Swimming Pool Tip #83

The BIGGER Pool Pump Scam!

Men are sometimes really into how big their car's engine is. Or, their boat. Or, their biceps. Or, their whatever. Even some women reportedly have been caught up in the 'bigger is better' excitement.

But, as has been often observed, it's not size that counts, but how you get the job done.

This is especially true with swimming pool pumps. Pool pumps make your pool water circulate through your filter and back to your pool Flow genuinely affects how well your pool operates. But the only thing pump horsepower always affects is how large your electric bill is! What really counts is not how BIG the pump is, but how well matched it is to the rest of the pool.

A typically (not optimally) designed 18,000 gallon pool with 1.5" pipes and a 3/4 HP pump will filter about 18,000 gallons every 8 hours -- and cost about $40 per month to operate.

The SAME exact swimming pool, with a 1.5 HP oversized pool pump, sold and installed by an gung-ho dealer or salesman, will filter about 24,000 gallons in 8 hours -- and cost about $80 per month. Doubling the HP, in this case, only increases filtration by 33%. But doubling the HP does double your electric bill. Ironically, it will also worsen filtration, since the filter will be 'overdriven'! In fact, many problems with sand filters (and the sand in them) result from matching small sand filters with big pool pumps.

This problem is especially common on above ground pools with sand filters: most would benefit if they exchanged their pump for a unit one size down, and their filter for one a size up!

So the next time a pool salesman tells you he'll put a BIGGER pump on if you sign now, ignore him, and ask how many gallons per minute flow he guarantees the pool to deliver -- and whether the filter is rated for that flow.

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