There are two upgrades to your pool equipment that I highly recommend. If you have the money to invest I would put in a Variable Speed Pump (VS Pump) and a Salt Water Generator also known as a Salt Water System. The Variable Speed pump will save you a tone of money on your energy cost and a Salt Water Generator will generate and add chlorine to your pool for you which will save you time on your pool maintenance.
I am going to focus here on the money savings that a Variable Speed Pump (VS) can help you with and you will be amazed I think of the amount of money you can save each year on your pool care budget. The pool pump can be the highest energy hog in your house, passing your Air Conditioner and Refrigerator just by the sheer amount of hours it runs each day. If you have a 1 ½ or 2 HP pump installed and you run it 8 hours per day, not to get into complicated conversions of kWh (Kilowatt Hours) and how you are charged each month by your Electric Company, just imagine it as having on Twenty 100 watt light bulbs every hour it is running. That is a lot of electricity each day and if your bill is tiered by usage, meaning the more you use the more you are charged, your bill can get very high very quickly. On average a pool pump will be about 40% of your total electricity bill each month.
So the best way to save money is to cut into your monthly electricity bill and that is exactly what a VS pump does. Simply put, your standard pump runs at 3450 RPM (Rotations Per Minute) which is about 1800-2000 watts. A VS Pump can be set to different RPM and at every lower RPM, the total wattage used is lowered. So just lowering the VS Pump down to 2100 RPM, it cuts the watts down to 685 watts. At 2100 RPM the water will appear to flow just as strong as a standard pump running at 3450 RPM. Cut it down even lower to 1200 RPM and you are down to 165 watts. So instead of having twenty 100 watt light bulbs running you only have a little over one light bulb running each hour. This is the reason your electric bill can be cut almost in half by simply installing a VS Pump.
To restate a simple fact, a VS Pump whichever brand will save you money so when your old motor burns out or you are remodeling or having a pool built, I highly recommend going with a VS Pump. I am a believer.
I will be honest with you here and state that the true benefit of a saltwater system is the fact that it adds chlorine to the pool without you having to do anything. This means no more trips to the pool store for shock or liquid chlorine. It is a great time saver for sure. But for me, that is the one and only benefit.
You really don't save any money when you convert to a salt pool. In fact, it cost a lot more than using Chlorine or Bleach in your pool. Factor in the cost of the unit plus install, say $1,000 and then a new salt cell every 3-5 years at $500 and the salt to start $150 and you’re looking at over $1,600 for the first 5 years. So, you would have to spend over $320 a year on chlorine to match that number. Typically, you are not spending over $100 a season for your chlorine.
With that said, a saltwater system is a preference. And if you can absorb the cost of the system and don't mind the extra overall cost of a salt pool, then it is the way to go. If you want to save money on the initial system check out the Pure Line system at INYOPools: http://www.inyopools.com/ProductListing/crystal-pure-salt-system.aspx? - it is priced around $500 for the complete system!
These are truly two worthy upgrades that you should consider making to your pool.
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