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Maintain pumps and filters


Pumps use 70 per cent of the energy associated with pools so it makes sense to fine tune the maintenance and operation of your pool or spa pump to reduce costs.

You might need to talk with an industry professional to assess the number of hours your pool or spa pump should run.

Tips for better pool and spa operation 

1. You could reduce the daily pumping time depending on your climate and pool usage; it’s usually enough to pump the entire volume of water through the filter once or twice a day. The secret is to pass water through the filtration system at a lower speed. Reducing the speed of a pool pump by half will actually reduce power consumption to one eighth.

Variable-speed pumps are perfect because they can run at an economical speed most of the time but also have enough power to be turned up for other purposes, such as operating pool cleaning equipment.

2. Reduce energy use by running your pump at the lowest recommended speed that still maintains correct pool hygiene.

3. If you have a smart meter and are on time-based pricing, you can run the pump between 10:00 pm and 7:00 am. It won’t save energy, but it will cost you less because electricity is cheaper during off-peak hours. You could save about $240 a year running the pump in off-peak hours*.

Remember that pumps can be noisy so check with you your local council to see if there are noise restrictions around when you can run it. You could also enclose the pool pump to further reduce the noise and allow you to run your pump overnight. Consider investing in a quieter pool pump so that you can run it overnight without the noise disturbing residents.

Use this pool pump calculator to estimate the cost of running your pool pump and find out how much you could save on time-based pricing.

4. Spa pools need to have timers installed to ensure that the jets are only on for set periods.


5. Regularly clean your skimmer basket, pool pump basket and pool filter and keep your intake grates clear of leaver and other debris. Clogged grates require the pump to work harder, which uses more energy. Ensure that pool filters are backwashed or switch to a filter that doesn’t require extensive backwashing.


* Page 10, Swimming pool and spa efficiency Report, Energy Australia and the Swimming Pool and Spa Association

* Based on using a 750 watt pool pump for 6 hours a day in summer and 4 hours a day in winter. Prices quoted are based on Energy Australia’s Residential Domestic All Time and PowerSmart Home tariffs valid as at 1 July 2007.


Upgrade your pool pump 

If your pool pump is already being maintained efficiently but is nearing the end of its lifespan you might want to make greater cost savings by replacing it with a more energy efficient model that has variable-speed controls.