into the pump intake port.
The remaining joints are glued by applying cement to both fittings, slipping them together and giving a slight twist before the cement sets. Finally, the pump is connected to the return system with a screw-type compression fitting.
Next, Steve cuts the existing line that connected the old pump to the filter, using a heavy-duty ratchet action PVC pipe cutter. Then, he begins rebuilding the new pipe run.
With the plumbing complete and the power reconnected, John flips on the breaker. Now the reason Pentair calls this an intelligent pump is because it has an onboard computer. John enters a few pieces of information like pool capacity and turnover rate. For example, how many times a day I want all the pool water to run through the filter.
Then the pump takes over, constantly monitoring water flow and electrical current and making sure that the filter system is operating at peak efficiency. And it does all this very quietly.
Well, if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I don't know if I would have believed it. Not only is this unit quiet and efficient, but it's gonna save me a bundle of money on my utility bill. As a matter of fact, let me show you something.
Now, when my old pump was running, it consumed as much electricity as twelve 100-watt lightbulbs. The new pump, only three.