The company requests that swimming pool owners use their pool pumps only for the minimum period necessary. Reducing the running time of pool pumps will not only help relieve the electricity supply con- straints South Africa is experi-encing at the moment, but it will directly benefit household budgets, the company says.
Pool pumps are the third largest contributors to household energy costs, and by making adjustments to pumps, such as when they run and for how long they run, their contribution to the electricity bill can easily be cut in half.
Eskom says that the current electricity shortage requires cooperation between consumers and Eskom, to reduce the possi-bility of load shedding.
Nationally, electricity demand reaches peaks early in the morn-ings (06:00 – 10:00) and early evenings (18:00 – 21:00). The company believes it there-fore makes sense to set timers to switch pool pumps off during the peak periods.
Every pool owner has his or her own theory on how much filtering there should be in a pool, but a general rule of thumb is that all the water in the pool should be filtered at least once every 24 hours. Eskom says that when a pool is used frequently, as in summer, the filtering should be increased, but more than three filtering cycles in a 24- hour period is considered wasteful and unneces- sary.
In determining how long the pool pump has to run to complete one filtering cycle, the capacity of the pool (in litres) should be divided by the flow rate of the pool pump (in litres a minute) to arrive at the number of minutes needed to filter all the water once.
The California Swimming Pool Industry Energy Conservation Task Force says that filter pumps can be operated for a minimum of four hours a day during summer and for two to three hours a day during winter, result-ing in a reduction of electricity consumption of 40% to 50% a year. If this proves insufficient to keep the pool clean, filtering should be increased in 30-minute increments until the water remains clear and chemically balanced. When the pool is heavily used, it is recommended that the pump be operated manually and that the filtration system be run for longer periods.
The use of a pool cover in winter is a further tool in the pool owner’s arsenal to reduce the use of the pool pump. Pool covers keep pools cleaner, requiring the filter to run less often – on average only one hour daily – thus reducing electricity consumption by 75%. Pool covers also save water and decrease chemical evaporation by up to 70%.
Eskom concludes that the over- all message regarding the effi-cient use of pool pumps echoes that of energy savings, in gene-ral: be conscious of energy use – don’t switch it on and forget about it. It believes that through the intelligent and informed use of pool pumps, one can save money, electricity and help towards a sustainable future.