Pentair SuperFlo Wattage Meter
The Pentair SuperFlo variable speed pool pump has a very useful piece of instrumentation that is built into it that pool owners can, and should, use to understand more about how much electricity their pump is using. Unfortunately most residential swimming pools lack any form of flow meter or method of monitoring the rate of water flow in the filtration system. Similarly the average residential pool lacks any instrumentation to monitor how much power the pump consumes. With variable speed pool pumps becoming more popular, and soon to be required by law for all pool filtration systems, one of the many advantages is that these pumps often provide information about how the system is operating. One day, probably long into the future, all variable speed pool pumps will come with built in Wattage meters as well as built in flow meters. For now these are rare features to have.
The Pentair SuperFlo is an entry level variable speed pump that is compatible with both 115 Volts and 230 Volts which makes this a very popular choice for smaller and medium sized pools. While this pump does not have a built in flow meter, like almost all pumps in this class, it does however come with a built in Wattage meter to allow you to see the power being consumed by the pump at all times. The importance of this number might be lost on some pool owners, but to simplify what you should know is that as you turn down the RPM of an electric motor, there is a non-linear drop in power consumption. Watch as you reduce the RPM speeds of your pump just how drastically the power consumption drops. This is the basis behind how variable speed pool pumps save you so much money on electricity and this built in Wattage meters allows you to see this happening in real time.
When you know Voltage (in Volts), Amperage (in Amps) and Power (in Watts) there is a lot that you can calculate. Having two of the three of these variables is enough that you can calculate any remaining variable using the following formula:
Power = Volts x Amps
You can rearrange this equation to solve for any one missing variable. For SuperFlo VS owners you will have access to Power (in Watts) from the built in meter, and you should also be aware whether you have supplied the pump with 115 volts or 230 volts. This means that you can calculate the current draw (in Amps) for your pool pump at any RPM value.
For example, if your pump is using 1000 Watts and installed with 115 Volts for the electrical service you would divide 1000 by 115 to get 8.7 Amps. It is worth noting that you may have seen Voltage expressed as different numbers, 110 Volts, 115 Volts, 120 Volts, 220 Volts, 230 Volts, 240 Volts...all of these numbers represent low voltage and high voltage supplies in residential applications. Voltage actually changes and is intended to be supplied as a range, as opposed to a specific value. The notation for this can be any of these values, but the actual voltage in your home can be anywhere from 108 - 250 Volts. You can use a digital multimeter to measure the exact voltage, or you can use 115 or 230 Volts as a median value for calculations, which assumes a small tolerance for error.
Motor RPM = 1000
Internal Meter = 152 Watts
External Meter = 134 Watts
Tolerance = 11.8%
Motor RPM = 1500
Internal Meter = 282 Watts
External Meter = 265 Watts
Tolerance = 6%
Motor RPM = 2000
Internal Meter = 535 Watts
External Meter = 514 Watts
Tolerance = 3.9%
Motor RPM = 2500
Internal Meter = 947 Watts
External Meter = 921 Watts
Tolerance = 2.7%
Motor RPM = 3000
Internal Meter = 1561 Watts
External Meter = 1510 Watts
Tolerance = 3.3%
Motor RPM = 3450
Internal Meter = 2330 Watts
External Meter = 2230 Watts
Tolerance = 4.3%
This bench test was performed with a 240 Volt electrical service being supplied to the pump. Using the Wattage (in Watts) as well as the Voltage (in Volts) you can calculate the current draw (in Amps) for this pump at any RPM value by dividing the Wattage by the Voltage. If you want to continue learning more about variable speed pool pumps be sure to check out some of these other articles:
240 Volt Pentair SuperFlo bench test
Swimming pool flow meters
How much electricity does a pool pump use
What happens if you run a pool pump at 1000 RPM
Running a pool pump 4 hours per day
How does a variable speed pump save you money
Variable speed pump schedules
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