The draft of a long-awaited document regarding pool pump-motor efficiency is being released for public comment.

“Test Procedure and Labeling Requirements for Dedicated-Purpose Pool Pump Motors” is awaiting publication in the Federal Register. Comments will be received up to 45 days after publication.

In 2017, the Department of Energy (DOE) released a ruling saying all pool pumps sold must meet certain energy-efficiency requirements. The rule goes into effect next year. However, the rule did not address replacement motors, making it possible to sidestep the purchase of a high-efficiency pump by replacing the motor. So the DOE was asked for a similar rule for motors.

If the current draft is finalized, motors will be treated somewhat differently. Where pumps will have to meet testing parameters in order to be sold, the motor rule just states that motors must be tested and labeled to indicate their full load efficiency.

“The label will allow consumers to replace a dedicated-purpose pool pump motor with a like-for-like model, which will ensure that they maintain the efficiency of the pool pump that was originally purchased and installed,” said Michelle Hindmarch, acting director of communications for DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Industry advocates are examining the 100-plus-page document. Energy-efficiency proponents are disappointed, having expected a minimum efficiency level for motors, said Gary Fernstrom, an Oakland, Calif.-based energy consultant who works with Pacific Gas and Electric.