The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals is making a change to its APSP 15 standard, which governs single-speed pump flow rates.
The standard currently states that single-speed pumps of less than
1 total horsepower should have a flow rate of 36 gallons per minute
or less, with a minimum turnover time of six hours. The revision
would allow any single-speed pump of less than 1 total horsepower
approved by APSP in new construction or as a replacement.
“What this says is that you can use any of the compliant
pumps in the APSP database,” said Steve Barnes of the
APSP’s Standard Writing Committee. The requirements stating
that pumps of 1hp or greater be multi-speed or variable-speed
The change for the less powerful pumps was requested by users, many
in Florida, who found that they weren’t able to operate
equipment such as heaters and chlorinators effectively with pumps
that meet the current standard.
“Is it good policy to have the maximum flow rate of a
swimming pool be 36 gallons per minute?” said Ken Gregory,
chairman of the state’s Swimming Pool Technical Advisory
Committee. “In Florida, our pools are generally under 350
square feet. Everything was coming under this 36 gallons-per-minute
restriction. We had major problems with it, and FSPA
and their builders’ council voted to remove it.”
Smaller single-speed pumps are popular choices for the mostly small
pools built in Florida because of the pumps’ lower initial cost.
The state of Florida is acting in parallel to move the new language
through its approval process. The state’s Swimming Pool
Technical Advisory Committee will consider the change at its early
October meeting and if approved will go before the Florida Building
Commission. The change could have final approval by the end of the year.
The original standard was instituted in the name of saving energy.
The cost to run pumps built under the 36 gpm standard is
approximately $115 a year, based on 15 cents per kilowatt hour.
Under the new addendum, users of the newly allowed pumps would see
their costs increase by about $50 to $70 a year.
“We think it’s important to get some energy
efficiency,” Barnes said. The new standards continue to
recommend the more energy-efficient pumps.
But some say the change will affect relatively few customers
because many home-owners replace single-speed pumps with variable-speed models.
“At least 80 percent of my customers switch to variable-speed
pumps,” said Tom Cucinotta of Cucinotta’s Pool Service in Lake Worth, Fla.
“Once you explain the advantages, they make the change.”
Still, a few customers insist on installing the less-expensive
pumps, or have older equipment setups that would require major
renovation for a VSP. For these people, the rule will help.
“The [36 gpm pumps] don’t activate the flow switch so
that their chlorinator is running,” Cucinotta said.
Another change in the addendum specifies that the requirement that
pool pipes be sized so the velocity of the water at the maximum
filtration flow rate doesn’t exceed 6 feet per second on the
suction side or 8 feet per second on the return side is set for
energy efficiency. It also states that larger sizes might be
required on the suction side to comply with APSP 7 codes dealing
with entrapment avoidance.