Running An Efficient Pump Room

Times are changing, and so must we. Just offering beautiful, safe pools is not enough. They must be compliant with state and local codes, as well as national aquatic regulations.

Efficiency is no longer a buzz word or option, it’s a necessity. Going green has become so cliché in consumer markets. Often so-called green products are overpriced and ineffective. It’s no wonder we’ve become jaded by the green movement. BUT…escalating energy costs and social awareness are forcing us to be more responsible.

Equipment manufacturers are designing and manufacturing hard-working, efficient products that engineers need for efficient equipment rooms. Compliant equipment with proven performance, built to last, that also dramatically lower operating costs is a necessity.

Cold hard facts
Annual operating costs for a typical outdoor 25-yard-by-50-meter pool in today’s dollars run about $256,000, and break down as follows:

Natural gas – 72% ($184,400)
Electricity – 16% ($40,800)
Pool chemicals – 8% ($20,900)
Water usage – 4% ($9,400)

Best plan of attack for energy savings
Variable-speed pumps are the biggest energy savers. Running pumps longer, at lower speeds can save pool operators as much as 90% on operating costs. For pools open year-round, the savings are tremendous. The key is to run the pump long enough to maintain a water turnover rate consistent with minimum health department requirements. The requirements are different, state-to-state, and can be found in the Model Aquatic Health Code.
Water and chemical conservation
Backwashing filters wastes thousands of gallons of water each season, and thousands of dollars in chemicals. Newer large-capacity commercial cartridge filters can stop the waste because they don’t need to be backwashed. Not dumping those gallons of water means much more than conserving water. It’s the preservation of the chemicals in the water, the heat and equally important, the time the staff spends maintaining the pool.

Automation controls costs and potential issues
We liken pool and spa automation and chemical automation to adding a virtual staff. They’re your partner in the equipment room and poolside when you can’t be there – your eyes and ears keeping you up to date on your properties. Automating chlorination and chemistry management means better water quality, healthier, safer water, and ultimately another operating cost saver both in terms of overhead and personnel. Besides savings, it’s about the control you have no matter where you are, and peace of mind that there won’t be any surprises waiting when you return.
LED lighting an illuminating way to save
Nothing transforms properties like LED pool and spa lighting. LED lighting has an intensity or brilliance that you just can’t get with incandescent lights. Besides the obvious beauty they deliver to commercial properties, they make pools safer. With some LED lighting, pool managers can expect to eliminate dark spots in pools. Not having swimmers in the shadows make pools inherently safer. And switching to LED lights is smarter too. LED lights can last as much as 10x longer than incandescent lights, and save roughly 84% or more on energy costs.