A Move Toward More Efficient Swimming Pools

This month’s Aqua magazine (for spa and pool professionals) reports a movement in the industry toward more efficient swimming pools.  The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals is working to establish national efficiency standards under APSP-15.  In the past, efforts like these have come haphazardly at the state and local levels through laws and regulations.  APSP-15 will offer the industry a more uniform standard.

What does this mean for your pool?  Aqua reports,

Pool efficiency laws are ushering in a new age of pool equipment design for residential pools.  The movement is having a strong effect on the way the pool circulatory system is put together.  This includes pump selection, filter size, automation for the pump and heaters.

Single-speed swimming pool pumps under 1 HP will no longer be allowed and more emphasis will be placed on automation.  Multi-speed swimming pool pumps offer lower settings with greater energy efficiency when the pool is circulating.   They also offer the higher speeds needed when backwashing or vacuuming.  Installing a single-speed pump that always runs at high speed and consumes a lot of energy will be a thing of the past.  The regulations will not apply to booster, spa or feature pumps and piping but are focused on the main swimming pool filtration system.

Swimming pool controllers also help to alleviate some of the energy waste in pool care.  They ensure that swimming pool pumps only run on their higher speed setting for precise intervals and also ensure that they return to their lowest, filtration, setting within a 24-hr period.  This eliminates the potential for the swimming pool pump to be inadvertently left on its highest setting.

APSP-15 also includes efficiency standards for swimming pool heaters and the plumbing around the swimming pool pump.  The plumbing must meet an efficient flow rate on both the suction and return sides of the pump.  This is achieved with a larger minimum pipe size.  Regarding the  swimming pool heaters, Aqua reports,

 …they (swimming pool heaters) have to have a readily accessible on-off switch mounted on the outside of the heater that allows the heater to be turned on and off without adjusting the thermostat setting.  This is a rather brilliant idea that prevents waste through monkeying with the thermostat in a vain effort to make the pool heat more rapidly.

The efficiency standards found in APSP-15 should come into place within the next year.  Initially, this may result in higher pricing for pool equipment but will afford pool owners great savings in the long run relating to energy consumption.