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Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,800
Likes: 16
There is a buzz around here that the government is either giving an incentive or requiring commercial pools have 3 speed pumps. I have not been able to nail it down yet but my first question is, has the health department rescinded the rule that the pump shall run at the rated speed 24/7?
My next question is why 3 speeds?

The pool company who says it is true is clueless as to anything about it.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,336
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First I heard of that Greg. Maybe it's in an Energy Code?

Joined: Jul 2004
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I have done some digging and this idea came from California. It is certainly the energy code there. The question is whether this is a federal law, an incentive rebate or just a rumor that a pool company guy embraced to make some extra money. The pump is about 2.5 times as much.

Judy is going to check with the pool (health) inspector tomorrow to see if it is even legal on a commercial pool. That would be my first concern because that guy can throw a red tag and shut you down. You certainly would not want to be several hundred dollars into this and find out you still have run your pump at high speed all night anyway.
If they can find a compromise I can see how this would save a boat load of money. These pools are only licensed to operate during daylight hours.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,336
Likes: 7
I'll ask our Health guru today.

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,722
Broom Pusher and


I have done some digging and this idea came from California. It is certainly the energy code there.

I checked through the current versions of CEC Title 24, Part 6 (California Energy Code) for reference data per the above quote.
The requirement is only for Residential Installations, and the Motor is to be minimum of Two Speeds (Details are pasted below).

The Regulation(s) are located within Chapter 5 (Mechanical) of the 2008 "Residential Compliance Manual", along with the "Appliance Efficiency Standards".

Below are snips from 2008 CEC T24 Part 6...

Text From 2008 CEC Title 24, Part 6 Appliance Standards:

(5) Residential Pool Pumps.

(A) Motor Efficiency:
Pool pump motors manufactured on or after January 1, 2006 may not
be split-phase or capacitor start – induction run type.

(B) Two-Speed Capability;

(i) Pump Motors:
Pool pump motors with a capacity of 1 HP or more which are
manufactured on or after January 1, 2008, shall have the capability of operating
at two or more speeds with a low speed having a rotation rate that is no more
than one-half of the motor’s maximum rotation rate.

(ii) Pump Controls:
Pool pump motor controls manufactured on or after January 1,
2008 shall have the capability of operating the pool pump at least two speeds.
The default circulation speed shall be the lowest speed, with a high speed
override capability being for a temporary period not to exceed one normal cycle.


Text From 2008 CEC Title 24, Part 6 Residential Compliance Standards:

Article 5.2.9 (Mechanical)

5.2.9: Pool and Spa Equipment

Pool Pump Requirements:

For maximum energy efficiency, pool filtration should be operated at the lowest
possible flow rate for a time period that provides sufficient water turnover for
clarity and sanitation. Auxiliary pool loads that require high flow rates such as
spas, pool cleaners, and water features, should be operated separately from the
filtration to allow the filtration flow rate to be kept to a minimum.

All pumps and pump motors shall comply with the specifications of the Appliance
Efficiency Regulations.

The pool filtration flow rate may not be greater than the rate needed to turn over
the pool water volume in 6 hours or 36 gpm, whichever is greater. This means
that for pools of less than 13,000 gallons the pump must be sized to have a flow
rate of less than 36 gpm and for pools of greater than 13,000 gallons, the pump
must be sized using the following equation:

Max Flow Rate (gpm) = Pool Volume (gallons) / 360 min.

These are maximum flow rates. Lower flow rates and longer filtration times are
encouraged and will result in added energy savings.

Pools with auxiliary pool loads must use either a multi-speed pump or a separate
pump for each auxiliary pool load.
For example, if a spa shares the pool filtration system, either a multi-speed pump
must be used or a separate pump must be provided to operate the spa.

If the pool system can be served by one pump of less than 1 total-hp in capacity,
the pump may be single speed.

Filtration pump motors with a capacity of 1 total-hp or more must be multi-speed.

All pool pumps sold in California must be tested and listed with the Energy
Commission according to the Appliance Efficiency Regulations.

Pump manufacturers must list flow rate, power, and energy factor at each of three
system curves (see Figure 5-3).
"Note: Figure 5-3 not included with this text." S.E.T. 07292010

For pools equal to or less than 17,000 gallons, a pump must be chosen such that
the flow rate listed for Curve A is less than the 6-hour turnover rate.
For pools greater than 17,000 gallons, a pump must be chosen such that the
listed flow rate at Curve C is less than the 6-hour turnover rate.


Pool Pump Controls:

Pool controls are a critical element of energy efficient pool design. Modern pool
controls allow for auxiliary loads such as cleaning systems, solar heating, and
temporary water features without compromising energy savings.

A time switch or similar control mechanism must be installed as part of the pool
water circulation control system that will allow all pumps to be set or programmed
to run only during the off-peak electric demand period and for the minimum time
necessary to maintain the water in the condition required by applicable public
health standards.

§150 (p)1
Multi-speed pumps must have controls that default to the filtration flow rate when
no auxiliary pool loads are operating. The controls must also default to the
filtration flow rate setting within 24 hours and must have a temporary override
capability for servicing.




Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,800
Likes: 16
Thanks Scott. That makes sense.
Is there an exception for solar PV operated pool pumps?
That is the one thing on the PV biz that looks particularly attractive to me.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,336
Likes: 7
Answer from Health...

The requirement for filtration of commercial pools is that the water be filtered 3x within a 24 hour period.

This might be accomplished via the method described to you however the second requirement is that there be a continuous means of disinfection (auto chlorinator) and this cannot happen without the filter pump running.

End result: Filter must run 24/7.

Hope this helps.Officials name & title deleted due to lack of permission to publish.

To be continued....

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,336
Likes: 7
Second reply seems to lead me to understand IF the sanitation can be maintained with a slower speed (by increasing the sanitizer) it would be OK with Health.

Guess it boils down to water samples?

Hope this helps

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,800
Likes: 16
I suppose the real answer is in what the calculated turnover is with the existing pump. I believe the design spec is every 6 hours. If that is the case you could run it 12 hours at normal speed (2 turnovers), and then run it half speed for 12 hours to get the 3d turn over. I am still not sure why they say 3 speeds.


Greg Fretwell
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,432
Likes: 3
Not sure if I should be saying this, but I'd like to play the VSD card here.
Most VSD's have options to turn the motor on or off at a given time, with a simple induction motor.
My question is, why complicate things why a 3-speed motor?

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